It’s easy to get trapped in the daily grind of financial statements and systems. This year’s event focuses on four areas where finance professionals can add value over and above ‘keeping score’ – the impact of water reforms, value for money reviews (including section 17A), tapping the PGF and strategic funding.

  • 28 Mar 2019-29 Mar 2019
  • 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
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  • James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 890.00 (plus GST) Members
  • 1,010.00 (plus GST) Non Members
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About this event

This forum is now sold out.


It’s easy to get trapped in the daily grind of financial statements and systems. This year’s event focuses on four areas where finance professionals can add value over and above ‘keeping score’ – the impact of water reforms, value for money reviews (including section 17A), tapping the PGF and strategic funding. We’ll look at what the 2018 LTPs told us.

And there’s all the usual updates on accounting standards, tax, law, and finance issues as well as the latest from within the Wellington beltway.

With expert presenters providing content specifically tailored to the finance function in local government our 2019 Forum will:

  • highlight current and emerging financial management issues that are relevant to local authorities
  • provide opportunities to identify and discuss solutions
  • showcase best practice within the sector.

Who should attend:

  • Local government Chief Financial Officers
  • Finance managers and staff
  • Appointed auditors


If you wish to book accommodation at the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, please follow the instructions below

Booking Link:¤cy=NZD&hotel=77682&level=chain&locale=en-GB&themecode=GHI2&group=309824

Please note, the entire URL must be copied and pasted for it to work properly.

The Programme

Day One: 28 March 2019

9.30am Welcome to the Forum

9.35am The Practical Consequences of Three Waters Reform

Mark Robinson, Director, PwC

The ongoing review, and likely reform, of the three waters sector has a range of potential implications for councils, as the provider of those services. Changes to regulatory requirements may necessitate additional resources, additional activities and new relationships. Any subsequent change to the delivery structure of three waters could be even more significant, with the potential for new entities to commercially engage with, impacts on existing balance sheets and staff, including resources currently shared between three waters and other activities, valuations of existing assets, and possible changes to the local rating/revenue requirement. This session will discuss the ongoing review and possible reforms, including different options and timings, and then explore the potential implications for councils.

10.25am Getting the Best from a Section 17A Review

Raymond Horan, Chief Adviser, SOLGM

The 17A reviews are intended to encourage local authorities to seek efficiency gains, including through collaborative approaches. Raymond will provide some pointers to getting the best from a review, from the perspective of an agency that’s undertaken reviews for a variety of local authorities.

11.10am Cellphone Clearance Break (Morning Tea)

11.30am Shortening the Odds -Tips for a Successful Provincial Growth Fund Application

Portia McKenzie, Strategic Development Manager, Rotorua-Lakes Council

Fraser Liggett, Dunedin City Council

Niall Baker, Senior Policy Planner, Matamata-Piako District Council

The Provincial Growth Fund is here to stay. Like any contestable pool of funding, making an application can be a lot of work for a limited result.Here are three quite different case studies from councils of different sizes and types that have successfully made applications in the past year.

The principles and tips from these case studies are relevant for anyone applying for funding from contestable pools.

12.40pm Civic Financial Services:The State of Play

Ian Brown, Chief Executive, Civic Financial Services

An update from our naming rights sponsor.

1.15pm Lunch

2.00pm What’s New and Exciting in Local Government?

Raymond Horan, Chief Adviser, SOLGM

The latest on what’s going on within the Beltway, the latest that’s new and exciting from SOLGM and assorted other news that’s relevant for finance managers and staff.

2.30pm Marketplace of Information- Rotation One

Choose from:

A. Value for Money Reviews - Kevin Ramsay, General Manager, Corporate Finance and Property, Auckland Council

B. Legal Update - Jonathan Salter, Partner, Simpson Grierson

An update on the latest in decision-making, rating and other legal developments especially tailored for the needs of the finance manager and finance specialists.

C. SOLGM’s Review of the 2018 Revenue and Financing Policies – Raymond Horan, Chief Advisor, 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.

3.20pm Marketplace of Information- Rotation Two

Choose another from the topics listed under rotation one.

4.20pm Renewals Investment in the Local Government Sector

Stuart Cross, Senior Consultant, Morrison Low

For a number of years the Office of the Auditor General has raised concerns about the level to which councils are reinvesting in their assets. At the same time, we consistently hear of the pending renewals waves facing many New Zealand councils. So what’s happening? Is the Office right, or are there other explanations?

This session explores the relationship between renewals and depreciation. It will draw on:

  • analysis of 2018 Long Term Plans using a range of reporting measures
  • real life case studies from Australasian asset benchmarking studies
  • statistical analysis of water assets, and what that tells us about useful lives being adopted by some councils.

We’ll explore questions such as “why use depreciation as a measure of renewals investment”, “is there evidence the sector is under investing in renewals”, and “how can the sector better monitor its level of investment in renewals”.

5.30pm LGFA Networking Drinks

7.00pm Dinner

Day Two: 29 March 2019

8.45am Welcome to Day Two

8.50am What Did We See in the 2018 LTP's – the Audit View?

Andrea Reeves, Assistant Auditor-General, Local Government, Office of the Auditor-General

9.40am A Combined Financial and Infrastructure Strategy

Martin Read, Wellington City Council

Wellington City was one of three local authorities that prepared a combined financial and infrastructure strategy.Martin will discuss the case for the combined strategy, what Wellington gained by it, and the issues and challenges Wellington faced along the way.

10.30am Morning Tea

10.50am The Death of Fair Value: Implications for Councils

David Edgerton, Director, Asset Valuer Pro

IPSAS is about to replace Fair Value with a new concept. This session will highlight the changes required to methodologies and how these can be used to deliver real value to council. Do you want your valuation to delivers real value through a range of asset management outcomes or simply be nothing more than a compliance cost?

11.20am Marketplace of Information - Rotation Three

Choose one from:

A. What’s Current in the World of Financial Reporting- Anthony Heffernan, Director Accounting Standards, External Reporting Board

B. SOLGM’s Review of the 2018 Financial and Infrastructure Strategies Raymond Horan, Chief Adviser, SOLGM

In preparation for the review of SOLGM’s LTP guidance, SOLGM’s reviewed a sample of 24 financial and infrastructure strategies.This session will present the findings of the review – its just possible that there might be some thoughts in preparation for the 2021 LTP round!

C. Taxation Update - Michelle Macdonald Director, PwC and Phil Fisher, Partner, PwC

An update on this year’s crop of taxing issues.

12.10pm Lunch

1.00pm Marketplace of Information - Rotation Four

Select another from the options listed under rotation three.

1.50pm The Economy in 2019

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?

2.50pm Summing Up and Announcement of 2020 Seminar Venue

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.


Dr Ganesh Nana
Executive Director, BERL Read Profile
Ian Brown
Chief Executive Read Profile
Nicola Pinfold
Group Manager Community and Planning Read Profile
Portia Mckenzie
Read Profile
Andrea Reeves
Assistant Auditor-General Local Government, Office of the Auditor-General Read Profile
Mark Robinson
Associate Director Consulting, PwC Read Profile
Phil Fisher
Read Profile
Michelle Macdonald
Tax Director Read Profile