Join an exciting range of expert speakers who will share their wisdom, insight and experiences on best navigating the partnerships required to deliver on well-being outcomes for communities.

  • 11 May 2021-12 May 2021
  • 09:00 - 17:00
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  • James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 735.00 (plus GST) Members
  • 860.00 (plus GST) Non Members
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About this event

Well-being is at the heart of what local government does. Leading positive change at the local level means revitalising the ways that councils work - not only with communities - but with wider networks of central government, iwi leaders, the private sector, and non-government organisations. Last year’s challenges have taught us to think outside the box and be innovative in the face of complex issues. Now is the time to reassess our strategies and work in new and collaborative ways to build solutions to local issues across the four aspects of community well-being.

Join us on the 11th and 12th of May for an engaging forum that will draw together an exciting range of expert speakers. They will share their wisdom, insight, and experiences on best navigating the partnerships required to deliver on wellbeing outcomes for communities. The forum will explore practical examples of best practice in the spirit of working in new and collaborative ways to promote community well-being.

Places are limited so register now to continue your journey to improve the well-being outcomes of your community through innovative partnerships and leadership.

This event is delivered in partnership with BERL.


We have secured a special delegate rate of $200.00 per night per room at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor. Bookings can be made via the online booking link here. This rate is for Executive Rooms only and is subject to availability.

Who should attend:

All local government professionals with an interest in promoting community well-being, including but not limited to policy advisors, strategists, and community development practitioners. The event will also be of interest to researchers and members of the public who want to find out the opportunities and challenges Local Government faces in promoting a well-being approach.

DAY 1 – Tuesday 11th May 2021

9.00am Registration
Arrival Tea / Coffee - networking

10.00am Mihi Whakatau

10.20am Introduction

Karen Thomas, CEO Taituarā

10.25am Community well-being: Big leaps and incremental changes

Gael Surgenor, Director – Community and Social Innovation, The Southern Initiative
Penny Hagen, Director – Co-design Lab, The Southern Initiative

There is a growing trend for communities to expect central government and local government to find local solutions to social and economic issues. This presentation looks at the ways in which Auckland Council’s place-based initiative, The Southern Initiative, is stimulating, enabling and championing social and community innovation to find radical solutions to some of South Auckland’s most pressing social and economic challenges.

10.55am Economic development and well-being: A partnership approach

Hillmarè Schulze, Chief Economist, BERL

This session explores ways in which government, iwi and trusts can work in partnership to develop and enhance economic wealth and well-being for the Māori economy, and draws on the extensive work that BERL’s Chief Economist, Hillmarè Schultz, has done in this area.

11.25am Morning Tea

11.40am Panel discussion: Community partners and their involvement in active change
Maree Brown, Director Child Wellbeing Unit, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Deborah Anselm, Manager Sector Engagement, Social Wellbeing Agency
Gloria Campbell, Regional Commissioner and Regional Public Service Lead, Ministry of Social Development
Justine Smith, Partnerships Director, Central/Local Government Partnerships Group, DIA
Dr Mike Reid, Principal Policy Advisor, Local Government New Zealand

Panel: Moderated by MC - Panelists will discuss ways in which central government, local government and communities are working together to create change at the local level.

12.15pm Minister of Local Government’s address: Partnering for community resilience

Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Communities and central government depend on local government to manage natural hazards and lead the response to and recovery from local emergencies. Now, more than ever, we need strong partnerships between central and local government to build community resilience for the future.

12.45pm Community well-being: Partnerships for community parks

Andrew Rutledge, Head of Parks, Christchurch City Council

This session explores the many partnerships Christchurch City Council has established to support the delivery of positive well-being outcomes for the community through its network of community parks.

1.10pm Lunch

2.00pm Place-based housing partnerships
Raoul Oosterkamp, Director of Strategic Projects, Hastings District Council
Dave Bishop, Program Delivery Manager – Hastings Housing Plan, Hastings District Council.

This session explores how councils can work in partnership with central government agencies, mana whenua and community groups to deliver place-based community well-being outcomes by meeting the need for more homes for the people of Hastings.

2.30pm How data makes a difference: Partnerships on community well-being reports

Jodie Robertson, Impact and Insights Advisor

A session exploring how partners have come together to carry out research that measures the well-being of communities and identifies significant trends in a range of areas critical to quality of life, in order to guide decision-making on future work.

3.10pm Social wellbeing: Co-designing for equitable outcomes for children

Jill Campbell, Strategy Advisor, Rotorua Lakes Council

This session looks at how Rotorua Lakes Council has partnered with community stakeholders to improve children’s access to services and opportunities that will make a potentially life-changing difference into adulthood.

