HuttCity_TeAwaKairangi_BLACK_AGENDA_COVER

 

 

Long Term Plan/Annual Plan Subcommittee | Komiti Iti Mahere ā-Ngahurutanga / Mahere ā-Tau

 

2 February 2021

 

 

 

Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

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

on:

 

Wednesday 10 February 2021 commencing at 9.30am

 

 

Membership

 

 

Mayor C Barry (Chair)

Deputy Mayor T Lewis (Deputy Chair)                                                                                            

Cr D Bassett

Cr J Briggs

Cr K Brown

Cr B Dyer

Cr S Edwards

Cr D Hislop

Cr C Milne

Cr A Mitchell

Cr S Rasheed

Cr N Shaw

Cr L Sutton

 

 

 

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

 

PURPOSE

To carry out all necessary considerations and hearings, precedent to the Council’s final adoption of Long Term Plans (LTP) and Annual Plans (AP) which give effect to the strategic direction and outcomes set by the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee through setting levels of service, funding priorities, the performance framework and budgets.

 

Determine:

§  Development of a framework and timetable for the LTP and AP processes.

§  The nature and scope of engagement and public consultation required.

§  Statements to the media.

§  Such other matters as the Subcommittee considers appropriate and which fall within its Terms of Reference.

§  Informal engagement with the community, and the hearing of any formal public submissions.

§  Consideration of submissions on Hutt City Council’s Assessment of Water and Sanitary Services.

 

Consider and make recommendations to Council:

§  Levels of service, funding priorities, performance framework, budgets, rating levels and policies required as part of the LTP or AP, excluding any policies recommended to Council by the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee.

§  Consultation Documents.

§  Council’s proposed and final LTP.

§  Council’s proposed and final AP.

§  Final content and wording, and adoption of the final Hutt City Council Assessment of Water and Sanitary Services.

 

 

Note:

Extract from the Controller and Auditor General’s October 2010 Good Practice Guide: Guidance for members of local authorities about the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968

 

Appointment as the local authority’s representative on another organisation

5.47         You may have been appointed as the authority’s representative on the governing body of a council-controlled organisation or another body (for example, a community-based trust).

5.48         That role will not usually prevent you from participating in authority matters concerning the other organisation – especially if the role gives you specialised knowledge that it would be valuable to contribute.

5.49         However, you could create legal risks to the decision if your participation in that decision raises a conflict between your duty as a member of the local authority and any duty to act in the interests of the other organisation. These situations are not clear cut and will often require careful consideration and specific legal advice.

5.50         Similarly, if your involvement with the other organisation raises a risk of predetermination, the legal risks to the decision of the authority as a result of your participation may be higher, for example, if the other organisation has made a formal submission to the authority as part of a public submissions process.

 

    


HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Long Term Plan/Annual Plan Subcommittee | Komiti Iti Mahere ā-Ngahurutanga / Mahere ā-Tau

 

 

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

 Wednesday 10 February 2021 commencing at 9.30am.

 

ORDER PAPER

 

Public Business

 

1.       OPENING FORMALITIES - Karakia Timatanga 

Kia hora te marino

Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana

He huarahi mā tātou i te rangi nei

Aroha atu, aroha mai

Tātou i a tātou katoa

Hui e Tāiki e!

May peace be wide spread

May the sea be like greenstone

A pathway for us all this day

Let us show respect for each other

For one another

Bind us together!

 

2.       APOLOGIES 

3.       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.

4.       Mayoral Statement (21/141)

5.       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      

6.       Recommendations to Council - 10 February 2021

a)      Proposed Infrastructure Strategy 2021 - 2051 (21/51)

Report No. LTPAP2021/1/3 by the Principal Policy Advisor                    6

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendation contained in the report be endorsed.”

 


 

 

b)      Draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 (21/1)

Report No. LTPAP2021/1/4 by the Head of Strategy and Planning       67

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be discussed.”

 

c)      Naenae Project Cost Reassessment (21/104)

Report No. LTPAP2021/1/15 by the Strategic Projects Manager          303

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be discussed.”

 

d)      Parks Assets - Petone Recreation Grandstand and Point Howard and Petone Wharves (21/58)

Report No. LTPAP2021/1/16 by the Director Neighbourhoods and Communities 312

Chair’s Recommendation:

“That the recommendations contained in the report be discussed.”

7.       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.   

 

 

 

 

Kate Glanville

SENIOR DEMOCRACY ADVISOR

          


Long Term Plan/Annual Plan Subcommittee

13 January 2021

 

 

 

File: (21/51)

 

 

 

 

Report no: LTPAP2021/1/3

 

Proposed Infrastructure Strategy 2021 - 2051

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to seek approval for the proposed Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2031. The Strategy will be consulted upon as part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan (LTP)

Recommendations

That the Subcommittee recommends that Council approves the proposed Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2051 for consultation as part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.

