HUTT CITY COUNCIL
Ordinary meeting to be held on
Tuesday 8 December 2020 commencing at 2.00pm.
Attachments Excluded from Order Paper
POLICY, FINANCE AND STRATEGY COMMITTEE (17 November 2020)
4. Recommendations to Council – 8 December 2020
(ii) Budget Update 2020/2021 (PFSC2020/6/255)
1. Appendix 1 - Update and revision of the carryovers from 2019-20 to 2020-21 2
(iii) Draft Hutt City Council COVID-19 Recovery Plan (PFSC2020/6/288)
3. Appendix 1 - Draft HCC COVID-19 Recovery Plan 7
(iv) Proposed Solid Waste and Minimisation Bylaw (PFSC2020/6/256)
3. Appendix 2 - Proposed Solid Waste and Minimisation Bylaw 20
(vi) Draft Wellington Regional Growth Framework (PFSC2020/6/257)
4. Appendix 1 - Draft Wellington Regional Growth Framework Report SEPT 2020 52
REGULATORY COMMITTEE (23 November 2020)
6. Recommendations to Council – 8 December 2020
Proposed Private District Plan Change 47: Major Gardens, Kelson – Rezoning to General Residential Activity Area and General Recreation Activity Area (RC2020/6/264)
5. Appendix 1 - Report and recommendations of Hearing Panel on Private Plan Change 47 124
HUTT CITY COUNCIL (8 December 2020)
8h) Naenae Spatial Plan (20/1601)
1. Appendix 1 - Naenae Spatial Plan Questions 216
2. Appendix 2 - Naenae Town Centre Spatial Plan 222
3. Appendix 3 - Tested concept images 292
4. Appendix 4 - Updated concept images 296
SENIOR DEMOCRACY ADVISOR
Draft HCC COVID 19 Recovery Plan
To outline the current and expected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Lower Hutt and agree our response, including a set of proposed recovery initiatives.
Our vision is for Lower Hutt to be a city where everyone thrives. The COVID-19 pandemic currently impacting the world, the nation and our community is challenging us to think differently about what that means, and what will be required for our city to thrive in this ‘new normal’ environment.
We can all be proud of the way our community has responded so far. Everyone has played their part to limit the health impacts of the pandemic and support our people through the nationwide lockdown and various phases of response.
At the same time, we recognise that the situation is fluid and that we will likely need to manage through response level changes over the coming months and possibly years. While there will continue to be a strong focus on the challenges presented by the pandemic, there must also be a focus on the opportunity to re-think and re-set the way we do things. The impacts of the pandemic may be felt for decades and the steps we take now shape the future for our city and our whānau, especially tamariki.
While the COVID-19 health related impacts on our city have been minimal to date, other significant economic and social impacts are being felt by businesses, iwi, families and community groups. These impacts are expected to continue to be present for up to five years, with many expected to initially get worse.
Our Recovery Plan has two main areas of focus – the wellbeing of our people, especially those who are most vulnerable to the health and social impacts of COVID-19, and the recovery of our economy. A separate plan is guiding Council’s recovery as a business, with a focus on the transformation and sustainability of our services and the resilience and wellbeing of our workforce.
This Recovery plan has been developed through workshops and discussion with mana whenua, community and business leaders and social and community groups.
While our vision for a thriving city has not changed, our approach, priorities and investment may need to. Some changes have already been made. This plan includes more immediate initiatives, and thinking which feeds into the development of our Long Term Plan 2021-31, our 30 year city vision and our District Plan which are all currently being developed. Those plans are where our Recovery will continue to be shaped in the future.
This plan includes an initial set of regional Recovery Indicators. This will be further developed to include medium and longer-term impacts of the pandemic.
COVID-19 IMPACTS ON LOWER HUTT
Following is a summary of how COVID 19 has impacted the business and resident community of Lower Hutt to date.
· The Hutt City economy contracted by 11% pa in the June 2020 quarter – the first time the city’s economy has contracted since 2014 due to the COVID-19 level 3 and level 4 lockdown restrictions.
· The contraction in the city’s economy has resulted in a rise of 8.7% in the number of Jobseeker Support recipients to just over 4,336 in the June 2020 year – the highest since our series began in 2010. However, the rise of 8.7% is lower than the 19% rise nationally and reflects the fact that Lower Hutt City’s economy is reasonably sheltered from the worst effects of COVID-19 on sectors such as tourism and international education.
· The construction sector is well positioned for the coming year if recent consent numbers translate into building work. Residential consents grew 9.8% in the June 2020 year on the back of very strong September 2019 and December 2019 quarters, and non-residential consents rose 70% in the June 2020 year.
