HuttCity_TeAwaKairangi_BLACK_AGENDA_COVER

 

 

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

 

 

30 June 2020

 

 

 

Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

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

on:

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 7 July 2020 commencing at 2.00pm

 

 

 

 

Membership

 

 

Cr S Edwards (Chair)

Mayor C Barry (ex-officio)

Cr D Bassett

Cr J Briggs

Cr K Brown (Deputy Chair)

Cr B Dyer

Cr D Hislop

Deputy Mayor T Lewis

Cr C Milne

Cr A Mitchell

Cr L Sutton

Cr N Shaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the dates and times of Council Meetings please visit www.huttcity.govt.nz

 

Have your say

You can speak under public comment to items on the agenda to the Mayor and Councillors at this meeting. Please let us know by noon the working day before the meeting. You can do this by emailing DemocraticServicesTeam@huttcity.govt.nz or calling the Democratic Services Team on 04 570 6666 | 0800 HUTT CITY


HuttCity_TeAwaKairangi_SCREEN_MEDRES

POLICY, FINANCE AND STRATEGY COMMITTEE
Membership:	13
Meeting Cycle:	Meets on an eight weekly basis, as required or at the requisition of the Chair
Quorum:	Half of the members
Reports to:	Council

PURPOSE:

To assist the Council in setting the broad vision and direction of the city in order to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the city’s communities in the present and for the future. This involves determining specific outcomes that need to be met to deliver on the vision for the city, and taking a holistic approach to establishing strategies, policies, bylaws, regulations and work programmes to achieve those goals. This committee is also responsible for assisting Council to execute its financial and performance monitoring obligations.

 

Policy, Strategy and Bylaws:

        Develop and agree draft strategies and policies for the growth and development of the city, including economic, transport and infrastructure development, for engagement/public consultation, excluding those strategies and policies that will subsequently be required to follow a statutory process and will be dealt with by the Regulatory Committee.

        Recommend strategies and policies to Council for adoption, including those required as part of the Long Term Plan, and any other policies required by legislation.

        Monitor and review implemented strategies and policies.

        Undertake a full review of the City of Lower Hutt District Plan, including receiving direction from the Community and Environment Committee, establishing a District Plan work programme and monitoring its implementation.

        Develop and agree the Statement of Proposal for new or amended bylaws for consultation.

        Recommend to Council new or amended bylaws for adoption.

Financial, Project and Performance Reporting:

        Recommend to Council the budgetary parameters for preparation of the Council’s Long Term Plans (LTP) and Annual Plans.

        Monitor progress towards achievement of the Council’s budgets and objectives as set out in the LTP and Annual Plans, including associated matters around the scope, funding, prioritising and timing of projects.

        Monitoring and oversight of significant projects including operational contracts, agreements, grants and funding.

        Monitor progress towards achievement of the Council’s outcomes as set out in the Leisure & Wellbeing, Urban Growth, Infrastructure and Environmental Sustainability Strategies and their associated plans.

        Monitor the integrity of reported performance information, both financial and non-financial, at the completion of Council’s Annual Report, and external accountability reporting requirements.

       Review and recommend to Council the adoption of the Annual Report.

       Recommend to Council the approval of annual Statements of Corporate Intent for Council Controlled Organisations and Council Controlled Trading Organisations and granting shareholder approval of major transactions.

       Monitor progress against the CCO and CCTO Statements of Intent and make recommendations to Council in the exercising of Council powers, as the shareholder, in relation to Council Controlled Organisations/Council Controlled Trading Organisations under sections 65 to 72 of the Local Government Act.

       Oversee compliance with Council’s Treasury Risk Management Policy.

       Consider and determine requests for rates remissions.

       Consider and determine requests for loan guarantees from qualifying community organisations where the applications are within the approved guidelines and policy limits.

       Approve and oversee monitoring around Community Funding Strategy grants.

General:

        Maintain an overview of work programmes carried out by the Council’s organisational activities.

        Conduct any consultation processes required on issues before the Committee.

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

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

 

    


                                                                       6                                                     7 July 2020

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

 

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

 Tuesday 7 July 2020 commencing at 2.00pm.

 

ORDER PAPER

 

Public Business

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

Cr Rasheed.

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

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.       

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS

Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as a member and any private or other external interest they might have      

4.       Recommendations to Council - 28 July 2020

i)     Management of Cats in Lower Hutt (20/584)

Report No. PFSC2020/4/143 by the Principal Policy Advisor                      7

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed”

 

ii)    District Plan Review Subcommittee (20/648)

Report No. PFSC2020/4/152 by the Head of District Plan Policy              63

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed”

 

 

 

iii)   Delegations for deciding remission of rates and economic development grants for economic development (20/655)

Report No. PFSC2020/4/153 by the Principal Policy Advisor                    67

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed”

 

5.       Vogel House rates remission request (20/61)

 

Report No. PFSC2020/4/144 by the Principal Policy Advisor                           70

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be endorsed”

6.       Regional Amenities Fund- withdrawal from Joint Committee (20/633)

Report No. PFSC2020/4/154 by the Head of Strategy and Planning               88

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendation contained in the report be endorsed”

7.       Information Item

Policy, Finance and Strategy Work Programme 2020 (20/613)

Report No. PFSC2020/4/59 by the Committee Advisor                                    91

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.   

 

 

Toi Lealofi

COMMITTEE ADVISOR


                                                                                       8                                                               07 July 2020

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

10 June 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/584)

 

 

 

 

Report no: PFSC2020/4/143

 

Management of Cats in Lower Hutt

 

Purpose of Report

1.    At the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee meeting on 5th May 2020, officers were asked to report back to the Committee regarding:

a.   additional information and regulatory options concerning the general management of cats in Lower Hutt; and

b.   steps that have been taken to support the existing community ‘Save the Dotterels’ campaign.  

2.    This report provides information on both of these issues. 

Recommendations

That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    notes the results of the public survey seeking feedback on five options around the management of cats attached as Appendix 1 to the report;

(ii)   agrees that Council takes steps to develop a strategy for the management of cats in Lower Hutt based on an education and awareness approach on cat issues including de-sexing, microchipping and keeping cats indoors at night; 

(iii)  notes the work being progressed to assist the community campaign to “Save the Dotterels” and this will provide evidence to inform the development of the strategy for the management of cats in Lower Hutt; and

(iv) notes a later review of the success of this approach will be used to inform any future decision on other options.

 

3.    At the Policy Finance and Strategy Committee meeting held on 5 May 2020 members noted the results of the public survey seeking feedback on options for managing cats in the city (see Appendix 1 attached to the report) and the options available. 

4.    The Committee also noted the risks associated with domestic, stray and feral cats killing native birds and invertebrates (particularly in the Parangarahu Lakes and Eastbourne areas) and asked officers to report back to the next meeting with additional information on this issue including:

a)      comments from Forest and Bird, Greater Wellington Regional Council pest control and MIRO;

b)      the practicality and worth of designating cat ‘no go’ zones in sensitive biodiversity areas, such as beaches where dotterels nest; and

c)       input from community groups already actively involved in implementing local cat control measures and how Council might work with them effectively.

 

5.    The Committee asked officers, as a priority, to consider how awareness of the cat predation issue in the city could be raised with residents - in particular the value of keeping cats indoors at night.  The Committee stressed the importance of this in relation to the dotterel predation issue in Eastbourne. Their concern is that the impact of this predation should be reduced or eliminated in time for next year’s dotterel nesting season.

General cat management in the city

6.    Officer’s view is that a “promote and educate” is the preferred approach to take to general cat management in the city.  Doing this enables Council, its partners and the community to promote and encourage:

 

a.       keeping cats indoors/contained at night;

b.       microchipping - micro-chipping is a good way of keeping track of pets.  For example, following the Christchurch earthquake cats that were microchipped had a 80 to 90% chance of being reunited with their owners within days as opposed to only 10 to15% of un-microchipped cats being re-united(figures from Christchurch earthquake); and

c.       de-sexing cats. 

