Executive Leaders Masterclass

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

  • 11 Apr
  • Pullman Hotel, Auckland
  • 9.00 am - 4.30 pm
  • $600.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $700.00 excl. GST. for non-members
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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, 11 April 2019

9.00am Registration

Joint session with Chief Executives

9.30am Whole of sector workstreams:

The LG Digital Partnership – Richard Templer, Chair LG Digital Partnership & Chief Executive, Manawatu District Council

The Digital Local Government Partnership was launched in August 2018 as an oppourtunity to provide additional sevices to communities through partnership 'sharing'. This session will provide an update on the partnership and what it could means for your council and leadership needs in the future.

The Local Government Workforce – Karleen Edwards, Chair, Workforce Working Party & Chief Executive, Christchurch City Council

Workforce development has been identified as a priority area for the LG sector if high levels of services are to be maintained for the community. Attracting, retaining and developing staff are some of the complex issues leaders need to think through and plan for. Come and find out more about where the sector is heading on this important topic.

10.30am Morning Tea

Executive Leaders Stream

11.00am Match fit - What it takes to get the top job?

Panel member presentations followed by discussion:

Moving from the Executive Leadership Team to the role of Chief Executive takes a shift in gear and focus. Panel members will share their experiences of what recruiters and councils are really looking for in the next generation of CE’s and how to ready yourself for this process. There will also be an open floor at the conclusions of the presentations to ask questions.

Tanya Winter, Chief Executive Otorohanga District Council

Mike Stenhouse,Executive Director, Sheffield

Third speaker TBC

12.00pm Lunch

12.30pm The Building Blocks of Success – a Practical Workshop unpacking the Chief Executive role, Job Description, and Navigating the Application Process.

Jenny McDonald, Director & Executive Coach, Contiuum Consulting and Presenter for SOLGM's LG Executive Leaders Programme

Jenny McDonald has coached hundreds of senior leaders into top roles across the public sector. This practical session will provide valuable insights and tools to navigate the recruitment process and maximise your chances of being shortlisted and selected.

2.30pm Negotiating Your Contract

Andre Lubbe , Head of Employment Relations, Auckland Council, Employment Relations and Capability

So, you’ve got a Chief Executive job offer – now it’s time for contract negotiations. Andre Lubbe is a leading Employment Relations Lawyer, currently working at Auckland Council. From his insider perspective Andre will share his knowledge of when negotiations go well and tips for prospective CE’s in navigating their contract discussions.

3.00pm Afternoon Tea

Joint Session With Chief Executives

3.15pm What the new Ministry means for you

Andrew Crisp, Chief Executive, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a new Ministry set up by the government to improve housing affordability, lead urban development reform and deliver more public housing and services to tackle homelessness. This session will provide an update on HUD and how their plans might affect councils in future.

3.45pm Community Wellbeing Report Launch

Karen Thomas, Chief Executive, SOLGM

A widening agenda for Local government is currently going through the House. The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill is at Select committee stage and SOLGM is working on creating analytical tools to support councils measure wellbeing in their community. Get a first look at these new and exciting tools at the launch.

4.30pm The Local Government Marketplace

Excellence Awards entries and organisations supporting excellence in local government

6.15pm The 2019 SOLGM Gala Dinner

Excellence Awards, Leadership Scholarship, Emerging Leader of the Year, Overseas Manager Exchanges


  • Dr Richard Templer

    Chief Executive, Manawatu District Council

    Richard was born in the Waikato and raised on a Waikato Dairy farm. He studied at the University of Auckland completing a Bachelors and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. While studying he worked at Gallaghers Engineering in Hamilton, Volvo in Sweden, MacMaster University in Canada and as a part-time lecturer at the University of Auckland.

    Since completing his studies Richard has worked for: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare as a Research Engineer; Industrial Research as a researcher, team leader and General Manager; Meat & Wool New Zealand as General Manager Research; The Foundation for Research Science & Technology as a General Manager and Acting-CEO, the Ministry of Science & Innovation as acting General Manager Research; and most recently as General Manager Research & Technical Services at Callaghan Innovation.

    Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand [IPENZ], Associate Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management [NZIM] and is married with one son.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Karen Thomas

    Chief Executive, SOLGM

    Karen has responsibility for fulfilling SOLGM’s vision to promote and support professional excellence in local government.

    Karen’s previous roles have included Chief Executive at the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and Regional Assistant Commissioner at the State Services Commission where she led the development of the proposal to establish the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), a world-leading educational institution.

    Karen’s interests include supporting her teenage old son in his competitive swimming. With an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” outlook, she is a qualified technical official, recently officiating at the Oceania Swimming Championships in Auckland. She has also been involved with AFS New Zealand and is a Rotarian.