Loving the Hutt
In 2012 Hutt City was threatened by amalgamation 80% of its residents did not want. The dominant voices were those of the organised and well-resourced ‘elite’ supercity supporters. News headlines declared “Wellington Supercity inevitable”.
Ray Wallace, Mayor of Hutt City, had to find a way of ensuring the views of his residents were not just heard, but were heeded.
He pulled together a crack advisory team, which included BlacklandPR. The team ensured weaknesses in the supercity concept and strengths of small-scale local government became apparent. The strategy was to ensure the opposition of ordinary people was the loudest and most numerous in the debate.
Two years later the Local Government Commission ditched its supercity proposal. Ray Wallace said; “The decision was a victory for our residents – they got to keep the city they love. It was a sign of the power of a united community.”
Best of breed
As Welfare Officer with Greyhound Racing New Zealand, Greg Kerr has the reputation of the sport in his hands.
In 2012 the reputation was under media and political pressure over concern about the treatment of Greyhounds.
Since then things have changed dramatically. BlacklandPR helped the sport persuasively and confidently gave its side of the story to its members, media and politicians, right through an independent inquiry and changes in rules to reduce injuries.
Greg says the turn-around has made his job easier. “The public can now see that greyhounds love racing, and the sport loves its greyhounds.”