Tēnā koutou. It was my pleasure to welcome delegates to Local Government New Zealand’s 2021 Conference at the ASB Theatre and Marlborough Events Centre in Waiharakeke Blenheim.
The theme for LGNZ Conference 2021 was Reimagining Aotearoa – from community up.
In the wake of all the change facing local government this year, our conference reflected what’s top of mind for the sector, and that was the reforms – three waters, resource management and Future for Local Government.
This once in a generation reform programme creates both uncertainty but also opportunity – our sector’s chance to help shape a new kind of local government to support stronger, more resilient communities.
The conference focused on the future of local government, and explored the three waters reform’s state of play. There were interactive sessions to hear our sector’s voices, the Future for Local Government panel was there, as well as key Ministers and our local government friends and colleagues.
The networking opportunities once again were a key feature of conference and, together with our platinum sponsors, we welcomed delegates to the Simpson Grierson welcome reception. The annual Fulton Hogan conference dinner was home to the LGNZ EXCELLENCE Awards where we celebrated the success of finalists and winners who have demonstrated excellent performance by councils in promoting and growing the well-being of their communities.
It was a great conference with ample networking opportunities in which the local government sector came together as one, learned about best practice, and worked towards harnessing local democracy to power community and national success.
Next year’s conference will be hosted in Palmerston North from Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 July 2022. I look forward to seeing you all there.
Ngā mihi nui
President, Local Government New Zealand