17 March 2017
Report no: CSC2017/2/127
General Manager's Report
Purpose of Report
1. The purpose of this report is to provide the Committee with a general update from the Community Services Group.
It is recommended that the Committee notes the updates contained in the report.
2. The Chair of the Community Services Committee and General Manager Community Services agreed that a report from Community Services should be provided at each meeting.
3. An update is provided below. Officers request Committee members provide feedback on the sort of information they would most like included in these updates.
Overall Comments from General Manager
4. The Community Services Group is making strong progress towards its three high level objectives:
Ø Providing the very best core community services
Ø Developing world-class community facilities
Ø Improving the lives and futures for those living in our highest deprivation communities – especially the young.
5. As Community Services continues to evolve to meet the needs and aspirations of our communities, in particular with the growth of community hubs as well as continuing to work to have community development integrated in all aspects of our work, the group’s structure has had to undergo some changes.
6. In late 2016 the Group was reorganised, seeing the development of a new division – Community Hubs. The new division is co-led by Mike Mercer and Mel Laban.
7. The Community Hubs Division includes the Walter Nash Centre, Stokes Valley Community Hub and Wainui Community Hub. As further hubs are developed this division will grow accordingly. The change had the most significant impact on the Libraries division, whereby Libraries staff have been integrated within the new Community Hub division. As with Leisure Active and Museum services the core Libraries Division will provide the expertise, creativity and innovation across all the Hubs.
8. As Community Services are doing more and facilities open longer, the reorganisation has also focused on efficiencies.
9. In addition to the changes outlined above the Group is also increasingly exploring opportunities for new partnerships as well as externally funded contracts that are aligned to Council’s vision and priorities eg Healthy Families.
10. As a result of these changes the current Activity structure is less relevant and less transparent. Making meaningful comparisons of income and expenditure trends between accounting periods is difficult. The group proposes to collapse all the activities into one new Activity – Integrated Community Services. Below this consolidated Activity the group proposes to report at a more detailed level the relevant financial (net cost) and non-financial information, i.e. report separately on Museums, Pools, Recreation Programmes, Libraries (stand-alone), Community Hubs, City Safety, Community Funding, significant contracts like Healthy Families. The alternative to above would be to create more Activities which while possible will also create greater levels of administrative compliance work and effort e.g. overhead allocations.
11. A successful Neighbours Day event was held at Petone Settlers Museum in late March. A steady stream of visitors came to the museum, including regular visitors, new Petone residents, and long-term residents who have not visited in many years. New exhibitions have opened at The Dowse; Dark Objects (our annual curatorial intern exhibition), Richard Stratton: Living History (new work by a Wellington potter) and Emma Fitts: From Pressure to Vibration (new works by Emma Fitts mixed with textile works from our collection). A new group show of younger artists looking at issues of climate change opens to the public on 14 April. We are currently developing an exhibition of drawings from the collection, and an exhibition around te reo Māori for Matariki / Māori Language Week. In Community Art activities, the Common Ground festival was successfully delivered in February/March in sites across the Hutt valley involving dozens of artists & collaborators and hundreds of participants and school children.
12. After 9 years with the Museums team our Education Manager Jen Boland (who was seconded as Community Curator for the 2016/17 FY) has left HCC for a new role as director of the Katherine Mansfield Trust. We are thrilled to see Jen take on this exciting new challenge but replacing her will be difficult as she had a rare combination of skills and deep local knowledge. We will be recruiting for the Community Curator role shortly, and reviewing our needs in the Education team.
13. Community Arts Advisor Pippa Sanderson has been busy preparing a briefing for the first meeting of the Arts & Culture Subcommittee and assisting with the recruitment of community representatives for the committee.
14. Construction work has begun on the refit of the café space at The Dowse. Bellbird is scheduled to open in early June. A pop-up café in The Dowse has been getting positive feedback and indicates a strong working relationship with the Museums team.
15. The heavy rain over 5/6 April led to a series of new leaks in The Dowse’s building, most worryingly in one of the galleries on the Laings Road side of the building. Aquaheat were extremely responsive on the day the leaks were discovered, however the leak was in an area of the roof that has not yet repaired and indicates the urgency of this issue for us.
16. Preliminary results are in from the annual sector survey of New Zealand museums. These show healthy trends in visitation and community engagement across the motu, but widespread concerns around succession planning and leadership development. As a member of the Museums Aotearoa Board, Museums director Courtney Johnston is part of a working group led by Te Papa that is reviewing sector development needs. In other national news, Auckland Council is commissioning an independent review of its regional cultural facilities (including MOTAT, Auckland Museum, Stardome, the Maritime Museum and Auckland Art Gallery) due to concerns around Council’s level of oversight and ability to influence regional collaboration. This is a very different situation to HCC, where our museums are units of Council, and also the Wellington region in general, where collaboration between cultural organisations is trending upwards.
