Community Plan Forum

This forum is for those on the long and winding road to the 2018-28 long-term plans. This Forum brings together those local government managers and staff who are involved in direction-setting, community planning and engagement processes.

  • 14 Aug - 15 Aug
  • Macs Function Centre, Wellington
  • 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
  • $805.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $925.00 excl. GST. for non-members
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This forum is for those on the long and winding road to the 2018-28 long-term plans. This Forum brings together those local government managers and staff who are involved in direction-setting, community planning and engagement processes.

The year prior to the LTP is one for finalising the underpinning strategy and content in an LTP, testing with the elected members, refining and engaging with the community. This year’s forum will cover the things to remember as your council crosses the 365 day barrier – including issues, topics and processes. We’ll cover the expectations of the 2018 LTPs, and look at writing a great CD and using it to engage with the community. And we’ll also look at the growing influence of the spatial plan in thinking about the way we plan for our communities.

And as always we have the best and most inspirational of the new and innovative in community engagement including those honoured in the Council/Community Relations Category of the 2017 McGredy Winder SOLGM Excellence Awards ®.

Topics for this year include:

  • 320 days and counting – LTP readiness and some reminders
  • Consultation documents – tips from the coalface
  • Spatial planning
  • Resilience thinking and the LTP
  • The best of 2017 engagement
  • Expectations for 2018

Who should attend:

  • Chief executives
  • Strategic or corporate planners
  • Communications managers and staff
  • Policy people
  • Anyone else who works on or with community plans and planning

The Programme

Monday 14 August 2017

9.30 am Welcome and Icebreaker

Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

An introductory exercise get you talking to the people at your table and at other tables.

9.50 am LTP 2018 … 320 Days and Counting

Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

LTP year (if there is such a thing) has commenced, so to begin the Forum, Raymond will provide a few reminders of the areas of focus, some things to remember and a few things to think about.

Table Top Discussions:

As of today, where’s your 2018 LTP project at?

What’s keeping you awake at night?

What’s been smoother sailing than you expected?

What are your top three issues?

11.00 am Cellphone Clearance Break (Morning Tea)

11.20 am A Word from Our Sponsor: The Economy in 2017 and Beyond

Dr Ganesh Nana, Executive Director, BERL

Local authority plans have a very strong economic underpinning. Who better than New Zealand’s leading economic forecaster to talk about the direction of the New Zealand economy heading in the short-medium term, and the challenges and risks?

12.00 Noon Spatial and Integrated Planning

Ree Anderson, Director, Ree Anderson Consulting Limited

David Totman, Principal Advisor, Waipa District Council

Richard Hughes, Principal Specialist Auckland Plan Implementation, Auckland Council

There’s a lot on with spatial planning, including potentially SOLGM dipping its toes in the water. This panel will share progress on the various initiatives in progress, talk about the benefits for all councils, and reflect on different approaches

1.00 pm Lunch

1.45 pm Workshops: Round One

Choose one from:

  • a. Early Engagement on an LTP – an example from Tasman District Council
    Susan Edwards, Community Development Manager, Tasman District Council and Sharon Flood, Strategic Policy Manager, Tasman District Council

This year Tasman District Council decided not to engage the community on its 2017/8 annual plan. Rather than letting the opportunity pass them by, Tasman decided to engage the community on the issues and topics it expected the LTP might traverse. This presentation provides a practical example of what successful early engagement on an LTP might look like and will get you sharing your own experiences with early engagement

  • b. Resilience Thinking and the LTP
    Andrew Martin, Director, Rethink Consulting

Ask most people what they think of when they hear the term ‘resilience’ and most will give you and answer that revolves around the ‘traditional disaster preparedness and recovery’. This session will bring attention and awareness to the greater meaning of 'resilience' within a local government/local community context; and the need for this to be incorporated into long term planning. You’ll leave this session with a broader understanding of the challenges (and solutions) that will impact local government in coming years. Economic, energetic and environmental considerations will be factored in and integrated into a dynamic, engaging and memorable session.

  • c. Things for the SOLGM BIM and Tuning up the Engine Document
    Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

With the general election, SOLGM will be preparing a Briefing for the Incoming Minister and a document setting out things that might go on the list for legislative change. This is your chance to get all those niggly “gee I wish we could change that” issues on the table.

