what the future looks like
Air New Zealand has become a trusted and iconic brand celebrated in many independent assessments, including the only one that really counts: it meets customer need and serves consumer preference. It wasn’t an easy transition for the airline, but after two years the purposeful evolution of Air New Zealand picked up pace until the airline was rewarded by exponential growth in aggregate business and worldwide sales.
The airline’s main hub is in Mangere – one of South Auckland’s low income suburbs where 70,000 people live. Over the years Air New Zealand boot-strapped itself out of customer indifference and subjected itself to scrutiny to learn the truth about itself – its weaknesses and genuine strengths. Armed with this good information, profound leadership and steely resolve, the airline cleaned up its operating data and forecasting methods so much that it had new legitimacy and the confidence to make capital investment in self-service systems and check-in booths – years ahead of its competitors. In the process the airline re-engineered its retail sales ethic and customer facing system to consistently meet, exceed, lead, and very judiciously at times, lag customer and consumer preferences.
After the leaders the fixed critical weaknesses, the airline has become a watchword for smart, nimble, customer focused corporate affairs. In the case of Air New Zealand, there was a clear before and after experience for customers. Most of us would agree that none of us want to go back to the before state with people now having the consumer power to fly when they want, with whom they want, with the convenience of electronic-ticketing, avoiding unnecessary ques, and paying only for the services required has revolutionised the travelling experience.
Can a similar process work for Mangere’s 70,000 residents?
We have been asking ourselves what is the equivalent for a low income locality and its demography in South Auckland that could be life changing for the people who live there? This demography lives in the before-state of low income, low expectations, poor health, housing and educational outcomes, and low hope for improvement.
The after-effects are driven by the ability for people to have their immediate needs met while strengthening social capital and community infrastructure to support development pathways that will lead to whole community regeneration, reconciliation and an equitable redistribution of resources to align with need.
At Alliance Community Initiatives Trust, we believe the answer is “Yes”, a similar process will work for Mangere as well as other similar communities in South Auckland and across Aotearoa. We intend roll up our sleeves to work alongside our communities of interest to apply focused community strategies that will deliver immediate results while considering long-term sustainable development pathways that lead to aspiration and transformation for individuals, families, neighbourhoods and whole communities.