Policy and Regulatory Committee



28 August 2019




Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt,







Monday 2 September 2019 commencing at 5.30pm









Cr MJ Cousins (Chair)

Cr S Edwards (Deputy Chair)



Deputy Mayor D Bassett

Cr L Bridson

Cr C Barry

Cr J Briggs

Cr T Lewis

Cr M Lulich

Cr C Milne

Cr L Sutton

Mayor W R Wallace (ex-officio)








For the dates and times of Council Meetings please visit





Membership:                    11


Meeting Cycle:                  Meets on a six weekly basis, as required or at the
requisition of the Chair


Quorum:                           Half of the members


Membership Hearings:     Minimum of either 3 or 4 elected members (including the Chair) and alternates who have current certification under the Making Good Decisions Training, Assessment and Certification Programme for RMA Decision-Makers.  The inclusion of an independent Commissioner as the rule rather than the exception


Reports to:                       Council



           To assist the Council monitor the development of strategies and policy that meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses. 

           To consider matters relating to the regulatory and quasi-judicial responsibilities of the Council under legislation.  This includes, without limitation, matters under the RMA including the hearing of resource management applications.


           Maintain an overview of work programmes carried out by the Council's Environmental Consents, Regulatory Services and strategy and policy development activities.

           Draft policies for public consultation, excluding those that will subsequently be required to follow a statutory process

           Approval and forwarding of submissions on matters related to the Committee’s area of responsibility

           Hearing and deciding notified resource consent applications.

           Hearing and deciding objections to conditions imposed on resource consents

           Hearing and deciding any matter notified under the Local Government Act 2002

           Hearing and deciding objections to the classification of dangerous dogs under section 31 of the Dog Control Act 1996 and abatement notices regarding barking dogs under section 55 of that Act

           Hearing and deciding objections to the classification of dogs as menacing dogs under sections 33A and 33C of the Dog Control Act 1996

           Hearing objections to specified traffic matters where the community board wishes to take an advocacy role

           Exercising the power of waiver under section 42A (4) of the Resource Management Act of the requirement to provide parties with copies of written reports prior to hearings

           Authorising the submission of appeals to the Environment Court on behalf of Council

           To appoint a subcommittee of suitably qualified persons to conduct hearings on behalf of the Committee.  The Chair of the Policy and Regulatory Committee is also delegated this function.

           All statutory requirements under the Reserves Act 1977 that require the Department of Conservation to ratify.






Conduct of Hearings:

           To conduct hearings where these are required as part of a statutory process[1]

           Hearing of submissions required on any matters falling under the Terms of Reference for this committee or delegating to a panel to undertake hearings (this delegation is also held by the Chair of the Policy and Regulatory Committee).



Any other matters delegated to the Committee by Council in accordance with approved policies and bylaws.



The Ministry for the Environment advocates that Councils offer specialist RMA training in areas of law which are difficult to grasp or where mistakes are commonly made.  This is to complement the Good Decision Making RMA training that they run (which is an overview and basic summary of decision making, rather than an in-depth training in specific areas of the RMA).  Therefore in order to facilitate this, the RMA training run for councillors that wish to be hearings commissioners is mandatory.

Reasons for the importance of the training:

1       Hearings commissioners are kept abreast of developments in the legislation.

2       Legal and technical errors that have been made previously are avoided (many of which have resulted in Environment Court action which is costly, time consuming and often creates unrealistic expectations for the community).

3       The reputation of Council as good and fair decision makers or judges (rather than legislators) is upheld.









Policy and Regulatory Committee


Meeting to be held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on

 Monday 2 September 2019 commencing at 5.30pm.




Public Business


1.       APOLOGIES 

No apologies have been received.


Generally up to 30 minutes is set aside for public comment (three minutes per speaker on items appearing on the agenda). Speakers may be asked questions on the matters they raise.       


4.       Recommendations to Council – 17 September 2019

i)       Smokefree Lower Hutt - Review (19/876)

Report No. PRC2019/4/162 by the Principal Policy Advisor                     7

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed.”


ii)      Easement - Mitchell Park (19/1008)

Report No. PRC2019/4/163 by the Strategic Advisor, City and
Community Services                                                                                    26

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed.”


iii)     Development of a City-Wide Zero Carbon Plan (19/1037)

Report No. PRC2019/4/164 by the Manager, Sustainability
and Resilience                                                                                               30

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed.”




5.       Update on Hutt City Council's Organisational Carbon Reduction Work (19/1029)

Report No. PRC2019/4/165 by the Manager, Sustainability and Resilience    37

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed.”


6.       General Manager's Report (19/1007)

Report No. PRC2019/4/166 by the Acting General Manager, City Transformation          51

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendation contained in the report be endorsed.”


7.       Information Item

Policy and Regulatory Committee Work Programme (19/1065)

Report No. PRC2019/4/80 by the Committee Advisor                                      88

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendation contained in the report be endorsed.”


8.       QUESTIONS

With reference to section 32 of Standing Orders, before putting a question a member shall endeavour to obtain the information. Questions shall be concise and in writing and handed to the Chair prior to the commencement of the meeting.   



Judy Randall




                                                                                      20                                                02 September 2019

Policy and Regulatory Committee

01 July 2019




File: (19/876)





Report no: PRC2019/4/162


Smokefree Lower Hutt - Review


Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to present the findings of the review of the Smokefree Outdoor Public Places Policy and propose options regarding Council’s future approach to smokefree outdoor public areas and its Smokefree Outdoor Public Places Policy.


That the Committee recommends that Council:


(i)    agrees to change the wording of the policy in section three Smokefree Areas, clause d. to ‘Bus shelters and bus stops’ to enable all bus stops to be designated smokefree;

(ii)   agrees to incorporate Te Reo Māori in signage and messaging in the policy, under section four, Implementation;

(iii)  agrees that Council’s smokefree publicity will include asking people not to vape in smokefree areas and at smokefree events. The priority will remain smokefree messages in terms of signs and communication;

(iv) agrees to designate Hillary Court smokefree under section three Smokefree Areas, clause J;

(v)  agrees to designate areas of suburban centres in the city smokefree. These areas would be implemented over the next three years.  Officers would amend the policy wording in suburban centres; and

(vi) agrees that implementation during 2019-2020 will be undertaken using the $10,000 underspend available and that Council will include an additional $12,000 in the budget for 2020-21 and $12,000 in 2021-2022 for the purpose of implementation.

For the reasons

Smokefree bus stops are an opportunity to increase the visibility of the smokefree message in Lower Hutt. There is no safe level of second hand smoke. This position would be in line with our policy objectives and would make Council’s policy consistent with the smokefree approaches in Wellington and Porirua.

The vaping position is in line with the approach taken in Porirua and Wellington and therefore contributes to a consistent local government position in the region. As in the other council areas, media releases etc. could include the message, along with announcements at events.  This does not include vaping on signage.

The engagement work in Naenae has been completed and there was a high level of support to designate Hillary Court smokefree.

There is good support in the community for designating areas of suburban centres smokefree. This is the case throughout the Citizen Panel surveys conducted since 2016. Officers will work to define the areas and socialisation of the smokefree message would follow.




2.    In 2009, Council adopted a Smokefree Policy (the policy) that designated playgrounds and outdoor public swimming pools as smokefree outdoor areas. In May 2016, Council extended its policy to also include:


·      Parks and sports grounds, including skate parks;

·      Bus shelters; 

·      Train stations;

·      Beaches; 

·      Outdoor public areas around Council buildings and facilities;

·      Smokefree Council run and funded events.

·      Outdoor pavement dining areas

·      Explore designating areas in town centres as smokefree areas.


3.    The aim of the policy is to contribute to the Government’s goal of a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025. The objectives of the policy are to:


·      Further denormalise smoking for children and young people by reducing its visibility in public places;

·      Contribute to improved health and wellbeing by reducing smoking and the impacts of second-hand smoke.

4.    The policy discourages smoking in public places through signage, promotion and marketing, and by undertaking work with communities across the city. The focus for signage has been on the most popular areas where children and families congregate or socialise, and areas where smoking rates are high.


5.    Healthy Families Lower Hutt (HFLH) has led implementation of Smokefree Lower Hutt and considerable work has been invested in implementation during the three year period, including in-depth community engagement and work to extend smokefree areas, as well as publicity to raise awareness of Council’s smokefree message.


6.    There have been a number of developments in the smokefree environment at a national level. Smoking rates are declining, with 15% of the total population identifying as smokers, down from 20% in 2007. However, inequities remain for Māori and Pasifika populations with 33% of Māori adults and 23% of Pacific adults identifying as current smokers. Furthermore, adults living in the most socioeconomically deprived areas are three times as likely to be smokers as adults living in the least deprived areas.


7.    The Government is currently considering a number of changes to the Smokefree Environments Act 1990. The Act prohibits smoking in public areas such as schools, early childhood centres, aircraft, restaurants, and workplaces. Later this year, the Ministry of Health will propose amendments to the Act, which will include regulatory standards for vaping products and prohibiting the use of vaping devices in legislated smokefree areas. The amendment will also include the prohibition of smoking and vaping in vehicles carrying passengers under the age of 18.


8.    Local government is also responding to the increasing focus on smokefree outdoor areas. A growing number of Councils have smokefree policies and several of these cover extensive outdoor areas (See Appendix 2). In the period since the implementation of Council’s Smokefree Outdoor Places Policy, 23 councils have either reviewed their existing policy or introduced a policy for the first time.


9.    This demonstrates that local government recognises its leadership role in contributing to the health and wellbeing of residents and in contributing to the goal of a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025. The approaches taken are primarily educational, although Palmerston North City Council is taking a regulatory approach to an aspect of its policy by including outdoor dining areas in its Public Places bylaw. Similarly, Council has recently included smokefree conditions as part of the contract between Council and businesses leasing pavement areas.




10.  Officers from Strategy and Planning and HFLH have worked on the review. The review has included the following key elements:


·      engagement with a range of internal and external partners (See Appendix 1);

·      exploring research and policy literature from New Zealand and internationally – including the policies of New Zealand local authorities and national and local approaches to vaping policy e.g. the Vaping Policy forum held at Parliament on 3 April 2019; and

·      analysis of the results of Council’s residents’ surveys since 2016.

Public awareness and support


11.  Three Citizens Panel Surveys have been undertaken by Public Voice between early 2016 and 2018. Questions ranged from the particular outdoor areas the community thought should be smokefree, support for Lower Hutt becoming increasingly smokefree, and the effectiveness of smokefree signage and communication. Some of the key results are presented in Table 1 below.



Table 1: Citizen’s Panel Survey – 2016-2018


Level of Agreement

Survey Question




I support Lower Hutt becoming increasingly smokefree




Smoking should be banned in all public places where children are likely to go




It frustrates me when people smoke near me when I’m dining outside at a restaurant




Smoking is personal choice and shouldn't have restrictions placed on it





12.  In both 2017 and 2018, awareness of Council’s policy is relatively high at 63% and 64% respectively. From 2016 to 2018, the percentage of survey respondents who supported Lower Hutt becoming smokefree increased from 80% to 89%.  The surveys indicate that there is growing public support for, and acceptance of, smokefree outdoor areas.


