The Workforce Working Party (WWP) supports achievement of SOLGM’s vision through its identification of the local government sector’s present and future workforce needs, and developing guidance and/or solutions so that chief executives can meet those needs, at reasonable cost.


  • 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 in regards SOLGM’s learning and development and recruitment and retention activities
  • stay informed of, and advise in regards 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, New Zealand Planning Institute) and private sector providers.

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

Current Members:


Karleen Edwards, Chief Executive - Christchurch City 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 Resoruces Manager - Manawatu District Council

Shameel Sahib, Head of Strategy and Capability - Auckland Council

Report from Capability Working Party Chair 2016/17

Clare Hadley, Chief Executive, Nelson City Council

The purpose and scope of the Capability Working Party (CWP) was reviewed during the year and amended to become the Workforce Working Party (WWP) on 1 July 2016. The reason for the scope extension was to enable the Working Party to take a wider view of the local government sector workforce rather than considering only capability needs.

Following on from the successful Future Workforce Forum in 2016, the WWP set about considering the widened scope and developed a comprehensive work plan to take them through to the end of the 2017/18 year. Areas identified for specific attention were:

  • workforce diversity
  • strengthening HR practice in the sector

The work plan is as follows:

1. Provide a State of the Workforce report for the sector by May 2018 which includes:

a. workforce survey reporting on age, gender, ethnicity, employment type (full-time, part-time and contractor

b. literature review (New Zealand and international) that addresses the following trends

i. workplace flexibility
ii. disruptive technology
iii. productivity measurement

c. commentary that combines and analyses all of the above
d. practice guidance recommendations for the sector.

2. Using data from the workforce survey above, consider and recommend strategies for enhancing the diversity of the local government workforce and promote a pilot project using those strategies in association with another stakeholder (e.g. DiversityWorksNZ).

3. Partner with the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HIRNZ) (or a similar organisation) to improve HR practice in local government.

4. Assume oversight of a ‘to be created’ section of the LGSectorGoodToolkit, including the new Health and Safety Legal Compliance Modules 1 & 2 and work with SOLGM staff to create Module 3. Review the Workforce Legal Compliance Programme (LCP) Module and identify any other material that could be placed within the ‘Workforce’ area of the Toolkit.

The WWP remains grateful to those councils who contribute to the Recruitment and Retention subscription to support this and other workforce work.

New Working Party members were appointed to the WWP: Clare Hadley (Chair until April 2017), Richard Bird (Deputy Chair), Cameron McIntosh, Katherine Trought, Susan Jones, Tracey Mitchell, Ian Maxwell and Stephen Davies.