Hanssen Construction executive director Gerry Hanssen shares his experiences handling bureaucracy.

Gerry Hanssen tackles bureaucracy

Hanssen Construction executive director Gerry Hanssen says bureaucrats should serve the people, not the other way around.
June 20, 2024
Mike Peeters

TAKING the stage directly after Kevin Bartholomew’s hard-hitting presentation, construction boss and Swan Chamber of Commerce vice president Gerry Hanssen also gave his take on bureaucracy at last week’s Hour of Power.

The executive director of Hanssen Construction admitted that dealing with bureaucrats was something he had plenty of experience with over the years, and it was not always pleasant or easy.

In fact, his opening statement was, “At 60, I was just out of nappies figuring out how this game works.”

He said he could recall plenty of building projects that had stalled or been subject to long delays because of factors such as planning approval, building permits and the like.

“However, I found that as long as I did my fact-finding and compliance, things always worked out in the end,” he said.

Mr Hanssen said one of the secrets to tackling bureaucracy was learning how to handle personal confrontation; something he hoped he had perfected after so many years in the industry.

He went on to outline several humorous examples on how to deal with bureaucracy without ‘losing your cool’.

“Bureaucracy often hides behind regulations and trying to please the people in power is not the answer,” he said.

“Since I became more heavily involved with the Swan Chamber of Commerce about six years ago, I have always done my best to try and change the culture and make people more aware of the dangers of bureaucracy.

“I believe the bureaucrats are actually there to serve us, not the other way round, so we need to challenge them, even if we are feeling burnt out or exhausted.

“Of course, my being a ‘super optimist’ helps and I would encourage everyone who struggles with bureaucracy to try to keep going and never give up.”

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