The times they are a changin’ – Issue #7

17 December 2021

Introducing Issue #7

Here’s to the turbulent times our strong hearts are moving through.

I don’t think anyone could say it has been easy in the courts of local government these last 12 months or so – not in the halls of power of the national organisation, nor at the coalface of local community.

Running a safe and happy workplace has been a challenge in itself and pegging staff morale to the highest branch of the tree, definitely a task that needed a long reach. Spread between office and home from one week to the next, made for long distance smokos and far less face-to-face communication than was needed for the health of staff and the common vision.



And in the midst of all that, some of the biggest changes local government has faced since 1989 were thrown onto the table.

Mooted while all eyes were cast elsewhere, the Three Waters Proposal was meet with a response that pitted local government against central government. Whichever way you looked at the proposal, local self-determination was to be further eroded and local representation spread even more thinly than snow on a Northland beach.

Other policies too saw the sweeping cape of central government thrown over the activities of local government. Some would say unnecessary overreach; the big cats getting the little cats to implement some undesirable national policies and practices on the local front. Mayors and councillors became front-line fodder as they addressed policies around Significant Natural Areas that impacted private property rights, cultural heritage and our agricultural industry.

It has always been the heart of local Councils to serve their local communities – the people, the people, the people. This last year has seen that heart sorely tested; but the heart has not been found wanting! So this Christmas time, a candle lit in honour and in appreciation of the efforts and hard work of our local Councils – elected representatives and staff – might be the very least Central Government could do.

In the meantime, a big, heart-felt thanks to you all from our small team at Dry Crust.

Mark Raffills
Dry Crust

Talking about our publishing and community engagement platform – Buzzit!

Buzzit is a digital publishing and consultation platform that creates engagement and builds community through personalised communication. It brings online digital communication and social networking into one, easy-to-use platform for producing newsletters, magazines, reports, community consultation surveys, conversations and forums.

Buzzit creates measurable community engagement that allows you to know who are talking with and lets them talk to you. It connects you with your community of stakeholders and allows them to make comments and ask questions on proposed and current projects and plans. It tells real stories and encourages engaging conversations between Council and residents and ratepayers – all the while reducing print and distribution costs.

This issue of Buzz is of course produced on Buzzit, as is the latest edition of Westland Matters >

If you would like to know some more about Buzzit, be sure to drop me an email –

Talking about our publishing and community engagement platform – Buzzit!

Our work

Mayors Task Force for Jobs Branding Project

We have been working on a branding project designed to raise the profile of the work being done in Tararua by the Mayors Task Force for Jobs.

The work has been branded ‘Inspire Tararua’ and the original concept was the work of MTFJ Co-ordinator Fontayne Chase. We took Fontayne’s design and developed it into a full logo set and style guide.

Mayors Task Force for Jobs Branding Project

Our work

All this beauty

Milford booklet for Southland District Council

Summing up the Milford Opportunities Project was the purpose of this print publication.

Having such brilliant imagery to work with enabled a quite stunning profile of what the Milford Opportunities project was all about.

From concept, design and layout to print, this was a very nice project to have worked on.

The results you can see for yourself on our website >

Or view the web version here >

All this beauty

Our services

Dry Crust – here in 2022 to help ease your workload

Dry Crust has been working with Local Government since 1991 when we published the very first edition of Tasman District Council’s newsletter, Newsline The Mag.

A 23 year association with Tasman finished a few years back now but Newsline continues to be the flagship of Tasman’s communication network with over 500 issues published and still going strong. 

As a full communications agency, we have been privileged to have partnered with a large number of Councils over the years to assist them in developing their own communication activities and strategies. It has been great to see the evolution as they have come to manage their communication portfolios themselves.

Offering editorial, online, web, digital, graphics, publishing, branding, marketing and all communication services, we at Dry Crust have been fortunate to have assisted many Councils in their communication and engagement activities with their residents and ratepayers.


Overflow service

Today, Dry Crust still offers a full agency service. Of late, we have acted for a number of Councils as an overflow service for their busy in-house communications teams.

We can assist with all manner of editorial and communication projects, small or large – graphic design, web design, publication and brochure design and layout, branding, marketing and communication strategies. So, if we can help you in this area, please get in touch. We’d love to help.

Calling up the years: Tasman, Horowhenua, Central Hawke’s Bay, Gore, Westland, Southland, Tararua, Rangitikei, Stratford and Waitomo District Councils plus Nelson City, Porirua City and Environment Southland…

You can contact Mark by phone, 027 215 4969 or email,

And you can view us on our website:


A Christmas card