A reminder so that you don't miss this important deadline - Wednesday, 1 February is the last date for submitting your entries or applications for the following - many of these are not-to-be-missed career enhancement opportunities:

> Project entries in the six categories of the 2017 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards - these prestigious awards recognise exceptional and innovative projects in local government. I'd recommend that any council considering entering take some time to view our webinar recording 'Tips on an Award Winning Entry' available here.

> Nominations to the exciting Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award - exciting because for the first time this year the winner will travel to the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) annual conference. The 2017 conference is in Texas and will attract approximately 4,000 delegates from 25-30 different countries. With world class presenters it's an invaluable global local government experience.

> Applications to our Leadership Scholarships - through the support of our sponsors we are able to provide two scholarships to our members. The Leading for Strategic Success Programme, sponsored by the Skills Organisation, is the prestigious Mt Eliza Melbourne Business School’s most senior leadership programme. The second scholarship is to the Leadership in Practice (LiP) programme which is designed for people leaders and team managers working in the Public Sector. Through SOLGM's partnership with the Leadership Development Centre we are able to offer both this scholarship and direct access to the LiP programme to our members.

> Applications to our Overseas Manager Exchanges - with the support of our sponsors, JLT and Civic Assurance, this year we have four exchanges to the United States, British Columbia (Canada), Queensland and New South Wales on offer. Recipients will receive an outstanding opportunity to learn about local government in other countries.

The winners and recipients of all the above will be announced at our annual Gala Dinner on in Auckland on 12 April. You can find out more about this special event and purchase your tickets here.

The winning team in the New Zealand leg of the Australasian Management Challenge will also be announced at the Gala Dinner. However the deadline for registering a team is a bit later - they close on 10 February. We already have 13 teams registered so will be expecting an intense competition. Email me if you would like more information - this is a great learning experience for staff working at all levels in the sector and comes at a very reasonable cost per participant.

Now that most people will have returned to work from the Christmas break we want to share our congratulations - Owen Pickles, Chief Executive of the Chatham Islands Council was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year's Honours List for his services to Local Government.

Next week we have our LGOIMA Webinar. Simpson Grierson Senior Associate, Kathryn McLean will take you through the tricks and traps so councils can effectively manage LGOIMA requests. It starts at 10am on Wednesday, 25th of January and you can register here.

Our February events include the two day JLT Risk Management Forum (16 & 17 February in Wellington) and the Managing Performance Masterclass: Having Challenging Conversations led by Dr Peter Glaser and Dr Susan Glaser (24 February in Wellington).

The programme for our popular annual Civic Assurance Strategic Finance Forum is now available. The two day event is being held in Auckland on 27 & 28 March. This year the theme is 'What's on the horizon' so will cover the impact of technology, what's going to be relevant to the 2018 LTPs and developments in the regulatory and policy environment. You can find the full programme and register here.

All our other upcoming events available for registration can be found in our Event Calendar.

Finally another reminder - Monday 23 January is Wellington Anniversary Day so the SOLGM offices will be closed.