3.40pm Afternoon Tea

4.00pm Working with partners: Delivering play opportunities for everyone
Nick Chester – Team Leader Planning and Policy (Community), Hamilton City Council
Dr Damien Puddle – Local Play Advocate, Sport Waikato

Hamilton City Council is working closely with Sport New Zealand and other partners to deliver its Play Strategy, designed to have a positive impact on the community’s health and well-being.

4.40pm Summing up the day

5.00pm Finish

DAY 2 – Wednesday 12th May 2021

8.30am Arrival Tea and coffee

9.00am Introduction

Phil Wilson, President of Taituarā and Director of Governance, Auckland Council

9.10am Weaving connections and collaborations: Supporting and growing community-led outcomes across Aotearoa

David Hanna, Director, Wesley Community Action
Kena Duignan, Community Innovation Lead, Wesley Community Action
Makerita Makapelu, Team Leader, Wesley Community Action

This session looks at the ways in which councils can work with people living in communities to make a difference to their own well-being outcomes. Porirua’s community-led innovation hub Te Hiko will provide just one of the many examples of how this can be done. They will be joined by Inspiring Communities which supports connections and collaborations across sectors and communities to make it easier for communities to work in locally-led ways – together.

10.00am Helping communities help themselves: Enabling community-led solutions

Pauline Welch, Group Manager Customer Services, Ruapehu District Council

Ruapehu District Council’s Pride of Place Policy and Pride of Place Fund are focused on supporting smaller communities to progress projects, make the most of community input and source support and funding from other supporters and collaborators.

10.45am Morning Tea

11.05am Environmental and economic well-being: Partnering for preservation and enhancement
Miriana Stephens, Executive Director, AuOra – Wakatū Incorporation

Wakatū Incorporation is actively involved in the lives of whānau, whānui, the wider community and business development. This session explores how Wakatū is working with its partners to preserve and enhance taonga for the benefit of current and future generations with a focus on the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Regional Strategy.

11.35am Partnerships for community well-being

Helen Algar, Community Development Manager, Waitaki District Council
Shirley Bee, Safter Waitaki Administrator, Waitaki District Council

This session looks at the work Waitaki District Council has done to bring together over 140 groups and organisations to develop Safer Waitaki Coalition, a ‘whole-of-community’ community development project that supports the community to work together on well-being. Participants will discuss how councils can work with community groups to deliver positive outcomes for community well-being.

12.30pm Lunch

1.00pm Working with arts communities to deliver community well-being outcomes
Dr Jeremy Mayall, Chief Executive, Creative Waikato

This session looks at ways in which councils can work with local artists and arts organisations to support their community’s well-being through opportunities to engage with and participate in the arts.

2.00pm Update from Taituarā and facilitated discussion on community well-being and the Future for Local Government Review.

3.00pm Summing up the day

Phil Wilson, President of Taituarā, and Director of Governance, Auckland Council

3.10pm Finish


Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister for Local Government Read Profile
Karen Thomas
Chief Executive, Taituarā Read Profile
Hillmarè Schulz
Principal Economist, BERL Read Profile
Mike Reid
Principal Advisor, Local Government New Zealand Read Profile
Steve Ruru
Chief Executive Read Profile
Pauline Welch
Group Manager - Customer Services, Ruapehu District Council Read Profile
Helen Algar
Community Development Manager, Waitaki District Council Read Profile
Gael Surgenor
Director - Community & Social Innovation Read Profile
Penny Hagen
Director - Co-design Lab Read Profile
Maree Brown
Director Child Wellbeing Unit, DPMC Read Profile
Andrew Rutledge
Head of Parks, Christchurch City Council Read Profile
Mr Raoul Oosterkamp
Strategic Projects Manager, Hastings District Council Read Profile
Dave Bishop
Program Delivery Manager - Hastings Housing Plan Read Profile
Jodie Robertson
Impact & Insights Specialist , Tauranga City Council Read Profile
Jill Campbell
Strategy Advisor, Rotorua Lakes Council Read Profile
Damien Puddle
Local Play Advocate, Sport Waikato Read Profile
Nick Chester
Team Leader Planning & Policy (Community), Hamilton City Council Read Profile
Gloria Campbell
Regional Commissioner and Regional Public Service Lead Read Profile
Dr Jeremy Mayall
CEO, Creative Waikato Read Profile
Shirley Bee
Community Development Administrator Read Profile
Justine Smith
Partnership Director Maori/Crown, PGF, Infrastructure Funding Read Profile
Deborah Anselm
Read Profile