1                                         7 September 2020

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

 

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

 Monday 7 September 2020 commencing at 2.00pm

 

 

 

PRESENT:

Cr S Edwards (Chair)

Mayor C Barry (from 2.10pm)

 

Cr D Bassett (via audio visual link until 2.37pm)

Cr J Briggs

 

Cr K Brown (Deputy Chair)

Cr B Dyer

 

Cr C Milne

Deputy Mayor T Lewis

 

Cr S Rasheed

Cr A Mitchell

 

 

Cr N Shaw

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE:       Ms J Miller, Chief Executive

Ms A Blackshaw, Director Neighbourhoods & Communities (part meeting)

Ms H Oram, Director Environment & Sustainability

Ms A Welanyk, Director Transformation & Resources (part meeting)

Mr K Puketapu-Dentice, Director Economy & Development  

Mr M Boggs, Director Strategy & Engagement

Ms J Livschitz, Chief Financial Officer

Mr B Cato, Chief Legal Officer (part meeting)

Mr D Kerite, Head of Environmental Consents (part meeting)

Ms W Moore, Head of Strategy & Planning (part meeting)

Mr G Craig, Head of City Growth (part meeting)

Mr J Pritchard, Principal Policy Advisor (part meeting)

Mr D Bentley, Team Leader Environmental Health (part meeting)

Ms S van Mil, Environmental Health Officer

Mr K Eagle, Acting Budgeting & Reporting Manager (part meeting)

Ms C Taylor, Senior Research & Evaluation Advisor (part meeting)

Ms T Lealofi, Democracy Advisor

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

1.       APOLOGIES

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Briggs)                                          Minute No. PFSC 20501

“That the apology received from Cr Hislop be accepted and leave of absence granted and the apology for lateness received from Mayor Barry be accepted.”

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate to.

Due to a technological issue with the electronic link, Cr Bassett left the meeting at 2.10pm and rejoined the meeting at 2.13pm.

 

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS    

          There were no conflict of interests.

4.       Recommendations to Council – 29 September 2020

i)

Letter of Expectation to Urban Plus Limited for its Statement of Intent 2019/20-2020/21 (20/971)

Cr Brown noted that she was Council’s representative on the Board of Urban Plus Limited (UPL).

 

The Director, Economy and Development advised that information regarding Plan Change 43 had been left out of the report.  He assured members that the Letter of Expectation would reflect the provisions of Plan Change 43.

 

Cr Dyer expressed support for the officer’s recommendations particularly the building pathways to ownership, environmental leadership and housing opportunities afforded by Plan Change 43.

 

Cr Milne advised that there was approximately $30M of equity in UPL.  He believed Council could use that equity to sit on an asset or treat it like a conveyor belt.  He considered that a conveyor belt scenario would have a greater impact on housing in the Hutt rather than Council building houses and then sitting on them.  He saw it as a clear strategy for UPL.

 

The Chief Executive advised that there was no plan to sell existing housing stock to create further capital.  She highlighted that UPL’s balance sheet was a security to generate new loans and to generate new builds without affecting Council’s borrowing ability.

Cr Briggs supported the recommendations and the new direction for UPL.  He looked forward to seeing this new direction coming to life in the next 12 months.

 

RECOMMENDED: (Cr Edwards/Cr Dyer)             Minute No. PFSC 20502

“That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    notes and receives the information contained in the report;

(ii)   approves the inclusion of five listed priorities as a part of the Letter of Expectation (LoE) to Urban Plus Limited (UPL) for inclusion in its 2019/20 – 2020/21 Statement of Intent as follows:

(a)   provision for housing need (mandating UPL to provide for need across the housing continuum);

 

(b)   build more housing partnerships (UPL to develop relationships with key social organisations such as CHPs, mana whenua, non-governmental organisations as well as crown agencies with responsibilities for delivering housing);

 

(c)   building pathways to permanency (UPL to explore opportunities to deliver initiatives such as shared equity, rent to buy, reduced deposit schemes, and other means of assisting households into home ownership);

 

(d)   application of agreed environmental standards (UPL to explore how implementing Homestar 6 standards will contribute towards Council achieving its aims of lowering carbon emissions and whether additional measures are required); and

 

(e)   achieving wider outcomes (UPL to work with trade training institutes to support capacity uplift in the building and construction sector and partner with the construction industry to offer employment and further career development opportunities);

 

(f)    that Urban Plus Ltd look for housing opportunities around suburban shopping centres and transport hubs afforded by Plan Change 43, and be an exemplar of the kinds of well-designed developments Council envisaged in the Plan Change design guide; and

 

(iii) notes that section 10 contained in the report provides further detail on the           five priorities to be included as a part of the LoE to UPL.”

a)                   ii)

Proposed Appearance Industries Bylaw 2020 (20/841)

The Head of Strategy and Planning elaborated on the report.