2.35 pm Workshops Round Two

Choose one from:

  • a. Early Engagement on an LTP – an example from Tasman District Council
    Susan Edwards, Community Development Manager, Tasman District Council and Sharon Flood, Strategic Policy Manager, Tasman District Council

A re-run of the session that runs at 1.45pm.

  • b. Resilience Thinking and the LTP
    Andrew Martin, Director Rethink Consulting

A re-run of the session that runs at 1.45pm.

  • c. Future Engagement: Is the Way We Do Things Fit for the Future?
    Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

A cross-working party team is looking at current and future trends and their implications for the way the sector engages with its communities. This session will be an interactive road-test of the thinking the group has done to date.

3.30 pm Cellphone Clearance Break (Afternoon Tea)

3.50 pm LTP Consultation Documents – Some Tips from the Coalface

Elizabeth Hughes, Director, Strategy & Communication

Many of you will be thinking about your consultation documents, how you identify key messages, the look and feel of the document. Elizabeth will provide some practical tips from the perspective of someone who has written CDs and helped others write them.

4.40 pm Planning for Migration in your Community
Nenad Petrovic, Population Forecaster & Consultant, .id

Migration is a huge challenge for those forecasting population change. Current unprecedented immigration levels combine with an already highly mobile population to present a changing picture for planners to scratch their heads over. However, the national story can sometimes be very different to what happens locally. This brief session will discuss some of the influences on immigration and internal migration that can shape your community.

5.10 pm Summing Up

5.15 pm Networking Drinks

Tuesday 15 August 2017

9.00 am Welcome to Day Two

9.05 am What’s Coming Up From SOLGM?

Chris Wilson, Senior Advisor Sector Improvement, SOLGM

The annual update on all of SOLGM’s good works, including an update on the progress of the Planning Working Party (which now has the oversight of SOLGM’s work in strategic planning and planning under the LGA and RMA).

9.25 am Engagement Panel

Three of the best from the 2017 engagement stories (note: these presentations follow one after the other).

The Draft Waimakariri Residential Red Zone Recovery Plan
Rachel McClung, Senior Policy Analyst, Waimakariri District Council

The Red Zone Recovery Plan identifies how 100 hectares of residential red zoned land will be used. Developing a credible plan with community support was a mission critical task for the council. The council’s engagement with the community features a new approach to engaging that has applications for literally any planning process.

The Draft Waimakariri Red Zone Recovery Plan was the winner of the 2017 McGredy Winder Supreme Award for Excellence in Local Government Management and the winner of the Innovation in Council Community Relations Category.

Education Horowhenua

Gary Good, Co-Chair Education Horowhenua and Joshua Wharton, Community Development Advisor , Horowhenua District Council

This is a story of a council and community working together to address an issue of pressing concern, but that some might view as outside the role of local government. The council and community have taken an approach that might be described as ‘it takes a village’ to make a real difference to educational outcomes. This is one for those wanting some practical ideas for bringing the community and voluntary sector, the private sector and others ‘to the table’.

10.30 am Cellphone Clearance Break (Morning Tea)

10.50 am Dogs of the Western Bay

Alison Curtis, Compliance & Monitoring Manager and Emily Rogers, Policy & Planning Manager, Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Dog control policies and bylaws can be amongst the hottest of ‘hot button issues in the community’. Alison and Emily will tell a story of a young homeless pup and how he and Western Bay made the dog control policy fun, accessible and easy to digest.

Education Horowhenua and Dogs of the Western Bay were joint runners up in the Innovation in Council Community Relations Category of the 2017 McGredy Winder SOLGM Excellence Awards.

11.20 am An inclusive approach to the Annual Budget consultation. Auckland Council – Citizen Engagement and Insights team

Angeline Barlow , Citizen and Customer Engagement Manager , Auckland Council

With a rapidly growing diverse population, the council needed to find ways to improve its reach, particularly with ethnic communities who rarely engage. This case study tells how through a targeted and focused approach as well as keeping community at the forefront of thinking, improvements can be made. There are no surprises that equally integral to successful engagement is the development and on-going commitment to community partnerships. Great things can be achieved when everyone is on the same page and has the same goal for their communities. This study also reminds us that regardless of ethnic background it is important to all our communities that their opinions and views are valued by decision-makers and is also a key factor to fostering a strong sense of belonging.

