Future Workforce Forum

Building Great Communities Through Employing Great People

  • 07 Jun - 08 Jun
  • Remuera Room, Ellerslie Event Centre, Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland
  • 7 Jun 8.30 am - 5.15 pm, 8 Jun 9.00 am - 3.30 pm; Venue: Remuera Room, Ellerslie Event Centre, Ellerslie Racecourse, 80 Ascot Ave, Remuera, Auckland 1050
  • $805.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $925.00 excl. GST. for non-members
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Great communities are built by great people within councils. These people, local government’s Future Workforce, are councils’ most valuable assets.

This Forum is the only event where local government professionals from across New Zealand come together to share ideas and best practice around our sector’s future workforce.

Who is this Forum for?

  • All managers and leaders of people
  • Human Resource (HR) professionals
  • Capability & Culture professionals
  • Learning & Development (L&D) professionals
  • Organisational Development (OD) professionals

Councils face significant workforce change in coming years. Artificial intelligence, social media and changing community expectations are driving that change and the sector must prepare and respond to it or be left behind.

Register today to secure your place.

Accommodation is not available at the venue, however there are accommodation options in the area such as IBIS Ellerslie or Novotel Ellerslie

The Programme

Day One: Thursday 7 June 2018

Future Proofing Our Workplaces - Right People, Right Leaders, Right Culture

8.30am Registration

9.15am Welcome and Introductions

9.30am Creating the Organisational Culture Your Community Needs

The future of the LG sector is dependent on being able to attract and retain people who are keyed in to meeting their community’s needs. Hear how Karleen has engaged and involved staff and stakeholders to actively participate in a creating a culture that prioritises community.

Dr Karleen Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Christchurch City Council

10.00am Table Discussion
What your organisation is doing to:
  • Define and build the culture it needs to be successful
  • Communicate this and get employee understanding and belief leading to personal commitment to upholding the culture
  • Ensure employees incorporate the culture into the way they do their jobs
10.30am Morning Tea

Building Council Resilience

11.00am Flexible Futures for All

Flexible working in councils is an essential business tool in times of crisis and a key talent attraction mechanism for the LG sector. Technology has also enabled many new positive forms of flexible working. This presents its own management challenges. This session will focus on both the research and application of flexible working practises to maximise its benefits and avoid its pitfalls.

Tim Bentley, Professor of Work and Organisation, Massey University Business School

11.30am Forced Flexibility

Auckland and Christchurch, NZ’s biggest metro councils have adopted flexible working but for very different reasons. Hear how these councils have responded and made the most of circumstances beyond their control, applied flexibility in a changed environment, and managed autonomous work practises to the benefit of staff and the organisation.

Emma Davis, Head of HR, Christchurch City Council and Ian Maxwell, Director Community Services, Auckland Council

12.00pm Workforce Continuity - Preparing for when the lights go out!

How well prepared are your employees and council to carry on should “business as usual” cease? This session will provide time for you to reflect on your current processes and what you should be thinking about to prepare for business interruption.

Lucy Hicks, Planning and Policy Manager, Environment Southland, Previously Emergency and Continuity Manager, Wellington City Council

12.30pm Lunch

Creating a Continuous Improvement Culture

1.15pm Harnessing the Power of Information

What does the NZ Workforce Data Show? Twenty eight NZ Councils participated in the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program in 2017 that benchmarks a number of important workforce metrics. What does the combined picture tell us about the NZ workforce and what should we take note of?

John Lim, Senior Consultant - Data Assurance, PwC Australia

1.45pm CouncilMARK - How your council can prepare for its assessment and what to do with the findings?
Angela Rego, Programme Manager, LGNZ

2.15pm Questions and Discussion

2.30pm Lessons when Implementing the Living Wage
Wellington City Council was one of the first councils in NZ to implement the Living Wage. Nicola will share her insights as an early adopter and provide valuable information for those councils considering this initiative.

