NZ Recap – Winter 2020

I’m sure no matter where you are in the world, like me, the last few months have been a whirlwind both personally and professionally. We have burst bubbles, navigated unchartered territory and no one is really sure what the other side looks like or when that might be.

It’s a different time for us now, and we have all taken different things away from the last few months. We have woken up our imaginations, reconnected with friends and neighbours, embraced technology, and eaten more than our fair share of fajitas! It has actually been really nice on many levels. Most of all, as a universe we had embraced a new mantra – be safe and be kind.

We continue to be grateful for those in essential services and/or the front line that have kept our fabulous little country running.

Our businesses and our communities continue to be under an immense amount of stress. A humble reminder of the need to act reasonably and consider carefully practical solutions to ensure harmony in these challenging times.

Both our industry and our role has adapted and as Rob Fyfe, former Air New Zealand Executive recommended in a great interview, “Some businesses will see opportunity, and many will thrive.” He recommended industry clusters come together and develop solutions, rather than have policy people trying to define business policies.

Having fun at level one might not be quite what we anticipated, and while our day to day plans have been paused, the SCA (NZ) Exec have done exactly that, rallying Government and working both internally and with our industry bodies such as the Property Council to support each other and the wider sector.

Similarly, our legislation has adapted and MBIE have advised us the Bill amending the UTA through the COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Act was extended last week.

Different questions confront us now: “What’s emerging; what are the opportunities; what makes strategy successful?” It’s where intent and capability meet opportunity. And it starts with opportunity. As a leadership group, we need to identify what we need to do to pursue those opportunities – what capability have we got and what do we need to develop? And finally, is that what we want to do? How does this line up with our long-term vision? A crisis that unites both colleagues and competitors.

It is with great sadness that over such an isolating time we lost one of our own. friend, colleague, founding and former Executive Member David Watt lost his courageous battle with cancer, and I would like to offer a tribute to him for his unwavering passion and commitment to the strata industry. As Joanna Pidgeon said, a mighty Totara has fallen.

It was with great sadness that we were not able to spend time with David over lockdown, however on the weekend a lovely memorial was held, where it was abundantly clear that David was a pillar in so many areas of his life, and I am proud to have worked alongside such a good man.

Never shy of a quiet drink and piece of advice, from the day I met David many years ago his support through both the good and the bad times was never lost on me. David was also an NZ100 Trainer and key in the customization of our SCA (NZ) Committee Training. His kaleidoscope vision and foresight for both BCCG (Body Corporate Chairs Group) and SCA (NZ) was our rock of Gibraltar.

David spearheaded the Better Body Corporates Campaign and drive for legislative reform, enlisting the help of key parliamentary and industry players, and his dedication and hard work shone through even from Hospice in his final days. It was an absolute privilege to work alongside David in the working group, and live and breathe his passion for the sector. The Hon. Nikki Kaye promised me on the weekend that the reforms will be his legacy, and we will all toast the inspirational Mr Watt when that day arrives.

When that day does arrive, and we look back at both BC (Before COVID) and AC (After COVID), the need for an organisation such as SCA will be greater than ever. The way we do business and live our lives has changed forever and our sector, as well as the wider property Industry will need to continue to evolve and work closely with one another to ensure we plan and build communities that meet human needs and are resilient and versatile.

As we reflected on David’s life and achievements, it reminded me the importance of celebrating champions of industry. Those that give up their time and energy for the greater good, and of course the amazing relationships that are bourne over common ground. There are a lot of you out there, and I’ve been truly privileged to get to know you over the last few years through SCA, so thank you.

The priority around health obligations and government-imposed restrictions remain the at the forefront, so please wash thy hands, Aucklanders, save thy water, and of course, love thy neighbour!

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