What a week! We are pleased to say that SOLGM's offices are operating as normal after a very trying couple of days here in Wellington.

Our thoughts of course are with those in areas worst affected by the quakes. New Plymouth District Council's have been as well and their Chief Executive (and our President), Barbara McKerrow has issued a challenge. Her council has come up with a great way to raise funds in support of affected areas and we are very happy to spread the word. We know that a number of councils have already accepted her challenge and look forward to hearing of more.

So here is Barbara's challenge.

Hello everyone

Like me, I’m sure you have been thinking about the people of North Canterbury and how we can help in the wake of the devastating earthquake. So we’ve come up with a creative idea for our staff to get behind the people and our colleagues at a council who badly need our help. I’m issuing a challenge to all my fellow Chief Executives and SOLGM members across Local Government in New Zealand!

This Friday (18 November) New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) is going to hold a Red and Black Staff Mufti day to raise money for the earthquake recovery effort. We will be encouraging our staff to dress up in Red and Black and make a donation. NPDC will then make a lump sum donation to the Kaikoura District Council EarthQuake Relief Fund http://www.kaikoura.govt.nz/latest-news/earthquake-update-3/ We appreciate there is widespread damage in other areas (and you can go to Givealittle for a choice of community relief donations) but we wanted to focus this particular effort on helping another council in its time of need.

Are you and your council team up to this challenge? Do you want to help the people and council staff in North Canterbury in some meaningful way? Can your staff raise more money than those of the New Plymouth District? Let’s see and do our bit to help those impacted by these tragic events.

Kind regards, Barbara