 

In response to a question from a member regarding whether there was a standard code of practice that needed to be followed for marae tattoos, the Environmental Health Officer advised there was a voluntary code of practice.  The Team Leader Environmental Health advised that there was not a lot of Tā Moko tattooing being undertaken in the City.

 

Cr Dyer expressed concern that the Tā Moko tatooing was exempt through the proposed bylaw.  He suggested that the Tā Moko exemption be removed from the proposed bylaw and included within the code of practice instead so that it could be changed more easily in the future if the need arose.

 

Cr Briggs supported the recommendations.  He commented on the importance of respecting the mātauranga of the practitioners.

 

Cr Rasheed supported the recommendations.  She considered the proposed bylaw would be excellent for the hair and beauty industry.

 

Cr Brown supported the recommendations.  She advised that it gave the community reassurance that when they were visiting the operators there was a base line of safety.

 

The Chair commended the officers for their work on the complex bylaw.

 

RECOMMENDED: (Cr Edwards/Cr Rasheed)           Minute No. PFSC 20503

“That the Committee recommends that Council:

(i)    receives this report;

(ii)   notes that 10 submissions were received with respect to the proposed Appearance Industries Bylaw;

(iii)  notes the Hearing Subcommittee has recommended to Council that the proposed Appearance Industries Bylaw be approved subject to some amendments as noted in Appendix 2 and 3 attached to the report;

(iv)  determines that, in accordance with section 155 of the Local Government Act 2002, the proposed bylaw:

a)     is the most appropriate form of bylaw;

b)     does not give rise to any implications under the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990; and           

(v)   agrees to adopt the Appearance Industries Bylaw, attached as Appendix 2 and 4 to the report, effective from 1 October 2020.”

  

5.

Council performance overview for the year ended 30 June 2020 (20/958)

Report No. PFSC2020/5/179 by the Senior Research and Evaluation Advisor

 

The Chief Financial Officer elaborated on the report.  She noted that Audit NZ was unable to resource the external audit of Council’s Annual Report at the next Policy, Finance and Strategy meeting on 21 October 2020. She said that work would be undertaken with Audit NZ to develop a new business plan to present and adopt Council’s Annual Report in December 2020.          

 

Due to a technological issue with the electronic link, Cr Bassett was unable to participate for the duration of the meeting.  

 

Resolved: (Cr Briggs/Cr Edwards)                                            Minute No. PFSC 20504

“That the Committee:

(i)    receives the report;

(ii)   notes the Covid-19 impact during the period and the Council’s proactive response as summarised in paragraph 5 of the report;

(iii)  notes the highlights and achievements as detailed in paragraph 6 of the report;

(iv)  notes the performance measure results as summarised in paragraph 8 of the report and detailed in Appendix 1 attached to the report; and

(v)   notes the financial performance results as summarised in the report and detailed in Appendices 2, 3 and 4 attached to the report.”

 

6.

2020 Standard and Poor's Credit Rating (20/862)

Report No. PFSC2020/5/176 by the Chief Financial Office

 

The Chief Financial Officer elaborated on the report.

 

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)                        Minute No. PFSC 20505

“That the Committee notes and receives the report.”

 

7.

Electoral Voting System (20/930)

Report No. PFSC2020/5/178 by the Electoral Officer

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Matthew Young noted that there had been no proper engagement with the public on the matter.  He made a suggestion that Council should operate under a STV voting system. He elaborated on the advantages of STV.

 

In response to a question from a member, Mr Young advised that he had no preference whether Council undertook a poll on the voting system.  He highlighted the financial cost of undertaking a poll.

 

The Electoral Officer advised that public engagement on the matter had not been undertaken due to officers being involved in other engagements eg the Long Term Plan and rubbish and recycling.  He believed that engagement with the public would not have assisted members in making a decision.  He considered that people who want change would let Council know.  He advised that the best way to gain feedback from the community was through a poll.  He highlighted that to undertake a poll now would cost Council around $175,000 and around $30,000 in conjunction with the local body elections in 2022. 

