Council

Tuesday 18 August 2020 at 10.30am

 

 

AGENDA

 


Council Meeting

18 August 2020

Northland Regional Council Agenda

 

Meeting to be held remotely

on Tuesday 18 August 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 - 21 July 2020 and 29 July 2020                                                            8

4.2       Working Party Updates and Chairpersons' Briefings                                                                   20

4.3       Council River Working Group and Council Catchment Group Updates                                 22

5.0       Financial Reports

5.0A    Year End Commentary by Independent Advisors

5.1       Externally Managed Investment Funds: 2019/20 Performance and Proposed Allocation of Gains                                                                                                                                                                         25

5.2       Allocation of 2019/20 Surplus to the Opex Reserve and COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve           48

5.3       Request for Approval to Carry Forward Operational Budget from the 2019/20 Financial Year into the 2020/21 Financial Year                                                                                                                    54

5.4       Request for Approval to Carry Forward Capital Expenditure Budget from the 2019/20 Financial Year into the 2020/21 Financial Year                                                                                                           58

5.5       Special Reserves at 30 June 2020                                                                                                        64

5.6       Regional Rates Collection - 2019/20                                                                                                  75

5.7       Draft Financial Result to 30 June 2020                                                                                              80

6.0       Decision Making Matters

6.1       Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee                                                                                84

6.2       Environmental Fund Changes                                                                                                               91

6.3       Changing Focus of the Land Management Team                                                                          96


 

6.4       Investment and Growth Reserve: Project Development Funding - COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan for Northland                                                                                                                                  100

6.5       Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group                                                                                       114

6.6       Delegation to Make Expert Consenting Panel Nominations Under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020                                                                                                                 122

6.7       Marsden Maritime Holdings Interview Panel                                                                               124

7.0       Operational Reports

7.1       Chair's Report to Council                                                                                                                     126

7.2       Chief Executive’s Report to Council                                                                                                 129

7.3       Code of Conduct Complaint                                                                                                                159

7.4       Reporting on Long Term Plan 2018-2028 Performance Measures for the Year Ended 30 June 2020                                                                                                                                                                       164

7.5       Legislative Compliance for the Period 1 January - 30 June 2020                                           172

8.0       Receipt of Committee Minutes                                                                                                              174  

9.0       Business with the Public Excluded                                                                                                    182

9.1       Confirmation of Confidential Minutes - 21 July 2020

9.2       Human Resources Report

9.3       Shovel Ready Project for Public Consultation   

 


 

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: 4.1

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Health and Safety Report

ID:

A1348122

From:

Kelcie Mills, Health and Safety Advisor

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

This report provides an overview of activity in health and safety for the month of July 2020, which in summary we report: 

·    An increase in incident reporting for near misses and hazards

·    An increase in vehicle events

·    A proposed stress survey of staff for August

·    The Wellbeing Group preparing to support staff working from home and support for addressing mental health issues

·    An update on H&S priorities.

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Health and Safety Report’ by Kelcie Mills, Health and Safety Advisor and dated 4 August 2020, be received.

 

Background/Tuhinga

Table 1: Reported events for injuries, and hazards

The events table above has been updated to reflect the financial year instead of the calendar year so that it aligns with all other annual reporting.

 

There has been an increase in the reporting of near misses and hazards on the previous month.  This shows that staff understand the potential for harm and are reporting before incidents occur. 

 

Events of note

There was a medical treatment injury where a member of the public slipped on wet stairs and broke their wrist during an event run by NRC.  This occurred at the NRC Whangārei office and is still being investigated to see what mitigation is required.

 

There was an ACC work related incident where a staff member sprained their back undertaking a regular work task.  The injury required three days off work, and they are now on light duties.  Fatigue was an identified contributing factor to the event.  This is being further investigated.

 

Issues register

 

Figure 1: Number of events by risk type

Vehicle events continue to climb.  There were four hazards, two of which occurred during the heavy rain period.

 

We are sourcing driver training courses with the assistance of the health and safety representatives.

 

The contractor events were both minor and dealt with at the time so that work could resume.

 

A stress survey will be carried out in August to ascertain the causes of stress and identify potential solutions.

 

Legislative updates

Nil

 

Notifiable events

Nil

 

Wellbeing Group

The Wellbeing Group has been planning activities/initiatives that will take place over the next financial year.  This includes looking to develop a support programme for people working from home.  They have also been scoping training for managers who need to support the mental wellbeing of their staff.

Completed training

Completed July 2020

Pax

First Aid

1

Fire Warden and Emergency Procedures

1

Health and Safety Representative Stage 1

4

Total

6

 

Forecasted training for August 2020

No forecasted health and safety training for August 2020.

Working priorities for August 2020

The new Health and Safety Advisor began on 20 July 2020.

Working priorities for August 2020

A full system and processes gap analysis is going to be undertaken in the health and safety area.

Update the type of data and the presentation used for future health and safety reports.

Train staff on the new contract management procedure.

Communication on hazard identification and incident reporting.

The risk register residual risk scores will be reviewed.  Using the residual scores, the top 10 hazards will be identified, and we will begin to develop action plans for risk mitigation.

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

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

Health and Safety Advisor to engage with health and safety representatives to assist them in completing their duties.

 

Update on July working priorities

·    Review started on Promapp procedures against the training system (Cognise) and policies to ensure they all align.  This will continue during August.

·    The task of working with relevant roles (traffic controllers, chemical handlers) to review processes is put on hold while the full health and safety system gets reviewed.

·    The information booklet for contractors is now complete.

·          Automatic driving reports are now scheduled for the first of each month to monitor driving. We will be developing a procedure for managing poor driving.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Bruce Howse

Title:

Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Date:

05 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Confirmation of Minutes - 21 July 2020 and 29 July 2020

ID:

A1347107

From:

Chris Taylor, Governance Support Manager

 

Recommendation

That the minutes of the council meeting held on 21 July 2020, and the extraordinary council meeting held on 29 July 2020, be confirmed as a true and correct record.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Council Meeting Minutes 21 July 2020

Attachment 2: Extraordinary Council Meeting Minutes 29 July 2020  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Chris Taylor

Title:

Governance Support Manager

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 4.1

18 August 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting  ITEM: 4.1

18 August 2020Attachment 2

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 4.2

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Working Party Updates and Chairpersons' Briefings

ID:

A1347780

 

Recommendation

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

 

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

The TTMAC Working Party met on 9 July 2020.  The topics for discussion included:

·        Māori Elected Members on Council

·        Development of Long Term Plan 2021–2031

·        Draft NRC Climate Change Strategy

·        Proposed Māori engagement approach – Water quality plan change

·        Northland Inc. - Statement of Intent

·        MTAG membership

·        Update: Māori Technical Advisory Group

·        Updates from other working parties.

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

·        That an additional online meeting of tāngata whenua members be held to discuss and decide actions for items 3.2, 3.5 and 3.6 (Māori Elected Members on Council, Proposed Māori engagement approach – Water quality plan change, and Northland Inc. – Statement of Intent)

·        To return the Draft Freshwater Strategy to TTMAC’s September meeting (if the NPS-FM has been released), and to consider adding Kaipara Moana Remediation project and physiographic erosion to a future TTMAC agenda

·        That MTAG work with staff to:

o   provide input into the long term planning process and then provide MTAG’s recommendations to TTMAC for review and endorsement at TTMAC’s September meeting

o   further develop the draft NRC Climate Change Strategy so it better includes and articulates Te Ao Māori tools

o   consider what could be submitted through the LTP process, for example to ask for money to support Tane Whakapiripiri

o   commence developing advice for TTMAC consideration on: Disposal of human remains and scattering of ashes at sea practices and Cultural Impact Assessments Project

o   consider options to reduce instances where tāngata whenua members cannot participate in working parties due to ongoing meeting clashes

·        That Councillors Blaikie and Yeoman be appointed to the selection panel for considering and appointing the members of the Tangata Whenua Advisory Group (recommendation 1(b)(iii) and (iv)), and that Janelle Beazley, representing Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-O-Ngāpuhi, be appointed to the Māori Technical Advisory Group as its seventh member.

 

Water and Land Working Party (Chair: Cr Justin Blaikie)

The Water and Land Working Party met on Wednesday 29 July.  The topics for discussion included:

·        Review of Action Points from the last meeting

·        Preparing for the next Drought – 2020 Drought and Improving Water Resilience

·        Catchment Restoration Contracting Gangs (deferred until the next meeting)

·        Dung Beetles

Following discussion, the Water and Land Working Party provided advice on the following next steps:

·        Draft a letter to MPI to find out when it plans to undertake a more comprehensive review of the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry, noting the council’s concerns about the accuracy of the standards erosion classification with respect to Northland’s soils.  The recommendation from the Working Party was that the draft letter be reviewed and approved by council prior to it being sent to the Minister for the Environment.

·        Present the “Preparing for the next Drought – 2020 Drought and Improving Water Resilience” presentation (or similar) to TTMAC.

·        Dr Dymock was asked to provide the capital and operation costs of undertaking a Dung Beetle trial in Northland.

·        Dr Dymock be invited to present her Dung Beetle proposal to the Kaipara Moana Remediation entity.

 

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Ben Lee

Title:

GM - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 4.3

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Council River Working Group and Council Catchment Group Updates

ID:

A1339431

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Council River Working Group and Council Catchment Group Updates’ be received.

 

Kerikeri/Waipapa River Working Group (Chair Cr Joce Yeoman)

The Kerikeri/Waipapa River Working Group met on 12 June 2020. The topics for discussion included:

·        Waipapa Industrial Estate by-pass & Whiriwhiretoa Stream Upgrade

·        Kerikeri Dam – Site K3A

·        Updated Flood maps

Following discussion, the Kerikeri/Waipapa River Working Group agreed on the following next step:

·        Engage with FNDC regarding 30 year Infrastuture Strategy and potential growth in the area

 

Kaihū River Working Group (Chair Cr John Bain)

The Kaihū River Working Group met on 26 June 2020. The topics for discussion included:

·        Maintenance Works Update

·        Proposed Works Programme

·        Northland Water Storage Study Update

Following discussion, the Kaihū River Working Group agreed on the following next steps:

·        Inspect bridges for logs and gravel build up

·        Schedule boat trip to inspect along the river

·        Investigate rushes and formulate a plan with the NRC Biosecurity team to more effectively eliminate rushes and rice grass

 

Kaeo River Working Group (Chair Cr Marty Robinson)

The Kaeo River Working Group met on 10 July 2020. The topics for discussion included:

·        State Highway 1 bridge

·        Works Programme and Gravel Extraction

·        Catchment Management for Water Quality

Following discussion, the Kaeo River Working Group agreed on the following next steps:

·        Continue with targeted gravel extraction where required and report back on any works undertaken at next meeting

·        Investigate feasibility of taking drone images of Whangaroa Harbour after a large rain event

 

Kawakawa/Taumarere River Working Group (Chair Cr Justin Blaikie)

The Kawakawa/Taumarere River Working Group met on 30 July 2020. The topics for discussion included:

·        Flood event 17-18 July 2020

·        Flood mitigation options for Otiria/Moerewa

·        Turntable Hill update

·        Kawakawa flood protection

Following discussion, the Kawakawa/Taumarere River Working Group provided advice on the following next steps:

·        Provide recommendation from the Working Party to NRC regarding adding the raising of the bridges being put into the Northland Transport Plan

·        Set up an induction hui with local marae and contractors before work starts on Turntable Hill

·        Create a focus group with two members from the local community, NRC and Kiwirail to finalise pokapu spillway location/design

·        Staff to provide clarity on drainage rules in relation to wetlands as a result of a new freshwater policy from central government

·        Staff to set a date for a hui at Waiomio and Maromaku Marae to discuss flooding

·        Staff to provide Working Party members with the requirements for locals to be awarded or to be able to undertake earthwork contracts – there is a desire from tangata whenua to understand how river works might be done by locals and through cheaper mechanisms

·        Circulate permitted activity rules for works on private property to clear waterways

 

Poutō Catchment Working Group (Chair Cr Penny Smart)

The Poutō Catchment Working Group met on 20 July 2020. The topics for discussion included:

•          Catchment plan implementation

•          Hornwort update

•          Wilding pine update

Following discussion, the Poutō Catchment Working Group provided advice on the following next steps:

·        To decide at the next meeting (video conference) on the planting and maintenance to be undertaken this financial year with the catchment group funds.  

·        To be updated on the plan to eradicate hornwort from the lakes in association with the Northland Regional Council and the Department of Conservation.

·        Agreed with the proposal to control wilding conifers in a 100m buffer around Lake Humuhumu

 

Waitangi Catchment Group (Chair Cr Marty Robinson)

The Waitangi Catchment Group met on 4 June 2020. The topics for discussion included:

·        Update from Ko Waitangi Te Awa Trust - Ngati Kawa

·        Research into establishing sub-catchment groups to target water quality.

·        Planning the next hui

Following discussion, the Waitangi Catchment Group agreed on the following next steps:

·        Form sub-catchment group on a Waitangi river tributary that flows through Jim Sinner’s property to target water-quality

 

 

 

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Environmental Services

Date:

05 August 2020

  


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.1

18 August 2020

 

 

TITLE:

Externally Managed Investment Funds: 2019/20 Performance and Proposed Allocation of Gains

ID:

A1347497

From:

Simon Crabb, Finance Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

Despite the financial disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, council’s externally managed investment portfolio generated annual gains of $2,498,601 in 2019/20, which was $82,572 less than budget.

 

 

The $82,572 shortfall in gains is totally offset by a saving in investment management fees as our investment advisor reduced their fee when the portfolio was consolidated into two funds, and a lower than budget recapitalisation (reinvestment of gains back into the portfolio).

 

 

There was no need to withdraw any general funding from the Opex reserve in 2019/20.  Furthermore, (and the subject of another agenda item) it is proposed that the Opex reserve is topped up by $468K to ensure there is sufficient funding set aside in this reserve to fully cover the gains required as general funding in 2020/21.

 

Depreciation funding collected and earmarked for future renewal capital expenditure is recommended to be transferred into the Infrastructure Investment Fund Reserve and invested in the Long-Term fund to preserve and track funding until it is required in the future.

 

The recommendations in this report have been incorporated into the operating result of $40K in the draft annual accounts.

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Externally Managed Investment Funds: 2019/20 Performance and Proposed Allocation of Gains’ by Simon Crabb, Finance Manager and dated 2 August 2020, be received.

2.         That $368,587 of the Long-Term Investment Fund gains earnt in 2019/20 is reinvested and attributed to the Community Investment Fund Reserve, and $72,148 of the Long-Term Investment Fund gains earned in 2019/20 is allocated to the Investment and Growth Reserve.

3.         That NO Long-Term Investment Fund gains attributable to the Property Reinvestment Fund Reserve are reinvested in 2019/20.

4.         That NO Long-Term Investment Fund gains attributable to the Infrastructure Investment Fund Reserve are reinvested in 2019/20.

5.         That $167,777 of depreciation funding is invested into the Long-Term Fund and attributed to the Infrastructure Investment Fund Reserve.

6.         That $53,403 is withdrawn from the Long-Term Investment Fund to reimburse council’s working capital for the 2019/20 investment management fees.

 

Background/Tuhinga

1.         Externally Managed Investment Funds

Council consolidated its externally managed investment portfolio into two externally managed investment funds in October 2019.

 

The Short-Term Investment Fund (STF) generated a return of 4.5% for the year, outperforming its one-year performance objective of 4.2% specified in the Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives (SIPO). 

 

The Long-Term Investment Fund (LTF) generated a return of 5.1% for the year and did not achieve its SIPO performance objective of 6.0%.

 

Supporting detail for each fund’s performance is contained in the EriksensGlobal report attached as Attachment One.

 

The Long-Term Investment Fund represents three separate reserves:

·    Community Investment Fund reserve

·    Property Reinvestment Fund reserve

·    Infrastructure Investment Fund reserve.

 

2.         Community Investment Fund (CIF) Reserve

In 2019/20 $735,966 of the gains generated in the LTF were generated from CIF capital invested in the LTF.

 

Council’s position when preparing the 2018–28 Long Term Plan was that $72,148 of the CIF gains would be transferred to the Investment and Growth Reserve (IGR) to fund the inflation adjustment portion of the operational grant paid to Northland Inc.  After accounting for the $72,148 IGR transfer, it is proposed that $368,587 of the remaining gains is reinvested back into LTF and attributed to the CIF Reserve.

 


 

Table One summarises the proposed CIF recommendation:

 

 

3.         Property Reinvestment Fund Reserve (PRF)

In 2019/20 $729,206 of gains generated in the LTF and STF were generated from PRF capital. It is proposed that none of these gains are reinvested or attributed back to the PRF reserve as presented in Table Two:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.         Infrastructure Investment Fund Reserve (IIF)

In 2019/20 $729,206 of gains generated in the LTF were generated from IIF capital.  It is proposed that none of these gains are reinvested or attributed back into the IIF Reserve.  It is also recommended that $167,777 of infrastructure depreciation funding collected and earmarked for future capital renewal works is transferred into the IIF reserve with a corresponding cash investment made to the LTF.

Table Three summarises the IIF proposals:

 

5.         Alternative Allocation

Although the general funding contribution from the overall investment portfolio is in line with budget, it should be noted that a different strategy of allocating gains to reserves can be undertaken in an endeavour to support different priorities. 

For example, less gains may be allocated to the CIF reserve thereby reducing the CIF funding available for future economic development initiatives, and an increased level of gains may be allocated to the PRF reserve to allow a greater level of funding to be directed into property investments and redevelopment.

·    Table 4 illustrates an allocation of LTF gains to the CIF reserve that would increase the level of funding available for future economic development initiatives.

 

·    Table 5 presents an alternative option of allocating LTF gains to the PRF reserve, thus increasing the level of funding available for future property investment and/or redevelopment.

 

 

 

Considerations

1.        1.         Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Reinvest the LTF gains and attribute to the CIF Reserve, as presented in Table 4 of this report

Build the capital base of the CIF to enhance future spending power. 

There is no additional funding available for projects that are funded from either the PRF or the IIF reserve.

 

The future spending power of the PRF and IIF may be at risk of becoming eroded by inflation.

 

2

Reinvest the LTF gains and attribute to the PRF, Reserve, as presented in Table 5 of this report

Build the capital base of a different reserve/s to generate the ability to fund different priorities.

 

The CIF reserve has an agreed minimum level of $12.5M.  Without reinvestment of gains there is a risk that this level may be breached.

3

Do not reinvest any of LTF gains

 

Release funding for additional operational work programmes/or projects.

The future spending power of the CIF, PRF and IIF is reduced and at risk of becoming eroded by inflation.

The $12.5M minimum balance requirement of the CIF may be breached.

 

The staff’s recommended option is 1 as the CIF is the only fund that has a budgeted reinvestment of its gains scheduled in 2019/20, and is also required to maintain a capital value in excess of $12.5M.

2.         Significance and engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, this decision is considered to be of low significance because it is part of council’s day-to-day activities and is in accordance with the approved Treasury Management Policy.

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

The activities detailed in this report are in accordance with council’s Treasury Management Policy, and the 2018–28 Long Term Plan, both of which were approved in accordance with council’s decision-making requirements of sections 76–82 of the Local Government Act 2002. The activities detailed in this report are also in accordance with council’s Opex Reserve Policy.

4.         Financial implications

The way gains are allocated will affect the level of future funding available to pay for projects and programmes aligned to the purpose of each reserve, however, the CIF Reserve is the only reserve that has a self-imposed minimum requirement to hold $12.5M.

Investment strategies carry different risk profiles and are subject to different return volatilities.  The returns from managed funds can fluctuate over a given time and historical returns do not necessarily form the basis for forecasted returns.

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

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: EriksensGlobal Report - 30 June 2020  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Bruce Howse

Title:

Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 5.1

18 August 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.2

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Allocation of 2019/20 Surplus to the Opex Reserve and COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve

ID:

A1349610

From:

Simon Crabb, Finance Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

It is proposed that $468K of the 2019/20 operational surplus is transferred into the Opex Reserve to set aside sufficient funding to completely cover the 2020/21 general funding contribution provided from managed fund investment gains.

 

It is also proposed that $1.7M of the 2019/20 surplus is transferred into a newly created COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve.  The initial $1.7M plus any investment income greater than budgeted and received in 2020/21 will be set aside and used to fund the reintroduction of prioritised work programmes, salary’s and projects that were removed from the 2020/21 Annual Plan, business as usual and Year 3 of the Long-Term Plan, to remedy the deficit arising from the impact of COVID-19.

 

Any balance remaining in the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve at the end of the 2020/21 financial year will be transferred back to council’s general funding.

The proposals recommended in this report have been incorporated into the Draft Financial Report (item 5.7).

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Allocation of 2019/20 Surplus to the Opex Reserve and COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve’ by Simon Crabb, Finance Manager and dated 7 August 2020, be received.

2.         That $467,695 of the 2019/20 operating surplus is allocated to the Opex Reserve, and funding representing the Opex Reserve is invested into NZ registered bank fixed rate term deposits with rolling maturity profiles ranging from 30 to 180 days.

3.         That a COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve is established, and $1.7M of the 2019/20 operating surplus is allocated to this Reserve, and funding representing the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve is invested into NZ registered bank fixed rate term deposits with rolling maturity profiles ranging from 30 to 180 days.