Wendell D’Cunha, Principal Remuneration Advisor Strategy & Capability, People & Performance Auckland Council

3.00pm Afternoon Tea

3.30pm What's Up with Performance - Speakers and Panel Discussion

The debate continues around employee performance, and there is increasing divergence in the methods and systems employed. In an era of increasing options…what does the evidence say and how to do you get fit for purpose solutions that help your council continually improve strategic outcomes while keeping your teams engaged.

Each speaker will give a Pecha Kucha (20 slides X 20 Seconds per slide) presentation. This will be followed by a panel discussion.

John McGill, CEO, Strategic Pay - International Trends and where NZ Sits

Wendell D’Cunha, Principal Remuneration Advisor Strategy & Capability, People & Performance Auckland Council - When the Pendulum Swings

Julie Sweeney, Human Resources Advisor and Sue Greenville, Human Resources Advisor, Hauraki District Council - MeTime Development

4.15pm Collaborative Working - Reflection and Action Learning Session

LG has moved towards shared services and increased collaborative approaches in a range of work areas. Groups based on council size will examine how they work more collaboratively to:

  • Build a flexible workforce
  • Build Council and Personal Resilience
  • Use workforce information to develop sector actions and responses
5.15pm Wrap up and Close of Day One

6.30pm Forum Dinner - Location to be advised

Day Two: Friday 8 June 2018

Diversity and Inclusion

9.00am Keynote: Preparing Local Government today for tomorrows workforce. Who are the LG workers of the future?
As the makeup of New Zealand changes there are big implications for councils and significant impact on regions ahead. This keynote will provoke thought about what’s on the horizon and how this might impact your work.

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University

9.45am Questions and Discussion

10.00am Morning Tea

10.30am Creating an Inclusive Auckland City – Lessons Learnt

Auckland, a ‘super diverse’ city, has made a commitment that it’s council will reflect the community it represents. To achieve this goal, it needs to do things differently in a range of people capability areas. Hear how Auckland is acting and consider how this might apply in your council context.

Fezeela Raza, Principal Advisor Diversity & Inclusion, Auckland Council

10.50am Understanding and Overcoming Gender Pay Gaps

When it comes to understanding gender pay gaps average percentages are not always accurate or helpful. Dig a little deeper and a different picture emerges. This session will focus on the factors to consider when examining pay gaps and how to address the real picture, not just the headlines.

Susan Doughty, Manager Diversity and Inclusion, Fonterra.

11.15am In Your Context – Action Learning Groups

Working in groups with councils of a similar size, consider:
If the LG sector was leading in the Diversity and Inclusion space what would we be doing differently?

12.00pm When I get Older Losing My Hair…then what?

Many of you will have heard Ian speak on superannuation before, but maybe not from a personal perspective. Hear in his own words what it means for him and what to consider once your nest egg matures.

Ian Brown, Chief Executive, Civic Financial Services Ltd

12.30pm Lunch

1.15pm SOLGM Update
  • How Local Government Works – E Learning
  • Sector Good Toolkit – what should be in an HR managers toolkit?
  • Workforce Working Party Update
  • Leadership
  • Best Practice Forum

Fiona Purchas, Manager Professional Development, SOLGM

1.45pm What Does Good L&D Look Like and How to Get Buy In For A Co-ordinated Learning Approach

L&D is in a period of disruption and change due to new technology and offers a range of new delivery options. How can you maximise the benefits and minimise the risks in this learning environment? Many councils also have a mixture of centralised and devolved budgets, with the risk of uncoordinated delivery and waste. How do you ensure your dollar’s are well spent?

Drew McGuire, Director and Owner, Capability Group

2.00pm Integrating Leadership Learning Case Study, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

BOPRC has taken a strategic view of learning and development and have committed to in-house leadership development. Their joined up way of thinking about people development is proving successful on many levels. Recently, BOPRC’s Australasian Management Challenge team were winners of this year’s NZ challenge; Jillian will present a case study on their organisation’s journey to date.

Jillian Emery, Organisational Development Specialist, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

2.15pm Collaborative Working Action Learning Session

Groups rotate around discussion stations to develop solutions to a range of LG Issues

Topics will be grouped under the themes:

Talent Management in the LG Sector – Maximising opportunities.

