If you’re an elected member, it’s important to have support beyond the council or boardroom table. When you need a confidential ear or advice, we’re here for you.
We connect our members to build a strong support system, skills and knowledge, best practice and innovation.
We use our experience and influence to advocate for councils and help you to deal with the critical issues facing your communities.
We support you through learning and development, events and networking opportunities and we support councils through consulting and accreditation programs that drive performance.
And we enable participation of all people, views and ambitions to support true representation and the best possible local outcomes for Aotearoa New Zealand.
We champion things that matter.
- We represent councils and speak with one strong national voice.
- We connect with Central Government to advocate for local democracy.
- We work closely with media and influencers to tell meaningful local government stories every day.
- We provide policy advice and keep you up to date on new developments, changes and issues.
- We’re a trusted, confidential ear who understands what you’re facing.
Through our network of connections we can champion the things that matter most – instead of many separate inputs we are one strong national voice, delivering a consistent message that’s impossible to ignore. Our relationships mean early involvement in policy work, where we take an evidence-based position to our advocacy, as informed by you.
We provide media advice and coordination ensuring the public hears your stories, understands your value and the reputation of local government is enhanced.
And as a non-partisan collective, we work with the government of the day to advance the interests of communities across the motu. We provide the critical connection between central and local government maintaining relationships so we can talk to the right people at the right time, about the right things. Through our deep and wide network of connections, we can reflect your views to the advisors, influencers and change-makers who are shaping the future around us. When Ministers want to talk to local government, whether about national crises, major policy programmes or localised issues, they come to us.
Perhaps most importantly, we’re a trusted and confidential sounding board who understands the ins and outs of both councils and community boards to help you find the right solutions.
Learning and development
We foster learning at the speed of change.
- We offer a comprehensive learning and development program, Ākona, for you to learn, share and connect.
- We build capability through programmes, resources, tools and assurance to help you not just learn, but thrive.
- Our expert policy team share advice on anything and everything local government that comes out of the Beehive and beyond.
Government policy, legislation and regulation, the rules of governance, appropriate tikanga - it’s a steep learning curve sometimes. We break it down into manageable chunks and support you in your learning. Our expert policy team keep you up to date with latest developments, provide policy interpretation and share advice on anything that might affect you. It’s our role to keep you updated on what change means for you and your community.
Our programme of professional development is designed specifically to support elected members through every experience with a comprehensive induction for new and returning members and an ongoing programme of upskilling for all. Our learning and development program, Ākona, includes face-to-face learning, online learning and bite sized learning to build the skills and knowledge needed to grow your governance expertise and confidence.
Networking and events
We create connections to bring strength to the whole sector.
- We create forums where you can network to find inspiration, common ground and support.
- Our sector and member groups provide a space for targeted conversations, advocacy and connection in safe environments.
- We create opportunities for local government representatives to participate in central government advisory groups so their expertise and knowledge can be shared.
- We run regular events, sector meetings, webinars and our annual conference to share best practice.
Networking, events and opportunities to connect with your peers is vital for our elected members. It’s complicated work and at times, thankless and isolating. Often only other elected members or staff really understand. Which is why we create forums where our council members can network, learn from experts and each other, share knowledge and be supported. Our national conference, webinar series and awards programme are all designed to share best practice and innovation while providing valuable support.
We support continuous improvement.
- Good leadership is a key ingredient to a healthy culture. Our executive performance programme promotes strong leadership to drive high-performing teams.
- Our service level reviews and council health checks help to see how your council is performing and to identify areas of improvement.
- Our CouncilMARK assessment programme provides a comprehensive review of council performance and makes this transparent for your community.
Councils are big local employers and multi-million-dollar operations. This means local government staff and elected members need strong governance skills, financial knowledge, and risk management expertise.
Our consultancy arm, EQUIP provides tailored services and solutions to get your council humming. With a focus on good governance and executive performance to strengthen council performance, we’ll help to build your capability and embed strong practice. Our executive recruitment services help you to secure and retain top talent when appointing Chief Executives.
A council’s work is never done just like the journey to improvement is an ongoing one. Our CouncilMARK™ programme offers an independent assessment system that assesses how councils are performing and the work they're doing to grow the value they deliver.
Diversity and inclusion
We’re a voice for everyone.
- We ensure everyone can participate, thrive and be represented by local government.
- We create networks where diversity is nurtured and supported.
- We promote elections encouraging more diversity in local democracy and advocate for civics education.
- We’re non-partisan, with wide and deep networks of contacts.
- We provide a home for programmes that support and fund the sector.
We are a neutral, non-partisan collective providing a forum for all members of local government to speak and be heard. We work with the diversity across the sector to create greater understanding, connection and empathy for all.
We work arm-in-arm with Taituarā, the membership body for local government officials and our networks, like our Young Elected Members group and Te Maruata, are future-focused and championing a truly diverse and representative local democracy.
We provide a home for programmes that support and fund the sector, with expert staff that manage and administer programmes such as Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs, a partnership with the Ministry of Social Development which distributes over $14m straight to communities to help our rangatahi into jobs.
We are the unashamed champions of local democracy. This year we promoted the local body elections with a national campaign so every council can gain more voters who care. And not just for this year – we are advocating for the inclusion of civics education in the school curriculum to build engagement and participation in future voters.