Executive Leaders Masterclass

Exploring current issues for senior leaders including how to influence and impact the sector.

  • 12 Apr
  • Cordis, 83 Symonds Street, Auckland
  • 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
  • $480.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $580.00 excl. GST. for non-members
  • Save to my calendar

The Executive Leaders Masterclass runs concurrently with the Chief Executive Forum, with some shared sessions, and joint lunch and breaks to maximise networking at the senior level.

The Programme

Thursday 12 April

9.00am Registration

9.30am PledgeMe'S impact

Barry Grehan, Chief Lending Officer at PledgeMe

Barry will share some of PledgeMe’s learnings – especially when it comes to working with regional areas and local government. He has built the lending side of the PledgeMe platform, which has helped entrepreneurs in Timaru, Christchurch and Auckland. His current focus is indigenous microlending.

PledgeMe has already helped many Kiwis achieve their dreams.

  • 1236 projects
  • $20,905,381 raised
  • 92,073 pledgers

Note: You’ll be joining the Chief Executives Forum for this session.

10.15am Morning Tea

10.45am Planning for influence in a changing environment

Jennifer McDonald, Director of Continuum Consulting Group

Influence : “The power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen”.

How influential are you in your working world? Do you have good ideas but sometimes fail to get other people to buy in? Are you stuck in an influencing rut, doing the same thing over and over? Or do you sometimes achieve change but are not sure how you got there?

Influence is too important to leave to chance in today’s fast moving world.

Come along to this session and learn how to plan for influence, how to gain influence, how to minimise resistance and to tailor your approach to any situation. We will also look at the impact of our brains in the world of influence and influencing.

This will be a hands on workshop where you will be asked to bring specific examples from your workplace as working examples.

12.30pm Lunch

1.15pm Action Learning Session

Sam Rossiter-Stead, Communications Manager at Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Kathryn Ross, General Manager - Strategic Planning and Policy at Far North District Council
John Ridd, Group Manager – Business and Technology at Taupo District Council

Newly graduated from the LG Executive Leaders Programme, Alumni of 2017 will lead a facilitated session applying the ideas and best practice learnt over the 12 months of the Programme. Join them as they workshop issues from inside the system and hear their thoughts on creating a sector fit for the future.

2.45pm Afternoon tea

3.15pm Why the local government workforce matters

Dr Karleen Edwards, Chief Executive at Christchurch City Council

Note: You’ll be joining the Chief Executives Forum for this session.

9 to 5

(Source: Spotify)

3.30pm Spirit of Service

Al Morrison, Deputy Commissioner System Performance at the State Services Commission

Al Morrison will talk about his experience leading the public service reform programme Spirt of Service.

“I strongly believe in the public service. And I believe that it is something we as a country should acknowledge, celebrate and reward.” – Peter Hughes, Head of State Services

Note: You’ll be joining the Chief Executives Forum for this session.

Service with a Smile

(Source: Spotify)

2018 Gala Dinner & The Marketplace

Following the Executive Leaders Masterclass, join us for a night of glamour, fun and celebration.

Register separately here for the Gala Dinner & The Marketplace by April 10.


  • Jennifer McDonald

    Director, Continuum Consulting Group

    Jennifer is a senior leadership development practitioner, specialising in the Neuroscience of Leadership. She has a business background, having begun her career in the City of London, as a shipbroker and member of the Baltic and Mercantile Shipping Exchange.

    She has held senior roles with the global organisation P&O Nedlloyd and her career has been internationally focused, encompassing London, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand. She set up her own consultancy in 2007 in New Zealand where she works with government and private sector organisations.

    Her work is primarily in the areas of:

    • Development, design and delivery of long and short term leadership programmes.
    • Development and delivery of neuroscience of leadership programmes and workshops.
    • Using neuroscience principles to design and support organisational change.
    • Leadership development consulting solutions for organisations.
    • Consulting to organisations to increase organisational buy-in to change initiatives.
    • Senior executive coaching; working with individuals and senior teams to support them in becoming more effective leaders of people and results.

    Jennifer has a passion for effective leadership, believing that a combination of evidence and practical application leads to learning and behaviour change.