For the reason that the Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2051 identifies significant issues for Three Waters and transport infrastructure and sets out Council’s proposals for managing these issues and their implications. The strategy is a requirement of the Local Government Act 2002.

 

Background

2.    The current Hutt City Council Infrastructure Strategy 2018-2048 was reviewed in conjunction with Wellington Water Ltd., and staff from across Council including asset managers and key officers in the Transport, Environmental Sustainability and Resilience, District Plan, and Finance Teams. This review informed the development of the proposed strategy for 2021-2051. 

3.    As previously noted, Lower Hutt has seen a significant period of under-investment in infrastructure. The proposed 2021-2051 Infrastructure Strategy includes options for how Council will invest and manage Three Waters and transport infrastructure to enable people in Lower Hutt to grow and thrive.

4.    Wellington Water Ltd. is continuing to improve its understanding of the Three Water assets in Lower Hutt and the region. The current work that is being completed on the regional strategic asset plan will provide further information to inform both Wellington Water and Council’s approach to the infrastructure. Further work on issues and risk to Three Waters and the Wellington Water plan for work over the next ten years will also inform Council’s approach.

5.    The content of the proposed strategy document, including the vision, goals, and principal options, was agreed by Council on 21 December 2020. (See Draft Infrastructure Strategy 2021 – 2051 DEM15-4-5 – 20/1626)

Discussion

6.    The Local Government Act 2002 requires councils to prepare and adopt an Infrastructure Strategy every three years as part of the LTP. The Infrastructure Strategy must cover a period of at least 30 consecutive financial years as the 10-year focus of most long-term plans can result in less emphasis on the longer-term consequences of infrastructure investment and service level decisions.  While individual asset management plans may identify longer term infrastructure issues for the city, these do not provide an integrated picture of strategic infrastructure requirements, the financial impacts of these, and the choices and options faced by the city as a whole.

7.    The strategy must:

a.    Present indicative estimates of the capital and operating expenditure required to manage infrastructure assets on an annual basis for the first ten years (but may be in five-year blocks for the subsequent 20 years).

b.    Provide estimates regarding the timing and cost of significant capital expenditure decisions the Council expects to need to make, and the options it will need to consider in making those decisions.

8.    Following Council’s agreement to the key strategic content on 21 December 2020, officers have gathered further information from Wellington Water Ltd. and re-structured the strategy document using the information from the review process.

Scope

9.    The proposed Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2051 includes all the mandatory infrastructure categories  in the Local Government Act 2002:

·    Water supply

·    Wastewater (sewage treatment and disposal)

·    Stormwater drainage and flood protection(at a local level); and

·    Roads and footpaths

Purpose

10.  The strategy identifies significant issues for Three Waters and transport infrastructure and sets out Council’s proposals for managing the issues and their implications between 2021 and 2051. Taking a multi-asset approach – looking across different types of infrastructure – Council will invest in renewing, replacing, and managing the right long-term infrastructure in the right place, at the right time and at the right price, so that we can provide services for existing residents and accommodate new developments.

Goals

11.  Getting things right in terms of infrastructure is essential to delivering the six priorities agreed by Council in its proposed 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan. Council’s infrastructure strategy has three goals to support achieving these priorities:

i. Strong and reliable basic infrastructure

ii. Reliable, efficient, and effective water and transport infrastructure networks; and

iii. Provide current and new infrastructure in a sustainable way which focuses on guardianship of our environment and communities

Principles and approach

 

12.  Council and its partners have identified four major challenges affecting Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt’s infrastructure. The city’s ageing infrastructure combined with the impacts of climate change and natural hazards are significant issues, and Council needs to prioritise investment to provide good basic infrastructure that increases resilience, maintains public health, and protects the environment.  The population served is growing and changing and this will continue to impact on demand and service delivery. Radical changes in technology will provide new solutions and while some technological changes will be anticipated some – particularly technological innovations over longer timeframes – will not. As a result, renewal and replacement programmes need to be flexible to take account of possible future scenarios and solutions. Council has developed six principles to guide its multi-asset approach to investing in our infrastructure:

i.   Infrastructure must protect people, property and the environment;

ii.  Investment decisions must align with Council’s Financial Strategy and focus on getting the basics right and financial sustainability;

iii. Management and investment in infrastructure must align with Council’s climate change principles and its key goal of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050;

iv. Decisions must improve the resilience, sustainability and long term adaptability of the city’s infrastructure;

v.  Management and investment in infrastructure must be made with and strengthen the partnership with Mana Whenua; and

vi. All Council infrastructure complies with regulations and standards

13.  The following table shows the four identified issues and a summary of the approach Council will take to responding over the 30 year period.

