The upcoming 2021 LGNZ Conference is promised to be an exciting opportunity for all attendees to reimagine local government from the ground up, says LGNZ president Stuart Crosby.
The conference and AGM will be held at the ASB Theatre & Marlborough Events Centre, Blenheim, from 15 – 17 July.
“Held in New Zealand’s internationally renowned wine capital of Marlborough over three days, the LGNZ Conference comes during a once in a generation reform programme.
“While the size, and pace of the reforms has created some uncertainty, it has also created an exciting opportunity; a chance to shape a new kind of local government that supports stronger, more resilient communities, something that all attendees will have an opportunity to discuss.”
The conference theme is Reimagining Aotearoa from Community Up and involves a packed programme across the three days.
“The LGNZ conference will give attendees a look at the exciting possibilities of the recently announced Future for Local Government (FFLG) review, and more importantly, give attendees from across New Zealand the ability to say what they want to see from the FFLG programme.
“The review panel and key ministers will be in attendance, as well as all of our local government friends and colleagues, making this conference a once in a generation opportunity to feed into the possibilities of the review.”
As such, the first plenary session on the Thursday will focus on the Future for Local Government, led by LGNZ vice President Hamish McDouall and FFLG Panel chair Jim Palmer. Discussion of the big issues continues throughout the afternoon, with Minister for Infrastructure Grant Robertson speaking in the lead into the pivotal Three Waters session.
“Eagle-eyed observers may have noticed that we’ve been updating the programme even quite recently to make room for discussions across the sector’s most pressing topics.”
The other major sessions of the conference see Fire and Emergency NZ CE Raewyn Bleakley and NZ Red Cross’s Sarah Stuart-Black as part of a panel discussing natural hazards and Minister of Housing Dr Megan Woods introducing a panel discussion on housing led by popular economist Shamubeel Eaqub.
Host Mayor John Leggett will be joined by local champions to share the Marlborough story, and how they’ve harnessed their natural advantages for social, economic, environmental and cultural success.
Attendees will be regaled again by Master of Ceremonies Paddy Gower, and science educator ‘nanogirl’ Dr Michelle Dickinson, who will be running an always popular breakfast session on the Friday morning, to get attendees primed for the day.
“On top of the big sessions, the ample networking opportunities, workshops, and experiencing the best of what Marlborough awaits attendees,” says Stuart.
“The council will be hosting tours of the innovative projects they are undertaking, and of course the Fulton Hogan Conference dinner and LGNZ Excellence Awards are always a highlight of the year.
“Marlborough has amazing facilities that will no doubt make the dinner and awards an occasion to remember, and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone together, particularly after postponing conference last year.”