2                                                  29 May 2020

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Long Term Plan/Annual Plan Subcommittee

 

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

 Friday 29 May 2020 commencing at 9.30am

 

 

PRESENT:

Mayor C Barry (Chair)

Deputy Mayor T Lewis

 

Cr D Bassett

Cr J Briggs

 

Cr K Brown

Cr B Dyer

 

Cr S Edwards

Cr D Hislop

 

Cr C Milne

Cr A Mitchell

 

Cr S Rasheed

Cr N Shaw

 

Cr L Sutton

 

 

APOLOGIES:                  There were no apologies.

 

IN ATTENDANCE:       Ms J Miller, Chief Executive

Ms A Blackshaw, Director Strategy and Engagement

Ms H Oram, Director Environmental and Sustainability  

Ms J Livschitz, Chief Financial Officer

Ms W Moore, Head of Strategy and Planning

Ms J Stevens, Business Analyst

Ms J Randall, Programme Lead - Planning and Reporting

Mr L Allott, Chief Information Officer (part meeting)

Ms K Stannard, Head of Democratic Services (part meeting)

Ms H Clegg, Minute Taker (part meeting)

Ms D Hunter, Acting Committee Advisor (part meeting)

Ms T Lealofi, Committee Advisor (part meeting)

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

 

Cr Brown opened the meeting with a Karakia.

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

There were no apologies.

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.      

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS     

          Cr Hislop declared that the firm she worked for was a tenant of Queensgate Tower. 

          Cr Sutton declared a conflict of interest in Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce and Technology Valley.

          Cr Brown declared a conflict of interest in Urban Plus Ltd.

Cr Milne declared a conflict of interest in Technology Valley as he had been the Chair of Technology Valley until February 2020.

          Cr Dyer and Cr Rasheed declared conflicts of interest in Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce.

          Mayor Barry and Cr Brown declared conflicts of interest in E tū.

          Cr Mitcell declared a conflict of interest in Keep Hutt City Beautiful.

          Cr Milne declared a conflict of interest in Hutt Valley Tennis.

          Cr Shaw declared a conflict of interest in the Hutt City Community Facilities Trust.

4.          Mayor Barry declared a conflict of interest in relation to E Tu Union.  4.

Submissions Analysis - draft Annual Plan 2020/21 (20/433)

Report No. LTPAP2020/4/112 by the Head of Strategy and Planning

 

The Head of Strategy and Planning elaborated on the report.  She stated that due to lockdown restrictions and the compressed timeframe for setting a rate, Council agreed to a “light-touch” two-week engagement period from 8 May to 22 May.  She noted that the majority of submitters agreed to the proposed 3.8% rates increase. 

The Senior Research and Evaluation Advisor elaborated on the numbers received per Ward. 

In response to questions from members, the Senior Research and Evaluation Advisor agreed to supply members with a breakdown per ward on the submissions that had been received.

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Deputy Lewis)                            Minute No. LTPAP 20401

“That Council:

(i)    notes the details of activity prior to and during the draft Annual Plan engagement period 8 May to 22 May; and

(ii)   notes the summary analysis of feedback received.”

 

5.

HEARING OF SUBMISSIONS (20/467)

 

Ms Jo Coughlan, Chair, New Zealand Chinese Language Week Charitable Trust elaborated on submission DAP20/33.  She requested funding to support costs associated with New Zealand Chinese Language Week that was being held across New Zealand on
20-26 September 2020.

In response to a question from a member, Ms Coughlan confirmed that she had not applied or engaged with any officers in regard to community funding. 

Ms Helen Down, Chief Executive, Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce and Industry (the  Chamber) elaborated on submission DAP20/215.  She applauded Council’s work to date in response to COVID-19.

In response to questions from members, Ms Down commented that during the lockdown period, the Chamber had been in regular communication with businesses.  She noted that the Chamber had specifically surveyed businesses.  She confirmed that after wages, rent was the next biggest challenge for businesses.  

