Council

Tuesday 16 June 2020 at 10.30am

 

 

AGENDA

 


Council Meeting

16 June 2020

Northland Regional Council Agenda

 

Meeting to be held in the Council Chamber

36 Water Street, Whangārei

on Tuesday 16 June 2020, commencing at 10.30am

 

Recommendations contained in the council agenda are NOT council decisions. Please refer to council minutes for resolutions.

 

Item                                                                                                                                                                                   Page

Housekeeping/Karakia

1.0       apologies (ngĀ whakapahĀ) 

2.0       DECLARATIONS OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST (NGA WHAKAPUAKANGA)

3.0       Health and Safety Report                                                                                                                            6

4.0       Council Minutes/Action Sheet/Council Working Party and Working Group Updates

4.1       Confirmation of Minutes - 19 May 2020                                                                                          10

4.2       Receipt of Action Sheet                                                                                                                          20

4.3       Working Party Updates and Chairpersons' Briefings                                                                   22

5.0       Financial Reports

5.1       Financial Report to 31 May 2020                                                                                                        24

6.0       Decision Making Matters

6.1       Adoption of User Fees and Charges 2020/21 | Kaupapa Here a Utu                                     29

6.2       Adoption of the Annual Plan 2020/21 | Mahere-a-Tau 2020/21                                            94

6.3       Rates for the Year 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021                                                                           164

6.4       Changes to delegations                                                                                                                        180

6.5       GMO Appeals - Proposed Regional Plan                                                                                         203

6.6       TTMAC Draft Terms of Reference                                                                                                     239

6.7       Appointed Members' Allowance Payment to Iwi Representatives on the Northland CDEM Coordinating Executive Group                                                                                                           254

6.8       Draft NRC Submission - Extension to Manganui Bay Temporary Fisheries Closure        259

6.9       Regional Economic Development: Progress Towards a Joint Delivery Model                  264

7.0       Operational Reports

7.1       Chair's Report to Council                                                                                                                     286

7.2       Chief Executive’s Report to Council                                                                                                 288

7.3       Northland Inc. Limited: Reporting Against Statement of Intent - Quarter Three 2019/20 310

8.0       Receipt of Committee Minutes                                                                                                              315  

9.0       Business with the Public Excluded                                                                                                    318

9.1       Confirmation of Confidential Minutes - 19 May 2020

9.2       Human Resources Report

9.3       Land and Leaseholders' Easement and Covenant Requests

9.4       Kaipara Service Centre   

 


 

ACC - Accident Compensation Corporation

ALGIM - Association of Local Government Information Management

AMA - Aquaculture Management Area

AMP - Asset Management Plan/Activity Management Plan

AP - Annual Plan

BOI - Bay of Islands

BOPRC - Bay of Plenty Regional Council

CAPEX - Capital Expenditure (budget to purchase assets)

CBEC - Community, Business and Environment Centre

CCO – Council Controlled Organisation

CCTO – Council Controlled Trading Organisation

CDEM - Civil Defence Emergency Management

CEEF – Chief Executives Environment Forum

CEG - Co-ordinating Executive Group

CEO - Chief Executive Officer

CIMS - Co-ordinated Incident Management System (emergency management structure)

CMA - Coastal Marine Area

CPCA - Community Pest Control Areas

CRI - Crown Research Institute

DHB - District Health Board 

DOC - Department of Conservation

DP – District Plan

E350 – Extension 350 programme

ECA - Environmental Curriculum Award

ECAN - Environment Canterbury

EECA - Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority

EF - Environment Fund

EMA - Employers and Manufacturers Association

EOC - Emergency Operations Centre

EPA - Environmental Protection Authority

ETS - Emissions Trading Scheme

FDE - Farm Dairy Effluent

FNDC - Far North District Council

FNHL - Far North Holdings Limited

FPP - First Past the Post

GE - Genetic Engineering

GIS - Geographic Information System

GMO - Genetically Modified Organism

HBRC - Hawke's Bay Regional Council

HEMP - Hapū Environmental Management Plan

Horizons - Brand name of Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council

HR - Human Resources

HSNO - Hazardous Substances & New Organisms Act 

HSWA - Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

IEMP - Iwi Environmental Management Plan

ILGACE - Iwi and Local Government Chief Executives Forum

IPPC - Invited Private Plan Change

IRIS - Integrated Regional Information System

KDC - Kaipara District Council 

KPI - Key Performance Indicator

LAWA – Land, Air, Water Aotearoa

LEA - Local Electoral Act 2001

LGA - Local Government Act 2002

LGNZ - Local Government New Zealand

LGOIMA - Local Government Official Information & Meetings Act 1987

LIDAR – Light detection and ranging

LTI – Long time injury

LTP - Long Term Plan

MBIE – Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

MCDEM - Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management

MFE - Ministry for the Environment

MFL – Māori Freehold Land 

MHWS - Mean High Water Springs

MMH - Marsden Maritime Holdings Limited

MNZ - Maritime New Zealand

MOH - Ministry of Health

MOT - Ministry of Transport

MPI - Ministry for Primary Industries

MSD - Ministry of Social Development

NCMC - National Crisis Management Centre

NDHB - Northland District Health Board

NES - National Environmental Standards

NFT – Northland Forward Together

NGO - Non-Governmental Organisation

NIF - Northland Intersectoral Forum

NINC - Northland Inc. Limited

NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmosphere

NORTEG - Northland Technical Advisory Group

NPS - National Policy Statement

NZCPS - New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement

NZRC - New Zealand Refining Company (Marsden Point)

NZTA - New Zealand Transport Agency

NZTE - New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

NZWWA - New Zealand Water and Wastes Association

OFI - Opportunity for Improvement\

OPEX – Operating Expenditures

OSH - Occupational Safety & Health

OTS – Office of Treaty Settlements

PCBU - Person Conducting Business or Undertaking

PGF – Provincial Growth Fund

PPE - Personal Protective Equipment

RAP - Response Action Plan

RBI - Regional Broadband Initiative

RCP - Regional Coastal Plan

RFI - Request for Information

RFP - Request for Proposal

RLTP - Regional Land Transport Plan

RMA - Resource Management Act 1991

RMG - Resource Managers Group (Regional Councils)

RMZ - Riparian Management Zone

ROI - Return on Investment

RP – Regional Plan

RPMP - Regional Pest Management Plan

RPMS - Regional Pest Management Strategy

RPS - Regional Policy Statement

RPTP – Regional Public Transport Plan

RRSAP – Regional Road Safety Action Plan

RSG – Regional Sector Group

RSHL - Regional Software Holdings Ltd

RTC - Regional Transport Committee

RTO - Regional Tourism Organisation

SIPO - Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives

SITREP - Situation Report

SOE - State of Environment (or) State Owned Enterprise

SOI – Statement of Intent

SOLGM - Society of Local Government Managers

STV - Single Transferable Vote

TAG - Technical Advisory Group

Tier 1 - Site level plan or response for an oil spill

Tier 2 - Regional level plan or response to an oil spill

Tier 3 - National level plan or response to an oil spill

TLA - Territorial Local Authority – City & District Councils

TON – Top of the North (regions)

TTMAC – Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party

TTNEAP – Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan

TMP - Treasury Management Plan

TOR - Terms of Reference

TPK - Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry of Maori Development)

TUANZ - Telecommunications Users Association of NZ

UNISA - Upper North Island Strategic Alliance

WDC - Whangarei District Council

WHHIF - Whangarei Harbour Health Improvement Fund

WRC - Waikato Regional Council

WSMP - Workplace Safety Management Practices

WWTP - Wastewater Treatment Plant

 

  


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 3.0

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Health and Safety Report

ID:

A1321836

From:

Beryl Steele, Human Resources Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

This report provides an overview of activity in health and safety for the month of May 2020.  As with the last couple of months, it has been relatively quiet in terms of incidents, near misses and hazards being reported.  The lockdown has provided the opportunity to review some of our processes and documents.

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Health and Safety Report’ by Beryl Steele, Human Resources Manager and dated 2 June 2020, be received.

 

Background/Tuhinga

 

 

 

Injury Related

Hazards

Period

Loss time Injury

(LTI)

Accident Work

(ACC W)

Accident Not Work

(ACC NW)

Discomfort, Pain, Injury

(DPI)

Medical Treatment Incident

(MTI)

First Aid Treatment Incident

(FTI)

No Medical Treatment Incident

(NMTI)

Near Miss

Hazard

(HAZ)

Incident

(INC)

Security

(SEC)

2018

7

8

0

0

2

4

0

13

35

17

6

2019

1

20

1

0

0

2

1

18

15

8

1

2020

1

2

0

3

0

5

62

12

8

2

0

Apr

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

May

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

 

Incidents remain low.  Having most of our staff working from home is likely to be the reason for this.  As staff begin returning to the various offices more communication will be provided on hazard identification, and incident reporting.

 

Events of interest

·    ACC work incident - a staff member got a piece of grit in their eye after chipping and grinding rust off an object.  There was no known time of incident as the aggravation built up over a period of time until it prompted visiting a doctor.  PPE was worn and a task safety plan was used.  This task was not a known hazard in the health and safety risk register.  A new hazard ID is being developed and a review of the PPE worn is being carried out.

 

Issues register

 

Stress and vehicles are our most reported issues and are also the highest risks in our health and safety risk register.  To help reduce incidents and mitigate the risk we will be looking at the causes of staff stress, and from there working out a plan specific to anything resulting from the work environment and also reviewing the need for driver training.  Work in these areas had started but was delayed due to COVID-19.

 

Contractors

 

We use Sitewise to assist in rating the safety procedures our contractors have in place.  Our previous average contractor rating was under 74%.  Due to our new procedures and training provided to managers our contractors now have an average rating of 80%.  We will continue to do work in this area to improve our contractor rating.  A contractor that does meet our standards (in the orange or red) is not used until they are able to provide us with more evidence that they have the required safety procedures in place.  Where we are able to provide guidance in this area we do.

 

 

Legislative updates

Nil

 

Notifiable events

Nil

 

Wellbeing Committee

The Wellbeing Committee’s focus has been on how to support our people during the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown.  The committee is now working on what is needed to support our staff now we are back in our offices after working at home for the last 9 weeks.

 

COVID-19

Level 2 protocols are in place for staff and contractors.

 

Completed training

 

No training was completed in May.

 

Forecasted training for June 2020 (Alert level and/or mode dependent)

 

Training forecasted June 2020

Pax

First Aid Revalidation

1

Total

1

 

As we are now at level 2, the training which was on hold will start to resume.  We are currently trying to organise training for:

·    The Site Traffic Management Supervisor (STMS).

·    Health & Safety Rep Stage 1.

·    First aid refresher courses.

·    The Customer Service Manager and Chairperson for the Health and Safety Committee will attend Health and Safety Committee Member training and deliver in-house training to the Health and Safety Committee once we are able to.

 

Working priorities for June 2020

Working priorities for June 2020

Reviewing of significant hazard register (SHR) operating documents as per schedule in Risk Register.

Re-book/plan training which had been deferred due to COVID- 19.

Work with relevant groups (fire wardens, reps, chemical handlers) to review Promapp processes.

Finish the contractor management procedure and Cognise, then communicate to staff.

Communication on hazard identification and incident reporting.

Monitoring driving with increased use of council vehicles.

Stress – working with the Stress Group to find out where the issues are.

Finding a suitable driver training course and identifying staff who should attend.

 

Update on April and May working priorities

·    Promapp procedures are being reviewed against other training systems (Cognise) and policies to ensure they all align.  This will continue during June.

 

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Dave Tams

Title:

Group Manager, Corporate Excellence

Date:

10 June 2020

  


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 4.1

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Confirmation of Minutes - 19 May 2020

ID:

A1320505

From:

Chris Taylor, Governance Support Manager

 

Recommendation

That the minutes of the council meeting held on 19 May 2020, be confirmed as a true and correct record.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Council Meeting Minutes 19 May 2020  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Chris Taylor

Title:

Governance Support Manager

Date:

09 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 4.1

16 June 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 4.2

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Receipt of Action Sheet

ID:

A1322542

From:

Chris Taylor, Governance Support Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakārapopototanga

The purpose of this report is to enable the meeting to receive the current action sheet.

 

Recommendation

That the action sheet be received.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Council Action Sheet - June 2020  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Chris Taylor

Title:

Governance Support Manager

Date:

09 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 4.2

16 June 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 4.3

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Working Party Updates and Chairpersons' Briefings

ID:

A1311976

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Working Party Updates and Chairpersons' Briefings’ be received.

 

 

Biosecurity and Biodiversity Working Party (Chairperson Cr Jack Crew)

The Biosecurity and Biodiversity Working Party met on 19 May 2020. The topics for discussion included:

·        Work Programme overview

·        Kauri Dieback National Pest Management Plan Status Update

·        Regional Kauri Dieback Programme.

Following discussion, the Biosecurity and Biodiversity Working Party agreed on the following next steps:

·        Investigating kiwi protection measures in addition to pest control

·        Review tangata whenua aspects of draft Regional Kauri Dieback Operation Plan

·        Present Kauri Dieback Operation Plan to council workshop.

 

Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party (TTMAC) (Co-Chairs: Cr Robinson; Rudy Taylor)

The TTMAC Working Party met on 14 May 2020.  The topics for discussion included:

·        Economic development update from Northland Inc.

·        Update on Taitokerau response to the drought and COVID-19

·        Terms of Reference and Strategic Programme

·        Regional marae-based hui

·        Mātauranga Māori

·        Tane Whakapiripiri

·        Developing a draft water strategy

·        Giving effect to water quality planning requirements in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management

·        Annual Plan 2020/21

·        Update on development of an inter-regional marine pest pathway plan

·        Updates from other working parties.

 

Following discussion, the TTMAC Working Party provided advice on the following next steps:

·    To endorse the proposed Terms of Reference, with the amendment that Te Roroa be included as one of the iwi authorities

·    To engage MTAG to:

Flesh out the broad topics below that TTMAC identified as the strategic issues to progress over the coming term:

§ Water

§ Climate change

§ Economic development

§ Building capacity and capability

§ Representation

§ Planning and strategy

Revisit Iwi/Hapū Environmental Plans (IHEMPs) to help inform or provide a sufficient guideline to a draft Mātauranga Māori framework and bring that draft to TTMAC’s 9 July meeting

Work on how to deliver regional-wide wananga and pilot the Tane Whakapiripiri recommendations aimed to benefit Māori capability and capacity across the region

Develop a draft water strategy, and to update TTMAC on progress

Continue working with staff on a proposed framework for engaging with iwi and hapū during the development of the plan change to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM)

Continue working with staff on developing a proposal for a marine pest pathway plan under the Biosecurity Act 1993, with TTMAC being updated as to progress

Identify ways to support TTMAC members’ full participation on working parties, and how to work cohesively across working parties in an effective way, and how to prioritise meeting kaupapa.

·    To invite Northland Inc. (NINC) to return to the 9 July TTMAC meeting to discuss their Statement of Intent and how TTMAC can have input into the annual process

·    Confirmation of marae-based hui for 2020

·    For TTMAC to consider, as part of the LTP, a scheme where water tanks are purchased for households through a payback scheme on the rates over 5 – 10 years, and if there are other partners that may also be involved.

 

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

10 June 2020

  


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.1

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Financial Report to 31 May 2020

ID:

A1322797

From:

Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant

 

Executive Summary / Whakarāpopototanga

This report is to inform council of the year to date (YTD) financial result to May 2020.  Council has achieved a YTD surplus after transfers to and from reserves of $3.3M, which is $991K favourable to budget.  Included in this result is a $640K net unfavourable impact for externally managed fund gains and receipt of an unbudgeted COVID-19 wage subsidy of $1.52M.

Gains for the month of May have been estimated at $896K based on advice from Jonathan Eriksen provided on 27 May.

 

Recommendation / Ngā mahi tūtohutia

That the report ‘Financial Report to 31 May 2020’ by Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant and dated 3 June 2020, be received.

 

Report


Revenue

Year to date revenue is $48.77M, which is $2.12M or 4.6% above budget.

 

In November, council’s externally managed funds transitioned from four funds to two funds.  As such the above table shows historical gains for the four older funds and gains since November for the two newer funds.  These accounts include an accrual for May as advised by Eriksens Global of 1.90% for the long term fund and 1.74% for the short term fund.  The net impact on council’s bottom line arising from the performance to date of its Managed Fund Portfolio is a surplus of $1.69M.  Compared to the corresponding budget this represents an unfavourable variance of ($0.8M).

 


 

Expenditure

Year to date expenditure is $43.98M, which is $40K or 0.1% below budget. 

Note that across council there is a $474K favourable salaries variance predominantly due to delays in the recruitment of positions identified in the LTP and AP and the time to fill vacancies.  Some of these have associated external funding.  It is likely that this variance will increase for the remainder of the year as recruitment is postponed until some time after the COVID-19 lockdown.

 

Transfers to reserves

For the year to date there has been a net transfer to reserves of $1.44M compared to a budgeted net transfer to reserves of $275K.  This is predominantly due to:

Ÿ $131K lower than budgeted transfers to externally managed fund reserves representing lower reinvestment of gains than budgeted.

Ÿ $314K lower than budgeted transfers from the Investment and Growth Reserve predominantly due to economic development grants not occurring as budgeted.

Ÿ $141K higher than budgeted transfers to the Whangārei and Far North bus reserves due to higher NZTA subsidies than budgeted.

Ÿ $256K higher than budgeted transfers to river reserves predominantly due to lower than budgeted stop bank and river clearance works.

Ÿ $136K lower than budgeted transfers from the Hātea River reserve due to the Hātea River dredging not occurring when budgeted.

Capital Expenditure

Actual capital expenditure year to date of $3.58M is $590K lower than budgeted capital expenditure of $4.17M.  Hydrology capex of $150K has been identified as a carry forward and we expect additional carry forwards to be requested for the Awanui Flood Infrastructure, Water Street building reconfiguration, Far North nursery, and the Kaipara Service Centre capital projects, but the exact value of these are not yet known.

 

Operational expenditure carry forwards

We are currently reviewing our forecast expenditure to year end.  We will critically evaluate any proposed carried forward of operational expenditure to ensure that it aligns with the work plan.  At the time of writing this report we are aware of $221,392 of operational carry forwards that will be evaluated and brought to council in August, but we expect the total amount of requested carry forwards to be higher than this at year end.

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Dave Tams

Title:

Group Manager, Corporate Excellence

Date:

05 June 2020

  


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.1

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Adoption of User Fees and Charges 2020/21 | Kaupapa Here a Utu

ID:

A1314750

From:

Robyn Broadhurst, Policy Specialist and Kyla Carlier, Corporate Planning Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

This report presents the user fees and charges, and associated policy, contained within the User Fees and Charges 2020/21 schedule for setting and adoption by council.

 

Council’s User Fees and Charges 2020/21 underwent a period of public consultation concurrently with the Annual Plan 2020/21.

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Adoption of User Fees and Charges 2020/21 | Kaupapa Here a Utu’ by Robyn Broadhurst, Policy Specialist and Kyla Carlier, Corporate Planning Manager and dated 11 May 2020, be received.

2.         That council sets and adopts the User Fees and Charges 2020/21 included as Attachment 1 pertaining to Item 6.1 of the 16 June 2020 council agenda.

3.         That council authorises Jonathan Gibbard, Group Manager –Strategy, Governance and Engagement to make any necessary minor drafting, typographical, rounding, or presentation corrections to the User Fees and Charges 2020/21 prior to final publication of the document.

 

Background/Tuhinga

Council’s User Fees and Charges 2020/21 contains the charges that council is authorised to set under the various pieces of legislation that it works under.  These are reviewed annually and have been reviewed and consulted on in conjunction with the process of developing the Annual Plan 2020/21.

All applicable charges in the user fees and charges schedule have been adjusted for inflation with a rate of 2.2% applied.  This is the actual inflation budgeted for fees and charges within the Long Term Plan 2018-2028.

In addition to the inflationary increase, three new charges were also added for pilotage and shipping navigation and safety services fees for large ships outside of pilotage areas, the issuing of a notice of direction, and a marine biosecurity charge for large ships.  Other minor changes comprised clarification to wording, minor updates to, and simplification of, existing charges, and removal of redundant charges/sections. 

 

No further changes to the User Fees and Charges 2020/21 were made as a result of council deliberations held on 6 May 2020.

 

Considerations

1.         Options

Section 150 of the LGA sets out the process by which a local authority may prescribe fees and charges in respect of any matter provided for, either under a bylaw or under any other enactment, if the enactment does not authorise the local authority to charge a fee.  Section 36 of the Resource Management Act 1991 authorises local authorities to fix charges and specifies that such charges must be fixed in the manner set out by section 150 of the LGA.

 

Council has completed a review of fees and charges and followed the relevant process for consultation required under sections 82 and 83 of the LGA.

 

 

No.

 

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

 

Set and adopt the User Fees and Charges 2020/21

Policy, fees and charges can be updated for the 2020/21 financial year.

None

2

 

Do not set and adopt the User Fees and Charges 2020/21

None

Fees and charges will not be updated for the 2020/21 financial year, resulting in inaccurate costs, and the inability of council to recover the costs of activities.

 

The staff’s recommended option is 1, to set and adopt the User Fees and Charges 2020/21.

2.         Significance and engagement

Section 76AA of the LGA directs that council must adopt a policy setting out how significance will be determined and the level of engagement that will be triggered.  This policy assists council in determining how to achieve compliance with the LGA requirements in relation to decisions.

