2                                         2 September 2019



Policy and Regulatory Committee


Minutes of a meeting held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road,
Lower Hutt on

 Monday 2 September 2019 commencing at 5.30pm



 PRESENT:                         Cr MJ Cousins (Chair)               Cr C Barry (from 5.36pm until

Deputy Mayor D Bassett             Cr L Bridson

Cr J Briggs                                    Cr S Edwards (Deputy Chair)

                                             Cr T Lewis                                   Cr M Lulich

                                             Cr C Milne                                   Cr L Sutton

Mayor WR Wallace


APOLOGIES:                  Cr Barry for lateness


IN ATTENDANCE:       Mr B Kibblewhite, General Manager, Corporate Services (part meeting)

Ms H Oram, Acting General Manager, City Transformation

Mr M Reid, General Manager, City and Community Services (part meeting)

Mr J Scherzer, Manager, Sustainability and Resilience
Mr G Stuart, Divisional manager, Regulatory Services and Emergency Management
Mr D Kerite, Acting Divisional Manager, Environmental Consents
Mr B Gall, Systems Strategist (part meeting)

Ms H Buchan, Healthy Families Lower Hutt Manager (part meeting)
Mr D Burt, Senior Advisor, Sustainability and Resilience (part meeting)

Ms H Stewart, Youth Council Facilitator
Ms C Lawrence, Youth Council

Ms J Randall, Committee Advisor 





1.       APOLOGIES 

Resolved: (Cr Cousins/Mayor Wallace)                             Minute No. PRC 19401

“That the apology for lateness received from Cr Barry be accepted.”


Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.      


extension of time


Resolved: (Cr Bridson/Cr Briggs)                                       Minute No. PRC 19402

“That Standing Order 15.2 be temporarily suspended in order for the public speaking time to be extended.”


There were no conflict of interest declarations.

5.       Recommendations to Council - 17 SEPTEMBER 2019


Smokefree Lower Hutt - Review (19/876)


Cr Barry joined the meeting at 5.36pm


Speaking under public comment, Ms C Thompson, a representative of the Hutt Valley DHB and Dr D Thorburn, a representative of Te Awakairangi Health Network expressed support for the officer’s recommendations. They noted Council was leading other local authorities in smokefree work. They advised smoking rates for Maori and Pacifica people were still relatively high and that ongoing work was needed.


In response to questions from members, Dr Thorburn advised he considered vaping was a gateway to both vaping and smoking and should be included in smokefree signage. He agreed that some sectors were hard to reach with smokefree messaging. He suggested providing programmes that made the most impact on those particular groups and involving their representatives in decision making. He explained that the science behind vaping was still new, however he noted vaping had been associated with some health conditions.

Speaking under public comment, Ms S Lewis, a representative of Youth Council, advised Youth Council had facilitated an online survey with responses from 230 mostly young people. She added this survey was quoted in the report and was part of the Smokefree Lower Hutt review. She requested that young people who smoked not be made to feel banished or undervalued.

In response to a question from a member, Ms Lewis provided a personal opinion that consulting each individual suburban shopping centres about which areas should be smokefree could result in confusion for smokers. She considered it would be more effective to designate all shopping centres smokefree. She advised that young people would feel less ‘judged’ if a welcoming open area was provided for smoking rather than a ‘back alley’ type of area. She added schools provided little assistance with smoking cessation but online assistance was accessible for those motivated to find it. She agreed to email the survey report to the Committee Advisor who would forward it on to members.

In response to a question from a member, Ms C Lawrence, a representative of Youth Council, explained it was important to try to understand the reasons why young people were smoking rather than just focussing on education.

The Systems Strategist elaborated on the report.

In response to questions from members, the Systems Strategist agreed to speak to the Environmental Investigations officer about ashtrays and signage at the entrance of smokefree areas. He acknowledged this might encourage smokers to extinguish their cigarettes without littering. He advised the smokefree policy implementation had focussed on engagement and socialisation. He added that the budget was spent on promotion and consistent signage. He acknowledged the importance of engagement with the community but explained there was not enough budget to allow full engagement.

The Acting General Manager, City Transformation advised that tracking down offenders to impose penalties was not a practical solution to the problem of cigarette butt waste. She preferred the suggestion of ashtrays and signage at the entrance to smokefree areas.

