Community and Environment Committee
Minutes of a meeting held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road,
Lower Hutt on
Wednesday 4 March 2020 commencing at 2.00pm
Deputy Mayor T Lewis (Chair)
Mayor C Barry
Cr D Bassett
Cr J Briggs (Deputy Chair)
Cr K Brown
Cr B Dyer
Cr A Mitchell
Cr S Rasheed
Cr N Shaw
Cr L Sutton
APOLOGIES: Crs Edwards, Hislop and Milne
IN ATTENDANCE: Ms J Miller, Chief Executive (part meeting)
Ms A Blackshaw, Acting General Manager, City and Community Services
Mr B Kibblewhite, General Manager, Corporate Services
Ms H Oram, Acting General Manager, City Transformation
Mr J Frericks, Ecology/Horticulture Advisor (part meeting)
Mr B Hodgins, Strategic Advisor, City and Community Services (part meeting)
Mr S Cager, Senior Project Engineer (part meeting)
Mr D Kerite, Head of Environmental Consents (part meeting)
Cr G Stuart, Head of Regulatory Services and Emergency Management (part meeting)
Mr P Maaka, Urban Design Manager (part meeting)
Ms D Male, Committee Advisor
Resolved: (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Cr Briggs) Minute No. CEC 20201
“That the apology received from Crs Edwards, Hislop and Milne be accepted and leave of absence be granted.”
2. PUBLIC COMMENT
Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.
3. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS
Cr Brown declared a conflict of interest in relation to item 4ii) Wainuiomata Marae Development and took no part in discussion or voting on the matter.
Members noted Cr Dyer’s involvement with Petone 2040 and the Highlight Festival in relation to item 6 General Managers Report.
4. Recommendations to Council - 24 March 2020
Speaking under public comment, Ms D Clark thanked officers for their work and noted the progress made with landowners. She expressed support for the officer’s report and recommendations. She added that she would like to see additional financial support.
In response to a comment from a member, Ms Clark advised that officers had listened to and spoken to landowners and the shift had been critical.
Speaking under public comment, Mr K Jackson thanked officers for their approach. He advised that he had spoken at the recent Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee meeting, in relation to the submission on the Proposed National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity. He expressed support for Council’s approach.
In response to a question from a member, Mr Jackson advised that he was quite likely to engage with the fund from the environmental side. He said that he would like to see more funding, although he appreciated Council’s financial situation. He added that when a survey had been conducted previously there had been questions on the public donating money, which was an option to be considered.
The Strategic Advisor, City and Community Services and the Ecology/Horticulture Advisor elaborated on the report.
The Ecology/Horticulture Advisor highlighted a correction to paragraph 14 of the officer’s report that the Queen Elizabeth II Trust considered land by the significance of the biodiversity and not the size of the land. He added that support available would be communicated to landowners. He highlighted the results from the survey referred to by the speaker under public comment in relation to landowners financially contributing.
In response to a question from a member, the Acting Divisional Manager, City Transformation advised that officers were investigating conservation covenants under the Reserves Act 1977. She added that officers were awaiting feedback on court proceedings which potentially could affect provisions in the District Plan which could be more restrictive.
Mayor Barry acknowledged the work of officers with the landowners to reach a positive outcome.
Cr Mitchell suggested some additional wording to parts (ii) and (iv) of the motion. With the agreement of the mover and seconder the wording was included within the motion.
The meeting was adjourned at 2.42pm and the meeting resumed at 2.46pm.
The Chair commented on the work and trust built with officers and the landowners.
Cr Mitchell asked to withdraw the additional wording he suggested for part (ii) of the motion with the agreement of the mover and seconder the wording in part (ii) was removed and the words “including covenanting of land” retained in part (iv) of the motion.
ReCOMMENDEd: (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Cr Brown) Minute No. CEC 20202
“That the Committee recommends that Council:
(i) approves a process for landowners to be able to apply for support grants for indigenous biodiversity on their properties using the fund that was established for this purpose in June 2019;
(ii) agrees to a two-tier grant model in which the fund is divided into these tiers based on demand and potential positive impacts of the applications received for each tier. Tier 1 grants should take the form of supply of materials or work and Tier 2 should take the form of a contestable fund for projects that have a suitable management plan;
(iii) agrees that Tier 1 grants should have a maximum Council contribution of $1,000. This would primarily be used for the supply of materials or work and could also include the development of a “project management plan” or a “property management plan” which would enable the landowner to apply for Tier 2 grants at the next opportunity;
(iv) agrees that Tier 2 grants should have a maximum Council contribution of $20,000 – with exceptions to be approved by the Head of Parks and Recreation. Tier 2 applications should be weighted and prioritised by their outcomes so that the projects with the greatest impact, including covenanting of land, are funded;
(v) agrees that properties which are eligible for landowner grants (Tier 1 and Tier 2) must meet one or more of the following criteria:
(a) contain or adjoin areas of indigenous vegetation greater than 1 hectare;
(b) contain or adjoin wetlands, waterways or waterbodies; and/or
(c) contain or provide habitats for organisms that are Threatened, At Risk, or Data Deficient in the New Zealand Threat Classification System by Te Papa Atawhai, Department of Conservation;
With an additional requirement of a suitable “project management plan” or “property management plan” for the Tier 2 grants. All management plans must have measurable targets or progress indicators; and
(vi) requests a review of the operation and performance of supported projects for July 2021, following a full year of operation. The review should also contain recommendations to increase effectiveness of the programme in increasing indigenous biodiversity.”