  • National LG Cadet/Graduate Programme
  • Council Secondments and Exchanges – What’s working? How can this be expanded?
  • Ideas for recruiting hard to fill roles

Supporting Learning

  • Regional L&D – How can we extend this model?
  • E Learning Content – What resources can we pool and share?
3.30pm Wrap Up and Closing Comments


  • Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley FRSNZ

    Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Humanities and Social Sciences

    Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University. He has been involved in some major research projects on immigration and diversity in New Zealand, including Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand (2014-2020). He is the author or editor of 27 books ranging from political extremism to the nature of work, and he was Ranginui Walker’s biographer (Mata Toa, Penguin). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Auckland War Memorial Museum. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California Berkeley.

  • 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.

  • Tim Bentley

    Professor of Work and Organisation, Massey University Business School

    Tim Bentley is a Professor of Work and Organisation in the Massey Business School, based in Auckland, New Zealand. Tim is a founding member of Massey’s Healthy Work Group, concerned with understanding and preventing psychosocial risks in the workplace. His specialist fields of research include health and safety, human factors, psychosocial risks, and the future of work. Tim has published widely in these fields, as well as engaging with industry on creating healthy work and managing new ways of working. Tim is a former Editor-in-Chief and current Senior Editor of the Cambridge University Press publication, Journal of Management & Organization.

  • Nicola Brown

    Director Human Resources, Wellington City Council

    Nicola is the Director Human Resources at Wellington City Council, which also covers Organisational Development, Health and Safety, Leading Organisational Change and SmartCouncil. Prior to Wellington City Council, Nicola spent six years as General Manager of Human Resources at KiwiRail at the time when it was merged with Toll, United Group Rail and Transfield Services. She is passionate about people capability and building a constructive work force culture and believes the future success of Local Government depends on its ability to attract, retain and build careers for everyone, but in particular young people and Nicola will share with the conference the challenges and issues of implementing the Living Wage at Wellington City Council.

  • Fiona Purchas

    Manager, Professional Development, SOLGM

    Prior to joining SOLGM is 2017, Fiona was a career consultant, corporate trainer and facilitator. For over 20 years she has been assisting individuals to work out what makes them get up and go to work each morning, and working with organisations to make sure they keep their staff keep walking through the doors each day. She now applies this thinking to the Local government sector with SOLGM ensuring the professional development programme is both relevant and motivating.

  • Lucy Hicks

    Policy & Planning Manager, Wellington City Council

    Lucy moved from the UK in early 2016 where she worked in the public sector for more than 8 years, most recently as Sustainability Manager running a multi-disciplinary team and project portfolio. During severe flooding in the UK in 2014, Lucy managed the operational and logistics desks in the ‘EOC’ and led the Emergency Recovery process. Upon arrival she started with Wellington City Council and is currently the Emergency and Continuity Manager. She is currently managing Wellington City Council’s Business Continuity Management Programme which spans all facets of council business and incorporates internal crisis management, ultimately working to improve WCC’s preparedness to interruptions.

  • Wendell D'Cunha

    Principal Remuneration Advisor Strategy & Capability, People & Performance Auckland Council - When the Pendulum Swings

    Wendell D'Cunha is currently on the committee of New Zealand Remuneration Network (RemNet) and the Principal Remuneration Advisor at Auckland Council. He is responsible for Remuneration and Benefits strategy and the performance frameworks for the main council and many of the council controlled organisations as well. Previously having worked for Hay Group, he has worked with many multinational clients across various sectors and countries in implementing their Reward strategies.

    Although Remuneration is his passion, he has worked with various organisations on issues like Talent Management, Performance Management and Employee Engagement. This has given him the opportunity to learn about various aspects that impact employee performance. He believes that the key to a great organisation is empowerment and building manager capability which can only be achieved with trust and transparency.