Cr Briggs expressed support for the recommendations. He noted the cost of implementing such policies in the community was undervalued and better funding was needed to ensure policies were properly resourced.

Mayor Wallace expressed support for the officer’s recommendations.  He thanked officers, Regional Public Health and the District Health Board for their work on the issue.

Cr Milne expressed support for the officer’s recommendations.  He considered the cigarette butt litter problem was not behaviour Council should be accepting. He suggested the message should be similar to National Parks where people were told to take their rubbish with them.

Cr Lewis expressed support for the officer’s recommendations. She expressed frustration with the problem of cigarette butt litter.

Deputy Mayor Bassett: expressed support for the officer’s recommendations and acknowledged the work of Healthy Families Lower Hutt on the issue.

Cr Lulich expressed support for the officer’s recommendations. He considered that action on smoking at bus stops was well overdue.

Cr Bridson expressed support for the officer’s recommendations. She said she looked forward to seeing progress on ways to reach different sectors of the community with the smokefree message. She added that she wanted it to be easy for smokers to extinguish cigarettes without littering.





RECOMMENDED:(Unanimous)(Cr Bridson/Cr Cousins)Minute No.RC 19403

“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 that 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.




Easement - Mitchell Park (19/1008)




The Strategic Advisor, City and Community Services




recommended:(Cr Cousins/Deputy Mayor Bassett) Minute No. PRC 19404

“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 6m2 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.




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




Speaking under public comment, Mr S Magnusson considered Council action on climate change was overdue. He noted both Council’s and city wide carbon  emissions were still rising. He considered that education was needed alongside consultation in order to halve emissions by the goal of 2030 recommended by science. He asked members to make tough decisions and provide sufficient funding to facilitate change.


Speaking under public comment, Mr M Young expressed confidence in the officers working on carbon reduction for the city. However he believed carbon reduction plans should be led by Councillors. He noted the IPCC (2018) report had advised that rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes were needed to mitigate the impact of climate change. He requested that Council direct officers to aim for ambitious interim carbon reduction targets. He said Council needed to be working on a carbon budget basis and lead the city to a reduction in emissions within the next 10 years.


Speaking under public comment, Mr C Norton agreed with the previous speakers. He noted a lack of interim carbon reduction targets for 2030 – 2040 did not provide adequate stretch goals to reduce carbon by 2050. He noted most of Lower Hutt’s emissions were from transport and stationary sources. He added this provided an opportunity for Council to aggressively address carbon reduction in these areas. He noted that delaying action would make it harder to achieve carbon reduction goals. He concluded that unprecedented action needed to be taken.


In response to questions from a member, Mr Norton explained that Council leadership to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030  would show leadership to the community and demonstrate what could be done. He agreed Council should be prudent with ratepayer money but advised it should also avoid unnecessary future spending. He noted the Emissions Trading Scheme was likely to be uncapped before long and Council should be taking whatever steps it could to reduce emissions to avoid future costs.


Speaking under public comment, Ms K Yung noted that carbon reduction stakeholders included some of Council’s most vulnerable residents. She asked Council to engage with these stakeholders early to involve them in the decision making process and ensure their views were heard.


Speaking under public comment, Mr Q Duthie, a representative of the Pareraho Forest Trust (the Trust) advised that the recently set up Trust supported residents to care for their local nature areas and trap pests. He said the Trust supported Greater Wellington Regional Council’s (GWRC) plans to reduce emissions from grazing and reforest the Waitangirua Farm (the farm). He added that the Trust encouraged Council to support reforesting Council owned land on the farm. He noted the habitat could be renewed relatively quickly using new planting technology.  He said the Trust was keen to work with Council and GWRC to assist with reforesting work in the area and create recreational opportunities and carbon credits.


In response to questions from members, Mr Duthie advised the best way to engage with residents was to hold regular events where locals could be heard. He noted that local community groups created a halo effect and it was easier for local groups to connect with their community than it was for Council. He noted GWRC was working to offset its transport emissions by reforesting. He said the Trust was keen to work with the incoming Council on reforesting the farm. He said GWRC was working on a Parks Network Plan Review and would set its strategic direction for all parks through that. He encouraged the incoming council to be involved in assisting with this plan which would affect the farm.