    She qualified as a Shipbroker in the UK and holds a Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from Victoria University in New Zealand, as well as an MSc in The Neuroscience of Leadership from Middlesex University, UK.

  • Sam Rossiter-Stead

    Communications Manager, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

    Sam has 18 years senior management experience in sectors as diverse as journalism, professional sport and more recently local government. He also holds a number of governance positions locally, regionally and nationally and was Chair of the National Basketball League for eight years until 2016. British by birth, but Kiwi by choice, he and his family emigrated to New Zealand in 2006 so they could support the All Blacks without fear of reprisals.

    He has recently taken up a new challenge as Communications Manager at Bay of Plenty Regional Council, having performed a similar role at Masterton District Council for the past six years. He was a member of the first cohort of the SOLGM LGExecutive Leaders Programme, which he describes as both invaluable and inspirational.

    Sam’s leadership style is very much one of an enabler, with his pet hate being micromanagement. The well being of the teams he leads is high on his list of priorities, believing that only those comfortable in their own skin can be fully effective.

    He feels blessed to have learned so much from working closely with many CEOs over the last two decades, each with their own unique style, strengths and foibles.

  • Kathryn Ross

    General Manager - Strategic Planning and Policy at Far North District Council

    Kathryn is a highly experienced local government leader and manager, with 20 years experience in local and central government, including regional (Northland), city (Wellington) and district (Far North) councils; a decade in General Management positions; and nearly 10 years with the Environment Agency (when it cover both England and wales). She is a passionate, dedicated public servant that has led teams covering the full range of local government responsibilities, including: strategic and district planning and policy; finance, risk, infrastructure and asset management; governance; communications, events and marketing; and community, social and economic development.

    She currently represents the Far North District Council on the Te Hiku Social Accord, the Northland Inter-sectoral Forum (on behalf of the current CEO) and Making It Happen Te Hiku (on behalf of the Mayor). She is the lead officer for her Council supporting the Te Oneroa a Tōhē Board (a co-governance entity) and is also part of the Northland Digital Enablement Leadership Group and the Working Group for the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan.

    A member of the SOLGM Sector Policy and Outlook Working Party, she holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Bachelor of Arts (History and Politics) from Victoria University of Wellington and a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law and Management from the University of Wales. She recently completed the SOLGM LGExecutive Leaders Programme and looks forward to meeting the next cohort of the programme.

  • Mr John Ridd

    Group Manager – Business and Technology at Taupo District Council

    John relocated to New Zealand in 2003 following many years working in the social housing sector in the UK and joined Taupo District Council, where he has been ever since. He has held a variety of senior roles both in the UK and in New Zealand and is currently Head the Taupo District Council Economic Development and Business Transformation portfolio.

    Holding an Honours Degree and Post Graduate qualifications he decided some time ago, after being faced with the choice of following the profession of a surveyor or working with people, he choose the latter.

    He feels it is immensely important to be a magpie when it comes to leadership principles and practice and is never afraid to ask for coaching or challenging the norm. The SOLGM executive leadership course has helped him on his leadership journey, by making him really appreciate that knowing what makes people tick is the art of effective leadership.

  • Dr Karleen Edwards

    Chief Executive, Christchurch City Council

    Dr Karleen Edwards has significant experience in the public sector in New Zealand and Australia at strategic, operational and leadership levels. She has been the Chief Executive of the Christchurch City Council since June 2014. Previously she was Chief Executive of the Commission for Hospital Improvement in the Victoria Department of Health in Australia. The Commission’s role is to improve clinical, quality and efficiency of Victorian Hospitals.

    Graduating from Dunedin Medical School with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and specialising as a psychiatrist, she also holds an MBA (with distinction) from Canterbury University.

  • Al Morrison

    Deputy Commissioner System Performance at the State Services Commission

    Al Morrison commenced as Deputy Commissioner at the State Services Commission in September 2013. Previously, he was at the Department of Conservation starting in 2002 and was appointed as Chief Executive and Director General in November 2006. He led the department through a period of significant change to expand conservation achievement and engagement beyond the department's core work.

    Al is an alumnus of the Public Service Executive Leadership Programme, and former Leadership Development Centre Board member.