Mr Kevin Biggins elaborated on submission DAP20/58.  He commented that there had been a positive side of COVID-19 as it had brought communities together.  He stated that people within Eastbourne felt that Eastbourne was cut off from the rest of Lower Hutt because they did not have a shared pathway.  He recommended that the project be pushed forward under Central Government’s ‘shovel ready’ projects.    

Mayor Barry advised that the Eastern Bays Shared Pathway project had been included in the Council’s proposed ‘shovel read’ projects to be considered by Central Government. 

Ms Alison Arthur-Youth and Mr Alan McVeagh from Russell McVeagh (via Skype) representing Stride Investment Management Limited and Diversified NZ Property Trust elaborated on submission DAP20/99.  They stated that they strongly opposed Option One.  They highlighted that there was no basis for carving Queensgate Shopping Centre out from the rest of the Business Central community as its own rating unit other than as a way to load a high differential rating onto the Shopping Centre.  

Ms Jan Plummer, Regional Centre Manager, Queensgate Shopping Centre and representing Stride Investment Management Limited expressed disappointment in Council’s recommended Option One.  She confirmed that the charges for the rates were actually paid by the tenants and not the landlord.  She believed that Option One represented a direct burden on the tenants. 

Ms Ann Hamilton representing Fluoride Free New Zealand elaborated on submission DAP20/2.  She advised that the messaging on Council’s website had been removed.

In response to a question from a member, Ms Hamilton advised that typically what happened was that the Ministry of Health ignored other studies that mentioned something different to its own messages. 

Mr Gary Quirke elaborated on submission DAP20/131. 

In response to questions from a member regarding the duplication of services between central and local government, Mr Quirke stated, as an example, Council’s homelessness programme.

Ms Esther King, representing Love Wainuiomata, elaborated on submission DAP20/7. 

In response to a question from a member, Ms King advised that her role was only funded for 30 hours.  She confirmed that Love Wainuiomata had a strong link with the Wainuiomata Community Board. 

Mayor Barry clarified the following action points for officers to follow up:

(a)     legal questions raised in regard to the comments made on behalf of Stride Investment Management Limited pertaining to Queensgate differential rates;

(b)     contact with representatives of the Chinese Language Week Trust to discuss its funding request;

(c)     any learnings from Love Wainuiomata to be shared with Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce; and

(d)     why did the message disappear from Council’s website regarding fluoridation of the water supply? 

In response to a question from a member, Mayor Barry advised that the information on the ‘shovel ready projects’ would be reported to Council at its meeting to be held on 18 June 2020. 

The meeting adjourned at 10.50am and reconvened at 11.10am.  

Mr Norman Wilkins elaborated on submission DAP20/146.  He emphasised that Saint Andrews Parish had been encouraged with what Council had done so far in regard to its commitment to increasing staff being paid the living wage.   

Mr Matt Roberts, Chair of the Moera Community House, elaborated on submission DAP20/78.  He expressed concern regarding Council’s proposal to cut the community funding by $100,000.  He considered this would impact on the ability of community groups to support those affected by COVID-19. 

Mr Peter Wilcock representing Exactus Limited elaborated on submission DAP20/81.  He confirmed that for his business to successfully operate from its current location, it was important that Council continued to support Technology Valley through to its third year of funding.

In response to a question from a member, Mr Wilcock confirmed that their products were for export markets. 

Ms Yvette Taylor representing E tū elaborated on submission DAP20/80.  She confirmed that E tū supported the direction Council had set out in its draft Annual Plan with the exception of its publicly announced wage freeze.  She considered it had the effect of punishing the lowest paid staff and halting Council’s commitment to the living wage. 

Mayor Barry clarified the following action points for officers to follow up:

(a)          what kind of protection did Council employees have with the proposed pay freeze?;

(b)          further information on Technology Valley regarding funding arrangements; 

(c)           information on the next six months with Council’s Economic Development Plan;

(d)          review Council’s Community Funding Strategy.   