 

Table 1: Identified issues and summary of response

Issue

Response summary

Ageing infrastructure and investment in renewals

1.     Increase our investment in understanding our ageing infrastructure assets

2.     Investment in a maintenance programme that supports the reliability, efficiency and effectiveness of the infrastructure networks

3.     Enable a structured programme of planned investment in the renewal of ageing assets

The effects of climate change and natural hazards

1.     Strengthen risk infrastructure

2.     Maintain a robust emergency preparedness system

3.     Maintain, and where required, invest in providing back up infrastructure

4.     Invest in protective infrastructure

5.     Ensure the regulation and monitoring system is robust and functioning

Growth and demand variations

1.     Promotion of alternative transportation modes.

2.     Explore and use methods to manage demand

3.     Enhance accessibility options for the ageing population

4.     Focus on adapting and developing infrastructure for and in high demand areas

Technological advancements

1.     Develop modelling and monitoring tools and systems

2.     Maintain flexibility in the investment programme to take advantage of technological developments and ensure that we use the most effective and efficient materials and techniques to improve the city’s infrastructure.

 

Finalising the draft document

 

14.  Council is awaiting some further information from Wellington Water Ltd. e.g. a list of critical water assets and the data available on the assets, and context information to clarify the backlog of work required in Three Waters. This information is expected prior to the committee meeting in February.

15.  Financial information on the significant projects in the implementation section is being prepared and will be added to the draft document.

16.  Officers are also considering the collection of data on the use of cycleways / shared paths in terms of ensuring this is robust and reliable. The use of cyclewys/shared paths is included as a possible indicator in the strategy.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

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

18.  The proposed Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2051 proposes that Council will achieve reliable, efficient, and effective water and transport infrastructure an environmentally sustainable way and includes approaches that mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Consultation

19.  The proposed Infrastructure Strategy 2021 – 2051 will be consulted on as part of the 2021-2031 LTP process.

Legal Considerations

20.  Officers believe that the draft Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2051 meets the legal requirement s of the Local Government Act 2002.

21.  Other appropriate national and regional regulations and standards have also been considered when developing the strategy.

Financial Considerations

22.  The proposed Infrastructure Strategy provides estimates of capital and operating expenditures in each asset category over the next 30 years.

 

23.  Financial information on the significant projects in the implementation section is being prepared and will be added to the draft document

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2051

11

    

 

 

 

 

 

Author: John Pritchard

Principal Policy Advisor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewed By: Wendy Moore

Head of Strategy and Planning

 

 

 

Approved By: Matt Boggs

Director, Strategy and Engagement

 


 

 

 

 

Managing and investing in infrastructure that ensures the City and its People thrive and grow now and into the future

 

Infrastructure Strategy

2021-2051

 

 


 

Contents

Mayor’s Foreword

1.    Introduction and scope

 

2.    Strategy Summary

 

3.    Lower Hutt Story

 

4.    National and Regional context

 

5.    Lower Hutt Infrastructure Networks

 

6.    Significant Infrastructure Challenges and Opportunities

 

7.    Implementing the Strategy

8.... Projections and Assumptions

·.. Indicative estimates of expenditure

·.. Funding

·.. Assumptions

 

Appendix 1: Assets not included in the strategy

Mayor’s foreword


 

1.  Introduction and scope

 

High quality infrastructure is crucial to supporting and enabling daily activities, ensuring our people are healthy and that our city is safe in times of stress or shock, and providing the foundation for economic prosperity. Since the inception of the new Council in October 2019 considerable work has been done to identify the immediate and longer-term issues for Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt and, for its proposed 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan, Council has agreed six strategic priorities:

i.      Investing in infrastructure;

ii.     Increasing housing supply;

iii.    Caring for and protecting our environment;

iv.   Supporting an innovative, agile economy and attractive city;

v.    Connecting communities; and

vi.   Being financially sustainable.

Getting the city’s infrastructure right is essential to delivering the six priorities and the Infrastructure Strategy 2021-2051 identifies significant challenges and opportunities and sets out the principal options for managing and responding to these. Infrastructure planning has significant implications across Council’s activity management functions, District Plan and long term planning, and financial strategy. A key principle of our approach to this strategy is to work in partnership with Mana Whenua in planning, funding and delivering infrastructure. Council’s infrastructure strategy aims to ensure that Lower Hutt has strong and reliable three waters and transport infrastructure, delivered in an environmentally and financially sustainable manner, to help achieve these priorities. This means making sure that we are meeting required Levels of Service, improving and strengthening our existing infrastructure network, and providing the infrastructure to support new housing and business development.

