Funding and Rating Forum

The SOLGM Funding and Rating Forum is a must attend for all those who need to know about the often overlooked, yet mission critical, area of local authority funding and rating.

  • 29 Oct - 30 Oct
  • Waipuna Hotel, Auckland
  • 29 Oct 9.30am - 5.30pm, 30 Oct 8.40am - 3.00pm; Venue: Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, 58 Waipuna Road, Mount Wellington, Auckland, 1060
  • $890.00 excl. GST. for members
  • $1,010.00 excl. GST. for non-members
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This forum is for those who work in or need to know about the mission critical field of funding and rating.

As always the Forum is an exciting blend of theoretical and practical presentations that mix the policy and practice of funding and rating.

This year’s Forum takes place against the backdrop of the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Local Government Funding. This Forum will represent the first steps in SOLGM’s work to help the Commission shape its conclusions and recommendations as proactively as possible. We’ll discuss the process for the inquiry itself and for SOLGM’s work to shape the inquiry. There will be an opportunity to feed issues for our consideration.

We hear a lot about affordability but what does it really mean. We’ve commissioned one of New Zealand’s leading economic and public policy specialists to provide some independent guidance on the craft of providing robust advice to council on affordability. This will be our lead-off session. And on the same theme, Elizabeth Hughes will be there to talk about communications and rating.

We’ll look at two of the more topical rating policy issues – rating of Airbnb and other online-based providers and the use of targeted rates as a funding tool for funding growth needs. There’ll be some learning from the experiences of those who are doing it, and those who are attempting to do it.

And as always there’s the usual updates on legal issues, valuation issues and SOLGM matters.

Who should attend:

  • Finance Managers
  • Revenue Managers and Team Leaders
  • Rating staff
  • Legal staff
  • Anyone with an interest in funding and rating issues


Day One 29 October

9.30am Welcome

Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager, SOLGM

9.35am What Does Affordability Really Look Like?

Chris Gould, Director, PwC and Geoff Cooper, Economics and Finance Director, PwC

It is sometimes said that affordability is in the eye of the beholder.And while what’s affordable is a policy decision for elected members, what’s affordable is often confused with willingness to pay or what’s ‘acceptable’.SOLGM has commissioned some independent advice to help those advising local authorities provide robust advice around affordability matters.

10.30am A Welcome to the Inquiry into Local Authority Funding

Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

The Productivity Commission has been asked to undertake an inquiry into local government funding. This session serves as an introduction into the inquiry including matters such as the terms of reference, timeframes etc.This will also include SOLGM talking about how to get involved in the SOLGM process.

11.00am Morning Tea

11.20am Applying Targeted Rates to Online Accommodation Providers

Aaron Matich and Fran Maguire, Auckland Council

12.00 Noon A Word from Our Sponsors: Ibis Information Systems

Chris Pattas

12.30pm The 2018 Revenue and Financing Policy Reviews - Have We Moved on From 2015?

Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager, SOLGM

SOLGM’s Review of the 2015 Revenue and Financing policies concluded that around a third were at serious risk if legally challenged, and another third contained defects of a lesser nature.As part of the post-LTP washup SOLGM’s run the ruler over a sample of 24, Raymond will report on the findings and share his verdict.

1.15pm Lunch

2.00pm Marketplace of Ideas: Rotation One

Choose one from:

a. Issues for SOLGM’s Paper to the Funding Inquiry – led by Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager, NZ SOLGM

A chance to explore and discuss matters for inclusion in SOLGM’s papers to the Funding Inquiry.

b. Differential and Targeted Rating Issues – led by Jim Taylor, Manager Revenue, Tauranga City Council

Making the policy decision to go for a targeted rate, creative use of targeted rating powers, maintenance of the necessary RID information and other issues with targeted rates

c. Water Metering Issues – led by Elaine Irvine, Relationship Specialist Rates, Valuations & Data Management, Auckland Council

2.50pm Marketplace of Ideas: Rotation Two

Choose one from:

a. Voluntary Targeted Rating Issues – led by Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, NZ SOLGM

What are VTRs being used for. Disclosure, Consumer Credit Contracts Actissues,and all those other wrinkles

b. Differential and Targeted Rating Issues – led by Jim Taylor, Tauranga City Council

A repeat of the 2.00pm session described above.

c. Regional Rating Issues – led by Andy Dixon, Accounting Team Leader, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Centralised funding, setting a targeted rate regionally rather than by each TA, Adjusting to the changes from Northland rating case, collaborative work of Councils in the region

3.40pm Afternoon Tea

4.00pm Targeted Rating for Growth

Andrew Duncan, Manager Financial Policy and Aaron Matich, Auckland Council

4.45pm A Table Top Discussion: Comparing Rates

Session led by Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager,, NZ SOLGM

A fun table top exercise for the end of the day to get people thinking if comparing rates between councils is really a matter of ‘the will’ or ‘the way’.

