The 2016 SOLGM Gala Dinner held last night in Wellington recognised the very best of professional management across the local government sector. A number of announcements were made during the evening and we are delighted to congratulate the following councils and individuals:

43 entries were received for the excellence awards this year; 31 entries were received for the project categories and 12 entries for the inaugural Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award.

The winner of the Supreme Award, selected from the five project categories, was Transforming a City Dump: Hamilton Gardens submitted by Hamilton City Council.

The project was a successful transformation of a piece of marginal land into an internationally renowned garden complex and 'a national treasure'. The entry focused on the processes through which the council secured community buy-in, worked with 18 independent trusts and countless volunteers to deliver a transformative project. The judges said that the project’s governance framework is an exemplar for all projects where councils and communities work together.

Innovation in Organisation and People Development Category was won by Auckland Council for their project: Regulation 18, National Qualification for Building Control Officers.

LGFA Transforming Service Delivery Category was won by Stratford District Council for their project: CxT (Customer Experience Transformation). The judges noted that Stratford is the smallest council to ever win a category award.

Innovation in Council-Community Relations Category was won by Hamilton City Council for their Hamilton Gardens project. The judges also highly commended Waitaki District Council for their project, The Rebuilding of Haven Street, and Rotorua Lakes Council for their project, Te Arawa Partnership Programme.

Collaborative Government Action Category was won by Wellington City Council on behalf of the Memorial Alliance for their project: Victoria Street Transformation.

Innovation in Policy and Regulatory Development Category was won by Grey District Council for their project: Project Freedom Camping.

This award was offered for the first time in 2016. Nicola Chrisp, Manager, Communications, Waikato Regional Council was selected as winner from the 12 entries received with the judges noting that Nicola demonstrated all the attributes of an ‘up and coming leader’. She has a proven track record of sustained and innovative projects many of which had been taken up outside her council.

The quality and diversity of entries was very high and the judges awarded three highly commended citations to Rochelle Faimalo, Youth Development Officer at Hurunui District Council, Doug Tate, Community Facilities Manager at Manawatu District Council and Julia de Ruiter, Social Media and Digital Support Librarian at Waitaki District Council.

Dunedin City Council provided the winning team in this year’s New Zealand leg of the Management Challenge. A record number of council teams entered this year’s Challenge reflecting its increased recognition as an exceptional leadership development opportunity that also provides for strong cross council collaboration.

The Dunedin City Council team will go on to the Australasian Finals where they will compete against the state finalists. Wellington City Council placed second and Christchurch City Council was third.

Recipients of the 2016 SOLGM Overseas Manager Exchanges

United States Exchange: Hamish Waugh, General Manager-Infrastructure, Manawatu District Council

Australia, New South Wales Exchange: Katherine Trought, Director Communications and External Relations, Environment Canterbury

Australia, Queensland Exchange: Adrian de Laborde, Engineering Services Group Manager, Hauraki District Council

British Columbia, Canada Exchange: Fiona McTavish, General Manager - Strategy and Science, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

These exchanges, which provide managers with the opportunity to focus on development of their managerial career though a short exchange with a partner manager in another country, is made possible through the support of JLT and Civic Assurance.

Recipients of the 2016 SOLGM Leadership Scholarships:

Mt Eliza Melbourne Business School Leadership Development Programme (Sponsored by The Skills Organisation): Leanne Mash, Chief Executive, Central Otago District Council

Leadership Development Centre Leadership in Practice Programme: Amanda Cox, Manager, Parks, Greater Wellington Regional Council

Opus ‘Leading Self’ Programme: Jason Marris, Governance Manager, Whangarei District Council and Mara Bebich, Departmental Strategy and Stakeholder Manager, Infrastructure & Environmental Services, Auckland Council

These leadership scholarships are part of SOLGM’s LGLeadershipPathways initiative that provides opportunities for local government managers to develop their leadership skills.

SOLGM would like to acknowledge and thank everyone that contributed to what was a very special evening - our Gala Dinner sponsors, the members of our various judging panels, Mark Sainsbury, our exceptional MC for the evening and importantly, all the councils and individuals that took the time to enter. You can find more information on the Gala Dinner announcements in our website here. We're also posting photos from the evening in our Facebook page.

EMANZ Conference 2016: “Energy Productivity and Partnerships - the Next Energy (R)evolution”

The 2016 Energy Management conference will explore energy productivity at a macro and micro level with experts from throughout the productivity and energy sectors. Policy makers and practitioners will share their experience on what has and hasn’t worked with international speakers adding a global perspective on how Energy Productivity and Partnerships is set to impact on businesses and the wider New Zealand economy. Held in Auckland on 17-18 May, this must-attend event coincides with the EECA Awards evening on 18 May. For the full conference programme and to reserve your place visit or phone (04) 385 2839.

Don't forget to also check out upcoming SOLGM Events in our Event Calendar.