  • Angela Rego

    Programme Manager, LGNZ

    Angela joined LGNZ in June 2017 as the Programme Manager for the Local Government Excellence Programme, CouncilMARK™. She is responsible for managing, coordinating and monitoring the operation of the programme. This includes liaising with interested councils, communicating and marketing the programme and managing the logistics of the programme’s delivery. Her priorities for the year ahead include, ongoing enhancements to the programme, the promotion of those councils have participated in the programme to-date and the sharing of best practice across the sector.

    Angela has a Bachelor of Regional Planning (Honours) from Massey University. She has worked in Central Government for 15 years at both the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry for the Environment in leadership and senior policy advisor roles. Angela has previously worked at Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council in resource management and transport planning roles.

  • Julie Sweeney

    Human Resources Advisor, Hauraki District Council - MeTime Development

    Julie and Sue are experienced HR practitioners who also happen to be sisters. They have worked in a successful job-share arrangement with Hauraki District Council since 2003. Working for a small Council has meant they work across all teams and all facets of HR from an operational level to a strategic level.

    Last year they were faced with news that their Council’s existing in-house Personal Performance and Development system was using ‘dated code’ and the technology was no longer going to be supported. They saw this as an opportunity to review and improve, so optimistically took up the challenge laid down to them in March 2017 to find a new process that would be operative for the 2018 performance appraisal period. After considerable but very quick research and analysis, Julie and Sue decided to develop a fit-for-purpose model that they called ‘Me Time’. ‘Me Time’ reflects a more modern approach to conversation-based leadership and employee empowerment. They partnered up with an IT developer, and the ‘Me Time’ cloud-based system for documenting and tracking Catch-up Conversations, goal setting, motivator check-ins, and formal appraisals was launched in October.

    Julie and Sue will give a quick overview of ‘Me Time’ and its underlying concepts as they share their journey at Hauraki.

  • Sue Greenville

    Human Resources Advisor, Hauraki District Council - MeTime Development

  • Ian Brown

    Chief Executive, Civic Financial Services

    Ian was appointed Chief Executive of Civic on 20 March 2017. He has worked in the insurance and superannuation industry since 1987 and most recently from 2005 to March 2017 was Superannuation Manager for Civic before taking on the role of Chief Executive.

    Ian is well known to most of the Local Government fraternity. He was one of the architects that designed Civic’s SuperEasy employer and KiwiSaver scheme which most of us will know. Is there anybody out there that hasn’t seen Ian’s buckets?

    Despite being born in Scotland he passionately supports the All Blacks in every game they play and is a staunch Wellingtonian. The fact that he is married and has three girls just reinforces why one has to save for retirement.

  • Emma Davis

    Head of HR, Christchurch City Council

    Emma Davis initially joined Christchurch City Council as an HR Manager in 2012, before taking up the role of Organisational Development Manager for a year. Emma was then appointed to the position, Head of Human Resources in 2014. Prior to working at Council, Emma served for 18 years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a uniformed Psychologist. One of the highlights from her time in Defence was deploying to the Middle East supporting the New Zealand Defence Force contingent in Afghanistan. Emma has a Master of Science (Hons) in Psychology and is a Registered Psychologist. Having grown up and studied in Christchurch, Emma returned to Christchurch with her family following the earthquakes. Emma’s career experience includes leading a wide range of operational and strategic psychology and HR services.

  • Fezeela Raza

    Principal Advisor Diversity & Inclusion, Auckland Council

    Fezeela’s career has focused on developing expertise in diversity and inclusion across many sectors including government, community, research, third sector and business. In her role as Principal Advisor for Auckland Council she leads the development of the workforce component of the Inclusive Auckland Framework. She has significant experience in central government working with the Office of Ethnic Communities developing ethnic responsiveness strategic policy and best practice. She has also worked as Diversity Manager with Diversity Works NZ where she provided specialist advice to organisations on implementing D&I strategies and delivering unconscious bias training. She has a strong personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Susan Doughty

    Manager Diversity and Inclusion, Fonterra

    Susan is the global Manager of Diversity & Inclusion at Fonterra and is responsible for guiding the co-op to develop a fully inclusive culture where diversity across the globe can flourish.

