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The Commission's focus for the year ahead
In this column, NZWAC chief executive Mark Neeson explains how the Commission's strategic plan will be implemented in the coming year, including background on project results and changes to the regional field advisor network.
The Commission has just completed the first year of its four-year plan as described in its Statement of Intent 2014-2018. It is maintaining a consistent strategic direction and focus. Our 2014-2015 work programme emphasised leadership, increasing understanding of access responsibilities and enhancing access opportunities.
We also sought to improve performance across all our areas of work. For example, we increased interest in and support for Both Sides of the Fence and attracted good sponsorship, improving our marketing and awareness and increased the amount of information on the Walking Access Mapping System (WAMS). The regional field advisor network underwent considerable change with new advisors being engaged.
In 2015-2016 (year two of our plan) we will continue to emphasise leadership, increasing understanding of access responsibilities and enhancing access opportunities, while also increasing our focus on increasing the use of Both Sides of the Fence website and resources and undertaking new developments on WAMS. With the latter we aim to improve user satisfaction with the mobile component and some technical functions, as well as introducing new products. We hope to have the first part of the project completed by the end of 2015.
The regional field advisor network expanded in 2014-15 and there are now nine regional field advisors. This increase enables earlier responses to enquiries and closer connection with communities. The number of access disputes is decreasing and there is a greater need to explain and communicate the access story to the public. Regional field advisors will be placing a higher priority on raising awareness of the Commission, its services and the â€œaccess storyâ€