13.  In the open text responses, the consistent themes from survey responders included:


·      an emphasis on enforcement

·      support for more visible / larger signage

·      need for Council to help provide more smoking cessation support and encouragement, as well as education around smoking.

Implementation – progress and issues


14.  This section assesses progress against the policy’s implementation plan, and considers issues that have arisen in relation to smokefree environments between 2016 and 2019.


Messaging and Signage


15.  Council’s communications team and HFLH developed a Lower Hutt proud to be smokefree brand, which was communicated by signage in the smokefree outdoor public areas. This included positive messaging and links to smoking cessation support. Council engaged with internal and external stakeholders when designing the signage. HFLH worked with Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and Adshel in order to have smokefree stickers/signage at bus shelters and train stations. This partnership has worked effectively and GWRC funded co-branded metal signs for train stations. GWRC also endorsed the use of ‘proud to be smokefree’ stickers for bus shelters.

16.  During the review, some stakeholders and members of the public raised two issues in relation to signage which were visibility and consultation in regard to signage in suburban centres. They felt the existing signage was not visible enough to show that areas were smokefree.


17.  As per the policy objectives, placement of signage has been targeted and further work is required to extend the coverage of signage in the city, for example, in parks and bus shelters.


18.  An aspect of messaging that could be strengthened is better guidance on how to communicate the policy so that people are equipped to speak to other members of the community who are seen smoking in smokefree areas. 79% of respondents to the Youth Council survey disagreed with the statement:  ‘I feel confident to go up to somebody and tell them to stop smoking in a designated smokefree area'. Out of the 79%, 49.7% strongly disagreed. In response, officers will develop a Q&A document on ‘smokefree conversations’ and this will be available on the Smokefree Lower Hutt webpage.  A plan for implementing the future policy will include raising awareness of the webpage on an ongoing basis and weaving conversational messages into communications.


19.  Highly visible signage is a key means of delivering this policy and will continue to be a priority going forward. It is important that future implementation includes communication in Te Reo Māori. This requires installing new signage and some additional funding.


Media, Promotion and Advertising


20.  Promotion has included using the digital notice boards at Council facilities, Council signboards, media releases, articles in local newspapers and use of social media. A Smokefree Lower Hutt webpage has also been developed. Council has utilised World Smokefree Day to promote its smokefree message, for example World Smokefree day 2017 was celebrated at Motown café in Moera and attended by Associate Minister of Health Hon. Nicky Wagner and Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox. Council’s smokefree message was also advertised on the back of buses on the Wainuiomata and Stokes Valley bus routes in October 2016. Council events have been promoted using smokefree flags and smokefree messaging on event big screens, for example, Rhythm and Reels.


21.  In the 2018 Citizens Panel Survey, 45% of respondents stated that they had learned about the smokefree policy through print media. Less than 11% of responders had heard about the policy areas from Facebook, Council’s website, events, and radio. HFLH has engaged with sports clubs about promoting the smokefree message around clubrooms and as part of Council-run and sponsored events. 


Smokefree Areas and Events


22.  Parks, reserves, beaches, pools, and playgrounds – Smokefree signage has been installed across parks, sportsgrounds, reserve areas, skateboard parks and beaches, as well as outdoor pools and playgrounds. This signage has been erected in line with the priorities in the policy and the practicalities of installing signage effectively. The installing of signage is informed by Council’s Parks and Recreation team’s approach to signage which seeks to avoid sign proliferation in areas that Council is encouraging all people to use. Parks and gardens include smokefree messaging in integrated signage as and when it is installed/updated, and installs metal smokefree signs in areas that do not have integrated signage.


23.  Bus shelters and train stations – Council worked with GWRC and Adshell to install smokefree signage in bus shelters and train stations. As part of future implementation we will continue to work with these partners to improve the coverage and prominence of signage in bus shelters.


24.  The language used in the policy stipulates ‘bus shelters’ and therefore does not enable Council to place signage at bus stops.   Specifying bus shelters also means that some high-use areas, for example bus stops on Queen’s Drive and in other areas, cannot be designated smokefree. There is support amongst partners and stakeholders for Council to designate bus stops as smokefree areas as this would allow Council to prioritise signage in high-use areas. 71% of respondents in the Youth Council survey supported designating bus stops smokefree.  


25.  Smokefree outdoor pavement dining and drinking areas – As highlighted in previous reports to Council, this aspect has been the most difficult to progress and has been mostly unsuccessful. A small number of businesses have been supportive and have become smokefree while others felt that smokefree outdoor pavement dining areas would negatively impact their income. Research from New Zealand and Australia indicates that businesses gain customers from supporting smokefree areas. (Smokefree outdoor policies in New Zealand: Questions and answers, University of Otago, November 2015.) Public support for smokefree outdoor dining remains consistently high. Every year 80%+ either strongly agree or agree that smoking frustrates them when they are dining outside at a restaurant. 


26.  As part of Council’s work on private use of public land, officers explored the opportunity to update the contract – signed by businesses leasing pavement areas from Council – so that it reflects Council’s policy that these areas should be smokefree. The contract has now been updated to reflect Council’s policy and requires that outdoor dining areas using Council land be smokefree. Businesses using Council owned footpaths for the purpose of outdoor dining must:


a.    display smokefree signage supplied by Council; and

b.    not have ashtrays or other devices for collecting cigarette litter on or near tables or seating areas.


27.  Some work is still required in relation to encroachment licences. Businesses that have leased pavement areas will be contacted with an updated contract. Over the next six months, Council’s Infrastructure Team will notify those businesses that as yet do not have contracts to use pavement areas. Publicising this change and implementing a framework for monitoring compliance with the new smokefree condition will be part of the policy implementation plan.


28.  Designating outdoor areas in suburban centres as smokefree – The 2016 policy required officers to explore designating areas in suburban centres as smokefree public places.  While there are several smokefree CBDs in New Zealand, it was relatively new to designate a number of suburban centres smokefree. Officers have identified around 15 suburban centres in the city.

29.  In early 2017 officers began work on engagement in Wainuiomata, taking a learn-by-doing approach.  There was extensive engagement and work with the Wainuiomata Community Board and the public before Queen Street was designated smokefree in 2018. There was support for the approach of working with the Wainuiomata Community Board and smokefree champions in co-designing Wainuiomata focused signage and messaging.


30.  At the same time, an opportunity arose to explore making Scott Court in Stokes Valley smokefree. The engagement in Scott Court focused on retailers in the area and, following this, Scott Court was the first suburban centre to be designated smokefree in 2017. Details of the engagement process for both are contained in report WCB2018/3/161 and PRC2017/4/223.


31.  From these two examples we learnt that:

·      there is overwhelming support for areas of suburban centres to be smokefree;

·      some communication and socialization of new smokefree areas is important and both the public and stakeholders value the engagement;

·      some communities have a strong sense of identity and people would like this reflected in signage and messaging;

·      a number of stakeholders believe that the smokefree message is strong enough and that rather than conduct initial consultation, the best way is to designate areas and socialise the message afterward;

·      engagement and co-designing messaging takes time and resources; and

·      signage in suburban centres is highly visible and enables Council to continue strengthening the Smokefree Lower Hutt message.


32.  Some stakeholders and members of the public have indicated that more work needs to be done to raise awareness of the smokefree status of Queen Street in Wainuiomata and Scott Court in Stokes Valley. In relation to signage, two stakeholders indicated the need for more localised signage which would contribute to community ownership and buy-in. However, the Health Promotion Agency believes that the standard green and white smokefree signage is clear and effective i.e. people recognise and understand it immediately. The advice in some of the research is also that local authorities should mainly use the standard Smokefree / Auahi Kore signage (Wilson and Thomson, Communicating smokefree messages at children’s playgrounds: A survey of signage at 54 playgrounds in 17 New Zealand local government areas, 2015).


33.  In terms of suburban centres, there has been engagement in Naenae on designating Hillary Court as a smokefree area. This included engagement with local stakeholders and some of the retailers in the area, as well as a public survey. 81% of the 138 respondents to the survey supported the area being smokefree.


34.  There has been some exploratory work in Jackson Street Petone, and in Moera.  The Citizens Panel surveys indicate consistent support for making areas of the CBD, Petone, and Naenae smokefree.


Table 2: Citizens Panel Survey Questions 2017 – 2018



Level of Agreement




Should Outdoor public areas in Lower Hutt CBD be smokefree?



Should Outdoor public areas in Jackson Street Petone be smokefree?



Should Outdoor public areas in Naenae be smokefree?




35.  Council events - HFLH worked with Council’s Promotions and Events team to make Council events smokefree. Flags with smokefree messaging were developed for events and the promotion of smokefree events has been included in Council’s funding application process. HFLH developed a Smokefree Lower Hutt Events Toolkit aimed at event organisers. The toolkit is available on the Smokefree Lower Hutt website.


36.  The Promotions and Events team noted that they have seen growing support for smokefree events. They also highlighted that there has been no resistance from smokers when asked not to smoke during events. This is some indication that the community is generally supporting the message about smokefree outdoor events.


37.  The review found that improvements can be made in terms of smokefree messaging at events. Some high-profile events, for example, the Carnival of Lights, did not include smokefree signage and messaging.


38.  Smokefree outdoor public areas around Council buildings, including the civic centre – Community hubs, libraries, and community halls have had Proud to be smokefree signage installed. Installation of signage at the Civic Centre has taken longer than anticipated and more work could be done to visibly demonstrate Council’s leadership role in observing and communicating its smokefree policy. As part of future implementation officers will explore taking this forward. 


39.  Additional settings – public areas around school drop-off and pick-up zones have regularly been raised by the public as areas Council could explore designating smokefree. HFLH will engage with the education sector and schools to explore designating these areas smokefree and report their findings to Strategy and Planning. Large privately owned carparks, such as those in malls and in big box shopping areas, is another setting that has regularly been raised by the public as areas which should be smokefree. As Council does not own the land, this work fits into ‘voluntary smokefree areas’. HFLH will engage with business owners regarding the opportunity to voluntarily create smokefree car parks.


40.  As part of the review we have spoken with the CBD Development Manager about the Riverbank Market event. An expression of interest process is currently occurring with a tendering process for operating the market to follow. The new contract for operating the event will include a clause requiring the market to be promoted as smokefree. HFLH is also engaging with GWRC regarding its position on smokefree environments generally.


41.  Designated Smoking areas – During the review, some stakeholders raised the question of whether Council should also designate areas for smokers. While the majority of stakeholders do not support creating smoking areas there is some public support for the idea with 62% of respondents of a 2019 Youth Council survey stating that there should be designated smoking areas.


42.  As in other towns and cities, Council’s approach has been to not create smoking areas with signs telling people where to smoke, at the risk of sending mixed messages. The rationale for this position is that legitimising smoking in a smokefree area normalises behaviour that contradicts the aims of the policy which are to denormalise smoking by reducing its visibility and reducing harm from second-hand smoking. The policy asks people to respect that some public outdoor areas in the city are smokefree. Any change to this position would have implications for the smokefree message and its implementation, and would have additional financial implications for Council.




