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
Raymond Horan, Sector Improvement Manager, SOLGM
9.35am What Does Affordability Really Look Like?
Representatives from PwC to be confirmed
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.
(Note: SOLGM has a request for proposals with several public policy and consulting agencies, the winner will be presenting this topic)
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
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.
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?
Richard Mabon, Principal Adviser – Sector Improvement, 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.
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
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.
Manager, Sector Improvement, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.