11.50 am The Local Government Act 2014 Changes or How to Avoid “Drafty Hall Syndrome”

Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

Changes made as part of the 2014 amendments to the Local Government Act mean that hearings in drafty halls can be a thing of the past. This session will serve both as a reminder and an opportunity to share ideas.

Table Top Discussion

Has your local authority given any thought as to how it will ‘interact with the public in spoken or New Zealand language format’ with the coming LTP? If not, then how did your local authority handle this at its most recent Annual Plan discussion?

12.30 pm Auditing the Future Some Things to Remember in the Next 319 Days

Hugh Jory, Sector Manager - Local Government, Office of the Auditor-General

And to finish, a session informing and reminding you what you can expect from your audit provider, and the Office of the Auditor-General over the next 319 days. Including financial and infrastructure strategies, the consultation documents and other things that the auditors look for when they are auditing the future

1.20 pm Summing Up, Announcement of 2018 Venue and Close

1.30 pm Close


  • Andrew Martin

    Director, Rethink Consulting

    B.Bus / Dip Financial Services (Securities Institute of Australia)

    Andrew is an independent analyst, strategic thinker, author and Director of Rethink Consulting. Prior to establishing Rethink Consulting Andrew worked with many of the world’s leading investors, analysts and traders in the financial markets throughout Australasia and North America. Andrew is passionate about facilitating change and building more resilient and robust communities and businesses to thrive in a changing world. Andrew is the architect and developer of the Martin Resilience Index (MRI) and Martin Resilience Assessment (MRA) which are tools to help build resilience at a community, organisational and regional level.

  • Dr Ganesh Nana

    Chief Economist - BERL

    Ganesh is Chief Economist at BERL (Business and Economic Research Limited) - a privately owned, independent economic research consultancy. His current focus is on the Māori economy, and the inter-relationship of the Māori economy to the wider New Zealand economy.

    Ganesh has over 30 years of experience in the field of economics since first working as a researcher at Victoria University and joining BERL in 1983. His experience includes a variety of contract project work for BERL, research, tutoring and lecturing at Victoria University, as well as macroeconomic policy analysis and forecasting during a four-year stint in the UK using the IMF Multimod model.

    Despite his passion for numbers, Ganesh believes economics is about people; their jobs, incomes, opportunities and futures. He strongly believes robust economic analysis is critical to ensuring informed choices and policy decisions are made, that have positive effects on the life and prospects of New Zealanders.

  • Hugh Jory

    Sector Manager - Local Government, Office of the Auditor-General

    Hugh joined the Office of the Auditor-General in 2016. He is responsible for local authorities and related entities in the Canterbury, West Coast, and Taranaki regions. He also has responsibility for electricity lines businesses, administering bodies and boards, and cemetery trusts audited by the Office.

    Before joining the Office, Hugh was an Audit Manager at Audit New Zealand.

  • Ms Susan Edwards

    Community Development Manager, Tasman District Council

    Susan Edwards is Tasman District Council’s Community Development Manager. She is responsible for Council’s libraries, customer services, strategic policy (including the Long Term Plan and Annual Plan), reserves and community facilities, and community relations.

    Susan has been at Tasman District Council for nine years. She moved to Tasman from Wellington, where she worked as Local Government New Zealand’s Environment and Regulation Manager for several years.

    Prior to that Susan worked in a variety of management and policy roles at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Wellington Regional Council, Department of Internal Affairs Local Government and Community Policy Unit, Taupo District Council and the Department of Lands and Survey in Nelson.

    Susan has a strong commitment to the local government sector and appreciation for the fantastic work that councils do for their communities.

  • Rachel McClung

    Senior Policy Analyst, Waimakariri District Council

    Rachel McClung is a Senior Policy Analyst working for the Waimakariri District Council. Rachel believes that in local government we must put our people and communities at the heart of what we do.

    Rachel led the team that delivered the draft Waimakariri Residential Red Zone Recovery Plan. Development of this plan involved extensive community consultation. This project won the SOLGM Innovation in Council Community Relations 2017 category and the McGredy Winder 2017 SOLGM Local Government Excellence ® Award.

    Rachel holds an MSc.Hons (Resource Management) from Lincoln University and is a full member of the New Zealand Planning Institute.