43.  As in other countries, the use of vaping devices (e-cigarettes) is increasing in New Zealand. [1] Vaping devices are used with an e-liquid which is available in a variety of flavours and different levels of nicotine, as well as non-nicotine e-liquids.  There is scientific consensus that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking combustible tobacco. As a product that was first marketed in 2006, there is no research as yet on any health impact over a longer period of time.


44.  There is no international evidence that vaping products are undermining the decline in cigarette smoking among adults and young people, and some indications are that they may in fact be contributing to it. The Ministry of Health considers that vaping has the potential to contribute to Smokefree Aotearoa 2025.


45.  The Ministry of Health’s position on vaping is as follows:


·      The best thing you can do for your health is be smokefree and vape free.

·      Vaping is not for children or young people.

·      Vaping can help some people quit smoking.

·      Vaping is not harmless but is much less harmful than smoking.

·      Vaping is not for non-smokers.


46.  Stakeholders highlighted that vaping has the potential to be a mechanism for harm reduction, but that care be taken with how products are regulated and marketed to ensure vaping doesn’t become normalised or become a gateway to smoking, particularly for young people. From the evidence available in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health states that despite some experimentation with vaping products among non-smokers, the daily or regular uptake of vaping remains low among this group, including young people.


47.  Council’s Citizens Panel surveys asked residents about the use of vaping devices in smokefree areas.  In 2017, 51% of survey respondents indicated that Council’s smokefree policy should include the use of vaping devices (20% didn’t know) and 29% said it shouldn’t. In 2018, 72% of survey responders disagreed or strongly disagreed when asked if vaping use should be allowed in smokefree areas. This is a 21% increase in respondents who believe that Council should not allow vaping in smokefree areas. Results from the Youth Council Survey 2019, show that 52.8% of respondents disagree with allowing vaping in Smokefree areas, whereas 44.2% agree that vaping should be allowed.  65% of survey responders said that seeing vaping doesn’t bother them.


48.  One of the aims of Council’s policy is to reduce the visibility of smoking and it will need to consider vaping in this context as well as recognising the cessation/harm reduction benefits.


49.  Seven Councils across New Zealand have treated vaping in the same way as tobacco, stating that smokefree areas are vapefree as well and vaping is included on signs and so forth. These councils are: Rotorua Lakes District Council, Whangarei District Council, Kaipara District Council, Waimate District Council, Invercargill City Council (CBD only), and Whanganui District Council.


50.  Wellington City Council and Porirua City Council have taken an approach that discourages vaping. While their plans/policies include vaping they are taking a softer approach focusing on publicity and messaging rather than signage. This is in recognition of the potentially positive contribution that vaping can make in harm reduction and in achieving Smokefree Aotearoa.


51.  Auckland Council and Hamilton City Council do not include vaping within their policies, and both focus on vaping as a tool to help their communities quit smoking.


52.  Upper Hutt City Council is currently exploring extending its smokefree outdoor public places policy and any proposal is likely to include options on whether or not vaping should be included.





Summary of key findings


53.  Overall the review found that good progress has been made on the aims of Smokefree Lower Hutt in the period since 2016. Implementation of the policy faced challenges in the early stages and progress on some aspects such as outdoor pavement dining areas have been slow. In terms of these challenges, alternative means of implementation have been explored and initiated, for example including smokefree requirements in contracts with businesses that lease pavement areas for dining purposes.


54.  Over time, the policy has been increasingly embraced by Council and the public alike. Additionally, other Councils and organisations have been approaching Council for information and advice when developing or extending their own policies.


55.  A number of stakeholders highlighted the positives of the policy approach, and its focus on children’s wellbeing. As a result, they believe that it has helped smokers to be more aware of not smoking around children as well as smokefree areas in general. Furthermore, they added that HFLH has implemented the policy effectively and, as a result, positive progress has been made with the policy.


56.  Almost all stakeholders stated that they felt that the visibility of smoking in the city over the past three years has reduced and that people were getting the message about not smoking in public areas. Whilst this is in line with the continuing decline in smoking rates, people see Council’s policy as contributing to the overall local approach to smokefree and improving health and wellbeing.


57.  The review has demonstrated that there is more work to be done in specific areas in Lower Hutt as the Government works towards a Smokefree Aotearoa by 2025. This includes improving signage and communication, expanding the policy to include bus stops and all local suburban centres and continuing the proactive implementation of the policy overall.


Smokefree Lower Hutt – the future




58.  Since 2016, HFLH has been leading and coordinating implementation of the policy. With HFLH shifting its focus and resources to a Smokefree Hutt Valley (including Upper Hutt) and supporting local communities and voluntary smokefree spaces, its leadership and coordination of policy implementation will cease from July 2019.


59.  Future implementation will be conducted by a number of Council teams as part of their business as usual from August 2019 onwards.   Between 2016 and 2019 considerable work has been done regarding signage and communication with relevant officers taking ownership of tasks.


60.  However, as implementation has depended on the leadership of HFLH there are now risks to the future implementation of the policy. To mitigate the risks and ensure that communication around the policy continues, officers have developed an implementation plan identifying the roles and responsibilities of Council teams. This plan has been endorsed by Council’s Strategic Leadership Team and handover occurred during July and August.


61.  Some budget remains available for smokefree signage. However, there are aspects of the policy that could require additional funding and resources going forward, for example designating suburban centres as smokefree, and these are identified in the options section of the report.




62.  There are several possible amendments for Council to consider in terms of the policy. In the section below we have set out the areas of the policy and the options for Council in relation to these.


Smokefree suburban centres

63.  Council’s current policy requires officers to explore designating areas of suburban centres as smokefree and conduct engagement prior to designating each individual area.



i.     Status quo

ii.    Designate Hillary Court in Naenae smokefree;

There has been engagement in Naenae, with strong support for designating the area smokefree.


Remaining suburban centres


64.  Officers have identified two options:


a.    Status quo – designate areas of suburban centres smokefree following a period of engagement. This would be done in the following order:


i.     Designate Lower Hutt CBD, Petone, Moera, and Taita.

ii.    Designate areas of Alicetown, Eastbourne, Epuni, Fairfield, Homedale, Maungaraki, Mitchell Street, Park Avenue, Pomare, Waiwhetu and Waterloo as smokefree.


As currently happens, engagement would be conducted in each area prior to any designation and Council would need to separately approve each designation. As HFLH is no longer leading implementation of the policy, undertaking engagement will require additional funding and work by several Council teams. Designating all the centres identified would require 1 FTE at around $65,000 per year for 2 years and $30,000 ($2,000 per centre). Total = $160,000. If Council prefers to only designate the CBD, Petone, Moera, and Taita, this would require 1 FTE at around $65,000 for one year and $8,000 ($2,000 per suburban centre). Total = $73,000


b.    Designate the remaining suburban centres identified in option a. above from the inception of the new policy and without prior engagement.

65.  Socialisation of the smokefree message would occur following the designation, for example through signage, publicity, etc.  Socialisation can be managed within existing resources but funding will be required for signage.


The cost of this option over the first year can be paid for by the underspend of $10,000 in the budget.


Bus Stops


66.  The policy currently only enables Council to designate bus shelters as smokefree areas. Smokefree bus stops are an additional opportunity to increase the visibility of Smokefree Lower Hutt.


a.    Designate all bus stops in Lower Hutt as smokefree .

Installing smokefree signage would be implemented over time, with bus stops with high foot-traffic given priority. GWRC has agreed to support bus stops being designated smokefree, and will work alongside Council to achieve this.

Cost: current underspend in the budget can absorb the cost of stickers.


b.    Do not designate all bus stops, and only have bus shelters as smokefree

67.  This is status quo and results in bus stops not being smokefree. Bus shelters would remain smokefree areas however the policy would not be able to deal with some high-traffic areas such as the bus stops on Queen’s Drive. This option would not be in line with increasing the visibility of smokefree in the city.


Cost: no cost.




68.  Council has three options in relation to approaches with regard to vaping.


a.    Status Quo – Vaping is allowed in smokefree areas.

Cost: no cost.


b.    Discourage vaping in outdoor public places.

This option focusses on including messages in publicity and communication asking people not to vape in smokefree areas. It does not include signage about vaping. This option is consistent with the smokefree plans/policies of Wellington City Council and Porirua City Council, maintains the focus on smokefree as the primary message, and would help to build a consistent approach in the region.


Cost: no cost


c.     Fully include vaping in the policy i.e. vaping would not be allowed in designated smokefree areas and signage would include a no vaping message.


This means that Council’s policy would, through signage and messaging, communicate that vaping, along with smoking tobacco, would not be allowed in smokefree areas. Council would need to consider how this approach would be communicated to the community, in particular signage and other communication approaches, given the recognised difference between smoking and vaping.


Cost: There would be additional costs when adding and renewing signage.

Legal Considerations

69.  There are no legal considerations.


Financial Considerations


70.  The current underspend of $10,000 can be used to implement the policy during the 2019-2020 year. Ongoing implementation e.g. adding new signage/replacing signs, including Te Reo Māori signage = $12,000 per year over the financial years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Total over two years = $24,000.


71.  If Council decides to undertake engagement prior to designating suburban centres it will need to allocate approximately $160,000 over the next two years or $73,000 for the next year if it prefers to only designate the CBD, Petone, Moera, and Taita.






Appendix 1 and Appendix 2





Author: John Pritchard

Principal Policy Advisor


Author: Barry Gall

Systems Strategist - Healthy Families


Author: Samuel Cooper

Policy Advisor



Reviewed By: Wendy Moore

Divisional Manager, Strategy and Planning


Approved By: Helen Oram

Acting General Manager, City Transformation


Attachment 1

Appendix 1 and Appendix 2


Appendix 1

During the review, Council’s Strategy and Planning has engaged with the following Council teams and stakeholders:

Council teams

Communications and Marketing, Healthy Families Lower Hutt, Parks and Gardens, Leisure Active, City Growth, Road and Traffic, Community Hubs, Promotions and Events, Community Facilities, Human Resources, and Customer Services

External Stakeholders 

Regional Public Health,

Takiri Mai Te Ata Regional Stop Smoking Service

Cancer Society Wellington Division

Hutt Valley District Health Board

Ministry of Health

Otago University

Greater Wellington Regional Council

Hutt City Youth Council

Te Awakairangi Health Network


Pacific Health Service,

Tobacco Control Health Promotion Agency

Regional Public Health,

Internal Council officer Workshop

A smokefree policy workshop with internal council officers was held on the 19th of March at Pelorus Trust Sportshouse. The Following questions were asked at the workshop and during interviews:

·    What helps or hinders you/your team in your work to deliver the Smokefree Outdoor Places Policy as business as usual?

·    Has the culture within Council changed (i.e. are smokefree messages or the Policy being proactively included in your/your teams work? If not what needs to be done?

·    What is you/your teams perspective on the value of the Policy?

·    What worked or did not work in implementing the Policy?

·    What else could Council do in the future when thinking about the Policy?


The review included the following:

·    A Policy workshop involving Council officers who played a role in during the policy’s implementation.

·    Interviews with various local external stakeholders.

·    Attending Hutt Valley District Health Board’s Tobacco Control Plan meeting.