Mr Ron Beernink elaborated on submission DAP20/153.  He commented that putting cycleways on hold would be the wrong decision because COVID-19 had shown the demand for cycling.   

In response to a question from a member, Mr Beernink commented that during lockdown, people felt safe to walk and cycle on the streets.   He asked Council to follow other cities in introducing a 30km speed limit for all central business district and neighbouring streets. 

Ms Ellen Blake and Mr Paul Gruschow representing Living Street Aotearoa elaborated on submission DAP20/84.  They expressed support for the comments made by the previous speaker.  Ms Blake requested Council retain the budget for the required works that supported accessibility improvements like kerb drop downs and tactile pavers. 

Mr Julian Andrews representing Callaghan Innovation (via Skype) elaborated on submission DAP20/83.  He noted that a key benefit that Technology Valley provided to Callaghan Innovation was its contacts and support from the local business community.  He highlighted that Technology Valley had already made tremendous headway over the two years since it was founded.

Ms Anthea Armstrong representing Technology Valley elaborated on submission DAP20/86.  She asked Council to reconsider its decision to withdraw its commitment from Technology Valley. 

In response to a question from a member, Ms Armstrong confirmed that in the early days there had been general discussion with the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) as to what their defined roles were so there were no cross overs.  She noted that Technology Valley currently engaged with the Chamber regarding networking.  She commented that the rationale for the carryover from the first year stand alone contract was for the entire amount to be used for the website project. 

Mr Max Shierlaw elaborated on submission DAP20/49.  He commented that during the month of May he had run a Facebook post on Wellington live, giving people two options,   and the results were 180 for 0%, and 30 for 3.8%.  He stated that a 0% rates increase was the best way to kick start the economy to give consumer’s more spending power.  He encouraged Council to go with the clear view of the public not to increase rates, also start reining in the excessive costs being associated with Council.

In response to a question from a member, Mr Shierlaw was unable to advise the number of Lower Hutt ratepayers who had completed the Facebook survey. 

Ms Alison Black, Manager of Youth Inspire, elaborated on submission DAP20/87.  She asked Council to continue its financial support for Youth Inspire so they could continue their service.  She noted that central government had agreed to roll over its Ministry of Social Development contract and that the impact of not getting the same level of funding would be signficiant. 

In response to a question from members, Ms Black agreed that need was growing but also the model was becoming unsustainable due to the lack of funders wanting to commit to the model.  She acknowledged that there was so much more room for local and central governments and Youth Inspire to work better together.   She added that Youth Inspire was always looking at ways of being innovative in seeking funding.  She advised that a recent win for Youth Inspire was with a local law firm, Thomas Dewar, who had agreed to setting up a bequest initiative.  She noted that for Youth Inspire to continue to undertake its business, they needed financial support from local and central government funding.

Mr Matthew Young elaborated on submission DAP20/106.   He asked Council to increase its budget for Council’s Sustainability and Resilience Team.

In response to a question regarding a previous submitters request in lowering the speed limit to 30km around the central business district, Mr Young agreed that Council needed to have courage and to be agile to make things happen.  He noted that safer speed really did speak to a whole range of priorites of Council.

Mr David Percy representing Pertronic Industries Limited elaborated on submission DAP20/89.  He supported the funding request by Technology Valley.

Mayor Barry clarified the following action point for officers to follow up:

(a)     Capacity to deliver on sustainability and climate change with regard to Council’s Long Term Plan.

The meeting was adjourned at 1.00pm and reconvened at 1.30pm.

Mr Jos Kunnen representing Times-7 elaborated on submission DAP20/90.   He also elaborated on the responsibilities and successful accomplishments that Technology Valley had achieved. 

Ms Kerri Graham elaborated on submission DAP20/201.  

 

Ms Pam Hanna, Chair, Petone Community Board elaborated on submission DAP20/94.

She suggested Council put pressure on Greater Wellington Regional Council to improve its public transport. 