For the reasons that:
- The support will demonstrate Council’s commitment to indigenous biodiversity and that landowners may need assistance to maintain or promote indigenous biodiversity on their properties.
- The two-tier distribution of grants allows smaller projects to be supported without disproportional administrative overheads and larger projects can also be supported with accountability and measures of success.
- Most of the activities such as pest control, weed control or the supply of materials can be most efficiently supported by coordinating across properties. In some cases this work will be supported by existing work streams that can be expanded into landowner’s properties.
- Larger projects may have superior outcomes for indigenous biodiversity. Suitable management plans will have measureable targets which can be reported on.
- Areas that have indigenous biodiversity values matching the criteria above should have the highest priority for protection and restoration and will be likely to have the most positive effects on its surroundings. In some cases they are protected by national and regional acts and strategies.
Cr Brown declared a conflict of interest in relation to the item and took no part in discussion or voting on the matter.
The Strategic Advisor, City and Community Services elaborated on the report.
RECOMMENDED: (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Cr Briggs) Minute No. CEC 20203
“That the Committee recommends that Council:
(i) notes that the Wainuiomata Marae Trust has progressed plans for Papakainga housing on the Maori reservation that it controls;
(ii) notes that the Council proposal to revoke the reserve status of the adjacent local purpose reserve was publicly notified with no submissions received from the general public;
(iii) notes that engagement with iwi resulted in a request that Council halt its proposal and consider:
(a) retaining the property as local purpose reserve;
(b) entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Wainuiomata Marae Trust for the co-management of the reserve; and
(c) including Atiawanuitonu (iwi forum representing local iwi interests) as an interested third party to the agreement, with particular interest in development options for the reserve; and
(iv) agrees that Council halt the revocation process and enter into further discussions with the Wainuiomata Trust and Atiawanuitonu on the details of an MOU for the co-management of the local purpose reserve.”
For the reason that the proposed co-management solution would provide a basis for ensuring cohesive planning for all reserve land immediately surrounding the Wainuiomata Marae.
5. Recommendations to Long Term Plan Annual Plan Subcommittee – 18 March 2020
Report No. CEC2020/2/54 by the Senior Project Engineer
Speaking under public comment, Ms V Horrocks, Chair, Eastbourne Community Board asked for clarification on the two tables of costings outlined on page 27 of the order paper.
With leave of the Chair, in response to the question raised under public comment, the Senior Project Engineer advised that the table under paragraph 40 of the officer’s report was the funding allocation in the Annual Plan 2019/20 and the table under paragraph 42 of the officer’s report was the funding allocation in the Draft Annual Plan 2020/21.
Ms Horrocks tabled information for the members and gave a brief history of the work ongoing for 25 years for the Eastern Bays shared pathway. She highlighted the support from local stakeholders including the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), the Eastbourne Community Board, Muritai School and residents. She added that Forest and Bird opposed the proposal, although had indicated support for the project.
Ms Horrocks said that the Eastern Bays shared path should not be seen in competition to other cycleways for funding. She added that safety was of importance and it would be a first step on work after declaring a climate emergency.
In response to a question from a member, Ms Horrocks expressed support for the full shared pathway to be completed for the Eastern Bays.
Speaking under public comment, Ms B Moss, member,Lowry Bay Residents Association Committee highlighted the current safety concerns within Lowry Bay. She urged members to consider budget approval for the entire Eastern Bays shared path project.
Speaking under public comment, Mr M Young referred members to extracts from the Walk and Cycle in the Hutt Strategy, the Hearing Commissioners’ decision in relation to District Plan Change 43 and submissions made to Council’s Community Plan Committee in 2019 by medical practitioners. He said it was an opportunity to consider core Council infrustructure and active transport was crucial going forward. He added that there were benefits to mental health and wellbeing and the project linked to the declared climate emergency. He commented on the requirement of a connectivity review and the debt funding of capital expenditure projects which would be important in the next 10-15 years.