4.         That budgets of $30,000 for Tangata whenua capability and capacity, $100,000 for Modelling highly allocated aquifers, and $100,617 for Enviroschools staff and seminars are reinstated in 2020/21 and funded from the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve.

5.         That the CEO is delegated the authority to reinstate any work programmes presented in Attachment One when appropriate, and funding becomes available, from the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve.

6.         That budgets of $58,000 for Bay of Islands harbour modelling and $100,617 for committed obligations to the Regional Council collaboration are introduced into 2020/21 with corresponding funding transferred from the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve.


 

That any 2020/21 investment income in excess of budget is transferred to the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve, and any balance remaining in the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve at 30 June 2021 is transferred back to council’s general funding, and that the Opex Reserve Policy is updated to reflect that the target amount of the Opex Reserve includes Investment Management fees.

Background/Tuhinga

1.         OPEX Reserve

The purpose of the Opex Reserve is to have sufficient funding set aside in liquid assets should the budgeted revenue stream from council’s managed fund portfolio not eventuate as anticipated. 

 

The balance of the Opex Reserve before any adjustment at 30 June 2020 is $1,151,899.

 

The general funding required from council’s managed fund portfolio in 2020/21 is $1,619,594.

 

It is proposed that the Opex Reserve is topped up to fully align with the 2020/21 gains requirement thereby providing assurance and stability over the delivery of council’s work programmes. In line with the Opex Reserve policy, and to achieve a fully aligned Opex Reserve, $467,695 of operational surpluses generated in 2019/20 is recommended to be allocated to the Opex Reserve. At $1,619,594 the Opex Reserve will hold sufficient funding to also cover the cost of investment manager fees, and the Opex Reserve policy will be updated to reflect this.

 

2.         COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve

It is proposed that $1.7M of the 2019/20 operational surplus is transferred into a newly created COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve.  The initial $1.7M plus investment income greater than budgeted and received in 2020/21 will be set aside and used to fund the reintroduction of prioritised work programmes, salaries and projects that were removed from the 2020/21 Annual Plan to remedy the deficit arising from the impact of COVID-19.

 

The first three operational budgets, prioritised by council during deliberations, to be reinstated in 2020/21 and funded from the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve are:

•          $30,000 for Tangata whenua capability and capacity

•          $100,000 Modelling highly allocated aquifers

•          $86,385 for Enviroschools staff and seminars.

 

Secondly, a list of the other proposed operational budgets identified to be reinstated in 2020/21 is presented in Attachment One.  It is recommended that the CEO is granted delegation to utilise COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve funding, when appropriate and as it becomes available, to re-establish any of the listed operational budgets.

 

Thirdly, council approval is sought to use COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve funding to cover the cost of introducing two new initiatives into 2020/21:

•          $58,000 for Bay of Islands harbour modelling and simulations to keep systems up to industry standard and ready for the arrival of cruise ships in 2021/22.  Potentially 90 ships are booked for the 21-22 season and if we wait for ships to arrive before we undertake the work, we will be behind safety wise.

•          $100,617 for committed obligations to the Regional Council Collaboration group (ReCoCo) for a range of shared Regional Council Special Interest Group (SIG) initiatives.

 

Any balance remaining in the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve at the end of the 2020/21 financial year will be transferred back to council’s general funding.

3.         Cash Held to Represent the Reserves

To ensure the cash holdings representing the Opex Reserve and the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve have the lowest feasible risk setting and are held in appropriate durations to ensure liquidity, it is proposed that $3,319,594 ($1,619,594 for Opex reserve plus $1.7M for COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve) is invested in six equal sums, as rolling term deposits at a NZ registered trading bank with maturity dates ranging from 30 days to 180 days.

The recommendations in this report relating to the 2019/20 financial year have been incorporated into the operating result of $40K in the draft annual accounts.

 

Considerations

1.                  1.         Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Allocate a portion of the operating surplus to the Opex Reserve and COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve in accordance with the presented recommendations

Promotes assurance and stability over the delivery of council’s work programmes.

Preserve and track funding and provide control and transparency around the approach to reinstating work programmes that were removed from the 2020/21 Annual Plan.

 

The returns associated with holding the cash (representing the reserves) in term deposits are typically lower than the returns generated if the cash remained in managed funds.

2

Do not allocate a portion of the operating surplus to the Opex Reserve

The operating surplus could potentially be utilised as funding for additional work programmes/or projects.

 

The level of the Opex reserve does not fully cover the 2020/21 general funding required from the Managed Fund portfolio.

This approach does not comply with the Opex reserve policy.

3

Do not allocate a portion of the operating surplus to the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve

The operating surplus could potentially be utilised as funding for additional work programmes/or projects that are not on the list presented in Attachment One.

There potentially could be an ad-hoc approach to identifying and using 2020/21 surpluses to fund the reinstatement of removed work programmes /or projects.

 

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 because it is part of council’s day-to-day treasury management activities and is in accordance with the approved Treasury Management Policy and Opex Reserve Policy.

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

The activities detailed in this report are in accordance with council’s Treasury Management Policy, and the 2018–28 Long Term Plan, both of which were approved in accordance with council’s decision-making requirements of sections 76–82 of the Local Government Act 2002. The activities detailed in this report are also in accordance with council’s Opex Reserve Policy.

4.         Financial implications

Maintaining an Opex Reserve that can be called upon if council’s Managed Fund portfolio does not generate its budgeted revenue stream provides financial stability by ensuring there is funding available, in liquid and relative risk-free assets, to continue the delivery of the planned work programmes.

Maintaining a COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve provides a mechanism to preserve and track any surplus funding in an endeavour to control and provide transparency around the reinstatement of work programmes that were removed from the 2020/21 Annual Plan in light of the forecasted deteriorating economic conditions.

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

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Work Programmes, Salaries and Projects removed from, or reduced in, the 2020/21 Annual Plan to remedy the deficit arising from the impact of COVID‐19  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Bruce Howse

Title:

Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 5.2

18 August 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.3

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Request for Approval to Carry Forward Operational Budget from the 2019/20 Financial Year into the 2020/21 Financial Year

ID:

A1348582

From:

Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant and Simon Crabb, Finance Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

Unspent 2019/20 operational budget of $255,555 is proposed to be carried forward into the 2020/21 financial year to fund the completion of operational projects.  The recommendations in this report have been incorporated into the draft operating result of $40,311.

 

Recommendations

1.         That the report ‘Request for Approval to Carry Forward Operational Budget from the 2019/20 Financial Year into the 2020/21 Financial Year’ by Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant and Simon Crabb, Finance Manager and dated 5 August 2020, be received.

2.         That council approves the operational expenditure carry forwards from the 2019/20 financial year into the 2020/21 financial year of:

a.         $51,564 for the lakes survey;

b.        $24,241 for the wetland survey;

c.         $32,712 for eradication plants;

d.        $37,300 for roadside weeds;

e.        $53,200 for NIWA water quality modelling;

f.         $7,225 for water quality mitigation measures;

g.         $18,813 for Iwi environment management plans;

h.        $19,000 for a Hokianga Harbour catchment investigation; and

i.          $11,500 for a Northland drought river ecosystem health impact report.

 

Background/Tuhinga

As with previous years, carry forwards of unspent 2019/20 operational budgets are required to enable the completion of the various operational projects in the 2020/21 financial year.

Following the 30 June 2020 year-end senior management review, nine projects totalling $255,555 were identified as requiring unspent 2019/20 operational budgets to be carried forward as funding in 2020/21.

The total of $255,555 has been incorporated into the draft operating result.  The projects requiring this funding are below by group:

 


 

Environmental Services

Description

 2019-20 Spent

 2019-20 Budget

 2019-20 Budget Unspent

 Amount to Carry forward

Lakes survey

         3,376

       54,940

        51,564

        51,564

Wetland Survey

        8,000

       32,241

       24,241

        24,241

Eradication plants

      59,944

       92,656

       32,712

       32,712

Roadside weeds

       11,428

       50,001

       38,573

       37,300

 

·    $51,564 for the NIWA lakes ecological survey has been delayed to early August 2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The baseline survey is necessary to fulfil requirements of EPA permit for the Freshwater Improvement Fund (FIF) Dune Lakes herbicide operations in three Far North lakes in September.

 

·    $24,241 for the wetland survey.  This is extra monitoring work associated with lakes survey postponed due to Covid-19.  This is also associated with FIF herbicide operation.

 

·    $32,712 for batwing and spartina contract work delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.  The carry forward will be essential for next year to offset reduced/lost annual plan funding for eradication plants.

 

·    $37,300 for roadside weeds contracts delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.  The budget for this for 2020/21 has been cut in half so the budget will be essential to complete the planned works.

 

Governance and Engagement

Description

 2019-20 Spent

 2019-20 Budget

 2019-20 Budget Unspent

 Amount to Carry forward

NIWA water quality modelling

      139,479

      199,904

        60,425

        53,200

Water quality mitigation measures

      192,679

     199,904

         7,225

          7,225

Iwi Environment Management Plans

          6,200

        36,366

30,166

18,813

 

·    $53,200 for NIWA water quality modelling. Modelling in relation to setting lake water quality objectives and limits, methods for meeting objectives, and prioritising non-regulatory initiatives in lake catchments.

 

·    $7,225 for water quality mitigation measures contract that extends over financial years. Project for information on current levels of stock exclusion from rivers, dams, and wetlands.

 

·    $18,813 for iwi environmental management plans allocated from the 2019/20 financial year budget but expected to be completed during the 2020/21 financial year.  It includes plans for Ngatihine Tirairaka, Te Roroa, Te Orewai, Te Runanga O Whaingaroa, Tapuwae Inc.

 

Regulatory Services

Description

 2019-20 Spent

 2019-20 Budget

 2019-20 Budget Unspent

 Amount to Carry forward

Hokianga Harbour catchment investigation

24,664

56,430

31,766

19,000

Northland Drought River ecosystem health impact report

-  

15,330

15,330

11,500

 

·    $19,000 for a Hokianga Harbour catchment investigation.  This was no able to be completed during the 2019/20 financial year due to resourcing issues related to additional drought related work.

·    $11,500 for a Northland drought river ecosystem health impact report.  This project was delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown and so the contract has been extended into the 2020/21 financial year.

 

Considerations

1.                                     1.         Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Approve carry forward of all requested unspent operational budgets

Allows the completion of 2019/20 projects.

Reduces retained earnings though at budgeted levels.

2

Approve no unspent operational budget carry forwards

Retains more surplus in the 2019/20 financial year.

Projects from the 2019/20 financial year do not get finished or 2020/21 programmes must be deferred to allow for 2019/20 work already contracted.

3

Approve some of the unspent operational budget carry forwards

Some projects will go ahead.

Some projects will not go ahead.  Some of the 2020/21 programmes might be deferred to allow for 2019/20 work already contracted.

The staff’s recommended option is Option 1 to maintain all contractual work programmes.

 

 

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.

 

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

The activities detailed in this report are in accordance with the 2018–28 Long Term Plan, which was approved in accordance with council’s decision making requirements of sections 76–82 of the Local Government Act 2002.

 

Other considerations

4.         Financial implications

In arriving at the draft operating result of $40,311, $255,555 has been incorporated to represent the proposed operational carry forwards.

 

Being a purely administrative matter, community views, implementation issues and Māori impact statement are not applicable.

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

 

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Bruce Howse

Title:

Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.4

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Request for Approval to Carry Forward Capital Expenditure Budget from the 2019/20 Financial Year into the 2020/21 Financial Year

ID:

A1348437

From:

Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The purpose of this report is to seek council approval to carry forward two capital projects totalling $234,624 from the 2019/20 financial year into the 2020/21 financial year. 

 

Recommendations

1.         That the report ‘Request for Approval to Carry Forward Capital Expenditure Budget from the 2019/20 Financial Year into the 2020/21 Financial Year’ by Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant and dated 4 August 2020, be received.

2.         That council approves the carry forward of $234,624 capital expenditure budget from the 2019/20 financial year into the 2020/21 financial year.

 

Background/Tuhinga

Staff have carried out a final review on any ongoing capital projects and associated Capital Expenditure (Capex) carry forwards for council consideration and approval.

As part of the budget process finance staff ensure that all Capex is adequately funded via depreciation over the expected useful life of each asset class.

Following the 30 June 2020 year-end senior management review, which was based upon the actual Capex incurred and the review of ongoing requirements, a total of $234,624 is proposed to be carried forward into 2020/21.  This is made up of general capex of $173,304 and targeted rates funded capex of $61,320.

 

2019/20 Actual and Budgeted Capital Expenditure

The revised capital expenditure budget for 2019/20 was $15,049,549.  The total actual capital expenditure incurred in 2019/20 is $12,770,923, resulting in an underspend of $2.3M.  Of this underspend $1.8M relates to commercial property transactions that are funded from the Property Reinvestment Fund.  For a breakdown of this please refer to Attachment One.

 

2020/21 Budgeted Capital Expenditure and Proposed Carry Forwards

The original 2020/21 capital expenditure budget is $17,863,901 and by adding the total requested 2019/20 carry forwards of $234,624 this budget will increase to $18,098,525.  The detail of the original 2020/21 capital expenditure programme and the proposed capital carry forwards are presented in Attachment Two.

 


 

 

Explanations to proposed capital carry forward expenditure for 2019/20

CEO and Property: Proposed capital expenditure carry forward $61,320

Approval of $61,320 capital carry forward expenditure is sought:

·     For the Flyger Road subdivision which has not gone ahead in the 2019/20 year due to Kiwirail not wanting to do the subdivision until after the sale.  This was committed to in the sale and purchase agreement and the amount reflects 50% of the total costs as NRC's share.  This is to be funded by surplus infrastructure rates held in the infrastructure facilities reserve.

 

Regulatory Services: Proposed capital expenditure carry forward $173,304

Approval of $173,304 capital carry forward expenditure is sought:

·     To complete the capex programme for the 2019/20 financial year that was delayed due to recruitment issues, drought work prioritisation, COVID-19 lockdown, and issues with MFE guidance on sediment attribution.

 

Considerations

Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Approve carry forward of all requested capital carry forwards

Allows the completion of the 2019/20 capital programme.

Reduces retained earnings at budgeted levels.

2

Approve none of the Capex carry forwards

Retains more earnings for other capital projects.

Projects underway or delayed won’t get the required funding to be completed.

3

Approve some of the Capex carry forwards

Some of the capital projects get to be completed.

Some of the capital projects don’t get completed.

The staff’s recommended option is Option 1.  This maintains the unspent capital programme budget from 2019/20 allowing projects that are underway and delayed to be completed.

 

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. 

 

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

The activities detailed in this report are in accordance with the 2018–28 Long Term Plan, which was approved in accordance with council’s decision making requirements of sections 76–82 of the Local Government Act 2002.

 


 

Other considerations

4.         Financial implications

$234,624 of capital carried forward from the 2019/20 financial year to the 2020/21 financial year, with $61,320 of it being funded from targeted rates.

Being a purely administrative matter, community views, implementation issues and Māori impact statement are not applicable.

 

Attachment 1: 2019/20 Actual and Budgeted Capital Expenditure

Attachment 2: 2020/21 Budgeted Capital Expenditure and Proposed Carry Forwards  

 

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Bruce Howse

Title:

Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 5.4

18 August 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting  ITEM: 5.4

18 August 2020Attachment 2

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.5

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Special Reserves at 30 June 2020

ID:

A1348147

From:

Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

At 30 June 2020, council has $52.5M of special reserves set aside to cover expenditure on specific projects and work programmes.

This report provides a breakdown of the special reserves held by council, including their purpose and balance as at 30 June 2020.

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Special Reserves at 30 June 2020’ by Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant and dated 4 August 2020, be received.

 

Background/Tuhinga

The equity in council’s balance sheet represents the communities’ interest in council and is measured by the value of total assets less total liabilities.  Equity is classified into a number of general and special reserves to enable a clearer identification of the specified uses for which various funds have been assigned.

A general reserve does not have a specific purpose, whereas a special reserve holds funds that are set aside to cover expenditure on specific projects.  In addition, special reserves may facilitate the funding of works of an inter-generational nature, capital expenditure in particular, over the most appropriate time period.

The special reserves and their respective balances (surplus/(deficit)) in place at the end of the 2019/20 financial year are as follows:

 

Description

Closing Balance

Land Management Reserve

516,209

Awanui River Reserve

(659,787)

Awanui River FIR Reserve

(187,864)

Kāeo River Reserve

233,087

Kāeo River FIR Reserve

23,176

Whangārei Urban River Reserve

(8,617,652)

Whangārei River FIR Reserve

(12,673)

Infrastructure Investment Fund Reserve

21,082,734

Kaihu River reserve

40,309

Waipapa Kerikeri River Reserve

430,216

Flood Infrastructure Reserve

(1,770,026)

Infrastructure Facilities Reserve

(166,125)

Property Reinvestment Fund

21,433,529

Forest Income Equalisation Fund

1,463,086

Hātea River Reserve

164,591

Investment and Growth Reserve

600,570

Approved Carry Forwards - General Funds

255,555

Whangārei Bus and TM Reserve

(39,960)

Emergency Services Reserve

81,737

Far North Transport Reserve

221,091

LIDAR Project Reserve

11,472

Regional Sporting Facilities Reserve

1,406,761

Opex Reserve

1,619,594

COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve

1,700,000

Capital Subsidy Reserve

64,512

Total Special Reserves

39,894,142

 

 

Some special reserves earn or are charged interest depending on their closing balance being in deficit or surplus.  For the 2019/20 year the protocol is for reserves in surplus of $50,000 or greater earn interest at 5% (as budgeted in the Long Term Plan (LTP)).  Reserves in deficit are either charged at the corresponding external borrowing rate or at the internal rate of 7.0% (as budgeted in the LTP).

A description of the purpose of each reserve, the transfers from and/or to the reserve for the year, and the closing balance of each reserve as at 30 June 2020 is provided below.

 

Land Management Reserve

The Land Management Reserve was created to allow council to set aside unutilised Land Management rates for the purpose of funding projects in future years. 

The operational reserve movements of $249,149 to the Land Management Reserve constitute NRC funding commitments towards Freshwater Improvement Fund projects.  This produces a closing balance of $516,209.

In 2020/21 the balance of the land management reserve is expected to be fully utilised on Freshwater Improvement Fund projects.

 

Awanui River Reserve

The Awanui River Reserve was created to hold any targeted Awanui River Management rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls for river works required as part of the Awanui River Flood Management Scheme.

In the 2019/20 financial year the Awanui River Management project had an operating surplus of $86,056.  Depreciation funding of $95,963 was transferred to the Infrastructure Investment Fund (IIF) producing a closing book reserve deficit of ($561,747) and cash reserve deficit of ($463,706).

 

Awanui Flood Infrastructure Rate (FIR) Reserve

The Awanui FIR Reserve was created to hold any targeted Awanui FIR rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls for river works required as part of the Awanui River Flood Management Scheme.  The Awanui FIR Reserve incorporates 30% of any related capital works with the other 70% being attributed to the Flood Infrastructure Rate Reserve.

In the 2019/20 financial year the Awanui FIR project had an operating surplus of $323,924.  Capital expenditure of $377,930 was incurred producing a closing reserve deficit of ($187,864).

 

Whangaroa Kaeo Rivers Reserve

The Whangaroa Kaeo Rivers Reserve was created to hold any targeted Whangaroa Kaeo Rivers Management rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls of river works required as part of the Whangaroa Kaeo Rivers Flood Management scheme.

In the 2019/20 financial year there was an operating surplus of $54,046 resulting in a closing reserve balance of $233,087.  Unused accumulated depreciation of $24,256 is held in the IIF resulting in a closing cash balance of $257,343.

 


 

Kāeo Flood Infrastructure Rate (FIR) Reserve

The Kāeo FIR Reserve was created to hold any targeted Kāeo FIR rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls for river works required as part of the Kāeo River Flood Management Scheme.  The Kāeo FIR reserve incorporates 30% of any related capital works with the other 70% being attributed to the Flood Infrastructure Rate Reserve.

In the 2019/20 financial year the Kāeo FIR project had an operating surplus of $20,356.  Capital expenditure of $17,991 was incurred producing a closing reserve surplus of $23,176.

 

Whangārei Urban Rivers Reserve

The Whangārei Urban Rivers Reserve was created in the 2011/12 year to hold any targeted Whangārei Urban Rivers Management rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls of river works required as part of the Whangārei urban rivers management scheme.

The operating surplus of $397,058 has been transferred to the reserve which produces a deficit balance of ($8,617,652).  Adding the unused accumulated depreciation held in the IIF gives a cash balance of ($8,365,578).

 

Whangārei FIR Reserve

The Whangārei Flood Infrastructure Rate (FIR) Reserve was created to hold any targeted Whangārei FIR rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls for river works required as part of the Whangārei River Flood Management Scheme.  The Whangārei FIR reserve incorporates 30% of any related capital works with the other 70% being attributed to the Flood Infrastructure Rate Reserve.

In the 2019/20 financial year the Whangārei FIR project had an operating surplus of $59,275 and capital expenditure of $127,214 producing a closing reserve deficit of ($12,673).

 

Infrastructure Investment Fund (IIF) Reserve

The IIF Reserve was established to stabilise the impact of irregular large infrastructure projects on council’s income and capital requirements.  It will help to spread the costs of such projects.  The fund is also intended to provide more flexibility around when such large capital intensive projects can commence.

