2                                             21 August 2019

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Wainuiomata Community Board

 

Minutes of a meeting held in the Wainuiomata Library, Queen Street, Wainuiomata on

 Wednesday 21 August 2019 commencing at 7.05pm

 

 

                 

PRESENT:

Mr G Tupou (Chair)

Ms K Brown

 

Mr T Stallworth

Mrs J Winterburn

 

Cr C Barry

Cr J Briggs

 

APOLOGIES:                  Ms Tuala Le’afa and Mr Sinnott

 

IN ATTENDANCE:       Mayor WR Wallace
Cr S Edwards

                                          Ms J Miller, Chief Executive (part meeting)

Ms H Oram, Acting General Manager, City Transformation (part meeting)

                                          Ms M Laban, Divisional Manager, Community Projects and Relationships
Mr M Shanks, Healthy City Design Lead

                                          Mrs H Clegg, Minute Taker

                                         

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

Resolved: (Mr Tupou/Cr Briggs)                                        Minute No. WCB 19401

“That the apologies received from Ms Tuala Le’afa and Mr Sinnott be accepted and leave of absence be granted.”

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Extension of Time

 

Resolved: (Cr Briggs/Mr Stallworth)                                    Minute No. WCB 19402

“That the period of time for public comment be extended if required.”

 

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr P Hoy expressed opposition to the sale of Queens Street Reserve land for housing. He considered there were many other areas of land that Council could dispose of for housing. He said the people of Wainuiomata needed the community facilities provided by the Queens Street Reserve land.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms R Hoy asked Council to manage its finances more prudently. She noted that although the development of new housing would provide more rates income, rates overall were increasing.

 

Cr Briggs raised a point of order asking that there be no cross conversations between members of the public, and that all questions be directed through the Chair.

 

Mr Tupou ruled in favour of the point of order. He added that Mayor Wallace and Cr Laban could address concerns when it came time for them to speak.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr J van Lier strongly opposed residential development on the Queens Street Reserve. He requested that Council not operate in secret.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms S Moffit invited those present to a public meeting to be held on 26 August 2019. She advised the meeting would be gathering support to oppose the Wainuiomata Cleanfill (the cleanfill) application to expand and continue its operations.  She explained the cleanfill area was not being protected or managed effectively. She believed the consent application should be fully notified as the cleanfill affected the entire Wainuiomata community.

 

 In response to a question from a member, Ms Moffitt advised she had obtained documentation from Council  detailing the number of truck movements per day. She said she was willing to share the document.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mayor Wallace explained options for development had been discussed at a closed Council workshop to help ensure the growth of Wainuiomata. He added this was prompted by news that Progressive Enterprises was planning a new supermarket in Wainuiomata.  He said selling the Queen Street Reserve land for some form of housing was just one option that was discussed.  He emphasised that there currently were no plans to sell the land.

 

Mayor Wallace explained he had met with Council’s Chief Executive and discovered that some conditions under the previous consent for the Wainuiomata Cleanfill had not been met. He gave a reassurance that Council wanted to work with the community on the cleanfill issue.

 

In response to a question from members, Mayor Wallace expressed support for holding discussions with the community about housing on the Queen Street Reserve.  He advised the Councillor workshop held in 2018 had dismissed 100% development of the land and requested that officers provided other options. He noted there was a housing crisis in the city and that the elderly in particular were struggling to find suitable housing close to facilities and amenities. He said he had no knowledge of instructions given to Urban Plus Ltd to further develop concept plans for the Queen Street Reserve.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms A Williamson explained she ran the Wainuiomata Badminton Club which operated out of the Community Hall in the Queen Street Reserve.   She asked that the Community Hall be retained for the benefit of the community.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr D Innes expressed opposition to subsidised urban growth in Lower Hutt. He noted that subsidies for Queensgate Mall had led to the demise of many suburban shopping centres. He believed Council was investing in growth without providing an appropriate level of infrastructure.  He queried why no reserves fund contributions were being paid for new subdivision developments. He noted previously residents had paid for local reserves as part of the cost of their sections. He stated reserves were not to be sold. He lamented the demise of Lower Hutt as a ‘garden city.’

 

Speaking under public comment, Mrs P Innes requested the current Council-led Reserves Review in Wainuiomata be expanded to involve all households, including those in rural areas.  She asked that the age of respondents not be required by the survey. She highlighted several instances of debris being left on the roads by cleanfill users.  She expressed concern about liquid waste going into the cleanfill.

