We are delighted to advise you that Taituarā — Local Government Professionals Aotearoa has new members in its Executive Committee, starting 1 July 2021. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude for the fantastic mahi that three departing members have contributed to our organisation over the past three years.

Sanchia Jacobs who is Chief Executive at Central Otago District Council was elected unopposed as President. We would like to share this message from Sanchia below.

Ehara tāku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini
My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective

At a time when our sector faces unparalleled change, it is an honour to have the support of my peers and to accept this nomination as President for Taituarā.

I passionately believe in the power of local government to deliver effective outcomes to the communities we serve. I am the current Chief Executive of Central Otago District Council, Otago CE Lead in 3 Waters, and a member of the Auditor-General’s Local Government Advisory Group. My career has spanned both central and local government, experience that will be critical at a time when, more than ever, these two arms of government must work closely together.

When I became Vice President of Taituarā a year ago, I said that I was particularly keen to work as part of a collective to consider the future for our sector. On Friday 23 April a Ministerial Review on the Future for Local Government was announced. It will be a comprehensive review, and as a sector we have an important role in the conversation to frame a future that ensures continued wellbeing outcomes to our communities. As President, myself and the Executive Board will work tirelessly together to ensure your voice is heard on behalf of those communities, and that your interests are represented in the exciting new future we have the chance to help create.

We are faced with a once in a generation opportunity – this is the chance to rethink the continuum of governance, funding and partnerships so that collectively we deliver more effective, ambitious, equitable and necessary outcomes to the environment and communities across Aotearoa. It would be hard to overstate the importance of this opportunity, or the necessity to be strategic, to be tactical and to be calm as we steer the waka through uncharted waters.

The conversations we will have around reform are critical, but so too is backing Taituarā to continue to deliver outstanding training, advocacy and advice to our membership – thankfully, this little organisation already packs a punch well above its weight, and it will be my privilege to support Karen Thomas and her team to continue to work their magic for local government as we all navigate the seas ahead.

He waka eke noa
We are all in this together

Jo Miller who is Chief Executive at Hutt City Council was elected unopposed as Vice President. We would like to share this message from Jo below.

Kei aku nui, kei aku rahi, tēnā koutou katoa
To my esteemed peers / colleagues, I greet you all

I’m enormously grateful to colleagues for nominating me as Vice President of Taituarā. After a career spanning many years predominately in local government, but also across tiers of government and in different sectors in the UK, including active involvement in public service reform and leadership development at Solace UK, the sister organisation of Taituarā, I arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand two years ago to take up the role as Chief Executive at Hutt City Council.

I’ve been actively involved in Taituarā from the start, joining the board a year ago as Wellington Regional Representative. I have enjoyed meeting, listening and learning from many colleagues here and offer my service to the leadership of our sector, in support of President Sanchia Jacobs, the Executive Board, Karen Thomas and her team as we navigate significant reform in local government, which sits in the context of a time of great change for our planet.

Globally, nationally and locally we face era-scale change. We need to move to different energy sources, to take much greater care of how we use land and natural resources. We need to reduce our waste and protect the environment that sustains us, whilst also facing the automation of all routine work. This means that everything will need to be done differently - where and how people live, how and where work happens, how people travel, how food is supplied, how learning happens.

Whilst this is a global challenge requiring international action, and a national challenge requiring central government to create national /local incentives, the powers and funding to support urgently needed change, above all it is a community challenge. Community by community, how and where we live, work, learn and connect is where impacts will hit home and 'doing differently' will actually take place. Local government has a pivotal role to play in enabling our people to make these 21st century transitions in a way that protects and enhances well-being.

Because we need to make change on every front, we have the opportunity and responsibility to build pathways that create new futures for our communities. To do that we need new systems which are grounded in concepts such as ora meaning that they are inherently designed to enhance well-being for all. Our biggest challenge is inequity, but to beat it we must focus on ‘ora’.

It’s vital that Taituarā remains a leading voice for you, our sector and our communities. We must be a strong advocate, an upholder of the highest standards, a trusted source of advice and training, growing the leadership capacity and capability of local government professionals in Aotearoa. It will be my privilege to work in support of this as Taituarā Vice President.

Mā tini, mā mano ka rapa te whai

By many, by thousands, the work will be accomplished

We are also pleased to have three new branch representatives:

Jason Marris who is General Manager Engagement and Transformation at Kaipara District Council was elected unopposed as the Northern Branch representative.

Monique Davidson who is Chief Executive at Central Hawke's Bay District Council and the Taituarā representative on the Three Waters Steering Committee was elected unopposed as the Central Branch representative.

Simon Markham who is Manager Strategic Projects at Waimakariri District was elected unopposed as the Top of the South Branch representative.

The new team will serve from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2023.

We warmly welcome them all to their roles (even though they are not new to the Taituarā Executive Committee). We look forward to working with Sanchia, Jo, Jason, Monique, and Simon, as well as Tanya Winter (Chief Executive of Ōtorohanga District Council) and Louise van der Voort (Executive Manager, Planning and Environment at Central Otago District Council) over the next term. Jo and Sanchia leave vacancies on the Executive Committee and we’ll keep you updated about how they will be filled.

We would like thank Phil Wilson for his four years serving us as President as well as a huge ten years on the Executive Committee. We are also grateful to Craig Stevenson who has contributed four years on the Executive Committee, including three as Vice President. A huge thanks also to Kym Fell who has served three years on the Executive Committee.

Thank you so much Phil, Craig, and Kym for your unswerving support and the considerable knowledge and expertise you have all so generously shared for the benefit of Taituarā members and their communities across our country. Tēnā rawa atu koutou e hoa.