We would like to share some of the interesting results of our recent Member Survey with you.

- Members identified the top challenges local government will face over the next 12 months as: water (e.g. waters review), funding (e.g. "funding everything expected"), infrastructure, climate change, and central government (e.g. "responding to new government changes in direction").

- The most common words used to describe SOLGM were "professional" and "useful". We also had the very literal "Society"! 62% of the words members used to describe SOLGM were positive (arguably the best was "valiant"), 33% of the words were neutral, and 4% were negative.

- SOLGM's most valued service category is advocacy. 29% of respondents ranked advocacy as the most valuable out of our 11 service categories.

- SOLGM members generally value SOLGM's digital communication channels more than our print channels. The LGNewsBulletin and this newsletter were the most valued. Based on survey responses and other data, we have decided to trial not printing a wall chart this year. You can keep up with events in the LGNewsBulletin, this newsletter, and on our website of course.

- SOLGM has improved overall engagement and branch engagement with further improvements to be made.

- SOLGM members would like SOLGM to do more to coordinate councils by sharing best practice, hosting more regional events, and promoting consistency across the sector.

- SOLGM members had some lovely things to say about SOLGM's role but also challenged us to do more. For example, "LG needs to adapt to a changing environment and so does SOLGM... LG needs to be bold, disruptive and drive innovative change.”

Thank you very much to the members who completed the survey this year.

IDC Asia Pacific Smart City Awards 2018
South Waikato District Council and Marlborough District Council have been identified as finalists for Datacom’s mobile app, Antenno. All councils using Antenno in New Zealand and Australia were listed, but IDC chose South Waikato and Marlborough.

Antenno provides two-way communication between councils and their communities based on places and topics that individuals care about such as home, work or school. The app sends alerts and notifications to the community, as well as allowing the community to send feedback, report issues, respond easily to surveys and share ideas.

All the Councils using Antenno have put in great efforts in building community engagement through the use of Antenno and being a finalist in the Civic Engagement category is excellent recognition of this. Furthermore, the Civic Engagement category contains finalists from large organisations in South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong so getting this far is an achievement in itself!

There is a public voting aspect of the Smart City Awards process. It would be great to have you support the New Zealand Local Government finalists. Voting has started and runs until 31 May 2018.

Overseas Manager Exchange blog posts
We've just re-posted blog posts written by Steve Hill, Chief Executive of Clutha District Council, regarding his Kansas Overseas Manager Exchange sponsored by Civic Financial Services. Read Steve's observations about Mission Hills, Johnson County and Wyandotte County.

Upcoming SOLGM events and webinars
Recipe for Disaster: Building Policy on Shaky Ground Webinar - 30 May with a recording available afterwards

Future Workforce Forum - 7-8 June in Auckland

Project Management - 14-15 June in Palmerston North

Climate Change and Local Government Forum - 21-22 June in Wellington

Contract Management - 26-27 June in Wellington

Governance Professionals and Committee Advisors Forum - 5-6 July in Wellington

LG Accelerated Leadership Programme - first workshop on 30 July at Tasman District Council

Community Plan Forum - 13-14 August in Rotorua