The programme for this year's two day Local Government EA/PA Forum (also suitable for other admin staff) - on in Wellington on 12 & 13 May - includes some fabulous presenters and topics:

- Office productivity guru, Debbie Mayo Smith promises delegates will be utterly wowed by this session which will provide clever immediate solutions to email and calendar time wasters.

- We're having a panel discussion on "How to optimise the EA/PA and Manager relationship". Confirmed panellists are Elizabeth Barbalich, CEO and Founder of international green beauty brand, Antipodes New Zealand and Anusha Guler, Manager, Democratic Services at Wellington City Council. We expect to have two EAs or PAs on the panel as well.

- John Tulloch, GM Communications at WorkSafe New Zealand is providing a guide to the new Health and Safety at Work Act. This is a very topical subject and John will cover how it will help lift New Zealand's workplace health and safety performance.

- Delegates will "Get Dotted" - this will be a morning long session that is fun, highly interactive and very rewarding through the insights gained around differing communication styles and how that can hugely benefit interactions with both managers and work colleagues.

- As well there will be sessions on Mindfulness (understanding how our state of mind impacts our performance), effective meetings, and 'Leading yourself through change' where delegates will explore practical ideas and strategies around transitioning to the new. Plus we'll be doing a visit to Parliament. The House is in session at the time of the Forum so we have made a special arrangement for delegates to spend some time watching from the public galleries.

More information is available here - and please pass on to others that you feel may be interested in attending.

Our Leadership Scholarships and Overseas Manager Exchange entries must be in to us by the end of the week (11 March). Entry forms and information for the Scholarships can be found here and for the Exchanges, here.

One of SOLGM's initiatives is to promote Local Government as an attractive career option. Recently we've been working with broadcaster Amanda Millar (and a few councils around the country) on a very exciting short video that we'll have on our LGCareers website, and also make available to Councils to play in their offices, libraries, at career days - where ever they think it would useful (and they can add their own branding). We'll be launching the video at our Gala Dinner in April. After that we'll be making it available to councils - email me if you're interested in receiving a copy.

On our Gala Dinner, we've seen a huge amount of interest in this event - we'll be moving it to a bigger venue next year - and are now very short of tickets. If you or anyone you know is planning on attending and has not yet purchased a ticket I'd recommend you do that this week.

As well as the events mentioned above we currently have in our Event Calendar:

This course will provide attendees with the basics of good procurement at all levels within a local authority. It will include simple, practical exercises that will embed learnings and a number of tools that participants can implement at work. Register for this course here.

14 & 15 April - Chief Executives Forum and Masterclass

This is the annual event that focuses on the burning issues for Chief Executives in the sector. The full programme will be available shortly but we already have the attendance of the Minister of Local Government, the Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and the three Local Government Commissioners, Sir Wira Gardiner, Jane Annear and Leigh Auton (former Chief Executive at Manukau City), confirmed. More information is available here.

19 & 20 May - Project Management (in Christchurch)

This two day comprehensive programme will take people with little or no prior project management experience and give them a good grounding in the fundamentals that will enable them to tackle an everyday project logically, competently and with confidence. This two day workshop also offers the opportunity for participants to put their project skills into action and have them evaluated and developed. Register for this course here.

30 & 31 May - Managing CCO and Alternatives Training

The two day training on this very topical subject will not only look at the complex relationships between local authorities and their Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) but also explore alternate options. We expect to have the full programme available shortly but you can find a comprehensive outline and register to attend here.

Finally, not a SOLGM event but offering a special registration rate to SOLGM members:

8 April - Managing the Impact of Sea Level Rise in New Zealand

This one-day conference is on in Auckland at the conference centre, AUT University, Auckland. Organised by The Antarctic Report, in association with AUT and the Royal Society of New Zealand, this high-level conference brings together international experts, as well as New Zealand’s leading policy makers, local government executives, scientists and key industry representatives, to showcase effective adaptation strategies to manage the impact of sea level rise in New Zealand.

Cost is $395 plus GST for SOLGM members who register by 31 March. You can find the full programme and registration details here.