Consultation on the User Fees and Charges 2020/21 has been completed, achieving compliance with council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

The decision to confirm and adopt the User Fees and Charges 2020/21 is in accordance with section 150 of the LGA and is consistent with the policy and legislative requirements of the various pieces of legislation that council sets charges under.  These are detailed in sections 2.1 – 2.6 of the User Fees and Charges 2020/21, and in addition to the LGA include the Resource Management Act, Northland Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw, Maritime Transport Act, the Biosecurity Act, and the Building Act.

Further considerations

4.         Community views

The views of the community on the amendments and alterations in the User Fees and Charges 2020/21, were obtained during a period of consultation in accordance with sections 82 and 83 of the LGA.  Community views have been provided to council by way of links to full submissions and a summary of submissions report.

Council has considered the proposals included in the User Fees and Charges 2020/21 by way of a deliberations meeting held on 6 May 2020 that centred upon the public feedback received.

5.         Māori impact statement

While there were no proposals in the User Fees and Charges 2020/21 that were considered to have significant and specific impacts on Māori over and above those of the general public, the process of consultation included engagement with Māori.  This occurred by way of a letter circulated via electronic direct mail to all iwi and hapū groups on council’s database, along with reporting to the Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party.

6.         Financial implications

The User Fees and Charges 2020/21 sets out the fees and charges for the 2020/21 financial year, which make up a portion of council’s income sources.  An estimation of the income received from these fees and charges, that contributes to budgeted income for the 2020/21 financial year, is reflected in the financial statements set out in council’s Annual Plan 2020/21.

7.         Implementation issues

It is not anticipated there will be any implementation issues for the User Fees and Charges 2020/21 following adoption.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: User Fees and Charges 2020-21 Final  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

10 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.1

16 June 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.2

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Adoption of the Annual Plan 2020/21 | Mahere-a-Tau 2020/21

ID:

A1318940

From:

Kyla Carlier, Corporate Planning Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The purpose of this report is to present the Annual Plan 2020/21 for final adoption, following a process of development, consultation and council deliberation.

 

Since work began on this Annual Plan the world has changed enormously, with the impact of COVID-19 and one of the worst droughts on record felt keenly by the region.  Council has indicated their confidence in the resilience and adaptability of Northlanders to get through these unprecedented events, and an awareness that there are tough times to come for the region. 

 

Council were faced with a fall in forecast revenue from investments and other sources such as cruise ship fees, and a clear message from the community to keep rates as low as possible.  But their ongoing responsibilities to maintain the services essential to keeping our environment, people and communities healthy and safe remained unchanged.  It was critical to get the balance right between reducing costs and providing essential services.

 

Close to $2.4 million has been cut from this 2020/21 budget, and financial reserves have been used.  These adjustments have cut the previously planned rates rise virtually in half, from the consulted 8.6% increase, to one of 4.5%.  Each of the reductions in budget were carefully considered by council and priority areas for re-establishment were identified, should non-rating revenue streams generate greater returns than currently forecast.

 

Council has indicated their determination to not lose ground on the important environmental and other critical work that is already underway and represents a very strategic, long-term investment in Northland’s future.

 

 

Recommendations

1.         That the report ‘Adoption of the Annual Plan 2020/21 | Mahere-a-Tau 2020/21’ by Kyla Carlier, Corporate Planning Manager and dated 24 May 2020, be received.

2.         That council resolve to apply $7,380,760 of funding from the Property Reinvestment Fund reserve to development of the Kaipara Service Centre, as reflected in the Annual Plan 2020/21 budgets, and in accordance with confidential item 9.4 of this agenda.

3.         That council resolve not to include in the 2020/21 Annual Plan budget $6,000,000 of funding as investment in infrastructure for a recirculated aquaculture scheme, with future funding to be confirmed by resolution of council (during the 2020/21 financial year).

4.         That in accordance with section 95 of the Local Government Act 2002, the council adopts the Annual Plan 2020/21, as included as Attachment 1 pertaining to Item 6.2 of the 16 June 2020 council agenda.

5.         That the council authorises Jonathan Gibbard, Group Manager – Strategy and Governance to make any necessary minor drafting, typographical, rounding, or presentation corrections to the Annual Plan 2020/21 prior to the document going to print.

 

Background/Tuhinga

The Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) requires council to develop an annual plan for the second and third years following a long term plan to identify any changes from what was set out in that long term plan.  The LGA outlines the process for determining if consultation is required as part of the development of an annual plan, and prescribes the process of consultation to be followed.

Several changes from the Long Term Plan 2018–2028 (LTP) were proposed in the Annual Plan 2020/21 consultation, adding an extra $1.4 million to council’s operating budget for the year and $265,000 of capital spend.  This added 4.6%, on top of the LTP-approved 4% increase in rates for the year and took the proposed total rate increase to 8.6%. 

Consultation was carried out using the principles of consultation as outlined in section 82 of the LGA, over a one-month period from 26 February to 27 March 2020.

Toward the end of the public consultation process the situation with COVID-19 escalated quickly, resulting in nationwide lockdown and declaration of a state of emergency.  The current and forecast economic impacts of COVID-19 are significant for council and our community.  Council’s economic modelling and budget re-forecasting showed an estimated nett revenue decrease for council of almost $3.4 million, and an increased provision for bad debts was required.

In response to the re-forecast decrease in council revenue and negative economic impact on the region, council reviewed the proposals that were put forward in the annual plan consultation, paring back or removing these wherever possible.  Pre-approved spend for year three of the LTP, business as usual, and recruitment budgets were also reviewed and savings where made where possible.  Council’s reserves and investment funds were used to supplement decreases in revenue in order to maintain our levels of service to the community wherever possible.

Where budgetary savings were made, these savings were applied to the most appropriate rate.  LTP savings were applied to the original rate that they were approved to be funded by, and all other savings were applied to rates using the same logic applied to annual plan and LTP proposals, and in accordance with the definition of rates as set out in the Annual Plan 2020/21.

Council deliberated on the annual plan proposals, and the proposed response to the economic impacts of COVID-19, on 6 May 2020.

Subsequent to deliberations, and following a legal advice, staff re-adjusted the assumptions pertaining to the source of funds applied to investment in the Kaipara Service Centre development and investment in a building and core infrastructure for a recirculated aquaculture scheme with NIWA.  In the supporting information to the annual plan process, funding for these projects was shown as assumed to come from borrowings from the Local Government Funding Agency. 

Funding for the Kaipara Service Centre is now budgeted to be allocated from the Property Reinvestment Fund reserve in accordance with the purpose of that reserve fund.  Funding for the investment in aquaculture scheme with NIWA has been deferred and is no longer included in the budgets for the annual plan 2020/21.  Funding of this investment will be considered by future resolution of council during the year.

Details of the proposals approved and not approved, other savings made, and movements in reserves and investment funds, are set out in the final Annual Plan 2020/21, included as Attachment 1 to this report. 

This annual plan also contains council’s funding and rates statements for the 2020/21 year.

Any content, including financial information and policies, not legally required to be located within an annual plan have not been included in this final document in an effort to avoid unnecessary duplication and keep the document size to a minimum.  Where possible, relevant information is made available on council’s website.

 

Considerations

1.         Options

 

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Adopt the Annual Plan 2020/21

Council will achieve compliance with the LGA, and will have a budget and forecast financial statements in place for the 2020/21 financial year.

None

2

Do not adopt the Annual Plan 2020/21

None

Council will not achieve compliance with the LGA and will enter the 2020/21 financial year without an approved budget.

 

The staff’s recommended option is option 1 - to adopt the Annual Plan 2020/21.

2.         Significance and engagement

Section 76AA of the LGA directs that council must adopt a policy setting out how significance will be determined, and the level of engagement that will be triggered.  This is council’s Significance and Engagement Policy, and it assists council in determining how to achieve compliance with the LGA in relation to decisions.

The proposals and content included in this annual plan resulted in the Council Services Rate exceeding a 2% increase, which triggered council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. Consultation was carried out in accordance with section 82 of the LGA.

The decision to approve and adopt the Annual Plan 2020/21 following a period of consultation and further consideration of any changes made after consultation, is considered to be compliant with council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

The adoption of an Annual Plan is a requirement of section 95 of the LGA, with the process to be followed set out in Part 6 of this Act, which encompasses the council’s decision making (sections 76 to 81), planning (sections 95 to 96) and consultation (sections 82 and 82A) processes.

Adoption of the Annual Plan 2020/21 is consistent with the policy and legislative requirements outlined above.

Further considerations

4.         Community views

The views of the community on the proposals included in the Annual Plan 2020/21 were obtained during a period of consultation, in accordance with section 82 of the LGA.  Community views have been provided to council by way of links to full submissions and a summary of submissions report.

Council has discussed the proposals included in the Annual Plan 2020/21 by way of a deliberations meeting on 6 May 2020 that included consideration of public feedback received.

5.         Māori impact statement

There were a number of proposals in the Annual Plan 2020/21 that specifically related to council’s obligations to Māori.  The process of consultation included engagement with Māori, and this occurred by way of pānui circulated to all iwi and hapū groups on council’s database, and reporting to the Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party.

 

6.         Financial implications

This annual plan sets out the budget, forecast financial statements, and rates examples for the 2020/21 financial year. 

 

All activities outlined in the final Annual Plan 2020/21 have been budgeted for.

 

7.         Implementation issues

There are no anticipated implementation issues for the Annual Plan 2020/21 following adoption of the plan at this meeting.

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Annual Plan 2020/21 | Mahere-a-Tau 2020/21  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

10 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.2

16 June 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.3

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Rates for the Year 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021

ID:

A1315872

From:

Dave Tams, Group Manager, Corporate Excellence; Casey Mitchell, Assistant Management Accountant and Simon Crabb, Finance Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

Under sections 23, 24, 57 and 58 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (LGRA), the council is required to set its rates, due dates and penalty regime by resolution.

Under section 55 of the LGRA, the council may provide for a discount on the rates if payment is made by a specified date before the due date or dates, in accordance with a policy made under section 55.

This paper provides for the council to set its rates, due dates, penalty regime and discounts for the year commencing on 1 July 2020 and ending on 30 June 2021.

This paper has been prepared in accordance with the revenue and financing policy in the LTP 2018-2028 and rates section (including the funding impact statement) contained within the 2020–2021 Annual Plan.

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Rates for the Year 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021’ by Dave Tams, Group Manager, Corporate Excellence; Casey Mitchell, Assistant Management Accountant and Simon Crabb, Finance Manager and dated 14 May 2020, be received.

2.         That council notes that it has had regard to section 100T of the Biosecurity Act 1993 and confirms that its analysis of Section 100T of the Biosecurity Act 1993, as included in the Long Term Plan 2018-2028, remains appropriate in relation to setting the Pest Management Rate for 2020/21.

3.         That the Northland Regional Council resolves to set the following rates under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (LGRA) for the financial year commencing 1 July 2020 and ending 30 June 2021:

a.      Targeted council services rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA. The rate is calculated on the total projected capital value, as determined by the certificate of projected valuation of each constituent district in the Northland region.  An additional $1.73 (including GST) per each rateable separately used or inhabited part (SUIP) of a rating unit is to be assessed across the Whangārei constituency to provide funding for the ongoing maintenance of the Hātea River Channel.  The rate is differentiated by location in the Northland region and assessed as a fixed amount per each rateable separately used or inhabited part (SUIP) of a rating unit in the Far North and Whangārei districts, and on each rateable rating unit (RU) in the Kaipara district.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                  Including GST

Far North District                                                                                                           $92.40 per SUIP

Kaipara District                                                                                                                $125.27 per RU

Whangārei District                                                                                                      $120.20 per SUIP

The Whangārei District targeted council services rate amount of $120.20 (including GST) per SUIP includes funding for the Hātea River Channel amount of $1.73 (including GST).

 

b.     Targeted land management rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  The rate is assessed on the land value of each rateable rating unit in the region.  The rate is set per dollar of land value.  The rate per dollar of land value is different for each constituent district because the rate is allocated based on projected land value, as provided for in section 131 of the LGRA.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                  Including GST

Far North District                                                                    $0.0000878 per dollar of land value

Kaipara District                                                                        $0.0000995 per dollar of land value

Whangārei District                                                                 $0.0000914 per dollar of land value

               

c.      Targeted freshwater management rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  The rate is assessed on the land value of each rateable rating unit in the region.  The rate is set per dollar of land value.  The rate per dollar of land value is different for each constituent district because the rate is allocated based on projected land value, as provided for in section 131 of the LGRA.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                  Including GST

Far North District                                                                    $0.0001887 per dollar of land value

Kaipara District                                                                        $0.0002137 per dollar of land value

Whangārei District                                                                 $0.0001966 per dollar of land value

 

d.     Targeted pest management rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  The rate is calculated on the total projected capital value, as determined by the certificate of projected valuation of each constituent district in the Northland region.  The rate is a fixed amount, differentiated by location in the Northland region.  The rate will be assessed on each rateable separately used or inhabited part (SUIP) of a rating unit in the Far North and Whangārei districts, and each rateable rating unit (RU) in the Kaipara District.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                Including GST

Far North District                                                                                                         $46.88 per SUIP

Kaipara District                                                                                                                 $63.56 per RU

Whangārei District                                                                                                       $60.11 per SUIP

 

e.     Targeted flood infrastructure rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  The rate is a fixed amount assessed on each rateable separately used or inhabited part (SUIP) of a rating unit in the Far North and Whangārei districts, and each rateable rating unit (RU) in the Kaipara District.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                Including GST

Far North District                                                                                                         $27.05 per SUIP

Kaipara District                                                                                                                 $27.05 per RU

Whangārei District                                                                                                       $27.05 per SUIP

 

f.      Targeted civil defence and hazard management rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  The rate is calculated on the total projected capital value, as determined by the certificate of projected valuation of each constituent district in the Northland region.  The rate is a fixed amount, differentiated by location in the Northland region.  The rate will be assessed on each rateable separately used or inhabited part (SUIP) of a rating unit in the Far North and Whangārei districts, and each rateable rating unit (RU) in the Kaipara District.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                Including GST

Far North District                                                                                                         $16.73 per SUIP

Kaipara District                                                                                                                 $22.67 per RU

Whangārei District                                                                                                       $21.44 per SUIP

 

g.      Targeted emergency services rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  The rate is a fixed amount assessed on each rateable separately used or inhabited part (SUIP) of a rating unit in the Far North and Whangārei districts, and each rateable rating unit (RU) in the Kaipara District.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                Including GST

Far North District                                                                                                         $11.71 per SUIP

Kaipara District                                                                                                                 $11.71 per RU

Whangārei District                                                                                                       $11.71 per SUIP

 

h.     Targeted regional sporting facilities rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  The rate is a fixed amount assessed on each rateable separately used or inhabited part (SUIP) of a rating unit in the Far North and Whangārei districts, and each rateable rating unit (RU) in the Kaipara District. The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                Including GST

Far North District                                                                                                         $16.76 per SUIP

Kaipara District                                                                                                                 $16.76 per RU

Whangārei District                                                                                                       $16.76 per SUIP

 

i.       Targeted regional infrastructure rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  This rate is assessed on the land value of each rateable rating unit in the region.  The rate is set per dollar of land value.  The rate per dollar of land value is different for each constituent district, because the rate is allocated based on projected land value, as provided for in section 131 of the LGRA.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                  Including GST

Far North District                                                                    $0.0000230 per dollar of land value

Kaipara District                                                                        $0.0000261 per dollar of land value

Whangārei District                                                                 $0.0000240 per dollar of land value

 

 

j.       Targeted Whangārei transport rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  The rate is a fixed amount assessed on each rateable separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit (SUIP) in the Whangārei District.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                Including GST

Whangārei District                                                                                                       $23.20 per SUIP

 

k.      Targeted Far North transport rate

A targeted rate as authorised by the LGRA.  The rate is a fixed amount assessed on each rateable separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit (SUIP) in the Far North District.  The rate is set as follows:

                                                                                                                                                Including GST

Far North District                                                                                                            $8.60 per SUIP

 

l.       Targeted Awanui River management rate

A targeted rate set under the LGRA, set differentially by location and area of benefit as defined in the Awanui River Flood Management Plan, and as defined in the following table:

The rate is set differentially as follows:

Category

Description

Rate including GST

 

UA

Urban rate class UA (floodplain location) $296.23 direct benefit plus $29.89 indirect benefit per separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit (SUIP).

$326.12 per SUIP

 

UA

Urban rate class UA – commercial differential.

$978.36 per SUIP

 

UF

Urban rate classes UF (higher ground) $29.89 direct benefit plus $29.89 indirect benefit per separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit.

$59.78 per SUIP

 

 

UF

Urban rate class UF – commercial differential.

$179.34 per SUIP

 

Rural

Rural rate differentiated by class, $13.18 per separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit (SUIP) of indirect benefit plus a rate per hectare for each of the following classes of land in the defined Kaitāia flood rating district as illustrated in the following maps and table.

$13.18 per SUIP

 

Class

Description

Rate including GST

 

A & B

High benefit; rural land which receives high benefit from the Awanui scheme works due to reduced river flooding risk and/or reduced duration of flooding and/or coastal flooding – all rateable land other that in the commercial differential.

 

$24.47 per hectare

 

A & B commercial differential

$73.41 per hectare

C

Moderate benefit; land floods less frequently and water clears quickly – all rateable land other that in the commercial differential.

 

$11.07 per hectare

 

C commercial differential

$33.21 per hectare

F

Contributes runoff waters and increases the need for flood protection - all rateable land other that in the commercial differential.

$1.09 per hectare

 

F commercial differential

$3.27 per hectare

 

The rating classifications are illustrated in the following maps:

 

m.    Targeted Kaihū River management rate

A targeted rate set under the LGRA, and set differentially by location and area of benefit as defined in the following table:

Class

Description

Rate Including GST

 

A

Land on the floodplain and side valleys downstream of Rotu Bottleneck.

$23.13 per hectare

B

Land on the floodplain and tributary side valleys between Ahikiwi and the Rotu Bottleneck and in the Mangatara Drain catchment upstream of SH12.

$11.39 per hectare

F

Land within the Kaihū River rating area not falling within Class A and Class B.

$1.60 per hectare

Urban Contribution – A contribution from the Kaipara District Council instead of a separate rate per property:

$5,015 per annum

 

The rating classifications are illustrated in the following map:

n.     Targeted Kaeo-Whangaroa rivers management rate

A targeted rate set under the LGRA, set on a uniform basis in respect of each rateable separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit falling within the former Whangaroa Ward rating rolls of 100-199, as illustrated in the map below:

                                                                                                                                                Including GST

Former Whangaroa Ward                                                                                         $51.36 per SUIP

                                                                                                                                                                               

o.     Targeted Whangārei urban rivers management rate

A targeted rate set under the LGRA and assessed on all rateable properties defined by reference to the differential categories and differentiated by location (illustrated in the map below) and, for some categories, land use.  It is set as a fixed amount per each rateable separately used or inhabited part (SUIP) of a rating unit, as follows:

Category

 

Including GST

1

Commercial properties located in the Whangārei Central Business District flood area:

 

$353.75 per SUIP

2

Residential properties located in the Whangārei Central Business District flood area:

 

$174.91 per SUIP

3

Properties located in the contributing water catchment area (including properties falling in the Waiarohia, Raumanga, Kirikiri and Hātea River Catchments):

$43.52 per SUIP

 

Differential categories for the Whangārei urban rivers management rate:

Residential properties in the Whangārei central business district

Residential properties in the Whangārei central business district (CBD) flood area are defined as all rating units which are used principally for residential or lifestyle residential purposes, including retirement villages, flats etc.

Residential properties also includes multi-unit properties, these being all separate rating units used principally for residential purposes, and on which is situated multi-unit type residential accommodation that is used principally for temporary or permanent residential accommodation and for financial reward, including, but not limited to, hotels, boarding houses, motels, tourist accommodation, residential clubs and hostels but excluding any properties that are licensed under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

Commercial properties in the Whangārei central business district

Commercial properties in the Whangārei CBD flood area are all separate rating units used principally for commercial, industrial or related purposes or zoned for commercial, industrial or related purposes in accordance with the Whangārei district plan.  For the avoidance of doubt, this category includes properties licensed under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol 2012; and private hospitals and private medical centres.

 

4.         Payment dates for rates, discounts, and penalty regime

That the Northland Regional Council resolves the following:

Far North District constituency:

All rates within the Far North District constituency are payable in four equal instalments, on the following dates:

Instalment

Due date for payment

Instalment 1

20 August 2020

Instalment 2

20 November 2020

Instalment 3

22 February 2021

Instalment 4

20 May 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Northland Regional Council resolves to add the following penalties to unpaid Far North District constituency rates:

·      In accordance with section 58(1)(a) of the LGRA, a penalty of ten percent (10%) will be added to any portion of each instalment of Far North District constituency rates assessed in the 2020/21 financial year that is unpaid on or by the respective due date for payment as stated above.  These penalties will be added on the following dates:

Instalment

Date penalty will be added

Instalment 1

27 August 2020

Instalment 2

27 November 2020

Instalment 3

01 March 2021

Instalment 4

27 May 2021

 

Kaipara District constituency:

All rates within the Kaipara District constituency are payable in four equal instalments, on the following dates:

Instalment

Due date for payment

Instalment 1

20 August 2020

Instalment 2

20 November 2020

Instalment 3

20 February 2021

Instalment 4

20 May 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Northland Regional Council resolves to add the following penalties to unpaid Kaipara District constituency rates:

·     In accordance with section 58(1) (a) of the LGRA, a penalty of ten percent (10%) of so much of each instalment of the Kaipara District constituency rates assessed in the 2020/21 financial year that are unpaid after the relevant due date for each instalment will be added on the relevant penalty date for each instalment stated below, except where a ratepayer has entered into an arrangement by way of direct debit authority, or an automatic payment authority, and honours that arrangement.  These penalties will be added on the following dates:

Instalment

Date penalty will be added

Instalment 1

21 August 2020

Instalment 2

21 November 2020

Instalment 3

21 February 2021

Instalment 4

21 May 2021

·     In accordance with section 58(1)(b) of the LGRA, a penalty of ten per cent (10%) of the amount of all Kaipara District constituency rates (including any penalties) from any previous financial years that are unpaid on 1 July 2020 will be added on 1 July 2020.

