The Business Performance Working Party (BPP) supports SOLGM’s vision by promoting high standards of financial management, performance measurement and management, asset management, and the use of these disciplines as drivers of business transformation.


  • 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, the New Zealand Planning Institute etc)
  • 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 Business Performance Working Party Terms of Reference.pdf

Current Members:


Jim Palmer, Chief Executive - Waimakariri District Council

Deputy Chair:

Kevin Ramsey, Group Manager, Corporate Finance and Property - Auckland Council


Diane Brandish, Head of Financial Management - Christchurch City Council

Martin Fletcher, Chief Financial Officer - Marlborough District Council

Christine Jones, General Manager – Growth and Infrastructure - Tauranga City Council

Mike Nield, Director Corporate Services - Taranaki Regional Council

Bronda Smith, Chief Financial Officer - Central Hawkes Bay District Council

Ruth Stokes, Group Manager Infrastructure and Services - Dunedin City Council

Hamish Waugh, General Manager – Infrastructure - Manawatu District Council.

2015/16 Report from Financial Working Party Chair

David Ward, Selwyn District Council

Fraud and corruption prevention has been a topical issue during the year.One of the recurrent themes in the few cases that have come to light is that the “if you see something, say something” culture has broken down.The Financial Working Party (FWP), in conjunction with Deloitte Forensic, developed the programme for six one day Fraud and Corruption Prevention events which were held early in the financial year to strong interest - [159] delegates attending.This was a positive step towards building public confidence.SOLGM is currently considering developing an online resource to assist new staff with this issue at induction and also to act as a reminder of its importance for more experienced staff.

FWP completed a review of the 2015 financial and infrastructure strategies during the year.The review found that, in some cases the documents covered little more thanlimits on rates and debt, in terms of financial strategy with significantly more emphasis on the infrastructure strategy.

The working party responded to three OAG papers this year - the LTP report, Managing Financial Assets and the Auditor General’s report on Public Benefit Accounting Standards.FWP were pleased to have had input into shaping these papers, particularly the latter.

At the request of the Central Government/Local Government Chief Executives Forum, FWP administered a short survey looking at the prevalence of shared capability arrangements in the sector. The results showed that many local authorities are involved in six or more of these arrangements and that, while common, the corporate CCO is not the most prevalent.

The BERL adjustors are one of SOLGM’s most visible and most used products and during the year FWP undertook a long planned major review including a complete redevelopment of the adjustors and a reweighting of the Local Government Cost Index.

FWP also released an update of the guidance on pre-election reports in February with minor revisions.

The working party also provides input into two of SOLGM’s annual leading practice forums. The Funding and Rating Forum was held in November 2015 and was the biggest in terms of delegate numbers – 80, that we have seen for some years.It considered the impact of changes in the policy environment, such as changes inthe rating of Maori land, developments inthe regulation of rating valuations and affordability.

This year’s Strategic Finance Forum was held in Wellington and attracted 100 delegates and ‘sold out’.The Forum’s theme of ‘Finance as a Business Insight Activity’ featuring presentations that discussed how to move the finance function from a scorekeeper to a trusted advisor, clearly resonated with delegates.

Note: On 1 July 2016 this working party became the Business Performance Working Party.

FWP Members in 2015/16 year:

David Ward (Chair), Kevin Ramsey (Deputy), Richard Briggs (to December) Pam Bicknell (to March) Martin Fletcher, Mike Nield and David Paris.

Observers:Sarah Lineham (OAG), Keith Miller (DIA)

SOLGM Staff:Raymond Horan (lead), Shivani Makwana