People are at the heart of Local Government and this year's Strategic HR Forum has been developed specifically to explore the big issues facing those in our profession, as well as to inspire others by showcasing best practice within the sector.

  • 01 Jul 2021-02 Jul 2021
  • 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
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  • Wharewaka Function Centre, Odlins Square, 2 Taranaki Street, Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 735.00 (plus GST) Members
  • 860.00 (plus GST) Non Members
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About this event

This two-day forum will bring together an exciting range of speakers, provide excellent networking opportunities and cover topics specifically identified by the Taituarā Workforce Working Party because of their relevance and importance to the sector.

The themes we will address using local government case studies, expert speakers and diverse panel sessions are:

  • Growing a more diverse workforce, with a specific focus in the construction profession
  • Addressing pay equity issues and designing inclusive workplaces
  • Building cultural confidence through HR systems
  • Innovative approaches to well-being and leadership

Don’t forget to save the date in your calendar so that you do not miss out on this development opportunity, and most importantly the opportunity to connect with your colleagues across the country.

Who should attend:

  • Local government chief executives
  • Local government professionals in the HR and people leadership space
  • AskYourTeam Emerging HR Leader Prize applicants

Please see the AskYourTeam Emerging HR Leader Prize application in the Events Documents section on this page.

DAY ONE: Thursday 1 July 2021

9.30am Mihi Whakatau

9.45am Welcome to the forum

10.00am Living and working in the new New Zealand: the challenges of change

Professor Paul Spoonley, Massey University

Paul is one of New Zealand's most distinguished academics, a sociologist and public commentator on population trends, cultural understanding and ethnicity. He is the author or editor of 28 books. The most recent are an edited book, Rebooting the Regions (2016) while his book, The 'New' New Zealand. Facing Demographic Disruption was published in late 2020 (it is now in its second edition). He is also writing a book on the extreme right in this country. He was a Programme Leader of a research programme on the impacts of immigration and diversity in Aotearoa.

10.45am Morning tea

11.25am Addressing pay equity

Cathy Hendry, Managing Director, Strategic Pay
Maria Green, Learning & Development Lead, Rotorua Lakes Council

This workshop will provide context on pay equity and explore how Rotorua Lakes Council assessed and addressed its pay gap over three to four years. Looking at the analysis undertaken in conjunction with Strategic Pay over the last three years, the approach and tools used for this analysis, the issues identified through this analysis and the action taken - the approach and practices developed and implemented to address the gaps identified and the outcomes of these actions on the pay gap.

This will include opportunity for discussion amongst the group and sharing of other councils’ experiences.

1.00pm Lunch

1.45pm Cultural confidence, one word at a time

Tūraukawa Bartlett, Director, Manavation

This interactive session focuses on language being the gateway to a Māori worldview – a people connecting worldview. Providing a practical perspective of how to bring cultural confidence to life through all HR systems.

2.45pm A word from our sponsor: Civic Financial Services

Ian Brown, Chief Executive, Civic Financial Services

3.15pm Afternoon tea

3.30pm Growing women in construction

Kelly Bennett, Principal Advisor for Women, BCITO

BCITO is passionate about leading the construction industry to create the best-skilled people for tomorrow and recognises women as an important part of the construction workforce. BCITO have set a target to have women making up 10% of all apprentices. Women currently make up 4% of all BCITO apprentices and Kelly will share with us the journey BCITO are on to support women in making trades a viable career choice and employers in hiring a more diverse workforce.

With this in mind Kelly will be able to share with us insights as to how the work BCITO are doing fit into the big picture of growing a more diverse construction workforce.

4.15pm What’s coming up?

James Lord, Manager Workforce Leadership, Taituarā

An update on Taituarā, including the development of the local government workforce strategy

4.45pm Close of day one

5.00pm Networking drinks

DAY TWO: Friday 2 July 2021

9.30am Welcome to day two

9.45am Harnessing neurodiversity: tapping into your council's hidden potential

Callum McKirdy,

Callum helps organisations design inclusive workplaces that harness the potential & power of neurodiversity. In this session, Callum will explore:

  • What, where and who your neurodiverse cohorts are
  • Why considering neurodiversity as a key facet of your D&I strategy is just that - very strategic!
  • Given all workforces comprise a subset of neurodiverse professionals, how do we uncover, unlock and unleash their potential?
  • Why most organisations are yet to harness this untapped existing their detriment

10.45am Morning tea

11.00am Workforce strategy workshop
James Lord, Manager Workforce Leadership, Taituarā

12.00pm Lunch

12.45pm Well-being and leadership

Wiremu Matthews, Kānuka, Kaiwhakahaere | Directors Wellbeing
Steve Hersey, Kānuka, Kaiwhakahaere | Directors Leadership

Kānuka teach principles that build deep connection, get to root causes, shape professional environments for healthy, collaborative diversity and increase personal and team wellbeing. We work alongside both leaders and their team members to mentor and support wellbeing and leadership strategies that increase growth, results, energy and productivity of people.

2.45pm AskYourTeam Emerging HR Leader Prize

Representative from AskYourTeam

Help us celebrate the awarding of this inaugural prize to an HR professional within local government. Our thanks to AskYourTeam for supporting the HR profession through this prize - $2,500 towards their professional development.

3.00pm Close of forum


Tūraukawa Bartlett
Ngāti Whātua, Director, MANAVATION Cultural Confidence Specialists Read Profile
Paul Spoonley
Distinguished Professor, Massey University Read Profile
Callum McKirdy Read Profile
Kelly Bennett
Principal Advisor - Women, BCITO Read Profile
Wiremu Matthews
Kaiwhakahaere | Directors, Kānuka Wellbeing Read Profile
Steve Hersey
Kaiwhakahaere | Directors, Kānuka Leadership Read Profile
Cathy Hendry
Managing Director, Strategic Pay Read Profile
Maria Green
Advisor - L & D Lead Organisational and Capability Read Profile
Ian Brown
Chief Executive, Civic Financial Services Read Profile
Wendell D'Cunha
Chairperson of New Zealand Remuneration Network and Manager Reward at Auckland Council Read Profile