17. The past three months has seen significant change within the Leisure Active Team. Staff movements have included:
· The appointment of Lauren Hudson to the position of Aquatic Facilities Manager responsible for operational management across all pool sites.
· The appointment of Mark Curr to the position of Recreation and Sport Programmes Manager to replace Mike Mercer who now manages the Community Hubs division.
· The appointment of Stephen Keatley to the position of Huia Pool & Fitness Centre Manager.
18. On a negative note the poor weather experienced throughout summer and autumn has significantly affected attendance numbers and revenue across all of our swimming pools. This, coupled with the disruption caused by construction work at Huia Pool, means that swimming pools will be reporting an operational variance for the year.
19. Work continues on the expansion of Huia Pool to include a new hydrotherapy pool, Learn to Swim pool and fitness gym. The new development is on track to open in July this year.
20. The Summer recreational events season is now nearing completion with attendances to most activities on par or greater than previous years. Activities have included: Bike the Trail, Weetbix Tri, Avalon Park Expo, Tri-ability Tri, Bike Week, PAWS Walks, Kev the Kiwi Walks, Steady as you Go, Operation Park Fit and Yoga Flavours.
21. Highlights of the programme include:
· The Broga event (Yoga for Bro’s) held at the end of February as part of our Yoga Flavours programme. This event targeted men who may be inactive or overweight and focuses on wellness and mindfulness. The event had very positive feedback attracting 63 participants and a very large response on Facebook with a reach of nearly 24k.
· The Weetbix tri attracted 1,350 participants to a mid week event which well exceeded the expectation of the sponsors sanitarium. More importantly for our team the pre-event training programme supplied bikes, bike servicing and cycling lessons to 285 young people across the North East schools cluster allowing more children from this area to compete.
22. The North Pathways Project, a three party partnership project comprising a cluster of schools centred around Avalon Intermediate, Hutt City Council and Sport New Zealand, is entering its third year of operation. The three core objectives of the project are to increase students’ engagement with their schools, improve academic achievement levels of students and improve the perception of Avalon Intermediate School in the wider community. Primarily the project centres on developing a new way of learning for students using sport and recreation as a theme in an integrated curriculum.
23. The interim evaluation report showed the great progress that has been made with:
· 12% increase in students across the school either at or exceeding national standards
· 32% increase in students in the specialised sports class either at or exceeding national standards
· 90% satisfaction rating of the school by parents
· 30% roll growth
· Engagements of students ranking 20% higher when compared to other schools.
24. The Healthy Families Initiative led by Hutt City Council continues to gain momentum and community support. The project centres on making systems changes that support healthy living within the places and environments that we spend our time. Activities supported by the Healthy Families team over the past two months include:
· Hutt Real Food Challenge which resulted in seven locally driven initiatives going through to our support series.
· Supporting the successful Te Ra o te Raukura festival being water-only.
· Hosting Dave Wood from Toi Te Ora Public Health Service to deliver the 2-day WorkWell advisor training to local workplace champions including from Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, WelTec, Sport Wellington and Kokiri Marae - Takiri Mai te Ata Regional Stop Smoking Service.
· Commitment by Hutt City Council to install seven new Meet PAT water fountains across our communities including in Naenae, Taita, Stokes Valley, Wainuiomata and Eastbourne.
· Hutt Valley District Health Board’s commitment to signing up to the WorkWell programme - making them the first organisation in the Wellington region.
· Hosted a HRINZ Workplace Wellbeing Special Interest Group breakfast event on the theme of ‘Get Moving in February’ where a variety of presentations were provided to workplaces on programmes and initiatives that are available to support them to get their employees more active.
· The uptake from sports codes and organisations of becoming pro water and water only and the willingness to substitute unhealthy player of the day rewards to healthier alternatives like free pool passes for Hutt City Council pools. Our successful player of the day certificates are now being used to engage Upper Hutt City Council, Wellington City Council and Porirua City Council to also get behind sports codes and organisations and offer free pool passes as player of the day rewards.
25. Our clubhouse programmes at Naenae and Taita have moved from strength to strength in the last year.
26. Projects our members have worked on include graphic design, 3D design and modelling, film editing, photography, app development, robotics, electronics, coding, and music composition.
27. Some of our key achievements in 2016 include:
· Four Clubhouse members attended the Clubhouse Network Teen Summit in Boston in July. As well as taking part in youth leadership workshops, attendees stayed on campus at a Boston University, worked on collaborative high-tech projects with youth from other Clubhouses around the world, and visited places like MIT and Google.