  • Emily Rogers

    Policy & Planning Manager, Western Bay of Plenty District Council

    Emily is the Policy and Planning Manager at Western Bay of Plenty District Council, and is responsible for strategic planning, policies and bylaws. She joined Western Bay in 2015, and led the project team for the Dog Control Policy and Bylaw review. Emily has previously worked in policy and planning roles at Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rangitikei District Council.

  • David Totman

    Principal Advisor, Waipa District Council

    David has enjoyed a diverse planning career His work has ranged from detailed master planning for new development to strategic spatial planning for future development.

    He has worked variously at a central government, regional government and local government level and managed a planning and environmental consultancy for 15 years.

    David currently works as Principal Policy Advisor at Waipa District Council. In addition for the last two years he has been lecturing part time to planning students at Waikato University.

  • Ree Anderson

    Director, Ree Anderson Consulting Limited

    Ree Anderson established her own planning consulting business in April 2016. She is a qualified town planner, full member of the NZPI, a certified Independent Hearing Commissioner and a seconded board member of Prefab NZ.

    Ree draws on her extensive local government experience which includes leading the development of the first spatial plan for Auckland and heading up the former Auckland Council Housing Project Office to:

    • Work alongside district and regional councils to advance spatial planning using a unique spatial planning toolbox
    • Assist developers to navigate the complexity of local and central government to achieve quality integrated developments
  • Nenad Petrovic

    Population Forecaster & Consultant - .id

    Nenad has worked with .id as a population forecaster for more than six years. In this time, he has had the opportunity to examine many different parts of Australia and New Zealand through a demographic lens while assessing how different places interact, what their roles and functions are and how they will change in the future.

    Understanding suburbs, towns, cities, regional centres and entire territorial authorities and being able to tell a story of a place through data is one of .id’s key strengths. Their online resources are widespread across Australia and have assisted council staff in making informed decisions about planning, investment and resource allocation for twenty years.

    Nenad has a strong background in spatial analysis and GIS, statistics, demographics and has worked in New Zealand local government for almost five years before crossing the ditch. He is satisfied when showing people the benefits and power of using demographic information to make informed decisions, especially when coupled with spatial analysis.

  • Elizabeth Hughes

    Director - Strategy & Communication

    Elizabeth is passionate about local democracy, and the accessibility, transparency and relevance of councils within the communities they serve.

    Elizabeth’s career spans 20 years as a senior manager for Hamilton City, Tauranga City and Waikato Regional councils. She also spent six years as communication and strategy leader for Local Government New Zealand. Her qualifications include a degree in resource management and a post- graduate diploma in communication.

    For the past three years Elizabeth has run her own business working with elected members and council managers as a facilitator and consultant advisor around strategic change, engagement, customer service, internal/external and crisis communication and media. She is also a columnist for the LG News magazine - providing fresh insights and/or practical advice on local government issues.

  • Angeline Barlow

    Citizen and Customer Engagement Manager

    Angeline has been at Auckland Council since its inception in November 2010. She has spent the last 20 years in local government and public sector communication and engagement roles and is currently the Citizen and Customer Engagement Manager. Her role is primarily centred on leading engagement and consultation for the council. Her team is tasked with creating a centre of excellence in engagement and leading best practice in this field. She sees community partnerships as integral to success. Angeline is passionate about working in local government and the opportunities it provides to make a difference in the community.

  • Alison Curtis

    Compliance and Monitoring Manager

    Alison has a portfolio that includes animal services, food and health licensing, and district plan compliance activities. She has been at Western Bay for 2 years and has an education and assisted compliance approach.

    Previously Alison lead regulatory change processes for Wellington City Council including the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, Food Act and regional initiatives including outsourcing of Wellington’s animal services to Hutt City Council. She also was the transitional change manager for in-housing of Wellingtons parking services.

    Alison is a member of national working groups including the Food Act Regulators Forum, LG Alcohol reference group and the GREG 3DN working group.

    “The best way to encourage creativity is to give yourself permission to see things differently”

  • Joshua Wharton

    Community Development Advisor

    Joshua Wharton is a Community Development Advisor for the Horowhenua District Council.

    At only 22, he is responsible for the facilitation of a large number of community forums, grants, and contracted services.
    In addition, he is the Welfare Manager for the Horowhenua District, and has been part of a team working on the creation of community artworks outside of Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, a new community centre in Foxton that embraces both Maori and Dutch culture.