This is not another conference. This is an Unconference. This is peer-to-peer learning at its best. It will be exciting, inspiring and meet the needs right now of public sector communicators.

About this event

PLEASE NOTE: This event is supported by Taituarā, but has been organised by a team of council comms people. For any questions in relation to this event please contact Maria De Cort

The world is changing. People’s expectations of local government are changing, which means it also needs to change. The public service is full of hugely passionate people who will bring about that change – people like YOU! This is a forum to inspire and learn from each other, so we can drive that change.

'Talk It Up' is organised by a small group of local government communications professionals, supported by Taituarā. The event will appeal to communications and community engagement practitioners, but organisers are encouraging everyone in the public sector with an interest in improving how government engages with communities to get involved. If you’re a senior leader trying to figure out this brave new world of Local Government and what it will mean for you, then this unconference is full of magical people who can help inspire your thinking.

What will happen at the Talk It Up unconference?

Unlike other conferences where there is a set agenda, there is no set programme for Talk It Up. Attendees will decide what is important together on the day by pitching topics they wish to discuss, then breaking out into sessions to explore these topics together.

Here are a few of the topics we covered at Talk It Up 2022 to get your brain buzzing:

1. How to reach and engage with tangata whenua

2. Tools techniques and resources for youth engagement

3. How to drive sustainability efforts and behaviour change

4. Use of participatory democracy and community-led solutions

5. Measuring the true impact of communication and engagement.

We’re also excited to introduce Talk It Up, Day 2!

Based on attendee feedback in 2022, we’re excited to offer half day workshops on 4 July! These hands-on workshops will run from 9am-12pm with two incredible change makers:

The Facilitators Toolkit with Kerri Price - Are you regularly asked to facilitate meetings or workshops, and want to make sure you’re doing it well? Would you like some simple tools for encouraging open discussion, collaboration and consensus? In this workshop you will get clear about what great facilitation looks like and how you can use simple tools to help guide discussions in an effective way. Gather some practical frameworks for making sure everyone gets a chance to speak, and that the loudest voices aren’t the only ones being heard---plus, learn some simple techniques for managing challenging behaviours in a workshop setting. This workshop will be fast-paced, fun and interactive and you’ll leave with a bunch of new tools for your kete.

The Conditions for Codesign with Paul McGregor: What makes codesign different from other approaches and how can we set our organisation up for success with codesign? This is for people who are early in their journey of implementing codesign in their organisation.

Workshops are an additional $150pp, and will be run concurrently, so you have to pick one (tough choice, we know!). You can select your preferred workshop during registration.

How to enrol

Join your fellow changemakers on Monday 3rd July 2023 in Kirikiriroa Hamilton to discuss challenges, share ideas, and inspire change.

The first ticket release is from Wednesday 29 March. With only 50 spaces in each ticket release you need to get in quick! Go here to nab your ticket!

Need a bit more time to get your training application sorted? Make a note of the second ticket release date: Wednesday 19 April. Make sure you’re sorted by the 19th so you don’t miss out on being part of this inspiring event!

Make sure you also join Talk It Up on Facebook as momentum builds for the big day.


Jenni Cochrane
Communications Manager Read Profile
Maria De Cort
Communications Coordinator, Central Otago District Council Read Profile
Sonia Gerken
GM Communications/Customer Support Read Profile
Anna McLoughlin
Freelance Communications and Engagement Advisor Read Profile
Kaitlyn Wright
Digital Communications Specialist Read Profile