· Two members from Naenae Clubhouse won a $1000 prize in the New Zealand Vegetarian Society 2016 short film competition.
· One member from Taita Clubhouse won the Hutt City Youth Award for Entrepreneurship. After attending Teen Summit he established his own stock photography and design business.
· Both Clubhouses entered short films in the HP 48 Hour film competition. Naenae Clubhouse’s entry won the best original song category in the Wellington regional competition
28. Clubhouse is a free after school programme, for young people aged 10-18 years, to explore and learn new creative technology skills.
29. We have 380 youth actively involved in the programme. 41% of Clubhouse members are girls, 40% of Clubhouse members are teens (aged 13-18 years).
30. In a 2015/16 survey Hutt City Clubhouse members gave the following responses:
· 97% said they cared more about doing well in school because of Clubhouse
· 82% said Clubhouse helps them to make better life choices (with family, friends, and at school)
· 63% said they wanted to study some aspect of STEMM in the future because of Clubhouse
31. Our Hutt City Clubhouses are licensed to the Clubhouse Network - an international community of over 90 Clubhouses, located in 19 countries, providing youth with access to resources, skills, and experiences to help them succeed in their careers, and contribute to their communities. For more information about the Clubhouse Network see http://www.computerclubhouse.org/
Issues and risks
· Antisocial behaviour from youth
· Building issues
32. The Stokes Valley Hub capital project continues to remain on track with an estimated public opening of end of October. Walter Nash and Wainuiomata continue to deliver exciting community partnership programmes such as the central government funded youth designed “Journeys” programme at Walter Nash Centre which builds leadership, resilience and aims to keep young people engaged in our community. The Walter Nash Centre has just reached a milestone of having 1 million customers through the door since opening.
33. The new division is still in the process of developing its identity and business plan moving forward. The biggest opportunities for us are in the integration of a range of Council services within a single hub facility, and encouragement of community led and delivered activities.
34. The biggest risk factors are staffing levels/budget and safety. Due to the nature of our activities we expose our staff to some risks. Each site has undertaken/will undertake a health and safety improvements planning process to determine any changes that need to be made. This will be conducted annually. Budgets continue to remain a constant pressure and this has a direct impact on our service delivery.
Community Partnerships & Relationships
35. Strengthening our partnerships with community, central government and the corporate sector to improve lives, continues to be a focus for the team. Goodtime Music and Kiwibank now provide scholarships to kids in the North East which are focussed on music tuition and swimming lessons; Ministry of Social Development has enabled a third Akoranga (Learning) programme to take place which is focused in Naenae with approximately 50 kids each day; Youth Inspire has expanded its service into Naenae and Kokiri Marae continues to provide a detached youth service across the city. Council’s Youth Council has had its first workshop as a new group, which has representatives from across the city. Our focus is on building this team, so they are confident in their role and with their responsibilities, so they can become strong advocates for youth at the Council table. They are also currently working on their annual plan submission.
36. Family violence continues to be an issue across our city. The Police Safety Order (PSO) house working group has set its strategic direction towards the implementation of an operational facility. Individual group members have been tasked with formulating a legal entity/ structure, sourcing funding, finding a suitable property, community engagement, and staffing the facility. All areas progressing well. The first community meeting to develop a group of trained anti-family violence champions for Wainuiomata occurred. Vetting and training of those that offered their service is underway.
37. Hutt City Council CCTV continues to be a valuable tool for Police and has been crucial in solving some recent high profile crimes. Unfortunately Stokes Valley cameras are operating at 50% efficiency until the new hub is able to accept the local cameras into the HCC fibre network again. Safe City Ambassadors continue to provide excellent service to the public and have been issued additional equipment due to the growing levels of risks they are encountering. Local community patrols continue to work well despite losing the Taita patrol. Neighbouring patrols cover the Taita area until a new group can be formed.
Community Services Capital Projects
Fraser Park Sportsville Stage 2 – Multipurpose Sports Building
38. The CFT has now raised a total of $1.64m of its $3.2m target to complete Stage 2. Because of this progress the CFT awarded a conditional contract for the construction of the project to Armstrong Downes of Lower Hutt in November of 2016. The contract was conditional upon the CFT raising the balance of the required funds. Armstrong Downes and CFT are now working together to drive cost out of the building project to enable a start date of June 2017, subject to Council approval.
39. The CFT is also continuing with a fundraising campaign to raise the balance. An experienced fundraiser has been appointed along with additional administrative staff to assist him. The CFT is presenting to Council in May.
