Electoral Officers Pre-Election Training

The 2019 local authority elections are looming on the horizon.Will you be ready for Vote 2019? Our two-day programme features informative and interactive sessions from experienced electoral officers and election partners bringing you all the essentials on running a successful election and the very latest updates on online voting, the ins and outs of managing social media during elections, and how to improve voter turnout in your community.

  • 15 Oct - 16 Oct
  • Harbourside Function Venue (formerly Macs Function Centre), Wellington
  • 15 Oct 9.00am - 5.00pm, 16 Oct 9.00am - 3.20pm; Venue: Harbourside Function Centre (formerly Macs Function Centre), 4 Taranaki Street Wharf, Cnr Cable & Taranaki St, Wellington
  • $815.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $915.00 excl. GST. for non-members
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Overview

The 2018 SOLGM Electoral officers’ pre-election training is the chance for staff new to electoral roles to get up to speed, and for experienced staff to refresh their knowledge of the legal and practical requirements for managing successful elections.

The programme combines the content of SOLGM’s updated Electoral Code of Practice with interactive group work and all the latest news on the online voting trial, amendments to the Local Electoral Act, emerging practice in community engagement and dealing with social media and Vote 2019 - the national campaign to promote participation in local authority elections being delivered jointly by Local Government New Zealand and SOLGM. Content will be delivered by sector experts, including experienced electoral officers from SOLGM’s Electoral Subcommittee, the Electoral Commission, Local Government New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs and New Zealand Post.

In response to delegate feedback, we have refined the programme to start with sessions focussed on the needs of new Electoral Officers before broadening the reach out to the wider audience, and we are supporting your learning with pre-readings and post-event support.

Who should attend:

This is a “must” for all Electoral Officers, their Deputies and Communications Managers and advisors who will be involved in the management of the 2019 local authority elections.

Programme

Day One

9.00am Welcome and Introductions

Dean Heiford, Chair, Electoral Subcommittee and Manager, Economic, Community and Support Services, Marlborough District Council

9.05am Table Top & Learning Objectives

Richard Mabon, Principal Advisor, Sector Improvement, SOLGM

Part One: Elections 101 - Essential information for new Electoral Officers

9.25am How Elections Work

Dale Ofsoske, Managing Director, Elections Services Ltd

Lynlee Baily, Manager Democratic Services, Porirua City Council

An overview of the people, processes and tools that make an election tick

Partners – the role of the Electoral Officer and the roles of partners inside and outside your Council

Process – project timeline and core activities – putting what’s been done into context and focusing on what’s ahead.

Tools & Rules – highlight the tools and legal compliance resources available to support you

For background reading, please see Parts 1, 2 & 3 of the SOLGM Code of Good Practice for the Management of Local Authority Elections and Polls

10.35am Morning Tea and Cellphone Clearance Break

11.05am A Survivor's Guide to Local Elections

Clare Sullivan, Governance and Democracy Manager, Southland District Council,

Mark Low, Corporate Planning Manager, Timaru District Council,

Rick Dunn, Democracy Manager, Rotorua Lakes Council

Sarah Nichols, Governance Manager, Waimakariri District Council

Real life stories, tips, tricks and advice from experienced electoral officers on the most important things you can do to deliver successful local elections.

12.15pm Lunch Break

Part Two: Election Management - Communication, Project Management and Wellbeing

1.15pm Welcome to Part Two

Dean Heiford, Chair, Electoral Subcommittee and Manager, Economic, Community and Support Services, Marlborough District Council

Dean will re-cap the morning session, welcome electoral officers joining the programme at this point, and introduce the afternoon sessions.

1.25pm Communication - The Human Connection & the Social Dimension

Aimee Driscoll, Communications Manager, Tauranga City Council

Warwick Lampp, Chief Returning Officer, electionz.com

Richard Mabon, Principal Advisor Sector Improvement, SOLGM

Mandy Boht é , National Manager, Enrolment & Community Engagement, Electoral Commission

Successful election communication keeps projects on track, stakeholders happy and improves voter participation.It occurs against a backdrop of local politics that brings its own unique flavour, and social media is now an established part of the campaign communications toolkit for electoral officers and candidates alike. Our speakers will share advice on managing the many aspects of election communications with the latest tips on dealing with social media, brief you on the joint LGNZ/SOLGM Vote 2019 campaign and share what the Electoral Commission is doing to assist local authorities.

