The Australasian Management Challenge

Councils wanting to develop their emerging leaders should be putting together their teams now for the SOLGM run New Zealand leg of the Management Challenge being held in March (with the Australian finals being held in June).

Here's why we think every council in New Zealand should be entering a team:

- The intense Challenge day exposes participants to a wide range of memorable, challenging real-life experiences. However it’s not just about the day – the time teams spend preparing for the Challenge with their mentor is one of the most valuable aspects of the experience.

- The Challenge programme draws heavily on negotiation, leadership, communication, strategy, analysis and advocacy skills, providing exceptional professional development opportunities.

- It’s a fun, hands-on approach to leadership development that translates to relevant, tangible benefits.

- Participants consistently report that the Challenge helps break down silos within their council as team members are typically drawn from different areas.

- New Zealand councils have an exceptional track record at the Australasian finals with two wins, a second and a third over the past four years (Tauranga City Council's Team Blue Sky, pictured above taking part in the 2015 Challenge, placed third in Australia in June - check out their video on the Challenge here).

Registrations are now open in the Challenge website here. The New Zealand leg of the Challenge will be held in Wellington on 15 March 2016 with a pre-Challenge dinner on the night of the 14th. If we receive registrations for more than nine teams we will hold a second Challenge day on 17 March with the dinner on the night of the 16th. Should enough teams register from the South Island we will look at holding this second Challenge day at a South Island venue. Registrations are due to close in late January 2016.

Please email me at if you would like more information on registering a team for the 2016 Challenge.

Are Councils ready for the new Health and Safety regulations?

We will be running our second H&S webinar next Tuesday, 8 December at 10am through the partnership of SOLGM and LGNZ, in conjunction with Simpson Grierson. This second Health and Safety webinar focuses on four different perspectives of the reforms - Legal; Elected Member; Chief Executive and operational perspectives.

This will be followed by the must attend H&S Training Roadshow. This one day training, being offered in four locations in February, will cover the key responsibilities under the Health and Safety Reform Bill and is suitable for Elected Members, Chief Executives, Human Resource Managers and all staff directly involved with H&S. The programme and registration will be available in our Event Calendar shortly but in the meantime save the date for the training closest to you:

- Christchurch: 9 February 2016

- Dunedin: TBC

- Auckland: 16 February 2016

- Palmerston North: 17 February 2016

Local Government in Austerity: Lessons from England

Those of you who attended our Annual Summit in November may have heard Dr Martin Reeves, Chief Executive at Coventry City Council, talk about the hugely challenging austerity measures that UK councils have been facing (his Graph of Doom was particularly memorable) and how that has affected the way his council delivers services.

We are holding a webinar tomorrow (2 December) that explores this subject including the complex nature of fiscal constraint, which financial mechanisms have been employed to protect council services in the UK and the extent to which services have been affected.

This webinar is just the first part of our exploration of the subject - look out for more in our next issue of Pulse magazine due out next week.

Other Upcoming SOLGM Events

WEBINAR: Entering the 2016 SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards - Tips for a Successful Entry

Join us on 10 December at 10am to learn what the judges will be looking from Councils entering these Awards. You will also learn about our new initiative for 2016 - The Marketplace.

Register for the Webinar here and find out more about the 2016 Awards here.

Project Management Course

This two day course is on in Wellington on 4 and 5 February. It is for those with little or no project management experience and will provide a good overview of the fundamentals of the subject. Find our more and register here.

SOLGM Annual Gala Dinner

Join us in Wellington on the evening of the 14th of April to celebrate the very best of professional excellence in local government. Find out more and purchase your tickets here.

2016 SOLGM Leading Practice Forums

We are also putting together dates for our 2016 Forums so that we can publish a full list before Christmas but save the dates now for:

- Risk Management Forum: 23 and 24 February in Wellington

- Strategic Finance Forum: 7 and 8 March in Wellington

- Chief Executives Forum: 14 April (same day as our Gala Dinner) and CE Masterclass - 15 April, both in Wellington

Supporting the EECA Awards

SOLGM are pleased to support these awards which celebrate excellence in innovation in energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. The 14th EECA Awards continues to recognise energy efficiency excellence across businesses – large and small, public sector organisations and the wider community. Some of New Zealand’s most successful businesses have won EECA Awards due to their commitment to energy management.

Key Dates are:

Entries Close: 5th February 2016

Finalists Announced: April 2016

Awards Night: 18th May 2016, Shed 10, Auckland Waterfront

For more information and to download an entry form visit

LGConnect discussion groups - a free service for local government staff

This is our regular reminder about this service (previously known as the Listserves). Anyone with a local government email can sign up for free to one or more of the 140+ discussion groups and start communicating with those working in the same or similar roles in councils across the country. Visit to sign up or find out more - and please pass this message on to anyone new in your council who may not have heard about LGConnect.