Registrations are open for our 2020 Annual Summit (sponsored by Simpson Grierson)

About this event

Communities in Aotearoa and internationally are dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 response with challenges such as reduced income, restricted movement and future uncertainty.

What does this mean for our sector in a post-COVID environment? How can we continue to care for our communities, support our economies and protect our environments to enable community well-being?

This year we’re hitting the road and coming to you! Join us in Christchurch or Taupō, in-person or online, to learn from each other, catch up with colleagues from across the sector and hear from some inspiring speakers.

These events replace our Annual Summit format and provide an opportunity for local government professionals to connect and network in their regions. The delivery of keynote sessions and live panel interviews will be both on-location and online.


Taituarā Member Registration: $550+GST

Non-member or Public Sector Registration: $680+GST

Private Sector Registration: $750+GST

Online Registration: $250+GST


Friday 18th September

8.30am Mihi whakatau

9am Keynote: The fall of Sears Roebuck – what can we learn?

Clay Pearson, City Manager, Pearland, Texas

What if we applied US Researcher and Author Jim Collins’ frame From Good to Great, Great by Choice, and How the Mighty Fail, to communities and local government?

How might we identify the decisions and actions, or the absence of them, that cumulatively impact on the places we manage and lead?

Using the Sears Roebuck failure as a trigger, Pearland, Texas City Manager Clay Pearson will identify the pitfalls and opportunities of transitioning to the future.

9.45am PwC Keynote – Infrastructure-led recovery - Rebuild New Zealand

David Bridgman, Senior Partner and Carl Blanchard, Partner at PwC

In this session, David and Carl will focus on themes covered in our Rebuild New Zealand reports: seven planks to rebuild New Zealand, reasons why we should all have confidence in New Zealand's ability to recover more quickly and strongly than other countries and the role Local Government has to play.

They will also cover the significance of the "border debate", the emerging discussion around elimination versus suppression of COVID-19, and the impact of the COVID-19 induced economic crisis on specific sectors and on some of New Zealand's existing economic, social and environmental issues.

10.30am Morning tea

11am Local panel – What can we learn from New Zealand’s response to the COVID response and recovery?

As we recover from COVID-19 and deal with uncertainty of what lies ahead we are also facing the challenges of economic recovery, three waters reform and a parallel conversation about the purpose of local government. This is in addition to our pre-COVID business as usual mahi.

What does this mean for us? As leaders, how do we make sense of these challenges?

Heather Shotter, Palmerston North City Council

Louise Miller, Kaipara District Council

Gareth Green, Taupō District Council

12pm Simpson Grierson Lunch

12.45pm Civic Financial Services Keynote: Cushioning the impact - the future of New Zealand's economy

Bevan Graham, NZ Managing Director and Chief Economist, AMP Capital

As many parts of the world continue to battle the spread of Covid-19, risks to the global economy remain high. Bevan will discuss the near term outlook and the risks, but also look at the longer term consequences of the Covid-19 on the growth outlook. He will also focus on the implications for the New Zealand economy at both the national and local level.

1.30pm Keynote – Lil Anderson, Tumu Whakarae, Te Arawhiti (Office for Māori-Crown Relations)

Te Arawhiti was established in 2019 to oversee the Government’s work with Māori in a post Treaty settlement era. Lil joins us to talk about Caring for Communities and Te Arawhiti’s mahi, and to provide us with some practical ways that the local government sector can advance the Māori-Local Government relationship.

2.15pm Keynote – Mavis Mullins

Tēnā koutou. There have been lots of learnings through lockdown. Some learnings about ourselves, some about others, some about systems or lack of, and some learnings about community and our global citizenship.

An important insight has been that life is precious, too precious to not readjust ourselves and our communities. People are ready, leadership is needed. Now is not the time to slide back into a comfortably redundant past.

I look forward to having possibly an awkward conversation about what our new world might be.

3pm Afternoon tea

3.30pm Keynote - Only Connect! Tools for innovative, integrated thinking for an era that feels like too much too soon

Dr Stephanie Pride, Strategic Futurist

We will close the Summit with an energetic, interactive closing keynote workshop. This workshop will explore how we move beyond an either/or mindset when we need to act for the long term and respond to new shocks and disruptions in the present. It will showcase creative thinking about how we work in an integrated way across the big challenges we face and provide the opportunity to explore tools for innovative thinking in this space.

This session will give you thinking tools to take back to work with you, and at least one win-win-win idea for tackling the combination of challenges that local government and communities are facing on the way ahead.

5pm Close


Clay Pearson
City Manager, City of Pearland, Texas Read Profile
Bevan Graham
Managing Director and Chief Economist, AMP Capital Read Profile
Heather Shotter
Chief Executive, Palmerston North City Council Read Profile
Gareth Green
Chief Executive Officer, Taupō District Council Read Profile
Carl Blanchard
Partner, PwC Read Profile
David Bridgman
Senior Partner, PwC Read Profile
Dr Stephanie Pride
Futurist Read Profile
Mavis Mullins
Board Member at UNICEF Aotearoa NZ Read Profile
Lil Anderson
Program Lead - Caring for Communities Read Profile
Louise Miller
Chief Executive at Kaipara District Council Read Profile