For background reading, please see Part 11 of the SOLGM Code of Good Practice for the Management of Local Authority Elections and Polls

2.15pm Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan - Election Project Management

Anusha Guler, Head of Governance, Wellington City Council

Mali Ahipene, Manager, Democracy Services, Waikato Regional Council

An election campaign requires the same disciplines of managing timeframes, deadlines, budgets, risks and stakeholders as any other project. Anusha will talk about how Wellington City Council managed the 2016 elections and Mali will discuss the importance of working with your stakeholders.

3.00pm Afternoon Tea & Cellphone Clearance Break

3.30pm Modernising Voting

Marguerite Delbet, General Manager Democracy Services, Auckland Council

Dean Heiford, Chair, Electoral Subcommittee and Manager, Economic, Community and Support Services, Marlborough District Council

One of the major policy projects ‘on the books’ for the next 18 months is the modernising voting review, including work towards a trial of online voting. Marguerite and Dean will cover the progress that’s been made as of October including progress towards a trial.

4.15pm "Secure Your Own Oxygen Mask First" - Staying Well in Election Year

Declan Scott, Senior Consultant, The Resilience Institute International Limited

5.00pm Happy Hour

Day Two

9.00am Welcome to Day Two

Dean Heiford, Chair, Electoral Subcommittee and Manager, Economic, Community and Support Services, Marlborough District Council

Part Three: Candidates, Votes and Voting -

9.05am War stories" - The Service Provider's Perspective

Dale Ofsoske, Managing Director, Elections Services Ltd
Warwick Lampp, Chief Returning Officer, electionz.com

Insights from the sectors’ most experienced electoral officers into the good, the bad and the OMG of local elections and how you can work most effectively with your provider to run a successful local election.

9.45am Working with Candidates - A Candidate's View

Councillor David Lee, Wellington City Council

An elected member shares their experiences standing for office in local elections and offers their thoughts on how electoral officers can perform their legal duties and still be “customer-friendly” for candidates.

For background reading, please see Parts 8, 9 & 10 of the SOLGM Code of Good Practice for the Management of Local Authority Elections and Polls

10.10 am NZ Post - the big picture

Matt Geor, Head of Mail (acting) NZ Post

Declining mail volumes are continuing and accelerating, with the 2017/18 NZ Post half-year report disclosing 38 million fewer letters compared to the same period last year. How does NZ Post respond to this trend and what does it mean for local authority elections? A member of the NZ Post senior leadership team discusses the "big picture" for mail delivery

10.30am Morning Tea and Cellphone Clearance Break

11.00am Get your rolls right and your papers perfect

Dale Ofsoske, Managing Director, Elections Services Ltd

Peter Avison, Manager Digital Solutions - CCM, New Zealand Post

Ross McPherson, Enrolment Operations Manager, Electoral Commission

Timeliness and accuracy are critical for these core tasks for electoral officers.This session covers the residents and ratepayers roll, use of Votext and the printing and despatch of voting papers.

For background reading, please see Parts 7, 12 & 13 of the SOLGM Code of Good Practice for the Management of Local Authority Elections and Polls

12.00noon Voting, Counting and Declaring Results

Mark Low, Corporate Planning Manager, Timaru District Council,

Clare Sullivan, Governance and Democracy Manager, Southland District Council

Mark and Clare will guide you through the ins and outs of voting, special voting, counting and declaring results.

For background reading, please see Parts 14, 15 & 16 of the SOLGM Code of Good Practice for the Management of Local Authority Elections and Polls

12.40pm Lunch Break

1.25pm After the Ball is Over - Post-Election Tasks

Sarah Nichols, Governance Manager, Waimakariri District Council

Rick Dunn, Democracy Manager, Rotorua Lakes Council

Just because you’ve counted the last vote doesn’t mean the job is finished.Sarah and Rick will take you through dealing with candidate deposits and post-election record-keeping, what to do if your election is the subject of a judicial recount or inquiry, and some insights on induction for your new Council.

For background reading, please see Parts 17 & 18 of the SOLGM Code of Good Practice for the Management of Local Authority Elections and Polls

2.00pm Let’s Get Regional

Mali Ahipene, Manager, Democracy Services, Waikato Regional Council

This activity assembles regional groups to prepare you for working alongside your neighbouring councils on the conduct of regional council, district health board, and licensing trust elections and the delivery of local election promotion campaigns.

For background reading, please see the SOLGM Guidance note to assist councils when convening regional meetings in preparation for 2019 Local Elections, templates for Memoranda of Understanding between territorial authorities and regional councils, licensing trusts, and district health boards, and the Elections Cost Allocation Template

2.30pm General Q & A

Anusha Guler, Head of Governance, Wellington City Council

Anusha and her hand-picked panel of experts are at your disposal to answer your questions on every aspect of local elections.

