The Planning and Accountability Working Party (PWP) promotes high standards of integrated planning and policy development, and the associated accountability and reporting arrangements. The PWP primarily focuses on planning and reporting under the Local Government Act 2002, district planning, spatial/integrated strategic planning, and the planning requirements of other legislation.


  • Monitor the environment within which local authorities operate and provide the Executive with timely advice on issues that fall within its responsibilities.
  • Develop and present sector responses on issues in response to developments in the policy and operational environment, or in anticipation of such developments. Development of such responses may be in conjunction with other bodies (for example, Local Government New Zealand and the New Zealand Planning Institute).
  • Identify good practice in local authority planning and disseminate this to the local government sector.
  • Identify training and professional development needs relevant to planning, and develop or commission programmes to meet those needs.
  • Build relationships with those stakeholders with interests in, or the ability to influence, planning policy and practice in local authorities.

View/download the Planning and Accountability Working Party Terms of Reference.pdf

Current Members

Chair: Wendy Walker, Chief Executive - Porirua City

Deputy Chair: Sheryl Bryant, General Manager - City Futures at Palmerston North City Council


Susan Edwards, Community Development Manager - Tasman District Council

Michael Hodder, Community and Regulatory Services Group Manager - Rangitikei District Council

David McCorkindale, Senior Manager Strategic Planning - Horowhenua District Council

Rebecca Perrett, General Manager Environmental Services - Tauranga City Council

Katherine Quinn, Senior Strategic Planner - Hauraki District Council

David Totman, Principal Advisor - Waipa District Council

Kataraina O'Brien, Strategic Engagement Manager - Bay of Plenty Regional Council

2017/18 Report from the Acting Planning and Accountability Working Party Chair

Wendy Walker, Chief Executive, Porirua City Council

With 2017/8 being LTP year, my first year as Working Party Chair has been a relatively quiet one.

Our main focus for the year has been in ensuring that SOLGM and the sector are well placed to capture the lessons from the 2018 LTP round. During the year we've progressed the review of the methodology for the:

  • LTP debriefing (which has just gone to LTP Project Managers as I write this)
  • Review of the 2018 crop of financial and infrastructure strategies (which includes the first two combined financial and infrastructure strategies).

A record 56 local authorities have entered this year's SOLGM Great CD competition. I look forward to seeing the announcement at this year's Community Plan Conference in August.

One of our main shop windows for the year is the annual Community Plan Forum, which this year was held at Mac's Brewery and Function Centre, Wellington. I'm advised there were 96 attendees this year with the event scoring a perfect 100% audience evaluation on the two dimensions that SOLGM uses as performance measures. Members of the Planning and Accountability Working Party (PWP) noted a lot of new faces at the event this year, which may suggest a higher than usual level of turnover amongst corporate planning staff. The support of our sponsors BERL and .id is gratefully acknowledged.

This year SOLGM also 'rebooted' the Communications Forum as the Communications and Engagement Forum. The event, held in November in Queenstown, attracted a more than respectable 68 attendees and received 98% audience ratings for usefulness of the learning and satisfaction with the overall event.

I thank the following people for their contribution to the PWP during the year: Sheryl Bryant, Susan Edwards, Michael Hodder, David McCorkindale, Rebecca Perrett, Katherine Quinn and David Totman. The PWP gratefully acknowledges the assistance of staff from the Office of the Auditor-General and Karen Thomas' team in National Office.

We were encouraged to hear that for the second straight LTP round no local authority has received an adverse audit opinion on either the consultation document or the LTP proper. This has always been viewed as one of the preconditions for entering into a serious discussion with central government about the checks and balances on LTPs. This should form part of the Long Term Plan debrief with central government.