The balance of the reserve reflects the balance of funds held in the IIF.  No gains are proposed to be reinvested this financial year.  The IIF Reserve holds $374,371 of unutilised accumulated depreciation and $1,922,340 of capital repayments collected and held to repay external borrowings.

 

 


 

Kaihu River Reserve

The Kaihu River Reserve was created to hold any targeted Kaihu River Management rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls for river works required as part of the Kaihu River Flood Management Scheme.

In the 2019/20 financial year there was an operating surplus of $7,943 transferred to the reserve producing a closing balance of $40,309.

 

Kerikeri–Waipapa Rivers Reserve

The Kerikeri–Waipapa Rivers Reserve is set up to hold any targeted Kerikeri-Waipapa rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls of river works required as part of the flood risk reduction project for the Kerikeri-Waipapa area.

The Kerikeri–Waipapa targeted rate was discontinued in 2019/20 resulting in an operating deficit of ($25,275) which has been transferred from the reserve producing a closing balance of $430,216.

 

Flood Infrastructure Rate (FIR) Reserve

The FIR Reserve was created to hold any targeted regional FIR rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls for river works required as part of Northland Flood Infrastructure Schemes.  The FIR reserve incorporates 70% of any related capital works with the other 30% being attributed to the Awanui FIR, Whangārei FIR, or Kāeo FIR reserves depending on the particular project.

In the 2019/20 financial year the FIR reserve had an operating surplus of $493,523 and $1,726,481 of capital expenditure producing a closing reserve deficit of ($1,770,026).

 

Infrastructure Facilities Reserve

The Infrastructure Facilities Reserve was created to set aside any targeted Regional Infrastructure rates collected and not fully utilised in any given year for the purpose of funding future infrastructure projects.  This reserve consists of the cost of capital, holding costs, and council’s share of the net costs for the designation asset associated with the Marsden Point Rail Link (MPRL) Joint Venture project.

In 2019/20 $764,970 of operational transfers and $1,601,357 from the disposal of the MPRL assets have been transferred into the reserve producing a closing balance of ($166,126) overdrawn.

 

Property Reinvestment Fund Reserve

The Property Reinvestment Fund (PRF) Reserve was created to enable proceeds from property sales to be set aside for reinvestment at a future date.  This reserve represents the balance investments held in the PRF.

During 2019/20 this reserve recognised $830,548 of property sale proceeds, $10,521,921 of Marsden Point rail link proceeds, $1,579,496 of property purchases, and $5,114,661 of commercial developments.  No gains are proposed to be reinvested for 2019/20.

 

Equalisation Reserve

The Equalisation Reserve was created to set aside council’s forestry net income arising in any harvesting year.  This reserve is intended to provide future funding of council’s general activities by allowing council to use these funds for any council activity to smooth future rating increases.  It is further intended that this fund be used to fund the cost of forestry operations in non-harvesting years.

No transfers during the 2019/20 financial year resulting in a closing balance of $1,463,086.


 

Hātea River Reserve

The Hātea River Reserve was created to set aside a component of the council’s Services Rate ($1.50+GST) specifically levied across the Whangārei constituency to ensure funding is available in the event dredging of the Hātea River is required.

This year there was an operating deficit of ($57,740) transferred to the reserve producing a closing reserve balance of $164,591.

 

Emergency Services Reserve

The Emergency Services Reserve was created to hold any targeted Emergency Services rates collected and unspent in any given year to ensure all collected rates go to emergency services in the future.

The closing balance of $81,737 represents targeted rates collected (and adjusted for non-collection) and not allocated to date.

 

Investment and Growth Reserve

The Northland Regional Council Investment and Growth Reserve was established in 2011/12.  The reserve was created to set aside investment income to fund activities and projects that contribute towards the economic well-being of Northland.

 

 

Approved Carry Forwards Reserve

The Approved Carry Forwards Reserve was set up to record operational projects for council that have not been completed during the current year and need to be carried forward to the next financial year.  This is the subject of agenda Item 5.3.  At 30 June 2020 the closing balance of the projects proposed to be carried forward is $255,555.

 

Whangārei Transport Reserve

The Whangārei Transport Reserve was created to hold any targeted Whangārei Transport rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls in the Whangārei bus and total mobility programmes.

In 2019/20 Whangārei Bus made a surplus of $33,847 and Total Mobility made a surplus of $322.  This resulted in $34,169 being transferred to the reserve making the reserve balance a deficit of ($39,960).  The positive reserve movement is predominately due to the Whangārei Rural Trials not going ahead in 2019/20 as planned and gaining additional subsidy on labour at a charge out rather than cost rate.

 

Far North Transport Reserve

The Far North Bus Service Reserve was created to hold any targeted Far North Transport rates collected and unspent in any given year to cover any future funding shortfalls of the Mid North Link and Far North Link projects.  This rate replaces the Mid North Transport rate and Kaitāia Bus Service rate.

$68,637 was transferred to the reserve during 2019/20 resulting in a closing balance of $221,091.

 

LIDAR Reserve

The LIDAR Reserve was created to hold any LIDAR contributions as this project is run over a number of years and includes funding from seven parties.

The reserve balance at 30 June 2020 is $11,472.

 

Regional Sporting Facilities Reserve

The Regional Sporting Facilities Reserve was established to set aside any targeted Regional Sporting Facilities rates collected and not fully utilised in any given year for the purpose of funding sporting facilities across Northland.

During the 2019/20 year $785,569 of unspent rates were transferred to reserve resulting in a closing balance of $1,406,761.  This relates to a grant originally intended to be paid in May 2020 for the Te Hiku Sports Hub of $1.4M now delayed until sometime in 2020/21.

 

Opex Reserve

The Opex Reserve was established in June 2019.  The purpose of the Opex Reserve (and cash holdings it represents) is to ensure that the portion of annual operating costs in any financial year that is intended to be funded from managed fund gains is guaranteed and not exposed to market volatility.

Interest earned on the related term deposits of $20,703 and $467,695 of the 2019/20 surplus has been transferred to the reserve resulting in a closing balance of $1,619,594.  This represents the total externally managed fund gains to be utilised as general funding in 2020/21.

 

COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve

The COVID Reinstatement Reserve is proposed to be established in June 2020.  The purpose of this reserve (and cash holdings it represents) is to reinstate works removed from the 2020/21 annual plan.  $1,700,000 of the 2019/20 surplus is proposed to be transferred to this reserve.

 


 

Capital Subsidy Reserve

There is $64,512 of subsidy received held in this reserve to partially offset future depreciation costs associated with the Regional Integrated Ticketing Information System (RITIS).

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

 

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Bruce Howse

Title:

Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.6

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Regional Rates Collection - 2019/20

ID:

A1347485

From:

Simon Crabb, Finance Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The three district councils administer the collection of the regional council rates on council’s behalf.

 

Table One below summarises the level of rates collected in 2019/20, the total outstanding rate balances, and the provisions held to offset the prospect of non-collection of the outstanding rates as at 30 June 2020.

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Regional Rates Collection - 2019/20’ by Simon Crabb, Finance Manager and dated 1 August 2020, be received.

 

Background/Tuhinga

Confirmation of council’s rates transactions and outstanding rate balances for 2019/20 are provided by each district council as part of the year-end Annual Report process. 

As at 30 June 2020, council’s total outstanding rates in its year-end accounts is $3,044,413.  This is an increase of $167,177 from last year’s balance of $2,877,236.

1.         Current Year Rates

In 2019/20 council received $32,164,801 of the annual rate strike, equivalent to 91.5% (2018/19: 91.9%).  The three-year average current year rates collection rate has slightly reduced to 91.9% (2018/19: 92.3%).

Attachment One is the 2019/20 Rates Reconciliation Statement.  This reconciliation summarises council’s rate strike, cash received, remissions, write-offs, penalties charged, and includes the Māori Freehold Land impairment adjustment that are all accounted for when calculating council’s annual rates revenue and the total outstanding rates in our year-end accounts.

Graph One presents the proportion of current year rates that has been collected by each district council over the past six years.

 

 

The following statement was provided by Whangarei District Council’s Revenue Manager as an explanation for the decrease in their collection rate of current rates:

 

“Our collection activities were delayed as the payment date for the 4th instalment was deferred by one month.  There have now been 3 arrear letters dispatched which has already reduced NRC’s rate arrears to $507K.  The rating recovery team continue work to collect outstanding rates and expect the arrears to be reduced to more acceptable levels within the next 6 months.  However, this is somewhat dependent on the economic resilience of our district as the community has been impacted financially by the pandemic and there is also uncertainty on the refinery’s future along with the recent closure of some big employers in our district.”

2.         Rate Arrears

Outstanding rate arrears (including penalty arrears) collected in 2019/20 totalled $1,068,066, equivalent to a collection rate of 21.2% (2018/19: 15.7%).  The three-year average rate arrears collection rate has improved to 18.1% (2018/19 17.8%).

Graph Two presents the proportion of outstanding rate arrears that has been collected by each district council over the past six years.  All three district councils have had an improvement in their collection of rate arrears during the 2019/20 year.

 

3.         Māori Freehold Land Rating impairment required under IPSAS 23

NZ Accounting Standard IPSAS 23 governs the recognition and measurement of rating revenue and this standard stipulates that revenue is recognised when it is probable that council is going to receive payment.

Due to the regional council’s historical experience of non-payment of rates on Māori Freehold Land, it was considered necessary (and confirmed as necessary by Deloitte) that the 2019/20 rates revenue struck on Far North Māori Freehold Land (MFL) is reduced and a corresponding reduction made to the provision for doubtful debts expense.

Table Two presents an MFL rate impairment for 2019/20 of $626,882, which is largely in line with last year’s collection rate of MFL current year rates of approximately 28%. 

The total rates outstanding at 30 June 2020 on Māori Freehold Land in the Far North District, disregarding cumulative impairments, is $3,043,857 (2018/19 $2,660,182).

 

 

4.         Provision for Doubtful Rate Debts

A Provision for Doubtful Rates Debts is an allowance held to recognise the potential loss arising from the non-collection of some of the outstanding rate arrears.

The rationale for determining the level of this provision was modified this year to align to the methodology developed in the 2020-21 Annual Plan.  Specifically, an additional provision of 20% has been incorporated to reflect the potential impact of COVID-19 on the recovery of unpaid current rates. This additional provisional amounted to $49k this year, and only applied to the Whangārei district as the collection of current rates in the Far North and Kaipara districts were both consistent with last year.

Table three over the page provides a breakdown of the provision held to offset the non-collection of outstanding rates.

The Far North’s overall outstanding rate balance (after the MFL impairment) has improved to $1,621,037 (2018/19: $1,733,545).  The corresponding Far North provision has reduced to 86% (2018/19: 87%) of this outstanding rate balance as their (3-year average) collection of rate arrears has improved to 11.02% (2018/19: 10.7%).

The budget for doubtful debts has more than doubled to $1.3M in 2020/21. This budget has been increased in 2020/21 to offset any increase in potentially uncollectable rates due to COVID-19, or other affordability issues, becoming evident throughout the region.

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Rates Reconciliation Statement-2019/20  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Bruce Howse

Title:

Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 5.6

18 August 2020Attachment 1

PDF Creator


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.7

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Draft Financial Result to 30 June 2020

ID:

A1346538

From:

Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The purpose of this report is to present the draft financial result for the year ending 30 June 2020 for councillors’ information.  The draft result of $40,311 is provisional.  There may be further adjustments and amendments as the year-end reconciliations are reviewed by senior staff and the statutory financial statements (including notes) for the draft Annual Report are prepared.  There may also be amendments arising from council decisions.  Deloitte is scheduled to commence their three-week on-site audit on 25 August 2020.

 

This result excludes $84K of non-cash revaluation gains to investment properties, forestry assets and other financial assets.  Taking these non-cash revaluation gains into account and the movements in the special reserves, the statutory financial statements within the annual report will present a total Comprehensive Revenue and Expense of approximately $4.6M.

 

The final Annual Report to be provided to council on 20 October 2020 for adoption.  The Annual Report will provide detailed funding impact statements by activity group and full detailed explanations of any material variance.

 

For the Draft Operating Result for Council refer to Attachment 1.

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Draft Financial Result to 30 June 2020’ by Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant and dated 29 July 2020, be received.

 

Background/Tuhinga

Financial results

The provisional Net Surplus after Transfers to and from Special Reserves and excluding non-cash items is $40K compared to a budgeted surplus of $22K.

 

The main variances to the revised budget presented in Attachment 1 are explained below:

 

Revenue

·     Rates Revenue has an unfavourable variance (worse than budget) of ($363K) or (1%) which is due to higher than budgeted remissions and higher than budgeted impairment to rates on Māori freehold land.

 

·     User Fees and Sundry has a favourable variance (better than budget) of $529K or 12% which is due to unbudgeted prosecutions income of $203K, unbudgeted fees for a mooring maintenance programme of $174K, and higher than budgeted consent monitoring fees of $311K.  This is partially offset by lower than budgeted bus fare revenue of ($278K).

 

·     Grants and Subsidies has a favourable balance (better than budget) of $4.8M or 67%.  This variance is predominantly due to unbudgeted subsidies for council’s response to the drought and COVID-19 emergencies of $1.9M, unbudgeted wage subsidy of $1.5M, unbudgeted subsidies for the wilding conifer projects of $499K, and more than budgeted subsidies for the water storage project of $745K.

 

·     Other Revenue has an unfavourable variance (worse than budget) of ($114K) or (2%) which is due to lower than budgeted Marsden Maritime Holdings Limited dividends of ($166K) and lower than budgeted commercial property rent of ($126K).  This is offset by an historical rent adjustment on the disposal of Marsden Point Rail Link (MPRL) assets of $174K.

 

·     Other gains have a favourable variance (better than budget) of $610K or 24% which is primarily due to a gain on the disposal of the MPRL properties of $694K offset by lower than budgeted gains on the externally managed funds of ($83K).  The details for 2019/20 externally managed funds are the subject of agenda item 5.1.

 

Expenditure

·     Personnel Costs – Salaries has a favourable variance (expenditure less than budget) of $363K or 2% due to general delays in filling LTP positions and the holding of some roles due to the economic uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

·     Personnel Costs – Other has an unfavourable variance (expenditure exceeding budget) of ($406K) or (46%) predominantly due to an increase in annual and flexi leave balances of ($289K) and higher than budgeted overtime of ($73K) predominantly relating to the drought and COVID–19 emergency response.

 

·     Other Expenditure has a favourable variance (expenditure less than budget) of $331K or 1%.

 

Expenditure variances offset with fees, grants or subsidies:

-    Lower than budgeted expenditure on Freshwater Improvement Fund projects due to delays in work of $829K, including an adjustment for the herbicide moved to inventory of $280K (which is inclusive in the $829K).  This funding is carried over into 20/21 with the grant funders approval

-    Unbudgeted drought expenditure of ($420K)

-    Unbudgeted COVID-19 welfare support grants of ($1.65M)

-    More than budgeted spend on a water storage project of ($773K)

-    More than budgeted expenditure relating to a mooring maintenance project of ($204K)

-    Unbudgeted expenditure for a wilding conifer project of ($499K).

 

Expenditure variances offset with reserve movements:

-    Lower than budgeted economic development grants of $1.1M

-    Lower than budgeted sports rate grants of $786K due to a project being deferred until the 20/21 financial year

-    Lower than budgeted operational spend on the Kensington Development of $112K.

 

Variances subject to carry forwards:

-    Lower than budgeted biosecurity works of $70K.

 

Other expenditure variances:

-    Lower than budgeted lab testing costs of $250K

-    Lower than budgeted promotions and advertising of $178K

-    Lower than budgeted other biosecurity work of $453K due to COVID-19.

 


 

Reserves

The net transfer to the Special Reserves is $5.9M greater than budget (more funds transferred into the reserves) predominantly due to the unbudgeted transfer of $468K to the Opex reserve, unbudgeted transfer to the COVID-19 Reinstatement Reserve of $1.7M, lower investment and growth reserve movements for the Northland Inc. projects of $1.1M, unbudgeted transfers to the sporting facilities reserve of $786K, higher than budgeted transfers to the infrastructure facilities reserve than budgeted of $590K due to the wind up of the MPRL joint venture, lower than budgeted transfers to the land management reserve of $385K due to FIF project delays, and higher than budgeted transfers to the approved carry forward reserve of $256K.  Further detail on the Special Reserves is provided in agenda item 5.5.


Prior Period adjustment

During this year’s annual reporting process a non-cash prior year adjustment of $2.4M was made to the value of infrastructure assets.

 

This adjustment was necessary as there was a misinterpretation during the 2017 infrastructure asset revaluation around the amount of land actually owned by council as part of Whangarei Dam Asset (as opposed to council having an easement or right to use).  As a result, the Whangarei Dam Asset was overstated in 2017 and the prior year adjustment will effectively reinstate the correct historical asset value.  The overall 2018 opening value of infrastructure assets will reduce from $21.9M to $19.5M.

 

Although this adjustment is a non-cash entry and does not affect, or appear, in this year’s Statement of Comprehensive Revenue and Expense (formerly known as the Profit and Loss Statement), it does reduce council’s equity.

 

Council’s external auditors have reviewed and approved the accounting treatment of this prior period adjustment.

 

Capital Expenditure

Total capital expenditure for the year was $12.8M which is $2.8M less than the $15.0M revised annual budget.  A detailed breakdown of capital expenditure variances and proposed carry forwards is provided in agenda item 5.4.

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Draft Operating Statement for Council June 2020  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Bruce Howse

Title:

Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 5.7

18 August 2020Attachment 1

PDF Creator 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.1

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee

ID:

A1336874

From:

Justin Murfitt, Strategic Policy Specialist

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

This report seeks council agreement to establish and participate in a joint standing committee of Northland councils to provide oversight of local government climate change adaptation activities in Northland.

The impacts of climate change pose significant risks to Northland’s environment and community well-being.  Local government has several functions related to reducing the impacts of climate change (adaptation) under the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Local Government Act 2002. It is essential that councils, communities and iwi / hapū work collaboratively to ensure an effective, efficient and equitable response to the impacts of climate change.

It is recommended that a joint standing committee of the Far North, Whangarei, Kaipara and Northland Regional councils be established and, that it include iwi / hapū representation to ensure these outcomes are achieved in a coordinated and collaborative way across Taitokerau.  The formation of joint council committees and appointment of non-elected members to such committees is provided for in the Local Government Act 2002 (Clause 30 and 30A Schedule 7).  Draft terms of reference for the joint committee are attached for consideration and adoption by council. 

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee’ by Justin Murfitt, Strategic Policy Specialist and dated 7 July 2020, be received.

2.         That council authorises the establishment of a Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee with Far North District Council, Whangarei District Council and Kaipara District Council, pursuant to clause 30(1)(b) and 30A of Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002.

3.         That council nominates two elected members to the joint committee one as primary member being Councillor Amy McDonald and Councillor ____________ to act as back up.

4.         That council endorse the two nominations to the committee by Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party, being Toa Faneva as primary member and Thomas Hohaia as alternate to act as back up, on the basis that they have skills and knowledge that will assist the committee.

5.         That council adopt the attached Terms of Reference for the Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee, delegates those responsibilities and duties to the Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee and acknowledges that this fulfils the requirements of 30A(1).

 

Background/Tuhinga

Climate change is likely to pose significant risks to Northland’s communities and environment in the coming decades.  Our region has an extensive coastline where numerous communities, a large amount of infrastructure and highly valued cultural and ecological sites are located – all of which are vulnerable to sea level rise to name just one threat.  The impact of a drying climate on the region’s water supplies, our primary production sector and unique ecology are other examples of where Northland is likely to be vulnerable. 

It is therefore essential that local government in Northland acts collaboratively to plan how we adapt to these threats to ensure an effective, efficient and coordinated approach is adopted across Taitokerau.  Collaborative inter-council arrangements have proven effective at dealing with complex issues that benefit from cross-council coordination – these include those established for transport (Regional Transport Committee and Northland Transportation Alliance) and Civil Defence Emergency Management.

Northland councils have already made progress on collaborative planning for climate change adaptation with the establishment of the Taitokerau Councils Climate Change Adaption Group (now known as Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau or CATT).  This group, comprised of staff from the four Northland councils, is currently developing a draft climate change adaption strategy – this strategy will include risk and vulnerability assessments and the proposed approach to climate change adaptation by local government in Northland.  It is recommended that a joint council committee is also established to provide governance oversight of climate change adaptation activity.  The committee would focus on climate change adaptation as this is where the majority of councils’ functions lie and where collaboration is most needed. That doesn’t mean councils shouldn’t act to reduce emissions, but that there is less need for coordination and each council is likely to pursue more ‘bespoke’ approaches in emissions reductions.

The proposal was supported by the Chief Executives Forum at its meeting on Monday 3 February 2020, and subsequently endorsed by the Northland Mayoral Form at the meeting of 24 February 2020.  Both the Mayoral Forum and Chief Executives Forum recommended that this committee have equal representation by Māori.

The formation of joint council standing committees is provided for in the Local Government Act 2002 (Clause 30 and 30A Schedule 7).  In terms of process, each council would need to formally agree to the establishment of the joint committee and nominate councillors as committee members.  Clause 31 of Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002 also allows a local authority to appoint non-elected members to a committee, if in the opinion of the local authority those persons have the skills, attributes or knowledge that will assist the work of the committee.