 

7.    The 2019 survey had 1865 responses from people who identified as cat owners (55% of 3391 respondents).  In the officers’ view if, following implementation of the “promote and educate approach”, a further Citizen’s Panel survey showed improvements in the numbers of cats microchipped, de-sexed and being kept indoors/contained overnight increased to 85 to 90% this would provide a good indicator of success. 

8.    Generally respondents supported an “educate and promote” approach although there was support (55-58%) for a bylaw requiring cat owners to de-sex, microchip and keep cats indoors/contained at night.  137 people noted the management of feral/stray cat populations as an issue.

 

 

 

Survey results (see Appendix 1)

 

Control

Bylaw should be used

Promote & Educate

Currently have

De-sexed

58%

40%

99%

Limiting cat #s

57%

28%

 

Microchipped

55%

41%

76%

Curfew at night

30%

53%

 

Bells on collar

20%

58%

 

 

Strategy for the Management of Cats in Lower Hutt

9.    Officers recommend that steps be taken to develop a strategy for the management of cats in Lower Hutt.  This strategy will roll out over time.  The approach needs to be flexible enough to pivot to respond to different issues as they arise across the city. 

10.  A programme will be implemented using an education and awareness approach.  This approach can be tested and evidence gathered to identify whether such an approach is successful.

11.  The proposed method of implementation is to pilot this approach in Eastbourne over the Dotterel nesting season 2020/21.  Feedback received around this pilot will be used to inform effectiveness and next steps.

12.  Adopting this approach is expected to achieve the following:

a.       Provide a clear approach that will enable action to be taken.

b.       Enable the collection of data to inform the size and scope of the ‘perceived problem’ and understand the options to positively impact cat owner behaviour.

c.       Provide evidence to inform effectiveness and next steps

d.      Provides a window of opportunity to take action and test results without implementing a bylaw that may not align with the National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity and the revised Biodiversity Act.

Why an “educate and promote” approach?

Having cats inside or contained at night

13.  Research by Wayne Linklater and others titled ‘Prioritizing cat-owner behaviors for a campaign to reduce wildlife depredation’  investigated successful approaches to changing cat-owner behaviours to reduce wildlife predation. The paper notes that small changes in cat owner’s behaviours can reap long term benefits for the environment and keep people’s cats safer. 

 

 

14.  The research indicates that changing cat owner’s behaviours from not keeping their cats in at night to doing so is best achieved through promoting the message that responsible cat ownership is key to ensuring the safety of the cat at night. More cats get killed on roads at night and significantly more cat fights occur at night than any other time.  The research shows that this is a strong motivator for cat owners to ensure their cats are safe and therefore kept in at night. 

15.  Linklater’s paper shows how New South Wales has moved the 30% of cat owners who keep cats curfewed to 80% of cat owners over time.  The likelihood of the cat owner cooperating is the key to having an effective and sustained outcome.  This is reflected in the effectiveness score and ranking in the table below.

Community action – the Dotterels at Eastbourne and Parangarahu Lakes Area

16.  At its last meeting, the Committee received submissions concerning predation of dotterels in Eastbourne.  Dotterels are unique and there are a limited number of nesting sites within New Zealand. No Territorial Authority currently has a bylaw that addresses the predation issue.  

17.  Steps have been taken by the community to undertake an ‘educate and promote approach’ with respect to current predation of dotterels on the Eastbourne foreshore for the next nesting season with Council support. 

“Save the Dotterel” Campaign

18.  A meeting chaired by Virginia Horrocks, Chair of the Eastbourne Community Board, was held on 11 June to develop an approach to helping MIRO with a “Save the Dotterels” Campaign.  Representatives from key organisations were invited including Forest and Bird, MIRO, Fishnet and Eastbourne community members.

19.  There are two sites where dotterels nest.  One site is on a portion of the Eastbourne foreshore and the other further south along the coast at sites at Parangarahu Lakes.  The problem with the Eastbourne site was 17 dotterel eggs were laid last nesting season, five hatched but none made it past fledgling and one bird was killed.   Two years ago the predation problem was caused by hedgehogs and a weasel.  Last nesting season the predation problem was caused by a pet cat.  The expert advice is the population of dotterels will be wiped out if this happens again next nesting season.

20.  Council is supporting the work being undertaken by MIRO and others by providing a “Save the Dotterel” pamphlet which the Eastbourne Community Board members can distribute.  Placing pamphlets’ at local sites like the library and using social media will also be utilised. 

21.  The pamphlet will provide the following information; explain what the issue is; what local people can do – keeping their cat(s) in at night and the reasons why this is beneficial for the cats.  It will also include information concerning responsible cat ownership and why this can also support the current campaign. This pamphlet will be distributed twice – once in early-mid July (Dotterels arrive and start nesting mid-late July) and then in the first week of October (nesting sites most active then with eggs hatching).  After this nesting season a survey will be undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the campaign.

22.  This project will provide valuable information from which other community action can learn and contribute to.

National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity

23.  Work that is currently underway concerning the development of the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity (NPSIB) has been previously reported to the Committee. The proposed NPSIB is designed to help halt the decline of Indigenous biodiversity in New Zealand. Due to COVID-19 the timeframe for the proposed NPSIB has changed and is not expected to be completed until next year. 

24.  The NPSIB will provide a framework that councils will need to consider when deciding how to protect indigenous biodiversity in the city and surrounding areas and give guidance on how this can be achieved.  The flexibility of an “educate and promote” approach will also provide an opportunity for council to continue to work closely with communities to shape this approach as we are doing in Eastbourne.

District Plan

25.  District Plan officers advise there is no situation where the RMA has been used to control cats and nor would that be likely given the purpose of the RMA. 

Biosecurity Act

26.  Under the Biosecurity Act 1993, Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) is required to develop and implement a pest management plan. This plan is known as the Greater Wellington Regional Pest Management Plan 2019 - 2039 and sets out the rules for managing pests in the region. Within this plan, pest cats (same as feral cats) are a classified species and defined as any cat within the Wellington Region that is:

a.   Not microchipped in an area where microchipping is compulsory, and free-living, unowned and un-socialised, and has limited or no relationship with or dependence on humans or

b.   Not microchipped, or registered on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register, and is free-living, unowned and un-socialised, and has limited or no relationship with or dependence on humans.

 

27.  Council has received very few complaints about these types of cats. Urban cats that are or are not microchipped, generally have some type of relationship with or dependence on humans. 

Stray/feral cats and other comments from partners and community organisations

28There have been 36 stray/feral cats reported to Council over the last six years but this is not a complete picture as it only reflects complaints received.  Officers approached Forest and Bird, GWRC and MIRO (who provide pest control under contract to GWRC) to ask them for any data they may have concerning pest/feral cat complaints they have received and any other associated comments.  Their responses are summarised below.

 

Organisation

Response

Forest and Bird

·      Don’t keep records.

·      Any reports referred to the relevant local authorities.

·      Very aware of the predatory threat of domestic, stray and feral cats on native wildlife, and said if vulnerable species aren't able to reproduce, we will quickly lose them altogether from Lower Hutt.

SPCA

·      Report that regionally there are between five and 25 cats at any one time available for adoption.

·      Don’t perceive Hutt City Council as having a problem with cats.

Greater Wellington Regional Council

·      Number of feral cat complaints received; one complaint in 2017; one in 2018; two in 2019.

·      Advised pest cats are a concern to GWRC and the wider community eg fighting with pets, interference with waste and posing a health risk to people and pets through disease transfer.

