With 34 Maori tribes and 142 sub-tribes, the Bay of Plenty regional council has the largest and densest population of Maori tribes in the country. With these numbers, the council’s Maori Policy Adviser Trevor Himona has a tough job in hand, dealing with complex negotiations that the New Zealand government has asked regional councils to address. Himona uses Mindjet MindManager information mapping tool to help formulate strategies for compensation claims, valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
“It is a great way to summarise a whole range of information within a visual flow chart. When I talk with a Maori group, I use MindManager to summarise the discussion and add it to a flow chart, from which I develop a strategy for our CEO as a treaty relationship road map. It illustrates clearly the breakdown of information from the various tribes and sub-tribes, and shows the progress in each area for processing claims,” he says.
Himona is part of a Maori policy unit that reports to one of five strategy development groups, each of these dealing with a large expanse of the council’s 12,000 square kilometres total area. There are about 1800 Maori land tracts in the region affected by the government ownership initiative.
He says the software helps him input information three to four times faster than using Microsoft Word. He learnt to use MindManager on-the-fly while working on his first project, choosing a Ferris wheel template for structuring his strategies. Himona shares his maps with other users, or converts them to .pdf files to share with those who don’t use the software.
The maps are also shared with Bay of Plenty’s constituent councils, including Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane. According to the council, the maps created by Himona ultimately help ensure with the settlement of each claim being written into law.
“One of the neat features of MindManager is the ability to update constantly the various elements of a map,” he says. “It is also invaluable for use as a talking point at meetings because it makes complex information easy to understand. Our CEO has taken the strategy I developed and uses the map as a focus for discussions and forums outside the council.”
He has shown the maps to other councils and to the New Zealand central government and it has generated, “a lot of discussion and good outcomes. For use in strategy policy work, MindManager has been excellent.”
Himona isn’t the only one using the mapping software in the Bay of Plenty regional council.
According to Evaleigh Rautjoki-Williams, IT software specialist at the council, 25 management and staff are currently using the software, including business analysts, strategic development/planners, land management officers and communication advisers.
Half a billion dollars have been earmarked for Maori compensation in the Bay of Plenty region, on top of a share of the $6.6 billion compensation agreed nationally for Maori land compensation in general.
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