5.25pm Close of Day One

5.30pm LGFA Networking Drinks

7.00pm The Ibis Information Systems Conference Dinner

Day Two 30 October

8.40am What’s Coming Up From SOLGM?

Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager, SOLGM

The annual update on all of SOLGM’s good works, including an update on the progress of the Business Performance Working Party which has responsibility for this event and for SOLGM’s other work in rating, funding and financial matters.

9.10am Legal Update

Lizzy Wiessing, Senior Associate, Simpson Grierson

The annual update on the developments in statute and case law and the legal view of developments in practice.

10.00am Morning Tea

10.20am Working together to create a better future for all New Zealanders

David Nagel, General Manager, QV

Local communities across New Zealand face an unprecedented amount of change in future years, as technology continues to transform how people access information and services. The property market is no different and that’s why QV is looking forward to sharing insights into how we are preparing for a very different future world. From investing in new technology to transforming how we deliver our services, QV is making changes today so we can create even better customer experiences in the future.

We’re really looking forward to attending the 2018 SOLGM Funding and Rating Forum and sharing ideas around how we can help create a better future for all New Zealanders.

QV Website

10.50am Valuation Update

Neill Sullivan, Valuer-General, Office of the Valuer-General

All that’s new and exciting in the world of rating valuations including (among other things):

  • update on review of rating valuations rules – where are we at and proposed timeframe
  • revaluation objection reviews –Councils role in the revaluation objection process and potential non-compliance issues;
  • Maori Freehold Land rating valuations – what’s the new government expecting; observations from the 2017 revaluation cycle; market trends in 2018 and any emerging revaluation issues;
  • land development and treatment of Resource Consents/Land Use Consents for rating valuation purposes
  • 2018 Ngati Whakaue Court of Appeal case
  • contestability in the NZ rating valuation market
  • LINZ direct notification to Councils proposed process for all ownership changes in LandonLine
  • rural valuation issues;
  • update from Australasian Valuer-General’s Conference in Christchurch – legislative changes in various states and performance of South Australia’s new out sourced valuation model.

11.40am Marketplace of Ideas: Rotation Three

a.Valuation and Land Information Issues – led by Fiona Scragg, Revenue Team Leader, Gisborne District Council

b.Collection and Enforcement Issues – led by Alison Puchaux, Manager Revenue, Whangarei District Council

c.Rates Rebate Issues – led by Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

12.30pm Lunch

1.10pm Marketplace of Ideas: Rotation Four

a.Valuation and Land Information Issues –led by Fiona Scragg, Revenue Team Leader, Gisborne District Council

b.Collection and Enforcement Issues led by Alison Puchaux, Manager Revenue, Whangarei District Council

c.Maori Land Rating Issues - led by Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

2.00pm Dollars and sense of rating communication

Elizabeth Hughes, Principal Elizabeth Hughes Consulting

Most people just do not understand ‘rates’ and ‘value for money’.

Surely it’s just a simple combination of legal decree, property calculations and policies which all make perfect sense? This presentation covers communication 101 about rates and rating – from the perspective of your customers (and tries to explain why it’s not the beautiful logic that you might expect….)

2.50pm Summing Up and Announcement of Venue for 2019

Raymond Horan, Manager Sector Improvement, SOLGM

Note: Claiming CPD Credits

Delegates at this Forum who are members of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) may be able to claim credits towards meeting their Continuing Professional Development requirements.Delegates wishing to pursue this should provide CA ANZ with the forum’s outline and confirmation – which we can supply, of their attendance.


  • 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.

  • Neill Sullivan

    Valuer-General, Office of the Valuer-General

    Neill Sullivan is the Valuer-General based at Land Information New Zealand in Wellington. He has been involved with both the private and rating valuations since the 1980s and has held the statutory role since 2004. He is primarily responsible for ensuring that Ratepayers can continue to have confidence that the rating valuation system and the accuracy of the values assessed. Under the Rating Valuations Act 1998 the VG must also produce fit for purpose Rules backed up by effective monitoring and auditing processes. His presentation today will cover current and emerging issues in the rating valuation arena.

  • Alison Puchaux

    Manager Revenue, Whangarei District Council

    Alison Puchaux has been working in the rating sector since 2014. Her initial training on the complexity of rating and the recovery of rating debt was in New Zealand’s courts, as the revenue manager for Kaipara. Since moving to the Whangarei District Council in 2017, she has faced the challenges of a larger mainly urban council and changing the valuation service provider. She enjoys the variety of her role: the numbers, the statutory rigour and the customers.

  • Elaine Irvine

    Relationship Specialist Rates, Valuations & Data Management, Auckland Council

    Elaine Irvine has at least 25 years rating experience from the former North Shore City Council as Rates Manager prior to Auckland Council, where she was a rates team leader. Have returned to Auckland Council’s employment after a 5 year break where she was a commercial/residential property manager. Elaine's current role is focused on supporting our online content for the call centre and customer services team with the online support content and handling escalated enquiries.