·      Very difficult to be able to assist with control in built up areas.

·      Without clear messaging from TAs to their community regarding cat ownership requirements, it is impossible to offer meaningful assistance to the community and TAs.

MIRO

·      Response focussed on the problem with cats predating dotterel birds and what HCC can do.

·      Recommends Council introduce compulsory microchipping of all domestic cats in Hutt City, as is done in Wellington City.

·      Specific to dotterels, a further step would be to introduce a night curfew within a 1km radius of the dotterel nesting area during the critical part of the nesting season.  This would need to be decided with the local community.

Wellington City Council

·      Advised the collection of cat complaints is problematic as there is no central point where such data is collected and therefore no data base.

Ailsa McGilvary-Howard

·      Works for DoC and Kaikoura District Council and is developing a strategy to protect the predation of native birds and invertebrate populations along the Kaikoura beach. This is in conjunction with a responsible cat ownership promotion. The focus is to keep cats away from the beach in the dotterel breeding season.

 

29.  Contact was also made with Terry Webb, the Chair of Mainland Island Restoration Operation (MIRO) and Parker Jones the local subject matter expert on dotterels in Eastbourne.  MIRO has more than 30 volunteers protecting the dotterel population in Eastbourne and the lakes area. MIRO notes the measures that would help to protect the wild life are:

 

i.   night curfews during breeding season

ii.  bells on collars,

iii. microchipping for cats and

iv. the removal of stray and feral cats.

 

The reason for the microchipping is for identification purposes and linking to owners.   There is no specific local data to inform the significance, or otherwise of issues related to stray and feral cats so it is difficult to quantify the issue. 

 

Approaches by other Councils

 

30.  Both Palmerston North and Wellington City Councils have established bylaws to manage cats in their cities. The detail of these bylaws is attached in the Position paper (see Appendix 2 attached to the report).

31.  In Palmerston North’s case the bylaw limits the number of cats per dwelling to three and requires that cats over six months of age are microchipped and de-sexed. While both Councils believe that the bylaw gives them a base from which to deal with complaints about cats the approach they take with complaints is a “promote and education” one. 

32.  Officers make contact with the property owner to confirm the details, ask any additional questions, explain the process of dealing with cat complaints under the bylaw and provide information for the cat owner.  The key tools are education and working collaboratively with their community to resolve any issues.

33.  In Wellington, a bylaw was introduced in 2018 and requires all cats over six months of age to be microchipped.  Wellington City Council has employed an Animal Enforcement Officer to develop a voluntary compliance approach for cat management. 

Consultation

34.  We are working closely with the Eastbourne Community Board and other partners such as MIRO and Forest and Bird to address the dotterel issue in Eastbourne and the Parangarahu Lakes area. This work with the local community in Eastbourne and with partners will continue. Consultation will be required for a bylaw.

Legal Considerations

35.  If Council was to consider establishing a bylaw to address some of the issues related to cat management there is a legal process to follow. When developing a new bylaw this legal process can take 12-18+ months.

36.  The process to follow when making a bylaw was outlined in the cat management report presented to the Policy Finance and Strategy Committee in May.  This information is attached – refer to Appendix 4. 

Financial Considerations

37.  The current dog registration fees fund 80% of the costs associated with the Council Animal Control division.  Any increase in resources to fund an officer to undertake cat management duties and/or provide promotion and education duties will require increased funding.

38.  An effective bylaw would require staffing resource to manage its enforcement.  The cost of an officer plus overheads and promotional material is around $140k/year.  Palmerston North City Council has one staff member dealing with cat complaints. A simple cat complaint could take up to three hours while more complicated complaints can take 10+ hours.  This  averages out to about half an hour a week.  Wellington City Council employs an Animal Liaison Officer ($60k pa) who works 2 days a week with a focus on cat management.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

39.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

40.  This report is about general cat management in Lower Hutt.  There are no greenhouse gas emission and/or climate change impacts associated with this matter.   

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Appendix 1: Final report: Survey on controlling cats in Lower Hutt  December 2019

16

2

Appendix 2: Position Paper on cats 2019.

52

3

Appendix 3: SPCA:  snip'n'chip pamphlet

59

4

Extract from Management of Cats in Lower Hutt report May 2020

61

    

 

 

Author: Graham Sewell

Principal Policy Advisor

 

 

Reviewed By: Wendy Moore

Head of Strategy and Planning

 

 

Reviewed By: Helen Oram

Director Environmental & Sustainability

 

 

Approved By: Anna Welanyk

Director Transformation & Resources

 


Attachment 1

Appendix 1: Final report: Survey on controlling cats in Lower Hutt  December 2019

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Attachment 2

Appendix 2: Position Paper on cats 2019.

 

Position Paper concerning cats in Lower Hutt 2019.

 

Introduction

 

Hutt City Council when approving in December the Control of Animals Bylaw 2018 resolved:

“… (ii)  acknowledges that cats are an issue in the city, and requests officers to provide a report to the Policy and Regulatory Committee concerning options available to Council in relation to the control of cats, including whether a specific bylaw relating to the control of cats in the city is required, given there is an existing issue;…”

 

This Position Paper is divided into two sections.  The first section outlines what the current situation is with respect to the management of cats.  The second section outlines options available to Council in relation to the management and control of cats and whether a specific bylaw relating to the control of cats is required.  

 

Section One:  The current situation.

 

Cats are currently managed by the general conditions of the Hutt City Council Control of Animals Bylaw 2018, which states:

2.1     All animals shall be kept in a manner that is not, or is not likely to become, a nuisance, dangerous, offensive, or injurious to health.

2.2     All animals shall be kept in a manner that ensures they have adequate physical well-being through acceptable nutrition, environmental, health and behavioural stimulus, and adequate mental well-being.

2.3     All domestic animals, other than domestic cats, found at large and not within their owner's property may be seized and impounded by an authorised officer.

2.4     The Council may sell, re-home or otherwise dispose of any animal seized and impounded that has not been claimed or returned within 7 days after it was seized and impounded.

 

Stock and Roaming Animals Complaints- 1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018

 

Urban and Rural

Goats

7

Sheep

21

Horses / Pony

4

Deer (from bush)

6

Cows / Bull

4

Lama

1

Pig

1

Rabbits

1

Roosters

7

Cats

12

Chickens

8

Peacocks / Peahen

(from same property?)

4

TOTAL

76

 

Reports of Stray /Feral Cats made to Animal Services in the last six years:

2014     2015     2016     2017     2018     2019     Total                    

2             3             4             7             12           8             36

Of the 36 complaints, 21 requested a cage/trap to capture a single stray or feral cat.  Based on these statistics and the current arrangements in place Officers do not consider that stray/Feral cats are an issue in the city.

Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act 1999(the Act), prescribes that one has to become an inspector or auxiliary officer to undertake the functions of an approved organisation as defined in the Act. To undertake those functions the criteria requires that the organisation has to undertake a full range of welfare activities. Hutt City Council does not have the ability to undertake the functions required to be approved or have a welfare plan, in respect to cats.

There has been a recent ruling by the Crown that Councils could face a conflict of interest if they were to have the functions of an approved organisation and Auckland Council’s recent application to become an approved organisation with respect to cats, under the Act was declined.  The SPCA is an approved organisation under the Act.

SPCA

SPCA will take in kittens, assess them for re homing, desex, microchip and sell them.

For stray unwanted cats they will work with the finder, desex the cat and microchip, if the finder is willing to pay and keep the cat. If not then they offer the finder a “stray pack” which has a paper collar and instructions on how to manage the cat over the next 7-10 days. This encourages the finder to not feed the cat to encourage it to go home and for the finder to put up flyers in the local neighbourhood. If the cat stays and after ten days the finder can then take the cat back to the SPCA and they will put the Cat on the stray list and advertise to sell the cat via Pets on the Net. They generally only have 5-25cats for sale at any one time for the whole region.

