Parks and playground feature- September

Rotorua waterfront – artist representation

Park and Playground feature-September 2020

In September’s issue of the magazine we feature new community assets that have either recently opened or are due to open this year. If your council or organisation has a project completed or one underway, and would like to share this with our readership we would like to hear about it.

Please email editor Alan Titchall if you would like to discuss an editorial opportunity. If you have any questions regarding advertising please contact Charles Fairbairn.

The grass is greener in lockdown level 2

NPDC staff haven’t been letting the grass grow under their feet since getting back on the fields after the Covid-19 lockdown.

With winter sports looming fast and people heading out to enjoy the last of the golden autumn weather, the team has gone that extra mile to get our parks and reserves – some of which went up to 8 weeks without a good mow during the unprecedented state of national emergency – back into top nick.

The district has about 283 hectares of grass along our 82km of walkways and 1,600 hectares of parks and reserves.

“It’s a huge area to mow, but we’ve been pulling out all the stops and taken on extra contractors that’s helped us to catch up with the backlog in some areas, while working under safe Alert Level 2 working rules. Employing the additional contractors is also a boost for local workers as we all work to get us Back On Our Feet,” said NPDC Infrastructure Manager David Langford.

“We’re lucky to have so many awesome green spaces, which are a big feature of our Lifestyle Capital, especially as we gear up for the winter sports season.”

The grass area includes 24 sports fields and some of the turf, like Yarrow Stadium, the Pukekura Park cricket ground and Puke Ariki Landing, requires special care.  

NPDC has 12 full-time equivalent staff on lawnmowing operations, and contractors help year round on areas such as steep banks and outside the main urban areas.  The team has also finished upgrading council sports fields and fully renewed the Pukekura Park outfield and cricket wickets.

Business as usual

While New Zealand is in lockdown mode it will be business but not as usual for local authorities.

Deemed to be an essential service provider much will be asked of these entities over the next month.

We are committed to covering the business of local government at this critical juncture.

In addition to our monthly magazine, we will be publishing a weekly newsletter during this time period to keep our audience informed, and advertising space is available on this product.

Contact Alan Titchall for any editorial queries or Charles Fairbairn for marketing and advertising.


Planning editorial feature- developing LTPs for 2021-2031

nzgbcNext year local authorities present new LTPs for approval, as per statutory requirements, and the process of collecting and communicating the documents is a lengthy, complex task.

In our May issue of Local Government magazine we will look at planning and the different challenges that creating a local authority plan generates. If your council is interested in participating in the editorial please contact Alan Titchall for more details.


Cyber security

As with any big business councils are vulnerable to cyber crime, but have an even greater commitment to, and obligation to protect, rate payer privacy.

In our May issue we run a feature on the latest developments and solutions in cyber security services.

If your team or council is interested in providing any comment or insight on this issue please contact Alan Titchall for more details.


GIS Modelling editorial feature

In April’s issue we look at geospatial information modelling in the current local government context.

The level of data generated from modelling software and the detail made available for ratepayers are important service offerings for local authorities.

We are interested in hearing back from GIS officers about the challenges they are facing as they manage data resources- if you would like to contribute please contact myself or Alan Titchall. Our deadline for content submissions is April 6th.

GHD announces new appointment


GHD has announced the appointment of a new manager for the New Zealand/Pacific region.

Seeing herself as a ‘leader of culture’, Van Tang is making a move across the Tasman as GHD’s Regional General Manager – New Zealand/Pacific. Van succeeds Al Monro who has taken up a new role as Commercial Manager, New Zealand.

Van has led GHD’s operations in South Australia since 2014, doubling revenue and employee numbers while also diversifying the portfolio of clients.

Van is passionate about building high-performing and diverse teams. She is a civil engineer with extensive experience in infrastructure, aviation and defence.

“The infrastructure challenges facing New Zealand – from water regulation to transportation and housing – put higher expectations on consultants to challenge current thinking and push the boundaries of what’s possible,” Van says. “Our performance is intrinsically linked to the range of skills, and diversity of background and experience we bring to our clients’ challenges.”




Report navigates well-being obligations


The NZ Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) launched a report last month to support local government chief executives and managers in their statutory responsibility to promote the well-being of their communities.

The report, Navigating Critical Transitions for the 21st Century, outlines five transitions that the sector needs to steer their communities through over the next decades, and a framework to structure thinking on how each transition can be made.

Amongst all the things that councils do, the critical transitions are: transition to low emissions living, transition to living in a disrupted climate, transition to a low waste society, transition to community interconnectedness, transition to learning-empowered communities.

SOLGM chief executive, Karen Thomas, says the report is an extension of SOLGM’s community well-being work and thinking about what we need to do over the next 30 years to reach a state of ‘well-being’.

“Each transition can be applied to a framework, which helps us to think about what is challenging us, and where we should be applying our energy and attention.

“There is already some fantastic work happening around these transitions, including at a Central government level. We’ll assist the sector to apply national frameworks and policies at a practical, local level with their communities.”

Over the next five years, she adds, the association will support the sector to lead their communities through change, and to articulate and navigate these transitions.

The full report can be downloaded at

Stormwater management


Pic caption – storm damage on Routeburn Track, February 2020.

In the April issue of Local Government magazine we discuss stormwater and the challenges of managing severe weather events, and the continued trend for GI projects in urban stormwater infrastructure.   We welcome your contribution to this discussion.

 Asset managers and consultants are invited to contribute to this topic- please contact Alan Titchall if you would like to participate in this feature. Editorial deadline is March 2nd.

We look forward to hearing from interested parties.

Local Government and community well-being e-learning



Have you heard about the recently launched SOLGM Local Government & Community Well-being e-learning?

The suite of interactive e-learning modules are aimed at introducing local government staff to the recent changes to the Local Government Act.

Module 1: An Introduction to Community Well-being

In this course you’ll learn about:

  • The history behind the shift to New Zealand’s well-being outlook.
  • Central Government’s Living Standards Framework approach to well-being measurement.
  • How central and local government approaches to well-being measurement align.
  • The four community well-beings and their indicators.
  • How progress is measured based on well-being indicators.

Module 2: How the Local Government Act Changed and what this means for Councils and Communities 

In this course you’ll learn about:

  • Changes to the Local Government Act.
  • What the changes mean for councils and communities.
  • How activities connect to community well-being outcomes.
  • How councils can involve their community in decision making.
  • Best practice methods of engagement.


To find out more about the Local Government & Community Well-being please contact SOLGM directly –

You can also visit the SOLGM website