  • Fiona Scragg

    Revenue Team Leader, Gisborne District Council

    Fiona has 25 years rating experience with Gisborne City and Gisborne District Councils. Fiona is a strong advocate for ensuring the diverse rating and valuation issues and challenges of provincial New Zealand are addressed at rating and finance forums. Fiona manages Gisborne’s Rating valuation contract and the rating and debt collection functions. Fiona Is married with an adult family and is keen on fishing, quad biking, crafts and travel.

  • Andy Dixon

    Accounting Team Leader, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

    Andy is the leader of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Finance team, with the responsibility of both the Treasury and Rating functions for the past 10 years. He previously worked in Treasury roles within the private sector and has a special interest in financial strategies and performance management.

    He is a strong advocate for a collaborate approach to local government to ensure better returns for ratepayers.

  • Lizzy Wiessing

    Senior Associate, Simpson Grierson

    Lizzy commenced her career in local government as a strategic policy analyst at the Western Bay of Plenty District Council. She then worked at a law firm in Tauranga as a resource management and litigation solicitor, with a special interest in local government issues, before joining Simpson Grierson in June 2012. Lizzy has represented clients in the District, Environment and High Courts, and the Court of Appeal.

    Lizzy has a particular interest and expertise in rating and valuation law, and judicial review litigation. She has acted for the councils in the recent high-profile judicial review rating cases.

  • Andrew Duncan

    Manager Financial Policy, Auckland Council

    Andrew Duncan is Auckland Council’s Financial Policy Manager. He is responsible for advice on rates, development contributions and other funding policy issues.

    Andrew has been at Auckland Council for seven years. Andrew was previously Group Manager Council Enterprises for Manukau City Council for seven years.

    Prior to that Andrew worked in a variety of management and policy roles at Auckland City Council, the Ministry of Health, the Health Funding Authority, the Ministry of Commerce and Department of Trade and Industry.

  • 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.

  • Geoff Cooper

    Economics & Finance Director, PwC

    Geoff is an experienced economist with a passion for sustainable, competitive and inclusive cities.

    He has a decade of policy experience including with the United Nations, the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. He is a former Chief Economist for Auckland Council.

    Geoff holds a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Master of Economics with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland. In 2012 he was awarded the IPANZ New Government Professional of the year and in 2018 was included in the University of Auckland’s inaugural list of 40 under 40.

  • Jim Taylor

    Revenue Manager, Tauranga City Council

    Jim Taylor Revenue Manager Tauranga City Council. Jim has worked in local government for 15 years. Prior to this, he was 3 years in Telecoms wholesale market and 7 years with TrustPower as billing Manager. Jim is passionate about customer service and collaborating with central/ local government, and external organisations, to provide the services that our customers expect. Jim recently led a rating amendment review in Tauranga, introducing new differentials and targeted rates.

  • Chris Gould

    Director, Consulting, PwC

    Chris is a director in the finance and economics team in PwC’s Wellington office. Chris has 24 years consulting experience and, prior to becoming a consultant, he was with the NZ Treasury for 10 years.

    Chris advises local and central government on a range of issues but with particular focus on policy, regulation and funding.

    Chris has a Masters degree in economics from Macquarie University and a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration (Honours) from Victoria University, Wellington.

  • Chris Pattas

    Executive Director, Ibis Information Systems & Services

    Chris Pattas is the Executive Director for Ibis Information Systems. He has been involved with Ibis for the last 7 years. For over 25 years Chris has worked for several other technology companies like Ericsson, NEC & MYOB and engaged with clients in many sectors including energy, advertising, banking, health, and local government. He has also worked at board level with several companies, including over 10 years with a very large metropolitan council in Melbourne. His passion is assisting organisations to leverage technology to reduce risk, automate low value processes and support great customer engagement & advanced decision-making.

  • Aaron Matich

    Principle Advisor, Auckland Council

    Aaron has been working in Auckland local government for over 16 years. During that time he has been involved in number of key rating projects for the region including helping establish Auckland Regional Council as a direct rating entity, managing rates transition for Auckland amalgamation, and the development of Auckland’s rating policy. More recently Aaron has played a key role in helping to address Auckland’s funding challenges with the introduction of the Accommodation Provider Targeted Rate and its subsequent extension to short term accommodation let via the online market place as well as tackling funding challenges for growth related infrastructure.

  • David Nagel

    General Manager, QV

    David has worked at QV for over 30 years and has held a number of leadership roles throughout a wide range of North Island locations. David is a registered valuer with specialist valuing expertise in infrastructure and high value commercial and specialist property types. He has also had extensive experience working with a range of stakeholders, including the Valuer General and industry representatives, to develop valuation methodologies for unique property types.