·    Attending the Vaping Policy forum held at Parliament on April 3 2019.

·    A workshop with the Hutt City Youth Council.

·    Reviewing Public Voice Citizens Panel Surveys from 2016 – 2018.

·    Reviewed and summarised previous Council Smokefree reports.

·    Speaking to, and analysing the policies of, other councils and seeking the views of Ministry of Health with regard to the policy and legislative environment.

·    Observation assessments by Council officers and Healthy Families Lower Hutt

Appendix 2
Maps: New Zealand Smokfree Environments

                                                                                      28                                                02 September 2019

Policy and Regulatory Committee

04 August 2019




File: (19/1008)





Report no: PRC2019/4/163


Easement - Mitchell Park


Purpose of Report

1.    This report seeks Council approval for an easement over a small portion of Mitchell Park for the neighbouring Hutt Valley Health Hub (the Hub) to erect a sign.


That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    notes that the owners of the Hutt Valley Health Hub are seeking to erect a sign at its sole vehicular entrance on Witako Street;

(ii)   notes that Council has previously agreed, in December 2017, to an easement over reserve land at the southern end of Mitchell Park in order to provide for legal access for  the new development; and

(iii)  agrees to an easement over approximately 6 m2 of reserve land at Mitchell Park to enable the new Hub to erect an illuminated sign to indicate to the public the Hub’s main entry point.  

For the reason that it is in the public interest for a sign to this new community health facility that could otherwise be difficult to locate.



2.    Council resolved at its meeting of 15 December 2015 to revoke the reserve status of the land formerly occupied by the Naenae Bowling Club at Mitchell Park and, subject to ratification from the Department of Conservation and a plan change, make it available for sale for health related purposes.  The revocation and plan change were successfully completed. 

3.    In December 2017 Council agreed to provide an easement (right of way) over the southern end of Mitchell Park, being the former driveway to the bowling club, to enable separate legal access.  A plan showing the location of the right of way is attached as Appendix 1.

4.    The property was subsequently sold to Graphite Management Limited, which is developing the Hutt Valley Health Hub with its main tenant being Ropata Medical Centre. The Hub is expected to be open by year end.

5.    At the time the right of way was considered by Council, signage had not been determined.  The Hub’s owner has recently requested that an easement be granted in order for it to locate its main entry sign on reserve land immediately adjacent to the entrance off Witako Street.  The area of land concerned is approximately six square metres (3mx2m) with the locality shown on the plan attached as Appendix 1 with a circle and labelled ‘blade sign.’

6.    The sign will be 4.5 metres high and illuminated and has approved resource consent.


7.    The Hub’s main and only vehicular entrance is over Council reserve on Witako Street.  A sign indicating the entrance point is required to properly indicate to the public this entrance, as the Hub is partially obscured behind the rose gardens and tennis courts. 

8.    The impact on the reserve and the public’s use of the reserve of erecting a sign on reserve land immediately adjacent to the driveway is considered to be minor.  It is of public interest for good signage to be made available on Witako Street and is appropriate from a traffic safety perspective.


9.    Council could decide not to grant the easement.  The consequences of doing that would impact negatively on the new Hub and would be likely to create traffic issues in the area.


10.  There has been no formal consultation on this proposal.

Legal Considerations

11.  Section 48 of the Reserves Act 1977 provides Council with the means to grant the easement over part of Mitchell Park. As the park is not expected to be materially altered or permanently damaged and the rights of the public not likely to be permanently affected, there is no requirement to publicly notify the proposal to grant the easement.

Financial Considerations

12.  All costs associated with the sign and its erection, including land remediation, will be met by the Hub.






Mitchell Park Easement








Author: Bruce Hodgins

Strategic Advisor, City and Community Services







Approved By: Matt Reid

General Manager City and Community Services


Attachment 1

Mitchell Park Easement


                                                                                      36                                                02 September 2019

Policy and Regulatory Committee

08 August 2019




File: (19/1037)



Report no: PRC2019/4/164


Development of a City-Wide Zero Carbon Plan


Purpose of Report

1.    In this report, officers provide information on the justification and potential process for developing a plan to reduce city-wide greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the proposed New Zealand Net Zero by 2050 target.


That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)      notes that while Council has in place an organisational carbon target, there is a need to reduce city-wide carbon emissions;

(ii)     notes that achieving Zero by 2050 for the wider Lower Hutt area cannot be achieved without the buy-in and relevant commitments from a range of stakeholders, including the business sector(s) and Lower Hutt residents;

(iii)    agrees that officers should undertake a project to develop a city-focused carbon reduction plan in line with the proposed New Zealand Zero by 2050 target, with the plan to be completed in 2020;

(iv)    agrees that this plan be developed in consultation with a range of stakeholders in the wider Lower Hutt community, with a key focus on relevant and appropriate targets and actions that these stakeholders (and Council) can commit to across the short term (over five years) but with at least some high level commitments regarding the long-term;

(v)     notes that this work could be carried out in conjunction with the review of Council’s four strategies;

(vi)    notes that there are strong linkages between the need to reduce emissions to Zero by 2050 in order to help minimise future climate change impacts, and the need for the community to adapt to unavoidable climate change impacts such as sea level rise;

(vii)   notes that because of these linkages, officers have proposed a parallel work stream to engage with the community on how Lower Hutt may adapt to, and become more resilient to, a changing climate (refer PRC2019/3/152 “Update on the Work to Adapt to Climate Change Impacts”); and

(viii)  notes that both the resulting carbon reduction plan and the outcomes from the engagement with the community on climate change adaptation could ultimately be joined together to form a Lower Hutt Zero Carbon and Climate Resilience Plan.

For the reasons outlined in the report.


2.    In a paper to the Policy and Regulatory Committee on 26 November 2018 (refer PRC2018/5/314), officers noted that the projected temperature increase as a result of an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (as a consequence of human, industrial and other activities) is expected to lead to a number of significant flow-on effects, including sea level rise.

3.    In line with the international long-term goals and initiatives to limit the global temperature increase to ideally no more than 1.5 °C, Council established an organisational Zero by 2050 carbon target. In doing so, Council recognised that it has a role to play in achieving this global objective, by making changes in its own operations, at least for those activities that it has direct control over.

4.    In addition to setting an organisational target, Council also agreed that officers would “scope the development of a plan to identify relevant objectives and prioritised community-focused actions in order to reduce city-wide greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the proposed New Zealand net Zero by 2050 target”.

The case for a city-wide carbon reduction plan

Sharing in the task

5.    The emissions associated with the activities that Council has operational control over amount to about 20,349 tonnes of CO2e (based on 2016/17 data). But Lower Hutt’s total carbon footprint is estimated at 460,000 tonnes of CO2e per annum (based on data from 2012/13; an update is scheduled during 2019/20), see Figure 1. This means that Council’s own emissions make up only a relatively small share (about 4%) of the city’s emissions.

F1: Lower Hutt community carbon footprint

6.    Globally, cities are estimated to be responsible for about 70% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. As climate change is a global problem, the overall objective of limiting temperature increase to no more than 1.5°C cannot be achieved if only some cities reduce their emissions, but not others.

7.    Therefore, in order to help achieve the global objective, the city as a whole must reduce its emissions to net zero. Council is in a pivotal position to play a leadership role to facilitate this.

Delivering on commitments

8.    In 2017, Council signed the LGNZ Leaders Climate Change Declaration. By doing so, it committed to “develop and implement action plans that reduce greenhouse gas emissions […] within our own councils and for our local communities.”

Increasing urgency to make changes

9.    Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (a key driver of climate change) have continued to increase and the time remaining to achieve commitments under the 2018 Paris Agreement is quickly running out.

10.  Indeed, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasised the importance of keeping global warming to under 1.5 °C and noted that while the goal is still achievable, it would require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.

11.  What’s more, as illustrated in Figure 2, delaying action will likely increase costs in the future as the speed of necessary emission reductions has to increase in order to still meet the global objective.

F2: Emissions must fall more quickly if they peak later


Climate change impacts on Lower Hutt

12.  Climate change is expected to impact Lower Hutt in the future, particularly with regard to sea level rise, but also with increased flooding risks as a result of increased rain intensity.

13.  It would be inconsistent for the city to argue that other cities and communities should reduce their emissions if Lower Hutt is unable to do so. Ultimately, by walking the talk, it is more likely that others will follow Lower Hutt’s path and follow through with emission reduction targets and achievements themselves.

Consistency with city’s vision

14.  The City’s vision is “Making our city a great place to live, work and play.” Lower Hutt is unlikely to be able to achieve this if the forecast impacts of climate change, particularly sea level rise that is additional to what is already locked in, cannot be avoided. This in turn is unlikely if the city does not achieve its share of necessary emission reductions.

Increasing awareness and expectations

15.  There is strong evidence that New Zealanders are becoming increasingly aware of the reality of climate change and its human causation.

16.  A survey by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority showed that at least 80% of New Zealanders agree that climate change is happening, they want companies and government to do more, and they acknowledge that they could also be doing more (TRA survey for EECA, 27 March 2019). The issue is also of increasing importance to the youngest members of society – considering the recent “strike” by school children, tomorrow’s ratepayers. They are increasingly asking what Council is doing to facilitate emission reductions in its community.

17.  With regard to the business sector, a survey by the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce in March 2019 found that about 25% of respondents considered that Council could help business achieve emission reductions by coordinating the development of a city-wide plan, and 37% considered that Council should engage more with businesses on potential emission reduction opportunities.

Lower Hutt is not alone

18.  Nationally, a number of New Zealand cities have developed, or are in the process of developing, city wide emission reduction targets and action plans. These targets and plans are in addition to their own organisational carbon reduction goals. For example, Auckland has prepared its Climate Action Framework aiming for net zero emissions by 2050, and Wellington has in place its Te Atakura Plan, also aiming for net zero emissions by 2050.

Process considerations

19.  When developing a plan, it would be useful to consider the following considerations in terms of the design of a process.

Facilitation rather than direction

20.  While territorial authorities can take action on carbon reductions at an organisational level, their ability to direct business or community-level actions or to solely control outcomes in these areas to address climate change is more limited.  In essence, Council can facilitate, incentivise, motivate and empower, but cannot necessarily direct. Ultimately it is the actions taken by non-Council participants that will determine the overall success of any city wide emission reduction plan.

21.  Facilitating action will initially require engagement with our residents and key stakeholders to understand the barriers to change, and to build common ground. Council is well placed to play this role given it frequently engages with the community on a range of matters.

22.  Key stakeholders could include large emitters, large employers and businesses located in Lower Hutt, as well as educational organisations such as schools, as well as NGOs and community groups.

Action oriented

23.  Rather than starting with a “what should the (local) target be”, the focus of the development of the plan could be on how can we ensure we get to net zero by 2050, in line with the proposed New Zealand net Zero by 2050 target.

24.  However, there may well be a need to agree on local intermediate targets or key outcomes with a view on “what needs to happen in the next five years to get on track”.  With this in mind, any resulting plan should be focused on specific, measurable, and time-based actions.