It is recommended that the committee have eight members with each council nominating two elected members – one as their full member and an alternate as a ‘back-up’ in the event the first nominee is unable to attend.  Each council is to also seek the nomination of two iwi / hapū representatives from their jurisdictions (again one as ‘back-up’ / alternate).  It is also recommended that iwi / hapū representatives should be remunerated for their participation and that remuneration is the responsibility of the nominating council in accordance with its appointed members’ allowances policy. 

The Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party provided their nominations for membership on the committee at the March 2020 meeting.  The nominations were Toa Faneva, Te Rūnanga O Whāingaroa (primary member) and Thomas Hohaia, Te Roroa (back up member).  It is understood that the district councils are considering the proposal and identifying elected members and Māori representatives to the committee during July and August – it is understood that the Far North District Council Strategy and Policy Committee have endorsed the draft terms of reference and nominated elected members to the committee. 

Draft terms of reference for the committee are included as Attachment 1 for consideration by Council – these include recommended purpose, responsibilities and representation arrangements.  It is not proposed that the committee have decision making powers or delegations.  Administrative and technical support would be provided by the Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau Group.

As noted above, the formation of joint council standing committees is provided for in the Local Government Act 2002 (Clause 30 and 30A Schedule 7).  Clause 30A(1) states that a local authority may not appoint a joint committee under clause 30(1)(b) unless it has first reached agreement with every other local authority or body that is to appoint members of the committee.

Under Clause 30A(2), an agreement under subclause 30A(1) must also specify—

a.    the number of members each local authority or public body may appoint to the committee; and

b.    how the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the committee are to be appointed; and

c.     the terms of reference of the committee; and

d.    what responsibilities (if any) are to be delegated to the committee by each local authority or public body; and

e.    how the agreement may be varied.

 

The draft terms of reference attached address the requirements above and by each council resolving to adopt the terms of reference the requirements of Clause 30A(1) are considered to be met.

A joint council committee with Māori representation would have significant value in ensuring a coordinated and equitable approach to adaptation planning and implementation in Northland.  It would also ensure each council (and Māori) were informed and able to have input into climate change adaptation activity by local government.

 

Considerations

 

1.         Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

The establishment of a joint council standing committee on climate change adaption is not endorsed

No costs associated with operation of the committee.

Each council has full autonomy to decide its own approach.

 

No coordinated local government and Māori governance oversight of adaptation planning and activity across Northland.

Effective communication of Northland adaptation initiatives is less likely.

2

A joint council committee is established with Māori representation

Direct governance oversight, including Māori representation.

Single point of contact with dedicated committee of all councils.

Improved communication / support for adaptation planning.

Costs (remuneration and staff reporting / admin time).

3

Councillor only committee (no Māori representation)

Same as for option 2 but with slightly lower cost.

Risks missing issues important to Māori and may negatively impact on council / Māori relationship.

 

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 not considered to be of high significance when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy because it can be considered 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 the council is able to make decisions relating to this matter without undertaking further consultation or engagement.  The establishment of a joint council committee will also improve the level of engagement for Māori and the community in relation to planning climate change adaptation.

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

The Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) sets out principles and requirements for local authorities to facilitate participation by Māori in local authority decision-making processes. Councils must provide for the principles and requirements of the LGA to facilitate participation by Māori in local authority decision-making processes.  Council has a policy on fostering Māori participation in council processes (in the Long Term Plan 2018–2028) which sets out (at a high level) how council will implement the LGA direction.  The proposal to include Māori representation on the joint committee implements this policy.

 

Further considerations

4.         Community views

Adapting to the impacts of climate change are of interest to the community and it is envisaged that the establishment of a joint committee of councils and councils taking a proactive step forward to collectively seek to address this issue will be seen as a positive step by the community.

5.         Māori impact statement

Council has engaged with Māori on the proposal through Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party which also supported the draft terms of reference and nominated members to the joint committee.  No significant impacts on Māori were identified and none are expected as a result of the establishment of the joint committee.  It should be noted that council has not engaged more broadly with tangata whenua at this stage and that a key role going forward for the joint committee will be to engage with tangata whenua and vulnerable communities around climate change adaptation options.

6.         Financial implications

The financial implications of the proposed committee are considered minor and generally limited to remuneration and administrative costs and can be accommodated in existing budgets.  Additional costs for climate change adaptation will need to be considered through respective councils’ future Annual Plans and Long Term Plans.


 

7.         Implementation issues

There are no known implementation issues and all councils have some experience with joint committee structures.

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Joint climate change adapation committee - Draft Terms of Reference August 2020  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

05 August 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.1

18 August 2020Attachment 1

Joint climate change adaptation committee

Terms of Reference

 

10 February 2020

 

 

Background

Climate change poses significant risks to the environment and people of Te Taitokerau - local government has responsibilities in reducing the impact of climate change (adaptation). It is essential that councils, communities and iwi / hapū work collaboratively to ensure an effective, efficient and equitable response to the impacts of climate change. Work on adaptation has already started between council staff with the formation of the joint staff working group Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau and the development of a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Taitokerau. The formation of a joint standing committee of the Far North, Kaipara and Whangarei district councils and Northland Regional Council elected council members and iwi / hapū is fundamental to ensuring these outcomes are achieved in a coordinated and collaborative way across Te Taitokerau. 

 

 

Role and Responsibilities

1)    Provide direction and oversight of the development and implementation of climate change adaptation activities by local government in Te Taitokerau

2)    Receive advice and provide direction and support to Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau

3)    Make recommendations to member councils to ensure a consistent regional approach is adopted to climate change adaptation activities

4)    Act collectively as an advocate for climate change adaptation generally and within the individual bodies represented on the Committee 

5)    Ensure the bodies represented on the Committee are adequately informed of adaptation activity in Te Taitokerau and the rationale for these activities

6)    Ensure the importance of and the rationale for climate change adaptation is communicated consistently within Te Taitokerau

7)    Receive progress reports from Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau

 

Membership

The Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee (the committee) is a standing committee made up of elected members from the Far North, Kaipara and Whangarei district councils, the Northland Regional Council and representatives from Northland hapū and iwi. 

 

The committee shall have eight members as follows:

 

One elected member from:                      Kaipara District Council

                                                         Far North District Council

                                                         Whangarei District Council

Northland Regional Council

 

Iwi / hapū members:                                       One representative from iwi / hapū nominated by each council from within their jurisdiction. Where possible, this nomination should follow recommendations from council Māori advisory groups or committees.

 

Each council shall also nominate one alternative elected member and one alternative iwi / hapū member who will have full speaking and voting rights when formally acting as the alternate.

 

Status

The Committee is a joint standing committee of council as provided for under Clause 30(1)(b) of Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002 and shall operate in accordance with the provisions of Clause 30A of that Act. The committee is an advisory body only and has no powers under the Local Government Act 2002 (or any other Act) other than those delegated by decision of all member councils.  The joint standing committee shall operate under Northland Regional Council Standing Orders.

 

Committee Chair and deputy Chair:

The Chair and Deputy Chair is to be elected from members at the first meeting of the committee.

 

Quorum

At least 50% of members shall be present to form a quorum.

 

Meetings

The Committee shall meet a minimum of two times per annum.

 

Service of meetings:

The Northland Regional Council will provide secretarial and administrative support to the joint committee.

 

Draft agendas are to be prepared by Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau and approved by the Chair of the Committee prior to the Committee meeting.

 

Remuneration

Remuneration and / or reimbursement for costs incurred by council members is the responsibility of each council. 

 

Respective iwi / hapū representatives will be remunerated and reimbursed by the nominating council in accordance with the Northland Regional Council Non-Elected Members Remuneration Policy.

 

Amendments

Any amendment to the Terms of Reference or other arrangements of the Committee shall be subject to approval by all member councils. 

 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.2

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Environmental Fund Changes

ID:

A1338269

From:

Duncan Kervell, Land Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

This report seeks approval for changes to the Environment Fund as previously workshopped with council.  Specifically, approval is sought to:

·    over allocate by 20% targeted aspects of the Environment Fund budget to ensure withdrawals and underspends are accounted for to enable full use of available budget;

·    strictly enforce a minimum riparian buffer of at least 3m;

·    increase the funding cap approval for projects under delegated authority from $20,000 to $40,000; and

·    cease funding fencing of the coastal marine area.

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Environmental Fund Changes’ by Duncan Kervell, Land Manager and dated 9 July 2020, be received.

2.         That for 2020/21 council approves an over-allocation of the general Land/Biodiversity component of the Environment Fund (not including commitments to Kaipara Moana, IKHMG and Coast Care) budget ($672K) by up to 20% ($134.4 K).

3.         That council approves other changes to Environment Fund allocation:

a.         The funding cap for projects is increased to $40,000 through delegated authority approval;

b.        That coastal marine area fencing is no longer funded; and

c.         That a 3m buffer for all riparian fencing is strictly enforced with no payment for non-compliant fencing.

 

Background/Tuhinga

Environment Fund processes are being streamlined in the 2020/21 financial year to ensure efficient, consistent and fair allocation of resources.

Over-allocation: The total land/biodiversity budget for the Environment Fund is $1,014.4K in 2020/2021 financial year, with commitments to Kaipara Moana, IKHMG and Coast Care of $340K. The general funds are likely to be over-subscribed.  Prior to the extraordinary 2019/20 financial year, which had a 24% underspend due to drought and COVID effects, the average annual underspend of the Environment Fund was 20%.

Accordingly, this paper requests a general Environment Fund over-allocation of 20% ($134.8 K) of the 2020/21 Environment Fund land/biodiversity budget, as per usual practice each financial year.  A 20% over-allocation represents the average of underspends and withdrawals for the five-year period prior to the unusual 2019/20 year.  This over-allocation would raise the amount of the general land and biodiversity component of the Environment Fund available to allocate from $674K to a total of $808.8K.

Increased funding cap: The current funding cap for fund projects approved through delegated authority (DA) is $20K.  The land team is managing more grants for large projects (often undertaken by contractors and/or at catchment scale) that can easily go beyond the current cap.  The request to increase the funding cap for delegated authority to $40,000 is aimed at improved efficiencies for land team staff and councillors by reducing the number of projects that would require council approval as exceptional projects.

CMA fencing: Coastal marine area (CMA) fencing has continued to be funded by the Environment Fund despite the Regional Coastal Plan rule requiring stock exclusion since 2009.  Removing CMA fencing from the criteria is the first step to stop funding works required by regulation – i.e. it is consistent with the plan to not fund riparian fencing once new national and regional plan rules come into effect.

3m riparian buffers: Previously grants requiring a specific riparian buffer strip would be paid a reduced amount if found to be not compliant at signoff.  As part of bringing new Environment Fund criteria into line with known best practice and new national rules, we want to strictly enforce the 3m buffer rule for all projects (including those not covered by the rules) – i.e. non-compliance will receive no payment at all.  This will reduce time spent recalculating grant refund costs and help to reinforce the environmental messaging associated with the rule.

Considerations

1.         Options

Over-allocation

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Provide an over allocation based on 20% of the general 2020/2021 land/biodiversity Environment Fund budget

Ensures greater utilisation of the Environment Fund budget by reducing the impact of withdrawals and underspends.

If withdrawals and underspends are less than 20% then there will be an unfavourable variation to year end budget. 

 

2

Decline the 20% over allocation of the general 2020/2021 environment fund budget

No risk of the fund being over-allocated due to reduced withdrawals and underspends.

The withdrawals and underspends mean that the total Environment Fund is not all spent and less environmental benefit is achieved.

The staff’s recommended option is Option 1

 

Options – Increased cap to $40K

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Authorise decision making for up to $40K cap through the delegated authority process

Streamlines processes associated with allocating grant money for large projects using contractors ensuring project completion within planting season/ financial year; reduces staff inefficiencies.

Reduced governance oversight for grant allocation.

2

Decline decision making for up to $40K funding cap through the delegated authority process

Maintain existing level of governance oversight.

Unnecessary governance and staff time spent through extra paperwork and presentation of projects to council.  Time delays could impact on the availability of contractors to undertake the work at scale within seasonal timeframes.

The staff’s recommended option is Option 1.

 

Options – CMA fencing

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Authorise decision making to cease funding CMA fencing

Creates consistency across funding criteria to not fund any projects required by regulation.

No longer funding CMA fencing relies heavily on compliance to ensure stock are removed from the CMA.

2

Decline decision to remove CMA fencing from environment fund criteria

Continues to help fund removal of stock access to coastal environment.

Creates inconsistencies across the fund criteria and creates confusion for staff and the public. 

The staff’s recommended option is Option 1.

 

Options – Riparian buffers

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Authorise decision making to strictly enforce minimum 3m riparian buffer strips for all riparian projects

Brings all grant-funded work in line with good practice and proposed national regulation. Reduces time wasted by LMAs.

Potential negative response from disgruntled landowners.

2

Decline decision making to strictly enforce minimum 3m riparian buffer strips for all riparian projects

Maintains council positive working relationship with landowners who don’t comply with Environment Fund criteria.

Time is wasted through extra refund calculations; benefits of the buffer width and council’s environmental message are not taken seriously by landowners.

The staff’s recommended option is Option 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 because it has previously been consulted on and provided for in council’s Long Term Plan and/or 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 activities detailed in this report are in accordance with council’s 2018–28 Long Term Plan which was approved in accordance with council’s decision-making requirements of sections 76–82 of the Local Government Act 2002. 

 

The risks that we aim to mitigate are the underutilisation of the Environment Fund budget caused by underspends and withdrawals and inconsistencies in allocation of the fund.  There is also a financial risk, and this is outlined under consideration 6 below.

 

Further considerations

4.         Community views

The community is very concerned about improving water quality in our region.  The proposed changes will still support those aspirations, but in a more efficient way by working with groups of landowners rather than individuals.  Farmers who have previously received free FEPs from us may react negatively to the need to pay for another FEP, however this is outside the council’s control as it is a requirement of the NES.

5.         Māori impact statement

Tangata whenua value freshwater quality very highly and our proposed changes will continue to support their aspirations for improvements in this area.  We will continue to work with Maori-owned farms and the proposed increase in the Environment Fund cap to $40K will allow us to support big projects on large Maori-owned blocks that have previously suffered from budget constraints.

6.         Financial implications

There is the potential of an unfavourable variation to year end budget if withdrawn or underspent projects are less than the recommended over-allocation of 20%.

 

No.

Scenario

Situation 

Financial implication

1

Current scenario

No additional over-allocation of budget is authorised.

The Environment Fund budget is underspent due to withdrawals and underspends.  If this were 20% of the general land/biodiversity Environment Fund budget, this would result in a favourable variation of $134.8K.

2

Worst case

20% additional budget is allocated to account for withdrawals or underspends, but no withdrawals or underspends occur. 

$134.8K unfavourable variation to land/biodiversity Environment Fund budget.

3

Most likely scenario

Based on the five-year average of 20% of underspends and withdrawals, it is likely that close to 20% of the total budget will be withdrawn or underspent.

Limited variation to budget.  For example, a 5% variance to the land/biodiversity Environment Fund budget would be $33.7K.

 

If an unfavourable variance to budget occurs, then this would need to be serviced from any potential year end surplus or subsequent years’ Environment Fund (that is any overspend will go against an Environment Fund reserve to be repaid in the following year from the Environment Fund budget).  However, the 20 % five-year average for underspends and withdrawals indicates that a substantial unfavourable variance to budget is unlikely.

7.         Implementation issues

No additional implementation issues are perceived over and above those already highlighted elsewhere in this report.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Environmental Services

Date:

05 August 2020

 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.3

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Changing Focus of the Land Management Team

ID:

A1348914

From:

Duncan Kervell, Land Manager

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

With the new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) and new National Environmental Standard for Freshwater Management due out shortly, the land management landscape is changing rapidly, and council’s focus and delivery functions need to also be flexible and adaptable to respond to this fast-moving policy and regulatory environment.

 

As a result, it is proposed that council stop developing Farm Environment Plans and refocus on preparing to support landowners at a catchment scale through the development and implementation of catchment scale action plans – as is envisaged will be required through the new NPS-FM. 

 

One of the implications of this move will be that council does not meet one of its current LTP KPI’s which requires an annual increase of 25,000 hectares of land being actively managed under a farm environment plan and the linked LTP KPI which required an increase of area (ha) of highly erodible land being actively managed under a farm environment plan.

 

The report seeks council endorsement to changes to the Land Management Team’s focus and deliverables and acknowledgement of the subsequent impact on council’s current Long Term Plan 2018–2028 (LTP) key performance indicators (KPI’s). 

 

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Changing Focus of the Land Management Team’ by Duncan Kervell, Land Manager and dated 5 August 2020, be received.

2.         That council supports the adaptive approach and change in focus for the Land Management Team and notes the negative impact on council’s ability to achieve its Long Term Plan 2018–2028 key performance indicator relating to the area of land under farm environment plans.

 

Background/Tuhinga

The current Long Term Plan KPI’s for the Land Management Team were written in a very different political, economic and social environment and no longer reflect the future focus of the Land Team, which is changing to adapt to new national regulations (such as the NPS-FW and NES-FW) as well as the impact of the new Kaipara Moana project.

 

Provision of FEPs: Freshwater modules of farm plans will soon be a regulatory tool required under the NES and are likely to be written by certified industry consultants, not council staff.  It is also envisaged that the new national template for Farm Environment Plans will cover aspects not currently included in our FEPs, however this detail is yet to be clarified. 

 

Therefore, the Land Team would like to cease writing FEPs now to free up considerable capacity to spend more time engaging with groups of landowners.  It is proposed that the Land Management Team’s focus will move from providing one-on-one written plans to one-to-many catchment engagement and advice, ensuring more efficient use of staff time.  However, the soil conservation and Efund components of the Land Management Team work programme will continue.

 

The implications of this move will be that council does not meet two of its current LTP KPI’s which requires an annual increase of 25,000 hectares of land being actively managed under a farm environment plan and the intrinsically linked KPI of area (ha) of highly erodible land being actively managed under a farm environment plan.  Council staff will workshop with councillors over the coming months on proposed new KPI’s for the Land Management Team, as part of preparing council’s Long Term Plan 2021–2031.

 

Please refer to Table 1 below for a summary of the LTP KPI’s relating to the Land Management Team activities.  KPI’s 3, 4 and 5 below will continue to be met.

 

Table 1:  Land Management Team LTP KPI’s 2018-2028

 

Measure

Required

1

Area (ha) of land being actively managed under a sustainable farm environment plan

Increase from 25,000 ha p.a.

2

Area (ha) of highly erodible land being actively managed under a farm environment plan

7000 ha

3

Kilometres of waterway protected by Efund

220 kms

4

Number of subsidised poplar poles provided for erosion-prone land by the Flyger Road Nursery

7000 poles (base)

5

Number of objectives met that are set out in annual work plan for Freshwater Improvement (objectives are set out in Ministry for the Environment project work plans for the Northern Wairoa and Dune Lakes Freshwater Improvement Fund Projects).

All objectives met

 

 

 

Considerations

1.                  1.         Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Support the adaptive management approach and change in focus of the Land Management Team to stop delivering farm environment plans and move to a catchment management approach

 

Allows the Land Team to be more efficient and flexible to adapt to the changing regulatory environment.

Enables council’s Land Management Team to support landowners to implement new regulations and focus on priority issues at a catchment scale.

Council will not likely achieve two of its current KPI’s relating to the area of land under a farm environment plan and area of hill country under active management.

Potential negative public feedback due to a failure to meet previously agreed KPI’s and/or farmer expectations of receiving a free council FEP.

 

2

Don’t support the adaptive management approach and refocus of the Land Management Team and require the Land Management Team to continue to deliver Farm Environment Plans

 

Reduced risk of negative public or farmer feedback about not meeting previously agreed KPI’s or continuing historic service provision.

Land Team staff won’t be as efficient or flexible in the new political and regulatory climate.

 

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, while the change in activity will negatively impact on one Long Term Plan KPI, council will still maintain its overall level of service as previously consulted on and provided for in council’s Long Term Plan and/or 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 activities detailed in this report are in accordance with council’s 2018–28 Long Term Plan which was approved in accordance with council’s decision-making requirements of sections 76–82 of the Local Government Act 2002.  This decision anticipates the release of the new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, its approach to FEP’s and catchment scale land management, and sets council’s Land Management Team up well to prepare for its implementation.

Further considerations

4.         Community views

The Long Term Plan KPI for area under FEPs was written to support community aspirations for cleaner freshwater quality.  Core parts of the FEP process have always been building relationships with landowners, offering advice on good practice land management and supporting implementation through the Environment Fund.  These will remain core to the Land Management Team work programme, by focussing on spreading these messages and advice to a wider audience in a more targeted way.  So, although the KPI for written FEPs will not be met, the engagement with rural communities and supporting good practice sustainable land management will remain.


 

 

5.         Māori impact statement

Māori value the mauri of freshwater very highly.  As landowners they have been recipients of FEPs in the past and (as noted in point 4. above), Māori landowners will continue to receive good practice sustainable land management advice and access to our Environment Fund.  Although having a written document detailing the advice is particularly useful for multiple ownership Māori blocks, so the information can be shared around trustees, ultimately the written document will be provided under the new national regulatory farm plan process.

6.         Financial implications

There is very little risk of unfavourable variations to year end budget because the Land Team staff will be working more efficiently, and the Environment Fund budgets will be managed as usual.  The redirection of focus for the Land Management Team will comprise about 50% of FTE and comprise no significant change to OPEX funds.

7.         Implementation issues

There are no known implementation issues over and above those already highlighted elsewhere in this report.