MOVED: (Cr Edwards/Cr Dyer)

That the Committee adopts to change the electoral system to Single Transferable Vote for the next two triennial general elections in 2022 and 2025 for the Hutt City Council and its Community Boards.  

Cr Brown spoke against the motion.  She considered that the public needed to be consulted on the matter.

 

Cr Sutton spoke against the motion.  She expressed concern that the STV system would be complicated for voters.  She considered that the public needed to be consulted on the matter.

 

Cr Dyer expressed support of the STV system.  It was suggested that educating the community would be useful to gain a better understanding on the voting system.

 

Cr Milne spoke against the motion.  He commented on the lack of public engagement.  He considered that the public needed to be consulted via a poll.

 

Cr Mitchell expressed concern that the community did not understand how the voting system worked.  He expressed support for STV but believed Council needed the community’s feedback.

 

Mayor Barry spoke against the motion.  He expressed support for Option C.  He noted that he would also like feedback from the community.

 

Cr Rasheed spoke against the motion.   She expressed support for Option C.  She advised that she would like to hear from the community before making a decision.

 

Cr Briggs spoke against the motion.  He expressed support for Option C providing officers commenced the work on the representation review in this triennium.

 

Cr Shaw spoke against the motion.   She expressed support for Option C.

 

Cr Edwards considered that STV was a fairer system.  He acknowledged it was confusing for voters to tick candidates on some voting forms and rank other candidates on other voting forms.

 

The Chair put the motion to the vote.

 

The motion was LOST on the voices.

 

MOVED:  (Cr Milne/Cr Mitchell)

 

That Council undertakes a poll of electors on the electoral system.

 

Cr Dyer spoke against the motion. 

 

Cr Briggs strongly advised that officers needed to commence work on the representation review in this triennium.

 

Cr Brown left the meeting at 3.09pm.

 

ReCOMMENDED: (Cr Mitchell/Cr Briggs)                                  Minute No. PFSC 20506

“That the Committee recommends that Council resolves to undertake a poll of electors on the electoral system to be run in conjunction with the 2022 triennial local government elections to be held on 8 October 2022.”

Cr Dyer requested that his vote be recorded against the above matter.

 

8.

Homelessness update 2019 - 2020 (20/852)

Report No. PFSC2020/5/177 by the Principal Policy Advisor

 

Cr Brown rejoined the meeting at 3.11pm.

Cr Milne left the meeting at 3.24pm and rejoined the meeting at 3.25pm.

 

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Brown)                                           Minute No. PFSC 20507

“That the Committee notes the report as the first annual update on:

a)  Council’s actions in response to homelessness as part of the Lower Hutt Homelessness Plan; and

 

b)  Council’s role in homelessness more broadly as part of the Lower Hutt Homelessness Plan.”

 

Council agreed to the strategic direction on homelessness in Lower Hutt, and its role in contributing to the short-term response to homelessness, in March 2019. Funding was agreed in June 2019. During the period since the funding was agreed officers have been working to progress the council actions.

 

9.

Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Fees) Regulations 2013 - Regulation 19(1) - Reporting by Territorial Authorities (20/872)

Memorandum dated 10 August 2020 by the Team Leader Environmental Health

 

The Team Leader, Environmental Health elaborated on the report.

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Mitchell)                                   Minute No. PFSC 20508

“That the Committee approves the publication of a ‘table of income versus expenditure’ on Council’s website showing the alcohol licensing income received from fees payable in relation to, and costs incurred in:

(a)   the performance of the functions of Council’s District Licensing Committee under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (the Act);

(b)   the performance of the functions of Council’s Inspectors under the Act; and

(c)   undertaking of enforcement activities under the Act.”

 

10.

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee Work Programme 2020 (20/883)

Report No. PFSC2020/5/88 by the Committee Advisor

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)                        Minute No. PFSC 20509

“That the work programme be noted and received.”

11.     Information Item

 

Economic Development Plan - Direction Next 6 months (20/887)

Report No. PFSC2020/5/89 by the Head of City Growth

The Head of City Growth elaborated on the report.

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Mitchell)                        Minute No. PFSC 20510

“That the report be noted and received.”

12.     QUESTIONS   

          There were no questions.

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 3.33 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cr S Edwards

CHAIR

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 29th day of September 2020.