· Electronic card spending on retail purchases fell 15% in the June quarter as the lockdown constrained consumers’ ability to spend during the level 3 and 4 restrictions. Consumer spending has recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels during the month of July. Local cardholder spending increased by 1.52m or 1.3% during the month despite consumer confidence (ANZ-Roy Morgan Confidence Index) at a national level falling during this period.
· Those most at risk of losing their jobs in Lower Hutt are those working in the retail, food and accommodation, construction and manufacturing industries.
· Within these industries those most likely to have lost their jobs earn a low to medium income and as a result are more likely to rent rather than own their home compounding the impact.
· Lower Hutt businesses most at risk of closing are small-to-medium businesses (less than 30 employees) in the retail, food and accommodation, and construction industries.
· Jobseeker Support benefits and COVID Income Relief Payments (CIRP) continue to increase in Lower Hutt since the end of the March quarter. As at the end of August 2020, 5,405 Jobseeker and CIRP payments were made to Hutt City recipients. This is an increase of 1,145 or 27% since the end of March 2020.
· Heavy traffic flows which are a good indicator of economic performance have decreased by 21% since in the month from the end of July to the end of August. Heavy traffic flows are now 15% below their 1 March 2020 peak.
· Accommodation Supplement recipients as at the 1 August have increased by 468 or 7% since 1 March 2020.
· The biggest social and financial impacts during lockdown have been felt be those who have lost their jobs and owners of businesses that have closed.
· Job loss figures for the Wellington region indicate that the 15– 24 year age group had the highest percentage of job losses of all age groups.
· At a regional level, the largest increase in jobseeker benefits by ethnic group was by NZ Europeans with an increase of 1,328 or a 38% in the June 2020 quarter when compared with the March quarter. The second and third largest ethnic group increases were Pacific Peoples increasing by 238 (24%) and Māori by 746 (20%) during this time.
· The social impacts experienced in Lower Hutt during the lockdown period have included an increase in the number of people using foodbanks, increased domestic violence and abuse and, an increase in the number of people who are homeless.
· The number of Lower Hutt families on the social housing register has increased from 469 at the end of Dec 2019 to 584 at the end of June 2020.
· Foodbanks recorded a 40 percent increase in demand over the lock down period.
· In the period after lockdown additional financial impacts are expected to be felt by those aged over 60 who have lost their jobs, owners of small to medium sized businesses, and commercial landlords.
· Social isolation was an issue for many elderly people during various stages of lockdown.
· Partnerships between agencies, including Council, will be needed to assist families with the ongoing social impacts they will face during the recovery phase.
· The lockdown period has increased community spirit, innovation and collaboration which can be further built in the recovery phase
· There have been 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Hutt Valley DHB; all have recovered
· In the Hutt Valley DHB area around 58 people in every 1,000 have been tested for Covid-19
· Older people and people with some existing health conditions have a higher risk of more severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19. These underlying medical conditions include chronic respiratory disease, heart conditions, hypertension, diabetes, kidney and liver disease. Māori and Pasifika and those in low income communities generally have higher rates of the underlying conditions and increased risk of infection as well as difficulty accessing health care (e.g. due to distance from care, difficulties with transport or childcare, or lack of suitable services).
· The psychosocial and mental health impacts of emergency events have greater impact on a proportion of people who are at risk of developing more severe and long-lasting mental distress, such as depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and addiction harm. The psychosocial impacts for Māori arising from public health measures, such as self-isolation, physical distancing, and general societal anxiety, is also likely to exacerbate existing mental health conditions and place increased pressure on the wider whānau unit3.
· The Health Promotion Agency conducted a survey of alcohol, tobacco and gambling use during the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown. While findings are specific to Level 4 Lockdown there is anecdotal evidence that the ongoing impact of pandemic disrupted life is still affecting some. While there are instances of reduction, there were some reported increases:
o One in five report drinking more than usual. Increased drinking is more prevalent among 25-49 year olds. The majority of those who are drinking more say it is to help them relax or switch off.
o A quarter have been smoking more than usual during lockdown. This is higher among those who typically smoke daily (28% smoking more than usual).
o 9% report increasing their gambling since lockdown. A higher proportion of Māori gamblers (15%) and young gamblers aged 18-24 years (22%) report increased gambling during lockdown. 8% of gamblers have gambled online for the first time since lockdown and an additional 12% are gambling online more than usual since lockdown.
· Regional Public Health has reported a spike in rheumatic fever cases in the Hutt Valley over recent months. Close-contact infections like rheumatic fever is associated with crowded living conditions and lower socioeconomic status.