Speaking under public comment, Ms C Lawrence, a representative of Youth Council, expressed disappointment that Council had not taken any solid action on climate action since declaring a climate emergency. She asked that Council showed leadership by:


·           moving its zero-carbon goal to 2040;

·           ensuring new infrastructure was created and funded sustainably using only renewable energy;

·           actively encouraging and supporting companies to be sustainable; and

·           working with Greater Wellington Regional Council on issues such as transport.


She asked that Youth Council be included as part of a stakeholder reference group to move forward with these steps.


Under Standing Order 21.16 the Chair allowed Ms Lawrence, a representative of Youth Council, to participate in discussion on the matter.

Ms Lawrence joined the table.

The Manager, Sustainability and Resilience elaborated on the report. He noted Council had limited influence on carbon emissions across the city. However he considered Council did have a leadership role. He acknowledged the potential to build a knowledge base across the city and highlight pathways for each stakeholder to contribute to a city-wide carbon reduction plan.

In response to questions from members, the Manager, Sustainability and Resilience agreed that an earlier target for zero carbon emissions was ideal. He added that his immediate focus was on changes planned for the next few years. He said Council was working with other local authorities on carbon tracking which would inform key areas of focus. He envisaged there would be a report back to the relevant committee every few years with an update on carbon reduction and the emissions profile. He acknowledged there was a disconnect between Council’s Urban Growth Strategy and carbon reduction. However he noted that an overarching Council strategy would remove that disconnect. He recognised that showing leadership and holding conversations with key stakeholders to get commitment was key to achieving intermediate targets. He envisaged a more detailed plan would be ready by later in 2019 and that consultation could take place early in 2020. He noted some actions would be able to be taken directly by Council using regulatory means and incentives. However some would require the initiative of stakeholders. He agreed to liaise with the Communications team on the most effective way to engage with less advantaged sectors of Lower Hutt.

In response to a question from a member, the Acting General Manager, City Transformation, said some changes targeting carbon emissions might be possible with a review of the District Plan in the new triennium.

Cr Milne noted that a higher population in Lower Hutt would overwhelm the carbon reduction work Council was undertaking. He believed Council’s education programme needed to include informing residents which lifestyle choices they should make since carbon change was largely driven by population.

Cr Bridson explained that Council’s Growth Strategy was about encouraging migration to Lower Hutt rather than encouraging higher birth rates. She foreshadowed her intention to move a new part to the motion that the city-focused carbon reduction plan should include ambitious interim targets.

Mayor Wallace left the meeting at 7.05pm.

Cr Briggs suggested that land use in the Belmont Regional Park be investigated as part of the city-wide carbon reduction plan. He expressed support for further work being undertaken by the incoming Council to ensure Council was taking action on the climate emergency.

Cr Lulich supported the officer’s recommendations. He considered young people’s futures were at stake and believed it was important to review Council’s key strategies. He looked forward to public consultation on the matter.




RECOMMENDED:(Unanimous)(Mayor Wallace/Cr Lewis)Minute No.PRC 19405

“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, including ambitious interim targets 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.



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

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


Mayor Wallace joined the meeting at 7.10pm.

The Manager, Sustainability and Resilience elaborated on the report. He noted that opportunities to gain carbon credits through forestry opened the possibility of a significant funding source.

In response to questions from members, the Manager, Sustainability and Resilience advised that Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) was currently working on a plan to allow some of the land managed by them to revert to forest. He noted there was an opportunity to work with GWRC regarding actively planting grasslands in the Belmont Regional Park (the park). He considered this could provide a significant income source, reduce Council’s current carbon emissions from agriculture use and reduce its carbon footprint. He noted if some income from the anticipated carbon credits was invested in biodiverstity it would help rural landowners to improve biodiversity and also improve the city’s carbon sequestation.

Cr Barry left the meeting at 7.16pm.

Cr Briggs suggested a submission from Council be forwarded to GWRC recommending that the park be reforested. He noted Council owned land in the park and therefore was a significant stakeholder. He did not consider it economically or environmentally prudent to support agriculture on Council’s land. He suggested a cost benefit analysis with options for net gain would be useful to make a decision.

The Chair suggested it was important to work with rural ratepayers and noted some privately owned unproductive land could potentially be vested in forest. She said other options for the park also needed to be considered along with plans for all parks in the area.  She foreshadowed her intention to move a new part to the motion to explore with GWRC the potential for forest planting in regional parks in the city.