25.  While having a focused implementation plan is vital, it is equally important to avoid the converse. It is all too easy to develop lengthy ‘action plans’ or equivalent documents that are impressive to read but which actually deliver much less than they promise.


26.  The work to develop a city-wide Zero Carbon Plan could be phased.

27.  Phase 1 could involve the establishment of an internal project team, more detailed project planning, identification of all relevant stakeholders, and the development of communication and engagement resources to keep councillors and key stakeholders informed.

28.  This phase could also include the establishment of a stakeholder reference group to guide the development of the plan. The stakeholder reference group could be made up of iwi, key business and community representatives, councillors, and representatives from the Youth Council. The purpose of the reference group could be to act as ambassadors for the plan development, act as a sounding board for officers, and be a testing ground as the plan develops.

29.  Phase 2 could involve a series of workshops at both the Council level and with key stakeholder groups, with two main foci:

a.    Subject matter experts raise awareness on the latest science on climate change, what it means for Lower Hutt, and why emission reductions are important ; and with local businesses or organisations that have already embarked on a carbon reduction journey sharing their experiences

b.    identifying potential actions that the various stakeholders could consider for implementation within the plan’s five year time frame, utilising existing tools such as the Wellington Region 2050 Emissions Calculator (see and a household-focused carbon calculator (see

30.  In phase 3, officers would prepare a draft plan based on the information gathered in phase 2 and test it with the reference group and key stakeholders, before undertaking a more formal consultation process with the wider community.

31.  In phase 4, feedback gathered as a result of the consultation in phase 3 is reflected in the draft plan, before Council formally adopts this plan. The first four phases could take between 6-9 months. This would need to be followed by implementation and at least annual reporting against the plan.

The strategic fit of the plan

32.  Council currently has in place an Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2015-45, including a more detailed Implementation Plan. Several focus areas of that Strategy and Implementation Plan (energy, transport, etc) are linked to reducing emissions.

33.  As the Environmental Sustainability Strategy and associated Implementation Plan are due for review, the city-wide Zero Carbon Plan could effectively supersede the relevant parts of that Implementation Plan. This is similar to the Wellington Region Waste Minimisation and Management Plan 2017-23 having effectively superseded the waste focus area of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy Implementation Plan 2015-45.

34.  What is more, Council is looking to review all four strategies and create one strategy, which could set the high level direction for the city including the goal of Lower Hutt achieving net zero carbon. The Lower Hutt Zero Carbon Plan in turn could be the vehicle to give effect to the consolidated strategy by setting out the shorter-term carbon reduction actions, in line with Council’s, and New Zealand’s, Zero by 2050 target.


35.  Consultation with the Lower Hutt community has not yet taken place, but officers anticipate that community engagement will be essential in order to develop a workable plan that can deliver.

Financial Considerations

36.  A detailed project plan, including information on resources and funding required has yet to be developed. Officers anticipate that this will occur as part of the planning required for the review of Council’s four strategies.


There are no appendices for this report.   






Author: Jörn Scherzer

Manager, Sustainability and Resilience




Author: David Burt

Senior Advisor Sustainability and Resilience







Approved By: Helen Oram

Acting General Manager, City Transformation


                                                                                      50                                               02 September 2019

Policy and Regulatory Committee

08 August 2019




File: (19/1029)





Report no: PRC2019/4/165


Update on Hutt City Council's Organisational Carbon Reduction Work


Purpose of Report

1.    In this paper, officers report back on progress, during 2018/19, to implement Council’s organisational carbon target and reduce emissions.


It is recommended that the Committee:

(i)    notes the progress on various work streams to implement Council’s organisational carbon target and to realise emission reductions;

(ii)   notes that Council’s emissions from its use of energy and its fleet have increased marginally compared to 2017/18. Therefore, while progress is being made to implement Council’s organisational carbon target, this has not yet resulted in net emission reductions;

(iii)  notes that officers expect to see a reduction in emissions from energy used at facilities and its vehicle fleet in the coming year(s), due to efforts to improve energy efficiency, to switch from natural gas to alternative low-carbon heating technologies, and to replace conventional vehicles with electric vehicles in our fleet; and

(iv) agrees that the Manager, Solid Waste and the Manager, Sustainability and Resilience reports to the incoming Council by the end of 2019 on progress regarding the business case for a flare to destroy methane emissions at Silverstream landfill, to inform Council decisions on relevant capital expenditure during the next annual plan process.

For the reasons outlined in the report.



2.    In December 2018, Council established an organisational carbon target to net zero by 2050 (refer PRC2018/5/314), and officers were asked to report back annually to the Policy & Regulatory Committee on progress toward that target.

3.    Following Council’s decisions, the Sustainability and Resilience Division commenced several work streams to better understand Council’s emission profile, identify emission reduction opportunities, and commence work to realise these.

F1: HCC organisational carbon footprint

4.    This paper is structured so as to provide commentary on work carried out in relation to Council’s emission sources as identified in an organisational carbon footprint for 2016/17 (estimated at 20,349 tCO2e) compiled by AECOM, as shown in Figure 1.

5.    Note that a comprehensive audited carbon footprint every year to measure progress against Council’s target is not cost effective. However, emissions from selected emission sources, including energy use at our facilities and our fleet, are measured continuously, and provide a useful indicator of progress.

6.    Furthermore, information is provided on the carbon reduction work under way in relation to (i) Council’s wholly-and-partly-owned Council Controlled Organisations, (ii) emissions from closed landfills in Lower Hutt, and (iii) realising opportunities from sequestering carbon on Council-owned land.

Electricity and natural gas use at Council facilities

7.    Council spends approximately $3.3 million per year on energy, predominantly electricity and natural gas. This spend cuts across various asset groups, such as street lighting, pools, administration buildings, libraries, community hubs, and facilities in our parks and gardens.

8.    Over the last few years, total energy consumption at Council has increased, despite some initiatives (such as the work to move to LED street lighting) to improve energy efficiency, see Figure 2. As a result, carbon emissions from that energy use have also increased overall.

9.    However, as shown in Figure 3, emissions associated with electricity have reduced, while emissions associated with natural gas usage have increased. With regard to electricity, the reduction in emissions is due to New Zealand’s electricity system increasingly becoming renewable (currently 82%), with carbon intensity reducing.


F2: Council’s energy consumption, 2014-2019, in kWh

F3: Council’s carbon emissions,
2014-19, in tCO2e


10.  Over the last 12 months, analysis was undertaken to better understand the potential for energy efficiency and carbon reduction opportunities. As Council pools are responsible for about 80% of Council’s natural gas consumption, energy audits were undertaken at all six Council pools, and the resulting reports identified both smaller and larger savings opportunities.

11.  In terms of smaller changes, the addition of a pool cover for the main outdoor pool at the McKenzie Baths is currently being progressed by the Parks and Recreation Division, to be in place before the start of the next outdoor pool season 2019/20. This initiative is estimated to save approximately 233,100 kWh ($16,600) and 51 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The estimated simple payback period is only about two years.

12.  In terms of more significant changes, the reports found that changing the heating from natural gas to heat pumps could be more cost effective over the long term, and would result in significant carbon reductions.

13.  As an example, Figure 4 below shows the positive net present value of this technology change at McKenzie Baths (even at low carbon prices or a high discount rate), which together with the pool cover would be associated with a 90% reduction in carbon emissions.









F4: Net Present Value of heat pumps vs boilers at McKenzie Baths


14.  However, changes such as these are significant and will require some lead-in time, ideally linked to estimated replacement cycles of key equipment or major overhauls. They will also require relevant preparatory work, such as more detailed design work and understanding any additional costs associated with such changes (eg whether additional power supply is required to enable the change).

15.  There are two pools for which a more immediate fuel switching opportunity exists.

a.    At the Eastbourne outdoor pool, the heating equipment is coming up for renewal within the next two years. A proposal has been requested from Powell Fenwick Ltd to carry out more detailed design work and to accurately cost the heating replacement options, with a particular focus on changing to heat pumps or a combination of solar and heat pumps. Once complete, estimated by the end of 2019, this can inform future decisions on the facility’s upgrade.

b.    Naenae pool was closed in April 2019 due to earthquake risk concerns. Discussions and assessments are under way to consider options ranging from potential strengthening to a complete new build. All options currently assume that the latest low-carbon technology be utilised in the future.

16.  Looking at the longer term, assuming current technologies are replaced with low-carbon alternatives at the next forecast facility overhauls or upgrades, Council could eliminate natural gas use at the majority of its facilities by the late 2030s.

17.  In this context and with funding support by EECA, officers are currently in the process of developing an internal energy and carbon reduction plan by the end of 2019, which will set out intermediate targets and performance indicators and inform the carbon reduction and energy efficiency work programme over the next 3-5 years.

18.  In addition, a new staff position, co-funded by EECA, will be established by the end of 2019, focused on improving energy management and implementing the energy and carbon reduction plan. This role will initially be piloted for a term of two years.

Vehicle fleet

19.  Council operates approximately 80 vehicles, and associated emissions have increased over the last three years for which data is available, as shown in Figure 5.

F5: Emissions from the vehicle fleet

20.  Officers commissioned Optifleet to undertake an independent review of its vehicle fleet during 2018/19, with the purpose of understanding the potential for optimisation, cost savings and increased uptake of electric vehicles (EVs).

21.  The review identified opportunities for significant cost savings (eg purchase vehicles instead of leasing them, pooling vehicles to increase utilisation and enable a reduction in the number of vehicles needed). It also found that approximately 40% (32) of vehicles could be electric based on travel patterns and available vehicle types, while at the same time saving costs overall.

22.  A project team has been assembled to implement the key recommendations from Council’s review of its fleet. With regard to EVs, work is under-way to establish additional charging stations for our vehicle fleet, in order to enable the roll-out of more EVs. In the short term, officers expect that Council’s fleet could feature approximately ten EVs by the end of 2019 (currently two), with more EVs being rolled out in line with the review’s findings as vehicles are coming up for replacement.

23.  Note that a higher rate of electrification will be possible once the range of electric vehicle model options increases as is currently forecast to occur within the next few years. Note that in that context the Government has pledged that all new vehicles entering its fleet will be fully electric by 2026.

Capital goods, purchased goods and services (procurement)

24.  A significant part of Council’s emissions are associated with its procurement of products and services.

25.  Estimates for these emissions are based on emission factors for average industry sectors and activities in New Zealand, and the total amount of money Council spends in each of these areas. While acceptable to obtain the overall scale of our emissions profile, it cannot be used to measure impacts from any changes that Council makes (as emissions would only reduce if the industry sectors and activities improve their respective average emissions intensity).

26.  Due to this limitation, AECOM recommended that Council consider changes to its procurement policies and guidelines, with a view to prefer providers that can demonstrate emission reductions.

27.  Examples include requiring the use of electric rubbish trucks as part of the next kerbside collection service contract, requiring contractors to demonstrate how they are reducing their emissions, and the use of a minimum GreenStar design and built rating for any new commercial building projects.

28.  Detailed work on changes to Council’s procurement policies and guidelines has not yet commenced. However, an officer working group has been established to ensure that Council’s procurement practices, policies and guidelines are in line with our business principles and allow us to achieve our business objectives.

