This retreat is a biennial gathering of Taituarā members to hear from inspirational speakers, discuss topical issues, and network with others in the local government sector, while enjoying Wānaka's relaxing environment.

  • 30 Jan 2022-01 Feb 2022
  • 09:00 - 17:00
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  • Edgewater Resort, Wanaka, New Zealand

About this event

Registrations for the 2022 Wānaka Retreat are open now, find the form here.

Keynote speakers confirmed include:

  • Professor Michael Baker
  • Professor Paul Spoonley
  • Economist, Tony Alexander
  • Kainga Ora

The Wānaka Retreat is organised by the 45 South Branch and is open to Taituarā members.


Sunday 30 January 2022

From 6.00pm Welcome BBQ Edgewater Resort

Monday 31 January 2022

9.00am Welcome
MC – Mr Darren Ludlow

9.05am Mayoral welcome His Worship the Mayor of Queenstown Lakes
Mr Jim Boult

9.15am Keynote - important lessons from Aotearoa New Zealand’s ongoing response to COVID-19 Epidemiologist
Professor Michael Baker, Otago University

10.15am Morning tea

10.45am Kāinga Ora - building homes and supporting communities in Otago and Southland.
Ms Kerrie Young, Regional Director, South Canterbury/ Otago/Southland, Kāinga Ora Homes and Communities

11.30am Keynote - An economic outlook
The generally positive outlook for our economy when considered in terms of demand for exports, buildings, household goods etc. But NZ has become a capacity-constrained economy and the lack of labour in particular has substantial implications for business growth plans and how to achieve them, along with inflation and interest rates.
Mr Tony Alexander, Economist

12.15pm Lunch

1.00pm An update from Simpson Grierson
Ms Sarah Scott, Partner

1.15pm Keynote - Demographic Disruption
"What Does That Mean for Te Waipounamu in the 2020s and 2030s? New Zealand is joining the rest of the high-income world as fertility drops, there is rapid ageing and many regional and rural areas face stagnant or declining populations. New Zealand is late to the party and still had replacement level fertility in 2014. Since then, the Total Fertility Rate has dropped by 29% and is now well below replacement levels. This ageing + declining fertility demography was masked in the 2017-20 period by extremely high rates of both permanent and temporary fertility. This has distorted long term trends and misled many local authorities into thinking that recent rapid population growth would continue. This is obvious in some (not all) Long Term Plans (2021-2031). The South Island highlights the range of demographic futures, from regions that have seen population decline through to growth nodes or those that have been boosted by high levels of population and the impacts of mass tourism. COVID has highlighted the demographic trends now emerging, especially the negative elements, the reliance on migration and on particular industries such as tourism. The “labour crunch” (which has been occurring for a decade around the high income world but again has been hidden by migration rates) has become much more obvious. What are the implications? What can local authorities expect as they manage changing demographics? What are the options? Is there adequate political and policy knowledge and understanding?
Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, Massey University

2.45pm Afternoon tea

3.15pm Keynote - views on New Zealand business particularly in respect of the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Phil O’Reilly, Iron Duke Partners, former head of Business New Zealand

4.00pm Presentation on civic projects
Mr Luke van Velthooven, APL

Free time

6.00pm Pre-dinner drinks Edgewater Resort

6.30pm Dinner Edgewater Resort

8.00pm-late Entertainment
The Rat Pack Edgewater Resort

Tuesday 1 February 2022

9.00am General update from Taituarā, including the Future of Local Government
Mrs Karen Thomas, Chief Executive and TBC Taituarā President

9.30am Reflections on returning to local government from the private sector.
Hamish Riach, Chief Executive, Ashburton District Council

9.50am Reflections post retirement as a Chief Executive and an insight into what I have been doing since.
Lindsay McKenzie, former Chief Executive, Tasman District Council

10.10am Morning tea

10.30-11.30am Keynote - Personal resilience and mitigating burnout.
Why it is that people are feeling overwhelmed and have heightened emotions, how to manage uncertainty and adversity, how to reduce worry and the importance of positive action. How to motivate and energise ourselves when at work, how to switch off at the end of a busy day, how to get to sleep within just a few breaths and have a more restful sleep. And much more.
Mr Lance Burdett, Managing Director, Warn International

11.30-12.15pm Presentation on key projects that Great South is involved with and the challenges Southland faces as a region.
The opportunity to make the most of these across the various industry sectors represented throughout Southland. Also, thoughts on the transformation of the airline industry as it faces unprecedented challenges due to Covid and climate change.
Mr Ian Collier, Chairman, Great South Regional Development Agency