 

Ms Muriel Tunoho representing Hutt Union and Community Health Service elaborated on submission DAP20/101.   She advised that Hutt Union and Community Health Service supported Council’s direction with the draft Annual Plan. She raised concern on the measures such as wage freeze and Council not maintaining the living wage rate as this would affect those on low wages.

 

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive advised that she was working with staff and the union to implement a new flexible Employment Policy.

 

Mr David Meiklejohn elaboarated on submission DAP20/93.

 

Mr Paul Robinson representing Property Council New Zealand elaborated on submission DAP20/103.

 

Mr John Terris elaboarated on submission DAP20/213. He expressed concern at the level of the proposed rates increase.   

Mr Nick Hogan representing Cricket Wellington elaborated submission DAP20/214.

 

Ms Margaret Willard elaborated on submission DAP20/104.

The meeting adjourned at 3.00pm and reconvened at 3.18pm.

Mr Phil Gibbons representing Sport Wellington elaborated on submission DAP20/97.

In response to questions from members, Mr Gibbons confirmed approximately $400,000 of central government’s Community Resilience Fund had been distributed within the Hutt Valley.   He advised that the key partnerships were with Sport NZ, the Department of Health Board, Hutt City, Wellington City, Porirua City and Upper Hutt City Councils.  He stated that funding for sports codes differed between the codes and that there was no consistency of or whether discounts or waivers were being offered by national or regional bodies. 

Mr Geoff Copps elaborated on submission DAP20/110.  

In response to a question from a member, Mr Copps agreed that the support of Technology Valley was vital to the manufacturing industry in the Hutt Valley.

Mr Wirangi Luke, Chief Executive, Te Rūnanganui o Te Atiawa ki te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui Inc elaborated on submission DAP20/79.  He explained the Rūnanga was focussed on developing the Manu Whenua position in the Hutt Valley, working closely with Ngāti Toa.  He added the Rūnanga was looking to strengthen the partnership with Whiteria and that being able to complete the Te Whiti Park project would result in more courses being provided.  He outlined the extensive community assistance work the Runanga had undertaken during the Covid-19 lockdown which helped the community as a whole.

In response to a question from a member regarding carryovers, the Chief Executive advised Council would decide on the carryovers in June 2020 and that there could be some possible redirection of funding.  She added that officers welcomed working with the Rūnanga.

In response to a question from a member, Mr Luke explained the Manu Whenua status in the Hutt Valley was being re-evaluated, with the Rūnanga and Ngāti Toa agreeing to collaborate.  He added the partnership with Council was important.

Mr Rick Wells representing the Dowse Foundation elaborated on submission DAP20/182.

In response to questions from member, Mr Wells advised The Dowse had a large amount of art and assets in storage which was routinely displayed.  He agreed that taking the collections out to the community could be investigated and that suggestion should be taken up with the Director of The Dowse. 

The Chief Executive agreed to follow up the with the Director of The Dowse regarding taking collections out to the community.

In response to a question from  member, Mr Wells explained a donation box at the entrance had not been established, as a financial constraint could be a barrier for anyone to visit.

Ms Desiree Mulligan elaborated on submission DAP20/187. 

In response to questions from members, Ms Mulligan confirmed that the most cost effective way to provide access to local history would be to digitise the information.  

Mr Chris Norton elaborated on presented submissions  DAP20/203, 204 and 211.  He spoke to a submission from Mr Daniel Jones DAP20/193.  He elaborated on each submission stressing that immediate action was required on the climate change issue.

In response to questions from members, Mr Norton advised that all funding allocated to keeping the city beautiful was important.    

In response to a question from a member regarding budget lines concerning Naenae Community Faciltities and Naenae Reserves works, the Chief Executive agreed that officers would respond to the Team Naenae Trust with answers to their questions raised in the submission.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive advised that the indicators for the next Long Term Plan would be reviewed focussing on “what should a thriving city look like”, in relation to the four Wellbeings.  She acknowledged a member’s request to introduce a Climate Change Budget alongside the Financial Budget.

In response to a member’s request to commence urgent action on climate change, Cr Briggs advised that the Climate Change Working Group had met earlier in the week and was in the process of finalising its Terms of Reference. 