 

In response to a question from a member, Ms Innes confirmed she would like to receive information on complaint procedures for the decommissioned landfill and the current cleanfill.  She expressed concern the decommissioned area had leachate problems.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr A Mitchell advised Council’s concept plans for Naenae had been presented to the community without the residents’ prior knowledge. He said the Naenae Residents’ Association (the Association) was formed as a result. He explained the Association wanted to ensure a transparent process and meaningful consultation occurred for all development in the area.  He highlighted Council was now looking at a broader picture for Naenae with regard to the new pool complex.  He urged Wainuiomata residents to be vigilant and to lobby  for public consultation.

 

In response to a question from a member, Mr Mitchell explained that key learnings for the Association had been to express their views and concerns collectively, to formally engage with Council and to persevere.  He noted the concept plan vs actual plan process needed to be clearly defined. He acknowledged pockets of Council did undertake public consultation well.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr P Knox considered the Queen Street Reserve was the ‘jewel in the crown’ of reserves in Wainuiomata and should not be developed for housing. He added that housing development required more reserve land, not less.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms D McMillan expressed her opposition to the development of Queen  Street Reserve for housing.  She explained the community had worked together to build the community centre and she wanted the area retained as a green space. She added that community gardens had just been established on the reserve.  She welcomed the new supermarket and requested Council kept residents informed of any proposals for Wainuiomata.  She expressed her opposition to the cleanfill operation

 

In response to a question from a member, Ms McMillan indicated that Facebook was an effective platform for reaching many people, as well as articles in the local newspaper.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms L Herman advised she had been a teacher at a local primary school several years ago. She explained an Inquiry Learning  Project had been conducted which demonstrated that children greatly valued the Queens Street Reserve as a community space. She did not believe development in the Queen Street Reserve was a concept that ratepayers supported. She queried costs to date and the state of existing infrastructure to cope with increased growth. She expressed concern for open community spaces if reserves were to be used for housing.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms I Galuszka expressed opposition to the use of Queen Street Reserve for housing and listed the community events that were regularly held on the reserve. She asked to be provided with the cost of producing the concept plans and whether Council had drawn up plans to develop the land surrounding the Lower Hutt War Memorial Library. She requested she be contacted with answers to her questions.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr D Chrisp questioned why concept plans for the Queen Street Reserve had been developed if they were not to go ahead.  He requested the public consultation process be reviewed and that consultation be undertaken on all decisions that impacted the heart of a community.  He asked who had instructed Urban Plus Ltd to draw up the concept plans?

 

In response to a question from a member, Cr Briggs stated he had expressed concern at the Councillor workshop held in 2018 that the Wainuiomata community had not been party to the Queen Street Reserve proceedings.

 

In response to a question from a member, Cr Barry explained that he had decided to release the plans for the Queen Street Reserve after attending a meeting the previous Tuesday where the plans had been discussed. He confirmed he was breaking the confidentiality clause.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms J Wootton considered there should not be secrecy around proposals that affected communities. She said it was clear the community did not want the Queen Street Reserve developed.  She suggested newsletters containing information that affected residents could be included in rates demand notices. She strongly opposed public walkways on private land. She stated her opposition to the cleanfill and asked if Council could provide a guarantee that the operations would cease.

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr A Sa’u (Pastor Andrew) expressed concern there was no voice from local Pacifica peoples.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms L Olsen expressed opposition to the development of Queen Street Reserve. She said was willing to protest on the land. She supported Ms Moffitt’s opposition to the cleanfill and agreed Wainuiomata did not want a dirty river. She raised the issue of speeding cars on Russell Road near the Wainuiomata Marae and requested Council action to stop this. She highlighted an issue at the decommissioned landfill in Antrim Crescent and noted a storm could leach rubbish from it.

 

Cr Briggs advised he had notified officers of traffic concerns around the Marae, especially in light of the Parkway Rise extension proposal.  He undertook to follow this up and report back.

 

Speaking under public comment, Matua Francis McDonald wanted more shops and facilities to return to Wainuiomata and urged Council to listen to the Wainuiomata people.  He added it was positive to see women standing in positions of authority.

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms G Anderson MP expressed concern there was a limited notification process for the extension of the cleanfill.  She considered there was general agreement that the cleanfill was a significant issue, affecting the whole of Wainuiomata.  She requested the impact on the environment be considered.