While the main reason for the proposed change of focus of the Land Management Team is in response to the new NPS-FM and NES-FW, the freeing of skills and capacity in the Land Management Team will also enable council to support in-kind contribution to the Kaipara Remediation Programme, especially during the important first year of its establishment.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Environmental Services

Date:

05 August 2020

 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.4

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Investment and Growth Reserve: Project Development Funding - COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan for Northland

ID:

A1337509

From:

Darryl Jones, Economist

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The purpose of this paper is to seek agreement from council to allocate funding from the Project Development category of the Investment and Growth Reserve (IGR) to Northland Inc. Limited to support the development of a regional economic recovery plan for Northland.  The development of the plan will be overseen by the Economic Recovery Leadership Group.  The Group, which represents a wide range of organisations and interest groups, has been set up to lead the economic recovery in Northland as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

The request to make this funding decision has come to council from Northland Inc. because the allocation is inconsistent with the current criteria and procedures for the allocation of funding from the IGR as agreed to by council on 21 August 2018 and is unbudgeted within the 2020/21 financial year.  Section 80(1) of the Local Government Act 2002 provides for council to make an inconsistent decision under specific conditions, and these conditions have been met within the content of this agenda item. 

 

Staff recommend that council supports the allocation of funding to support the development of a regional economic recovery plan but that the quantum of funding be limited to $25,000 (plus GST if any). 

 

Representatives from Northland Inc. will be in attendance to answer any questions regarding this request and provide an update on progress with the development/funding of the plan from the Economic Recovery Leadership Group.

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Investment and Growth Reserve: Project Development Funding - COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan for Northland’ by Darryl Jones, Economist and dated 8 July 2020, be received.

2.         That council agree to allocate $25,000 (plus GST if any) from the Project Development funding category of the Investment and Growth Reserve to Northland Inc. Limited to support the development of a COVID-19 economic recovery plan for Northland. 

3.         That council records that the allocation of this funding is inconsistent with the criteria and procedures for the allocation of funding from the Investment and Growth Reserve but that the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 crisis requires a one-off response. 

4.         That $25,000 be transferred from the Community Investment Fund into the Investment and Growth Reserve to fund this allocation.

5.         That the allocation be provided to Northland Inc. once the Chief Executive Officer is satisfied that the funding will be used for the development of a COVID-19 economic recovery plan rather than a regional economic development strategy. 

 

Background/Tuhinga

Council has received a request from Northland Inc. to allocate $56,000 (plus GST if any) from the IGR to support the development of an economic development “strategy” for the region.  The Board paper associated with this request, the proposal for developing the strategy (including scope, structure and process) and the unconfirmed minute from the June 2020 Northland Inc. board meeting are provided (Attachment One).  Council is required to make this funding decision because it is inconsistent with the criteria and procedures for the IGR, and because the funding allocation is unbudgeted. 

While the Northland Inc. paper refers to the development of a regional economic development “strategy” for Northland, given the timeframe and process limitations for its development, it is more likely to produce a COVID-19 economic recovery plan for Northland rather than a full-blown economic development strategy for the region.  The relationship between and the implications of the economic recovery plan produced as a result of this proposal and the development of a fuller, more inclusive regional economic development strategy, that is an integral part of the joint economic development model supported at the 16 June 2020 council meeting, will need to be considered once the recovery action plan is developed.  The preparation of this economic recovery plan has the potential to create a useful platform for developing the broader, more comprehensive strategy for economic development. 

The development of the economic recovery plan is being overseen by the Economic Recovery Leadership Group which has been set up to lead the economic recovery in Northland as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  One of the main purposes of the plan is to guide and direct further government investment into the region.  At the time of preparing this agenda item, the group has yet to consider the proposal for developing the economic recovery plan.  Further details of the Group are recorded in section 4.  

The proposed total budget cost of developing the economic recovery plan is $70,000 (plus GST if any).  The funding request of $56,000 represents the unspent balance of the budgeted quantum of funding for Project Development category for 2019/20.  The expectation is that the remaining portion of the cost will be obtained from other parties involved in the Economic Recovery Leadership Group once council has made its commitment.  It is considered that $56,000 is the bare minimum required to prepare the recovery plan.  The other members of the group have yet to be approached for a funding contribution. 

Considerations

1.         Options

 

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Allocate $56,000 from the IGR Project Development funding category

Provides significant support for the development of a regional economic recovery plan.

Shows leadership by council in assisting response to COVID-19.

Continues to draw down on CIF, reducing council’s ability to make future funding decisions. 


 

2

Allocate $25,000 from the IGR Project Development funding category

Provides support for the development of a regional economic recovery plan.

Development of the economic recovery plan may take longer and be significantly less robust. 

3

Not allocate any funding from the IGR Project Development funding category

Maintains budgeted balance of CIF.  

Development of an economic recovery plan will be significantly impaired. 

 

The staff’s recommended option is Option 2.  This is lower than the level of funding requested by Northland Inc.  Staff recommend this based on the limited funding available and the desire for other parties to make a funding contribution to the proposal in order to show a commitment to the process.  This option carries the risk that other parties do not step forward and the resulting recovery plan is inadequate.  A quantum of $25,000 is suggested as this is close to the “one-third” contribution provided in the IGR criteria for the maximum level of Enabling Investment funding that council may make into a project unless there are demonstrated exceptional circumstances.  However, if council wishes to provide a higher funding contribution to support the proposal in order to ensure that progress is made then an allocation of up to $56,000 would be reasonable. 

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 has previously been consulted on and provided for in council’s Long Term Plan 2018–2028 and previous decisions of council to set up Northland Inc. Limited as its council controlled organisation.  This does not mean that this matter is not of significance to tangata whenua and/or individual communities, but that council can make decisions relating to this matter without undertaking further consultation or engagement. 

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

 Making this decision is inconsistent with the criteria and procedures for the allocation of funding from the IGR (IGR criteria) approved by council.   The IGR criteria is available on line (https://www.nrc.govt.nz/media/12974/investment-and-growth-reserve-criteria-and-procedures-for-the-allocation-of-funding-2018-08-21.pdf) and is provided as Attachment 2

The criteria and procedures for the allocation of funding from the IGR provides the Board of Northland Inc. the delegated ability to allocate up to $300,000 per annum for Project Development.  Funding from the IGR for Project Development approved by the Board of Northland Inc. Limited is paid to Northland Inc. Limited upon receipt of an invoice accompanied by evidence of the Board decision. 

Council is being requested to make this Project Development funding decision as it is inconsistent with the IGR criteria.  This is because the scope of work that is being proposed to be funded is outside the purpose of the Project Development funding category.  Specifically, clause 5(a) of the IGR criteria states that “Project Development funding cannot be used to fund the preparation of a strategy”.  The request to make this exception is made because of the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Northland economy and to develop an appropriate and co-ordinated response.  The Northland Inc. board has recognised this, and therefore made the recommendation to council to make the decision. 

Section 80(1) of the Local Government Act 2002 provides for council to make a decision that is inconsistent with policy provided when making the decision, council clearly identifies: (a) the inconsistency; (b) the reasons for the inconsistency; and (c) whether there is any intention to amend the policy or plan to accommodate the decision.  The paragraphs above identify the inconsistency and the reasons for the inconsistency.  In terms of an intention to amend the policy, staff consider this decision to be a one-off request and therefore there is no intention to change the current IGR criteria.

Further considerations

4.         Community views

The economic recovery plan will be overseen by the Economic Recovery Leadership Group.  The 10 members of the group cover a wide range of organisations and interest groups.  Members of the group are (listed in alphabetical order):

·    Carol Berghan, Chief Executive Officer, Te Hiku Iwi Development Trust

·    Deidre Otene, Chief Executive, Te Kotahitanga e Mahi Kaha Trust

·    Eru Lyndon, Regional Commissioner, Ministry of Social Development

·    Grant Berghan, Principal Advisor Te Taitokerau, Provincial Development Unit

·    Murray Reade, Chief Executive Officer, Northland Inc. Limited (co-chair)

·    Pita Tipene, Deputy Chairman, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hine

·    Shaun Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, Far North District Council

·    Toa Faneva, Chief Executive, Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa (co-chair)

·    Tui Marsh, Regional Manager, Te Puni Kōkiri

·    Wade Tuite, Principal Policy Advisor, Labour & Immigration Policy Branch, MBIE.

 

5.         Māori impact statement

There are no known impacts on Māori which are different from the general public.  The economic response and recovery to the COVID-19 crisis is important to Māori leadership in Te Taitokerau, who are taking many active steps to support tangata whenua.  To ensure co-ordination, the Economic Recovery Leadership Group is co-chaired by Toa Faneva, Chief Executive Officer Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa. 

6.         Financial implications

The criteria and procedures for the allocation of funding from the IGR (IGR criteria) provides the Board of Northland Inc. the delegated ability to allocate up to $300,000 per annum for Project Development.  However, due to the impact of COVID-19 on council revenue, this was reduced to a maximum of $200,000 for 2019/20 and to $0 (zero) for 2020/21 at the extraordinary council meeting on 6 May 2020. 

Three Project Development funding allocations were made in 2019/20 by the Board of Northland Inc., together totalling $143,334 out of a potential revised budget allocation of $200,000:

·    Feasibility phase of the Northland Water Storage and Use Project ($83,334)

·    Mokau Pa amphitheatre visitor experience ($35,000)

·    Literature review phase of resilient pasture project ($25,000).

Because of this underspend, along with the delay in distributing previously allocated Enabling Investment funding to some projects due to COVID-19, the opening balance of the IGR for 2020/21 is higher than budgeted, i.e. $600,570 compared to $371,530 (Table 1).  However, the closing budget balance of the IGR for 2020/21 remains at $32,600, the quantum required for council to meet all its current funding commitments into 2021/22. 

Table 1. Investment and Growth Reserve cashflow budget and actual

There is no funding available in the IGR budget for 2020/21 to make this allocation.  However, the Long Term Plan 2018–2028 allows council to make discretionary additional input from the Community Investment Fund (CIF) into the IGR as needed for economic development initiatives, provided the CIF does not fall below $12.5 million.  The current budgeted closing balance of the CIF for 2020/21 is just over $13 million.  Deducting $12.5 million from this, we can assume an available funding envelope of $0.5 million at present which could be transferred into the IGR. 

7.         Implementation issues

There are no implementation issues associated with the proposal.  The development of the economic recovery plan will be overseen by the Economic Recovery Leadership Group.  This group is co-chaired by Murray Reade, CEO of Northland Inc. with secretariat support provided by Northland Inc.  Council will have input into the development of the plan. 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Northland Inc board paper, attachment and resolution

Attachment 2: Criteria and procedures for the allocation of funding from the Investment and Growth Reserve  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

Date:

10 July 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.4

18 August 2020Attachment 1

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Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.4

18 August 2020Attachment 2

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.5

18 August 2020

 

 

TITLE:

Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group

ID:

A1347155

From:

Ben Lee, GM - Strategy, Governance and Engagement

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

Council is in the early stages of preparing a plan change to give effect to the water quality planning requirements of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management[1] (the water quality plan change).  The plan change is scheduled to be notified late 2021.  Council approval is sought for proposals involving tāngata whenua in the plan change development.

In June 2019, council approved the project plan for developing the water quality plan change.  It included a phase of engagement with iwi and hapū prior to drafting the plan change.  A paper was then presented to Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party (TTMAC) and it was agreed that council staff were to work with the Māori Technical Advisory Group (MTAG) to develop recommendations on how tāngata whenua perspectives are sought and considered in the development of the plan change.

Staff and MTAG met three times[2] and developed a proposal (attached).  The proposal was presented to TTMAC and they resolved to recommend that council adopt the proposal (11 July 2020).  The proposal centred on setting up a “Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group” as the main vehicle for providing tāngata whenua-led analysis, feedback and advice on the development of the plan change for issues of relevance to tāngata whenua (for example identifying Māori values in freshwater[3]).  A terms of reference will be prepared detailing the group’s functions, scope, roles and how meetings are run.

It is important to note that while the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group will not fulfil council’s obligations for wider consultation with tāngata whenua.  The RMA requires council to consult tāngata whenua through iwi authorities[4].  However, the group may provide a forum for advice to council (and iwi authorities) on how to consult tāngata whenua (for example, where and when to hold hui).

TTMAC also considered and endorsed a proposal from council on how tāngata whenua are involved in decision making on the water quality plan change[5]. The proposal is:

·    three tāngata whenua TTMAC members to sit alongside councillors in their workshops to prepare the water quality plan change;

·    the same members to also sit on the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group; and

·    the members to be paid in accordance with council’s Appointed Members’ Allowances Policy.

The tāngata whenua TTMAC members in recommendations three and four were endorsed by TTMAC.

 

 

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group’ by Ben Lee, GM - Strategy, Governance and Engagement and dated 31 July 2020, be received.

2.         That a “Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group” be formed to provide tāngata whenua-led analysis, feedback and advice on the development of the plan change to give effect to the water quality planning requirements of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, as outlined in the attached Māori engagement approach: Water quality plan change.

3.         That the following be appointed as the selection panel for considering and appointing the members of the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group:

a.   Mira Norris (tāngata whenua member of Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party);

b.  Juliane Chetham, or Janelle Beazley if Juliane Chetham is unavailable (tāngata whenua members of Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party);

c.   Councillor Blaikie; and

d.  Councillor Yeoman.

4.         That Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party Māori members Nora Rameka, Rowan Tautari and Alan Riwaka (and Antony Thompson as an alternative to Alan Riwaka) be appointed to the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group and be invited to attend all council workshops on the content of the plan change that gives effect to the water quality planning requirements of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

 

Considerations

Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Approve the recommended engagement approach

Assists with council meeting its obligations to work with tāngata whenua to understand Māori values in freshwater.

Provides a vehicle for tāngata whenua-led analysis, feedback and advice on the development of the plan change for issues of relevance to tangata whenua.

Provides a forum to give guidance to council on how to consult with tāngata whenua on the development of the plan change.

Endorsed by TTMAC and respects the advice of TTMAC.

There will be a financial cost to council as set out in the financial implications section.

2

An alternative engagement approach

Would depend on the approach.  May be less financial cost to council.

TTMAC likely to be aggrieved.

Cause delays as it will take time to come up with engagement model.

May be greater financial cost to council (depending on the engagement model).

3

No engagement with iwi and hapū tāngata whenua prior to notification of the plan change

Low / no financial cost to council in the short term.  However, may be significant longer term costs due to legal challenge.

Council at risk of legal challenge as it would not meet legal obligations.

Iwi and hapū significantly aggrieved.

Potential to significantly compromise relationships with iwi and hapū. 

 

Staff recommend council adopt Option 1.

 

2.         Significance and engagement

The decisions recommended in this report are assessed as not being significant in accordance with council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.  This means specific consultation with the community on the decisions recommended in this report is considered to not be necessary.

The decision is not one identified in the policy as automatically being significant and nor does it meet any of the thresholds for significance.   This does not mean that this matter is not of significance to tāngata 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 Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) sets out principles and requirements for local authorities to facilitate participation by Māori in local authority decision-making processes. Councils must provide for the principles and requirements of the LGA to facilitate participation by Māori in local authority decision-making processes.  Council has a policy on fostering Māori participation in council processes (in the Long Term Plan 2018–2028) which sets out (at a high level) how council will implement the LGA direction.  Relevant provisions from the policy are:

·      Support continuation and operation of the TTMAC Working Party as an avenue for input into council’s decision making; and as an avenue to build the capacity of the wider Māori community to contribute to the decisions of council.

·     Undertake early pre-consultation with Māori on all RMA planning processes.

 

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management directs that councils recognise Te Mana o te Wai[6] in the management of fresh water.  To do this, councils must engage with tāngata whenua, and take reasonable steps to involve tāngata whenua in the management of fresh water and reflect tāngata whenua values in decision making regarding fresh water.

The RMA requires council to consult with tāngata whenua during the preparation of plan changes (Clause 3, Schedule 1).

The recommendations in this report will give effect to these legislative and policy directions. 

Further considerations

4.         Community views

It is likely tāngata whenua will be supportive of the recommendations.  While there are no known community views on the matter, it is anticipated that the wider community would not be un-supportive of the recommendations.  

5.         Māori impact statement

The proposal is an example of council facilitating participation by Māori in council decision-making processes.  It helps meet Local Government Act 2002 (section 81(1)) obligations for local authorities to ‘establish and maintain processes to provide opportunities for Māori to contribute to the decision-making processes of the local authority’.

The proposal is endorsed by TTMAC.

6.         Financial implications

There are two key financial implications for the proposal, both of which are covered by existing budgets:

·    tāngata whenua members meeting attendance fees (estimated to be $16,000 20/21 and $2500 21/22); and

·    a $20,000 budget for the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group (refer attached proposal) to commission advice.

 

7.         Implementation issues

No significant implementation issues identified.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Proposed Maori engagement approach - Water quality plan change  

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Jonathan Gibbard

Title:

Group Manager - Environmental Services

Date:

05 August 2020

 


Council Meeting  ITEM: 6.5

18 August 2020Attachment 1

Māori engagement approach:  Water quality plan change

 

Version

Date

Purpose

1

7 May 2020

Initial draft for review by Juliane

2

12 May 2020

Draft for MTAG

3

26 May 2020

Updated post MTAG meeting

4

28 May 2020

Further update

5

29 May 2020

Update in response to Juliane C comments

6

5 June 2020

Updated post MTAG meeting for TTMAC endorsement

7

31 July 2020

Post TTMAC endorsement for council approval

 

Scope

This document sets out the proposed approach for Māori engagement on the water quality plan change.  It covers the period up until the plan change is notified for public submissions.

 

This document does not address

·    Governance arrangements.

·    How the plan change will be implemented, e.g. monitoring and enforcement of rules and consents.

 

Background

The Northland Regional Council (NRC) is required to undertake a plan change to implement the water quality requirements of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2017[7].

 

NRC are aiming to formally notify the plan change for submissions in late 2021. 

 

Proposed Māori engagement approach

Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group

Set up a 12 member “Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group” (name TBC) to be the main vehicle for providing tāngata whenua-led analysis, feedback and advice on the development of the plan change.

 

The group to be set up as follows:

·    three tāngata whenua members of TTMAC members to be appointed to the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group

·    a pānui to all Māori contacts will be sent seeking nominations for membership on the group for the nine remaining places

·    TTMAC to appoint a selection panel consisting of four TTMAC members (two councillors and two tāngata whenua members)

·    the selection panel to select members by assessing nominations against the criteria in Appendix one.

 

 

The Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group members will be eligible for payments for council approved meeting attendance and mileage in accordance with the council’s ‘Appointed Members Allowance Policy’. Payments will include:

·    meeting allowance

·    mileage (one claim per vehicle)

·    attendance at other working parties, as endorsed by council.

 

The Northland Regional Council to allocate a $20,000 budget to the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group to commission advice[8].

 

It is anticipated the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group will meet six to 10 times starting in September 2020 through to mid 2021.

 

Development of Wai Māori assessment framework

An initial focus of the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group will be to identify a framework to assess the likely consequences (impacts) on tāngata whenua values[9].  The framework will seek to identify:

·    key tāngata whenua values in fresh water

·    evaluation criteria to assess the impacts of management scenarios on the values, and

·    any associated indicators to ensure the future impacts on these values can be observed.

 


 

Appendix 1:

 

Individual membership criteria (desired)

 

·    tāngata whenua (whakapapa to Te Taitokerau)

·    freshwater kaitiaki knowledge and/or experience 

·    an understanding of Te Ao Māori (the Māori world view)

·    knowledge of the Treaty of Waitangi and He Whakaputanga (Declaration of Independence, 1835)

 

Collective membership criteria (desired)

 

The group may consist of up to 12 freshwater kaitiaki experts allowing for a diverse range of knowledge/experience whilst ensuring agile decision making is achievable.

 

Many of the issues that need to be addressed to improve water quality are challenging –

technically, legally, economically, socially and culturally. To ensure the group, as a collective, possess the breadth of knowledge and experience needed to consider these challenges and fulfil its purpose, the below criteria will be applied prior to final selection. The final group makeup should allow for:

·    diverse representation of member gender and age

·    balanced geographical affiliation/connections across Te Taitokerau

·    a mix of people who have practical experience gained at a national, iwi, hapū, and/or whanau level

·    at least one person with legal and/or policy background

·    at least three people with on-the-ground freshwater kaitiaki experience

·    at least two people with experience in Māori land management

·    at least one person should have project management experience

·    at least 50% of the working group are competent with Te Reo me ona tikanga / kawa o Taitokerau (competence in Te Reo and Māori processes in Northland).

 

 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.6

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Delegation to Make Expert Consenting Panel Nominations Under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020

ID:

A1347472

From:

Colin Dall, Group Manager - Regulatory Services

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 (“the Act”) is new legislation that only came into effect on 9 July 2020.  The Act provides for an alternative consenting pathway for projects listed in Schedule 2 of the Act or those that are referred to an expert consenting panel under the relevant sections of the Act.

Under Schedule 5 clause 3(2)(a) of the Act, the Northland Regional Council has the power (right) to nominate a person or persons to be a member of an expert consenting panel for infrastructure works located in Northland.

For consent hearings under the Resource Management Act 1991, the council has delegated the power to appoint hearing commissioners to the Chief Executive Officer and Group Manager – Regulatory Services.  It is considered that it would be consistent to also delegate to those officers the power to nominate a person or persons to be a member of an expert consenting panel.  The delegation also provides for administratively efficient and prompt nominations.

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Delegation to Make Expert Consenting Panel Nominations Under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020’ by Colin Dall, Group Manager - Regulatory Services and dated 31 July 2020, be received.