    Prior to joining Fonterra, Susan established her own consulting business which was later acquired by Ernst & Young in 2014, at which time she became a Partner in the Firm leading the Reward practice in NZ.

    She has over 25 years’ experience in senior Human Resources and Reward specialist roles for some of New Zealand’s largest organisations; including American Express, Tower and Westpac.

    In addition to her day job, Susan is the National President of the YWCA and the immediate past President and current Board member of the Auckland YWCA. Susan is recognised as expert in pay equity and was the architect of the highly successful YWCA Equal Pay Awards launched in 2013. Susan volunteers her time to promote women’s advocacy and speaking on the importance of equal pay.

  • John Lim

    Senior Consultant - Data Assurance, PwC Australia

    John is a Senior Consultant in PwC’s Data Assurance team and specialises in data collection, comparative analytics, project management and software implementations. John’s strengths lie in managing and working in end-to-end implementations in the design and deployment of large scale operational effectiveness data collections and the subsequent analysis and delivery of customised reporting using advanced data visualisation techniques. John was the key technical lead in the fifth cycle of the Australasian Local Government Performance Excellence Program, coordinating over 140 councils across Australia and New Zealand in a large scale operational effectiveness comparative analytics program.

    Prior to joining PwC, John was a Data Integration consultant at Oracle in Chicago at their Engineering and Construction Global Business Unit, helping large scale construction companies streamline and automate their invoicing and payments with subcontractors. John started his career as an Implementation Consultant at a healthcare SaaS finance analytics startup in Chicago where he has implemented long range financial planning and rolling forecasting models at healthcare systems all over North America. John obtained a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Adelphi University, New York.

  • Drew McGuire

    Director and Owner, Capability Group

    Drew is currently a Director and owner of Capability Group, an organisational development, change management and learning technology consultancy. Over recent years he and his team have been applying design thinking and lean start-up strategies to organisation development initiatives to build more adaptive people and organisations. Drew also has a deep interest in learning, leadership development, change management and driving mindset shift and behaviour change in a variety of contexts. Drew has significant local government sector experience having been OD Director at the ARC and he led the project team to establish AT, acting as establishment GM Corporate Services. The Capability Group team are passionate about making a difference and giving back and have developed a “one-for-one” business model when a share of profits from each project go towards supporting building capability across not for profit organisations.

  • John McGill

    Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Pay

    With over 30 years’ experience as an experienced consultant in all aspects of remuneration and its application, John leads the Strategic Pay team as CEO. Specialising in areas of senior executive and board remuneration, he works across both New Zealand and the South Pacific. His consulting expertise includes specialised job evaluation, performance management, incentive pay design, organisation analysis, and all aspects of pay.

    Prior to joining Strategic Pay, John was the Remuneration Consulting Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM before transferring with his team across to Strategic Pay in 2004. In March 2010, after three years as Chairman of the company, he was appointed Chief Executive.

    John is also on the Board of Tennis Auckland and is Chair of their Employment (Remuneration) Committee.

  • Ian Maxwell

    Director of Community Services, Auckland Council

    As Director of Community Services I am accountable for the delivery of service from libraries, parks, sports grounds, beaches, swimming pools, recreation and fitness centres, cemeteries, community centres, houses and halls, art centres and public art, housing for older people, community development and events

    Prior to this role I was responsible for the Parks Sports and Recreation Department at Auckland Council and before that I led the Community Services Division at Manukau City.

    I am an economist and urban planner by training and have worked overseas with development banks. I am married with two daughters, and enjoy tramping and cycling as well as teaching local history.

  • Jillian Emery

    Organisational Development Specialist, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

    Prior to joining BOPRC in March 2017, Jillian worked as an L&D professional in multiple industries ranging from banking, logistics, wholesale/retail and education, in Australia and New Zealand. For over 11 years she has worked with organisations to change employee behaviour, increase engagement and productivity, and develop personal and professional capability at all levels. She achieves this by utilising relationship, change and project management skills to deliver outcome focused initiatives.