SPCA do have a caravan that is funded through Grants or Trusts that is fully kitted out to desex cats and dogs. Porirua City has used this caravan over the last 10 years operating for 2 months. The cost for this 2 month period is fully sponsored by the Mana Trust.  Porirua has the highest number of desexed dogs in the region. Owners are asked for a Koha and that money is used to keep the caravan on site longer.

Hutt City had the caravan in 2017 and desexed approx. 108 dogs and 219 cats, also microchipped approx. 60% of the dogs and cats.  This was offered to dog and cat owners that were community service card holders and owners of menacing and dangerous dogs which are required to be desexed.

SPCA facilitate a programme called Snip n Chip, aka desexing and microchipping, which is provided via local vets at a very subsidised level (still significantly dearer than the caravan).

Kitten Inn

Has been operating for 23 years, has 156 volunteers, 91 foster carers, and 26,000 facebook subscribers. Costs $25,000 per month to run and rehomes 1500-1800 kitten/cats purr year.

On average Susan Mc Nair (Kitten Inn)  puts up 40-53 Kitten/cats per week on face book for adoption.

                Kittens   7-10 weeks                    $200  desexed at 1 kg and microchipped

                10 weeks-4 months                       $150   desexed and microchipped

                Cats                                                      $20     desexed and microchipped

Kitten Inn is a charitable trust and uses a Vet in Masterton to desex their cats.

 

 

Section Two:  Options to manage and control cats.

 

Introduction

It is important to recognise the intrinsic value of cats and their value to people, the community and to New Zealand society. It is also important to recognise the need to balance the needs of cats, cat owners and cat carers with the potentially negative impacts of cats on communities, other species and on ecosystems. There is a need to humanely manage cats in Hutt City in a way that protects their welfare and our unique environment. Section Two of this Paper outlines options around the management and control of cats and whether a bylaw is needed. 

 

Types of cats

The N.Z National Cat Management Strategy Discussion Paper 2017 noted that the following cat population categories should be used to provide the basis for a management framework:

 

·    Feral cats: these cats are unowned, unsocialised, and have no relationship with or dependence on humans.

·    Domestic cats:

Companion (owned) cats: these cats are considered to be owned by a specific person, are sociable, and are directly dependent on humans.

·    Stray cats: these cats are unowned, of varying sociability, have varying interactions with humans and dependence on humans. This category is subdivided into:

Socialised stray cats (managed and unmanaged)

Unsocialised stray cats (managed and unmanaged)

 

Cat population

There is no reliable source or database available that can indicate what the current number of cats in Lower Hutt is.   Officers think – as a very rough guess – that 85% of the cat population are domestic cats.  The remaining 15% of the cat population probably comprise feral and stray cats.

Given the majority are Domestic cats the controls outlined below are only applicable to Domestic cats.

 

Responsible cat owner

There are some potential options that can be used to manage domestic cats. Micro chipping and de-sexing of cats are currently considered part of being a responsible pet owner. 

 

SPCA heartily support desexing and microchipping of Cats and Dogs. The N.Z. Companion Animal Council Inc.  and the N.Z. Veterinary Association also support these management practices.

Microchip cats

A microchip is a permanent method of identification. They are reliable, unlike cat collars, which can come off. The chip is the same size as a grain of rice and is inserted under the skin by a vet by injection.  Cats tolerate the procedure well.  Each chip has a unique identification code which can be read by an electronic scanner.

Following the Christchurch earthquakes, over 80% of microchipped cats were quickly reunited with their owners after the quake, compared with only 15% of non-microchipped cats.

 

De-sexing cats

A female cat can start reproducing from the age of 5 months and can have up to four litters of up to six kittens every year.  Introducing de-sexing for cats the expectation is the reduction of unwanted cats and kittens.

Introduction of wide-spread pre-pubertal desexing of cats will reduce the number of litters of kittens produced before cats are desexed and improve the effectiveness of other desexing initiatives.

 

Limiting number of cats per property.

This is another option Council could establish.  The number of cats per property could be set at three per property.

 

The Palmerston North City Council Animal and Bees Bylaw 2018 has set the number of cats at three per property. This approach is also supported by the Manager of Kitten Inn.  The HCC Dog Control Bylaw has set the number of dogs at three per property. 

 

Property owners could apply to Council to have a licence to have more than three cats, with good reason e.g. a breeder of cats, keeping cats as a business, subject to any conditions specified by Council.

 

Having cats inside or contained at night.

Cats are highly efficient killers – one study has suggested they’re a bigger threat to birds, skinks, geckos and weta in cities than even rats and mice – and there is also plenty of them.   

 

Wayne Linklater and others have recently published a paper ‘Prioritizing cat-owner behaviours for a campaign to reduce wildlife depredation’.  They surveyed veterinarians and cat owners to prioritize a list of cat management behaviours’ by visiting 10 veterinary clinics in Wellington, Palmerston North and Dunedin.  Cat-owner behaviours were ranked by their (a) likelihood of implementation and (b) current adoption rate by cat owners, (c) perceived effectiveness at reducing predation on wildlife, and (d) veterinarians’ opinions about their impact on cat welfare. Their research found that almost 30% of cat owners bring their cat inside at night but less than 1% confined their cat inside or to their property 24hr a day. Bringing cats in at night, from before dusk until dawn, was revealed to be the behaviour most suited to a campaign to reduce cats’ hunting.

This paper’s conclusion was:

“…By designing and implementing an advocacy campaign that focuses, first, on a behaviour acceptable to cat owners (i.e. bringing cats inside at night in New Zealand) over time, there could be a more substantial shift in behaviour with greater conservation benefit.  Although globally objectives may differ, we strongly suggest that engaging with cat-owners in this way may enable substantial change.  Incremental changes through behaviour prioritization may deliver longer-term and sustained reductions in the impact of domestic cats on native wildlife while not exacerbating conflicts and risks of non-compliance…”

 

The paper indicates that effective management of stray and companion cats requires an integrated, consistent and long-term approach focusing on non-lethal cat management methods; there is also a need for effective and humane cat management measures that are acceptable to the community. Changing community attitudes, beliefs and behaviours is vital to any future management of cat populations.

 

Given the above Council may wish to develop an education programme that focuses on increasing public understanding of the need for cat management and acceptance of critical cat management measures. Such an education programme could encourage and reinforce responsible ownership by:

 

·    Increasing acceptance and implementation of cat containment, especially in sensitive wildlife areas. Measures to ensure suitably enriched containment environments for cats must be included to safeguard cat health and welfare.

·    Increasing the use of effective anti-predation devices for cats with outdoor access e.g. bell on a cats neck.

·    Promote microchipping and physical identification.

·    Promote pre-pubertal desexing of cats.

 

If Council agreed to undertake an education programme as outlined above, what sort of resources would be needed? Attached to this paper is a ‘snip’n’chip pamphlet which the SPCA use to outline what being a responsible cat ownership involves. Working in partnership with the SPCA Council could produce an appropriate ‘snip’n’chip pamphlet Officers could use to help educate residents in Lower Hutt about being responsible cat owners.  The Council Comms team  could also be used to promote responsible cat management practices.  Their main channel options for such a public information programme are:

·    Media release

·    Social media – HCC Facebook page and Neighbourly

·    Editorial on Hutt at Heart, council’s news website

·    Advertorial in Hutt News – about $1600 for a half page

·    Dedicated HCC web page

·    Digital noticeboards in 10 HCC locations, including libraries, community hubs and public pools

Only cost associated with these channels would be for the Hutt News advertorial space.

This approach could be reviewed in a few years’ time to determine if it’s being effective.

 

Is a bylaw required?