2.         That pursuant to Schedule 7 clause 32(1) of the Local Government Act 2002, the council delegate to the Chief Executive Officer and Group Manager – Regulatory Services the power to nominate a person or persons to be a member of an expert consenting panel appointed under Schedule 5 of the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020.

 

Background/Tuhinga

A copy of the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 can be viewed on the Parliamentary Counsel Office’s “New Zealand Legislation” website using the following link –  http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2020/0035/latest/LMS363335.html

Considerations

1.         Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Approve the delegation

·   The delegation will allow administratively efficient and prompt nominations.

·   None – apparent.

2

Do not approve the delegation

·     None – apparent.

·   Would not facilitate prompt nominations at short notice.

 

The staff’s recommended option is Option 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 because it is an administrative matter and part of council’s day to day functions.

 

3.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

This report complies with Schedule 7 clause 32 of the Local Government Act 2002 and the ability for council to delegate specific delegations down to an officer level.

The recommended delegation is considered to be consistent with similar delegations and provides for administratively efficient and prompt action.

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

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Colin Dall

Title:

Group Manager - Regulatory Services

Date:

13 August 2020

 


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.7

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Marsden Maritime Holdings Interview Panel

ID:

A1351304

From:

Jessica Matson, Human Resources Advisor

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The purpose of this report is to confirm the Northland Regional Council interview panel for the Marsden Maritime Holdings (MMH) Directors appointments.

 

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Marsden Maritime Holdings Interview Panel’ by Jessica Matson, Human Resources Advisor and dated 12 August 2020, be received.

2.         That Council nominates Councillor Smart, Councillor Bain and Councillor Stolwerk for the interview panel for the MMH Director appointments.

 

Background/Tuhinga

Northland Regional Council (NRC) is the majority shareholder for MMH.  This year MMH were seeking a more collaborative approach to the recruitment process for the Director appointments.  Ultimately, NRC holds the decision-making authority, however it was agreed that MMH would carry out the advertisement campaign and shortlisting and NRC would manage the remainder of the process including interviews and selection for the Director appointments.  It was discussed at the Council Workshop held on 4 August 2020 that Councillor Smart, Councillor Bain and Councillor Stolwerk be nominated as the interview panel for MMH.

Considerations

1.                                     Options

No.

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

1

Approved interview panel

NRC knowledge and understanding of MMH

None

2

Do not approve interview panel

None

NRC is not represented on interview panel

 

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 because it has previously been consulted on and is part of council’s day to day activities.  This does not mean that the matter is not of significance to tāngata 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 activities detailed in this report are provided for in the Policy on the Appointment of Directors to Council Organisations, and as such are in accordance with the provisions of the council’s decision-making process and sections 76 to 82 of the Local Government Act 2002.

In relation to section 9 of the Local Government Act 2202, this issue is considered to be of low significance under council’s policy because it is in accordance with the provisions of the council’s Policy on the Appointment of Directors to Council Organisations.

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

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil

Authorised by Group Manager

Name:

Bruce Howse

Title:

Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Date:

12 August 2020

  


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 7.1

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Chair's Report to Council

ID:

A1346558

From:

Penny Smart, Chair

 

Purpose of Report

This report is to receive information from the Chair on strategic issues, meetings/events attended, and correspondence sent for the month of July 2020.

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Chair's Report to Council’ by Penny Smart, Chair and dated 3 August 2020, be received.

 

Strategic issues

Flooding impact and NRC CDEM response

The July floods have had a huge impact on the Northland eastern district and communities.

NRC’s CDEM team and NRC support staff, along with district councils and agencies were up and running again as soon as the flood hit.  True to form they all did a very professional job at coordinating, communicating and providing help where needed throughout the flooding and in the clean-up.  Community resilience is a major part of what NRC does and will be a topic we will be discussing with communities via our Long Term Plan consultation early next year.

PGF funding welcomed for fast tracking of flood programmes

NRC was also the recipient in July of approximately $12 million of extra funding for the fast tracking of programmed flood works in the Northland region.  Some of which will go towards much needed flood mitigation in the Morewa and surrounding areas.

$100 million for Kaipara Moana remediation

Confirmation on 5 July of $100 million in ‘Kaipara Moana Remediation’ funding is a critical turning point for mana whenua affiliated to Kaipara Moana, Northland councils and communities.

It is estimated about 200 new jobs will be needed each year for direct work on farms – fencing, water reticulation of streams and wetlands, preparing and planting land, weeding, and hill country stabilisation.  Another 100 jobs will be required annually in the rural sector for nurseries, fencing manufacture, and farm advisory services.

Blessing of Kensington Landing project

The redevelopment of the former Whangārei Kensington supermarket site is largely complete.  Local Tangata Whenua Te Parawhau presided over a small dawn blessing ceremony on 3 August to mark its first tenants Kensington Health officially setting up shop there.

The council has been working with project development partner Argyle Estates Ltd since late 2018, with Whangārei-based Arco Group awarded the main contract for the redevelopment just under a year ago.

Council is very pleased with both the quality and pace of the work, despite losing 23 working days to the national pandemic lockdown/response.


 

Acknowledgements

The Te Puke Ariki Awhina 2E4A Poutō Ahu Whenua Trust has expressed their gratitude for funding from the NRC Environment Fund, and also the support of the Poutō Catchment Group.

 

Meetings/events attended

During this period, I attended the following meetings/events/functions:

·        Meetings attended with the council’s CEO, Malcolm Nicolson:

o   Regional Sector meeting.

o   Environmental Awards celebration.

o   LGNZ Zone One meeting.

o   NorthlandǀForward Together Strategic Planning Workshop.

·        Regular Mayors and Chair catch up meetings.

·        Meeting with staff of Griffiths & Associates and North Chamber, and elected members and staff Whangarei District Council, and Northland Regional Council – Oruku Landing.

·        Meeting with Mayor and CEO, Whangarei District Council, and Strategy Projects Manager – Oruku Landing.

·        Provincial Growth Fund announcement at Matakohe.

·        Murray Jagger, Marsden Maritime Holdings.

·        Regenerative Agriculture Focus Group.

·        David Wilson – NZ First candidate for Whangārei.

·        Councillor Jack Craw and I, together with the General Manager – Parks, Sports and Recreation, Auckland Council, met with Minister Damien O’Connor – Regional delivery of National Kauri Dieback programme.

Correspondence

During July I sent out the following correspondence:

Date

Addressed To

Subject

01.07.2020

Hon Damien O’Connor

Ministry of Biosecurity

Regional delivery of the National Kauri Dieback Programme

06.07.2020

Murray Jagger

Chair

Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd

Director appoinments and other matters

07.07.2020

Hon David Parker

Minister for the Environment

Acknowledging the Crown’s considerable investment towards the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme

16.07.2020

Dave and Avril Warren

Councillors’ Remuneration, Pomare Grid and Marine Pest Management Plan

30.07.2020

Foundation North

Letter of support for Project Island Song

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 7.2

18 August 2020

 

TITLE:

Chief Executive’s Report to Council

ID:

A1346416

From:

Malcolm Nicolson, Chief Executive Officer

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Chief Executive’s Report to Council’ by Malcolm Nicolson, Chief Executive Officer and dated 31 July 2020, be received.

 

7.2.1   Highlights

Financial Response to COVID-19

Please refer to advice received by the CEO from Council’s Independent Financial Advisor Geoff Coptick (Attachment 1).

Ambulance Donation Ceremony

On Thursday 30 July, a small ceremony was held in Kaikohe to celebrate the donation of a new ambulance for Kaikohe and the Mid-North.   Council is able to support life-saving services - like St Johns, NEST, CoastGuard and Surf Lifesaving - through the emergency services rate.  Recent events like pandemic, drought and flooding have reinforced the importance of having good local lifelines. The ambulance service provides one of these vital links and helps supports resilient communities.

CDEM Welfare Projects

The Northland CDEM Welfare Coordination Group is currently working towards completing resurgence planning for COVID-19.  This planning will include workshops with key welfare sector stakeholders to ensure the resurgence plan clarifies welfare roles and responsibilities and that these understood by welfare service agencies.  There is also the regional implementation of the new national welfare arrangements such as caring for communities and the network of welfare service agencies and involvement with strategic planning for emergency housing, water and kai security across Te Tai Tokerau. 

7.2.2   CEO’s Office

Current Legal Proceedings

Department

Description

Status

Consent decision appeal

Replacement consents for, and new consents for an expansion of, Doug’s Ōpua Boat Yard in Walls Bay, Ōpua.

No further update.

Consent decision appeal

Replacement discharge consents for East Coast Bays Wastewater Treatment Plant (Taipā)

Cultural induction day for mediation process on Friday 14 September 2020.

COUNCIL PROPERTY UPDATE

Mt Tiger Accessways

The recent significant storm event washed out some small sections of various Mt Tiger Forest access ways, to the order of $20,000 value for repair. 

The Forest Manager will oversee essential repairs, such risks are foreseen and budgeted for.  However, he will withhold works where they can be done later (as access to many stands is not currently required) given further storm events may occur over the next few years prior to harvest.

Kaipara Service Centre

The Head Contract tender has been awarded to Canam Commercial Limited.  Their test piling is to begin in mid-August 2020 and project commitment is contingent on the results.

Kensington Crossing

Ÿ Council’s Kaiārahi Tikanga Māori and Property team engaged over the last year with Te Parawhau kaumatua to ensure council was respectful of the tikanga and protocols associated with such a significant project in Whangārei. 

Ÿ Councillors attended an initial blessing and karakia to begin the construction (demolition) and ensure the safety of all those involved in the project. 

A group of people posing for the camera

Description automatically generated

Ÿ Following demolition, the laying of a mauri stone occurred so that every person who visits the new development is protected culturally with the manaakitanga representative of our treaty partners. 

Ÿ On 3 August the opening of the building and dawn service was held in recognition of the work that has been done and the GP’s “Kensington Health” medical tenancy now operating. Our Chair recognised the new beginnings and provision of a new property to support all our communities and stakeholders.  The remaining tenancies will be progressively completed through to December 2020 and handed over with businesses operational by February 2021.

7.2.3   Corporate Excellence

Fraud Declaration

I became aware of a theft of $100 from a till float on 21 July 2020.  Although this is an isolated incident involving a relatively minor amount of cash, an internal enquiry has been undertaken and a Police report lodged.

Council staff have followed the formal procedures of the Fraud, Dishonesty and Corruption Control Policy, and the requirement of an internal enquiry has identified three recommendations which will be considered and once approved implemented to help prevent a loss of this kind happening again.

It is considered uneconomical to pursue any individual for recovery of the lost funds, or disciplinary action, as the prime suspect in this case has left the organisation.  In my 24 July weekly update, I informed all staff of the theft and reminded them of council’s zero tolerance policy on dishonest and fraudulent acts.

Although not applicable in this case, council holds $1M of Crime Insurance covering financial loss sustained as a result of theft, fraud, dishonesty or criminal acts of employees and/or third parties – the excess of this policy is $25,000.

7.2.4   Regulatory Services

Consents in Process

During July 2020, a total of 114 decisions were issued.  These decisions comprised:

Ÿ Moorings                                                                   4

Ÿ Coastal Permits                                                     33

Ÿ Coastal Discharge Permits                                  3

Ÿ Air Discharge Permits                                           1

Ÿ Land Discharge Permits                                       5

Ÿ Water Discharge Permits                                     0

Ÿ Land Use Consents                                              32

Ÿ Water Permits                                                       26

Ÿ Bore Consents                                                       10

The processing timeframes for the July 2020 consents ranged from:

Ÿ 461 to 2 calendar days, with the median time being 34 days;

Ÿ 95 to 2 working days, with the median time being 20 days.

Thirty-five applications were received in July 2020.

Of the 100 applications in progress at the end of July 2020:

Ÿ 52 were received more than 12 months ago (most awaiting further information from the applicant);

Ÿ 9 were received between 6 and 12 months ago (most awaiting further information from the applicant);

Ÿ 39 less than 6 months.

Appointment of Hearing Commissioners

The following commissioners were appointed in July 2020:

Ÿ Mr Alan Watson and Mr Fraser Campbell for consents associated with Stage 2 subdivision works at Hall Road, Kerikeri.  The hearing is scheduled for 10 September 2020.

Ÿ Ms Sharon McGarry and Dr Rob Lieffering for consents associated with a proposed wharf facility in the coastal marine area of Mangawhai Estuary.  The hearing is scheduled for 21 September 2020.

Consents Decisions and Progress on Notified Applications in Process, Objections and Appeals

The current level of notified application processing activities at the end of July 2020 is (by number):

Ÿ Applications Publicly/Limited Notified During Previous Month                    0

Ÿ Progress on Applications Previously Notified                                                       9

Ÿ Hearings and Decisions                                                                                                 0

Ÿ Appeals/Objections                                                                                                        2

COMPLIANCE MONITORING

The results of compliance monitoring for the period 1 – 31 July 2020 (and year-to-date figures) are summarised in the following table and discussed below.

Classification

Total

Full compliance

Low risk non-compliance

Moderate non-compliance

Significant non-compliance

Not exercised during period

Air Discharge

22

17

3

0

0

2

Bore Consent

5

4

1

0

0

0

Coastal Air Discharge

2

2

0

0

0

0

Coastal Discharge

11

7

3

1

0

0

Coastal Permit

13

9

1

2

0

1

FDE – Discharge permit

5

4

0

1

0

0

FDE – Permitted activity

6

4

0

2

0

0

Land Discharge

47

26

9

4

2

6

Land Use Consent

55

44

5

5

0

1

Water Discharge

32

27

0

3

1

1

Water Permit

40

36

3

1

0

0

Water Take

202

139

52

11

0

0

Total

440

319

77

30

3

11

Percentage

 

72.5%

17.5%

6.8%

0.7%

2.5%

Year to date

440

319

77

30

3

11

Percentage

 

72.5%

17.5%

6.8%

0.7%

2.5%

 

Coastal

The majority of consents monitored during the reporting period related to coastal structures and coastal discharges from treated municipal sewage and industrial facilities.

 

Water, Waste, Air and Land Use (WWALU) Compliance Monitoring

Ÿ General

One of our Compliance Specialists attended a workshop on asbestos management in late July.  Asbestos has historically caused issues in the region with no one agency responsible for its management.  We will continue to upskill in this area and work towards defining a protocol that helps us define our responsibility as a Regional Council.

Ÿ Water use

Rainfall throughout July has topped up dams and groundwater supplies, so some of the recent long-standing issues with water supplies running dry have been resolved.  Further work is required to ensure newly installed dams are undergoing the necessary safety checks.

Ÿ Wastewater

A large number of overflows and damage to wastewater infrastructure was reported during the recent flood event.  There is little that can be done at this stage, other than ensuring remedial works are undertaken without exacerbating issues when working near or in waterways.

Ÿ Forestry and Earthworks

Staff have been working through a large number of issues in the region relating to sediment and control following the recent storm event.  A significant amount of repair work has been undertaken under emergency works provisions as provided in the RMA.

Ÿ Waste management

Four incidents involving the discharge of hazardous substances and 31 enquiries regarding contaminated land were received and responded to.  No hazardous waste was disposed of during the reporting period.
A contractor to assist with the hazardous waste disposal programme has been chosen.  The next steps include setting up a contract and discussing logistics with our key stakeholders prior to launching the marketing campaign for the change in programme.

The tender to clean up some one million litres of solvents and other hazardous waste has been awarded to InterGroup Limited and work on the Ruakaka/Bream Bay site will begin in early September.  The Whangārei District Council (WDC) is managing the contract, with the initial costs being jointly funded by the WDC, NRC, Ministry for the Environment, WorkSafe and the Environmental Protection Authority.

Farm Dairy Effluent (FDE) Monitoring

FDE inspections commenced on 27 July 2020.  A total of 804 farms will be visited by the contractor or NRC staff before Christmas – 25 less farms than last year.  Six hundred and nine of the farms are consented and 195 are operating under the permitted activity criteria in our Regional Plans.

Drought Recovery Grant – partial reimbursement of transport costs

NRC is administrating an MPI funding grant of $250,000 to help Northland livestock owners mitigate animal welfare issues, subject to set criteria.

The grant has been live since 1 July 2020 and we have received 12 applications so far (all dairy).  Initially the maximum available per business group was $1000, however, given the slow uptake, feedback from industry professionals and recent flooding, NRC has amended the criteria to enable a reimbursement of 90% of transport costs up to a maximum of $5000. 

It is hoped that the change in criteria will encourage more farmers to apply for the grant.  This change was made live on our website from 30 July.  Previous applicants will be contacted to inform them of the change.  The funding is available until November, when any remaining funds would be returned to MPI.

Funds allocated so far (under the previous $1000 criteria):

July – Week 1

July – Week 2

July – Week 3

July – Week 4

TOTAL

$2,000.00

$2,579.12

$1,382.72

$748.54

$6,710.38

The decision panel - comprised of Land Management, Civil Defence and Farm Monitoring staff - meets once a week to review and determine the applications.


 

Environmental Incidents

There were no incidents recorded during the reporting period that resulted in a significant environmental impact.

ENFORCEMENT

Abatement notices, infringement notices and formal warnings

The following enforcement actions were taken during the period:

Nature of Offence

Infringement Notice

Abatement Notice

TOTAL *

No. Offences

No. Notices

No. Offences

No. Notices

No. Offences

No. Notices

Burning & smoke nuisance

1

1

4

5

4

6

Discharge to land

1

1

1

1

2

2

Earthworks / land use

1

1

2

3

2

4

Illegal activity in coastal marine area

1

1

3

6

3

7

Illegal take, dam or diversion of water

0

0

1

2

1

2

Occupy CMA

1

1

0

0

1

1

Other water discharge

0

0

1

1

1

1

Sewage

0

0

1

1

1

1

TOTAL

5

5

13

19

14

24

*An infringement notice and an abatement notice may be issued for the same offence.  This means that in the above table, Column 5 (Total No. Offences) is not necessarily the sum of Column 1 (Infringement Notice No. Offences) + Column 3 (Abatement Notice No. Offences).

Other Enforcement

Ÿ Farm dairy effluent – Pūrua

Charges were laid against a farm owner and his company, as well as the farm manager and his company, for offences which occurred in August 2019.  The farm has a poor history of compliance with regional rules for animal effluent disposal.  The defendants pled guilty to a total of 14 charges on 23 July 2020.  Sentencing is scheduled for 18 September 2020 in the Whangārei District Court.

Ÿ Sand dune removal – Tokerau Beach

Charges were laid against two parties - an individual and his company - for offending which occurred in July 2019.  The alleged offences include the removal of a sand dune at Tokerau Beach.  Guilty pleas were entered by the individual on 22 May 2020, with the charges against the company withdrawn.  The individual has requested to participate in the restorative justice process, this has been agreed and directed by the Judge, and we are awaiting a date to be set.  The next court appearance will be 23 September 2020 to monitor the restorative justice process and to set a sentencing date.

Ÿ Timber treatment plant

Charges were filed in the Whangārei District Court on 12 March 2020 against a company and an individual for discharges from a timber treatment processing plant.  The plant has a history of poor compliance with resource consent conditions.  Not guilty pleas were entered on 29 May 2020.  Further charges were filed on 8 July 2020.  The first appearance date was 23 July 2020 in the Whangārei District Court.  The judge has agreed that the two sets of charges be joined.  The case has been adjourned until 18 September 2020 for entering of pleas in the Whangārei District Court.


 

Ÿ Earthworks without erosion and sediment controls – Totara North

Charges were laid in the Kaitāia District Court on 20 July 2020 against an individual for earthworks undertaken without controls, and work within a watercourse and the riparian management zone.  There are six charges against the individual.  A summons to the defendant has been prepared and is awaiting service.  The first court appearance with be 21 August 2020 in the Kaitāia District Court.

 

 

Ÿ Abatement notice appeal – open burning, Orongo Bay

An abatement notice issued in May 2020 for burning of prohibited materials has been appealed by the alleged offender.  All parties have agreed to court assisted mediation, which has been scheduled for 25 August 2020 in Kerikeri.

COASTAL / WATER QUALITY FIELD OPERATIONS

Ÿ All routine monthly water quality and ecological programmes were undertaken, including:

Ÿ Four coastal water quality sampling runs

Ÿ Nine river water quality, priority catchment and periphyton sampling runs

Ÿ Six continuous water quality stations (five freshwater and one coastal) were validated

Ÿ Quarterly coastal buoy deployments at Hātea River, Waitangi and the outer Bay of Islands

Ÿ Staff undertook water quality monitoring following the 17 July 2020 weather bomb to determine effects of the storm on river and coastal water quality.

Ÿ Fifteen continuous dissolved oxygen sensors were retrieved in July.  These sensors, installed in early May, helped determine the effects of the low flow conditions still being experienced at the time and also captured the 17 July weather bomb.  They will be reinstalled in early spring 2020.

HYDROLOGY

Rainfall

Ÿ July 2020 was marked by a significant weather event which began with as moderate event on 15 and early 16 July with flooding around Kaeo, Taipā and Waimate North Road.  This was followed by a day of little rain for the remainder of 16 July, then a long series of intense storm cells from early morning 17 July until midday 18 July. 