·     In accordance with section 58(1)(c) of the LGRA, a penalty of ten per cent (10%) of the amount of all Kaipara District constituency rates to which a penalty has been added under the point immediately above and which remain unpaid on 1 January 2021 will be added on 5 January 2021.

 

Whangārei District constituency:

All rates within the Whangārei District constituency are payable in four equal instalments, on the following dates:

Instalment

Due date for payment

Instalment 1

20 September 2020

Instalment 2

20 November 2020

Instalment 3

20 February 2021

Instalment 4

20 May 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Northland Regional Council resolves to add the following penalties to unpaid Whangārei District constituency rates:

·     In accordance with section 58(1)(a) of the LGA, a penalty of five percent (5%) will be added to any portion of each instalment of Whangārei District constituency rates assessed in the 2020/21 financial year that is unpaid on or by the respective due date for payment as stated above.  These penalties will be added on the following dates:

Instalment

Date penalty will be added

Instalment 1

23 September 2020

Instalment 2

25 November 2020

Instalment 3

24 February 2021

Instalment 4

25 May 2021

·     In accordance with section 58(1)(b) of the LGRA, a penalty of five per cent (5%) will be added to any Whangārei District constituency rates (including any penalties) from any financial year prior to 1 July 2020 that still remain unpaid as at 1 July 2020.  This penalty will be added on 5 October 2020. 

 

The Northland Regional Council resolves to apply the following discount to Whangārei District constituency rates:

·    In accordance with section 55(3) of the LGRA, where the total rates assessed for the 2020/21 year and any arrears on a rating unit in the Whangārei District constituency are paid in full on or by the due date of the first instalment, a discount of two percent (2%) of the total rates assessed on that rating unit in the 2020/21 financial year will be applied.

The district councils have advised that their rates adoption dates are as follows:

·      Far North District Council – 30 June 2020

·      Kaipara District Council – 24 June 2020

·      Whangarei District Council – 9 July 2020.

Should their collection and/or penalty dates change through the rate setting process we will need to amend our resolution accordingly.

 

Background/Tuhinga

The Northland Regional Council is scheduled to adopt its 2020/2021 Annual Plan at the council meeting to be held on 16 June 2020.  All formal requirements to resolve the rates for the year ended 30 June 2021 are in place and permit the following resolution to proceed.

The final rates have been calculated in accordance with the resolutions made by council on 6 May 2020; and the updated rating units, separately used or inhabited parts of a rating unit (SUIPs), capital values and land values provided by the district councils.

Under section 23 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (LGRA) the council is required to set its rates by resolution.  This paper provides for the council to set rates for the year commencing on 1 July 2020 and ending on 30 June 2021.

Rates for the 2020/21 year are set out on a GST inclusive basis.  This means that the amount of the rates stated includes the council’s GST obligations.  Penalties are added to the amount of unpaid rates.

Section 24 of the LGRA requires that the council state the due date for payment of the rates in its resolution setting rates.

Section 57 of the LGRA states that a local authority may, by resolution, authorise penalties to be added to rates that are not paid by the due date.  The resolution must state how the penalty is calculated and the date the penalty is to be added to the amount of unpaid rates.  Section 58 of the LGRA sets out the penalties that may be imposed.

Pursuant to section 23(5) of the LGRA, within 20 working days of the making of this resolution, a copy will be sent to the Secretary of Local Government.

Pursuant to section 28(4) of the LGRA the rating information database was made available for public inspection during May 2020.

Council carries out its pest management activities in accordance with its Northland Regional Pest and Marine Pathway Management Plan 2017–2027.  Section 100T of the Biosecurity Act requires that a regional council must decide the extent to which it funds the implementation of its regional pest and/or pathway management plan from a general rate, targeted rate, or a combination of both. 

Council gave full regard to Section 100T during the process of developing the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 and adopted the analysis for the purpose of setting the Pest Management Rate.  The full analysis was included in the Long Term Plan.

Council also carried out an analysis of funding of the Regional Pest and Marine Pathway Management Plan and in the Cost Benefit Analysis to the plan.

No significant changes have been made to the Pest Management Rate as a result of the Annual Plan 2020/21, and the analysis adopted by council remains applicable.  This report confirms council’s adoption of this analysis.

The full details of the rates calculations and rates collected from each constituent district of the Northland region will be as set out in the tables below:

Table One: Valuations by district (including equalised values)

SUIP = Separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit.

Gross no. rating units (Kaipara) or SUIPs (others)

Net no. rating units (Kaipara) or SUIPs (others)

Capital Value
$000's

Land Value
$000's

Equalised Capital Value
$000's

Equalised Land Value
$000's

Equalised CV%

Equalised LV%

Far North District

 38,534

37,155

 19,484,844

 10,252,478

 19,484,844

10,252,478

33.05%

33.26%

Kaipara District

14,759

 14,130

8,936,389

 5,073,386

10,045,512

5,701,343

17.04%

18.50%

Whangārei District

 45,071

43,757

 28,373,534

 14,261,891

 29,421,095

 14,870,732

49.91%

48.24%

Total Valuation -

Northland

98,364

 95,042

 56,794,767

 29,587,755

 58,951,451

 30,824,553

100.00%

100.00%

 

Table Two: Northland Regional Council rates for the 2020/21 financial year

Budgeted Rates 2020/21 (including GST)

Far North District

Kaipara District

Whangārei District

Total $
(gross)

Total $
(net)

Targeted council services rate

Rate per SUIP

$92.40

3,560,542

3,433,122

Rate per RU

$125.27

1,848,860

1,770,065

Rate per SUIP

$120.20

 5,417,534

5,259,591

10,826,936

10,462,778

Freshwater management rate

Rate per $ of Actual LV

$0.0001887

1,934,643

1,914,068

Rate per $ of Actual LV

$0.0002137

1,084,183

1,064,160

Rate per $ of Actual LV

$0.0001966

2,803,888

2,775,318

 5,822,714

5,753,546

Targeted pest management rate

Rate per SUIP

$46.88

 1,806,474

1,741,826

Rate per RU

$63.56

938,082

898,103

Rate per SUIP

$60.11

2,709,218

 2,630,233

 5,453,774

 5,270,162

Targeted land management rate

Rate per $ of Actual LV

$0.0000878

900,168

 890,067

Rate per $ of Actual LV

$0.0000995

504,802

494,975

Rate per $ of Actual LV

$0.0000914

 1,303,537

1,290,782

 2,708,507

2,675,824

Targeted flood infrastructure rate

Rate per SUIP

$27.05

 1,042,345

1,005,043

Rate per RU

$27.05

399,231

382,216

Rate per SUIP

$27.05

 1,219,171

1,183,627

2,660,747

2,570,886

Targeted civil defence and hazard management rate

Rate per SUIP

$16.73

644,674

621,603

Rate per RU

$22.67

 334,587

 320,327

Rate per SUIP

$21.44

 966,322

938,150

1,945,583

 1,880,080

Targeted regional sporting facilities rate

Rate per SUIP

$16.76

645,912

622,797

Rate per RU

$16.76

 247,392

 236,849

Rate per SUIP

$16.76

755,486

 733,461

 1,648,790

1,593,107

Targeted regional infrastructure rate

Rate per $ of Actual LV

$0.0000230

 236.208

233,640

Rate per $ of Actual LV

$0.0000261

132,422

129,926

Rate per $ of Actual LV

$0.0000240

 342,446

 338,883

711,076

 702,449

 

Targeted emergency services rate

Rate per SUIP

$11.71

 451,233

 435,085

Rate per RU

$11.71

172,828

165,462

Rate per SUIP

$11.71

527,781

 512,394

1,151,842

 1,112,941

Targeted Whangārei transport rate

Rate per SUIP

$23.20

 1,045,647

 1,015,162

Targeted Far North transport rate

Far North District

$8.60

331,392

 319,533

Targeted Awanui River management rate

Far North District - Rural

210,494

 207,969

Far North District - Urban

 893,471

 882,383

 1,103,965

 1,090,352

Targeted Kaihū River management rate

Kaipara District (Kaihū river area only)

 79,869

 79,869

Targeted Kaeo-Whangaroa rivers management rate

Far North (Kaeo only)

$51.36

123,983

 116,644

Targeted Whangārei urban rivers management rate

Rates per SUIP

 1,164,148

 1,154,250

Total rates

Gross $

Net $

Far North District

 12,781,539

12,423,780

Kaipara District

5,742,256

5,541,953

Whangārei District

18,255,178

 17,831,851

TOTAL RATES

36,778,973

35,797,584

 

Considerations

1.                                     Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Adopt the recommendations presented in this report

Legally generate the rating revenue required to fund the council’s 2020/21 work programmes.

None

 

2

Do not adopt the recommendations presented in this report

None

Inability to legally strike the 2020/21 rates.  Consequently, unless alternative funding streams were obtained, the council would fail to deliver all its 2020/21 work programmes.

 

The staff’s recommended option is to adopt the recommendations presented in this report.

2.         Significance and engagement

The council’s 2020–2021 Annual Plan has been developed in accordance with sections 93 and 93A-93G of the Local Government Act 2002 and contains details of the proposed rates.

The rates being set have been established as part of the 2020/2021 Annual Plan process that included consultation with the public who have had the opportunity to fully consider the issues and present their views to the council, which have in turn been taken into consideration.

Consequently, this resolution is required to enact previous decisions of council through the annual plan process and is an administrative decision that does not itself trigger the Significance and Engagement Policy.

The decisions in this report are in accordance with sections 76 to 82 of the Local Government Act 2002 and the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002.

The public will have access to the final 2020/2021 Annual Plan and rates resolution through the council’s website

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

This report has been independently reviewed by Simpson Grierson and meets all the statutory requirements under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 for the setting of 2020/21 rates.

Further considerations

4.         Community views

The impact of the 2020/2021 Annual Plan budgets on council’s rates has been consulted on with the community through the 2020/2021 Annual Plan consultative procedure in accordance with s82 of the Local Government Act 2002.

5.         Māori impact statement

Targeted consultation on the council’s rates funding requirement was undertaken with iwi as part of the 2020/2021 Annual Plan consultation process using existing relationship channels.

6.         Financial implications

This report discusses setting of rates for the 2020/21 financial year.  The financial impacts of the recommendations in this report are significant as it determines council’s ability to collect rate revenue.

7.         Implementation issues

There are no implementation issues that the council needs to be aware of.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Dave Tams

Title:

Group Manager, Corporate Excellence

Date:

10 June 2020

 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.4

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Changes to delegations

ID:

A1316427

From:

Dave Tams, Group Manager, Corporate Excellence

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

This paper proposes changing the financial delegation limits for the Group Managers.

 

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Changes to delegations ’ by Dave Tams, Group Manager, Corporate Excellence and dated 18 May 2020, be received.

2.         That the financial delegation limits for the Group Managers be increased to $250,000.

 

Background/Tuhinga

 On 17 March 2020 the Group Manager, Corporate Excellence gave an overview to changes in the Procurement Policy and process to a council workshop.

 

It is proposed to align the Group Managers’ delegation limits to the process steps in the Procurement Policy.  Above a financial limit of $250,000 the Procurement Policy requires that tenders are evaluated by a tender committee, including the Chief Executive Officer.  Below that level there are standard processes to follow with predefined financial limits.  It is proposed to align the Group Managers’ financial delegation with the requirement for a tender evaluation committee, i.e. spend up to $250,000. 

 

There are no other changes to the financial delegation limits proposed.

 

Attachment 1 highlights the changes to the Delegations Manual.

 

Considerations

1.         Options

 

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Agree to the changes in the financial delegations

Administratively efficient.

 

Gives the Group Managers better financial authority to execute their work programmes.

 

Procurement Policy and financial delegations aligned.

 

Chief Executive Officer relinquishes some control to the Group Managers.

2

Do not agree to the changes to the financial delegation limits

Chief Executive Officer retains control of all major spend.

Administratively inefficient.

 

Does not empower Group Managers with the financial authority to execute their work programmes.

 

Procurement Policy and financial delegations not aligned.

 

 

The staff’s recommended option is 1.

2.         Significance and engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, this decision is of low significance when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy because it is part of council’s day to day activities.

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

 The decision is consistent with policy and legislative requirements.

Being a purely operational matter, Community Views, Māori Impact Statement, Financial Implications and Implementation Issues are not applicable.

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Draft changes to the Delegation manual.

Attachment 2: Northland Regional Council Procurement Policy and Procedures - Draft  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Dave Tams

Title:

Group Manager, Corporate Excellence

Date:

10 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.4

16 June 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.4

16 June 2020Attachment 2

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.5

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

GMO Appeals - Proposed Regional Plan

ID:

A1320126

From:

Ben Lee, Strategic Policy and Planning Manager

 

Executive Summary / Whakarāpopototanga

The Far North District Council and the Whangarei District Council appealed council’s decision on the proposed Regional Plan.  The appeals seek the inclusion of provisions to manage genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the coastal marine area (CMA).  The three parties that opposed the appeals have withdrawn.  This means that council is now the only party not supporting the inclusion of the GMO provisions in the CMA.

Staff’s recommendation is to actively defend council’s decision (e.g. call evidence in Environment Court proceedings).  This does not require a formal decision of council because it is the status quo.

It is open to the council to change its position.  If council were to reconsider its position, then it should be based on sound resource management reasons. 

 

Recommendation / Tūtohutanga

1.         That the report ‘GMO Appeals - Proposed Regional Plan’ by Ben Lee, Strategic Policy and Planning Manager and dated 27 May 2020, be received.

2.         That council maintain its decision not to include provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan regulating the use of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area, and that council actively defend this position in Environment Court proceedings.

 

Background / Tuhinga

The Far North District Council and the Whangarei District Council appealed council’s decision on the Proposed Regional Plan.  The appeals seek the inclusion of provisions to manage GMOs in the costal marine area (CMA).  Various parties joined the appeals, including three parties opposing the appeals:

Ÿ Life Sciences Network

Ÿ Biotech NZ

Ÿ Federated Farmers.

In January 2020, council agreed to maintain its position as per the July 2019 council decision not to include provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan for the management of GMOs in the CMA - but signalled that it did not intend to actively defend its position in the Environment Court proceedings.  This meant that the council would not (for example) put up any evidence should the appeal proceed to a hearing.  A key factor in adopting this position was the fact there were interests from both sides of the argument represented by the parties, and they would provide the spectrum of arguments evidence through the proceedings.

The three parties above opposing the appeals have now withdrawn.  This means that all the parties involved in the appeals support the inclusion of GMO coastal marine area provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan – except council. 

If council maintains its current position of not actively defending its decisions in the Environment Court, it would mean the Court would only be provided evidence in favour of including provisions.  The Court has the power to ask for evidence – but this would be unusual. 

The Court (and other parties) would likely be highly scathing of council, and there is a high likelihood that costs would be awarded against council (which could be significant), should council not actively participate in the Environment Court proceedings.  If no evidence was called in support of the council’s decision, the Court’s decision would most likely be to include provisions.

While council could continue with this approach, the risks and costs far outweigh any benefits.

If council continues to maintain its position of not including GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan, then it is recommended the council actively defends this position (e.g. call evidence) in the Environment Court proceedings.

It is open to the council to change its position and agree with the appeal parties to include GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan – there are no legal impediments. 

Staff cannot provide advice whether council should change its position – they are constrained by the fact that there is a council decision, and as staff our role is to defend council’s decision.  As with any Environment Court appeals, staff would only consider recommending a significant change in position if there was any new compelling information that challenged the foundations of council’s original decision – and to date staff are not aware of any such information.  Staff therefore recommend council maintain and defend its decision not to include GMO provisions in the CMA.

If council were to reconsider its position, then it should be based on sound resource management reasons. 

Two potential decision reports were presented to council at its July 2019 council meeting – one in support of not including GMO provisions (Attachment 1) and the other in support of including GMO provisions in the CMA (Attachment 2).  The recommendation of all the expert planners (including the council’s consultant planner) was to include GMO provisions in the CMA.  The July 2019 council decision (Attachment 1) was finely balanced, with the Chair using his casting vote.

If council were to reconsider its position, then a basis for it could be the July 2019 alternative decision report (Attachment 2).  Council could change its position on the basis that the findings of the alternative decision report was the more appropriate for achieving the purpose of the RMA and for giving effect to the high-order instruments, including the RPS and NZCPS.  

The appellants have sought to include the same set of provisions as recommended in the alterative decision report (Attachment 2).  

Considerations

1.         Options

The following is a brief assessment of the risks, costs and benefits of the two options.  It includes the key reasons from the two July 2019 decision reports.

Note: the option of maintaining the current position but not actively defending it is not included in the table as it is not a viable option.  As outlined in the “Background” section, the risk and costs far outweigh any benefits.

Option

Risks and costs

Benefits

Option 1 - Agree with the appeal parties to include provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan

·    Deviates from council’s original decision. 

·    If a GMO emerges which is safe and has significant benefits (e.g. an organism that controls a marine pest) then it will require a plan change (change from prohibited) before it could be used in Northland’s CMA – time and cost (estimate 2 years, staff time, and $50-$100k).  The evidence to date has not indicated any such GMO on the horizon. 

·    While including provisions in the Regional Plan will not increase the council’s legal liability to clean‐up or otherwise address the illegal use or introduction of GMOs in the coastal marine area, it may lead to enhanced expectation from parts of the community to address adverse effects arising from unlawful or accidental use of GMOs (compared to if no provisions included in plan).

·    No new compelling information has been provided to support a change of position, so the council could be criticised for taking an unprincipled approach to changing its position.

·    Resolves the appeals without a hearing – saves staff time and costs (circa $60 - $80k, unbudgeted).

·    Inclusion of provisions relating to the management of GE / GMOS in the CMA responds to widespread community concern.

·    Is a highly precautionary approach.

·    Achieves consistency with the approach on land in Northland (under Far North and Whangarei District Plans) and with Auckland, which has GMO provisions for the coastal marine area.

 

Option 2 - Maintain position, proceed to hearing, and call evidence

·    Staff time and costs (circa $60 - $80k for legal and expert evidence).

·    Risk that the Court may find in favour of the appeal parties and include GMO provisions. Inconsistent with approach on land in Northland and in Auckland, which have GMO provisions.

·    Maintains integrity of council’s original decision.

·    Would be of national benefit in having an Environment Court merits decision on the inclusion (or not) of GMO coastal marine area provisions in regional plans.

·    No requirement to change the plan if a GMO emerges which is safe and has significant benefits.

·    Potentially reduces community expectation that the council would be responsible for addressing any unlawful or accidental release of GMOs.

 

Staff recommend Option 2 – that council maintains its current position and actively defends this position through the Environment Court.   Staff are not aware of any new compelling information to support a recommendation to change council’s original decision.

2.         Significance and engagement

If council were to change position and support the inclusion of GMO coastal marine area provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan, then the decision could arguably be considered significant when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy (as required by section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002).   However, this decision is part of a broader Resource Management Act 1991 process for developing the Proposed Regional Plan – including significant public engagement through submissions, presentations at hearings and appeals – and council is therefore able to make this decision without any further public consultation. 

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

There is no legal or policy constraint if council were to change position and support the inclusion of GMO coastal marine area provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan.  Provided the decision was based on sound resource management principles, then it would be consistent with the Resource Management Act 1991.

It is considered there is low risk that a change of position would be legally questioned – if the appeal is settled between the parties, it is unlikely that the Environment Court would call a hearing.  Furthermore, there are no parties to the appeal to oppose that outcome.

 

Further considerations

4.         Community views

Community views have been expressed through the submissions, hearing and now the appeals process.  Most of the submissions were in favour of including provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan to manage GMOs.

5.         Māori impact statement

Māori have consistently raised concerns about genetic engineering and the release of genetically modified organisms.  This is reflected in “The use of genetic engineering and the release of GMOs to the environment” being an issue of regional significance to tangata whenua in the Reginal Policy Statement.

6.         Financial implications

If council were to change position and support the inclusion of GMO coastal marine area provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan, the potential financial implications are:

Ÿ Resolves the appeals without a hearing – saves staff time and costs (circa $60 - $80k, unbudgeted).

Ÿ If a GMO emerges which is safe and has significant benefits (e.g. an organism that controls a marine pest) then it will require a plan change (change from prohibited) before it could be used in Northland’s CMA – time and cost (estimate two years, staff time, and $50-$100k).  The evidence to date has not indicated any such GMO on the horizon. 

Ÿ The possible enhanced expectation from parts of the community to address adverse effects arising from unlawful or accidental use of GMOs (compared to if no provisions included in plan) may lead to council deciding to fund any such clean-up. 