 

The Chief Executive said she recognised that best decisions were made by diverse groups of people and that a shared ambition for spaces was required.  She explained the housing crisis in the Hutt Valley and added that several hundred families were currently without suitable accommodation. She announced she would release all papers that were part of the Councillor workshop held in 2018 where Wainuiomata development ideas were discussed.  She added that officers had looked at what could be possible on the Queen Street Reserve land but recognised that no community engagement had taken place.  She reiterated there were no plans to sell the land and welcomed community input into developing a future overall plan for Wainuiomata.  She acknowledged that the Naenae Pool issue had restricted the ability of Council to invest in other projects in the short term.

 

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive confirmed all information held on potential plans for the Queen Street Reserve would be released via a press release the following week.

 

The Acting General Manager, City Transformation provided an update on the current cleanfill application.  She advised that officers were regularly monitoring the existing cleanfill operation to ensure compliance with all conditions.  She advised an independent expert planner was assessing the application and an independent commissioner would hear the application.  She explained a date for the hearing would be confirmed for either late September or in October 2019. She confirmed officers were currently dealing with debris on the road near the cleanfill and had required a wheel wash to be installed on site.  She gave assurance that the cleanfill’s operation and effectiveness would be monitored.  She advised that officers had liaised with Greater Wellington Regional Council officers who had advised liquid waste disposal at the site complied with all relevant guidelines.  She urged the public to contact officers with any concerns regarding the operation of the cleanfill.  She explained that Resource Management Act (RMA) legislation did not allow councils to revisit an initial decision. She noted the same legislation governed what type of notification was required.  She added officers had had the initial decision peer reviewed and it was found to be within the law. She advised there had been a significant period of time between acceptance of the application and the limited notification due to officers requesting further information from the applicant.  She confirmed all the information requested was publicly available.

 

In response to a question from a member, the Acting General Manager, City Transformation advised each application received was assessed on its own merits whether it was a new application or an extension of an application.  She added that a decision on public notification would depend on whether or not a subsequent application had substantially changed.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9.11pm and reconvened at 9.30pm.

3.       Presentations

a)

Walking and Cycling in Wainuiomata (19/962)

This item was deferred to the first meeting of the new triennium.

b)

Council's Museums Division (19/1035)

This item was deferred to the first meeting of the new triennium.

     

4.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS  

There were no conflict of interest declarations.

5.       Minutes

Resolved: (Mr Stallworth/Mrs Winterburn)                      Minute No. WCB 19403

“That the minutes of the meeting of the Wainuiomata Community Board held on Wednesday, 26 June 2019, be confirmed as a true and correct record.”

    

6.

Committee Advisor's Report (19/1003)

Report No. WCB2019/4/79 by the Committee Advisor

 

The Chief Executive explained that the Wainuiomata Reserves Review (the review) community consultation was due to close on 15 September 2019, however she was open to extending the submission period.  She added the review was not connected to the Queen Street Reserve issue, but was a scheduled work programme review undertaken from time to time throughout the city.  She acknowledged officers could expand consultation methods to include meetings. In response to a question from a member, she agreed to discuss the timing of the reserves consultation with the Chair via email.

Ms Brown noted the Wainuiomata Library had been promoting the reserves consultation.

 

Resolved: (Mr Tupou/Ms Brown)                                      Minute No. WCB 19404

“That the Board notes the report.”

7.

Notice of Motion - Mr G Tupou - Moratorium on Water Bottling (19/1056)

Report No. WCB2019/4/161 by the Committee Advisor

 

Speaking under public comment, Ms R Hoy strongly opposed water bottling enterprises.

Speaking under public comment, Mr J van Lier, an aquatic scientist, strongly opposed the removal of water from the aquifer for bottling and supported the motion.  He noted the aquifer was already under stress from population demands, and that a new water source would be required by 2040.  He advised that climate change would bring further stress with increased flooding and rainfall, as well as increased periods of drought and extended dry periods. He understood the limitations placed on Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) due to legal requirements, and advocated for increased public notification powers.  He requested the Chair’s motion be extended to all future consents. He suggested residents provided submissions to the Whaitua Committee and RMA Review processes.

Mayor Wallace expressed support for the proposed motion. He agreed GWRC was limited by legislation as to its course of action.  He noted the Waiwhetu Aquifer (the aquifer) had already been altered by the Kaikoura earthquake. He did not support increasing the draw-down from the aquifer.