Clause (ii) above has asked officers to advise whether a specific bylaw relating to the control of cats in the city is required.  Below are two examples of what Palmerston North and Wellington City Councils have done.

 

Palmerston North City Council

Part 4 Section 8 Palmerston North City Council Animals and Bees Bylaw 2018, shows how a series of controls could be established to promote responsible cat ownership.

 

 

 

“… 8. CATS ON PREMISES

8.1 No person may keep more than three cats per dwelling on any private land in the urban area without a permit issued under this Bylaw.

8.2 If the Council issues a permit to a person to keep more than three cats under clause 8.1 then the permit holder must comply with the conditions of that permit.

8.3 No cats kept for breeding purposes shall be housed within 1.8 metres of the boundary of any adjoining property in the urban area unless the housing is within a dwelling house.

8.4 The restrictions of clauses 8.1 and 8.3 shall not apply to kittens below the age of three months.

8.5 Nothing in clause 8.1 applies to the SPCA or other animal shelter or a lawfully established veterinary clinic or cattery.

8.6 Nothing in clause 8 precludes the need for a resource consent under the District Plan.

8.7 Every person who keeps cats must ensure:

a. Cats over six months of age are microchipped and registered with the New Zealand Companion Animals Register, or other Council approved microchip registry.

b. Cats over six months are desexed (unless kept for breeding purposes and are registered with a nationally recognised cat breeders’ body including New Zealand Cat Fancy Ltd. and Catz Inc.).

 

8.8 Clause 8.7 applies to all cats born after 1 July 2018…”

 

How does PNCC enforce these cat management controls?  At this stage PNCC will write to cat owners reminding them of their obligations if they become aware of a cat not microchipped and/or de-sexed.  If such an approach doesn’t result in the outcomes expected PNCC may review their approach.

Wellington City Council

Part 2, Cause 4 of The Wellington Consolidated Bylaw 2008 states:

“…4. Cats

The bylaw on microchipping cats was passed at the Environment Committee on 4 August 2016. The bylaw will come into place in early 2018, giving owners 18 months to meet the new requirement for cats to be microchipped.

4.1 All domestic cats over the age of 12 weeks must be microchipped and the cat's microchip registered with New Zealand Companion Animal Register…”

The WCC only have microchipping in their bylaw.  While other cat management controls were considered the public feedback indicated their community only wanted cats to be microchipped. So in response to that feedback the bylaw outlined above was adopted by WCC.  They have employed an Animal Officer in an educational role.  They think that voluntary compliance was more likely to have better outcomes than rules that lead to infringements.

Cats at night

Having cats inside or contained at night, based on the information outlined above, indicates that the adoption of a non-regulatory approach could be the best option.  Raising the profile, via an education programme, around the need to better protect the local wildlife and improve the conservation benefits by encouraging cat owners to keep their cats inside at night is an option Council may wish to pursue.

_________________________________________________________________________________


Attachment 3

Appendix 3: SPCA:  snip'n'chip pamphlet

 


 


Attachment 4

Extract from Management of Cats in Lower Hutt report May 2020

 

Appendix 4

Extract from Management of Cats in Lower Hutt report May 2020.

 

Process for making a bylaw

17.  Section 155 of the LGA provides that before commencing the process for making a bylaw, the Council must determine whether a bylaw is the most appropriate way of addressing the perceived problem.  This would require:

 

·    Identifying what the perceived problem is;

·    What the options are for addressing the perceived problem; and

·    Determining whether or not a bylaw is the most appropriate way of dealing with that problem.

If Council determines that a bylaw is the most appropriate way of addressing the perceived problem, then it must determine whether the bylaw:

§ Is the most appropriate form of bylaw; and

 

§ Gives rise to any implications under the NZ Bill of Rights Act.

 

18.  After considering these matters Council may determine if it is appropriate to proceed or not.  Council would then need to consult on the proposed bylaw using the special consultative procedure.

19.  Section 146(a)(v) of The Local Government Act provides the Council with the power to regulate the keeping of cats through a bylaw.  That section states that a territorial authority may make bylaws for its district for the purposes of inter alia “keeping of animals, bees and poultry”. As cats are animals, Council can regulate the keeping of cats.  Council can regulate the owing and managing (i.e. keeping) of cats. So where people choose to own a cat, Council can place constraints on that activity. In terms of how far those constraints’ go is determined by what ‘regulate’ means.  The Council can regulate the keeping/owning of cats but cannot cause a total or substantial prohibition of the keeping /owning of cats.

20.  A legal opinion obtained by Wellington City Council advised under section 146(a)(v) Council does have the power to place constraints on the keeping of cats through a Bylaw, where the purpose of the constraint is to protect wildlife.  The reason for this is that the wording of that section is very broad and there are no express restrictions on why (or for what purpose) cats can be regulated.

21.  Council can require owners to microchip their cats and ensure that cats wear a collar, as the constraint is involved with the regulating of the keeping of cats and does not result in the prohibition of owning cats.

22.  Limiting the number of cats provides a partial prohibition around the owing of cats.  One could argue this does not provide a substantial or total prohibition so Council could impose this constraint. 

23.  Council could require owners to de-sex their cat(s), as the constraint is involved with the regulating of the keeping of cats (i.e. the type of cat that can be kept – de-sexed) and does not result in the prohibition of owning cats.

24.  Council could require owners to register their cat(s) as the constraint is involved with the regulating of the keeping of cats and does not result in the prohibition of owning cats.

25.  Council also has the power under section 145 of the LGA to make bylaws for the purpose of “Protecting the public from nuisance.” If Council considers that cats are creating a nuisance then a bylaw could be created to address that nuisance.  There must be some link however between the bylaw and the nuisance it is intending to address. Nuisance is not defined in the LGA.  The tort of public nuisance is defined as a wrong against the public, consisting of conduct that creates an unreasonable interference with the comfort and convenience of a section of the public.  There is legal uncertainty whether a cat harming wildlife can constitute a nuisance under section 145 of the LGA. If Council has the power (under 146(a)(v) of the LGA) to regulate the keeping of cats, for the purpose of protecting wildlife, that would be the approach to adopt.  

_________________________________________________________________________________


                                                                                      65                                                              07 July 2020

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

22 June 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/648)

 

 

 

Report no: PFSC2020/4/152

 

District Plan Review Subcommittee

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to establish a District Plan Review Subcommittee to consider matters relating to the review of the City of Lower Hutt District Plan.

Recommendations

That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    establishes a District Plan Review Subcommittee; and

(ii)   adopts the Terms of Reference for the District Plan Review Subcommittee, attached as Appendix 1 to this report

For the reasons that a dedicated Subcommittee provides an efficient and focused governance arrangement for the full review of the District Plan.

 

Background

2.    At the 10 December 2019 Council meeting, Council resolved to establish the Council’s committee structure. This committee structure assigned responsibilities for monitoring, reviewing and changing the District Plan to four committees. Since establishing this committee structure, informal feedback from the Mayor and Councillors demonstrated a preference for a new District Plan Review Subcommittee to be formed to focus on the full review of the District Plan.

Discussion

3.    The full review of the District Plan is a significant undertaking over some four years. Regular direction will be required on matters addressed by the District Plan review of this time. These decisions will be informed by community views, technical information, national and regional policies, and legislative requirements.

4.    Due to the quantum of information and workload for a full review, it would be most efficient for a group of discrete Councillors to be responsible for providing the direction for the full review. In addition, due to the specialised nature and legislative requirements for the District Plan Review, Councillors who are certified under the Ministry for the Environment Resource Management Act Making Good Decisions programme would be well placed to sit on this Subcommittee.

5.    As set out in the Terms of Reference in Appendix 1, all decisions would still be made by the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee and then, full Council.