7.         Implementation issues

If provisions are included in the Proposed Regional Pan, council will be required to implement the provisions.  There is a low likelihood that council will have to process resource consent applications for the use of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area (based on current evidence for demand within the life of the plan).  There may be some elevated community pressure (but no legal requirement) on council to pay for the clean-up of any accidental or illegal release of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Council decision on GMO submissions to not include provisions for gentically modifed organisms

Attachment 2: Council decision on GMO submissions - Potential council decision supporting inclusion of provisions for genetically modified organisms  


 

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

10 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.5

16 June 2020Attachment 1

 

DECISION OPTION 2 – NO NEW PROVISIONS

 

 

Decisions in response to submissions on the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland

Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms

 

 

Section 1
Introduction

 

[1]          On 6 September 2017 the Northland Regional Council (‘the Council’ or ‘NRC) notified the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland (‘the Plan’ or ‘pRPFN’).  This Decision relates specifically to the submissions that were received on Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms (GE / GMO). 

 

[2]          The hearing and consideration of submissions on GE / GMO function was a function retained by the Council and was addressed through a separate hearing process to the hearing and consideration of other submissions on the Plan.  For the avoidance of doubt, the Council affirms that throughout the performance of its duties on this matter it has been objective in considering and making decisions on the submissions.

 

Hearings Process

 

[3]          A total of 83 submitters made submissions on GE / GMO[1].  The relevant Council summary of submissions is Part K.1 of the Summary of decisions requested (March 2018).  The pRPFN as notified did not contain provisions, including rules, of the scope sought by the primary submitters. While many submissions referred to what had occurred in Northland and Auckland Plans, and previous work that was carried out by a joint council working party, no specific s32 analysis or detailed set of proposed provisions was provided.  The Hearing Panel issued Minute 1 on 30 January 2018 which requested that s32 Evaluations be prepared for provisions which were not assessed by the Council. In response to that Minute, s32 evaluations and provisions were submitted by David Badham, consultant planner on behalf of the Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council and Vern Warren, consultant planner on behalf of (originally) the Soil & Health Association, GE Free Tai Tokerau and many other submitters[2]

 

[4]          The Council appointed Mr Peter Reaburn, an experienced and independent consultant town planner, to prepare the s42A report. Via Minute 7, the Council set in place a process by which the s42A report was made available to submitters approximately one month in advance of the date by which expert evidence on behalf of submitters was to be provided. It was also encouraged through the Minute that non-expert evidence be provided.  In accordance with the Minute, a s42A Addendum report was provided approximately two weeks before the hearing.

 

[5]        The hearing was held at Northland Regional Council, 36 Water Street, Whangārei, on Tuesday 30 October 2018 and Wednesday 31 October 2018.  The hearing was then adjourned.  During the hearing, Council members asked questions of submitters to enhance the Council’s understanding of their requests, the grounds for them, and advice given in the s42A reports.  The Council endeavoured to conduct the hearings with a minimum of formality to an extent that allowed for fairness to all submitters. 

 

[6]          In Minute 8 following the hearing the Council indicated that it had, after considering all relevant material, arrived at a preliminary view (that is, not the Council’s final decision), that:

 

•       The Proposed Regional Plan will not include provisions for the management of GMOs on land (outside the coastal marine area).

•       The Proposed Regional Plan will include provisions for the management of GMOs in the coastal marine area.

 

[7]          It was further noted that Council had received recommended provisions from each of the expert planners (Vern Warren, David Badham and Peter Reaburn) which were similar. The expert planners were directed to work together with the goal of coming up with an agreed set of provisions.  These were subsequently provided to submitters for further comment prior to a reconvened hearing, which was held on 26 February 2019.  The planners were invited to attend and answer questions.  Submitters were also able to attend, although not to participate.

 

[8]          The hearing was then adjourned for Council to go into public excluded deliberations (on the same day). Following deliberations, Council requested further information and directed Council staff to facilitate them:

 

Minute 10:

 

i.       A legal opinion to answer the question - would the inclusion of provisions in the Regional Plan to regulate GMOs increase Council’s legal liability to clean-up or otherwise address the illegal use or introduction of a GMO in the coastal marine area?

 

ii.      Advice from Aquaculture New Zealand on any actual or anticipated use by the aquaculture industry of genetically modified veterinary vaccines.

 

 

 

 

Minute 11:

 

i.       A legal opinion to answer the question: If the Regional Plan included rules regulating GMOs in the coastal marine area, what would council’s responsibility be to monitor and enforce the rules?

 

ii.      Would it increase Council’s legal liability to clean-up or otherwise address the accidental release of a GMO resulting from an ‘act of god’ on an otherwise authorised use of GMOs (for example, a tsunami destroying a contained GMO field trial undertaken on a wharf)?

 

iii.     What have other councils (that have GMO provisions in their respective plans) budgeted for the potential clean-up of the accidental or illegal release of GMOs and the costs (including staff time) of monitoring and enforcement of GMO use?

 

[9]          All responses were placed on the Council’s website, and submitters who submitted on the inclusion of GMO provisions and wished to be heard, were notified of the responses.

 

[10]        Overall, the Council was assisted by all the requests and suggestions by submitters and their witnesses and by the s42A report author which have substantially assisted the Council in its deliberations and in the Council’s decision-making.  The submissions and reports have all contributed to an effective and fair process for which Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the RMA provides.

 

The Decisions report

 

[11]      The Council has no substantial disagreement with the analyses undertaken by the s42A author noting that Mr Reaburn’s conclusions in relation to whether or not provisions should be introduced were “finely balanced”  This Decisions report contains a summary only of the conclusions the Council has reached in relation to the issues raised in submissions and highlights matters of particular concern that have led to the decision made.  To avoid further unnecessary duplication and repetition the Council affirms that, except where the detailed findings in this Decisions report vary from the s42A Reports, the Council adopts those reports, which should be read as forming part of this Decision report.  Further, to the extent that the commentary is relevant to the GE / GMO matter, the Council adopts the following parts of the Hearing Panel’s recommendation report[3] made on all other submissions to the pRPFN.

 

·    Section 2 The Resource Management Act

·    Section 3 Higher Order and other Relevant Instruments

·    Section 5 Council’s Approach to the Plan

·    Section 6 Tangata Whenua

·    Section 7 Additional Objective and Policies (General Approach)

 

 

Section 2
Issues Raised in Submissions

 

[12]      All primary submissions supported inclusion of restrictive, precautionary or prohibitive provisions into the pRPFN for managing GE / GMO in the region, or parts of the region.  In summary, the submissions sought that the pRPFN be amended to:

 

·      give effect to the GMO 6.1.2 policy in the Northland Regional Policy Statement 2016 (‘RPS’);

·      provide a region-specific approach to managing GMOs, taking into account environmental, economic, cultural and social well-being considerations and including strong precautionary and prohibitive GE provisions, policies and rules for all environments - land, inland waterways and coastal – and all possible vectors of such organisms; 

·      add provisions in the Coastal, Land and Water and Tangata Whenua parts of the PRP to address concerns to tangata whenua and potential adverse effects on biosecurity, indigenous biodiversity, existing non-GM primary producers and public health from outdoor use of GMOs; and

·      include provisions consistent with / align with / be the same as provisions in the Auckland Council Unitary Plan, and the Far North District Council and Whangarei District Council plan changes.

 

[13]      With one exception, the further submissions received supported the primary submissions.  The one exception was the further submission from Federated Farmers.   That further submission opposed all of the primary submissions on the basis that:

 

·      There is no scope to include the provisions sought in the Proposed Regional Plan.

 

·      Even if there was scope, there is no justification (in terms of RMA s32) for including the provisions sought in the Proposed Regional Plan.

 

[14]        The key questions evaluated in this Decisions Report include:

 

1.    Is there a legal basis for including GE / GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan?

 

2.    Is there a legal constraint to including GE / GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan? 

 

3.    Is there a legal obligation to include GE / GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan?

 

4.    Is there a sufficient evidential basis to include GE / GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan? 

 

5.    Would the inclusion of provisions in the Regional Plan to regulate GMOs increase Council’s legal liability to clean-up or otherwise address the illegal use or introduction of a GMO in the coastal marine area?

 

 

Section 3

Evaluation

 

Legal Basis for Regional Plan Provisions

 

[16]        There was a consensus amongst the parties, including from Federated Farmers, that s12(3) of the RMA provides a statutory basis for the inclusion of GE/ GMO provisions in the CMA.

 

[17]        There was less certainty in relation to whether GE / GMOs constituted a “contaminant” under s15 of the RMA.  The evidence in general concluded that, considering the large range of circumstances that may be presented, a particular form of GE / GMO may or may not be considered a contaminant.  While s15 may not apply in all cases, it is likely to in some and on that basis the Council finds that it is appropriate to refer in the provisions to s15 as being a statutory basis for the inclusion of GE/ GMO provisions in the pRPFN.

 

Legal constraints in relation to Regional Plan Provisions

 

[18]        The Council was referred to a number of Court decisions that have addressed whether there is jurisdiction to include GE / GMO provisions in a regional plan.  Consistent with those Court decisions the Council is satisfied that there is no express exemption for consideration of control of new organisms under the RMA in either the RMA or the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (‘HSNO’).   The Council notes in particular the High Court’s finding that, while there was an overlap between the HSNO Act and the RMA:

 

“...there is nothing present in these pieces of legislation to prevent the establishment of objectives, policies and methods to achieve integrated management of natural and physical resources in the broad terms directed by the RMA…. I consider that there is a readily identifiable policy reason for that in these pieces of legislation, read together.  Once having been approved for import and release into New Zealand under HSNO, regional authorities can provide for use and protection of them together with other resources in a fully integrated fashion, taking account of regional needs for spatial management that might differ around the country for many reasons, not the least of which might include climatic conditions, temperaturessoils, and other factors that might drive differing rates of growth of new organisms and/or of other organisms, as just a few of perhaps many examples.  I agree with the opposition parties that the RMA and HSNO offer significantly different functional approaches to the regulation of GMOs[4].”

 

[19]        In relation to the justification required under RMA s32 for including provisions in the pRPFN, the notified pRPFN s32 document did not assess GE / GMO provisions further than noting this was a matter that may be addressed at a later date.  As noted in Section 1 above, the Council requested through Minute 1, s32 evaluation reports for the provisions sought to be introduced by submissions, and two s32 reports were subsequently provided.  The Council has had particular regard to those Section 32 Reports.[5]  Section 32AA of the RMA requires a further evaluation of any further changes made, which can be the subject of a separate report, or referred to in the decision-making record.[6]  If it is referred to in the decision-making record, it should contain sufficient detail to demonstrate that a further evaluation has been duly undertaken.[7]

 

[20]        An assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of amendments to the pRPFN must involve identifying and assessing the benefits and costs of the anticipated effects of implementing them, including opportunities for economic growth and employment.   If practicable, the assessment should quantify those benefits and costs; and assess the risk of acting or not acting if there is uncertain or insufficient information about the subject-matter.   This Decisions report, including the Section 32 documentation provided, the s42A reports the scientific, economic and cultural evidence provided at the hearing and Appendix A is intended to form part of the Council’s decision-making record.  The Council adopts this material as evaluations under s32 and s32AA.

 

Legal obligations in relation to Regional Plan Provisions

 

[21]        The Council has carefully considered the s42A report, the submissions and the evidence relating to Council’s obligations under Section 67(3) of the RMA, and in particular the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and the Northland Regional Policy Statement (‘RPS’).  A number of submitters considered that there was an obligation under these higher order documents for the regional plan to manage GMOs.  However the conclusion reached by the author of the s42A report, informed by legal advice received by the Council, was that there was no legal obligation.  In that respect Council notes that the EPA is legislatively mandated to control GMOs, and their role includes having regard to such matters as effects on the natural environment and on issues of concern to tangata whenua.    The extent to which the EPA processes would address matters that could only be addressed by the pRPFN was the subject of some debate, including as to whether the EPA process would reach decisions that aligned with community views, or would otherwise be sufficiently robust to avoid environmental risks.  Overall, the Council has found that it is for it, as the decision-maker, to consider and determine whether, after taking a precautionary approach in its considerations, it is necessary to add another layer of GMO management as part of the pRPFN.  

 

 

 

 Evidential Basis for Including Provisions in the Regional Plan

 

[22]        At the hearing scientific evidence was given by Professor Jack Heinemann on behalf of Whangarei District Council / Far North District Council and Professor Andrew Allan on behalf of Federated Farmers.  Professor Heinemann and Professor Allan were some distance apart in their views on the risks associated with GMOs, Professor Allan being much more confident that GM is safe.  Professor Allan also criticised the evidence to date as not having had regard to gene editing, an issue responded to by Professor Heinemann at the hearing.  The evidence indicated that the scientific community does not have consensus on this issue.  To the extent that this may suggest a precautionary approach is therefore justified, the Council finds this is a relevant, although not determining factor.  Other relevant considerations include the apparent lack of urgency associated with this issue, the comfort that an EPA process must be conducted regardless of any pRPFN provisions and Council’s concerns about the absence of some key information and the process that has been adopted to this point.  These are all matters further addressed below.

 

[23]        The only expert economic evidence was from Dr John Small, on behalf of Whangarei District Council / Far North District Council.  For the reasons put forward in his evidence Dr Small concluded that introducing GE / GMO provisions into the pRPFN would provide net benefits and should be approved.  As a part of this analysis, Dr Small stated that there appears to be no GMO close to release for which there is a realistic prospect of release in the Northland Region over the 10year life of the Plan.  He was of the view that, if precautionary approach provisions were introduced now, the absence of any likely prospect of GMO applications meant opportunity costs would be very low.  While accepting this evidence, as far as it went, Council was left with the question as to why it was necessary to introduce provisions into the pRPFN which would unlikely be used in the life of the plan, particularly considering the process by which those provisions has been arrived at.  In that respect, the Council is concerned that the provisions proposed have not been developed through Council’s own RMA section 32 process, are translated provisions rather than bespoke to the Northland CMA, and have not had the robust comment and analysis that may have been conducted through the normal public notification process.

 

[24]        An additional costs concern for Council, not recognised in Dr Small’s evidence, relates to what the introduction of the proposed provisions may mean in respect of Council’s monitoring, compliance and enforcement obligations. 

 

[25]        The proposed provisions include imposition of a bond.  Council agrees that this would be a key mechanism for addressing the risk of escape of GMOs from approved GMO facilities.  However Council finds that calculating a bond is too speculative and could well be so high that it would make proposals untenable.

 

[26]        Expert cultural evidence was given by Dr Benjamin Pittman and Tui Shortland.  The iwi and hapū management plans[8] that exist in relation to Northland iwi and hapū contain a strong signal that GMOs are culturally inappropriate.  Dr Pittman explained why the introduction of GE / GMO would be offensive to the principles of tikanga and seriously damage the mauri of the environment.  These are relevant and important.  The question remaining is the extent to which these concerns would otherwise be satisfactorily addressed as part of the EPA process.  The Council finds that there may be benefits in having the opportunity for iwi and hapū input at the regional (as opposed to national) level, and that gives some justification for introducing a management regime at the regional level.  This benefit must be weighed against other factors. 

 

[27]        The expert planning evidence, from Peter Reaburn, the s42A author, David Badham, consultant planner on behalf of the Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council and Vern Warren, consultant planner on behalf of the Soil & Health Association, was largely in alignment.  Informed by the other specialist evidence, all planners considered that it was appropriate to introduce GE / GMO provisions into the CMA for precautionary reasons.  Mr Warren additionally referred to parts of the statutory framework, including the NZCPS and RPS, as requiring the introduction of provisions.  As noted earlier in this Decision report, the planners were ultimately agreed on the wording of CMA provisions to be introduced into the pRPFN.

 

[28]        The evidence from Gavin Forrest on behalf of Federated Farmers, while not expert planning evidence, raised a number of questions regarding whether there should be GE / GMO provisions at this time, and the reasoning given to date for RMA provisions, at least of the type proposed, being necessary given other options available.  Council has made the following findings in relation to the questions Mr Forrest raised:

 

1.    While the pRPFN as notified did not contain provisions, including rules, of the scope sought by primary submitters the Council is satisfied that there is jurisdiction to do so.  The general theme of primary submissions was clearly that provisions based on the Auckland Unitary Plan should be introduced into the pRPFN.  The Council has attempted to take a careful approach to ensure that submitters and further submitters are aware of what provisions could be introduced, including through inviting submitters in Minute 1 to provide provisions, and s32 analyses of those provisions.  This was done, by two major submitter parties and was thus available for all parties from an early stage in the hearings process for the parties to consider and provide comment on.  Further information and evidence was sought and provided throughout the hearings process.  It is an accepted response to s32 that the process is iterative and includes information provided right up to the stage of final consideration by the decision-maker.  However, while Council accepts there is jurisdiction, it also accepts that there may be some doubt as to whether the issue has been thoroughly tested with the public and in that respect greater confidence could have been gained if the pRPFN as notified had contained provisions, including rules, relating to GE / GMOs.

 

2.    The evidence confirmed that there are no current or imminent risks that would require immediate decisions. There is no particular activity or use of GE / GMOs that is currently more than a theoretical possibility in Northland’s CMA.  In that respect, while Professor Heinemann identified some possibilities, there is a major question as to whether these are “real” prospects, at least in the foreseeable future.  The Council finds that greater specificity of potential activities, uses, risks and effects is required so that provisions, if found to be necessary at all, are devised in a more targeted manner.  On the basis of current information that there is no short term risk, the Council finds there is time to further consider whether GMO provisions need to be developed and, if there is that need, how they can be appropriately developed so that they are bespoke to Northland, and then have the robust examination enabled through the normal public notification process.  

 

3.    The use of Pest Management Plans and / or Regional Pathway Management Plans prepared under the Biosecurity Act to manage the adverse effects of GE / GMO are not a replacement for provisions considered and introduced under the RMA.

 

4.    It is not accepted that the evidence presented by those favouring pRPFN provisions consistent with other plans is out of date, however it is accepted that the Federated Farmers evidence presents another view, and that has added to the information on which decisions have been considered and made. 

 

 [29]       A number of submitters continued to seek land-based provisions throughout the hearings process.  While acknowledging submitters’ desire that provisions be adopted that are as comprehensive as possible, the Council has determined that it is not appropriate for land-based provisions to be included in the pRPFN, for a number of reasons:

 

1.    As noted by the s42A author, land-based provisions would need to rely on s15 RMA as the statutory basis.  Section 15 RMA would apply only if GE / GMOs was regarded as being a contaminant.  The consensus in evidence was that, while some GE / GMOs could potentially be defined as a contaminant, this would be case-dependent.  In order to provide a statutory basis, it would therefore be necessary to specify what forms of GE / GMO would be a contaminant, and therefore subject to regional plan land-based management.   Given the potential range of GE / GMOs (on land) is substantial this would be a very difficult exercise. 

 

2.    No submitter proposed provisions to address this concern or indeed any land-based provisions for Council’s consideration.

 

3.    The Council agrees with submitters that concerns relating to GE / GMOs apply as much, or even potentially more, to the land as the CMA, and that GMOs do not recognise CMA / land boundaries.    RPS Policy 6.1.2 (Precautionary Approach) applies to both regional and district councils.  Method 6.1.5 specifically envisages district councils as taking a role in applying the policy.  As an example, the Council was advised that the Auckland Unitary Plan provisions relied upon by many submitters are not regional plan provisions – they are CMA and district plan provisions.  In relation to land-based concerns this strongly suggests that provisions are better addressed in district plans, where there is no question that s9 RMA provides a statutory basis.   In that respect, Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council already have GE / GMO provisions and the Council was advised that the Kaipara District Council is currently considering introduction of provisions into its district plan.  To the extent that land-based GMO proposals may have a potential effect within the CMA, provisions within the CMA are not necessary to ensure those effects are addressed and appropriately managed.

 

4.    The provisions that have been sought for inclusion in the pRPFN are essentially the same as those that have already been introduced by the Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council into their respective district plans.  No submitter identified how the same land-based provisions in the pRPFN would provide any additional benefits to sustainable management of the environment.  To the contrary, separate processes would be confusing, inefficient and potentially even conflicting which could result in uncertain and costly outcomes for applicants and the community. 

 

[30]        In addition to the above, the Council has carefully considered all other evidence presented, including that by lay witnesses. 

 

[31]        The Council recognises that it may be shown later that a particular proposal for GE / GMOs will not result in adverse effects or that the EPA process will adequately manage potential adverse effects.  It is further recognised, if it is later found that it is appropriate to amend the provisions, including to provide for any GMO that may be found to have benefits without adverse effects, this will incur time and monetary costs.  In any case, the evidence is that proposals for GE / GMOs is unlikely over the life of the pRPFN.   Council has accordingly found it is not necessary to introduce provisions into the pRPFN at this stage.  Further development of the knowledge and science associated with GMOs, and the extent to which regional control may be required, will ensure that there is no unnecessary extra level of management in the meantime.

 

[32]        The response Council received from Aquaculture NZ stated that they see no need in the immediate or foreseeable uptake of GMOs or GMO based vaccines into the NZ aquaculture industry and that a precautionary approach was supported.  The response has been taken into account in Council’s considerations, noting that Aquaculture NZ did not make any particular comment about the form proposed provisions should take.

 

Council liability

 

[33]        The Council has obtained legal opinions from its lawyers Wynn Williams in relation to matters of legal liability on the Council arising from the introduction of GE / GMO provisions.  The opinion concludes that the inclusion of provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan to regulate GMOs will not increase the Council’s legal liability to clean-up or otherwise address the illegal use or introduction of GMOs in the coastal marine area.

