Community Plan Forum

This year’s forum focuses on the trends and issues that will ‘pop’ in the 2021-31 LTPs, as well as capturing the lessons from the 2018 LTP processes, making the LTP a living document (including LTP amendments and variations) and some of the best stories of community engagement.

  • 13 Aug - 14 Aug
  • Novotel Rotorua Lakeside, Rotorua
  • 13 Aug 9.45 am - 5.30 pm, 14 Aug 8.45 am - 12.40 pm; Venue: Novotel Rotorua Lakeside, Lake End Tutanekai Street, Rotorua, 3010
  • $805.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $925.00 excl. GST. for non-members
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This forum is for those starting the journey to the 2021-31 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 after adoption of an LTP is always something of a voyage of discovery as councils identify the trends and issues that shape the approach to the 2021 LTP. We’ll present the results of a Kiwi-based environmental scan using a tool imported from the States, we’ll get the annual economic data, and we’ll talk about forecasting risks and what happens when forecasts turn to custard.

Just as councils are doing their internal debriefing in the weeks after an LTP, the sector needs to reflect on the best and worst of LTP 2018. The results from this are always important for identifying the legislation that works (and what doesn’t) and shaping SOLGM’s suite of LTP related guidance. This includes hearing from the audit sector.

We’ll also have a section on the LTP as a living document – including LTP culture and some reminders of the means and tests for making change and what steps to take.

And, as always, we have the best and most inspirational of the new and innovative in community engagement including those honoured in the Giblin Group sponsored Council - Community Relations Category of the 2018 McGredy Winder SOLGM Excellence Awards ®.

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


Day One

9.45am Welcome and Icebreaker

9.50am An Environmental Scan: What’s Going to Pop

Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager, SOLGM

One of the key tasks in the first year of the LTP triennium is to form the ‘world view’ that will underpin the LTP. SOLGM’s Sector Policy and Outlook Working Party have been working on a scan of the trends and issues that will ‘pop’ over the next 20 years to help provide the strategic backdrop for LTPs. To start the seminar, Raymond will present the key issues and findings.

10.50am Living with the LTP: Amendments, Variations and LTP Culture

Part One: Amendments, Variations et al

Jonathan Salter, Partner, Simpson Grierson

An LTP isn’t meant to be a document that’s set in stone. It’s a statement of intent that can be changed, or departed from if the circumstances warrant. The last LTP cycle introduced the exceptions based, no consultation annual plan and the so-called significant or material variations that trigger an obligation to consult. Jonathan will begin this section by providing a refresher on the law around the LTP amendment, the variation, and the exceptions based annual plan and putting a few stakes in the ground on determining each. This will be followed with a couple of case studies to help clarify the principles.

11.40am Cellphone Clearance Break

12.00noon Predictions for the 2018 Census

Glenn Capuano,.id

The census results will be late - but have no fear, Glenn Capuano is our resident crystal ball gazer and has some interesting predictions on the results.

12.20pm The Economy in the Medium Term

Ganesh Nana, Executive Director, BERL

Where’s the New Zealand economy heading in the short-medium term.

What are the challenges and risks local authorities should be aware of?

1.10pm Lunch Break

1.50pm The 2018 LTP Debrief: Rotation One

One of the first steps on the journey to the 2021 LTP is to ensure that all of the lessons from the 2018–28 LTP processes are captured, considered and the appropriate action taken. To begin the post-lunch session we start with two opportunities to feedback on specific issues from the 2018 LTP processes. All of the sessions below will focus on the four following discussion questions:

1. What worked well during the 2018 LTP processes and should be retained?

2. What created an impediment or blockage to the development of a great LTP and needs to be changed?

3. What would you change about the legislation governing LTPs if you were given the chance?

4. What resources or guidance might SOLGM prepare to support the sector in the 2021 LTP processes?

Choose one from:

A. Financial strategies and financial information – led by Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

Or B. Consultation Documents – led by Katherine Quinn, Senior Strategic Planner, Hauraki District Council

Or C. Involving the elected members – led by David McCorkindale, Group Manager Strategy and Development, Horowhenua District Council

2.40pm The 2018 LTP Debrief: Rotation Two

The second opportunity to provide feedback on the 2018 LTP process, under the same rules of engagement as describer in Rotation One. Topics in this rotation include:

A. Infrastructure strategies - led by Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, NZ Society of Local Government Managers

Or B. LTP audit processes – led by Susan Edwards, Community Development Manager, Tasman District Council

Or C. Engagement – led by Kataraina O’Brien, Strategic Engagement, Manager Bay of Plenty Regional Council

3.30pm Afternoon Tea

3.50pm What's Coming up from SOLGM?

Richard Mabon, Principal Adviser Sector Improvement, SOLGM

The annual update on all of SOLGM’s good work on behalf of the sector, what’s going on in Wellington and other matters of interest to community planners.

