It’s been almost 6 months since I arrived home from my adventure in New Zealand researching leadership in communities and organisations. The experience was such a positive and powerful one leading to wonderful, rich and eclectic conversations that there was a real sadness in leaving. The leaving was even more poignant because I was based in Christchurch during the 2 weeks of the February quake and had spent some time in Lyttleton (epicentre of the quake) the week before.
Returning home, I determined to continue my connections in NZ and luckily for me, even after this period, I’m still in contact with about half a dozen people across the North and South Islands and am introducing folks from the UK visiting NZ to some of these people. There’s even a chance for me to reciprocate some of the hospitality I received when a colleague and friend from Napier in North Island visits the UK in the autumn to launch her new book….more anon. And the connections seem almost as fresh as the day they were made.
There is Margaret Jeffries who is a community leader in Lyttleton who copies me in on the Lyttleton e newsletter where I learn of the wonderful things going on in a community seriously impacted by a series of quakes.
Margaret and friends are now trailblazing a way forward for their community and pioneering new concepts and projects that will help, not just their own community, but many other communities as well. And maybe we can open ourselves to thinking about these ideas in Scotland. I’m going to ask Margaret to write something for this blog as a way of stimulating new ideas and approaches.
Rose Diamond who was the reason I wasn’t in Christchurch on the day of the quake is a Brit living in a beautiful part of South Island called Golden Bay. She has been working for some time on a global programme called ‘A Whole New World’ and already is setting up a website, putting the finishing touches to online programmes and is beginning a series of tele-interviews with people across NZ and other continents who have a story to tell that sheds light and inspiration on alternative ways to be in this world. Rose has also agreed to make a contribution to this blog so that anyone who wants to know more can engage for themselves or their community.
Being connected to nature seems important for the majority of New Zealanders and it must have been important to most people living in Scotland even a century ago and yet it seems to me we have lost the strength of the link. One hope I have it that this blog will spark some desire for you to get out into your community and country and appreciate how lucky we are to live here.
Although my blogging is haphazard at best, it remains about appreciating Scotland in its broadest sense-its people, communities, and environment.