 

[34]        Notwithstanding legal liability Council has remained concerned that there may be an enhanced expectation on the part of the community to address adverse effects arising from unlawful or accidental use of GMOs.  This would become a “social cost”.  The extent to which that expectation may be enhanced through explicit regulation of GMOs in the pRPFN is a matter of serious concern to the Council, particularly as there is a separate management regime through the EPA that may prove effective itself in managing GMOs and would, in the event of an issue arising, focus responses at the national, rather than regional, level.  It would also focus responsibility for monitoring and enforcement on fewer agencies, thus minimising the risk of not having a co-ordinated response.

 

Conclusion

 

[35]        In summary, the Council finds that:

 

1.    There is no basis or justification for GE / GMOs to be managed by the pRPFN on land, particularly given the district plan management that already exists over most of Northland.

 

2.    The evidence shows that there is no prospect of GE / GMOs being introduced into Northland’s CMA over the expected life of the pRPFN.  This gives the opportunity for a more robust analysis of the need for, and means of, addressing regional level regulation of GE / GMOs.

 

3.    Management of GE / GMOs by the EPA, particularly in relation to the CMA, may still be shown to be sufficient, without an extra layer of regional plan management.

 

4.    The proposed provisions have been adapted from other Council’s generic provisions and are not appropriately targeted to what may be a more focused and relevant management regime for Northland’s CMA.  Any future plan changes that may be shown to be necessary, including in respect of a GMO that may be shown to have significant benefits, could involve significant cost and time.

 

5.    The proposed provisions requiring imposition of a bond to address the risk of escape of GMOs, while essential, involve significant uncertainties in relation to calculating a sufficient bond amount, and could well be so high that it would make proposals untenable.

 

6.    Further experience of the EPA processes, at least as they relate to the CMA, need more time to evolve to see whether they prove effective itself in managing GMOs.  This will, in the event of an issue arising, focus responses at the national, rather than regional, level, including in relation to monitoring and enforcement on fewer agencies, thus minimising the risk of not having a coordinated response.

 

7.    Having regard to the above, and having taken a precautionary approach in its considerations, Council finds there is insufficient basis to introduce further provisions relating to GE / GMOs into the pRPFN at this time.

 

8.    The Council is confident that its findings are not inconsistent with Objective 2 and Policies 2 and 3 of the NZCPS 2010, or Policy 6.1.2 and Method 6.1.5 of the RPS.

 

 

[34]        In making this decision Council has given serious consideration to the considerable community interest (addressing social, economic and cultural wellbeing), exhibited by the many submissions and substantial body of evidence supporting regulation.  Council recognises, that in making the decision it has, the communities represented by submitters will be disappointed.  However, the Council in balancing the weight of community concern with the issues it has identified in this decision has found that there has been insufficient analysis and that there is insufficient justification to introduce further provisions relating to GE / GMOs into the pRPFN at this time.  The Council will however continue to monitor this issue and is prepared to review its position in future if further information becomes available.

 

 

Section 4

Decision

 

[35]        The Council has considered and deliberated on GE / GMO provisions in the pRPFN; the submissions lodged on it; and the reports, evidence and submissions made and given at the public hearing.  In reaching its decisions the Council has sought to comply with all applicable provisions of the RMA.  The Council has had particular regard to the evaluations and further evaluations of the amendments to the pRPFN it has decided upon.  The relevant matters the Council has considered, and its reasons for them, are summarised in the s42 reports and the main body of this report.  The Council is satisfied that its decision is the most appropriate for achieving the purpose of the RMA and for giving effect to the higher-order instruments, including the RPS and the NZCPS.

 

[36]        Relief sought in submissions is not accepted for the reasons outlined in this Decisions Report.

 

 

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.5

16 June 2020Attachment 2

 

DECISION OPTION 1 – NEW PROVISIONS

 

Decisions in response to submissions on the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland

Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms

 

 

Section 1
Introduction

 

[1]          On 6 September 2017 the Northland Regional Council (‘the Council’ or ‘NRC) notified the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland (‘the Plan’ or ‘pRPFN’).  This Decision relates specifically to the submissions that were received on Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms (GE / GMO). 

 

[2]          The hearing and consideration of submissions on GE / GMO function was a function retained by the Council and was addressed through a separate hearing process to the hearing and consideration of other submissions on the Plan.  For the avoidance of doubt, the Council affirms that throughout the performance of its duties on this matter it has been objective in considering and making decisions on the submissions.

 

Hearings Process

 

[3]          A total of 83 submitters made submissions on GE / GMO[9].  The relevant Council summary of submissions is Part K.1 of the Summary of decisions requested (March 2018).  The pRPFN as notified did not contain provisions, including rules, of the scope sought by the primary submitters. While many submissions referred to what had occurred in Northland and Auckland Plans, and previous work that was carried out by a joint council working party, no specific s32 analysis or detailed set of proposed provisions was provided.  The Hearing Panel issued Minute 1 on 30 January 2018 which requested that s32 Evaluations be prepared for provisions which were not assessed by the Council. In response to that Minute, s32 evaluations and provisions were submitted by David Badham, consultant planner on behalf of the Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council and Vern Warren, consultant planner on behalf of (originally) the Soil & Health Association, GE Free Tai Tokerau and many other submitters[10]

 

[4]          The Council appointed Mr Peter Reaburn, an experienced and independent consultant town planner, to prepare the s42A report. Via Minute 7, the Council set in place a process by which the s42A report was made available to submitters approximately one month in advance of the date by which expert evidence on behalf of submitters was to be provided. It was also encouraged through the Minute that non-expert evidence be provided.  In accordance with the Minute, a s42A Addendum report was provided approximately two weeks before the hearing.

 

[5]        The hearing was held at Northland Regional Council, 36 Water Street, Whangārei, on Tuesday 30 October 2018 and Wednesday 31 October 2018.  The hearing was then adjourned.  During the hearing, Council members asked questions of submitters to enhance the Council’s understanding of their requests, the grounds for them, and advice given in the s42A reports.  The Council endeavoured to conduct the hearings with a minimum of formality to an extent that allowed for fairness to all submitters. 

 

[6]          In Minute 8 following the hearing the Council indicated that it had, after considering all relevant material, arrived at a preliminary view (that is, not the Council’s final decision), that:

 

•       The Proposed Regional Plan will not include provisions for the management of GMOs on land (outside the coastal marine area).

•       The Proposed Regional Plan will include provisions for the management of GMOs in the coastal marine area.

 

[7]          It was further noted that Council had received recommended provisions from each of the expert planners (Vern Warren, David Badham and Peter Reaburn) which were similar. The expert planners were directed to work together with the goal of coming up with an agreed set of provisions.  These were subsequently provided to submitters for further comment prior to a reconvened hearing, which was held on 26 February 2019.  The planners were invited to attend and answer questions.  Submitters were also able to attend, although not to participate.

 

[8]          The hearing was then adjourned for Council to go into public excluded deliberations (on the same day). Following deliberations, Council requested further information and directed Council staff to facilitate them:

 

Minute 10:

i.       A legal opinion to answer the question - would the inclusion of provisions in the Regional Plan to regulate GMOs increase Council’s legal liability to clean-up or otherwise address the illegal use or introduction of a GMO in the coastal marine area?

 

ii.      Advice from Aquaculture New Zealand on any actual or anticipated use by the aquaculture industry of genetically modified veterinary vaccines.

 

Minute 11:

 

i.       A legal opinion to answer the question: If the Regional Plan included rules regulating GMOs in the coastal marine area, what would council’s responsibility be to monitor and enforce the rules?

ii.      Would it increase Council’s legal liability to clean-up or otherwise address the accidental release of a GMO resulting from an ‘act of god’ on an otherwise authorised use of GMOs (for example, a tsunami destroying a contained GMO field trial undertaken on a wharf)?

 

iii.     What have other councils (that have GMO provisions in their respective plans) budgeted for the potential clean-up of the accidental or illegal release of GMOs and the costs (including staff time) of monitoring and enforcement of GMO use?

 

[9]          All responses were placed on the Council’s website, and submitters who submitted on the inclusion of GMO provisions and wished to be heard, were notified of the responses.

 

[10]        Overall, the Council was assisted by all the requests and suggestions by submitters and their witnesses and by the s42A report author which have substantially assisted the Council in its deliberations and in the Council’s decision-making.  The submissions and reports have all contributed to an effective and fair process for which Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the RMA provides.

 

The Decisions report

 

[11]      At the conclusion to the hearing the Council notes that the expert planners had agreed on the provisions that they supported for inclusion into the pRPFN.  The Council has no substantial disagreement with the analyses undertaken by the s42A author.  This Decisions report contains a summary only of the conclusions the Council has reached in relation to the issues raised in submissions.  To avoid further unnecessary duplication and repetition the Council affirms that, except where the detailed findings in this Decisions report vary from the s42A Reports, the Council adopts those reports, which should be read as forming part of this Decision report.  Further, to the extent that the commentary is relevant to the GE / GMO matter, the Council adopts the following parts of the Hearing Panel’s recommendation report[11] made on all other submissions to the pRPFN.

 

·    Section 2 The Resource Management Act

·    Section 3 Higher Order and other Relevant Instruments

·    Section 5 Council’s Approach to the Plan

·    Section 6 Tangata Whenua

·    Section 7 Additional Objective and Policies (General Approach)

 

[12]      Appendix A shows the content of relevant parts of the pRPFN incorporating the Council’s Decisions in relation to it.  Having considered the evidence presented to the Council, the Council finds that the provisions recommended by the expert planners are appropriate.

 

Section 2
Issues Raised in Submissions

 

[13]      All primary submissions supported inclusion of restrictive, precautionary or prohibitive provisions into the pRPFN for managing GE / GMO in the region, or parts of the region.  In summary, the submissions sought that the pRPFN be amended to:

 

·      give effect to the GMO 6.1.2 policy in the Northland Regional Policy Statement 2016 (‘RPS’);

·      provide a region-specific approach to managing GMOs, taking into account environmental, economic, cultural and social well-being considerations and including strong precautionary and prohibitive GE provisions, policies and rules for all environments - land, inland waterways and coastal – and all possible vectors of such organisms; 

·      add provisions in the Coastal, Land and Water and Tangata Whenua parts of the PRP to address concerns to tangata whenua and potential adverse effects on biosecurity, indigenous biodiversity, existing non-GM primary producers and public health from outdoor use of GMOs; and

·      include provisions consistent with / align with / be the same as provisions in the Auckland Council Unitary Plan, and the Far North District Council and Whangarei District Council plan changes.

 

[14]      With one exception, the further submissions received supported the primary submissions.  The one exception was the further submission from Federated Farmers.   That further submission opposed all of the primary submissions on the basis that:

 

·      There is no scope to include the provisions sought in the Proposed Regional Plan.

 

·      Even if there was scope, there is no justification (in terms of RMA s32) for including the provisions sought in the Proposed Regional Plan.

 

[15]        The key questions evaluated in this Decisions Report include:

 

1.    Is there a legal basis for including GE / GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan?

 

2.    Is there a legal constraint to including GE / GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan? 

 

3.    Is there a legal obligation to include GE / GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan?

 

4.    Is there an evidential basis to include GE / GMO provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan? 

 

5.    Would the inclusion of provisions in the Regional Plan to regulate GMOs increase Council’s legal liability to clean-up or otherwise address the illegal use or introduction of a GMO in the coastal marine area?

 

 

Section 3

Evaluation

 

Legal Basis for Regional Plan Provisions

 

[16]        There was a consensus amongst the parties, including from Federated Farmers, that s12(3) of the RMA provides a statutory basis for the inclusion of GE/ GMO provisions in the CMA.

[17]        There was less certainty in relation to whether GE / GMOs constituted a “contaminant” under s15 of the RMA.  The evidence in general concluded that, considering the large range of circumstances that may be presented, a particular form of GE / GMO may or may not be considered a contaminant.  While s15 may not apply in all cases, it is likely to in some and on that basis the Council finds that it is appropriate to refer in the provisions to s15 as being a statutory basis for the inclusion of GE/ GMO provisions in the pRPFN.

 

Legal constraints in relation to Regional Plan Provisions

 

[18]        The Council was referred to a number of Court decisions that have addressed whether there is jurisdiction to include GE / GMO provisions in a regional plan.  Consistent with those Court decisions the Council is satisfied that there is no express exemption for consideration of control of new organisms under the RMA in either the RMA or the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (‘HSNO’).   The Council notes in particular the High Court’s finding that, while there was an overlap between the HSNO Act and the RMA:

 

“...there is nothing present in these pieces of legislation to prevent the establishment of objectives, policies and methods to achieve integrated management of natural and physical resources in the broad terms directed by the RMA…. I consider that there is a readily identifiable policy reason for that in these pieces of legislation, read together.  Once having been approved for import and release into New Zealand under HSNO, regional authorities can provide for use and protection of them together with other resources in a fully integrated fashion, taking account of regional needs for spatial management that might differ around the country for many reasons, not the least of which might include climatic conditions, temperaturessoils, and other factors that might drive differing rates of growth of new organisms and/or of other organisms, as just a few of perhaps many examples.  I agree with the opposition parties that the RMA and HSNO offer significantly different functional approaches to the regulation of GMOs[12].”

 

[19]        In relation to the justification required under RMA s32 for including provisions in the pRPFN, the notified pRPFN s32 document did not assess GE / GMO provisions further than noting this was a matter that may be addressed at a later date.  As noted in Section 1 above, the Council requested through Minute 1, s32 evaluation reports for the provisions sought to be introduced by submissions, and two s32 reports were subsequently provided.  The Council has had particular regard to those Section 32 Reports.[13]  Section 32AA of the RMA requires a further evaluation of any further changes made, which can be the subject of a separate report, or referred to in the decision-making record.[14]  If it is referred to in the decision-making record, it should contain sufficient detail to demonstrate that a further evaluation has been duly undertaken.[15]

 

[20]        An assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of amendments to the pRPFN must involve identifying and assessing the benefits and costs of the anticipated effects of implementing them, including opportunities for economic growth and employment.   If practicable, the assessment should quantify those benefits and costs; and assess the risk of acting or not acting if there is uncertain or insufficient information about the subject-matter.   This Decisions report, including the Section 32 documentation provided, the s42A reports the scientific, economic and cultural evidence provided at the hearing and Appendix A is intended to form part of the Council’s decision-making record.  The Council adopts this material as evaluations under s32 and s32AA.

 

Legal obligations in relation to Regional Plan Provisions

 

[21]        The Council has carefully considered the s42A report, the submissions and the evidence relating to Council’s obligations under Section 67(3) of the RMA, and in particular the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and the Northland Regional Policy Statement (‘RPS’).  A number of submitters considered that there was an obligation under these higher order documents for the regional plan to manage GMOs.  However, the conclusion reached by the author of the s42A report, informed by legal advice received by the Council, was that there was no legal obligation.  In that respect Council notes that the EPA is legislatively mandated to control GMOs, and their role includes having regard such matters as effects on the natural environment and on issues of concern to tangata whenua.    However, Council finds that it is necessary to adopt a regional (albeit only CMA) layer of regional management recognising the particular social, cultural and economic concerns that apply specifically to the regional community.  There is insufficient confidence that these matters can be adequately addressed solely through the EPA processes.  On the basis of the considerable evidence Council heard supporting the inclusion of provisions in the CMA the Council has decided that GE / GMO provisions will be introduced into the pRPFN.  While it may not be a legal requirement inclusion of those provisions is nevertheless consistent with the precautionary approach encouraged in the RPS. 

 

Accordingly, it has not been necessary to make a definitive finding on this issue. 

 

 Evidential Basis for Including Provisions in the Regional Plan

 

[22]        At the hearing scientific evidence was given by Professor Jack Heinemann on behalf of Whangarei District Council / Far North District Council and Professor Andrew Allan on behalf of Federated Farmers.  Professor Heinemann and Professor Allan were some distance apart in their views on the risks associated with GMOs, Professor Allan being much more confident that GM is safe.  Professor Allan also criticised the evidence to date as not having had regard to gene editing, an issue responded to by Professor Heinemann at the hearing.  The evidence indicated that the scientific community does not have consensus on this issue.  This uncertainty in relation to scientific opinion is a basis for taking a precautionary approach consistent with the RPS and NZCPS.

 

[23]        The only expert economic evidence was from Dr John Small, on behalf of Whangarei District Council / Far North District Council.  For the reasons put forward in his evidence Dr Small concluded that introducing GE / GMO provisions into the pRPFN would provide net benefits and should be approved.  As a part of this analysis, Dr Small stated that there appears to be no GMO close to release for which there is a realistic prospect of release in the Northland Region over the 10year life of the Plan.  He was of the view that, if precautionary approach provisions were introduced now, the absence of any likely prospect of GMO applications meant opportunity costs would be very low.  The Council has accepted Dr Small’s evidence as appropriately balancing the opportunity costs of not using a GMO and the risks, and concluding that a precautionary approach is justified.

 

[24]        The proposed provisions include imposition of a bond.  Council finds that this is a key mechanism for addressing the risk of escape of GMOs from approved GMO facilities.  Council remains concerned that calculating a bond could well be a speculative exercise and to cover off uncertainties could be so high that it would make proposals untenable, thus having an economic consequence that at present is unclear.  Council finds that the extent to which this becomes an issue may only be able to be examined through the future administration of the GE / GMO provisions, but is not a reason to not have provisions, including for bonding.

 

[25]        Expert cultural evidence was given by Dr Benjamin Pittman and Tui Shortland.  The Iwi and Hapū Management Plans[16] that exist in relation to Northland iwi and hapū contain a strong signal that GMOs are culturally inappropriate.  Dr Pittman explained why the introduction of GE / GMO would be offensive to the principles of tikanga and seriously damage the mauri of the environment.

 

[26]        The expert planning evidence, from the s42A author Peter Reaburn, David Badham, consultant planner on behalf of the Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council and Vern Warren, consultant planner on behalf of the Soil & Health Association, was largely in alignment.  Informed by the other specialist evidence, all planners considered that it was appropriate to introduce GE / GMO provisions into the CMA for precautionary reasons.  Mr Warren additionally referred to parts of the statutory framework, including the NZCPS and RPS, as requiring the introduction of provisions.  As noted earlier in this Decision report, the planners were ultimately agreed on the wording of CMA provisions to be introduced into the pRPFN.

 

[27]        The evidence from Gavin Forrest on behalf of Federated Farmers, while not expert planning evidence, raised a number of questions regarding whether there should be GE / GMO provisions at this time, and the reasoning given to date for RMA provisions, at least of the type proposed, being necessary given other options available.  Council has made the following findings in relation to the questions Mr Forrest raised:

 

1.    While the pRPFN as notified did not contain provisions, including rules, of the scope sought by primary submitters the Council is satisfied that there is jurisdiction to do so.  The general theme of primary submissions was clearly that provisions based on the Auckland Unitary Plan should be introduced into the pRPFN.  The Council has taken a careful approach to ensure that submitters and further submitters are aware of what provisions could be introduced, including through inviting submitters in Minute 1 to provide provisions, and s32 analyses of those provisions.  This was done, by two major submitter parties and was thus available for all parties from an early stage in the hearings process for the parties to consider and provide comment on.  Further information and evidence was provided throughout the hearings process.  It is an accepted response to s32 that the process is iterative and includes information provided right up to the stage of final consideration by the decision-maker.  The Council has had sufficient information on which to decide whether further provisions should be included in the pRPFN at this stage and has taken care to ensure that the provisions introduced by this Decision are robust.

 

2.    While the evidence appears to confirm that there are no current or imminent risks that would require immediate decisions, it is clear from other evidence that there may well be risks “on the horizon”.  The Council is satisfied, having regard to all of the evidence received, that there is a basis for introducing CMA provisions now. 

 

3.    The use of Pest Management Plans and / or Regional Pathway Management Plans prepared under the Biosecurity Act to manage the adverse effects of GE / GMO are not a replacement for provisions considered and introduced under the RMA.

 

4.    It is not accepted that the evidence presented by those favouring pRPFN provisions consistent with other plans is out of date, however it is accepted that the Federated Farmers evidence presents another view, and that has added to the information on which decisions have been considered and made. 

 

 [28]       A number of submitters continued to seek land-based provisions throughout the hearings process.  While acknowledging submitters’ desire that provisions be adopted that are as comprehensive as possible, the Council has determined that it is not appropriate for land-based provisions to be included in the pRPFN, for a number of reasons:

 

1.    As noted by the s42A author, land based provisions would need to rely on s15 RMA as the statutory basis.  Section 15 RMA would apply only if GE / GMOs was regarded as being a contaminant.  The consensus in evidence was that, while some GE / GMOs could potentially be defined as a contaminant, this would be case-dependent.  In order to provide a statutory basis, it would therefore be necessary to specify what forms of GE / GMO would be a contaminant, and therefore subject to regional plan land-based management.   Given the potential range of GE / GMOs is substantial this would be a very difficult exercise. 

 

2.    No submitter proposed provisions to address this concern or indeed any land-based provisions for Council’s consideration.

                                                                                                                                     

3.    The Council agrees with submitters that concerns relating to GE / GMOs apply as much, or even potentially more, to the land as the CMA, and that GMOs do not recognise CMA / land boundaries.   It is appropriate to achieve consistency across the region. RPS Policy 6.1.2 (Precautionary Approach) applies to both regional and district councils.   The NRC is solely responsible for the CMA and it is appropriate for the NRC to regulate and monitor any potential contained GMO trials there. However, Method 6.1.5 specifically envisages district councils as taking a role in applying the policy.  As an example, the Council was advised that the Auckland Unitary Plan provisions relied upon by many submitters are not regional plan provisions – they are CMA and district plan provisions.  In relation to land-based concerns this strongly suggests that provisions are better addressed in district plans, where there is no question that s9 RMA provides a statutory basis.   In that respect, Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council already have GE / GMO provisions and the Council was advised that the Kaipara District Council is currently considering introduction of provisions into its district plan.