Silverstream landfill

29.  Council owns Silverstream landfill and is therefore responsible for the emissions. Note that the waste causing those emissions is not only from Lower Hutt, but also from Upper Hutt and other areas such as Kāpiti, albeit a detailed breakdown of the geographic origin of the waste received at Silverstream is currently not available, as this data is not collected.

30.  Landfill gas emissions are difficult to measure directly and as a result are generally estimated using one of two approaches. Both approaches rely on a number of assumptions, such as the amount of waste sent to landfill, waste composition, amount of methane generation potential, and amount of landfill gas capture.

31.  National and international reporting is commonly done through a first-order-decay approach. This estimates the emissions generated during a specific reporting timeframe. The first-order-decay approach is used for Council’s organisational carbon footprint (estimated at 12,581 tonnes during 2016/17).

32.  Alternatively landfill gas emissions can also be estimated on a mass balance basis. This approach estimates the total (including future) emissions generated from waste sent to landfill during the reporting period.

33.  While the IPCC encourages the use of the first-order-decay approach as it produces more accurate results, the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (which includes landfill emissions) follows the mass balance approach. The results from the two approaches are not comparable.

34.  As shown in Table 1, Council has had to surrender emission units (one emission unit equals one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent) for each calendar year corresponding to its liability.

T1: Emission units surrendered under the ETS















35.  At Silverstream landfill, methane is collected and used to produce electricity (this plant is operated by Pioneer Energy Ltd). Without this, emissions at Silverstream would be significantly higher.

36.  However, it is not technically possible to capture all methane, and the effectiveness of methane destruction can vary (eg the power plant may be out of service at times due to maintenance, faults, power cuts and earthquakes). Therefore, the actual liability can vary from year to year.

37.  The following work is under way, or is being considered, to reduce emissions from Silverstream landfill.


38.  A flare could be used to supplement Pioneer’s power plant to increase destruction efficiency or to destroy methane when the power plant is not operating.

39.  The Manager, Solid Waste has been working with Tonkin & Taylor Ltd to understand the benefits and costs of a flare at Silverstream. While the purchase and installation of a flare may seem straight forward, it is not yet clear how a flare might work in the context of the current relationship with Pioneer Energy and how Council would manage its use and operational effectiveness.

40.  Work is on-going, and the Manager, Solid Waste could report back on progress regarding the business case and the benefits and costs of a flare by the end of 2019, to inform Council decisions on relevant capital expenditure during the next annual plan process (no funding is currently allocated for this purpose).

Organic waste reduction initiatives

41.  Emissions at landfills arise because of the organic components in the waste stream (eg biosolids, green waste, food waste, etc).

42.  Managing organic waste differently (eg diversion to a composting facility, etc) would reduce the amount of organic waste going to the landfill, and could potentially result in a reduction in whole-of-life emissions.

43.  With regard to biosolids (sludge), Wellington Water (WW) has completed a strategic case considering the benefits of taking a regional approach to managing sludge. WW has also completed an organisational carbon footprint, which identified sludge as a major emission source, and as stated in its Statement of Intent for 2019-22 and requested in the recent Water Committee climate change workshop, WW is currently developing a carbon reduction plan.

44.  With regard to green and food waste, this was included in the scope of a strategic review of Council’s kerbside collection services currently under way. While the kerbside collection business case is still being finalised, note that a separate green and/or food organic kerbside collection service was not shortlisted for more detailed consideration at this point in time.

45.  This is because there is currently no clear whole-of-life carbon footprint comparison between landfilling at Silverstream (where gas destruction appears to be relatively effective) and alternative treatment methods (such as anaerobic digestion or composting), and such analysis should also consider the need for relevant processing infrastructure (not currently in place) and end-markets for collected materials.

46.  However, officers are planning to commission a whole-of-life carbon footprint comparison and relevant market analysis specific to the Lower Hutt context, for completion during the 2020 year.

47.  Note that Wellington City Council (WCC) is currently planning a trial of a separate food organics collection service. While the trial would rely on existing processing infrastructure at their Southern Landfill, additional processing infrastructure would be required if WCC decided to roll out a city wide system. In this context there could be future opportunities for collaboration between Hutt City Council and WCC.

Other emission sources

48.  There are a variety of emission sources that are relatively small by comparison. Commentary is provided for each of these.

Air travel

49.  Emissions from air travel are relatively small for Council, as the need for air travel is limited (eg conferences, etc), as shown in Figure 6.

50.  Apart from minimising air travel where possible, Council does not have any direct ability to reduce emissions from this source, as this depends on a range of factors such as aircraft type, fuel type and flight paths.

F6: Emissions from air travel at Hutt City Council

51.  While our emissions data appears to show a downward trend, note that international long haul flights can heavily skew the emissions profile for any particular year.

52.  Note that in cases where there is no ability to reduce emissions, it is possible to “offset” remaining emissions. By way of background, in general there are two markets for emissions. In the “compliance” market, companies or other entities buy emissions units in order to comply with relevant requirements under the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme (eg Silverstream landfill). However, a “voluntary” market also exists, whereby individuals or companies purchase carbon credits to “offset” their own greenhouse gas emissions. Air New Zealand and other airlines offer voluntary offset programmes, whereby users can purchase certified emission offsets during the ticket purchase process. Council does not currently take this approach for air travel or any other emission source.

Business travel

53.  Emissions from business travel covers transportation of employees for business related activities. It includes rental cars and taxis, but excludes air travel as this is covered separately. Emissions were estimated at 10 tCO2e for 2016/17.

54.  Council is currently trialling the use of Zero C, a taxi company utilising only fully electric vehicles. This presents a small opportunity to reduce emissions from business travel.

55.  In addition, Council’s changes to its vehicle fleet as a result of the recent fleet review could potentially affect business travel indirectly. For example, by pooling vehicles, vehicle utilisation should increase, potentially avoiding the need for some taxi trips. Equally, it may not be cost effective to have a fleet vehicle to cater for peak periods, making it more cost effective for some trips, at the margin, to occur with taxis (or alternative methods such as by bus or bike).

Fugitive emissions

56.  Fugitive emissions refer to refrigerant gases leaked from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and refrigerators, estimated at 32 tCO2e for 2016/17. They are estimated by using average leakage rates for different equipment types and are subject to some uncertainty, as actual leakage rates can depend on the age of equipment.

57.  No work has been undertaken yet on this emission source. While it may not be possible to avoid leakage altogether, future emissions can be affected by opting for relevant equipment that utilises refrigerants with lower Global Warming Potentials. Therefore, potential changes to how Council procures relevant equipment could be a way to address this emission source.

Transmission and distribution losses for electricity and natural gas

58.  Transmission and distribution losses are estimated at 289 tCO2e for 2016/17. They are estimated based on national average figures for electricity and natural gas lost in the transmission and distribution network.

59.  As Council moves away from the use of natural gas, relevant distribution losses will reduce correspondingly. With regard to electricity, as the carbon intensity of New Zealand’s electricity system reduces (estimated to increase from 82% now to at least 92% in 2035) and we improve energy efficiency at our facilities, relevant emissions associated with those losses would also reduce.

Closed landfills

60.  There are ten closed landfills within the Council boundary, some of which are likely to emit methane from decomposing waste. This includes the old landfill in Wainuiomata.

61.  Emissions from closed landfills are estimated to be as high as 34,900 tCO2e for the 2016/17 reporting period. While Council does not have any formal obligations regarding emissions from closed landfills as they are not included under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, and they are also reducing over time (emissions from waste in a landfill follow a bell curve), emissions are currently still significant and will have a climate impact. They currently dwarf Council’s emissions from its Silverstream landfill and other corporate emissions sources such as energy used at its facilities.

62.  However, the estimate for emissions from closed landfills is subject to uncertainty, because data about the amount of waste received in those landfills for the period before 2004 is limited. As a proxy, the quantity of waste for the period before 2004 is based on population figures and average waste generation per person in New Zealand provided by Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry for the Environment, respectively. Furthermore, waste composition also had to be estimated.

63.  Officers have commissioned Tonkin & Taylor Ltd

a.    to undertake an assessment of the relative carbon emissions potential for each closed landfill (based on size, time since closure and other relevant data); and

b.    to identify potential remedial options to reduce emissions at those landfills with a high level assessment of their feasibility and costs.

64.  This work is still in progress, and officers expect to have initial results available by the end of 2019.

65.  Once complete, this initial assessment could be followed by more detailed feasibility studies or benefit-cost analysis to inform future actions.

Council Controlled Organisations

Wellington Water Ltd

66.  Wellington Water recently completed an organisational carbon footprint for the year 2017/18. This also shows the relative share of emissions for each shareholder.

67.  Emissions specific to Council’s infrastructure and network have been estimated at 3,573 tCO2e (about 20% of WW’s total carbon footprint). Note that 30% of the emissions associated with the Seaview Wastewater Treatment Plant and the operation of the Hutt region’s wastewater network has been allocated to Upper Hutt City Council, reflecting their legal interest in these assets.

F7: Wellington Water’s organisational carbon footprint

§  Lower Hutt Scope 1&2: Dryer & electricity at Seaview Waste Water Treatment plant

§  Lower Hutt Scope 3: Predominantly emissions from sludge at the landfill (63%) and natural gas transportation losses (22%).

§  Note: The methodology to estimate emissions for WW differs slightly from Council’s carbon footprint, and there are some overlaps. For example, emissions associated with landfilling sludge, separately estimated for WW, is also included in HCC’s estimate for emissions from Silverstream landfill.

68.  The main opportunities for WW to reduce emissions, in relation to its operation in Lower Hutt, are as follows:

a.    Finding alternative, beneficial uses for biosolids (sludge)

b.    Switching from natural gas to an alternative low-carbon technology for drying sludge at its Seaview Waste Water Treatment Plant

c.     Energy efficiency improvements in the wastewater network and treatment plant.

69.  As noted in its Statement of Intent for 2019-2021, WW will develop a carbon reduction plan during 2019/20, and then commence a work programme toward the achievement of that plan in the subsequent years subject to the necessary investments and activities being incorporated into Council’s 2021-31 Long Term Plan.

Urban Plus Ltd

70.  On 30 July 2019, Council approved the Statement of Intent 2019/20 to 2021/22 for Urban Plus Ltd (UPL).

71.  To recap, from 1 July 2019, a “no natural gas” policy applies, ie any new developments that have not already received resource consent shall only utilise electricity or renewable sources of energy for space heating, water heating and cooking facilities.

72.  Furthermore, it was agreed that UPL would achieve a HomeStar rating of at least six stars for one of their new housing units (standalone house or townhouse) during 2019/20. Requiring a minimum HomeStar rating for all their residential developments can be considered in the development of the next Statement of Intent 2020/21 to 2022/23.

Community Facilities Trust and Seaview Marina Ltd

73.  In principle, a “no natural gas” policy and minimum GreenStar rating as described in the report on potential performance measures for UPL (see FPC2019/2/83) could also apply to the Community Facilities Trust (CFT) and the Seaview Marina Ltd (SML) for any future building projects.

74.  Officers plan to engage with CFT’s and SML’s leadership during the 2019/20 financial year, and discussions can inform the development of their next SOI 2020/21 to 2022/23.