Council’s strategy includes all the mandatory infrastructure categories in the Local Government Act 2002.[1]

·    Water supply

·    Wastewater (sewage treatment and disposal)

·    Stormwater drainage and flood protection (at a local level)

·    Roads and footpaths

2.  Strategy Summary

Vision

 

Hutt City Council is responsible for improving the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of people and communities in Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt. Infrastructure is crucial to the wellbeing of our people and Council has an important kaitiaki/stewardship role for managing these assets. The Council vision for infrastructure is:

 

Managing and investing in infrastructure that ensures the City and its People thrive and grow now and into the future

Purpose

 

The strategy identifies significant issues for three waters and transport infrastructure and sets out Council’s proposals for managing these issues and their implications over the next 30 years. Taking a multi-asset approach Council will invest in renewing, replacing, and managing long-term infrastructure in the right place, at the right time and at the right price, so that we can provide services for existing residents and accommodate new developments.

Goals

Getting things right in terms of infrastructure is essential to delivering the six priorities agreed by Council in its proposed 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan. Council’s infrastructure strategy has two goals to support achieving these priorities:

i. Strong, reliable, efficient, and effective three waters and transport infrastructure networks; and

iii. Provide current and new infrastructure in a sustainable way which focuses on guardianship of our environment and communities

 

Principles and approach

Council and its partners have identified four major challenges affecting Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt’s infrastructure. The city’s ageing infrastructure combined with the impacts of climate change and natural hazards are significant issues, Council needs to prioritise investment in infrastructure to increase resilience, maintain public health, and protect the environment. 

The population by Council served is growing and changing and this will continue to impact on demand and service delivery. Technology is evolving rapidly and may provide new solutions. While some technological changes can be anticipated some – particularly technological innovations over longer timeframes – are more difficult to predict. As a result, renewal and replacement programmes need to be flexible to take possible future scenarios and solutions into account. Council has developed six principles to guide its multi-asset approach to investing in our infrastructure:

i.      Infrastructure must protect people, property and the environment;

ii.     Investment decisions must align with Council’s Financial Strategy and focus on getting the basics right and financial sustainability;

iii.    Management and investment in infrastructure must align with Council’s climate change principles and its key goal of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050;

iv.   Decisions must improve the resilience, sustainability and long term adaptability of the city’s infrastructure;

v.    Management and investment in infrastructure must be made with and strengthen the partnership with Mana Whenua; and

vi.   All Council infrastructure complies with regulations and standards.

The following table shows four identified issues and summarises of the approach Council will take to address these over the next 30 years.

 

Table 1: Identified issues and summary of response

 

Issues

Response summary

Ageing infrastructure and investment in renewals

1.     Increase our investment in understanding our ageing infrastructure assets

2.     Investment in a maintenance programme that supports the reliability, efficiency and effectiveness of the infrastructure networks

3.     Enable a structured programme of planned investment in the renewal of ageing assets

The effects of climate change and natural hazards

1.     Strengthen at risk infrastructure

2.     Maintain a robust emergency preparedness system

3.     Maintain, and where required, invest in providing back up infrastructure

4.     Invest in protective infrastructure

5.     Ensure the regulation and monitoring system is robust and functioning

Growth and demand variations

1.     Promotion of alternative transportation modes.

2.     Explore and use methods to manage demand

3.     Enhance accessibility options for the ageing population

4.     Focus on adapting and developing infrastructure for and in high demand areas

Technological advancements

1.     Develop modelling and monitoring tools, and systems

2.     Maintain flexibility in the investment programme to take advantage of technological developments and ensure that we use the most effective and efficient materials and techniques to improve the city’s infrastructure.

 

3.  Lower Hutt Story

 

Geography

Lower Hutt encompasses an area of 38,000 hectares, stretching from Haywards Hill and Stokes Valley in the north to Turakirae Head in the south. It is bounded to the west by Belmont Regional Park and to the east by the Remutaka Forest Park. 

The Hutt River (Te Awa Kairangi) is a defining element of the city, rising in the southern Tararua Range it flows south-west along the Wellington Fault until it reaches the city, where it turns south to Wellington Harbour. The river’s headwaters are a major catchment for the region’s water supply. Tributaries to the Hutt River within Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt include Stokes Valley Stream and Awamutu Stream. Other important rivers and streams in the district include the Wainuiomata River, Korokoro Stream, Waiwhetu Stream, and the Orongorongo River. 

