New Zealand councils have submitted a record number of entries into the 2020 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards® and interest in SOLGM’s professional development opportunities remains high.

Chief Advisor, Raymond Horan, reports that there have been 45 Excellence Award entries across the six categories. The previous record was 41 entries received two years ago.

“There’s a diverse range of projects across the full range of local authority services” Raymond says. “Everything from engagement on a major road project to a partnership to exterminate a noxious breed of fish is represented.”

As always, the competition for the Minister for Local Government’s Award for Innovation in Council-Community Relations will be particularly intense with 20 entries. This is a record entry in a single category, surpassing the 16 entries received in this category two years ago. 

“Most local authorities are long past simply putting out a plan and giving the community a month to tell them what they think of it” Raymond says.

“We are pleased to a see a wide range of differing modes of engagement across a wide range of situations, and not just engaging when the law tells us to.”

This award will be presented by the Minister for Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta at the upcoming SOLGM Gala Dinner.

This year, SOLGM introduced a new category, recognising those local authorities that have achieved excellent outcomes through working in Partnership with Māori.  Competition for Te Puni Kōkiri’s Award for Bicultural Leadership will also be tough with seven entries.

Raymond notes the level of interest from smaller councils.

“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.”

Workforce Leadership Manager, Jenny Spencer said that our range of leadership development opportunities have proved popular again this year too.

“We have received 17 applications from a broad range of councils and, like the Excellence Awards, interest from smaller councils is high.

“With the support of our partners, we can increase leadership capability in the sector. The opportunity for local government leaders to enhance their professional development through international local government experiences is an important part of our strategy to support sector leaders.”

The winners of these awards, including the McGredy Winder Supreme Award Winner, which will be selected from amongst the six category winners, will be announced at the SOLGM Gala Dinner in Wellington on 30 April along with SOLGM’s Overseas Manager Exchanges (sponsored by Civic Financial Services, Marsh and AskYourTeam), the Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award, the Skills Melbourne Business School Leadership Scholarship, and the winners of the New Zealand leg of the JLT Australasian Management Challenge.

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

For further information about the contents of this story please contact Ann Thomson,, 027 2943852.