Speaking under public comment, Ms T Ultra explained she resided from Upper Hutt where the community had recently found out a consent had been granted by GWRC to draw water from the aquifer.  She noted two more consents had been granted for the Petone area.  She strongly opposed these consents and supported the Chair’s motion.  She explained that all water systems were connected and were affected by changes in pressures. She asked the Wainuiomata community to oppose water extraction consents. 

She suggested a change to the Chair’s proposed motion to specifically reflect the Wainuiomata community. She said adding a preventative statement would be valuable.

Speaking under public comment, Ms V Mitchell expressed opposition to water extraction for bottling. She expressed surprise that Greater Wellington Regional Councillors were unaware of consents that had been granted.  She recognised that legislation did limit what could be done about consents already granted.  She asked that Central Government be lobbied to change the RMA, and that the lobbying began with communities, Community Boards, Councils and Regional Councils. 

Speaking under public comment, Ms J Wootton expressed opposition to water extraction consents. She considered it unacceptable to take water from New Zealand and sell it overseas.

The Chief Executive advised she had recently met with the Mayor and the Chairs of all Community Boards and had discussed the limited powers regional councils held with regard to water extraction applications.  She added the topic was also discussed at a recent Local Government NZ Conference.  She agreed it was vital for this to change, and was pleased the Local Government Commission was investigating options.

Cr Laban was invited to speak to the item. He explained that the three current water extraction consents for the Waiwhetu Aquifer combined to draw 5% of available ground water. He advised this represented a ‘minor’ impact, and GWRC officers had no choice but to grant consent without notification and without informing Greater Wellington Regional Councillors.  He added he was not in favour of the water extraction and he fully supported the proposed motion.  He acknowledged that without legislative change, Greater Wellington Regional Council could not alter decisions already made or any decisions on future applications.  He suggested councils lobbied Central Government to seek a resolution to protect sensitive water bodies.  He advised that adding ‘sensitive water bodies’ to the recommendations would capture future consent applications.  He noted that GWRC had voted to declare a Climate Change Emergency the previous day.

Speaking under public comment Ms Anderson, MP, explained that a full legislative review of the RMA would take too long to prevent more water extraction applications.  She agreed with Cr Laban that a resolution to protect sensitive water bodies could be moved through Parliament more quickly.

Cr Briggs said he considered water protection was an issue for councils in New Zealand and that working in partnership would be advantageous. He advised that the Eastbourne Community Board had added ‘current’ to the second recommendation of the motion.

The Chair thanked Cr Laban for his work in the Wainuiomata community.

 

Resolved: (Mr Tupou/Cr Briggs)                                        Minute No. WCB 19405

“That the Board:

(i)    requests Central Government and/or Greater Wellington Regional Council, with due respect to all of the four community well-beings (social, environmental, economic and cultural) in the Local Government Act, to place an immediate moratorium on any current consents for the extraction of Waiwhetu Aquifer water for water bottling purposes;

(ii)   requests that any current and future such applications are put out for public consultation;

(iii) requests that Hutt City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council lobby Central Government to introduce a resolution to identify and protect sensitive water sites from water extraction applications;

(iv) recommends that the incoming Wainuiomata Community Board submits to the Resource Management Review and the Whaitua process; and

(v)   asks that Hutt City Council assists in achieving these four outcomes.”

 

8.

Whaitua Committee Update (19/986)

The Chair advised the Whaitua Committee was undertaking a review of the future of water in the region, including drinking water, stormwater and wastewater.  He explained it had taken a year for the Whaitua Committee to be fully informed and to draft a consultation process. He anticipated the process would take several years to complete.  He undertook to maintain communication with the Wainuiomata Community Board and the community on water issues.

9.

Farewells (19/1051)

The Chair thanked members of the Board for their efforts over the past three years.  He highlighted retired Board member Ms Willard’s contribution over 12 years.  He noted that thanks to the efforts of all members, the community felt confident bringing matters to the Board’s attention.

Cr Briggs thanked Mr Sinnott for his six years of service, and for Cr Barry’s nine years, acknowledging them both as strong advocates for the Wainuiomata community. He thanked Mr Tupou for stepping up to the Chair’s role and for showing leadership at the tail end of the triennium.

Mr Stallworth noted that the Wainuiomata Community Board gave voice to the community and he said  it was important residents took the time to be heard.

    

10.     QUESTIONS   

There were no questions.

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 10.02pm.

 

 

 

 

Ms J Miller                                                                                                      Mr G Tupou

CHIEF EXECUTIVE                                                                                     CHAIR