THE RECOVERY PROCESS
The CDEM Act 2002 requires local authorities to plan for functioning during and after an emergency and be capable of continuing to function to the fullest extent possible (albeit at a reduced level).
It defines recovery as: “the coordinated efforts and processes used to bring about the immediate, medium and long-term holistic regeneration and enhancement of a community following an emergency.” In particular:
• minimise the escalation of the consequences of the disaster
• support social, cultural and physical well-being of individuals and communities
• reduce future exposure to hazards and their associate risks – i.e. build resilience
• take opportunities to regenerate and enhance communities in ways that will meet future needs across the social, economic, cultural, natural and built environments
Hutt City Council’s role is to lead the recovery process for Lower Hutt, in alignment and co-ordination the regional and national approach.
As we have seen, Recovery can be interrupted by resurgence so it is unlikely to be linear. And some of the eventual impacts may not have emerged yet. So we need to be agile and able to move as our environment changes, while keeping our eye on the eventual goal – a city where everyone thrives.
ROLE OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AND REGIONAL RECOVERY
Central Government has rolled out a wide range of immediate and longer term initiatives in response to the Pandemic. These are detailed in the table (Appendix 1) which also includes Council’s response actions and recovery initiatives.
While the initial response to the Pandemic was local (Lower Hutt-led), a Regional Leadership Group was established in September to guide and support community resurgence planning and response activity. This is in response to the likely regional nature of future response level changes.
While there is no regional recovery plan, Councils in our region have developed and agreed a range of initiatives that would benefit from a regional approach, and also a regional dashboard tracking a number of indicators being used to measure aspects of community wellbeing. These are attached as Appendix 2 and 3.
Our plan has been developed in the following way:
1. Our people thrive - people are healthy, housed and safe; communities are connected and resilient; everyone has access to support services, education and employment opportunities.
2. Our economy thrives - businesses survive, adapt to change, find new opportunities and Lower Hutt has an even stronger local economy.
RECOVERY APPROACH AND THEMES
The biggest social challenges to emerge from the pandemic so far are not new, but have been exacerbated. This included mental health, unemployment, domestic violence, child poverty, household overcrowding, food insecurity and homelessness. The impact is of course worse for those already feeling these social impacts, which is why improving equity should continue to be a focus of our work ongoing.
What the pandemic has done is provide an opportunity to think differently about the way we approach these and other challenges. This is critically important given Council’s current financial situation, including the need for significant investment in infrastructure in the coming years, means there will be limited money for significant new initiatives.
As such, our Recovery Plan focuses on themes to inform our strategic direction and how we can do things differently. It includes some new initiatives, but more significantly it provides themes to help shape our 2021/23 Long Term Plan. This ‘re-set’ will enable us to recover from the pandemic by using existing funding differently to both address issues the pandemic has created or exacerbated and make our economy and community more resilient to future shocks.
Prior to the pandemic, a number of countries were starting to promote the benefits of a circular economy – a new economic model that benefits businesses, society, and the environment. It aims to gradually decouple economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and design waste out of the system. It involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible so the life cycle is extended.
In many ways COVID accelerated this momentum, as people and businesses found less resource intensive ways to go about daily life. For example:
· The move from traditional bricks and mortar shops to e-commerce, and the digitisation of many practices including on-line learning, remote working and meetings and remote health services.
· Reconsideration of the need to travel, for business when meetings can be done remotely, and for personal trips, when there are local offerings.
· The way we moved around the city with a lot more walking and cycling, and changes to our urban structures to support that
· Less consumption – with businesses closed people did more home cooking and crafts, mending, sharing, swapping, maintenance, recycling and re-using
· Buying local – either because usual supply changes were disrupted, people were working from home or intentionally to support local businesses
There are disadvantages to some of these things also – less human contact, the challenge of home schooling, other businesses losing traditional client-bases – and these would need to be balanced. However COVID has shown us that changing long-standing habits is possible. A circular economy can also create jobs, especially medium-low skilled roles which are expected to reduce with greater automation.
Many of these themes are also consistent with the concept of 20 minute cities/communities, in which people are able to meet most of their needs within a short walk or bike ride from their home. This reconnects people with their local areas, rather than having centralised city life and services. The can also have significant gains for sustainability and improve equity.
Wellington Region’s Procurement for Impact Project
This joint-Council project, being led by the GovTech Accelerator Creative HQ, explores how we could co-create COVID recovery opportunities through procurement with a social impact lens. When a procurement purchase is made regionally, the money stays in the community longer, with flow-on benefits to local people and businesses. This multiplies the impact of the purchase. The project is exploring the opportunity to better coordinate, remove duplication of effort and leverage the collective spend of the region for positive, lasting social and economic impacts.