 

4.    The provisions that have been sought for inclusion in the pRPFN are essentially the same as those that have already been introduced by the Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council into their respective district plans.  No submitter identified how the same land-based provisions in the pRPFN would provide any additional benefits to sustainable management of the environment.  To the contrary, separate processes would be confusing, inefficient and potentially even conflicting which could result in uncertain and costly outcomes for applicants and the community. 

 

[29]        In addition to the above, the Council has carefully considered all other evidence presented, including that by lay witnesses. 

 

[30]        The Council recognises that it may be shown later that a particular proposal for GE / GMOs will not result in adverse effects or that the EPA process will adequately manage potential adverse effects.  It is further recognised, if it is later found that it is appropriate to amend the provisions, this will incur time and monetary costs.  Council finds however that this must be balanced against the risks of not introducing provisions covering the CMA, consistent with that which has already been adopted on land by two of the three district councils in Northland. In that respect it is of advantage to have, as is proposed, complementary provisions across both land and the CMA.  There will always be potential for land-based releases to have consequential effects on the CMA and it is prudent to have such effects addressed in a consistent way.  It is also important to note that the provisions to be introduced are based on considerable research.  This includes permitting specified use of GMOs and allowing applications to be made for trials.  It also provides the opportunity for the NRC to regulate future GMO trials and for the public of Northland to have a say on notified applications.

 

[31]        The response Council received from Aquaculture NZ stated that they see no need in the immediate or foreseeable uptake of GMOs or GMO based vaccines into the NZ aquaculture industry and that a precautionary approach was supported.  The response has been taken into account in Council’s considerations, noting that Aquaculture NZ did not make any particular comment about the form proposed provisions should take.

 

[32]        The Council finds overall that the evidence is rational and sufficient in indicating a significant degree of scientific uncertainty, including uncertainties that may not be resolved for some time. Uncertainties include whether possible adverse effects are able to be managed or contained and that there are unknowns, including a potential for irreversible adverse effects. The CMA is part of the public domain and is a threatened environment.  Particular areas of the CMA will also be ecologically threatened or otherwise of special value, including to mana whenua.  If rules are not included in the pRPFN to regulate the use of GMOs in the coastal marine area, most GMO activities would likely be able to be undertaken without resource consent. This would prevent the Council having any regulatory control over whether or not the activity should be approved or how the potential environmental effects of the activity should be managed. For example, the Council would not be able to assess the sensitivity of the environment in the proposed location and the conditions that might be imposed on any resource consent (including emergency response measures and performance bonds).

 

[33]        Accordingly, in assessing all of the evidence the Council prefers the evidence that seeks the introduction of GE / GMO provisions in the CMA.   There is significant community concern, as evidenced by the universal desire for further pRPFN provisions expressed in primary submissions.  Taking this into account as well as the important aspects of social, cultural and economic wellbeing, the Council prefers the primary submitter evidence that there is a basis for RMA management through the pRPFN and that a precautionary approach is appropriate. 

 

[34]        Having regard to s66(2)(d) of the RMA the Council finds that provisions introduced now will also achieve consistency with the adjoining region, Auckland, which has GE / GMO provisions managing its CMA.  The Council further finds that the CMA provisions that have been decided upon are consistent with the statutory framework.  This includes Objective 2 and Policies 2 and 3 of the NZCPS 2010, and Policy 6.1.2 and Method 6.1.5 of the RPS.

 

Council liability

 

[35]        The Council has obtained legal opinions from its lawyers Wynn Williams in relation to matters of legal liability on the Council arising from the introduction of GE / GMO provisions.  The opinion concludes that the inclusion of provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan to regulate GMOs will not increase the Council’s legal liability to clean-up or otherwise address the illegal use or introduction of GMOs in the coastal marine area.  Council is satisfied that the potential cost of regulation and monitoring will be carried by the applicant/consent holder.

 

[36]        Notwithstanding legal liability Council remains concerned that there may be an expectation on the part of the community to address adverse effects arising from unlawful or accidental use of GMOs.  This would become a “social cost”.  The extent to which that expectation may be enhanced through explicit regulation of GMOs in the pRPFN is a matter of concern to the Council, particularly as there is a separate management regime through the EPA that may prove effective itself in managing GMOs and would, in the event of an issue arising, focus responses at the national, rather than regional, level. 

 

[37]        Council has also taken into account the substantial community interest (addressing social, economic and cultural wellbeing), exhibited by the large number of submissions and substantial body of evidence supporting regulation.  This included:

 

·    Evidence presented by both the Far North and Whangarei district councils, which both currently include GMO provisions in respective district plans, and which sought complementary supported provisions in the CMA.  These councils represent the majority of ratepayers in Northland, and their district plan provisions have already been through publicly notified processes.

·    Evidence presented by Dr Benjamin Pittman regarding the Māori view of genetic engineering and GMOs, indicating that a significant proportion of Northland’s population is opposed to the use of GMOs in Tai Tokerau.

 

[38]        Council has also considered liability from the perspective of a number of agencies potentially being involved in the management of GMOs, and the risk of conflicts and / or inadequate coverage or co-ordination of compliance, monitoring and enforcement opportunities.  While recognising this concern, this situation is not unique to GMOs and Council recognises its obligations to ensure adequate co-ordination on such matters.

 

[39]        After considering and balancing all of the above matters, the Council has concluded that it can rely on its legal advice in relation to liability and is satisfied that having regulation through the pRPFN will unlikely result in any further responsibility or burden on the region, including in relation to “social costs”, than would exist without that regulation.  The Council recognises its role as an environmental guardian, often providing leadership in like matters in the region.  Marine biosecurity is one area in which NRC is leading by example and regulation adopted by the council is now being used as an opportunity for comprehensive nationwide rules.

 

Conclusion

 

[40]        In summary, the Council finds that:

 

1.    The evidence is rational and sufficient in indicating a significant degree of scientific uncertainty, including uncertainties that may not be resolved for some time.

 

2.    Adopting a precautionary approach to the uncertainty demonstrated in evidence, rules included in the pRPFN are necessary to enable Council to have regulatory control over whether or not an activity involving GE / GMOs should be approved, or how the potential environmental effects of the activity should be managed, including having regard to the sensitivity of the environment in the proposed location and the conditions that might be imposed on any resource consent (such as emergency response measures and performance bonds).

 

3.    There is no basis or justification for GE / GMOs to be managed by the pRPFN on land, particularly given the district plan management that already exists over most of Northland. However, NRC is the only council body that is able to manage GE / GMOs in the CMA and it is appropriate this be done to complement the existing land-based management frameworks.

 

4.    Inclusion of provisions relating to the management of GE / GMOS in the CMA responds to significant community concern, as evidenced by the widespread desire for further pRPFN provisions expressed in primary submissions. 

 

5.    Social, cultural and economic effects particular to the Northland community are better addressed through regional management, rather than relying on the EPA processes alone.

 

6.    Having regard to s66(2)(d) of the RMA provisions introduced now will also achieve consistency with the adjoining region, Auckland, which has GE / GMO provisions managing its CMA. 

 

7.    The CMA provisions that have been decided upon are consistent with the statutory framework.  This includes Objective 2 and Policies 2 and 3 of the NZCPS 2010, and Policy 6.1.2 and Method 6.1.5 of the RPS.

 

 

 

Section 4

Decision

 

[40]        The Council has considered and deliberated on GE / GMO provisions in the pRPFN; the submissions lodged on it; and the reports, evidence and submissions made and given at the public hearing.  In reaching its decisions the Council has sought to comply with all applicable provisions of the RMA.  The Council has had particular regard to the evaluations and further evaluations of the amendments to the pRPFN it has decided upon.  The relevant matters the Council has considered, and its reasons for them, are summarised in the s42 reports, the main body of this report and in Appendix A.  The Council is satisfied that the amendments decided upon are the most appropriate for achieving the purpose of the RMA and for giving effect to the higher-order instruments, including the RPS and the NZCPS.

 

[40]        The Council makes amendments to the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland contained in Appendix A for the reasons set out in the main body of this Decisions report.  Relief sought in submissions is accepted or accepted in part to the extent incorporated in Appendix A.

 

 

 

 

Appendix A – Provisions to be introduced into the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland Relating to Genetic Engineering and Genetically Modified Organisms

 

 

B Definitions

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unless expressly provided otherwise by regulations, any organism in which any of the genes or other genetic material:

 

(a)  have been modified by in-vitro techniques; or

 

(b)  are inherited or otherwise derived, through any number of replications, from any genes or other genetic material which has been modified by in-vitro techniques.

 

This does not apply to genetically modified products that are not viable and are no longer genetically modified organisms, or products that are dominantly non-genetically modified but contain non-viable genetically modified ingredients, such as processed foods.

 

Genetically Modified Organism Field Trials

 

The carrying on of outdoor trials, on the effects of the organism under conditions similar to those of the environment into which the organism is likely to be released, but from which the organism, or any heritable material arising from it, could be retrieved or destroyed at the end of the trials.

 

Genetically modified organism release 

To allow the organism to move within New Zealand free of any restrictions other than those imposed in accordance with the Biosecurity Act 1993 or the Conservation Act 1987.

 

A Release may be without conditions (s34, HSNO Act) or subject to conditions set out in s38A of the HSNO Act.

Genetically Modified Veterinary Vaccine

A veterinary vaccine that is a genetically modified organism as defined in this Plan.

 

Genetically modified medical applications

 

The manufacture, trialling or use of viable and/or non-viable genetically modified organisms for medical purposes recognised as medicines under the Medicines Act 1981 and approved as safe to use by the Ministry of Health, including Environmental Protection Authority approved releases, except for the outdoor cultivation of pharmaceutical producing organisms.

Viable Genetically Modified Veterinary Vaccine

A genetically modified veterinary vaccine that could survive or replicate in the environment or be transmitted from the inoculated recipient.

 

 

 

 

C Rules

C.1.8 Genetically Modified Organisms

 

C.1.8.1            Genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area – permitted activities

The following activities in the coastal marine area involving genetically modified organisms are permitted activities:

1.    research and trials within bio-contained laboratories, and

2.    medical applications (including vaccines) involving the use of viable and / or non-viable genetically modified organisms, and

3.    veterinary applications of genetically modified organisms (including vaccines) provided that any veterinary application of viable genetically modified organism vaccines is supervised by a veterinarian.

 

For the avoidance of doubt this rule covers the following RMA activities: 

•   Use of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area (s12(3)).

•    Discharge of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area that are “contaminants” under the definition in s2 of the RMA (s15(1)). 

 

C.1.8.2  Genetically modified organism field trials - discretionary activity

A genetically modified organism field trial in the coastal marine area is a discretionary activity provided:

1.    The genetically modified organism field trial has the relevant approval from the Environmental Protection Authority and the application is consistent with Environmental Protection Authority approval conditions for the activity.

2.    A Risk Management Plan is provided that addresses all matters set out in Policy D.5.33.

3.    Details of a performance bond, with an approved trading bank guarantee, is provided that addresses all matters set out in Policy D.5.32.

 

Notification:

Any application for resource consent under rule C.1.8.2 must be publicly notified.

 

For the avoidance of doubt this rule covers the following RMA activities: 

•   Use of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area (s12(3)).

•    Discharge of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area that are “contaminants” under the definition in s2 of the RMA (s15(1)). 

 

C.1.8.3   Viable genetically modified veterinary vaccines - discretionary activity

The use of any viable genetically modified veterinary vaccine that is not a permitted activity under rule C.1.8.1 Genetically modified organisms in the Coastal Marine Area – permitted activities, is a discretionary activity, provided:

1.      The genetically modified veterinary vaccine has the relevant approval from the Environmental Protection Authority and the application is consistent with Environmental Protection Authority approval conditions for the activity.

2.      Details of a performance bond, with an approved trading bank guarantee, is provided that addresses all matters set out in Policy D.5.32.

 

Notification:

Any application for resource consent under rule C.1.8.3 must be publicly notified.

 

For the avoidance of doubt this rule covers the following RMA activities: 

•   Use of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area (s12(3)).

•    Discharge of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area that are “contaminants” under the definition in s2 of the RMA (s15(1)). 

 

C.1.8.4   Genetically modified organism releases – prohibited activity

Any:

1.    genetically modified organism release (conditional or full), or

2.    genetically modified organism field trial, or

3.    use of any viable genetically modified veterinary vaccine,

that is not a permitted or discretionary activity in Section C.1.8 of this Plan, is a prohibited activity.

 

For the avoidance of doubt this rule covers the following RMA activities: 

•   Use of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area (s12(3)).

•    Discharge of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area that are “contaminants” under the definition in s2 of the RMA (s15(1)). 

 

 

 

D Policies

D.5   Coastal

D.5.28             Precautionary approach to managing genetically modified organisms

Adopt a precautionary approach to assessing and managing the:

1.    risks, and

2.    uncertainty and lack of information, and

3.    significance, scale and nature of potential adverse effects,

associated with the use of genetic engineering or the release of genetically modified organisms in the coastal marine area.

 

D.5.29             Adaptive approach to the management of genetically modified organism

Adopt an adaptive approach to the management of the outdoor use, storage, cultivation, harvesting, processing or transportation of a genetically modified organism, including through periodic reviews of the genetically modified organism provisions, particularly if new information on the benefits and/or adverse effects of a genetically modified organism activity becomes available.

 

D.5.30 Avoiding adverse effects of genetically modified organism field trials

Ensure that any resource consent granted for genetically modified organism field trials avoids, as far as can reasonably be achieved, risk to the environment, adverse effects on indigenous flora and fauna, and the relationship of tangata whenua with flora and fauna from the use, storage, cultivation, harvesting, processing or transportation of a genetically modified organism.

 

D.5.31 Liability for adverse effects from genetically modified organism activities

Require consent holders for a genetically modified organism activity to be liable, including financial accountability, (to the extent possible) for any adverse effects caused beyond the site for which consent has been granted for the activity.

 

D.5.32 Bonds for genetically modified organism activities

Require bonds as a condition of resource consents for the use of genetically modified organisms to provide for the redress of any adverse effects (including any adverse economic effects on third parties) that become apparent during or after expiration of a consent, including consideration of (but not limited to) the following:

 

1.     (a)    the significance, scale, nature and timescale of potential adverse effects, and

2.     (b)   the proposed measures to be taken to avoid those effects, and

3.     (c)   the monitoring proposed to establish whether an adverse effect has occurred or whether any adverse effect has been appropriately remedied, and

4.     (d)   the likely scale of costs associated with remediating any adverse effects that may occur.

 

D.5.33             Risk management plan for genetically modified organism field trials

A Risk Management Plan for genetically modified organism field trials must include, but is not limited to, the following:

1.    The species, characteristics and lifecycle of the genetically modified organism.

2.    All research undertaken that characterises and tests the genetically modified organism, and the certainty associated with the accuracy of that information.

3.    The areas in which the genetically modified organism, including discharges, is to be confined.

4.    Proposed containment measures for the commencement, duration and completion of the proposed field trial.

5.    The actual and potential adverse effects to the environment, cultural values and economy associated with the field trial, including in the event the genetically modified organism escapes from the contained area.

6.    The proposed measures, including contingency measures, that will be taken to avoid, remedy or mitigate actual and potential adverse effects.

7.    Details of the monitoring to be undertaken, including how and by whom monitoring will be undertaken.

8.    Reporting requirements.

9.    Recommended conditions of resource consent covering the matters listed above.

10.  Provision for the systematic review and approval of any amendments to the Risk Management Plan by Council.

 

 

 

F Objectives

F.0.15 Use of genetic engineering and the release of genetically modified organisms

The coastal marine area is protected from adverse effects on the environment associated with the use of genetic engineering and the release of genetically modified organisms.


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.6

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

TTMAC Draft Terms of Reference

ID:

A1321986

From:

Sheila Taylor, Kaiarahi - Kaupapa Māori

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

At the Tai Tokerau Māori and Council working party (TTMAC) meeting held in March 2020, members were asked to consider and endorse the TTMAC terms of reference (ToR). TTMAC agreed further consideration was required and recommended that staff facilitate a small working group (comprising non-elected TTMAC members) to undertake a comprehensive review, to ensure the ToR are fit for purpose.  This review was undertaken and at the May 2020 meeting of TTMAC, members endorsed the revised draft terms of reference. The TTMAC endorsed draft terms of reference are now being presented to council for adoption. 

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘TTMAC Draft Terms of Reference’ by Sheila Taylor, Kaiārahi - Kaupapa Māori and dated 2 June 2020, be received.

2.         That council resolves to adopt the Draft Terms of Reference of the Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party.

 

Background/Tuhinga

Council has previously resolved to re-establish TTMAC as a working party of council in line with its new governance structure.  Council asked TTMAC to review and recommend a terms of reference for TTMAC for the coming term.  TTMAC agreed that further consideration was required to ensure the terms of reference are fit for purpose.  A small working group of TTMAC non-elected members and staff was assigned the task to review these in detail and provide recommendations back to TTMAC. 

The review offered the chance to discuss, define and agree the process for non-elected member nomination and acceptance onto the working party, including the process for dealing with oversubscription.  Both council and Taitokerau Māori acknowledged the need to ensure fair geographical representation of Māori is achievable, to progress towards a more representative membership model of Māori on the working party.  It should be noted that Te Roroa has been added to the list of iwi authorities, on the basis that they have been formally included on Te Kahu o Taonui (Iwi Chair Forum).

TTMAC non-elected members also had a desire for the terms of reference to detail the strategic focus and priorities of the working group.  A shift towards strategic priorities highlights the desire of Māori to engage with council on important governance matters and underpins the improvement in the quality of the partnership between council and Māori.

Other grammatical and language was updated to better reflect translation from English into Māori that would better reflect the direction being set for the working party.

The Draft Terms of Reference is attached for council’s consideration.


 

 

Considerations

1.         Options

 

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Status quo

None.  The working party would operate under the current TOR which are out of date and do not reflect the new working party structure.

 

There are a number of processes missing from the current Terms of Reference that do not allow for the smooth and transparent operation of the new working party governance structure.

2

Endorse the recommendation

The TOR would accurately provide for the new working party governance structure.

None

 

Staff recommend Option two.

2.         Significance and engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, this decision is considered to be of low significance when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.  This does not mean that this matter is not of significance to tangata whenua and/or individual communities, but that council is able to make decisions relating to this matter without undertaking further consultation or engagement.

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

The decision sought meets council practice of ensuring a current Terms of Reference guide for all of its working parties.  The decision is also compliant with council’s decision-making requirements as specified under the Local Government Act 2002.

Further considerations

4.         Community views

As this is an administrative matter no further views have been sought as the formation of the TTMAC Working Party has already been resolved by council.

5.         Financial implications

There are no financial implications in regard to this recommendation that cannot be accommodated within existing budgets.

6.         Implementation issues

There are no known implementation issues in regard to this recommendation.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Draft Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party Terms of Reference  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

10 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.6

16 June 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.7

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Appointed Members' Allowance Payment to Iwi Representatives on the Northland CDEM Coordinating Executive Group

ID:

A1322448

From:

Evania Arani, Executive Assistant Customer Services - Community Resilience

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The purpose of this report is to seek council’s approval for the payment of the ‘Appointed Members Allowance’ to the two iwi representatives who were co-opted onto the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Executive Coordination Group at its meeting on 16 April 2020 as per the Northland Regional Council’s ‘Appointed Members Policy’ with an allocation cap of four meetings and two workshops per annum.

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Appointed Members' Allowance Payment to Iwi Representatives on the Northland CDEM Coordinating Executive Group’ by Evania Arani, Executive Assistant Customer Services - Community Resilience and dated 2 June 2020, be received.

2.         That council approve the payment of the ‘Appointed Members’ Allowance’ to the two iwi representatives on the Northland Civil Defence Coordinating Executive Group with an allocation cap of four meetings and two workshops per annum.

 

Background/Tuhinga

The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act, section 20 outlines the appointment and functions of Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Coordinating Executive Groups (CEG) and Section 20 (1)(e) of the Act permits that a CDEM Group can co-opt whomever it considers necessary onto the CEG.  The CDEM Group, at its establishment, delegated the authority to the CEG to co-opt members. 

As part of its review of emergency management the Government identified that engagement and inclusion of iwi in emergency management needed to be substantially improved.

The Government in its response to the Technical Advisory Group’s recommendations (August 2018) stated “we recognise that iwi bring a great deal of capability in relation to emergency management. We want greater recognition, understanding and integration of iwi/Māori perspectives and tikanga in emergency management – before, during, and after an event.”

While the Government indicated it would “legislate to enable iwi to participate in planning for and responding to a natural disaster or other emergency, and to bring more clarity to their role”, it has yet to proceed with legislation.  However, it also undertook to have “officials engage with iwi and Groups to explore iwi representation on the CEG of each Group, to ensure iwi input into advice to the Group on governance and planning” and further “how iwi are represented in areas where multiple iwi are present will also need to be worked through”.

The Northland CDEM Group has previously discussed improving engagement with iwi and agreed that it should be progressed as a matter of priority.  The Group was actively investigating options for engagement, including obtaining iwi representation on the CEG. 

The recent COVID-19 and drought responses have led to the Group engaging with and developing response coordination arrangements with Te Tai Tokerau iwi runanga chairs through Te Kāhui O Taonui Rōpū.  Te Kāhui O Taonui is supporting and coordinating iwi responses and coordination with government agencies, councils and CDEM.  In order to have iwi input into response planning and operations and promote response coordination it was agreed that Te Kāhui O Taonui would put forward two representatives to be included in the Group Emergency Coordination Centre (GECC)

At the Extraordinary CDEM Coordinating Executive Group Meeting held on 16 April 2020, Victor Goldsmith (Te Aupōuri) and Hone Dalton (Ngāpuhi) were co-opted onto the group as iwi representatives.

