New Zealand councils have submitted a record number of entries into the 2018 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®.

Sector Improvement Manager, Raymond Horan reports that there have been 41 entries across the six categories. The previous record was 36 entries (first achieved in 2008 and matched in 2015).

“As always, there’s a diverse range of projects across the full range of local authority services” Raymond says. “Everything from harbour remediation to dog control are represented.

“Civil defence and emergency management are certainly topical at the moment, this is reflected in the fact that there are six entries that relate to emergency preparedness and response.”

“Building control is another common area – building themed entries have won category awards in each of the last three years.”

The competition for the Giblin Group Award for Innovation in Council-Community Relations will be particularly intense with 16 entries.

Competition will also be tough for the Local Government Funding Agency Transforming Service Delivery Award and the Capability Group Award for Innovation in Organisation and People Development with seven entries in each.

The winners of these awards, and the other three awards (the BERL Collaborative Government Action Award, the Minister of Local Government’s Award for Innovation in Asset Management and the Better Regulation and Policy Award) will be announced at the SOLGM Gala Dinner to be held at the Cordis in Auckland on 12 April.

Raymond notes that the level of interest from smaller councils has been significantly higher this year.

“Smaller councils have an excellent record in the awards, especially in recent years. This shows that innovation and a can-do spirit are states of mind not functions of organisation size.”

Entrants range in size from New Zealand's largest council (Auckland Council) to the second smallest (Kaikoura District Council).

The McGredy Winder Supreme Award Winner will be selected from amongst the six category winners and will also be announced on 12 April.

The SOLGM Gala Dinner is also the night when the recipients of other SOLGM awards and scholarships are announced including:
- the winner of the New Zealand leg of the Australasian Management Challenge (registrations close today)
- the winner of the Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award (nominations close Feb. 16)
- the recipients of Overseas Manager Exchanges sponsored by JLT and Civic Financial Services (entries close Feb. 16) and
- the recipients of the Leadership Scholarships sponsored by LDC and Skills (entries close Feb. 16).

If you would like to be part of this celebration of excellence in local government management, you can register for the Gala Dinner.