The meeting adjourned at 4.26pm and reconvened at 4.40pm.

Mr Casey Diver representing Delany Park Sports Association elaborated on submission DAP20/184.  He raised concern that drainage works to Pitch 1 at Delaney Park had exacerbated drainage issues on Pitch 2, resulting in the park being unable to be fully utilised.  He informed members of the legal situation relating to ownership of the building and the parties represented by the submission.

Cr Brown rejoined the meeting at 4.42pm. 

Mr Driver advised the sports clubs could provide personnel and trades to undertake some of the work required to the building but that funding and receiving Council consent for work required to those portions of the building,which Council owned, were the major issues.

In response to question from members, Mr Driver advised drainage on all pitches at Delaney Park and Holburn Park was a priority.  He advised there had been no communication from officers since mid-2019.

Mayor Barry asked officers to make contact with Mr Driver to find a solution for all parties.

Cr Sutton asked that the Delaney Park building and pitch drainage issues be looked at with urgency.

In response to a question from a member, the Director of Strategy and Engagement advised the Ricoh Sports Centre and fields were very busy with increased demand from emerging sports as well.  She agreed to investigate how to use sports facilities as efficiently as possible, including having a sports hub or merging of activities.

Ms Elle Abel elaborated on DAP20/205.  She stressed any rates increase would place a strong financial burden on Wainuiomata ratepayers.

In response to a question from a member, Ms Abel agreed to forward a list of projects she believed could be deferred in order to reduce the proposed rates increase.

Mr Gabriel Tupou, Chair Wainuiomata Community Board elaborated on submission DAP20/111.

In response to a question from a member, Mr Tupou acknowledged that Wainuiomata paid the lowest amount of rates in comparison to other suburbs of the city.  He reiterated the request to revisit the proposed rates increase.  He explained that if Wainuiomata residents had a similar rates increase percentage to the rest of the city, it would equate to approximately $2M needed to be reduced from the budget.

In response to questions from members, Mr Tupou outlined the process that individual Community Board members undertook to gain feedback for the submission.  He acknowledged their results differed from the official Council survey results.  He agreed some respondents could have visited Council’s website as a result of engagement with Community Board members.

Mr Tupou agreed to provide officers with a copy of the questions that Community Board members asked in their community engagement exercise.

Cr Briggs requested communication breakdowns between officers and the community be investigated and addresssed.  The Chief Executive agreed.

Cr Dyer noted the inconsistencies of management with all sports grounds and codes and asked that they be addressed.  The Chief Executive agreed, stating it would be good to be consistent across the whole of the city.

Cr Mitchell requested that the process of engaging with communities be formalised, to avoid the situation that had arisen with the Wainuiomata Community Board submission. 

Cr Rasheed requested a comparison of how many people submitted to this year’s consultation round, compared to the round last year.  The Chief Executive agreed to provide some information next week, but cautioned that the processes were different and it would be difficult to compare the two.

Crs Brown and Milne left the meeting at 5.20pm.

Cr Briggs requested that the learnings from the Covid-19 enforced communication regime be analysed to help guide possible future community engagement processes. 

The Chief Executive acknowledged the request, explaining that of the 40,000 ratepayers, only 9000 email addresses were supplied and that the level of engagement from this number was encouraging.  She added officers hoped to grow this database.

Crs Brown and Milne rejoined the meeting at 5.22pm.

Cr Dyer asked officers to provide members with a pack containing just the submmisions which were not heard today.

5a)

Hearing of Submissions on the Draft Annual Plan (20/471)

Memorandum dated 27 May 2020 by the Programme Lead - Planning and Reporting

 

Resolved: (Mayor Barry/Deputy Mayor Lewis)             Minute No. LTPAP 20402

“That the Subcommittee notes the memorandum.”

 

Cr Brown closed the meeting with a closing Karakia.

 

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 5.23 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C Barry

CHAIR

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 28th day of July 2020