Northland Regional Council Biosecurity Manager, Kane McElrea, is the recipient of the hotly contested Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award, awarded by the NZ Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM). 

The Award, sponsored by Brookfields Lawyers, provides a fully paid trip to attend the ICMA Annual Conference in the US, the largest annual event in the world for local government professionals. 

Kane has carved out a career in the local government sector, starting as a student ranger for Auckland Regional Council, and transitioning to a Park Ranger role when he finished university.  

He now leads the Biosecurity Partnerships group which is responsible for a number of significant community-empowering initiatives including Whangārei Predator-Free and Tiakina Whangārei.    

The judges were impressed with the impact of Kane’s leadership in his region as well as nationally through his work and connection networks.  

“Kane demonstrated how he has enabled his team to deliver for the community, his strong commitment to the sector, and the broad reach he has that will enable him to share his learning for greater impact across the sector”, said Jenny Spencer, SOLGM’s Workforce Leadership Manager. 

SOLGM’s Chief Executive, Karen Thomas, said that Kane is a well-deserved winner in a very tough field of applications. 

“His application was energetic and his passion for and commitment to the sector stood out.  

“At a time when local government professionals are working tirelessly to provide services and support to their communities, it is great to be able to announce this news. 

“Our thanks to Brookfields for supporting SOLGM to provide this amazing professional development opportunity.” 

Also announced today were the six category winners of the 2020 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®, including a Supreme winner, several Overseas Manager Exchanges (sponsored by Civic Financial Services, AskYourTeam and Marsh), the Skills Organisation Melbourne Business School Leadership Scholarship, the SOLGM Distinguished Management Award, and the President’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to SOLGM. 

SOLGM’s annual Gala Dinner event was cancelled due to COVID-19, and so award recipients were announced online this year.