Built on a basis of forecasts – both financial and non-financial. In this group discussion we’ll look at the nature of forecasting risks, what to do to mitigate them, how to avoid them and how to disclose them.

4.20pm Where Might the Road to 2018 Lead?

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

The 2018 LTPs were unusual in that there were no major legislative changes in the three years preceding and local authorities had no new legislatively mandated requirements to implement. This session provides both a look back at the 2018 LTPs from an audit perspective, and a look forward to the issues and challenges that the sector might face in 2021.

5.10pm A Word From Our Sponsor LGSS

Geoff Reeves, Director & Co-Founder LGSS

5.20pm Announcement of the Winner in the 2018 SOLGM Great CD Competition

Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

5.30pm The LGSS Networking Drinks

Day Two

8.45am Living with the LTP: Amendments, Variations and LTP Culture

Part Two: Day by Day – Infusing the LTP into the Day by Day

Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

9 .25am Preparing a Combined Finance and Infrastructure Strategy

Michael Hodder, Governance and Community Services Manager, Rangitikei District Council

9.50am Forecasting is Always Difficult, But Especially When It’s About the Future – A Group Discussion

Discussion led by Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager, SOLGM

LTPs are built on a basis of forecasts – both financial and non-financial. In this group discussion we’ll look at the nature of forecasting risks, what to do to mitigate them, how to avoid them and how to disclose them.

10.40am Morning Tea

11.00am The Community Engagement Panel 2018

11.00am Ashburton District Council – Our Place

Toni Durham and Rachel Thomas, Ashburton District Council

Our Place is the name that Ashburton District Council has given to its programme of pre-engagement to generate consensus on the direction for the LTP. The distinguishing feature of the approach is the use of a Delphi method where the Council takes an approach that is a great deal more open than most engagement, relying on the community to generate and rank ideas.

Our Place won a highly commended citation in The Giblin Group Award for Innovation in Council - Community Relations at this year's McGredy Winder SOLGM Excellence Awards ®.

11.30am Horowhenua District Council – LTP Pre-Engagement Campaign

David McCorkindale, Group Manager Strategy & Development and Caitlin O'Shea, Strategic Planner, Horowhenua District Council

Horowhenua District Council used a collaborative approach to develop its 2018 LTP Consultation Document. The approach aimed to harness ideas; create an LTP that represented the perspectives and priorities of the community, delivered broad engagement and improved the relationship between the council and community. David and Caitlin will showcase some of the innovative techniques such as the Council’s interactive LTP priority game.

12.00pm Kaikōura District Council – The Hospo Project: Feeding the Village People

Mel Skinner, Manager Economic Recovery, Kaikōura District Council

The Hospo Project is a practical initiative created to support local business in the wake of the November 2016 earthquake. The project mobilised 22 local businesses and one catering service into a single large catering programme to support the workers at the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery Village. The Hospo project is a unique, agile council/community collaboration to support the local economy and community, while meeting the needs of the workforce engaged in the recovery.

The Hospo Project was this year’s winner of The Giblin Group Award for Innovation in Council - Community Relations at McGredy Winder SOLGM Excellence Awards ®.

12.30pm Lessons from the Panel

12.40pm Summing Up and Announcement of the Venue for 2019.

Members of SOLGM’s Planning Working Party should note that the Working Party will meet at the completion of the event.


  • Raymond Horan

    Chief Advisor, SOLGM

    Raymond re-joined SOLGM in June 2014 taking on a new role, Sector Improvement Manager. He has spent most of the last 20 years in local government related roles, most recently with the Department of Internal Affairs.

    He describes his job as two-thirds, providing assistance to the local government sector and one-third providing advice to central government on local government matters. His ambition is to help develop a Local Government Act that doesn’t require changes every 18 months. He asks that you wish him well with this task.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Kataraina O'Brien

    Strategic Engagement Manager, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

    Ko Pūtauaki te Maunga
    Ko Rangitāiki te Awa
    Ko Mataatua te Waka
    Ko Ngāti Awa te Iwi
    Ko Ngāi Tamawera te Hapū
    Ko Uiraroa te Marae
    Ko Kataraina O’Brien
    Ko ia te Kaiwhakahaere Māori o Kotahitanga

    Kataraina works for Toi Moana (Bay of Plenty Regional Council) as the Strategic Engagement Manager. She will share insights into LTP consultation in the Bay including her teams involvement in targeted Māori LTP participation.

  • Richard Mabon

    Principal Advisor, Sector Improvement SOLGM

    Richard joined SOLGM in December 2016. He loves his role assembling and sharing good and relevant practice so that people in local government have easier, more effective working lives, He is focussed on the SOLGM legal compliance modules, electoral readiness resources, and supporting G-REG the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative, He also has a hand in delivering some SOLGM events and policy projects.