Ÿ These storm cells began in the already saturated and elevated Waitangi Catchment with periods of intense rain up to 45mm per hour from 4am to 3pm causing the second highest flows in the Waitangi since 1979.  Widespread rain then began spreading throughout the region and recurring storm cells became more concentrated around Whangārei:

Ÿ 60mm in 30 minutes falling at the North Regional Council Glenbervie Forest rain gauge (1:100-year rainfall)

Ÿ 50.6mm in 30 minutes at the North Regional Council Water Street rain gauge (1:100-year rainfall)

Ÿ This led to significant flooding in the Whangārei township, the highest recorded flows in the Hātea River since 1986, the Wairohia River since 1979 and what would have been the highest recorded flow in the Raumanga River had the Hopua te Nihotetea Detention Dam not ‘throttled back’ the flows.

Ÿ The month overall was wet, with rainfall around 92% of that expected at Poutu Point to closer to 280% of that expected in Kaikohe, the Hātea catchment and Whangārei township.

A close up of a map

Description automatically generated

River Flows

·     River flows were 200-400% above normal along the east coast of the region with the remaining catchments at 100-200% compared with long term averages for the month of July.

Groundwater

Ÿ Groundwater levels have increased as a result of the recent wet conditions, particularly after the 15 to 18 July 2020 weather event.  Groundwater levels are near or above normal (ok) for this time of year at all measured aquifers, except Mangawhai and Ruawai.


 

Area

Status (July 2020)

Aupōuri

OK

Taipā

OK

Russell

OK

Kaikohe

OK

Whangarei

OK

Mangawhai

Below Average

Marsden - Ruakaka

OK

Ruawai

Below Average

Weather Forecast

Ÿ NIWA predict near normal rainfall from now to October.  There still remains a chance of La Nina conditions developing over coming months which would typically mean wetter conditions for Northland. 

Hydrology Projects

Ÿ High flows through the Maungaparerua River have damaged the weir.  Hydrology staff and contractors are assessing damage and flow record will be unreliable until this is repaired.

Ÿ The Waiarohia flow recorder at Lovers Lane is being shifted to the opposite bank to make way for the new Civic Centre development.

Ÿ The Hydrology Team is working through the large volume of information gathered during the flood including surveyed flood levels, photographs and videos.  This information will be used to assess the validity of the current flood thresholds regarding main access routes and key infrastructure.

Natural Resources Data

Ÿ LAWA: The Natural Resources (NR) Data Team is reviewing audit files to ensure that the data is complete and correct as part of the Annual Refresh 2020 for Rivers, Lakes and Groundwater topics 2020, which will be completed from July to September 2020.  The national picture content for the river water quality topic will be published on LAWA for World Rivers Day on 27 September 2020 (lakes, groundwater and land cover topics will be promoted later in October/November).

Ÿ The ecological database (KiEco) is still under construction and is expected operational by December 2020.

Ÿ The NR Data Team continued to work with the Online Services Team to update the platform for displaying environmental data on the council’s website.

NATURAL RESOURCES SCIENCE

Air quality and carbon emission

Ÿ Ambient PM10 monitoring results for June 2020 for the Whangārei and Marsden Point airsheds and Kawakawa township show that compliance was met with the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality.  Ambient PM2.5 monitoring results for Whangārei were within the Ambient Air Quality Guideline value.

Ÿ The unsealed road PM10 monitoring (2019/20) report was completed and distributed to WDC, FNDC, KDC and dust nuisance incident reporters.  The Kaiwaka site recorded the highest PM10 concentrations, with several concentrations exceeding 50 µg/m3 over a 24-hour averaging period.

Ÿ The air quality monitoring network review continued.

Ÿ A suitable air monitoring site in Mairtown, Whangārei has been found and power connection for the installation of the PM10 monitor (mobile BAM) has been completed.  The monitor will be installed in early August 2020.

Ÿ Council’s CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emission is presented in the graph below.  The graph shows a comparison of council’s monthly emission of CO2-e between 2019 and 2020.  The effect of lockdown can be seen with reduced emissions in April and May.  High CO2-e in February is contributed to by increased fuel consumption, which could be the result of extra vehicle use associated with our drought response.

 

 

Ÿ Statistics New Zealand released “Greenhouse gas emission by regions (industry and household): Year ended 2018 on 23 July 2020”. In summary:

Ÿ Northland contributed 5.8 percent of total national emissions.

Ÿ Northland is the eighth largest regional contributor to New Zealand’s emissions.

Ÿ CO2 is the main gas emitted.

Ÿ Between 2007 and 2018, Northland’s emissions fell by 545 kilotonnes (10.8%)

Ÿ During this period Northland’s population rose 19%, while household emissions rose 23%

Ÿ For more detail, visit https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/mixed-performance-by-regions-leaves-national-emissions-picture-unchanged

Freshwater Ecology

Ÿ The draft report assessing the ecological impacts of drought on stream invertebrate communities in Northland was received from Massey University.  The report has been reviewed and the final report will be available soon.  The report reviews historical macroinvertebrate data and aims to set the background for assessing the impacts of the 2020 drought once that data is available.

Monitoring Network Review

Ÿ Our rivers and lakes water quality monitoring networks have been optimised, so that they are fit for purpose to meet the objectives of the Proposed Regional Plan and national statutory requirements/policy.  Integration with our other monitoring networks (ie. hydrometric, freshwater allocation, groundwater and coastal) were considered together with other key regional initiatives (including the Kaipara Harbour Freshwater Improvement Fund) and emerging issues such as climate change impacts.  Implications of various network options were tested to reach a most pragmatic and optimum monitoring network to provide a better understanding of the current state and implement national policy with a greater efficiency.

Ÿ Outcomes from the monitoring network review together with knowledge gaps in climate change impacts on freshwater ecosystems have been drafted as new initiatives for the purpose of upcoming Long-Term Plan.

Water Quality Modelling Work

Ÿ Land and Water Science has provided the final draft report on Northland's steady state water quality.  The report has been externally peer reviewed by a leading water quality modeller – Dr
 Ton Snelder – and is currently being internally reviewed by relevant staff.

Ÿ NIWA is currently in the process of calibrating the E. coli load model based on the most up to date landcover database (LCDB5) and AgriBase data.  NRC is currently working with other consultants to map where current land management mitigations are in place, so that NIWA can make a baseline scenario to relate that to current water quality loads.  The modelling regarding mitigation scenarios is currently on hold until the baseline scenario is derived.  NIWA's water quality load model is due by the end of this year.

Marine

Ÿ Sediment sampling was undertaken in Whangārei Harbour.  The sampling is undertaken every two years to monitor levels of metal contaminants.   This year four additional sites, located in “in-water hull cleaning zones”, were added to the sampling programme to monitor any impact of the new in-water hull cleaning rules in the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland.  The contaminants diuron and isoproturon, which are herbicides used in antifouling paint, were also added to the suite of contaminants tested for at these new sites. 

Ÿ Additional water quality sampling was undertaken in the Whangārei Harbour following the torrential rain that fell on 17 and 18 July 2020.  The results will be compared with our routine water quality data to help us understand how these large rain events affect water quality in our harbours.

7.2.5   Environmental Services

land management

Farm Plan and Environment Fund Update

Farm Environment Plans 2019/2020

Environment Funds 2019/2020*

FEPs Commenced 2019/20

FEPs Completed 2019/20

No of Environment Funds Granted

Amount Granted

135

162

167

$1,152,305

*This includes MfE fund proportion of Hātea projects

Waimā Waitai Waiora – Freshwater Improvement Fund

Objective

Status

Te Kawa Waiora

Ÿ The Research Committee has been meeting regularly and has included a change in membership.  Good progress made to date on key documents.

Ÿ The introduction, description of the study area and the section titled “a tangata whenua view of rivers” of the master document are in their first iteration.

Farm Environment Plans

Ÿ 52 Farm Environment Plans (FEP’s) have been completed, exceeding the 40 FEP annual KPI.

Landowner grants

Ÿ Total of $142,499.05 spent toward landowner subsidies in 19/20 financial year.

Ÿ Planting of ~100,000 plants is currently underway across eight separate planting projects.

Communication & engagement

Ÿ Video series – is on track. 

Ÿ Signed contract in place for web page development - due late September.

Water quality monitoring

Ÿ Signed contract in place with Manaaki Whenua for mātauranga monitoring app development. 

Ÿ Seven new monitoring sites have been established to further monitor mātauranga, feeding information into app development. 

Sustainable Hill Country and Regional Priorities

Milestones

Status

Research

Coastal erosion buffers

A research plan has been approved by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and a coastal erosion tool utilising remote sensing and LiDAR data is in development. A search is on for a coastal planting pilot.

Mature poplar / willow

A research plan has been approved by MPI and poplar has been milled into a range of products for treatment and mechanical testing.

Farm Environment Plans

 

This target was achieved in 2019-20 year.

Stakeholder Engagement

 

A project engagement strategy has been approved by MPI.  Promotional material is in development including a ‘planting hub’ on the council website. 

Land Treatments

Retirement fencing

In 2020-21 there is $121,000 (MPI) and $132,000 (council) dedicated to retirement fencing.  Efund applications will be submitted in September.

Contractor capacity development

A list of contractors interested in planting work has been prepared.  A contractor training programme is in development and will be delivered in May 2021. 

Hātea Catchment Project

The final three months of the project have seen three planting projects approved (3,300 plants) and a further project proposed (1,170 plants).  Several previous fencing and planting projects in the catchment were badly damaged in the recent storm and flooding event including the loss of the “Journey of the awa” sign that was erected at Otuihau.

New Whangārei Urban Awa (blue/green) Project

Funding has been approved to hire a project manager for this project, so the recruitment process has started.  Stage 2 planning for the project work programme and the first year annual work plan are underway.

biodiversity

FIF Dune Lakes Project

Objective

Status

Aquatic weed and pest fish control

Ÿ The post herbicide operational Monitoring Plan has been accepted by Environmental Protection Agency and the three herbicide operations are on track for September.

Ÿ Grass carp removal operations have been confirmed for October. 

Ÿ The pest fish operational schedule has been confirmed for this season.

Sediment and nutrient mitigation

Ÿ Planning is underway for physical nutrient management works over summer at lakes in the Far North, including Lake Ngatu and Rotokawau.

Māori Lakes Strategy

Ÿ The first of five dune lakes education days was held in the Far North on 31 July.

Fencing

Ÿ Progress is being made to move the fence at Lake Ngatu.

General

Ÿ The Year 3 Annual Report, Quarter 4 budget reports and Change Requests were submitted to the Ministry for Environment awaiting signoff.

Lakes

The Dune Lake Galaxias Working Group met on 7 July.  The Taharoa Domain Board voted to stop further releases of trout into the lakes from Fish & Game NZ this year.  The Dune Lake Galaxias Working Group is undertaking further monitoring of the lake this summer, and are working in conjunction with Te Roroa, Department of Conservation and NorthTec to design a robust sampling package which will help inform any decision around any future trout releases should they occur.

The three-yearly reed bed health survey at Lake Waikare was carried out with Te Roroa and the results are being analysed.

A meeting set up by the Ruakākā Parish Residents and Ratepayers Association to discuss concerns around Ruakākā Dune Lake and aspirations for its future was attended by council staff, Whangārei District Council, residents, iwi, Department of Conservation and other stakeholders with a variety of opinions being expressed.  Advice about improving water quality and protecting biodiversity values was given.  A letter outlining recommendations was also sent to the Whangārei District Council concerning nutrient mitigation and management of the stormwater reserve at the northern end of the lake.  

CoastCare

A weed control plan for the dune area south of the Ruakaka estuary to Paradise Shores was finalised and distributed to key stakeholders.  CoastCare staff have been liaising with Department of Conservation, Whangārei District Council and local volunteer groups on implementation of the plan.

Contractors have undertaken weed control work at several CoastCare dune restoration sites to release the dune plants from encroachment of exotics and help maintain the integrity and functioning of these dune areas.

A dune planting day was held at Tauroa Point with Te Rarawa and Ahipara Takiwā.  One thousand spinifex were planted to help restore damaged dune areas.

 A planting day was held at Pātaua North with Tahi, QEII and Whangārei  Primary School.  Eighteen hundred wīwī were planted as part of an ongoing effort to restore the dune system of this QEII Covenanted area, gradually removing exotic grasses from the mid-dune area and replacing with native dune plants to restore the natural biodiversity values and function. 


 

Poutō Catchment Group

A meeting of the Poutō Catchment Working Group was held on 20 July.  Agenda items included:

Ÿ Discussion of hornwort finds in two Poutō Lakes and the plan to eradicate it.

Ÿ Ideas for the use of catchment group funding for the financial year.  Planting and maintenance are top of the agenda for this year.

Ÿ Update on the wilding conifer control proposal for Lake Humuhumu.

biosecurity PArtnerships

Kiwi Coast

As at 30 June 2020, 159 entities have linked into Kiwi Coast, 153 of which are community led groups and active projects.  Collectively, these groups and projects manage approximately 198,300 ha.  Monitoring results demonstrate the strength of Kiwi Coast’s collaborative approach.  Collated trap catch data shows that 396,634 animal pests were trapped by groups and projects involved in the Kiwi Coast over the last seven years.  On average, 1,800 animal pests are now trapped on the Kiwi Coast every week.  A total of 16,187 people attended Kiwi Coast supported events and workshops during the past seven years.  These events were also prime opportunities to deliver key messages around kiwi recovery and the importance of good dog control to kiwi survival.

Predator Free Whangārei

The Predator Free Whangārei Project, and associated funding was officially announced at a celebration at Barge Park on 10 July.  Ministers Jones and Sage attended the event to announce $6M in project funding over the next five years.  This funding will build on many years of successful predator control in our community. 

Predator Free Whangārei aims to eradicate possums from the Whangārei Heads area, and significantly reduce possum, mustelid and rat numbers in the wider Whangārei area.  It is work that could not be done without the tireless efforts of our community volunteers – many of whom were also in attendance at the celebration, alongside representatives from council, Predator Free 2050, Department of Conservation, and local iwi and hapū.

 

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage (centre right) together with representatives from some of the partner organisations for the Predator Free Whangārei project.

MARINE BIOSECURITY

Hull Surveillance Programme

The 2020/2021 Hull Surveillance Programme was launched in July by marine biosecurity staff checking 20 high risk vessels in Tutukaka marina, with no marine pest incidence found.  Compliance with the Pathway Plan was low, which is characteristic of vessels over the winter months.

Table 1:  Hull Surveillance Programme Results (25/05/2020 – 25/07/2020)

Hull Surveillance Programme Results

Total this period

Total YTD

Pathways Plan Compliance

 

 

Number of vessels surveyed this period

20

20

% Pathways Plan Compliance*

40%

40%

Vessels found with Marine Pests

 

 

Sabella spallanzanii (fanworm)

0

0

Styela clava (clubbed tunicate)

0

0

Undaria pinnatifida (Japanese kelp)

0

0

Eudistoma elongatum (Australian droplet tunicate)

0

0

Pyura doppelgangera (sea squirt)

0

0

*    This is the percentage of vessels surveyed that complied with the acceptable level of ‘light fouling’ as defined in the Marine Pathway Plan.  Note: actual compliance is higher given not all these vessels will move from one designated place to another.

wilding conifer control

Work on the removal of wilding pines from Northland’s iconic lakes and wetlands continues.  The most recent project is a collaboration at Lake Ngatu involving council, local iwi (Ngāi Takato), Department of Conservation and the Far North District Council.  This project has removed mature pines which were at risk of falling into the lake and across adjacent properties, followed up with replanting the margins with natives.  Staff are hopeful that the Ministry for Primary Industries will announce additional funding for wilding conifer action in Northland during August.

rivers

Long Term Plan Projects

Rivers

Comments

Awanui

JNL Spillway is 95% completed.  

The Resource Consent is lodged for the Awanui Scheme upgrade. 

We expect the archaeology authority to be delivered first week of August. 

Detailed design work and landowner engagement is progressing.   

Kerikeri-Waipapa

Design work is complete and resource consent is expected to be lodged in two weeks.   

NATURAL HAZARDS

Work Streams

Status

Comments

Awanui and Kerikeri Flood Model

100%

The updated flood maps are live on council web page. 

Coastal erosion hazard mapping

99% complete

New coastal erosion assessments and updates complete, and draft report and maps delivered  

75% complete

Auckland University is mapping Northland historic shorelines and erosion risk.  Now due September 2020.

Coastal flood hazard mapping

Kaipara Project is 99% complete

Coastal flood model for the Northern Kaipara Harbour complete.  Draft report and maps being peer reviewed. 

Regional coastal flood project
 – 8
0% complete

Region wide coastal flood hazard assessment progressing as expected.  Report and maps expected early August 

Region-wide flood mapping

Design storm project – 65% complete

Project to develop area-specific design storm rainfall characteristics to improve the accuracy of flood models 

Hydro enforced DEM project 
– 9
5% complete

New hydro-enforced digital elevation model
– draft deliverables received
 

Region wide flood model
– kick-off phase

Tender awarded to Water Technology and kick-off meeting held 30 July.  

$150,000 will come from the Natural Hazards Budget with a transfer of budget between cost centres required ($70k from the Minor River Works budget).

17 - 18 JULY 2020 Flood Response 

During the flood the Hōpua te Nihotetea Detention dam filled to 58.19 mRL (OTP), which was approximately 9m above the service spillway inlet holding 400,000 cm of water.  This reduced the flow from 1:90 to 1:27 year for the Raumanga Stream.  Flood water peaked at the base of the Woods Road Flood Wall; however, this was two hours before low tide.  The Rivers team undertook a comprehensive flood level survey across Northland to provide valuable data for the Region’s flood model. 

Climate Change Response

Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau (Regional Joint Adaptation Group) 

Ÿ Adaptation planning

Cost estimates for a collaborative adaptative pathway planning program have been delivered. This is informing LTP funding bids which are aligned between councils.  

Ÿ Regional climate adaptation strategy

Components of strategy to be delivered October 2020.  Components being developed by council staff include a Regional Risk Assessment (60% complete) and Adaptation Options Framework (70% complete).  Consultants are working on GIS climate risk analysis (90% complete).  

Ÿ Region wide governance

Draft terms of reference for the inter-council joint committee are being consulted on with iwi/hapū at each council.  A joint paper was distributed to territorial authorities following presentation at Northland Forward Together meeting on 28 July. 

Ÿ Climate change strategy

The council climate change strategy proposal was presented to TTMAC on 9 July and will be further developed with MTAG. 

Northland Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Capture 

The new LiDAR data set is now being used widely throughout council and the Northland community.   Council is also discussing additional deliverables with RPS, including buildings and road centrelines. 

7.2.6   STRATEGY, Governance And Engagement

PROPOSED REGIONAL PLAN

During July 2020, all appeals on Topic 8 (Discharges to Air) to the Proposed Regional Plan were resolved via consent order.  Rule C.7.2.5 (Discharges to air from industrial or trades premises) was set down for a hearing in late July, but the relevant parties managed to reach an agreement before the hearing.  All other provisions within this topic (objectives, policies and rules) had previously been agreed between the parties. 

This consent order can be found here:   https://www.nrc.govt.nz/your-council/about-us/council-projects/new-regional-plan/consent-orders/

The Environment Court hearing for the mangrove provisions started 10 August 2002.  The next scheduled hearing is for the land preparation provisions starting 21 Sepetember 2020.

NATIONAL INITIATIVES

Water Services Bill

The Government has introduced the Water Services Bill (the Bill) to the house.  The Bill follows the establishment of Taumata Arowai (the Water Services Regulator) and is to ensure provision of safe drinking water by suppliers (excluding domestic ‘self-supplies’) by:

Ÿ providing a drinking water regulatory framework that is consistent with internationally accepted best practice, including requiring suppliers to have a drinking water safety plan and meet drinking water standards

Ÿ establishing a risk management framework (in conjunction with Resource Management Act mechanisms)

Ÿ building capacity and capability among drinking water providers

Ÿ establishing a framework for the improvement of the quality of water services (including stormwater and wastewater). 

The Bill also makes amendments to the Local Government Act 2002 requiring assessment of drinking water, waste water and other sanitary services and section 104G of the Resource Management Act to require regard be had to effects of propsals on a registered drinking water supply and any risks identified in a water risk management plan.  The Bill would require Te Mana o te Wai to be given effect to (as defined in the NPS for Freshwater).

The main implication for the regional council is a requirement (Section 45) to:

Ÿ annually publish information on source water quality and quantity

Ÿ every three years assess the effectiviness of rules and non-regulatry interventions to manage risks or hazards to source water.

No date has been set for submissions to a Select Committee.  The Bill is available here: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_93442/taumata-arowai-the-water-services-regulator-bill

Resource Management Reform

The Government has released a review of the resource management system New Directions for Resource Management in New Zealand.  It recommends significant changes to the system including repeal of the Resource Management Act 1991 and replacing it with two new laws:  a Natural and Built Environments Act and a Strategic Planning Act. 

The Natural and Built Environments Act would focus on enhancing the quality of the environment and on achieving positive outcomes to support the wellbeing of present and future generations – this act would require that the principles of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi be given effect to - not just taken into account.

The Strategic Planning Act would set long-term strategic goals and integration of functions across the Local Government Act, the Land Transport Management Act and the Climate Change Response Act.  It would also integrate land use planning with the provision of infrastructure and associated funding and investment.

Regional spatial planning will play a critical part in delivering the intended outcomes for the resource management system.  Another new law recommended is a Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaptation Act, which would establish an adaptation fund and address legal and technical issues involved in the process of managed retreat. https://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/new-directions-resource-management-new-zealand

Government have signalled there will be consultation on the reccomendations, but have yet to set a date.

