This 2-day forum brings together local and international specialists to share innovative and practical approaches to the changing face of community participation. It provides the opportunity to share knowledge, recognise best practice, and develop practical skills for community collaboration and engagement.

  • 10 Feb 2020-11 Feb 2020
  • 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
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  • James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington, Wellington City, New Zealand
  • 935.00 (plus GST) Members
  • 1,060.00 (plus GST) Non Members
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About this event

Councils play a fundamental role in helping their communities identify and then articulate, their aspirations for the future, and as leaders of councils we need approaches to community participation that support and promote community well-being.

As part of SOLGM’s Community Well-being Service we have drawn together an exciting range of speakers and facilitators to share their wisdom, insight, ideas and experience, to support Chief Executives and their teams to lead participation with their community.

Kick off 2020 by joining us at our two-day forum on 10th & 11th February. The forum will provide case studies and examples of best practice from NZ and international councils, along with skills development opportunities for the changing face of community participation. As well as speakers we have practical sessions facilitated by DemocracyCo, a leader in enabling deliberative democratic processes, and The Glasers, an internationally recognised communication specialist group.

Places are limited so register now to continue your journey to improve the well-being outcomes of your community, through innovative and inspirational leadership.


Day one Monday 10th February 2020

8.15am Registration

9.00am Pōwhiri

9.25am Welcome
Penny Hulse, Former Deputy Mayor of Auckland and Waitakere ward representative. Penny has been recognised in the 2020 New Years Honours list for services to local government.

9.35am Opening Address
Hon. Nanaia Mahuta - Minister of Local Government & Minister for Māori Development

10.00am Case study - Turning Local Government on its head through community participation
Nicki Brady, GM Horowhenua 2040 and David McCorkindale, GM Strategy & Development, Horowhenua District Council

After 25 years of no population growth Horowhenua is now experiencing rapid growth. As one of the fastest growing territorial authorities in New Zealand, Horowhenua is experiencing the diverse challenges and exciting opportunities that this brings.

Join David McCorkindale (GM Strategy & Development) and Nicki Brady (GM Horowhenua 2040 and Partnership Development) to hear about their Council journey to better understand community needs and aspirations for the future.

With an engagement programme comprising of facilitated workshops, forums, drop-in sessions, kaumātua hui, expo’s, primary school pilots, social media engagement, pop-up engagement and online feedback, there are sure to be ideas and inspiration for all.

10.45am Morning Tea

11.15am Turning Local Government on its head - Discussion Panel facilitated by Penny Hulse
Join Chief Executive of Hutt City Council, Jo Miller, Porirua City Council’s General Manager, Policy, Planning & Regulatory Services, Nic Etheridge, and Chief Executive of Clutha District Council, Steve Hill, for a facilitated session exploring the innovative, agile and adaptive approaches they are taking to engaging with their communities. The panel will share their experiences, successes and learnings, followed by facilitated audience questions to enhance the knowledge-sharing opportunities.

12.30pm Working style lunch

1.15pm Making this real - a draft framework for deliberative democracy in your community
Emma Fletcher & Emily Jenke, DemocracyCo

(Working afternoon tea included in workshop)

  • Helping participants explore the challenges they face as decision-makers, and particularly in engaging with stakeholders and the community - exploring current contextual issues focusing on the importance of socio-political trends including trust and polarization.
  • Helping excite participants by presenting a number of case studies that have helped governments achieve reform and have been used to great effect in managing issues of polarisation.
  • Exploring key elements of deliberative democratic practice and how they can be flexibly applied, including to policy issues participants may be facing.

5.30pm Close of day

Day Two Tuesday 11th February 2020

8.30am Reflections on day one

8.45am Making this real - Hardwiring Teamwork: A blueprint for engagement
Dr's Peter & Susan Glaser, The Glasers

(Working morning tea included in workshop)

Facilitating community well-being dialogue requires new communication skills for building consensus and solving problems collaboratively. This session will provide organisation's with the primary ingredients that fuel successful dialogue, thoughtful engagement and creative problem solving. Participants will learn research-based skills, protocols and models to:

  • Build agreement, coalition, and support from divergent positions
  • Avoid pitfalls that polarized and torpedo creative thinking
  • Create a meeting climate that is free from personal attack, wheel spinning and negativity
  • Facilitate meetings that generate involvement from everyone
  • Implements a model that keeps comments brief, persuasive and on point
  • Apply a five-step approach to problem solving that crafts agreements which convert into action
  • Balance input from dominating and quiet people
  • Learn when to use the three decision-making models: Command, Consultative, Consensus

1.00pm Working style lunch

1.45pm Making connections - Using well-being indicators to improve community outcomes
Dr Ganesh Nana, Research Director, Berl

2.30pm Opportunities for community-led development
Megan Courtney, Inspiring Communities

Community-led development (CLD) strengthens the vitality of communities by activating and weaving the contribution of everyone connected to a place/whenua. It’s an adaptive process, with the real magic happening when the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ meet each other somewhere in the middle.

CLD offers a principles-based way of thinking and working. In this session, we’ll explore community and Council readiness for CLD and how to add-value to what your communities care most about, and may already have underway.

3.10pm Afternoon Tea

3.30pm Call to action - creating positive change with your communities
Karen Thomas, Chief Executive, SOLGM

4.00pm Close of forum


Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister for Local Government Read Profile
David McCorkindale
Group Manager Customer & Strategy Read Profile
Nic Etheridge
GM Policy, Planning & Regulatory Services, Porirua City Council Read Profile
Megan Courtney
CLD Coordination and Practice Lead, Inspiring Communities Read Profile
Steve Hill
Chief Executive, Clutha District Council Read Profile
Jo Miller
Chief Executive, Hutt City Council Read Profile