    Richard is studying part-time towards a Masters in Public Policy. With wife Christine, he has one teenage and two adult children, and believes passionately that Liverpool FC will again be Champions of England in his lifetime.

  • Jonathan Salter

    Partner, Simpson Grierson

    Jonathan is the leader of Simpson Grierson’s Local Government and Environment team in Wellington. He has been an advocate of local government interests for more than 30 years, including in respect of funding and rating issues. In any one year he acts for around 60 councils, including as strategic legal adviser to several major councils. As part of this role, he advises on high-profile and contentious issues, including most or all of the headline rating cases over the last 25 years.

  • Kristin Aitken

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

    Kristin joined the Office of the Auditor-General in mid-2016. Her main responsibilities are local authorities and related entities in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Gisborne, along with Fish and Game councils, the Department of Conservation and the NZ Walking Access Commission.

    Before joining the Office, Kristin was a Principal Advisor, Planning at Wellington Water. Her principal experience lies in natural resource management policy and implementation. This included time with the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Fisheries, and Ministry of Justice.

  • Toni Durham

    Research and Monitoring Advisor, Ashburton District Council

    Toni has over eight year experience as an advisor in the corporate and community planning spaces of local government. With a Master’s degree in social science research methods, she loves taking an academic approach to real-world problems. Toni describes herself as a ‘Jackie-of-all-trades’ and enjoys applying her skills to a range of projects and work programmes. Community engagement is of particular interest to Toni, who says that at the end of the day ‘we work in local government to serve our communities in the best possible way’.

  • Rachel Thomas

    Policy Advisor, Ashburton District Council

    Rachel has worked for Ashburton District Council for three years and prior to this worked for the Department of Health in Melbourne. She is passionate about increasing participation in local government through finding creative ways to engage with communities.

    Rachel is currently in the finishing stages of a Masters in Public Policy from the School of Government in Wellington and has been studying part time for the past three years whilst working full time for the Council. Rachel also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Political Science from Otago University.

  • David McCorkindale

    Group Manager Strategy & Development, Horowhenua District Council

    David is currently the Group Manager Strategy & Development at Horowhenua District Council. A town planner by trade, David has spent the last 18 years in local government in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom carrying out a range of planning related roles.

    During that time David has been able to experience most aspects of planning in the local government and resource management context with a few steep learning curves along the way.

    He continues to enjoy the challenges and opportunities that working in local government brings, and thrives on the chance to make a real difference for local communities.

  • Caitlin O'Shea

    Strategic Planner, Horowhenua District Council

    Caitlin has been a Strategic Planner with Horowhenua District Council for over two years. Prior to this she worked for Horizons Regional Council in a similar role, after finishing a Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning at Massey University. She is particularly interested in community engagement and finding innovative ways to support community driven planning. In her role at Horowhenua she has engaged with the community on a number of plans and strategies including the Levin Town Centre Strategy, Investment Plan for Foxton Beach Reserves and 2018-2038 Long Term Plan.

  • Glenn Capuano


    Glenn is an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data expert with an amazing capacity to convert demographic data into profound insights about places. With .id Glenn has been part of many consulting projects covering economic development, housing consumption and affordability, migration, fertility, ageing, role and function of ‘place’, communities of interest and more. Glenn works with over 120 councils bringing the client perspective into the development of our information products. If there's anything Glenn doesn't know about the Census, it's probably not worth knowing - so don't hesitate to ask him!

  • Michael Hodder

    Governance and Community Services Manager, Rangitikei District Council

    Michael Hodder came into local government in 2001, with the Rangitikei District Council, having trained (and worked) in Wellington and Adelaide as an archivist.Initially in charge of community services, his responsibilities widened to include regulatory services along with governance and policy work.Highlights include being a member of the SOLGM Planning and Accountability Working Party, attending the ICMA conference in San Antonio, helping bring about Archives Central, contributing to all appeals to the District Plan review avoiding formal Environment Court proceedings and, most recently, reading the Waitangi Tribunal’s decision to accelerate resolution of the extensive land-locked Maori lands in northern Rangitikei.

  • Mel Skinner

    Manager Economic Recovery, Kaikōura District Council

    Mel Skinner took on the role as Economic Recovery Lead two weeks after the Kaikoura Earthquake. Mel’s has an extensive background in setting up multinational company operations in emerging economies across Africa and Caribbean. She has broad HR background and looked after east coast HR operations across seven offices for one of Australia’s leading engineering companies. She currently runs an consulting business and also owns and runs her own high end boutique wine company in Kaikoura. She is extremely passionate about Kaikoura and excited about what the future holds for Kaikoura. Her aim is to make Kaikoura a world leading destination to live, work and visit. Mel has completed a Master of Applied Law from the University of Queensland.