Carbon forestry opportunities at Hutt City Council

75.  Council owns a significant amount of land (3,318ha) that either is already forested, or could be put into forest, and thus be eligible for carbon credits, or subject to a carbon liability.

76.  Carbon Forest Services Ltd was commissioned to carry out an initial desk-top assessment of potential carbon opportunities and liabilities on land owned by Council. A map showing the various types of land uses and forests is included in Figure 8.

F8: Hutt City Council-owned land types regarding carbon forestry

77.  Pre-1990 exotic forest such as radiata pine (71ha) does not earn carbon credits but in some circumstances, such as harvesting and leaving the forest to passively regenerate into natives, a carbon liability may be incurred. If the relevant forests were to be cut down and not re-established within the prescribed timeframes, Council should be aware of the potential liability.

78.  Pre-1990 native forest (1,795ha) cannot receive benefits nor incur obligations.

79.  Post-1989 forest (~1,452 hectares) can, if registered, earn carbon credits for its annual growth of carbon stocks. Post-1989 forests can include exotic as well as native forests. It can also include land that is not currently in forest, but where one could be planted (such as the land currently in grassland within the Belmont Regional Park).

80.  Since the initial desktop assessment, Carbon Forest Services Ltd has been able to confirm, through an in-field assessment, that 92 hectares of land in native recovering forest in the East Harbour Regional Park would likely be eligible for receiving carbon credits under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

F9: Estimated annual issuance of carbon credits for 92 hectares of 18-year old native forest in East Harbour Regional Park


81.  If registered, the net present value over 30 years of potential carbon credits associated with those 92 hectares, amounts to between $263,000 and $444,000 depending on carbon price assumptions.

82.  Officers are currently working through the process of registering the 92 hectares of forest identified above, and are looking to investigate further areas of Council-owned post-1989 forest land.

83.  The work to identify eligible forests and registering them is occurring now because if a post-1989 forest is not registered within an emissions period (the current period runs from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2022), then the carbon removals are claimed by the New Zealand Government. This means Council also already missed out on the value from the carbon sequestered on Council-owned land prior to 1 January 2018.

84.  Once carbon credits are earned, they could be banked, used to offset Council’s unavoidable emissions, or sold. If sold, the financial (net) profits could be used to help fund improvements to biodiversity and/or transitioning Council to zero carbon more quickly by investments in those activities that reduce carbon but which may not yet be cost effective on their own.


There are no appendices for this report.   




Author: Jörn Scherzer

Manager, Sustainability and Resilience



Author: David Burt

Senior Advisor Sustainability and Resilience





Approved By: Helen Oram

Acting General Manager, City Transformation


                                                                                      62                                               02 September 2019

Policy and Regulatory Committee

02 August 2019




File: (19/1007)





Report no: PRC2019/4/166


General Manager's Report


Purpose of Report

1.    The Policy and Regulatory Committee requested a General Manager’s report containing information on major projects and consents, hearings, appeals to the Environment Court and enforcement matters.


That the Committee notes the contents of this report.



2.    This report covers the activities of three divisions in the City Transformation Group. It firstly covers Environmental Consents, secondly Regulatory Services and thirdly Sustainability and Resilience.


3.    Environmental Consent data is attached as Appendix 1 to the report, and Regulatory Services data is attached as Appendix 2 to the report.  The Sustainability and Resilience officers have provided an update to the Committee on the Whaitua process.

4.    The Environmental Consents division processes consent applications under the Resource Management Act, the Food Act, the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and the Building Act (resource and building consents, liquor and food licences and District Licensing reports), as well as LIMs and property enquiries under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

5.    Environmental Health services are provided for Upper Hutt City Council as well as Lower Hutt. The Environmental Consents team offers an Eco Design Advisor service across the city.

6.    Regulatory Services deals with trade waste applications, bylaws, animal services, parking and emergency management.

Discussion – Environmental Consents

7.    We have had some success in collaborating with various organisations including the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), KiwiRail, Regional Public Health and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). We have made “collaboration” a key area of focus for our division and we are already seeing the benefits in liaising with our counterparts to ensure we are all meeting our goals. Building these key relationships often opens doors and creates opportunities for us to improve the way we do things. We are starting to see this happen already which is exciting.  For example,  improved communication from NZTA and Kiwirail on large infrastructural projects that create noise; liaising with MBIE when dealing with boarding houses and the issues they present.


8.    There has been a notable increase in the numbers of building and resource consents applications compared to the same time last year. Likewise the complexity and scope of proposed works are greater. This is reflective in the value of work for building consents received, 79% higher than the same period last year.

9.    We have issued a record number of LIM reports in the 2018/19 fiscal year, 1,170 in total compared to 1,141 in the previous year. We are continuing to source new information to ensure the highest quality in our LIM reports, ensuring we are providing the most useful and current information.

Building Team

10.  The total value of work for building consents received up to the end of July 2019 is $230m from 1070 consents, compared to the previous year and period, when the value of work received was $128m from 884 building consents. This equates to a 79% increase in the value of work and 186 more consents for the same period last year. We continue to employ the services of a contractor to process building consents, due to the high volume we are receiving and a building officer shortage.


11.  Our officers recently met with the Tenancy Services Department of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. The purpose of the meeting was to look at the issues that boarding houses present in terms of compliance with the Building Act and the Building Code. The meeting was a great example of sharing information and collaborating to achieve the right outcome for the users of these buildings. We are continuing to leverage from this relationship to ensure that boarding houses are operating in a safe manner.


12.  Recent building consent applications received of note include:

·      37a Bloomfield Terrace - Queensgate Zone C carpark superstructure - $1m. Structural modifications, demolition for constructing ramp.

·      81 Port Road, Seismic Strengthening - $318,000.

·      135 Witako Street, Hutt Valley Health LTD, Ground floor fit out - $350,000.

Earthquake prone buildings

13.  We have written to property owners with notices that expired at the end of last year. We are following up how they are progressing in resolving the earthquake prone issues with their buildings and options available to Council to resolve these matters. At one of the properties we are proposing to issue a notice to require that nobody occupies the building from early September due to the lack of progress to date and the number of people in and around the building.

Eco Design Advisory Service (EDA)

14.   We have had a good response to the new HEAT (Home Energy Assessment Tool) that is now available for residents to borrow through our local libraries, allowing them to measure the temperatures and humidity levels in their homes, as well as energy usage.


15.  The EDA national conference is coming up in October 2019 in Auckland.

16.  We are continuing to assist Upper Hutt City Council by undertaking any EDA visits as requested within their region and have also had some enquires about the Homestar Assessment Service that we can provide to assess the health, warmth and efficiency of a house.


Swimming Pools

17.  We are making progress with the swimming pool inspection programme under the Building Act.  This requires us to ensure that all residential pools in our city are inspected by the end of December 2020.

18.  We are contacting property owners where the pool status is uncertain and working to resolve these.

Resource Consents Team

19.  We are still working through the large number of multi-unit consents that were lodged with us in December.  Most of the processing is being handled by external consultants, and are being worked through. 

20.  We have notified the following consents:

a.   Cleanfill - 130 Coast Road, Wainuiomata: limited notified to a number of owners or occupiers on Coast Road. Submissions close 16 August 2019. Hearing likely in October.

b.   Multi-unit development for 13 homes at 48-50 Mills Road, Boulcott: limited notified to a number of owners and occupiers of 52 and 54B Mills Street and Connolly Street.  Submissions close 23 June 2019. Hearing likely in early October.



21.  Notable resource consents lodged:

·      134 Queens Drive, Hutt Central: significant renovation of CBD building near McDonalds.

·      2 Hastings Grove, Wainuiomata: 11 terraced dwellings in a Hill Residential zone.

·      1115 High Street, Taita: 35 dwellings on the ex-Hosanna Church Site.

Recently granted resource consents

·      47 Laings Road – 15 townhouses on the old Te Awakairangi site

·      110 Richmond Road, Petone – Conversion of a dwelling into a boarding house for up to 7 boarders

·      1 Brown Grove, Fairfield – 3 dwellings issued after limited notification, no submissions received

·      196B Wise Street, Wainuiomata: 13 dwellings and associated subdivision.

Land Information Memoranda (LIMs) Team

22.  Record number of LIMs issued this year (FY2018/19): 1,170 LIMs. 29 more than last year.

23.  Information received from the Real Estate Agents Institute states that 2,100 homes have been sold in the 2018/19 financial year.  It appears around half of the homes sold in Lower Hutt have had LIM reports prepared for them. 

24.  Lots of new additions are being made to improve the information on our LIM reports. This includes a link to the new report on coastal vulnerability to climate change, the Greater Wellington Regional Council Sea Level Rise modelling tool, information on contaminants commonly found in homes and a link to the new “Sort Waste” website.

Environmental Health Team


25.  We have recently employed a permanent Environmental Health Officer. She is currently being trained in food verifications, which will be the main area of focus in the next few months.

26.  We are recruiting for an Environmental Technical Officer fixed term (12 month contractor). Interviews thus far have identified at least two potential candidates and we are expecting to have this position filled shortly.





27.  Compliance Visits/Controlled Purchase Operations (CPO)

After hours compliance visits were carried out in May, June and July, visiting a total of 32 premises. The level of compliance was generally satisfactory.


Of the two premises that failed a Controlled Purchase Operation earlier in May, one resulted in suspension of the licence by the Alcohol and Regulatory Licensing Authority for a period of 48 hours (The Big Chill, High Street). The matter of the second premises that failed is ongoing and will possibly be heard by ARLA in late August 2019.

Police have requested that an off licence that was renewed in November 2018 (with varied conditions) be reheard by the District Licensing Committee. This is due to an error by Council, in that the application for renewal was not sent to police and the Medical officer of Health for a report. Both of those agencies are not comfortable with the varied conditions and wish to present submissions to the DLC.



28.  Work on the Appearance Industry Bylaw and Alcohol Fees Bylaw is ongoing. Submissions will be heard by the Alcohol Hearings Subcommittee for the proposed Alcohol Fees Bylaw on 6 August. A draft report and proposed Appearance Industry Bylaw is to be presented to the Hutt Valley Shared Services Committee on 30 August.


29.  The Environmental Health Team has been making good progress in reducing the back-log of food control plan/national programme verifications. However this has been set back slightly due to a verifier resigning last month. There will be ongoing training for our new Environmental Health Officer and we expect to make up some ground once she is fully trained and able to operate independently.


30.  There have been some initial teething problems with the new noise control/smoke nuisance contractor, First Security Guard Services Limited. While most of these have been resolved, the attendance response times exceed the KPI of 85% being attended within 45 minutes. First Security advise that this is due to having lost some personnel recently, but are actively working to resolve this issue. Should the KPI continue to not be met, penalties will be applied to First Security in accordance with the provisions of the contract.