Considerations

1.                  1.         Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Council endorse the recommendations

Support Māori engagement.

Minor cost.

2

Council does not endorse recommendations

Minor cost saving.

Does not support Māori engagement.

The staff’s recommended option is 1.

2.         Significance and engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, this decision is considered to be of low significance when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.  This does not mean that this matter is not of significance to tangata whenua and/or individual communities, but that council is able to make decisions relating to this matter without undertaking further consultation or engagement.

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

This report and the recommendations are consistent with the Northland CDEM Coordinating Executive Group Terms of Reference and Appointed Members’ Policy.

Further considerations

4.         Community views

No community views have been sought on this decision.

5.         Māori impact statement

This recommendation supports and improves Māori engagement and inclusion in Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management group activities.

6.         Financial implications

There are sufficient allocated funds within the current budget to accommodate the co-opted members.

7.         Implementation issues

There are no known implementation issues associated with this decision.

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Appointed Members Allowance Policy  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Tony Phipps

Title:

Group Manager - Customer Services - Community Resilience

Date:

03 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.7

16 June 2020Attachment 1

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.8

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Draft NRC Submission - Extension to Manganui Bay Temporary Fisheries Closure

ID:

A1322867

From:

Justin Murfitt, Strategic Policy Specialist

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The Ministry for Primary Industries has received a request from Te Kupenga o Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti to extend the current fisheries closure at Manganui Bay (Deepwater Cove) Bay of Islands for a further two years.  The Ministry has called for submissions on the request.  It is recommended that council lodge a submission in support of the extension to the closure.  A draft submission is attached for consideration by Council.  Submissions close on 22 June 2020.

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Draft NRC Submission - Extension to Manganui Bay Temporary Fisheries Closure’ by Justin Murfitt, Strategic Policy Specialist and dated 3 June 2020, be received.

2.         That council approve the draft submission attached pertaining to Item 6.8 of the 16 June 2020 council agenda (subject to any amendments directed by council).

3.         That the Chief Executive Officer be authorised to sign the submission on behalf of council prior to it being lodged with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

 

Background/Tuhinga

Manganui Bay (Deepwater Cove) in the Bay of Islands, has been under temporary fisheries closure since 2010.  Te Kupenga o Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti (who have mana moana in the area) placed a rahui over the area in 2010.  The rahui has been given legal force by a temporary fisheries closure under section 186A of the Fisheries Act 1996.  This temporary closure prohibits the taking of any species except kina but must be renewed every two years.  The temporary fisheries closure has been reinstated every two years since 2010 when they came into force.  The current closure expires in October 2020.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has called for submissions on a request to extend the temporary fisheries closure at Manganui Bay for a further two years from October 2020.  The request was made by Te Kupenga o Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti.  It is recommended that council lodge a submission in support of the request to extend the closure for a further two years given:

·    It has been effective in improving biodiversity and cultural values in the area and the removal of the closure would put these gains at risk.

·    A very small percentage of Northland’s coastal marine area is currently protected from fishing activity – extending the closure at Manganui Bay while small, adds to the area of marine habitat under protection in Northland.  The biodiversity gains under the closure will demonstrate the benefits of full protection and add to the evidence base for such measures.  

·    It provides legal support and enforceability for the rahui placed on Manganui Bay by Te Kupenga o Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti both of whom have mana moana.

·    The closure is also understood to have significant local community support and there is little evidence of undue impact on commercial or recreational fishers as a result of the closure.

·    The temporary closure while not ideal, due to repeated renewals required, is the most appropriate means to achieve cultural and biodiversity outcomes for the area under the current marine protected area legislative framework. 

 

A draft submission is attached for consideration by council.  Submissions close on 22 June 2020.

 

Considerations

1.                                     1.         Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Council does not submit in support of the closure

None

Council support is not provided despite having signalled an interest in supporting locally led marine protection.

2

Council lodges a submission in support of extending the closure

The council maintains its position that it intends to support locally led marine protection initiatives.

Staff time to draft and lodge a submission (minor).

 

The staff’s recommended option is Option 2

2.         Significance and engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, this decision is considered to be of low significance when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy because it is part of council’s day to day activities.  This does not mean that this matter is not of significance to tangata whenua and/or individual communities, but that council is able to make decisions relating to this matter without undertaking further consultation or engagement.

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

The decision is consistent with policy and legislative requirements and the Fisheries Act 1996 allows for submissions.

Further considerations

4.         Community views

There are likely to be a range of community views on the matter, however, council has already signalled an interest in supporting locally initiated marine protection initiatives and allocated resource for this in its 2018 Long Term Plan.  The submission is consistent with this position.

5.         Māori impact statement

Māori are likely to have a range of views on the closure, however, those with mana moana over the area are understood to have requested the extension of the fisheries closure and the draft submission by council supports their request.

6.         Financial implications

There are no financial implications as a result of a council decision to lodge a submission.

7.         Implementation issues

There are no implementation issues arising from council lodging a submission.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Draft NRC submission - Manganui Bay extension to fisheries closure (June 2020)  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

10 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.8

16 June 2020Attachment 1

Submission

 

To:                   Spatial Planning and Allocations

Fisheries Management

Fisheries New Zealand

PO Box 2526

Wellington 6140

By email: FMSubmissions@mpi.govt.nz

 

By:                       Northland Regional Council

On:                  Further Temporary fishing Closure – Manganui Bay, Bay of Islands

1.   Introduction

1.1.        Northland Regional Council (NRC) is grateful for the opportunity to comment on the application by Te Kupenga o Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti for a further two-year fishing closure (the rahui) at Manganui Bay. NRC’s submission is made in the interest of promoting the sustainable management of Northland’s natural and physical resources and the wellbeing of its people and communities.

 

2.    Background

2.1.        NRC has an interest in the management and protection of the marine environment within its jurisdiction and recognises the inestimable value marine biodiversity provides for the region in terms of environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being.  While NRC’s role in this area has largely been through a ‘resource management act’ lens, we have also been aware of efforts by various Northland communities to protect highly valued marine environments through other means (such as marine protected area legislation or cultural methods such as rahui). These community led efforts have at times been frustrated by process / procedural hurdles, this is particularly so with proposals to establish marine reserves under the Marine Reserves Act 1971. Given this issue, NRC allocated funds in its 2018 Long Term Plan to support such protection initiatives where there is strong community / tangata whenua buy-in and a robust rationale and evidence for the protection measures proposed.  We consider the closure / rahui at Manganui Bay falls into this category and we therefore support the extension of the closure sought. More detail is provided below.

 

3.    Submission

3.1.        NRC supports extending the temporary fisheries closure under Section 186A of Fisheries Act 1996 for a further two years on the basis of the following:

·    We understand there is evidence of significant biodiversity improvement under the fisheries closure applied at Manganui Bay and would be concerned if these restrictions were now lifted thereby risking the gains made to date.

 

·    There is a relatively low percentage of the north-eastern bioregion that is currently protected from fishing (0.2% in Marine Reserve and 0.06% in Marine Park[17]). Council supports the development of further marine protected areas to ensure our marine biodiversity is maintained – this is especially important given the effects of climate change and the other growing threats to marine life (such as pollution and resource extraction). The proposal to extend the protection under s186A achieves this albeit temporarily and for a small area. 

 

·    We are not aware of any evidence of undue impact on commercial or recreational fishers as a result of the closure / rahui to date, nor would expect any such impacts as a result of the extension for a further two years. In fact, we consider it is likely that there are benefits for these interests as a result of extending the protection applied for another two years given the further improvement in fish stocks likely to result.  In addition, the rahui and fisheries closure appears to have a significant degree of support from the community to date. 

 

·    We consider that Te Kupenga o Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti and others involved in monitoring the effectiveness of the rahui in terms of cultural and biodiversity outcomes are best placed to assess whether the time is right to remove the protection afforded under the Fisheries Act temporary closure – we support their position that the temporary closure should be extended.

 

·    NRC sees legal enforceability using the temporary closure provisions available under s186 of the Fisheries Act 1996 as a necessary safeguard to support the rahui on Manganui Bay. Ideally, more adaptive, culturally appropriate and enduring protection measures would be applied and enforced to achieve cultural and environmental outcomes, however we see the use of s186A as the most appropriate solution to support the rahui in the short term. 

 

·    NRC considers extending the closure will recognise and provide for the use and management practises of tangata whenua and will improve the biodiversity and cultural values of the area. We consider the Minister can therefore be confident that extending the temporary closure will meet the purpose of S186A of the Fisheries Act 1996. 

 

4.    Conclusion

4.1.        NRC thanks the Ministry for the opportunity to comment on the proposal. As stated, we strongly support the extension to the temporary closure for the reasons outlined above. We would encourage the Minister to consider in partnership with Te Kupenga o Ngati Kuta and Patukeha ki Te Rawhiti whether there are any more enduring measures that could applied to protect the area in an a more certain and enduring way. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information or wish to discuss.

 

Signed on behalf of Northland Regional Council

 

       

Malcolm Nicolson (Chief Executive Officer)                                 Dated:  XX / XX /2020


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.9

16 June 2020

 

TITLE:

Regional Economic Development: Progress Towards a Joint Delivery Model

ID:

A1323190

From:

Darryl Jones, Economist and Jonathan Gibbard, Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The purpose of this paper is to seek council approval of the recommendations put forward by the Northland Mayoral Forum for the future delivery of regional economic development services in Northland.  These recommendations are listed in this paper and the full proposal and recommendations can be found in Attachment One.  All four Northland councils are being asked to approve these recommendations and proposed way forward. 

 

For the coming financial year 2020/21, the Mayoral Forum is proposing an enhancement of the current model, whereby financial support is provided from the three district councils for Northland Inc. Limited (NInc) in return for an opportunity to have input into the development of the NInc Statement of Intent for 2021–2024, and the appointment of directors. 

 

The major change will occur from 2021/22 onwards.  It is proposed that Northland Inc. will be jointly owned by the four councils with an equal shareholding.  Councils’ legislative governance oversight responsibilities will be undertaken through our appointment of councillor representatives onto a Joint Committee of Council (which would also include representatives from each district council).  Funding from the three district councils for economic development activities will be increased over a six-year period to reach a 40/60 split in funding between total district council contribution and regional council’s current forecast commitment.  This additional funding will be used to support both the operations of the jointly owned council-controlled organisation (CCO) and project investment through the Investment and Growth Reserve (IGR).  It is proposed that the Joint Committee will be responsible for the allocation of funding from the IGR.  

 

The proposal does not require any additional funding commitment from council, with the exception of co-funding for the development of a regional economic development strategy.  The scope of this strategy and the quantum of funding still needs to be worked out in more detail. 

 

Staff recommend that council approve the recommendations of the Mayoral Forum. 

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Regional Economic Development: Progress Towards a Joint Delivery Model’ by Darryl Jones, Economist and Jonathan Gibbard, Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement and dated 4 June 2020, be received.

2.         That council approve the recommendations of the Mayoral Forum for the delivery of regional economic development services as set out in Attachment One of Agenda Item 6.9 of the 16 June 2020 Council Meeting.  This approval is given subject to:

a.         District council approval of the same recommendations / proposal; 

b.        Consideration be given to increasing the number of councillor representatives on the Joint Committee from one to two for each council; 

c.         Progress the Regional Economic Development Strategy as a priority and, if funding allows, ahead of the formal establishment of the joint CCO (i.e. during the 2020/21 financial year); and

d.        Public consultation on the establishment of Northland Inc. as a jointly owned CCO, through council’s 2021–2031 Long Term Plan process, and council’s subsequent decision-making process.

 

Background/Tuhinga

In 2017, MartinJenkins completed a review of economic development activities carried out jointly by the four Northland local authorities in accordance with section 17A of the Local Government Act 2002.  A key recommendation of this review was that NInc, currently a council-controlled organisation (CCO) that is 100% owned by council, transition to become a CCO jointly owned and governed by all four Taitokerau local authorities.  The full report and summary of the MartinJenkins review is available online at https://www.nrc.govt.nz/your-council/economic-development/northland-inc/.

Since that time, the Northland Mayoral Forum and the Chief Executives of their respective local authorities have been developing the most appropriate form and structure of a joint ownership model, considering, among other things, the current and potential levels of funding able to be provided.  This process has also included updates and feedback sought from respective councils’ governance through council specific workshops and the Northland Forward Together forum. 

At its meeting on 24 February 2020, the Mayoral Forum endorsed the proposed regional economic development service delivery model set out in detail in Attachment One which is prepared as a standard agenda paper going to each respective council for endorsement.  A high-level summary of the proposal is also provided in Attachment Two.  

The attachments cover the rationale for joint ownership, the key costs and risks, and sets out a two-stage process: an initial enhanced model in 2020/21 that moves to joint ownership from 2021/22 onwards after a process of public consultation as part of the 2021–2031 Long Term Plan (LTP). 

Council is being requested to approve the recommendations of the Mayoral Forum.  These are outlined below and cover the main elements of the proposal, highlighting the funding and joint governance arrangements (details of the proposal are provided in Attachment One):

1.         That Council approve the proposal that recommends Northland Regional Council share the appointment of directors and input to the Statement of Intent process with Whangarei, Far North and Kaipara District Councils, in return for agreed funding for the 2020/2021 Annual Plan Year.  The agreed funding for the 2020/2021 Annual Plan is:

a.        Northland Regional Council – Continue to fund Northland Inc. and the IGR per their current Long Term Plan

b.        Whangarei District Council – One hundred and five thousand dollars ($105K) plus the contribution of up to one FTE to Northland Inc.

c.         Kaipara District Council – Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25K)

d.        Far North District Council – Eighty-two thousand dollars ($82K)

2.         And support the proposal that recommends Northland Inc. be modified to become a joint regional CCO;

a.        with a formal joint committee to provide oversight;

b.        a funding arrangement that Northland Regional Council contribute 60% and Whangarei, Far North and Kaipara District Councils contribute 40%;

c.         this is achieved over a six-year time frame aligned to the 2021–2031 Long Term Plan Cycle; and

d.        public consultation to establish Northland Inc. as a joint regional CCO is included and aligned to the 2021–2031 Long Term Plan consultation process of each Northland council.

3.         And support, in principle, the development of a Regional Economic Development Strategy for inclusion in the 2021–2031 Long Term Plan Cycle, subject to scope, resources and funding.

Approving these recommendations will enable staff from all four councils to fully develop the details of the proposal so that public consultation can occur through the 2021–2031 LTP process to progress the jointly owned CCO and put in place interim procedures for the coming financial year. 

Council have been briefed on the development of the proposal at several workshop sessions, most recently on 3 June 2020.  During this session, councillors requested that in refining  the details of the proposal that consideration be given to: (a) increasing the number of councillor appointments to the Joint Committee from one to two for each council; (b) providing for increased funding in the IGR to ensure that future investment into projects can occur; and (c) ensuring the development of the regional economic development strategy is prioritised and progressed at pace. 

It should be noted that the Mayoral Forum recommendations were developed prior to the COVID-19 crisis.  The regional economic recovery group, stood up as part of the COVID-19 emergency response in Northland, is looking to develop an economic strategy for the region to help guide the economic recovery.  The group, which is co-chaired by Northland Inc. and Te Taitokerau iwi leaders, is seeking to complete this in the next few months.  The outcome of this process will need to be considered in developing the proposed Regional Economic Development strategy referred to in recommendation 3 of the Mayoral Forum paper (Attachment One).

Considerations

1.         Options

 

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Approve recommendations from the Mayoral Forum

Significantly strengthens inter-council coordination and alignment on regional economic development.

Provides additional funding for regional economic development in 2020/21 and potential beyond.

Allows staff to further prepare the proposal with some certainty of political commitment. 

Begins a process through which council control over Northland Inc. and the IGR will be reduced. 

2

Not approve recommendations from the Mayoral Forum

Council maintains complete control over Northland Inc. and the allocation of funding from the IGR. 

Reduces the chance of developing a joint council economic development delivery mechanism (it has taken three years to develop the current proposal).

Reduces the likelihood of the development of a single coordinated Regional Economic Development Strategy.

Reduces the likelihood of increase district council financial contribution to economic development activities – through Northland Inc. 

 

The staff’s recommended option is Option 1, to approve the recommendations from the Mayoral Forum on the future delivery of regional economic development services.  However, staff recommend that this approval be subject to the following conditions:

a)    Agreement from other councils to the proposal;

b)    Consideration to increase respective council representation on the joint committee from one to two;

c)    Consideration to progress the Regional Economic Development Strategy in the 2020/21 financial year; and

d)    Consultation on the establishment of Northland Inc. as a joint CCO through the 2021–2031 LTP development process.

 

2.         Significance and engagement

Section 56 of the Local Government Act 2002 requires local authorities to undertake public consultation before establishing, or becomes a shareholder in, a CCO.  While district councils will need to undertake public consultation to comply with section 56, technically, council is unlikely to have to undertake public consultation.  Council is already delivering economic development activities through a CCO and transitioning Northland Inc. to a jointly owned CCO is unlikely to trigger our Significance and Engagement Policy and hence does not require public consultation prior to making this decision.  Staff, however, recommend that council agree, at this point, to progress this proposal on the basis that it will undertake public consultation, regardless of whether there is a statutory requirement to do so or not.  This is because there will likely be considerable public interest in this decision, and it will be important to communicate a coordinated approach to the community, through respective councils’ LTP consultation material.

On this basis, this report presents a decision in principle to establish a jointly owned Northland Inc. and that the actual decision to do so will follow public consultation through the LTP process.

Therefore, in relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, the decisions in this report are of low significance when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.  This does not mean that this matter is not of significance to tangata whenua and/or individual communities, but that council is able to make decisions relating to this matter without undertaking further consultation or engagement. 

The actual decision being made, through this report, is to approve the interim 2020/21 (Stage 1) proposal and approve the proposal and intention to establishment of a jointly owned Northland Inc. (this being subject to public consultation through the 2021–2031 LTP consultation process).

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

 This decision complies with council’s policy and legislative requirements (as outlined elsewhere in this report).  However, future changes to council policies will be required if the proposals are implemented, including but not limited to council’s policy for appointing directors and the settings for the IGR as outlined in council’s Financial Strategy. 

Further considerations

4.         Community views

While council has received ongoing support for providing regional economic development functions provided through Northland Inc., community views have not previously been sought on a jointly owned CCO model for regional economic development in Northland.  As previously discussed, it is proposed that community views be specifically sought through the 2021–2031 LTP consultation process.

5.         Māori impact statement

Economic development and prosperity for Taitokerau is a significant issue of importance to Māori, as evidence by the release of He Tangata, He Whenua, He Oranga, an economic growth strategy for the Taitokerau Māori economy produced by the Iwi Chief Executives’ Consortium in 2015.  Māori are likely to have a strong interest, among other things, in providing direction on the activities of the joint CCO and the scope, content and direction of the proposed Regional Economic Development Strategy. 

While Māori have not been engaged in the development of the detail of this proposal, feedback from Māori leaders and Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party (TTMAC) was sought during the Section17A assessment of local government’s provision of economic development activities.  The results of the Section 17A report, including the proposal to establish a joint economic development agency, were presented back to TTMAC with no opposition to the proposal recorded at that time.  

It is recommended that, should council approve the proposal to establish joint ownership of Northland Inc., that specific input is sought from TTMAC and other Māori leaders, in addition to council’s LTP consultation process, to inform council’s final decision.

In addition, Northland Inc. has also recently undertaken a review of Māori economic development in Te Taitokerau.  It is anticipated that this report will be available shortly and may provide further valuable input into this decision.

6.         Financial implications

It is anticipated there will be some specific expenditure required to progress the proposal to establish a jointly owned CCO, for example legal advice, however staff consider that these can be met within existing budgets. 

The proposal does not envisage any change to council’s current funding commitments from 2021/22 onwards apart from an as yet unconfirmed quantum of additional co-funding required to support the development of a regional economic development strategy.  The scope of this work and the quantum of funding required will need to be considered as part of a separate council decision once these details are further refined.

 

 

7.         Implementation issues

The development of the joint economic development delivery proposal into a form for public consultation by four councils through the 2021–2031 LTP process and eventual implementation (assuming positive public support and council future decisions) will require significant staff time and resource.  While it is proposed that this can be met from within existing resources, it will necessitate giving priority to this project above other activities. 

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Mayoral Forum - Standard Agenda Item

Attachment 2: Mayoral Forum - Regional Economic Development on a page  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

10 June 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.9

16 June 2020Attachment 1

 

TITLE:

Standard Agenda Paper - Proposal for Future Regional Economic Development Service Delivery for Northland

ID:

{Objective ID}

To:

Council Meeting of Individual Councils

From:

 

Date:

20th May 2020

 

Executive Summary

This purpose of this report is to propose a Regional Economic Development service delivery model, governance arrangements and indicative funding model to the Northland Regional Council, Whangarei District Council, Kaipara District Council and Far North District Council following endorsement by the Mayoral Forum at their meeting on the 24th February 2020.

 

The Mayoral Forum tasked the Chief Executives of Northland’s four Council’s to develop an appropriate business model for consideration by Northlands’ Councils following the formal S17A Service Delivery Review completed by Marin Jenkins Consultants in XXX. 