Options

6.    There are two options:

(a)     Option 1: Status quo, using existing committees; and

(b)     Option 2: Establish new District Plan Review Subcommittee

7.    Under Option 1 (status quo), the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee would be responsible for managing and monitoring the District Plan Review. The Community and Environment Committee also can refer matters to be addressed in the full District Plan review to the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee which arise from operational activities. All Councillors sit on both these Committees.

8.    Under Option 2, a new District Plan Review Subcommittee will be formed, the sole purpose of which will be providing direction to officers and the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee. As outlined in the Terms of Reference in Appendix 1, the sole purpose of the subcommittee would be explicitly stated. While the new Subcommittee would be responsible for developing the new Proposed District Plan, the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee would still be responsible for recommending to full Council the new Proposed District Plan. The new Subcommittee could also refer any matters to the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee at any time for direction for the District Plan Review. This new Subcommittee would be in place up to the public notification of the Proposed District Plan. At that time, Council would consider the arrangements for hearing submissions on the Proposed District Plan – for example, forming a District Plan Hearings Subcommittee.

9.    Ideally, members of this new Subcommittee should hold certification under the Good Decisions Training, Assessment and Certification Programme for RMA Decision-Makers. This certification confirms a level of understanding and knowledge on the Resource Management Act which would be helpful to have as a member of this Subcommittee. However, there is currently a limited pool of Councillors currently holding or working towards this certification. Therefore, membership of this Subcommittee would be open to all Councillors.

10.  The District Plan Review is to be undertaken in partnership with mana whenua.  It is recommended that mana whenua representation be provided for on this Subcommittee. Officers are having ongoing engagement with mana whenua discussing governance and operational matters. Similar to Councillors, it would be desirable for the mana whenua representatives to hold certification under the RMA Decision-Makers programme.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

11.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.

12.  As this matter is of a procedural nature, there are no climate change considerations.   

Consultation

13.  No consultation is required or has been undertaken on this matter.

Legal Considerations

14.  Section 41A(3) of the Local Government Act 2002 empowers the Mayor to establish committees of the territorial authority.

15.  Section 41A(4) of the Local Government Act 2002 provides for a territorial authority, in accordance with clause 30 of Schedule 7 of the LGA, to discharge or reconstitute a committee established by the Mayor, or to appoint one or more committees in addition to any established by the Mayor.

16.  Clause 30 of Schedule 7 of the LGA provides for a local authority to appoint the committees, subcommittees and other subordinate decision-making bodies that it considers appropriate.

17.  Meeting the obligations of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) is a key driver for the District Plan Review. The process and requirements for the review need to comply with the requirements of the RMA. Section 34 (1) of the Resource Management Act 1991 states a local authority may delegate to any committee of the local authority established in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002 any of its functions, powers, or duties under the RMA.

Financial Considerations

18.  Elected member remuneration has been considered as part of a separate process to allocate the Council’s remuneration pool as set by the Remuneration Authority through the Local Government Members (2019/20) Determination 2019. The mana whenua representatives on this Subcommittee would also be remunerated from existing budgets.

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Appendix 1 District Plan Review Subcommittee Terms of Reference

66

Author: Hamish Wesney

Head of District Plan Policy

Approved By: Helen Oram

Director Environmental & Sustainability


Attachment 1

Appendix 1 District Plan Review Subcommittee Terms of Reference

 


                                                                                      69                                                              07 July 2020

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

24 June 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/655)

 

 

 

 

Report no: PFSC2020/4/153

 

Delegations for deciding remission of rates and economic development grants for economic development

 

Purpose of Report

1.    To seek a decision from Council regarding the delegations for deciding the remission of rates and economic development grants for economic development.

Recommendations

That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    agrees to rates remission policy for rates remission and economic development grants 2017 is included in the overall Hutt City Council Rates Remission Policy; and

(ii)   agrees that applications for remission of rates and economic development grants for economic development will be considered by the Policy, Finance, and Strategy Committee, acting under delegated authority from council.

The economic development remissions policy (part 5) is currently separate to the full Rates Remission Policy.

This delegation enables the committee to provide consideration of decisions regarding the award of economic development grants and rates remissions.

 

Background

2.    The current Rates Remission Policy was approved by Council in June 2015. This policy includes several sections for providing rates remission to different applicants. Officers have delegated authority to decide on remissions to community, sporting and other organisations, remission of penalties added to unpaid rates, and the remission of uniform annual general charges and targeted rates. Decisions on remitting rates for historical conservation purposes are delegated to the Policy, Finance, and Strategy Committee.

3.    In January 2017 part 5 of the policy was amended to include decisions regarding economic development grants in addition to rates remission, and the delegation was changed to the Mayor, Chair of the City Development Committee, and the Chief Executive.  In the full policy from 2015, the authority to decide on rates for economic development – part 5 of the policy – rests with full Council. Following the local elections in 2019, changes to the committee structure mean that the City Development Committee no longer exists.

Discussion

4.    A significant amount of money is remitted to promote economic development - $468,000 in the 2019/20 year -  and decisions regarding this aspect of council’s work require careful consideration. 

5.    From the perspective of good governance we believe that consideration of applications for rates remission and economic grants to promote economic development in the city should be debated and decided by Council or a committee delegated by council to do so.

Options

6.    Option 1:

Council delegates authority to the Policy, Finance, and Strategy Committee to decide on applications for remission of rates and economic development grants. The delegation paragraph in the policy will read:

‘Applications for remission of rates and economic development grants for economic development will be decided by the Policy, Finance, and Strategy Committee, acting under delegated authority from council.’

This option provides the opportunity for careful consideration of applications by full committee.

7.    Option 2:

Full Council decides on applications for remission of rates and economic development grants for economic development. The delegation paragraph in the policy will read:

 

‘Applications for a remission of rates economic development will be decided by full Council.’

 

This option provides the opportunity for careful consideration of applications. This is the delegation which exists in the current part 5 of the full Rates Remission Policy agreed in 2015.

Consultation

8.    Consultation is not required in this instance.

Legal Considerations

9.    None

Financial Considerations

10.  The longer –term financial implications of rates remission will be considered as part of the Long-Term Plan 2021-31.

Appendices

There are no appendices for this report.   

 

 

Author: John Pritchard

Principal Policy Advisor

 

 

Reviewed By: Wendy Moore

Head of Strategy and Planning

 

 

Approved By: Jenny Livschitz

Chief Financial Officer    


                                                                                      75                                                             07 July 2020

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

30 January 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/61)

 

 

 

 

Report no: PFSC2020/4/144

 

Vogel House rates remission request

 

Purpose of Report

1.    Seek a decision from the Committee with regard to the request for remission of rates by the owners of Vogel House, 75 Woburn Road, Lower Hutt.

Recommendations

That the Committee:

(i)    notes the information provided in the report in relation to the historical and architectural significance of Vogel House;

(ii)   notes that the Heritage policy is being reviewed and that there may be amendments to the rates remission policy as a result of this work;

(iii)  notes that decisions about rates remissions are made on a case by case basis and that, therefore, this decision does not set precedent for future decisions of this nature.

(iv) approves Option 1 – a rates remission of 50 per cent of the Hutt City Council General Rates for the 2020/21 year,  being approximately $6,250, and the condition that the applicant will need to demonstrate that the property is being renovated.  The applicant will need to agree to the condition in writing; and

(v)  agrees that the funding of this rates remission will be from the Built Heritage Incentive Fund, which will be reduced by an equivalent amount of the remission.

-     The property complies with objectives and criteria of Council’s Rate Remission Policy Part 4; and

-     Vogel House is classed as a Heritage Place Category 1 by Heritage New Zealand, and is listed in Council’s District Plan.