Hutt City Council has already started to adopt social procurement principles meaning all our spending seeks to achieve wider outcomes. These outcomes will now be shaped by COVID impacts, in particular supporting local businesses and creating local employment and training opportunities.
Central Government COVID response and recovery projects
As part of COVID recovery, central government has co-funded two key local projects to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Naenae Pool has received $27M and the Eastern Bays Shared Path has received $15M. These projects, and additionally the Riverlink project, represent a significant opportunity to involve local businesses and employ local people, including apprentices. These requirements are being built into all contracts.
Further investigate the concepts of circular economy and 20 minute cities to inform strategy.
Use remaining Community Funding allocation to partner with community on initiatives which align with these themes and respond to COVID impacts (recycling and re-using, less consumption, buying local, re-connecting people with their local area, creating jobs in the green economy). This will also be considered as part of criteria in the wider review of Community Funding.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenge to our emergency response system and processes with unique challenges including:
· an infectious disease as opposed to common civil emergencies such as floods, storm damage, earthquakes
· a four week lockdown and social distancing
· a volunteer base that was largely required to quarantine
· financial impact on those who were already struggling and the emergence of newly vulnerable citizens who up until then had been managing
Of particular concern, our system was stretched to meet the most basic of human needs – access to food. The pandemic highlighted existing inequities in access to food and further exacerbated them.
A survey of emergency food providers and social services involved in the local response was carried out by Council’s Projects and Relationships team and Healthy Families Hutt Valley. It found they were initially overwhelmed by multiple factors including huge demand, the closing down of facilities, the loss of volunteers (particularly those over 70), lack of information and resource to meet the need.
Some had to abandon facilities and technology infrastructure and operate from further away or homes, sheds and garages and access to community gardens was restricted during lockdown.
Covid-19 exposed the fragility of the existing Hutt Valley system for meeting food needs. There is an opportunity to work together to address existing food insecurity in our communities and build a more resilient and equitable food system.
Resilient and sustainable food system
We are partnering with local stakeholders to develop a plan that mobilises efforts to create a resilient and sustainable food system. This work is underway with $42K allocated from the Community Funding Kakano Fund to support Common Unity to lead this work. Additionally $127K has been allocated through the 20/21 Community Funding Mauri Ora Fund to other groups who will be involved in this work. Ongoing this work will be supported by Healthy Families Hutt Valley and Council’s wider Neighbourhoods and Communities team a part of our approach for LTP 2021-31.
BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT
As well as emergency response, Council has played a key role in supporting our community and different sectors within it over this time, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce. Arguably, the role that has been most valued and impactful has been when we have been a connector and ‘interpreter’. This is particularly true in our business response. Central government provided a range of support for local employers, however many local businesses needed support to navigate and access the help available. This was also the case for other community and sport groups trying to access relief funds. This required Council staff to pivot from their BAU roles, many of which focused on delivery of our own initiatives.
In the Recovery phase, central government is continuing to provide support for many sectors, and Council’s role as a connector will continue to be crucial to our community’s ability to uptake these.
Employment and training
$95K of the 20/21 Community Funding Mauri Ora Fund was allocated to groups responding to COVID impact on youth employment.
Council in partnership with Chamber of Commerce and Upper Hutt City Council has accessed funding from Ministry of Education to run events connecting senior high school students and employers; and from MSD to employ a work broker to get young people into trades training and employment with local businesses.
Budget 2020 included a number of initiatives to create jobs and provide trades training and apprenticeships with a particular focus on young Maori and Pasifika. In 20/21 Council will pivot resource to ensure this opportunity is optimised for our community. Council’s role will be to connect and co-ordinate key stakeholders to develop a plan for this.
Support for businesses
Budget 2020 included a number of initiatives to support business including helping with the shift to e-commerce, decarbonisation through investments to improve energy use, and support for businesses to invest in R&D. Additionally there is ongoing support for small business through tax changes, loan schemes and business advice. In 20/21 Council has pivoted resource to continue to work with the Chamber of Commerce to help local business to access this support. To date over $500K has been allocated to local businesses to access support to address COVID related impacts on their business.
HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
The pandemic has exacerbated Lower Hutt’s challenges around housing and homelessness. There has been an increase in the number of people who are homeless and in increase in the number of Lower Hutt families on the social housing register. Council has work underway to help address these issues and this will be stepped up as part of the LTP 2021/31.
