A COVID-19 Coordination Unit has been established by the NZ Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) to guide and support the local government sector through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Unit is headed by Kevin Lavery, former Chief Executive of Wellington City Council. He will lead discussions with representatives from DIA, LGNZ, NEMA and DPMC’s policy advisory group.

The focus of the Unit will be on supporting the sector in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that individual councils are prepared with business continuity planning, dealing with essential local government services such as water and solid waste, cemeteries and burials, and supporting leaders with their staffing and employer responsibilities.

SOLGM’s Chief Executive, Karen Thomas, said that having a central point of co-ordination for the sector was crucial.

“Our role is to support local government leaders as they keep their communities safe. We are working closely with colleagues across the sector to gather expertise and information and disseminate it in a co-ordinated way.

“Work is already underway in many areas and additional issues raised by councils are being added to the programme on an ongoing basis.”

A central point of information has been established. Those who work for a council or a council-controlled organisation with an interest in COVID-19 are encouraged to join SOLGM’s online discussion group (under the Planning, Policy and Governance heading) to share information.

For further information please contact Kevin Lavery.