Walter Mildenhall Park Redevelopment
40. The main clubrooms, the three external greens, the tennis and petanque courts, landscaping, fencing and lighting are now complete and ready for fit out by the clubs. The built space is attractive, sunny and generously proportioned and represents a huge step up on the amenities of both the legacy club facilities.
41. The Naenae Bowling Club is now project managing the movement of the combined bowls clubs, petanque club and the RSA into the new facility.
42. Progress on the adjacent covered internal green has been slower than expected because of the 7.8 earthquake, the highly changeable weather over the summer, and four roof beams being built out of agreed construction tolerances. The out of tolerance beams have now been corrected and are being reinstalled on the site. Once these are in place the artificial turf will be installed under the completed roof.
43. Hawkins Construction regrets the delay and will meet all costs involved in putting right the construction fault. Fortunately the design of the facility will allow club members to use the new club rooms and community facilities including the external greens and tennis courts, while construction work continues on the adjacent undercover bowling green.
44. Lastly, work on the driveway in from Vogel Street and the associated parking courtyard will be completed as soon as the construction activity associated with the indoor green is completed. This is expected to be by late July. Access to the site and approximately 50 car parks will however be available from Treadwell Street by the end of April.
Huia Pool Development
45. The project continues to progress and the building is almost enclosed. You can really start to see how the facility will finally look. Set out below are some of the major milestones that have been completed since the last update:
· The roof, cladding and 85% of the windows in the pool halls and gym have been completed
· The pool has been completed and is ready for the pool floor to be poured
· All blockwork for the changing room, foyer and plant areas have been completed
· All concrete around the poolside has been laid
· The ventilation plant has been put in to position
· Pre-wiring and plumbing for the building has started.
46. The project is currently on track for completion in late July 2017 and the budget is currently tracking a positive forecast variance.
Stokes Valley Community Hub
47. Contractors are on time with structural works due to be completed in May.
48. As noted, the contingency budget has been spent on asbestos removal and soft spots in ground. Only a small amount of budget risk still remains in the project as this is a design–build contract.
49. The temporary library continues to operate. In addition, Cheryl Murray (Community Facilitator – Projects) is based out of a container located in Scott Court two days a week as an initial point of contact for community. She will be hosting a range of other HCC officers in the container to provide outreach services and advice.
50. A series of community activities have been developed and delivered by the Libraries, Leisure Active and Community Partnerships and Relationships teams. Approximately 12 programmes and events will have taken place by the time the hub opens. In addition, several arts projects are in progress which will result in permanent installations at the new hub. These have been designed to reflect local culture and history.
51. Overall the project is tracking on time and on budget at this stage.
Community Services Significant Contracts: Healthy Families
Smokefree Lower Hutt
52. Healthy Families Lower Hutt has joined the Takiri Mai te Ata Regional Stop Smoking steering group to strengthen collective efforts.
53. We have commenced engagement in Wainuiomata regarding exploring designating areas of town centres smokefree. This has included connecting with Wainuiomata Ward Councillors, stakeholders and community champions. We presented to the Wainuiomata Community Board at its April meeting to get feedback and endorsement of a proposed engagement process.
54. Cheryl Murray is leading engagement regarding designating areas of town centres smokefree in Stokes Valley.
55. Parks and Gardens have installed metal smokefree signs at parks, playgrounds and beaches in Eastbourne. Wainuiomata and the North East will be the next areas to having signs installed.
56. Libraries have been actively promoting smokefree areas.
Hutt Real Food Challenge
57. On 4 April we held a successful Hutt Real Food Challenge public showcase where our six local teams presented their initiatives and their next steps to improve our local food system. Many of these initiatives will be seeking Council support going forward.
Go the H2O (water initiative)
58. We are working with Leisure Active and other Councils and stakeholders to provide player of the day certificates which offer free pool entry as a healthy alternative to fast food sponsored certificates. This has been hugely successful with Wellington City Council and Upper Hutt City Council now also coming on board.
59. We now have two portable hydration stations within Council for use by the community and organisations at their events and sporting fixtures to encourage water as the drink of choice.
60. We are working with schools, workplaces and sporting organisations to support them to become pro water or water only settings.
Local Alcohol Plan
61. We are working alongside Regional Public Health to encourage the community to have their say on Hutt City’s Local Alcohol Policy.
62. In making this recommendation, officers have given careful consideration to the purpose of local government in section 10 of the Local Government Act 2002. Officers believe that this recommendation falls within the purpose of local government Act.
There are no appendices for this report.
Author: Matt Reid
General Manager Community Services
Approved By: Tony Stallinger