3.15pm Summary and closure

Dean Heiford, Chair, Electoral Subcommittee and Manager, Economic, Community and Support Services, Marlborough District Council

Presenters

  • Richard Mabon

    Principal Advisor, Sector Improvement SOLGM

    Richard joined SOLGM in December 2016. He loves his role assembling and sharing good and relevant practice so that people in local government have easier, more effective working lives, He is focussed on the SOLGM legal compliance modules, electoral readiness resources, and supporting G-REG the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative, He also has a hand in delivering some SOLGM events and policy projects.

    Richard is studying part-time towards a Masters in Public Policy. With wife Christine, he has one teenage and two adult children, and believes passionately that Liverpool FC will again be Champions of England in his lifetime.

  • Dean Heiford

    MDC Support Services Manager, Marlborough City Council

    MDC Support Services Manager, Dean has been the Electoral Officer for Marlborough since 1998. MDC was an early adopter of STV voting, becoming one of the seven local authorities which experienced the vote processing problems at the 2004 election.

    MDC contracts out the processing of voting papers but, as Electoral Officer, Dean deals with all the issues that can attract public interest during the electoral cycle from the calling of nominations, local campaign complaints and the scrutiny of electoral expenses. Dean suggests patience and a sense of humour are requisites for successful handling of the role of EO.

  • Dale Ofsoske

    Director, Election Services

    Dale Ofsoske is Managing Director of Election Services, providing electoral services, including assistance with democratic reviews, to a large number of local authorities.

    He is an experienced electoral officer (since 1985), foundation member and deputy chair to the former SOLGM Electoral Working Party, current member of the SOLGM Electoral Sub-Committee and honorary SOLGM member. Dale is electoral officer for a number of councils, including Auckland Council, and brings his expertise and widespread knowledge on electoral matters to this forum.

  • Mark Low

    Corporate Planning Manager, Timaru District Council

    Mark has been working in local government since 1997, firstly at Manawatu District Council and currently at Timaru District Council. His involvement with elections started in 2004, and since then he has been EO for three elections at TDC. Mark is also EO for the local health board and licensing trust. Mark joined the Electoral Working Party in 2013. When he’s not doing elections, Mark’s normal job is Corporate Planning Manager, which includes a range of tasks, including LTP/Annual Plans, reporting, records management, consultation and communications, policy work…and whatever else needs doing!

  • Rick Dunn

    Governance Lead, Rotorua-Lakes Council

    Rick has worked with Council for a total of 17 years. Since 2011 his role as Governance Lead sees him focussed primarily on providing support to Council, Lakes Community Board, Rural Community Board and Te Tatau o Te Arawa members. Together with a small team of Governance Advisors they are dedicated to leading the organisation’s commitment to work in partnership with the communities of the district.

  • Warwick Lampp

    Chief Returning Officer, electionz.com

    Warwick has been Chief Returning Officer from the inception of electionz.com in 2000. Since then electionz.com has carried out more than 1,500 elections in NZ and Australia for all manner of clients in both the public and private sectors.

    Warwick is currently Electoral Officer for 19 councils and 4 DHBs as well as numerous private organisations including most of the NZ agricultural sector, ie Fonterra, Beef & Lamb, HortNZ, Silver Fern Farms, Alliance, Ravensdown, Ballance, Farmlands, DairyNZ. Warwick has been a member of EWP for about 20 years.

  • Anusha Guler

    Head of Governance, Wellington City Council

    Anusha is an experienced professional in changing political environments with 20 years of experience in government. She is skilled in partnering with elected members to maximise their contribution to the growth of Wellington city. Anusha is passionate about democracy and connecting elected members with their communities.

    Anusha Guler began her career in government at KwaZulu Natal Provincial Parliament in South Africa. She was the Deputy Director of the National Council of Provinces.

    Anusha’s first job in local government in New Zealand was with Christchurch City Council in 2004 as Democracy Services Manager. In 2007 Anusha joined Auckland City Council as Team Manager Finance and Governance, where she played a key role in embedding a new structure for Democracy Services. She secured a role as Governance Support Manager when Auckland became a supercity in 2010. She is currently with Wellington City Council as Head of Governance.

  • Marguerite Delbet

    General Manager Democracy Services, Auckland Council

    Marguerite Delbet is Auckland Council’s General Manager Democracy Services. Organising the election of 170 Elected Members for New Zealand’s largest council is part of her portfolio of responsibilities.