 

 

Background

2.    Council’s Rates Remission Policy allows rates relief where it is considered fair and reasonable to do so. The policy allows Council to provide rates remission for a range of properties and the full policy is attached as Appendix 1 of this report. Applications for the remission of rates to protect heritage are decided by Committee of Council, acting under delegated authority from Council.

 

3.    Part 4 of the policy relates to ‘Remission on land protected for natural, historic or cultural conservation purposes’ and the objective of this part is to:

·      ‘protect and promote significant natural areas, culturally significant sites, historic buildings, structures and places and archaeological sites’

4.    Part 4 of the policy is intended to support the provisions of the District Plan in terms of properties that have a number of the features identified in paragraph 3 above. Key criteria for Council to consider in Part 4 are:

·      ‘The extent to which protection and promotion of significant natural areas, culturally significant sites, historic building, structures and places, and archaeological sites will be promoted by granting remission of rates on the rating unit.

·      The degree to which significant natural areas, culturally significant sites, historic building, structures and places, and archaeological sites are present on the land.

·      The degree to which significant natural areas, culturally significant sites, historic building, structures and places, and archaeological sites inhibit economic utilisation of the land.’

5.    Applicants apply for the remission annually and Council considers each case on its own merits, and can remit up to 50 per cent of the Hutt City Council General Rates per year. The Committee can also impose conditions on applicants as part of agreeing to remit rates. 

6.    Currently there are 110 Heritage Place properties in Lower Hutt. None of these properties currently receive rates remission under Council’s policy.

7.    Other sources of funding for heritage properties currently include Council’s Built Heritage Incentive Fund which funds specialist advice, consent fees, emergency and seismic strengthening work, conservation and restoration work; and a Heritage New Zealand fund to assist with renovations. (Heritage New Zealand -  https://www.heritage.org.nz/protecting-heritage/national-heritage-preservation-incentive-fund)

Vogel House

 

8.    In November 2019 the owners of Vogel House, 75 Woburn Road, applied for rates remission under part 4 of Council’s policy.

 

9.    Until 2019 the Vogel House property was owned by the Crown for over fifty years. During this time it was used as the residence for the Australian High Commissioner and, following that, as the official residence of the Prime Minister. Throughout this period it was categorised as residential property and charged rates accordingly.  In October 2019 ownership of the property reverted back to the Vogel family.   

10.  In 2008 the property was listed as a Category 1 Historic Place by Heritage New Zealand, because of its ‘outstanding historical significance.’ Designed by the Christchurch architectural partnership of Heathcote Helmore and Guy Cotterill during the early 1930’s, the property has a high historical value because of its association with the New Zealand Company and, later, as the Prime Minister’s residence.

11.  The main house is a good example of 1930s domestic architecture and of the work of the Helmore and Cotterill partnership which designed a number of large homes for wealthy households and which also influenced methods of building design in the country. The practice made its name in the 1930s and Vogel House is one of their best known works. (Source: Heritage New Zealand - https://www.heritage.org.nz/the-list/details/7757  and Robert Jonathan Esau, Helmore and Cotterill: the formative years (1988) https://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/handle/10092/6477)  The historic covenant covers the house and the land.

12.  Council’s District Plan also lists the property in the Appendix to Chapter 14F, and this preceded its addition to Heritage New Zealand List.

13.  In his application Mr. Vogel refers to some of the issues that a reduction in rates would enable him to address. These include replacing weatherboards, reinstating a chimney and fire exit, removing asbestos, updating interior fittings, painting the house, and maintaining the grounds.

14.  The property is currently rated as residential and has a capital value of $4.9 million.  The rates for 2020/21 are expected to total approximately $20,087 comprising Hutt City Council Residential General Rates of $12,500 per annum, targeted rates of $1,400, and Greater Wellington Regional Council rates of $5,700. Any remission approved will relate to the Hutt City Council Residential General Rates.

Discussion

15.  In considering the application and proposing the options, officers have considered the significance of Vogel House, as described in the Heritage New Zealand report, against the criteria in the policy.

16.  Vogel House is a property of outstanding historical significance in Lower Hutt and is listed by Heritage New Zealand and in Council’s District Plan. The property therefore fits with the objective under Part 4 of the Rates Remission Policy, and the policy criteria.

 

17.  If a remission was granted, the financial cost to Council would be approximately $6,250 for 2020/21. This equates to 50 per cent of the Hutt City Council Residential General Rates on the property. The applicant can reapply for remission on an annual basis and therefore the financial impact could be ongoing.

18.  If the remission of rates is granted, the applicant has offered to hold an open day for the public once initial renovation work has been completed. Officers will continue to communicate with the owners about the options around this offer.

 

19.  The rates remission policy for historic or cultural conservation purposes is part of Council’s response to protecting the city’s history. Council’s Heritage Policy is currently being reviewed and there may be amendments to the approach to rates remissions as a result of this review.

Options

 

20.  The Committee has the following options:

Option 1:

 

21.  Remit 50 per cent of the annual general rates due on the property for the year 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021.

 

22.  The applicant will need to demonstrate to Council that the property is being renovated e.g. by producing a work plan and timetable for the renovation.

 

23.  As described in the report, Vogel House is a significant historical property in Lower Hutt and is eligible for rates remission under the Rates Remission Policy. Council can contribute to repair and renovation of this important local asset by remitting 50 per cent ($6,250) of the annual rates. 

 

Option 1 is the recommended option.

 

Option 2:

 

24.  Remit 25 per cent of the annual general rate due on the property for the year 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021.

 

25.  The applicant will need to demonstrate that the property is being renovated e.g. by producing a work plan and timetable for the renovation.

 

26.  As described in the report, Vogel House is a significant historical property in Lower Hutt and is eligible for rates remission under the Rates Remission Policy. Council can contribute to repair and renovation of this important local asset by remitting 25 per cent ($3,125) of the annual rates. Ratepayer funding is currently under significant pressure and officers consider that remitting 25 per cent of the rates makes a contribution while maintaining fairness to other ratepayers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 3:

 

27.  Refuse the application.

28.  Selecting this option would not be in-line with the objectives of part 4 of Council’s Rates Remission Policy.

Consultation

 

29.  Public consultation is not required.

Legal Considerations

 

30.  As per the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 a local authority may remit all or part of the rates on a rating unit if: (a) the local authority has adopted a rates remission policy under section 09 of the Local Government Act 2002; and (b) the local authority must give notice to the ratepayer identifying the remitted rates.

Financial Considerations

 

31.  The financial impact of the rates remission for Vogel House in 2020/21 would be approximately $6,250.

 

32.  Funding has not been set aside for rates remission under part four of the policy in 2020/2021 Annual Plan. During the preparation of the Draft Annual Plan 2020/21 significant effort was made to find operational savings in order to reduce rates increases and offset the financial impacts of Covid-19. Budget cuts of $3 million were included in the plan. It would be difficult to find further savings to offset the cost of rates remissions for Vogel House. 

 

33.  Officers recommend that the Built Heritage Incentive Fund is used as a funding source for the rates remission to Vogel House for the year 2020/2021. The Built Heritage Incentive Fund has been in place since 2008. Historically this fund has not been fully utilised each year. In 2019/20 the forecast spend is $29,000 of the full allocation for the year of $52,000. This would mean the fund of $52,000 would be reduced by the equivalent amount of the rates remission.

 

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Appendix 1: HCC Rates Remission Policy

76

2

Appendix 2: Vogel Rates Letter to Hutt City Council

87

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: John Pritchard

Principal Policy Advisor

 

 

Author: Helen Stringer

Financial Transaction Services Manager

 

 

Approved By: Jenny Livschitz

Chief Financial Officer

 


Attachment 1

Appendix 1: HCC Rates Remission Policy

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Attachment 2

Appendix 2: Vogel Rates Letter to Hutt City Council

 

                                                                                                           

4 November 2019

 

Helen Stringer

Hutt City Council

Lower Hutt

 

 

Dear Ms Stringer,

RE: VOGEL HOUSE – 75 WOBURN ROAD – APPLICATION FOR REMISSION OF RATES

1.    I send this letter to you on behalf of the Vogel family who, on 11 October 2019, purchased Vogel House (the property) from the Crown.

