Welcome to our last update before our Summit next week in Palmerston North. The Summit Programme has been updated with more information on our three keynote speakers, our nine interactive workshops, our "The Future is Now" themed dinner, the speech by the Associate Minister for Local Government, Hon Louise Upston and this year's Hot Topics Panel discussion facilitated by our MC, broadcaster Kim Hill.

One of our keynote speakers, Dr Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council in the UK is featured in the December issue of LGMagazine. The magazine has kindly allowed us to release the story ahead of the Summit - Why councils need a new kind of leader.

A reminder to SOLGM members that we are holding our AGM at the Summit on the Monday starting at 4.30pm in the Plenary Room. Members will have already received our Annual Report along with the AGM papers last week. For non-members the Report, which as well as detailing our achievements of the 2014/15 year, also provides useful information on what we have in our work programme for this financial year can be found here.

You can also follow what's happening at the Summit on Facebook and on Twitter #SOLGM15.

2016 SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards

At the Summit we'll be announcing the five categories for our 2016 Awards as well as announcing a brand new Award. We'll have information on how your council can enter the Awards in our website from next Thursday, 12th of November.

Registrations are now open for the Australasian Management Challenge

Primarily aimed at emerging leaders the Challenge is a creative, fast-faced programme that is particularly good at enabling collaboration across different areas of council. Find out more about the format of the Challenge and how to enter a team for the 2016 Challenge here. If you would like more information please email me at jeanette.bullen@solgm.org.nz.

SOLGM Report: Working Shoulder to Shoulder: Co-governance and Collaborative Approaches and Engagement Skills

We have just released this report, an output of SOLGM's Sector Futures Working Party. Its purpose is to identify specific skills local government requires to undertake public engagement or consultation within the context of a collaborative or co-governance partnership with other groups, organisations or agencies. Its purpose is also to share the first-hand experiences of local government staff already engaging in this space and to better understand some of the practical issues, opportunities and challenges arising as we and our partners increasingly engage with the public.

The report contains a number of case studies. We would welcome any other case studies from across the spectrum of collaborative arrangements. Please email our Manager, Sector Improvement, Raymond Horan raymond.horan@solgm.org.nz.

The New-look Annual Plan

SOLGM’s Planning Working Party has just released a short guidance note that provides some interpretation of the requirements of sections 95 – 95B of the Local Government Act. Its key message is that circumstances where local authorities avoid consulting on an annual plan will be more of an exception than the rule. Parliament set the bar on obligations to consult at a deliberately low level.

This note also provides some thinking on how to prepare an annual plan consultation document, and what to do in the (probably rare) circumstances that councils don’t need to consult. You can find the guidance note in our Sector Good Toolkit site here. Please note that the resources in this site are funded by councils' Sector Good subscriptions. If you don't have your council's login please email info@solgm.org.nz for assistance.

Upcoming SOLGM Events

Currently in our Event Calendar:

Webinar: The "New" Annual Plan - Same Story, Different Day? on 3 November

RMA Hearings Administrator Training on in Auckland, 4 & 5 November

Local Government Funding and Rating Forum on in Wellington 19 & 20 November

Webinars: Health and Safety - 23 November and 8 December.

The Health and Safety Reform Bill has real ‘bite’ and creates a number of potential risks for local authorities as employers and has significant implications for personal liability. These webinars are being presented by SOLGM in partnership with LGNZ and Simpson Grierson. The first will explain the essence of the reforms, in particular it will highlight new terms and definitions such as PCBUs; Officers; ‘the duty of care’; ‘liability’; ‘reasonably practicable’ and the respective roles of Elected Members, Chief Executive and staff. The second webinar focuses on four different perspectives of the reforms - a legal; elected members; chief executive and operational perspective. These webinars will be followed by a series of training days in Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland and Palmerston North in February.

Open Data Workshop with Laura Manley - this is a half day workshop on in Wellington on 1 December

This is a joint workshop with the Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM). Laura is the Co-Founder for the Centre for Open Data Enterprise in Washington DC. As an open data advocate, Laura co-developed and launched the Gov Lab’s Open Data 500, the first comprehensive study of companies that use open government data to generate new business and develop new products and services.

Webinar: Local Government in Austerity - 2 December

Save the Date for the following events as well which will be in our Event Calendar shortly:

Project Management Course - 4 & 5 February 2016 in Wellington

The SOLGM 45 South Branch Retreat is on 3 & 4 February 2016 in Wanaka

Our Annual Gala Dinner on 14 April 2016 in Wellington - more details to be announced.