Speaking under public comment, Mr G Hall representing the Great Harbour Way expressed concern that work had been put into the extended consultation and design process. He believed the project was at resource consent stage and Council was getting cold feet. He also believed that just covering the two sections for safety concerns would not help. He suggested that the $4M should be used to help with the pinchpoints along the Eastern Bays, not just at Windy Point. He added that the project had been worked on for years and had been changed and deferred in that time. He expressed support for moving forward with the entire project.
The Senior Project Engineer elaborated on the report.
In response to questions from members, the Senior Project Engineer advised that if the $15M remained in the draft Annual Plan 2020/21, an additional $4.1M would be required to be added. He said that as part of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Wainuiomata shared path included the provision for one part of the Beltway to be completed. He added that if this was not completed then Council would need to repay the subsidy to NZTA of up to $2.8M.
In response to a question from a member, the Senior Project Engineer advised that the Beltway was at tender stage, with construction set to commence in a few months.
In response to a question from a member, the Senior Project Engineer advised that the NZTA Eastern Bays subsidy was at resource consenting stage and then Council would be required to apply for funding for construction. He added that the subsidy could only be applied for the Windy Point section in the National Land Transport Programme period of 2018-21.
The Chair expressed support for option (a) contained in the officer’s report and moved that option, which was seconded by Cr Briggs.
Cr Sutton commented that she would not like to see the Beltway postponed.
Mayor Barry agreed with the comments of the previous speaker and added that the entire package of cycleways was important and of importance to the Eastern Bays community.
Cr Brown expressed support for the entire project. She questioned if the rise in the project cost should have been considered in the project forecast.
The Chief Executive advised that going forward there would be more transparent information on projects.
Cr Briggs expressed support for the motion. He agreed with the public speaker, Mr Young, in relation to strategies and implementing plans for the betterment of communities and to reduce carbon emissions.
Cr Shaw expressed support for motion.
Cr Rasheed supported the comments of the two previous speakers. She added her support for active transport and implementing plans for the future of the city.
Cr Dyer expressed support for the motion.
The Chair highlighted the comments made under the public comment section of the meeting and the work of Council and District Plan Change 43. She added that people needed infrustructure options in the future for all modes of transport to move around .
Mayor Barry reminded members that the project would be included in the consultation process for the Amendment to the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 and draft Annual Plan 2020/21.
Resolved: (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Cr Sutton) Minute No. CEC 20204
“That the Committee notes the options on progressing the cycleways programme.”
RECOMMENDED: (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Cr Briggs) Minute No. CEC 20205
“That the Committee recommends to the Long Term Plan/Annual Plan Subcommittee to recommend to Council to approve the allocation of an additional $19.1M to complete all the projects in the original programme (this includes the provisional placeholder of $15M currently in the Draft Annual Plan 2020/21).”
Report No. CEC2020/2/55 by the Head of Environmental Consents
The Acting General Manager, City Transformation and the Acting General Manager, City and Community Services elaborated on the report.
In response to a question from a member, the Acting General Manager, City Transformation agreed to follow up on where the retail spending information came from.
In response to a question from a member, the Head of Environmental Consents advised that a lot of work had been conducted in previous years in relation to earthquake prone buildings. He added that this had resulted in the need for just five letters to be sent to property owners.
Cr Brown congratulated the Animal Services Officer who had volunteered to help animals caught up in the bushfires in Australia.
In response to questions from a member, the Head of Regulatory Services and Emergency Management advised that the numbers of dogs euthanised was very low. The Acting General Manager, City Transformation added that the report covered activity from previous months. She agreed to add an update in a future report on the Waiu Street dog park.
In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive advised that Council’s Corporate Leadership Team had requested more work be undertaken on the Energy and Carbon Reduction Plan for 2020-2024 (the Plan). She added that the once the Plan was finalised it would be made available.
In response to a question from a member, the Acting General Manager, City and Community Services advised that concerns in relation to the lack of fencing at Seddon Street Playground and speeding in the area would be passed on and an update provided.
In response to a question from a member, the Acting General Manager, City and Community Services advised that the Events Strategy was being reviewed and feedback could be provided in relation to the Te Whiti Riser night walk.
Resolved: (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Cr Rasheed) Minute No. CEC 20206
“That the Committee notes and receives the report.“
7. Information Item
Report No. CEC2020/2/27 by the Committee Advisor
Resolved: (Deputy Mayor Lewis/Cr Briggs) Minute No. CEC 20207
“That the work programme be noted and received.”
There were no questions.
Deputy Mayor T Lewis
CONFIRMED as a true and correct record
Dated this 24th day of March 2020