Council currently provides funding for three actions as part of the response to homelessness under the Lower Hutt Homelessness Plan. This is aimed at preventing homelessness, improving the supply of suitable accommodation and improving understanding of homelessness. As part of LTP 2021/31 this will be expanded to fund access to settled accommodation, access to legal advice and advocacy and a homelessness prevention programme. This will bring overall investment in the programme to $560K pa for the life of the LTP.
Council has established a new housing partnership with Iwi as part of the of Te Maihi o te Whare Māori which sets out a framework for building and delivering warm, safe and affordable homes to those Lower Hutt households in desperate need of a home.
Council has also re-set the Statement of Intent for Urban Plus Ltd to focus on improving provision for needs across the housing continuum.
Council continues to work with other Wellington region and Horowhenua area councils, iwi and central government agencies on the Wellington Regional Growth Framework which is a coordinated effort to address issues relating to future population growth including housing.
CONNECTED AND RESILIENT COMMUNITIES
Research shows that communities that are connected, trusting and cohesive survive and recover better than those that are less well-connected. Social connections enable people to help each other and are literal lifelines for the disadvantaged, which during COVID included people who had earlier and greater restrictions because of health or age, or were not digitally connected.
One of the positives reported from the lockdown was people connecting with neighbours, setting up local support networks, helping (eg: shopping) and sharing resources. Many people have expressed a desire for this to continue.
ABCD and Neighbourhood Co-ordination
In shaping our approach for the 2021/31 LTP, Council’s Neighbourhoods and Communities team is re-focusing its approach on ABCD (asset-based community development) and Neighbourhood Co-ordination. We plan to work in and with communities to identify and build on existing strengths and create self-sustaining networks with a focus on connectedness, safety, community participation, resilience and wellbeing. This includes work to increase the number of Neighbourhood Support networks across our communities.
HIGH TRUST RELATIONSHIPS
The national and local welfare response was slow to roll out and many groups in our community anticipated needs and responded well before they were resourced or supported to do so. When the national approach did roll out, many groups who had existing clients in the community found the process too complex and restrictive, given the agile way they were working.
There are also parts of the community who don’t trust mainstream organisations and will only engage and give information to a trusted person. We found many did not want to call the national 0800 helpline and as a result there were pockets on the community where that help was not getting through.
For example, Te Rūnanganui o te Āti Awa (Te Rūnanga) and Kōkiri Marae continued as an essential service and was able to quickly adapt its focus and methods to work within pandemic constraints, meet rapidly changing needs and capitalise on opportunities. Te Rūnanga provided (and delivered on behalf of other providers) food, food vouchers, hygiene packs (8000) and advice, as well as continuing with its Tamariki Ora checks on mothers and tamariki and breast feeding support.
A key learning for them was the opportunity this provided to reconnect with whānau who they had lost regular contact with and rebuild trusted relationships. Another was the opportunity to develop collaborative networks with other iwi providers to connect and deliver integrated services to whānau.
High Trust funding partnerships recognise the trust built up over time between organisations, and use simple but effective contracting processes to support and capitalise on the strengths and benefits of this. They focus more on the whanau being supported and less on compliance and ticking boxes. They have less detailed funding agreements, provide upfront funding and usually require reporting only once a year.
The value of trusted relationships was also evident in our business response, as referenced earlier under ‘Business and Employment’.
Local welfare response
In response to these learnings, Council developed a Local Welfare Response for resurgence events which would see key local welfare groups supported and funded earlier, potentially ahead of a shift in levels. In September we hosted a hui with officials from DPMC and MSD to share our learnings to inform national policy development around food security. The new regional response model is also expected to improve the welfare response.
High Trust Partnerships
Work towards more high trust, lower compliance partnerships which enable groups such as Te Rūnanga and Kōkiri to work in more adaptive and flexible ways. The re-setting of MoUs with local Māori and Pasifika groups provides an opportunity to explore this.
MEASURING OUR PROGRESS
Councils in the region have worked together to develop a set of indicators to provide a snapshot of recovery in areas impacted by COVID-19, based on the community well-beings. (Appendix 2). These measures use pre-existing datasets that are readily available to create a high-level picture of what is happening at a national, regional and local level. This dashboard assumes that the region is now on the road to recovery from COVID 19. However further outbreaks are a very real and present possibility, so it includes two indicators that measure the rates of COVID infection and testing.
Further relevant measures will be developed as part of the LTP 2021/31.
A number of community groups have been involved in discussions to create this plan. Further feedback on the approaches outlined will be sought as part of engagement for LTP 2021/31.