National Policy Statements

The Government has released the new National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD), replacing the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity (NPS-UDC) that was introduced in 2016.  The NPS-UD seeks to ensure that local authorities anticipate the demand for both housing and businesses in their regions/districts over the short, medium and long term, so that their planning documents provide for sufficient development capacity to accommodate that demand.

The NPS-UD identifies 3 tiers of urban environment, and 3 corresponding tiers of local authorities.Tier 1 and 2 urban environments and local authorities are those experiencing the greatest urban development.  Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch are ‘Tier 1 urban environments’’.  Whangārei is identified as a Tier 2 urban environment requiring a housing and business development capacity assessment (HBA) and Future Development Strategy (FDS), and set ‘housing bottom lines’ for the short-medium term (next 10 years) and the long term in the regional policy statement and district plan. 

The HBA is required by 31 July 2021 and the FDS by 2024 (to inform the LTP).  Council is required to insert ‘housing bottom lines’ into the Regional Policy Statement and criteria to assess ‘out of sequence’ plan changes.  The timing appears to align well with the five-year review of the Regional Policy Statement. 

The NPS-UD is available here: https://www.mfe.govt.nz/about-national-policy-statement-urban-development

The government has advised that the release of the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land has been delayed and will be progressed in the late 2021.

The government has also advised that the National Environmental Standards for Marine Aquaculture Regulations 2020 (NES Marine Aquaculture) will come into force on 01 December 2020.  These regulations provide for replacement coastal permits for existing marine farms, including in some situations, the ability for an existing marine farm to realign or make changes to consented species.

Our Proposed Regional Plan rules for the re-consenting of aquaculture are generally aligned with direction coming out of the NES (noting that many of our aquaculture rules are subject to Environment Court appeals).  This aside, the regulations stipulate that a regional plan may adopt a more lenient rule for replacement coastal permits with regards to many of the rules outlined within the NES.  The regulations also prescribe specific requirements for seeking the views of tangata whenua on draft coastal permit applications. 

The NES Marine Aquaculture is available here:

http://legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2020/0170/latest/LMS377269.html

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Investment and Growth Reserve – Projects Report

Project

Update

Future developments/ reporting

Resources Enterprise Limited (REL)

Worked with lawyers to review the new evidence from defendants and submit a response to the High Court.

Defendants have until 21 August to respond. After which a decision will be made by the judge. 

Northland Water Storage and Use

Final invoice request sent to Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust to complete council’s responsibility for the project.  First quarterly payment made to Trust under funding agreement.  Provided information to Trust to assist with their application to the EPA for fast track approval.

Consider options for council investment into future development once consents have been granted and commercial modelling completed.

Twin Coast Cycle Trail (TCCT)

Received completion report from FNDC.  Worked with MBIE to confirm acceptance of report.

Make final payment to FNDC. 

Extension 350

Quarterly report for the period ending 30 June received, and first quarter payment made for 2020/21. 

 

Other Work Undertaken

Ÿ Review and provide advice to council on Oruku Landing development opportunity.

Ÿ Support Northland water strategic opportunities assessment being undertaken by GNS (funded by PDU)

Ÿ Joint economic development initiative – co-ordinate inter-council officers forum and preparation of presentation for Northland Forward Together Strategic Planning Workshop

ONLINE CHANNELS

Most popular content on Facebook:  A video interview with Natural Hazards Engineer, Matt de Boer, appealing for photos and videos of the 17 July flood event from members of the public to contribute to help get a better understanding of flooding in Taitokerau.  The video has over 3,000 views, reached over 17,000 people and engaged with more than 200 people.

*Engaged – number of people who ‘reacted’, commented or shared the post.

Key Performance Indicators

Mar-20

Apl-20

May-20

Jun-20

Jul-20

WEB

 

 

 

 

 

# Visits to the NRC website

30,300

25,100

27,900

33,800

48,900

E-payments made

8

5

6

5

31

# subscription customers (cumulative)

1,171

1,182

1,210

1,221

1,238

SOCIAL MEDIA (cumulative)

 

 

 

 

 

# Twitter followers

1,523

1,525

1,517

1,519

1,529

# NRC Facebook fans

9,553

9,599

9,627

9,713

9,767

# NRC Overall Facebook Reach

172,300

60,300

75,400

201,900

106,500

# NRC Engaged Daily Users

14,900

6,529

5,164

12,000

7,950

# CDEM Facebook fans

17,900

18,000

18,000

18,100

20,800

# CDEM Overall Facebook Reach

161,900

172,800

114,300

72,300

518,000

# CDEM Engaged Daily Users

20,600

19,200

11,800

5,817

92,200

# Instagram followers

1,137

1,163

1,172

1,193

1,203

NOTE: July - increase in visits to the website was due to the flood event, 17 July 2020.


 

ENVIROSCHOOLS / EDUCATION

Project Pest Control assessment workshops held

On 29 and 30 July the Whangārei Project Pest Control workshops were held at the Rayonier Matariki Forest in Glenbervie.  Nearly 70 senior students handed in their theory papers and were assessed in practical tasks including trapping, skinning and machine plucking.  Can Train, Rayonier and NRC staff shared their biosecurity and forestry career pathways with students. 

Traps into Schools

On 27 July, two trap training workshops were held in Whangārei and Waipapa.  School teachers and some students learnt how to use a range of traps before taking them back to school for use in their local communities.  The traps were funded by the Biosecurity team as part of the Environmental Leaders Fund.  An NRC Biosecurity Officer led the workshops, supported by the Enviroschools facilitators.  Similar events will take place in Kaitāia and Dargaville.

School Communities Facilitated

Despite the school holidays, Enviroschools facilitators had specific interactions with 41 school and early childhood communities.

MARKETING AND ENGAGEMENT

2020 Whakamānawa ā Taiao - Environmental Awards

The second Whakamānawa ā Taiao - Environmental Awards were delivered with a two-pronged approach due to COVID-19.  The original awards ceremony was cancelled and so a virtual ceremony was held via the NRC Facebook page instead.  This was the first virtual event held by NRC via a social media platform.  A kanohi ke ti kanohi event was held in Whangārei on 22 July to celebrate the winners and highly commended recepients.  This provided a great opportunity for networking and learning more about each of the projects.  Each of the winners received their trophies and prize packs.

The awards was the culmination of an extensive process involving many staff, planning and advertising the nomination process, receiving and judging applications virtually and organising two events.

There has been a lot of positive feedback from the community on the awards and appreciation for having their work acknowledged. The four-page spread went in the Northern Advocate on the 29 July.  Video footage has been captured of each of the winners, highlighting their amazing mahi.  The videos will be provided to all of the winners and will be released via the NRC social media channels.

MĀORI ENGAGEMENT

Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu “Referring to the tiniest piece of pounamu that still has significance”

Te Whāriki Core Cultural Competency Programme

Te Whāriki Core Cultural Competency Programme is council’s commitment to an organisational wide cultural training programme, with its main aim and purpose to build and improve the capabilities of staff to engage in a meaningful way.  Our Kaiārahi Tikanga Māori re-established the one day noho marae after these were postponed due to COVID-19.  These are being held on Terenga Paraoa Marae, Whāngarei and will be held monthly to ensure all staff have an opportunity to experience te reo me ona tikanga in one of the many prestigious marae in Te Taitokerau. 

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Staff are asked to complete a self-assessment of their competencies (from 1 – no competency to 5 – highly competent) prior to the noho or training and then post-workshop to ascertain the learning outcomes and evaluations.  Whereas prior to the training 57% of responses were either a 1 or a 2 (with an average competency of 2.4), following the workshop this reduced to 16% with an increased average competency of 3.4 (above average) as an example of the outcomes achieved.

To date we have received positive feedback and any recommendations for improvement have been incorporated in the planning of further workshops. There will be a full review of the programme in six months.

Māori Constituencies

Our team co-ordinated a positive workshop with guest speakers:

Ÿ Doug Leeder – Chair, BOPRC

Ÿ John Cronin - Previous BOPRC Chair when Māori constituencies were first established in the BOP

Ÿ Arapeta Tahana - Councillor, BOPRC Māori Constituencies Okūrei

Ÿ Andrew Judd - Previous New Plymouth Chair and an advocate for Māori constituencies

Ÿ Meng Foon - Previous Gisborne Mayor and currently Race Relations Commissioner HRC. 

The main purpose was to provide the councillors with an opportunity to hear a range of diverse experiences as they consider Māori constituencies.

Long Term Planning

Workshops after our Kaiārahi Kaupapa Māori presented the process and timelines associated with the LTP at the formal TTMAC June meeting are scheduled with MTAG.  This will be to review the feedback that was received from the previous consultations, identify those that are still relevant as priorities for tangata whenua and make recommendations for TTMAC to consider in the formal meeting in September. 

Mana Whakahono ā Rohe – statutory agreement between council and hapū

Initial meetings have been held with Te Roroa, Patuharakeke, Ngāti Rehia and Te Uri o Hau to prioritise a collective approach to support the implementation as a pilot.  Patuharakeke have agreed to progress this agreement with their Board.

TTMAC Panui

The first TTMAC panui since it’s re-establishment has been revamped and released thanks to the great support from our Communications and Marketing team and one of the many positive and informative platforms we have to share of TTMAC and the outcomes achieved.  https://www.nrc.govt.nz/your-council/online-services/enewsletters/#Panui

LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL INFORMATION (LGOIMA) REQUESTS

Month

LGOIMA requests
received 2019/20

LGOIMA requests
received 2020/21

July

15

25

August

22

 

September

16

 

October

29

 

November

11

 

December

12

 

January

14

 

February

21

 

March

13

 

April 

12

 

May

13

 

June

15

 

TOTAL LGOIMA REQUESTS RECEIVED

193

25

LGOIMA requests not responded to within 20 working days*

18

2

*       REQ.599631 – Request for all records held relating to Wairere 2F2B Block, 50 McDonnell Road, Horeke.  Staff called the requester to clarify what information was sought.  Subsequently this request was superseded by a duplicate request.

         REQ.599617 – Request regarding property at Southend Avenue.  Delay in completing the response to the request was due to the request having to be transferred between departments to ensure all (if any) information held by council in relation to the request is provided to the requester.

7.2.7   Customer Service – Community Resilience

CUSTOMER SERVICES

Telephone Inbound Call Statistics & Enquiries

 

July 2020

Target

Call volume via Customer Services

2,650

 

Conversion rate

97.4%

> 95%

Average wait time

5 sec

 

Calls answered in under 30 sec

95.8%

> 90%

During the peak of the flooding experienced this month, FNDC closed their offices leaving relatively few staff dealing with high call volumes.  In frustration many residents called NRC and our customer services staff responded and directed calls to appropriate services.

Regional Offices

Dargaville and Waipapa offices have extended their opening hours to 0800 - 1630 to align with Whangārei’s opening hours.

Resident Survey

The draft survey has been received and returned for minor edits to ensure verbatim responses have been grouped correctly.  This has delayed the final report which is now due in the first week of August.  


 

Satisfaction Monitoring

•    Feedback Cards, Compliments and Complaints

Feedback cards have been included with compliments and complaints, as appropriate.

Compliments received

Total

Service provided by a specific person / people

·    Land Management – K Drake

1

Overall service

·    Compliance Monitoring

·    Land Management

2

Total compliments recorded

3

Complaints received

Total

Disagree with decision or process

·    Compliance Monitoring

·    Hydrology

2

Total complaints recorded

2

Both complaints are still open and being actively resolved.

CIVIL DEFENCE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

Northland Flood July 2020

On Wednesday 15 July weather warnings were issued for the Northland region predicting up to 130mm of rain in some locations over 24 hours. As a result, there was widespread rainfall across the region, with maximum falls in the 24-hour period being 160mm in and around the Waitangi catchments.

On Friday 17 July further heavy rain and thunderstorms were forecast and caused widespread flooding, road closures, slips and damage to property.

During the afternoon of 17 July up to 180mm of rain accumulated in and around Waitangi with lesser falls in other parts of the mid North.   At 7.00pm the thunderstorms had moved south towards Whangārei and high intensity rainfall occurred in and around the city and surrounding areas.  Between 8.00pm and 10.00pm the Northland Regional Council rain gauge in the city recorded 88mm in 2 hours, a 1:100-year return period event.

As a result, the State Highway 1 network was blocked in numerous places due to flooding, including Mangamuka, Turntable Hill at Moerewa, Puketona, Rangiahua and further north with a number of council roads blocked by flood waters, slips and downed trees.

A number of homes, clubs and businesses were affected by flooding, slips and ground movement in various locations across the region, including Puketona, Moerewa, Waikare and Whangārei.

The CDEM Group and emergency services responded to the immediate event with FENZ and Police (approximately 220 recorded calls to FENZ in four hours) responding to calls for assistance with flooding in houses, around houses, arcing of power in water and several rescues of people from vehicles trapped in flood water. 

Police also responded to numerous 111 calls and assisted with the evacuation of three houses in Heretaunga Street, Tikipunga (three families were evacuated and provided with emergency accommodation).

Two Civil Defence Centres (CDC) were established in Whangārei - one in the Onerahi Community Hall and one at the Kamo Scout Hall - with support from council staff and community volunteers including the NZ Red Cross, Kamo Scout leaders and members of the community.  Eleven people were supported through the Kamo CDC and two people were supported through the Onerahi CDC. Most evacuees made their own shelter arrangements. 

Two community shelters were opened in Kawakawa and Moerewa to support locally displaced people and those travelling on route through Northland - 45 people were supported overnight.

Insurance companies report over 2,000 claims for flood damage and the Earthquake Commission report over 121 separate claims.

Infrastructure issues were managed by the relevant department managers over the following days with some works continuing, with water restrictions placed on the Whangārei district for the following seven days and several district roads are still closed.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) are dealing with large slips on State Highway 1 Mangamuka, with a 4 to 6-week timeframe to repair the major slips.  

Over 110 homes in Moerewa were assessed and homes had septic tanks emptied as well as providing support with skip bins to remove flood damage house hold goods.  Properties in Waikare were also assessed and support provided.

The Minister of Civil Defence, Honourable Peeni Henare and MP Kelvin Davis visited the region on Sunday 19 July together with the Acting Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) David Cotezee.  Discussions included the impact to people, homes and businesses as well as infrastructure and the rural sector.  Minister Henare announced a $30,000 Mayoral Relief Fund for the region.  The Northland CDEM Group is administering the fund on behalf of the Mayors. 

The New Zealand Insurance Council (NZIC) and EQC both sent representatives to Northland and a meeting was held on 20 July with the various representatives to understand the scale of the event and number of claims lodged for the region. 

Recovery updates are being issued by the Northland CDEM Group and recovery operations led by the Northland CDEM Group Recovery Manager.

Rural Water

Iwi, representatives of the Northland DHB Public Health Unit, Te Puni Korkiri, FNDC, KDC and the Northland CDEM Group have collectively recognised that there is a vulnerable community of whanau living in rural communities in Northland that are struggling to access the quantity and quality of water they need for drinking, cooking, bathing, hand washing, and growing their kai. 

Due to the socio-economic constraints and poor infrastructure (failing tanks and poor supply systems) many whanau have had difficulty throughout the drought maintaining a reliable water supply.

As a result, a scoping exercise designed to identify and prioritise the at-risk communities that would most benefit from assistance in repairs, maintenance or upgrading of water supply infrastructure has commenced and evaluation of the various potential funding mechanisms and the criteria that may support the various initiatives that might support this project.

CDEM Work Programme

Since mid-January the Northland CDEM Group professionals have been involved with responses to drought, COVID-19 and a flooding emergency.   As a consequence a number of activities that were identified in the annual work programme have been reviewed, with some activities being paused whilst other have been stopped.    A review of the project plan for the development of the Northland CDEM Group Plan review has been carried out.  Although some due dates for milestones have changed, is anticipated that the plan review will be completed on time in late 2021.

COVID-19 Response Review

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) held a two-day de-brief for the COVID-19 response on 27 and 28 July, which was attended by the Northland CDEM Group Controller and Welfare Manager.   The two Group Controllers from Northland have also had the opportunity to contribute to the national review of the response via a two-hour video interview session.

One of the key aspects of the review has been the need to undertake “Resurgence Planning” which is based upon various scenarios that may unfold if/when the coronavirus remerges in communities. 

TRANSPORT

Regional Transport Planning

Ÿ Government Policy Statement

Ÿ The Government Policy Statement may be released a month later than expected.

Ÿ At this time, there is no indication as to what extent the government may change the GPS due to the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst the initial indications were that there would be little change from the Draft GPS, this may now no longer be the case.

Ÿ Draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) and Draft Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) Update

Ÿ Following the Investment Logic Mapping workshop help in June 2020, a copy of the Problem Statements, Benefits to be achieved by addressing the problem statements and the Objectives to be achieved, were distributed to all elected representatives and their support staff with a request for feedback.

Ÿ There were a number of recommendations put forward to adjust the wording of the above to better align with the Draft GPS released earlier in the year. These recommended changes will be tabled at the 12 August 2020 Regional Transport Committee meeting for consideration.

Ÿ There is concern regarding the reported late release of a number of NZTA documents and programmes which feed into, direct and record the content and outcome of both the RLTP and the RPTP.  These delays have the potential to result in both documents not being completed by 30 April 2021.

Ÿ In spite of the above, staff have continued to work on the strategic front end of both documents.

Passenger Transport Administration

Bus Link stats for June
(revenue ex GST)

Actual

Budget

Variance

Year/Date Actual  

Year/Date Budgeted 

City Link Passengers

    33,552

 30,010

3,542

 314,549

349,050

CityLink Revenue 

 $30,194

$40,514

 -$10,320

$388,521

$471,218

Mid North Link Passengers

 166

 156

10

 1,809

 1,830

Mid North Link Revenue

 $604

$780

-$176

$6,725

$9,150

Hokianga Link Passengers

 39

78

-39

609

924

Hokianga Link Revenue

 $478

 $1,017

 -$539

$5,912

$12,049

Far North Link Passengers

 386

611

 -225

4,909

7,424

Far North Link Revenue

 $948

 $1,483

-$535

 $11,672

$18,561

Bream Bay Link Passengers

 47

24

23

507

270

Bream Bay Link Revenue

$315

 $86

$229

$3,117

$972

 

Bus Link stats for July
(revenue ex GST)

Actual

Budget

Variance

Year/Date Actual

Year/Date Budgeted

City Link Passengers

 27,347

 29,331

 -1,984

 27,347

29,331

CityLink Revenue

 

 $39,597

 

 

$39,597

Mid North Link Passengers

 153

 156

-3

153

 156

Mid North Link Revenue

$537

 $780

 -$243

 $537

 $780

Hokianga Link Passengers

  43

78

-35

43

78

Hokianga Link Revenue

 $465

 $1,017

-$552

 $465

$1,017

Far North Link Passengers

 

699

 

 

699

Far North Link Revenue

 

$1,748

 

 

 $1,748

Bream Bay Link Passengers

64

 30

34

 64

30

Bream Bay Link Revenue

 $430

$108

$322

 $430

$108

*Far North Link Stats were unavailable at the time of the report and CityLink were based on provisional reports 

Total Mobility

Total Mobility (TM) figures are reported one month in arrears, due to the required information being unavailable at the time of the agenda deadline.

 

Total Clients

Monthly Actual Expend

Monthly Budgeted Expend

Monthly Variance

Year/Date Actual Expend

Year/Date Budgeted Expend

Annual Variance

June 2020

1647

$28,909

$25,000

+$3,909

$220,488

$300,000

-$79,512

Total Mobility Trips

Total Mobility trips in 2018/2019 were 34,879, compared to 2019/2020 31,882 a decline of 2997 trips due to COVID-19.

Total Mobility Figures

Actual spend for the 2019/20 financial year was $220,488 as against $215,502 for the 2018/19 financial year.  The increase of $4,986 can be attributed to increasing the maximum fare and more trips in May and June due to FREE FARES, COVID-19.

ROAD SAFETY UPDATE

The following crash data for both 2019 and year to date 2020 offers a snapshot of crash statistics for both national and Northland deaths.

The ‘RIDS’ factors – Restraints, Impairment, Distraction and Speed were influencing factors in many of the fatal crashes and the issues that have been identified in the current Northland Road Safety Issues 2014-2018 document to help us better understand the scale, progress and key factors that need to be targeted to reduce these numbers in avoidable deaths and serious injuries on our roads.


 

Road Trauma Update:  New Zealand 2019 Road Death Overview

 

National        353 - 24 fatalities below the figure for the same period in 2018 and 25 less than in 2017

Northland    29 - 6 fatalities below (18%) the same period in 2018 and 12 less (30%) than in 2017

 

2020 YEAR TO DATE ROAD DEATH STATISTICS

National        176 deaths compared to 206 at the same time in 2019

Northland    16 deaths compared to 17 at the same time in 2019

Police/Waka Kotahi crash snapshot of Northland deaths 2020 year to date

3 January

SH 1, Waipu

Head on crash

49yo M

26 January

Kaitaia

Car vs tree

44yo M

23 February

Whananaki North Road

Ute vs tree

35yo M, 12yo F, 5yo M

3 March

SH 10, Mangonui

Car vs ute

34yo F

13 March

SH 1, Hukerenui

Car vs SUV

66yo F, 63yo F, 57yo F

26 March

Oakleigh-Paparoa Road

Ute vs bank

4yo M

6 April

Brooks Road, Waipu

Car vs tree

66yo M

19 April