    Marguerite started her career in France before spending three years in Cambodia, where she worked with the United Nations to organise the first democratic elections in 20 years. She moved to Wellington in 1995 and worked in strategic development roles for Ernst & Young, ENZA and New Zealand Post. Prior to joining the local government sector Marguerite held several senior management positions at the State Services Commission and the Ministry of Justice.

  • Peter Avison

    Manager, Digital Solutions, NZ Post

    Peter has been involved with the local election project since 2001.

    He leads a team of project managers, business analysts, solution architects and developers to support organisations with their digital communications.

    For the 2019 elections, Peter will be working closely with one of his project managers, Viki Ferguson. Viki will be NZ Post’s project lead and will have overarching responsibility for Votext training / support, voter pack production and postal delivery.

    Peter remains a loyal Blue’s supporter and continues smiling in the face of adversity.

  • Sarah Nichols

    Governance Manager, Waimakariri District Council

    Working in the Governance field over the past 12 years at both Waimakariri and Christchurch City, Sarah’s Governance Manager role involves being a key contact for the Mayor and Councillors, the Deputy Electoral Officer (with contracted services to electionz.com), the Council Privacy Officer and is responsible for corporate insurance and LGOIMA.Sarah was the project lead of the Council’s Representation Review in 2015-16 and elected member induction for the 2016-19 term.

    Leading the governance and administration teams, a key focus is ensuring the Council and its four Community Boards are well equipped to contribute to their communities through sound decision making and involvement.

  • Matt Geor

    Head of Mail (acting), NZ Post

    Matt joined NZ Post in 2018 where his biggest challenge is navigating NZ Post through a period of accelerating mail decline, while maintaining a financially sustainable mail network that services all New Zealand.

    Matt has a background marketing and product management, gained predominantly in the financial services industry; an industry where communication via mail has remained a significant part of the marketing communication mix, despite the growth in digital alternatives.

  • Clare Sullivan

    Governance and Democracy Manager, Southland District Council

    Clare has been involved as either Electoral Officer or Deputy for 10 years at a variety of Councils, Wellington City, Christchurch City and currently Southland District.Her day job is the Governance and Democracy Manager at Southland District.She has experience at working with elected members and electoral law since the late 80s both at Parliament and local government.

    She is acclimatising to the deep south - loves oysters, is not yet rolling her 'r's and remains a Crusaders supporter.

  • Mali Ahipene

    Pou Tuhono Tai Ranga-whenua and Democracy Services, Waikato Regional Council

    Mali has worked in local government governance for 10 years. In her current role she leads two teams, Democracy Services and Tai Ranga Whenua (Māori Unit) with a key focus being to lead a centre of excellence for all processes related to democracy, iwi and Māori in the region. She is also the Electoral Officer and has been involved in 3 elections during her time in local government.

  • David Lee

    Councillor, Wellington City Council

    David is an experienced strategic planner, he has worked in central government (NZ Defence Force, NZTA) and local government (Greater Wellington Regional Council, former North Shore City Council) for 25 years.

    He has developed a deep understanding of the processes and mechanisms for getting action and results. David is a natural connector, and the relationships he has forged across business, social and community interests are a powerful complement to his government sector know-how. He is a certified RMA Commissioner and is the Climate Change, Technology, Innovation and Enterprise Portfolio Leader at Wellington City Council. Born and raised in Christchurch, David lived in Auckland before making Wellington his home. He enjoys mountain biking, sailing, golf and DIY.

  • Declan Scott FCA

    Senior Consultant, The Resilience Institute

    Declan joined the Resilience team in 2015 and brings practical experience from professional practice as well as hands on practical business experience as a business owner and entrepreneur. He is passionate about helping organisations inspire a renewed sense of purpose and passion in the workplace. He is the founder of a non profit organisation called the Spirited Business Network and co owner of a boutique restaurant and chocolate business!

    Declan is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland and has worked internationally as a corporate advisor with KPMG prior to moving to New Zealand in 2005. He has held various lecturing positions at universities in Australia and New Zealand and is now a recognised keynote speaker, workshop facilitator and Coach.

  • Mandy Bohté

    National Manager of Enrolment and Community Engagement, Electoral Commission

    Mandy Bohté is the National Manager of Enrolment and Community Engagement at the Electoral Commission with responsibility for the upkeep of New Zealand’s electoral rolls and championing of participation through community engagement.

    Mandy started with Enrolment Services in April 2015 when it was part of New Zealand Post and helped manage the transition of services to the Electoral Commission. Since then, she has led enrolment and face-to-face community engagement campaigns for the 2017 General Election and 2018 Māori Electoral Option.

    Mandy has previously held management roles with New Zealand Post Health Services, Converga, and Westaff (NZ) Ltd.