The Workforce Working Party (WWP) identifies local government present and future workforce needs, and develops guidance and/or solutions so chief executives can meet those needs cost-effectively.


  • Monitor the environment within which local authorities operate and provide the Chief Executive with timely advice on issues that fall within its scope.
  • Provide sound strategic advice on SOLGM’s learning and development and recruitment and retention activities.
  • Stay informed of, and advise on the skill and capability issues raised in the work of other working parties.
  • Operate, at all times, in accordance with effective and prudent commercial practice.
  • Build effective working relationships with other sector organisations (e.g. EquiP and the New Zealand Planning Institute) and private sector providers.

View/download the Workforce Working Party (WWP) Terms of Reference

Current Members


Louise Miller, Chief Executive - Kaipara District Council

Deputy Chair: Richard Bird, People and Capability Manager - Rotorua District Council


Susan Jones, Human Resources and Administration Manager - Gore District Council

Ian Maxwell, Community Services Director - Auckland Council

Frances Smorti, Human Resources Manager - Manawatu District Council

Amy Archer, Workforce Strategy & Analytics Manager - Auckland Council

2018/19 Report from the Workforce Working Party

Dr Pim Borren - Manager Workforce Leadership (acting), SOLGM 

I would like to start by acknowledging the Chair of the Workforce Working Party, Dr Karleen Edwards (Chief Executive, Christchurch City Council), and the party members for their work over the last year. Karleen led the working party up to June this year, and their work covers a wide scope of current and future workforce challenges experienced by the sector. 

The emphasis of the work programme continued to be on development of content for the Workforce Toolkit, and further work in support of the themes identified in the PwC National Workforce Report published in August 2018. In both cases the objective is to share ‘best practice’ insights, knowledge and resources for the benefit and professionalism of the sector as a whole.

The Workforce Working Party also contributed to the annual Future Workforce Forum event, held in Wellington in June 2019. This year’s event attracted a broad range of high-calibre speakers both from within, and external to, local government. The event highlighted the common challenges councils face in building a more diverse workforce that is representative of our communities, and provides the capability and capacity we need to thrive in the future. HR professionals in the sector need to help leaders develop strategies to attract a younger, more diverse range of people who are eager to serve their communities, as well as to create a flexible and energetic workplace that supports well-being. Feedback from the event strongly supported the programme content, as well as the opportunities for sharing ideas and initiatives underway in some of our councils.

Looking ahead, the Workforce Working Party will be welcoming a new Chair for 2019/20, as well as greater representation from local government chief executives to complement the existing members. The work programme in the coming year will support strategic approaches to the identified challenges, as well as continuing to enable collaboration across the sector. This particularly supports smaller councils from a capacity perspective and allows SOLGM to draw on the professional expertise in the sector to support our work.

I would like to thank all of the current members for their enthusiasm and commitment to supporting SOLGM’s work over the last year. The members of the Workforce Working Party are Richard Bird (Deputy Chair), Susan Jones, Frances Smorti, Ian Maxwell and Shameel Sahib. I look forward to renewed focus for the Workforce Working Party under the guidance of a new Chair, with new chief executive support, and a new team supporting their work at SOLGM in 2019/20.