2.    The purpose of this letter is to apply for a remission of rates, pursuant to Part 4 of your Council’s Rates Remission Policy (the policy).   This application is made on the basis the property is a Heritage New Zealand (HNZ) Grade One listed property, it is owned by my family (who are the ratepayers), and it is my family who will be protecting the property and its historic nature.

3.    HNZ has placed a covenant (copy attached) over the whole property, which includes all the buildings and grounds.   It must be assumed, therefore, HNZ believes the property is of significant historical interest.

4.    Unfortunately, the Crown, which owned the property for more than 50 years, deferred maintenance on the property for quite some time.   This has left my family having to address such issues as painting the main house, replacing rotten weatherboards, reinstating a chimney and fire exit, removing asbestos, replacing rotten front gates, updating interior fittings, and maintaining the substantial grounds.

5.    The HNZ covenant inhibits us from economically utilising the land.   The property is approximately one hectare in size on flat land.   It is easily subdivisible.  

6.    Any amount of rates remitted would be put towards the maintenance, upkeep, and repair of the property.

7.    Given the historic nature of the property and its standing in Lower Hutt, I respectfully request our rates be remitted by 50%, as per your policy.   If this requested is granted, my family would be agreeable to holding an open day for the public at the property.   The only caveat I apply to this is the main house needs some work done on it to make it presentable.   A remission of rates will certainly go some way to achieving this.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Vogel


                                                                                      90                                                             07 July 2020

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

19 June 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/633)

 

 

 

 

Report no: PFSC2020/4/154

 

Regional Amenities Fund- withdrawal from Joint Committee

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to formalise Council’s withdrawal from the Joint Wellington Regional Amenities Fund (WRAF) committee following Council’s 18 June decision to withdraw funding from WRAF.

 

Recommendations

That the Committee agrees to withdraw from the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund Joint Committee.

For the reason that this follows on from Council’s 18 June 2020 to withdraw funding from WRAF.

 

Background

2.    The Wellington Regional Amenities Fund (WRAF) was established in 2012. Each Council in the region agreed to provide funding on a per capital basis through their 2012-2022 Long Term Plans.  WRAF to assist the region’s arts, culture and environmental organisations that gave the Wellington region a unique identity as the “Creative Capital” to compete with other regions – particularly Auckland. There was concern that key organisations such as New Zealand Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera would leave the city.

3.    The costs involved for each Council in maintaining existing amenities or developing new ones was increasing and, at the same time, central government funding was moving towards a national/regional/local tiered focused funding structure effectively reducing funding in this sector.

 

Discussion

4.      Since its establishment in 2012 a number of entities across the region have received funding.  WRAF enabled all Councils to take a regional perspective and support the kaupapa of attracting national and international attention and attendance at events held in the region.

5.    The community has contributed $1.6 million since WRAF was established and has been committed to supporting WRAF for a number of years. However, circumstances have intervened and some difficult decisions about where savings can be made at a time when this is critical to the community.

6.    One of those decisions was to withdraw the $200k contribution from WRAF.  This decision in turn requires a decision to formally withdraw from membership of the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund Joint Committee.

7.    The Wellington Regional Amenities Fund Manager (situated at Wellington City Council), has asked that a formal resolution to withdraw from the Joint Committee be passed by Council or Council Committee with the delegation to make the decision.

8.    Advice from the Democracy Advisor, Wellington City Council is that as joint committees are considered normal committees of the member Councils under the Local Government Act, the member Councils can individually resolve to revoke their membership of a joint committee. Once all member Councils have done this, the Joint Committee will be disestablished.

Options

9.    As Council has decided to withdraw the $200k contribution from WRAF as part of the Annual 2020/21 decision making process the next logical step is to formally withdraw from membership of the Joint Committee.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

10.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide and they do not impact on the outcomes sought by Council.

Consultation

11.  Council conducted public consultation on whether the $200k contribution to WRAF should be withdrawn as part of its community engagement on the draft Annual Plan. The financial saving was identified on page 11 of the draft Annual Plan engagement document

12.  Two submitters referenced their disagreement with the proposal to withdraw from WRAF specifically and there was some commentary in the general verbatim comments.   Officers are currently working through responses to submitters.

 

Legal Considerations

13.  Joint committees are considered normal committees of the member Councils under the Local Government Act therefore member Councils can individually resolve to revoke their membership of a Joint Committee. Once all member Councils have done this, the Joint Committee will be disestablished.

Financial Considerations

14.  Withdrawal from WRAF is one of the savings identified as part of the Annual 2020/21 process.

Appendices

There are no appendices for this report.   

 

 

 

Author: Wendy Moore

Head of Strategy and Planning

 

 

Approved By: Anna Welanyk

Director Transformation & Resources

  


                                                                                      91                                                             07 July 2020

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

17 June 2020

 

 

 

File: (20/613)

 

 

 

 

Report no: PFSC2020/4/59

 

Policy, Finance and Strategy Work Programme 2020

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendation

That the work programme be noted and received.

 

 

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Appendix 1: Policy Finance and Strategy Work Programme 2020

92

  

 

 

Author: Toi Lealofi

Committee Advisor

 

 

Approved By: Kathryn Stannard

Head of Democratic Services


Attachment 1

Appendix 1: Policy Finance and Strategy Work Programme 2020

 

Policy, Finance and Strategy – Work Programme –2020

 

 

Description

Author

Cycle 4

7 July

Cycle 5

7 September

Cycle 5

21 October

Cycle 6

17 November

Rates Remission Request from Vogel House (deferred from Cycle 2)

H Stringer

 

 

 

Management of Cats

G Sewell

 

 

 

District Plan Review Subcommittee

H Wesney

 

 

 

Regional Amenities Fund- withdrawal from Joint Committee

W Moore

 

 

 

Private Use of Public Land

G Sewell

 

 

 

Revised SOI for UPL (request from Council)

S George/A Welanyk

 

 

 

Revenue and Financing Policy Review

J Livschitz/A Welanyk

 

 

 

Economic Development Plan

Description-request from LTP/AP Subcommittee

G Craig/K Puketapu-Dentice

 

 

 

S&P Credit Rating Review

J Livschitz/A Welanyk

 

 

 

Council Group Annual Report

J Livschitz

 

 


 

Annual Report UPL to 30 June 2020

S George

 

 


 

Annual Report CFT to 30 June 2020

S Page

 

 

 

 

Annual Report SML to 30 June 2020

S Page

 

 

 

 

Annual Report Wgtn Water Ltd to 30 June 2020

B Hodgins

 

 

 

 

Annual Report LGFA to 30 June 2020

J Livschitz

 

 

 

 

Health and Safety Update

K Alkema

 

 

 

Sale & Supply of Alcohol Fees Regulations 2013 - reporting back by local authority

D Bentley

 

 

 

Final Naenae Spatial Plan

P Maaki

 

 

 

Proposed Appearance Industries Bylaw

G Sewell

 

 

 

Financial Performance Report ended 30/9/20

J Livschitz

 

 

 

Insurance Update

J Livschitz

 

 

 

Activity Report - IT

L Allott

 

 

 

HVCC 6 monthly report back

G Craig

 

 

 

Six Monthly Strategic Property Update

G Craig

 

 

 

Technology Valley 6 monthly report back

G Craig

 

 

 

Review of Leisure and Wellbeing Strategy

A Blackshaw/J Miller