The LGSectorGoodToolkit is now better than ever with the addition of Effective Rating Reviews and a new Health and Safety module.

Now available: SOLGM's guide to Effective Rating Reviews

Local authorities have access to a wide range of rating tools, and generally wide discretion in how they are used. The process for making these decisions is a critical one to get right, but an easy one to get wrong.

SOLGM therefore commissioned a consortium of local authorities led by Stephen Halliwell of Working Smarter to provide some good practice guidance for navigating the tangled thicket of rating reviews. The result provides tips and tricks for balancing the legal requirements with the policy, practical and political considerations that a good rating review will capture.

SOLGM thanks Stephen Halliwell, Chris Ellington, Teagan McIntyre, Cr Jim Hopkins, John Gibson, Gary Borg and Simpson Grierson for their contributions to this guide.

This will be one of the topics on the agenda at the upcoming SOLGM Funding and Rating Forum (9 & 10 October in Christchurch). Registrations are open – for more information please go to the Forum’s webpage.

You can find the guide in the LGSectorGoodToolkit. You will need your Council’s toolkit password. If you don’t yet know it, please email

The next SOLGM resource 'off the rank' will be the so-called BERL adjusters, which will be released in mid-September to all councils who are up to date with the payment of their SOLGM Work Programme Subscriptions and Recruitment and Retention levies.

New Legal Compliance Module - particularly important for people, project and risk managers

SOLGM has published the first of three new legal compliance modules following the 2015 rewrite of Health and Safety law. The new Health and Safety at Work module is also the first example of a new approach to the SOLGM legal compliance programme (LCP). The LCP is a set of tools to assist staff members in every local authority with their legal compliance responsibilities. Traditionally these are flowchart based, with links to supporting information and resources.

Module One sets out the context and the key ideas and parts of the statute that create the framework for health and safety at work compliance. Over eight separate but interlinked parts, it addresses the duties of the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), officers, workers and other persons in the workplace. It discusses the process for managing risks and hazards, the ins and outs of notifiable events and the role of WorkSafe as regulator. A high-level introductory overview is also provided for the time-challenged. The guidance embraces the suite of regulations which have been passed in 2016 and 2017.

You can view this material in the LGSectorGoodToolkit. This material is available to all staff at all councils. Again, if you don’t know your Council’s password, contact us at

Module Two is under pre-publication legal review and features 19 flowcharts describing how to achieve compliance in step-by-step flowcharts supported by commentary and links to resources and guidance.

Work has begun on Module Three which will focus on three hazards common to all NZ local authorities:

- Managing contractors

- Dealing with violent and/or aggressive people

- Lone workers

SOLGM will soon be seeking input from the wider sector on existing practice for the development of Module Three.

Craig Stevenson appointed CE of New Plymouth District Council

Somehow we missed covering this announcement from New Plymouth District Council a couple of weeks ago. Some of you have caught up with the news but for those that haven’t we thought we would share it here.

Craig entered local government at 16 years old as a rubbish collector and rose through the ranks. From 2004, he was the Chief Executive at South Taranaki District Council. His recent appointment will allow him to stay in Taranaki serving Taranaki communities. The appointment decision was unanimous at New Plymouth District Council.

Craig is also SOLGM's Executive Member for the Central Branch. SOLGM congratulates Craig on his new role. We’ve had two Presidents from New Plymouth District Council and we again thank the Council for supporting their Chief Executives to support us.