Council officers recently met with representatives of KiwiRail and the New Zealand Transport Agency following a large number of noise complaints arising from night works in the state highway and rail transport corridors. There is often a conflict between completing the works on time, minimising health and safety concerns/ disruption to commuters, and local residents being unable to sleep. The purpose of the meetings was to foster a closer working relationship with those agencies in order to provide a better outcome for local residents. Greater collaboration before projects/works commence would include a review of the tools and equipment used and methodology, with a view to ensuring that the best practicable option to keep noise to a reasonable level was being adopted. In some instances, works may need to be rescheduled during daytime hours, or night hours reduced to the earlier part of the evening. The meetings were a massive step forward and the two agencies were receptive to the proposal of greater collaboration. 




31.  The number of rubbish dumpings recorded, and hence litter infringements being issued, continues to remain high with a record number of infringements being issued in July (142 dumpings investigated and 60 infringements issued). Most of the dumpings are occurring at recycling stations. Council is regularly being alerted to these by a member of the public who carries out their own monitoring, and advises Council’s Environmental Investigations Officer (EIO). Council’s EIO has also been monitoring these areas following the recent Waste Services review. It is likely that the figures are increasing due to surveillance by this member of the public, and Council’s own EIO.


Enforcement matters from Regulatory Services

Animal Services

32.  It is dog registration time at Animal Services. As at 12 August 2019, 8,736 dogs have been registered (that is the best number of dogs registered at this time of the registration period, 95% of dogs on record), 3,034 with the doggone tags. That is 34% of dogs registered. Also we have had 548 dogs removed from the system due to the dogs passing away or moved from Lower Hutt.

33.  After the completion of the Wainuiomata cycle way over the hill, we were anticipating the start of the ground works for a dog park. While we were given the all clear from Council planners, it was identified that we may require consent from Greater Wellington Regional Council. This is being worked through.

34.  The spike in the 2018/19 infringement graph is for dogs that have not been microchipped. It has been compulsory to microchip dogs for some time.

Trade Waste

35.  Trade Waste is assisting with a storm water litter capture project with Weltec and NIWA.

36.  On Monday, 12 August 2019, staff carried out the first clearance of the Fraser Park net (new fitment about 20 days in place). This was after the first big rain event since placement.

37.  The net is being regularly monitored and had performed as per specifications and released under load as a result of heavy rain Sunday 11 August. When the net releases there is a retaining rope and the bag/net draws closed to retain litter. Staff removed the net, recovered captured litter (see pic below) and replaced net, simple enough process.

38.  All litter captured in this net has had to get past a street storm water sump.

39.  The litter is being analysed/categorised by Weltec engineering students in conjunction with other litter capture devices on trial.


Emergency Management

40.  One of the big issues after a major earthquake is the need to be able to access water. The main messaging is that every household including tenanted dwellings is to have seven days of stored water. Our surveys tell us that only 25% of dwellings have this.

41.  We also know it will be some 20-30 days before any water supply is available and what do we do to bridge the gap?

42.  Wellington Water have invested in a regional plan to deliver water to distribution points within walking distance of most residential homes from day eight until reticulated supply is restored.  

The Plan

43.  Lower Hutt has a good number of these reservoirs and four of the community water treatment plants.

44.  Council staff and volunteers take the water from the water source to the distribution points.

45.  From day eight, water will be available from 60 plus distribution points throughout Lower Hutt.

46.  The hardware has landed in Lower Hutt and we now have the job of storing the equipment not too far from the proposed distribution points to be used when required.

47.  The equipment will be tested regularly by Wellington Water and starting in summer we will be working with communities to establish distribution points.

Sustainability and Resilience Team

Strategic waste reviews

48.  The business cases for the three waste management areas (kerbside, hazardous waste, resource recovery) are currently being finalised by our consultant, Morrison Low Ltd.

Implementation of Council’s organisational carbon target

49.  A paper [PRC2019/4/165] discussing the progress made, in a number of areas around carbon reduction (but excluding community wide emissions as this is  progressed separately) is included on the meeting agenda.

50.  That paper also includes an update on the work underway to look at carbon forestry opportunities for Council. Growing trees are an important way to remove carbon from the atmosphere and this can be recognised, by assigning owners of forests that meet certain conditions under the Emissions Trading Scheme, with units that have a monetary value.

51.  Council owns a number of forested areas that might qualify for this initiative and further work is underway to better understand the opportunity this presents and the issues around this.

Development of a City-Wide Lower Hutt Zero Carbon Plan

52.  While Council has an organisational carbon target in place, there is also a need to reduce emissions for Lower Hutt as a whole. This is in line with both the government’s Zero by 2050 target and the Lower Hutt climate emergency declaration by Council on 25 June.

53.  A paper [PRC2019/164] that provides information on the potential process for developing such a plan is included on the meeting agenda.

Community engagement on sea level rise

54.  Work has begun on the development of this plan to engage with communities vulnerable to sea level rise and other climate change driven effects.

55.  The current thinking on this was shared with the Policy and Regulatory Committee (PRC2019/3/152) at the 15 July meeting.

56.  Officers are to report back later in 2019 on more detail around the project’s scope, phases and timeframes, in alignment with Council’s upcoming work to review its four strategies.

Whaitua Te Whanganui-a-Tara Committee Update

57.  The Whaitua Te Whanganui-a-Tara Committee continues its work and its monthly meetings.

58.  At a high level the Committee is developing its understanding of the Whaitua; its state, values, activities, agencies and issues. This has been informed by a number of presentations – at the August Committee meeting - on the subject of Hutt River management and how the river has developed to be what it is today and also the constraints and opportunities related to this.

59.  The next three meetings will continue this work and will be looking at different aspects of “Water in a Urban Landscape” including:

§ An understanding of the journey made to date and where the Wellington and Hutt Valley are now in terms of water quality

§ An understanding of the past, current and future pressures and challenges faced

§ Starting the process of understanding what can be done (and the very important work of engagement and influencing around this).

60.  An important part of this work will be hearing from officers from the three councils about their current approach to urban planning and planning for growth. Council will be presenting on this topic at the next (23 September) Committee meeting and planning is underway around this.

61.  The Policy and Comms and Engagement subgroups continue their work with the latter in particular making substantial progress on the key issue of tactical engagement.

National Waste Audit

62.  A National Waste Audit is currently being undertaken by Sunshine Yates Consulting, with Lower Hutt one of the sampling areas. Results are expected later this year.

Let’s sort waste campaign and website

63.  The website has received positive feedback from friends and colleagues, one example in particular, Jenny Marshall from WasteMINZ: 

I have finally found a bit more time to look through your website. It’s really well done. I liked the video stories e.g. Parvati and her family so it’s great I have some good content to keep sharing on the Plastic Free July website.

From our web services “dashboard” date range 24 July – 14 August 2019:

·    2,358 users to the website (approximate)

·    5,502 unique page views generated

·    Users are viewing 2.35 pages on average

·    81% of users are new visitors  - they haven’t visited before

·    Facebook and online advertising are generating the most traffic

·    Average session duration (how long each person spends on the website) is 2 minutes 28 seconds

·    Average time spent on each page is 1 minute 49 seconds

·    Devices used: 52.8% mobile, 36% desktop, 11.2% traffic

·    77.2% of users are female

·    30.8% of users are aged 35-44

·    Top 5 pages:

1.   Quiz landing page

2.   Home page

3.   Sarah’s waste reduction journey

4.   Jo’s steps to living with less waste

5.   Zero waste shopping in the Hutt Valley

Litter in Lower Hutt’s Stormwater

64.  The initial trial of Stormwater 360’s LittaTraps is being extended from the eight traps on Jackson Street, to include eight traps in Naenae residential and eight in Seaview industrial areas. 

65.  We are arranging to formalise our partnership with WelTec School of Engineering for the extended trial to be managed for one year of continuous data collection and quarterly reports on findings.  The objective is to determine the type and source of litter currently entering our waterways through our storm water systems.  Information collected will be used in identifying target areas for installing traps and target audiences for a litter abatement education campaign.

2019 Plastic Free July Photograph Competition

66.  Our CEO, Jo Miller presented prizes to the ten entry participants. 

Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards 2019

67.  Our city has been recognised through the KNZB Award system finalists in four categories:

1.   Beautiful City

2.   Tidy Kiwi – Alan Pope for his amazing commitment and dedication in enforcing the Litter Act and Bylaw

3.   Community Group – Friends of Waiwhetu Stream -

4.   Volunteer – Michelle Stronach-Marsh (Plogging in Petone -


68.  Consultation was undertaken with affected parties on notified resource consents.

Legal Considerations

69.  The group administers the RMA, the Building Act, LGOIMA, the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, Food Act, associated bylaws and other legislation.  No other legal considerations apply in terms of the content of this paper.

Financial Considerations

70.  There are no financial considerations.






Environmental Consents Graphs at the end of July 2019



Enforcement actions from Regulatory Services as at 31 July 2019)








Author: Geoff Stuart

Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services and Emergency Management




Author: Derek Kerite

Acting Divisional Manager, Environmental Consents




Author: Craig Ewart

Building Team Leader




Author: David Burt

Senior Advisor Sustainability and Resilience




Author: Jörn Scherzer

Manager, Sustainability and Resilience




Author: Dean Bentley

Team Leader Environmental Health







Approved By: Helen Oram

Acting General Manager, City Transformation


Attachment 1

Environmental Consents Graphs at the end of July 2019
























Attachment 2

Enforcement actions from Regulatory Services as at 31 July 2019)







Dogs impounded



Infringements issued

















Not available

Stationary offences (WOFs, tyres)


Not available







                                                                                      88                                               02 September 2019

Policy and Regulatory Committee

13 August 2019




File: (19/1065)





Report no: PRC2019/4/80


Policy and Regulatory Committee Work Programme








That the programme be noted and received.








2019 Policy and Regulatory Work Programme









Author: Judy Randall

Committee Advisor





Approved By: Kathryn Stannard

Divisional Manager, Democratic Services




Attachment 1

2019 Policy and Regulatory Work Programme








Cycle 4, 2019


General Manager’s report

H Oram



Development of a city-wide zero carbon plan

J Scherzer



Update on Council’s organisational carbon reduction work

J Scherzer



Smokefree Lower Hutt - Review

J Pritchard



Easement – Mitchell Park

B Hodgins



Private use of public land (public excluded item)

G Sewell



Survey on cats

G Sewell



Traffic Bylaw – consideration of city-wide no parking on grass berms

J Gloag



Control of Animals Bylaw – bees

G Sewell



Update on carbon performance measures

J Scherzer



Hutt City Zero Carbon Plan

J Scherzer



Community engagement on climate impacts

J Scherzer



Petitions relating to Council facilities

W Moore



Discount registration for therapy dogs

L Dalton



Naenae Library site

B Hodgins



Parking Policy review

W Moore/J Pritchard




2 When acting in this capacity the committee has a quasi-judicial role. 

[1] “Personal vaporisers/e-cigarettes usually have three parts: a battery, heating device, and cartridge or tank. The part that heats up is called a vaporizer. To use an e-cigarette, a cartridge is inserted or the tank is filled with a liquid solution (common ingredients include flavourings, water, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine/glycerol). This liquid may or may not contain nicotine. When the e-cigarette is puffed, the vaporizer heats up. It turns the nicotine-containing liquid in the tank or cartridge into an aerosol. Users then inhale and exhale this vapour. This is often described as ‘vaping’.” (Cancer Society)