The Council Self-Assessment Programme - We are really pleased with the level of support we are seeing for this Programme from councils across New Zealand including many of our larger councils. Those wishing to participate in this Programme, developed by PwC Australia, should be aware that the early bird discount is only available till 11 September (final close date is 14 September). This Programme, which has been run successfully by SOLGM’s sister organisation, Local Government Professionals Australia, NSW for the past two years in 80 Australian councils, measures five key operational areas - Corporate Leadership, Finance Management, Operations Management, Risk Management and Workforce Management. For more information on this exciting initiative take a look through the Q&A section in our website.
Upcoming SOLGM Events - Our Event Calendar is currently listing the following events but please keep checking it – more events are being added soon. A reminder that, to purchase event tickets on your council’s account you will need to create a user login first. Click on the Create an Account link on the Home Page of our website - http://www.solgm.org.nz.
First up is our Streamliner Communication Professionals Forum on 15 and 16 September in Wellington. If you have any involvement in your council’s communications this annual Forum should already be in your calendar. This year there is a strong focus on public perception of local government – a topic that should see some robust debate. Find out more and register for this Forum here.
Managing Difficult Conversations is a two day course designed to provide effective strategies for dealing with ‘differences’, This course is on in Wellington on 1 and 2 October. You can register here.
On 7 October we will be running a Making Sense of Service Delivery Reviews Webinar where our Manager, Sector Improvement, Raymond Horan will provide some commonsense guidance. You can register for this webinar here.
The two day Electoral Officers Training is the must-attend event for anyone involved in the 2016 local elections. SOLGM usually runs this training event early in the year of the elections so please note that it is being run earlier than usual – dates to put in your diaries are 12 and 13 October, in Wellington. Find out more here.
We have two more Webinars coming up – 23 September is The 2015 CDs: Are We There Yet? Webinar, a must for everyone involved in producing a Consultation Document, and BERL 2015: New Adjustors, Same Economy Webinar on 14 October. Both webinars are listed in our Event Calendar.
Finally our annual Funding and Rating Forum will be on in Wellington on 19 and 20 November. That will be listed in our Event Calendar within the next week.
New Report: Fit for the Digital Future – Technologies for the 21st Century - This is a substantial report which SOLGM, together with ALGIM, released on 28 August. It identifies advances in information technology, with a focus on 10 key technologies, and demonstrates their relevance for New Zealand’s 78 local authorities. Importantly this is not a document for the 'techies' – the Report has been written to help non-expert local government managers understand the opportunities and implications of advances in information technology. We are planning to run a couple of Webinars on 23 and 28 October to talk about the important information in the Report – they’ll be advertised in our Event Calendar shortly.
Australian Overseas Manager Exchange blog - Susan Jones, Human Resources and Administration Manager at Gore District Council is currently on the Queensland leg of a SOLGM Overseas Manager Exchange. She’s writing a blog on her experiences. You can keep up to date with what Susan is doing in our LGCareers website here.
Website Clarification - with recent changes to two of our websites we are still receiving a number of queries so hope the following information helps. SOLGM runs six websites: The ‘main’ site is SOLGM.org.nz. – this contains our event registration, membership information, our latest news and information on our activities, branches and working parties. It has links to all our other websites on the Home Page. Visitors can register as Users allowing them to buy event tickets on their council accounts (if they work in a council) and receive our newsletters. The LGSectorGoodToolkit site, which up till recently contained only the legal compliance programme modules, now contains all the resources funded by the Sector Good subscription, paid annually by councils. Previously some resources were held in the 'main' website. You will need your council password to access this website - please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Note that this is not the same password as the individual one needed for the main website above. The other websites we run are LGJobs, LGNewsbulletin, LGCareers, and LGConnect.
SOLGM Great CD Competition - At our Community Plan Forum held in Christchurch in August we ran a competition for the best Consultation Document. Electronic copies of the eight shortlisted finalists from the competition have been posted in our LGSectorGoodToolkit site here. They provide some great examples for the next round of CDs. Please note that this webpage is password protected so visitors will need their council password - see the section on our websites above. Timaru District Council won the competition – see the full news story on their win here.
Invitation to take part in a short “Recruitment Systems for Local Government Professionals” Survey - Ryan Marsich, a senior accounting and management student at NorthTec has asked SOLGM to help with some research on the recruitment systems in local government for a paper he is writing. This survey takes 3-5 minutes to complete and Ryan is happy to provide a copy of the results. You can complete the survey here. It is open till Friday, 11 September.
Central and Midlands Combined Branch Meeting - Our Midlands and Central branches are holding a combined meeting on Monday 14 September 2015 at Wairakei Resort in Taupo with an optional dinner (sponsored by Civic Assurance) on the night before. You can download the Agenda here. If you are interested in attending contact details are in the Midlands and Central branch pages in our website.
Have you registered for the SOLGM Annual Summit, on in Palmerston North, 9-11 November? Don’t miss the Early Bird registration offer available till 9 October. Our Summit website has all the details.
Lastly, we are still working with our website developers on the design of this newsletter (particularly the header). Expect to see improvements in future editions.