 

Over the course of 2019 to February 2020, the Chief Executives proposed a two staged approach for the future delivery of regional economic development services:

1.    An enhanced Northland Inc. with the District Councils having input into Northland Inc’s Statement of Expectations and input in the appointment of directors in return for a modest investment that is aligned to the 2020 – 2021 Annual Plan year.

2.    A joint regional CCO, with equal shareholding, governance via a joint committee, with 60% of funding from Northland Regional Council and 40% from the three District Councils, that is aligned to the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan Cycle.

 

The proposal considers the level funding by the Northland and District Councils, the timing of public consultation and the consideration of the development of a regional economic development strategy be completed under Northland|Forward Together.

 

The proposed regional economic development service delivery model considers:

a.    The structure of each service delivery model.

b.    The governance features of each model.

c.     The proposed funding from Northland Regional Council targeting 60% contribution over six years, whilst targeting a 40% funding contribution from the District Councils over six years.

d.    The advantages, disadvantages and overall benefits.

e.    An indicative timeline for implementing both stages and the alignment to the 2020-2021 Annual Plan Cycle and the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan Cycle which will incorporate the special consultation process required to establish a joint CCO.

 

The Mayoral Forum endorsed their support of the proposal at the Mayoral Forum on the 24th February 2020.

 

The proposed recommendation for the future delivery of regional economic development services is for Northland Regional Council and Whangarei, Kaipara and Far North District Councils’ consideration and approval for inclusion and community consultation in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.

 

 

Recommendation

That Council approve the recommendations listed below for the future delivery of regional economic development services:

1.    That Council approve the proposal that recommends Northland Regional Council share the appointment of directors and input to the Statement of Intent process with Whangarei, Far North and Kaipara District Councils, in return for agreed funding for the 2020-2021 Annual Plan Year.  The agreed funding for the 2020-2021 Annual Plan is:

a.    Northland Regional Council – Continue to fund Northland Inc. and the IGR per their current Long-Term Plan

b.    Whangarei District Council – One hundred and five thousand dollars ($105K) plus the contribution of up to one FTE to Northland Inc.

c.     Kaipara District Council – Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25K)

d.    Far North District Council – Eighty-two thousand dollars ($82K)

1.    

2.    And support the proposal that recommends Northland Inc. be modified to become a joint regional CCO;

a.    with a formal joint committee to provide oversight,

b.    a funding arrangement that Northland Regional Council contribute 60% and Whangarei, Far North and Kaipara District Councils contribute 40% and

c.     this is achieved over a six-year time frame aligned to the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan Cycle and

d.    public consultation to establish Northland Inc. as a joint regional CCO is included and aligned to the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan consultation process of each Northland Council.

3.    And support, in principle, the development of a Regional Economic Development Strategy for inclusion in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan Cycle, subject to scope, resources and funding.

2.   

Background

Martin Jenkins Consultants undertook the review of Northland Council economic development functions and activities in 2017.  The subsequent report highlighted:

·    There are no major gaps in the types of economic development activities provided by Northland Councils and Northland Inc.

·    There is little overlap of economic development activities

·    There are five key opportunities for the Councils to work more efficiently and effectively together to increase the collective impact.

A regional economic development strategy, goals and priorities that would provide clear guidance on the activities that should be delivered in the region. 

Regional destination marketing 

Regional events promotion guided by a regional visitor and events strategy

Maori/Iwi economic development

Greater reach of services into the Far North and Kaipara through a hub and spoke delivery model

The Martin Jenkins report recommended that Northland Inc. currently a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) of Northland Regional Council, become a jointly owned CCO, with a joint shareholding across the four Councils and a Joint Committee to provide direction and oversee Northland Inc.’s performance and resourcing.

 

The Martin Jenkins report highlighted the key benefits of the recommendation are:

·    Greater alignment of economic development priorities and outcomes across Councils and Northland Inc.

·    Better opportunity to leverage the resources of all to achieve common goals and objectives

·    Minimal disruption to Northland Inc, or Council operations and delivery as a result of the changes.

·    Opportunity to implement a hub and spoke business model with presence in the Far North and Kaipara.

·    Increased flexibility / agility to being able to make decisions about changes to activities across Councils and Northland Inc. through a joint committee structure.

·    Ability for individual Councils to have input into the Expectation of Purpose and Statement of Intent process.

·    Ability for individual Councils to have input into the programme of work and projects being delivered by Northland Inc, via the Statement of Intent process.

·    Increased opportunity to identify efficiencies in the delivering activities across all Councils and Northland Inc. as a result of increased engagement.

 

There are key costs and risks associated with the implementation of a jointly owned CCO.

·    Time and costs associated with public consultation on the changes to the existing CCO arrangements.

·    The legal re-arrangement

·    An increase in staff and elected members time required to develop and agree on: priorities with Northland Inc., the Shareholders Agreement, the Joint Committee role and structure, out-put and out-come framework and the performance and reporting framework.

·    An increase in Northland Inc. staff to work with individual Councils to achieve the outcomes and outputs determined by the formal Joint Committee.

·    Costs with extending Northland Inc’s services into the districts (set-up and co-ordination costs), although some costs could be minimised by sharing with others.

 

To date Northland Regional Council and Northland Inc. have implemented recommendations from the Martin Jenkins review regarding the operations of the Investment and Growth Fund, the process for developing the statement of intent, improved reporting and connection with the District Councils.  Minimal progress has been made on the five opportunities for Councils to work together.

 

The Mayoral Forum tasked the Chief Executives to develop an appropriate business model for consideration by all Councils.  For clarification, this proposal has not been presented to the Northland Regional Council or Northland Inc. for consideration.

The Chief Executives and senior management held a workshop on the 23rd January 2019 and took a fresh approach to developing a regional delivery model, building on the success of Northland Inc. and incorporating the recommendations of the Martin Jenkins Review.  The Chief Executives agreed:

 

·    The principles for the development of a model and subsequent report

·    The key drivers and priorities for economic development in Northland

·    The report will recommend a preferred service delivery option to the Mayoral Forum prior to the October Local Body election.

·    The new Councils and Mayoral Forum will make any decisions to implement or otherwise, post the October Local Body elections.

 

A cross- council team has been brought together to propose a service delivery model for consideration by all Councils and build on the strengths of Northland Inc. and the recommendations of the Martin Jenkins Review. 

The cross-council team undertook a short study of three regional economic entities and arrived at the same conclusions as the Martin Jenkins study, that a joint regional CCO is the most suitable vehicle to deliver a regional service.

 

The first draft of the Regional Economic Development Service Delivery Options Report was presented to the CEs Forum May 2019 and the Mayoral Forum May 2019.  However, the recommendations of the report were left on the table and further work was required.

 

Several workshops and discussions with the CEs Forum and the Mayoral Forum post October 2019 elections discussed support for regional economic development and the development of a regional economic development strategy.

Key points are:

·    The final entity must be stable for performance not to be compromised

·    The CEs to propose a long-term vision regarding funding and representation

·    Commitment from all four Councils to be actively participating and contributing for regional economic development to be successful

·    Commitment to one economic development services agency in Northland

 

Discussion

At present, the main economic development services being delivered by Northland Inc. and Northland Councils are:

 

3.              Delivered by Northland Inc. for the Region

4.              Delivered by Councils for respective districts

5.              Business development, business start-up advisory

6.              Event and tourism promotion - WDC

7.              Promotion of innovation, including the digital enablement plan and broadband extension

8.              Business attraction – industry, developers, regulatory advice

9.              Investment attraction and facilitation including investment in Northland focused events, Provincial Growth Fund infrastructure and district and regional projects

10.           Community Development – Community and district focused support, funding and facilitation

11.           Skills support, provision of support for IGR applications and funding

12.           I-Sites (WDC and FNDC)

13.           Destination marketing and management re international trade and tourism

14.           Provincial Growth Fund initiatives and applications

15.           Industry development and support to major projects and TTNEAP projects

16.            

17.                 

At this point in time, further work would be required to determine what functions and services would be undertaken by the joint CCO and the District Councils.

I.e. whether (any) district focused development, event and tourism promotions, PGF and funding applications would be better being a function of the joint CCO.

 

Northland Inc. have recently commissioned two studies to be completed regarding:

·    Feasibility of increasing the level of delivery of Northland Inc. to the Far North and West Coast

·    Maori Economic Development

 

 

A new Board is in place chaired by Sarah Peterson and Murray Reade joined Northland Inc. as Chief Executive in 2019, with a wealth of leadership experience, tourism sector experience and a strong history of working with community and stakeholders. 

 

Given the combination of the newly appointed Northland Inc. Board of Directors and a recently appointed Chief Executive for Northland Inc. coupled with new Councils and elected members, it’s time to consider what the future delivery of regional economic development services has the potential to be over the next three to four months in order to meet the 2021/2031 Long Term Plan timeframes.

 

Post the 2019 local government elections, progress has focused on:

·    The equitability and affordability of financial contributions from the District Councils.

·    Shareholding and Voting Rights

·    Timeframes and 2021-2031 Long Term Plan consultation

·    Risks, obstacles and issues from preventing progress

 

The proposal builds on the Martin Jenkins recommendation that a joint regional CCO is the most suitable business model to deliver economic development services to Northland.  Not only does this follow best practice, but would also likely gain support from Central Government, where government would be communicating at a regional level and Northland

effectively harnessing available central government funding and support. 

 

Funding of Northland Inc.

Currently Northland Regional Council fund Northland Inc. and the Investment Growth Reserve Fund (IGR) through their commercial activities and Whangarei District Council fund a cash contribution of circa $105,000 per annum plus up to one FTE that is seconded to Northland Inc.  Far North and Kaipara District Council currently do not make any contribution but have done in the past.

 

The proposal recommends Northland Regional Council continue to fund Northland Inc. and the IGR in line with the level of funding committed in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan.  From the commencement of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan Cycle the District Councils will progressively build up their contribution until it represents 40% of the total funding allocation made to these two functions.

 

The IGR was established in 2011-2012 to help fund economic projects that will increase jobs and economic performance in Northland.  The reserve is financed by income from Northland Regional Council’s various investments and potential projects are scoped and assessed by Northland Inc.

The objective of the IGR is to provide a fund that enables Northland Regional Council make strategic investments that lift the long-term growth of Northland.  Allocations from the fund must be one of the following:

·    Operational expenditure for Northland Inc.

·    Project development

·    Enabling investment

 

The option of the District Councils building their contribution to 40% over a three-year time period was deemed unaffordable in such a short timeframe, despite their being less risk if the transition is completed in one Long Term Plan cycle.  To ease the impact of economic development expenditure on the District Councils a six-year transition is recommended.

 

Joint Regional CCO – Aligned to the 2021-2031 LTP and a transition period of six years

·    Target Funding: NRC funding 60% of Northland Inc. and the IGR from commercial activity and the balance of 40% would be funded by the District Councils

·    The methodology for the proportion of funds that will be funded from each Council was also given further thought.  The proposed funding ratio for the District Councils is based on population numbers in each district.

18.    

19.    

Council

Current Population

Percentage of Contribution

Whangarei District Council

91,400

51%

Far North District Council

64,400

36%

Kaipara District Council

23,200

13%

            

 

These proportions will be reviewed at each Long-Term Plan Cycle.  Based on the above table the proposed contribution required from each Council over a six-year period would be:

 

 

 

 

51%

36%

13%

Year

NRC

WDC

FNDC

KDC

Total

Population

 

91400

64400

23200

179000

2021/22

89%

6%

4%

1%

100%

2022/23

80%

10%

7%

3%

100%

2023/24

74%

13%

9%

3%

100%

2024/25

68%

16%

12%

4%

100%

2025/26

64%

18%

13%

5%

100%

2026/27

60%

20%

14%

5%

100%

 

Whilst Northland Regional Council maintain funding Northland Inc. per their current Long-Term Plan commitments, it’s proposed the three District Councils contribute a further 40% over the six-year transition period.  The indicative share of financial contribution would be:

 

Year

NRC

WDC

FNDC

KDC

Total

2021/22

$1.811M

$117K

$82K

$29K

$2,082M

2022/23

$1.852M

$241K

$169K

$61K

$2,357M

2023/24

$1.937M

$349K

$246K

$89K

$2,632M

2024/25

$1.984M

$475K

$335K

$121K

$2,910M

2025/26

$2.033M

$587K

$413K

$149K

$3,191M

2026/27

$2.084M

$709K

$500K

$180K

$3,473M

 

 

The six-year transition period represents two LTP cycles and two election cycles.  Maintaining political support through this transition period, whilst progressively increasing financial contributions, may be challenging and does represent a risk to the longevity of the model.  However, a three-year transition period was deemed unaffordable by the District Councils.

 

The allocation of the total level of funding provided from the District Councils and Northland Regional Council between Northland Inc. operations and the IGR will determined by requirements of the Northland Inc’s Statement of Intent and supporting budgets, with the differences being transferred to the IGR and available to support the priorities and projects agreed by the four Councils. 

 

Shareholding and Governance Arrangements

The Martin Jenkins report recommends establishing a formal joint committee across the four Councils to provide direction to Northland Inc. and jointly recommend Northland Inc’s Board appointments.  The report also recommends establishing a Shareholders Agreement between the four Councils to govern the relationship and developing a joint Statement of Intent and service agreements with individual Councils.  Further consideration has been given to options for shareholding and voting rights based on:

 

·    Weighted Rights Model Based on the level of financial contribution from each Council

20.   This is where a formal joint committee is established, and the representation and votes are based on the level of financial contribution. 

21.            

22.           Formal Joint Committee Membership

23.           NRC

24.           FNDC

25.           WDC

26.           KDC

27.           Years 1 - 3

28.           7 members

29.           4

30.           1

31.           1

32.           1

33.           Years 4 - 6

34.           11 members

35.           6

36.           2

37.           2

38.           1

39.    

40.   With this model Northland Regional Council retains the deciding vote as the District Councils contribute 40% of the financial contribution and Northland Regional Council 60%.

 

Or in the alternative

·    Consensus Model: Based on equal shareholding across the four Councils

41.   This is based on the shareholding being equal i.e. each Council having an equal shareholding in Northland Inc. and the formal joint committee membership is made up of one representative from each Council (one vote).

42.   Decision making is to be consensus building.  In the event that consensus cannot be reached then a vote would be taken with votes weighted proportional to the funds provided in that particular year.

43.    

The proposed governance model features are:

Equal shareholding by Northland Regional Council selling twenty-five shares at one dollar each to Whangarei, Far North and Kaipara District Councils.  This will provide the four Councils with an equal shareholding of 25 shares each. 

Governance would be via a formal Joint Committee

The Formal Joint Committee would appoint the commercial focused Northland Inc. Board of Directors on merit.

All Councils to contribute and have input through setting the Statement of Expectations regarding, the objectives, priorities, deliverables, performance and reporting framework and outcomes for the region

Allocation of Investment Growth Reserve delegated to the formal Joint Committee.  This would enable the District Councils input into the decision making around the allocation of the IGR from the outset.

 

 

Consultation

Establishing Northland Inc. as a joint regional CCO will require public consultation, therefore this is proposed to be aligned with the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan process across the region provided the four Northland Councils give agreement to do so.

44.    

Obstacles and Sensitivities Preventing Progress

An assessment has been completed regarding the obstacles and sensitivities preventing progress at an individual Council level.

 

The main issues are:

·    The new entity must have stability to last a decade or more and the need for a secure financial baseline

·    Political buy-in, Councils must agree to the “new” Northland Inc. being the provider of economic development services in Northland

·    The lack of a regional economic development strategy

·    Building trust and stability, monitoring effort and distribution of benefit

·    Equitability by medium term equitable distribution in proportion to contribution

 

The proposal addresses each of these issues, either through the business model being proposed, the long-term funding contributions from NRC and the District Councils, the commitment from Northland Councils that the ‘new’ Northland Inc will be the one organisation that delivers economic development services for the region.  

The Councils also have input to the Statement of Intent process via the formal Joint Committee, and the Consensus Voting model promotes building trust.  The out-put out-come framework together with the performance and reporting framework enable the monitoring of effort and measurement of the distribution of benefit.

 

Regional Economic Development Strategy

The Martin Jenkins report highlighted the lack of an overarching regional economic development plan that brings together TTNEAP, NorthlandForward Together, He Tangata, Northland Councils Plans and Northland Inc. priorities.  The aim should be for the strategy and plan to be more aspirational about the future of the region and to provide greater direction about how economic development activities will support the future vision.

 

The development of a regional strategy is estimated to be a two-year process, that will require external consultants together with funding and resources from Northland Councils.  The development of the strategy should be led by Northland Councils, rather than Northland Inc. and be completed under Northland Forward Together.  A scope of work, together with funding and resourcing requirements will need to be completed to inform the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan process.

 

 

The Future

The proposed regional joint CCO together with the proposed governance and funding model provides a greater level of stability, where the individual Councils are actively engaged via a joint committee and coupled with the development of a regional economic development strategy that would underpin the objectives, priorities, funding requirements and outcomes to be delivered by Northland Inc.

 

By converting Northland Inc. into a regional joint CCO it should enable:

·    Greater reach of services into the Far North and Kaipara via a hub and spoke model in accordance with contribution, where economic investment is most needed to lift the economy and standard of living for the community.

·    Greater engagement and participation of Maori/Iwi.  This is a priority for all four Northland Councils.

·    Central Government will be communicating with one agency for Northland, and this would likely gain support from Central Government, where government would be communicating at a regional level and Northland Inc. effectively harnessing available central government funding and support.

·    The District Councils would have greater control and insight into the monitoring of performance and the distribution of benefit throughout the region. This could be done by: regular meetings between Northland Inc. and the formal Joint Committee, Annual strategy sessions with individual Councils, regular meetings between CEs of Councils and CE of Northland Inc., and overall reporting of progress to Northland Councils.

·    There should be greater alignment of economic development priorities and outcomes across Councils and Northland Inc.  even more so with the development of the regional economic development strategy.

·    Specialisation/centre of excellence approach regional economic development that could potentially be more attractive.

·    Support the Covid-19 state of emergency economic recovery

 

Some examples of specific tangible benefits associated with increased economic development funding are:

·    Greater ability to help councils develop funding applications for projects

·    Development of a regional destination marketing and event strategy

·    Resourcing to champion and improve digital (broadband and mobile phone) connectivity

·    Increased funds in the IGR to be able to allocate as Project Investment co-funding for new initiatives

 

The proposal means that there will be a call on resources and funding:

·    The conversion of the existing Northland Inc. to a regional joint CCO, would require public consultation, but it should have little disruption to Northland Inc. and Council operations.  The implementation will require increased resources regarding the governance arrangements i.e.

Shareholders Agreement

Joint Committee role

Performance and reporting framework

Output and Outcome framework

·    The time and costs associated with public consultation via the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan

·    The costs associated with extending Northland Inc’s services into the Far North and Kaipara

The Martin Jenkins report discusses that the costs and risks are manageable and will not outweigh the benefits of the proposal.

 

Recommendation

1.   Stage One – Aligned to the 2020/2021 Annual Plan

The proposal recommends Northland Inc. should increase its governance participation with the District Councils, in return for a commitment to funding and resourcing.

The proposal recommends:

·    Shared appointment of directors by a formal Appointment Board made up of four representatives from NRC and one representative each from WDC, FNDC and KDC.

·    Each representative to the Appointment Board will have one vote, thus the majority vote is with NRC.

·    Each Council would appoint their representative to the Appointment Board for a term of one year, commencing 1 July 2020.

·    WDC, FNDC and KDC would have input into the Statement of Intent process.

·    Contribution of funding:

Whangarei District Council                $105K p.a.

Far North District Council                  $82K p.a.

Kaipara District Council                                   $25K p.a.

WDC will continue to contribute up to one FTE to Northland Inc.

NRC will continue to fund Northland Inc. and the IGR Fund per their current Long-Term Plan

 

2.   Stage Two – Regional Joint CCO – Aligned to the 2021/2022 LTP Cycle

The proposal recommends that Northland Inc. be converted to a jointly owned CCO, overseen by a Formal Joint Committee of council representatives.

 

The proposal recommends:

·    Equal shareholding by NRC selling 25 shares at one dollar each to WDC, FNDC and KDC, providing the four Northland Council with an equal shareholding of 25 shares each.

·    Governance via a formal Joint Committee with representation from each of the four Councils, by each Council having one representative.

·    Formal Joint Committee to appoint Directors to Northland Inc. based on merit.

·    Retainment of the current policy of rotation for appointment of directors.

·    Northland Councils all have input into to the Statement of Intent process via the Joint Committee.

·    Allocation of the Investment Growth Reserve delegated to the Joint Committee

·    Decision making on the Joint Committee to be made by consensus and failing that by vote proportionally weighted to the funds provided in that particular year.

 

The proposal recommends funding the regional joint CCO over a transition period of six years, whereby Northland Regional Council maintain funding levels per their 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, and the District Councils increase their funding contributions to a total combined value of 40% over the same period.

 

The development of a regional economic strategy would better inform the priorities, deliverables and outcomes to be achieved by Northland Inc. The proposal recommends the strategy is developed under Northland Forward Together and to develop a brief including resources, funding and timeframes for consideration.

 

The proposal recommends that total funding of Northland Inc. and IGR progresses to $3.473M by 2026/2027. 

Year

NRC

WDC

FNDC

KDC

Total

2021/22

$1.811M

$117K

$82K

$29K

$2,082M

2022/23

$1.852M

$241K

$169K

$61K

$2,357M

2023/24

$1.937M

$349K

$246K

$89K

$2,632M

2024/25

$1.984M

$475K

$335K

$121K

$2,910M

2025/26

$2.033M

$587K

$413K

$149K