In response to questions from the Youth Council representative, Cr Cousins advised GWRC had it’s own management plans for the park. She explained GWRC provided a range of valued recreational opportunities for the region and she did not want to prematurely impact these by specifying certain actions. She did not know the closing date for submissions on the park’s management plan. She advised that Councillors and individuals could individually submit on the management plan if they wished.

The Acting Manager, City Transformation advised it would be prudent to seek advice from Parks and Recreation officers before a decision was made to submit on the park.  She noted the relevant officers would be able to provide advice on the use of the park and the nature of the GWRC contract with Council.


Resolved: (Cr Cousins/Mayor Wallace)                             Minute No. PRC 19406

“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; and

(v)   explores with Greater Wellington Regional Council the potential for forest planting in regional parks in the city.”

For the reasons outlined in the report.

Ms Lawrence left the table


General Manager's Report (19/1007)

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


The Acting Divisional Manager, Environmental Consents, the Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services and Emergency Management and the Manager, Sustainability and Resilience  elaborated on the report.

Cr Sutton advised that work on the Appearance Industry Bylaw was on hold to allow Upper Hutt City Council to undertake pre-consultation on the matter.

In response to questions from members, the Acting General Manager, City Transformation advised she would be updating the incoming Council on key projects and issues. She noted one key issue in the current triennium had been insufficient Councillors holding RMA certification. She anticipated more Councillors would need to be upskilled in this area in the new triennium. She agreed to speak to the Chief Executive about a list of key projects and issues to update incoming Councillors as well as a robust handover from Council’s Strategic Leadership Team.

In response to questions from a member, the Acting Divisional Manager, Environmental Consents confirmed his team had been receiving a large number of consent applications. He advised contractors were being used to cope with the backlog of applications. He added that some building consent officer positions had recently been filled and once these officers were fully trained the team should be working at full capacity. He confirmed the retention of trained staff was an issue and staff were regularly surveyed to ensure any concerns were addressed.  He explained on-the-spot fines for litter mostly occurred near recycling stations. He agreed to check with the Environmental Investigations officer regarding capacity to deal with growing litter problems.

In response to questions from members, the Manager, Sustainability and Resilience advised he would be seeking guidance from the Strategic Leadership Team on next steps for the three waste management business cases. He added a report would be presented to the relevant committee meeting in December to provide an update on work to develop a new bylaw and report on waste minimisation and next steps for waste reviews. He noted it would be advanatageous to report back earlier than December but that there were limited opportunities due to the local body elections. He advised officers were considering incorporating a hazardous waste collection at the landfill. However this was on hold until the tender process for the landfill had been finalised. He added that in the meantime a combined hazardous waste collection day with Upper Hutt City Council was scheduled for November. He explained the approach to community engagement on sea level rise had not been confirmed and was subject to a review of Council’s four key strategies. He said he hoped to report back on the matter to the relevant committee by the end of 2019.

Mayor Wallace advised there might be the opportunity to brief Councillors on waste management during a strategic planning workshop at the end of October.

Cr Briggs suggested that the three most recently elected members be involved in the handover operations for incoming Councillors. He considered their learnings from 2016 would be useful to feed into the induction process.

In response to questions from members, the Divisional Manager, Regulatory Services and Emergency Management noted there had been some issues with a small number of Doggone tags (tags) not working, but that the faulty tags had been replaced. He said Council had received positive feedback about tags reuniting dogs with owners. He understood the app caused less battery drain than previously and he did not expect it would cause issues with phones. He agreed to find out if there could be other ways the app caused battery drainage. He futher agreed to report back to Councillors on the issue and update dog owners if needed.


Resolved: (Mayor Wallace/Deputy Mayor Bassett)          Minute No. PRC 19407

“That the Committee notes the contents of this report.”

8.       Information Item

Policy and Regulatory Committee Work Programme (19/1065)

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

Resolved: (Cr Milne/Cr Lulich)                                 Minute No. PRC 19408

“That the programme be noted and received.”

9.       QUESTIONS   

There were no questions.

The Chair was thanked for her outstanding leadership over the term of the triennium.


There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 8.02 pm.





Cr MJ Cousins





CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 17th day of September 2019