Lower Hutt’s coastline stretches around Wellington Harbour from Petone Beach to Pencarrow Head, and continues outside the harbour to Baring Head and on past Turakirae Head to Windy Point (south of Mt Matthews). The Wellington Fault runs through the city and there are numerous other faults in the area and across the wider region. 

Flooding is a continuing hazard and to manage the risks, stop-banks which extend through the city, have been built on both banks of the Hutt River.  

In the mid-1940s state housing for 20,000 people was built in the north-eastern suburbs of the city (Epuni, Naenae, Taita), and a new suburban railway connected people to workplaces further down the valley and in Wellington City. Subsequent development radiated out from the Hutt Valley flood plain.  From the 1960s, more middle-income home buyers began populating the western hill suburbs – necessitating supporting infrastructure development in those areas. Maungaraki was developed by the then city council for private housing, and was at that time the largest local government subdivision in New Zealand, involving significant earthmoving to cut hilltops and fill valleys. Today, the main commercial centres are Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt and Petone, light/industrial centres in Wingate and Seaview, while residential suburbs are located on the western hills, eastern bays, Wainuiomata, the valley floor, and Stokes Valley.

As the population continues to grow, additional infrastructure capacity is required. This is particularly true of in relation to three-waters and transport. Our challenge is to balance the need to renew the city infrastructure with the need to invest in new infrastructure and to provide affordable and good quality services for people now and in the future.

Demography

The current population of Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt is 111,800 and is projected to reach 120,000 around 2030 and to be between 124,000 and 130,000 in 2043. Population growth is likely to continue over the next 20 years but the rate of growth will slow over time.  In the past 5 years the population has grown as a result of both net natural increase (births less deaths) and net migration.  Growth from natural increase is likely to remain at current levels. External (overseas) and internal (from other areas of NZ) migration contributes to a proportion of the population growth with the largest number of new residents coming from internal migration.  In the short term, international migration will decrease due to Covid-19 and therefore so will the follow on flow of migrants to the city. While the number of returning New Zealanders may offset this decrease, the long term impact of Covid-19 on migration is unclear.

Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt’s population is ageing, but not at the rate anticipated in 2013, as those moving into the area have a younger age profile and those leaving the area have an older age profile. The current ratio of working age population to retirement age population is exactly the same as it was in 2013, and over half of those aged 65-69 are still in paid employment and a third of those aged 70-74 are too.  These changes will influence people’s preferences in relation to both transport choices and the provision and cost of core infrastructure.

 

 

 

 

 

4.  National and Regional Context

Three waters reform

There are significant challenges facing water services and infrastructure, and the communities that pay for and rely on these services.  Historical underinvestment in three waters infrastructure in areas of the country means that there is now a need for substantial investment to renew essential infrastructure, achieve improvements in freshwater outcomes, increase resilience to climate change and natural hazards, and enhance community wellbeing.

In July 2020, the Government announced a funding package of $761 million to provide immediate post-COVID-19 stimulus to local authorities to maintain and improve three waters infrastructure, and support reform of water services delivery arrangements.  Government’s intention is to develop public multi-regional models for water service delivery to realise the benefits of scale for communities and reflect neighbouring catchments and communities of interest. A joint central and local government Three Waters Steering Committee provides oversight of and guidance on the reform and there will be discussion with the local government sector on new service delivery arrangements during 2021.

Whaitua process

The Whaitua process is also part of the reform of the approach to managing our water system.  Whaitua Committees form the basis of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s (GWRC’s) programme to implement the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM). The NPS-FM includes minimum standards for freshwater that councils must seek to achieve, so that the water quality in all catchments is maintained or improved.

Whaitua is the Te Reo Māori word for catchment and the work programme will see Committees established in each of the five Whaitua in the Wellington region develop a Whaitua Implementation Plan (WIP) to recommend the actions thought necessary to improve water quality in their area.  Whaitua has five guiding principles:

Ki uta ki tai: connectedness

Wairua: identity

Kaitiaki: guardianship

To matou whakapono: judgement based on knowledge

Mahitahi: partnership

The Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara is the third of the catchments to be assessed and covers Wellington and the Hutt Valley. The Whaitua te Whanganui-a-Tara Committee, comprising of Mana Whenua, elected members from the Wellington, Hutt and Upper Hutt City Councils, GWRC and community members from across the Whaitua, began its work in early 2019.

The Committee is currently in the process of developing their Whaitua Implementation Plan (WIP) which is expected to be completed in April 2021 and presented to GWRC for adoption in May. The WIP will contain both regulatory and non-regulatory recommendations to improve water quality in in Wellington and the Hutt Valley and so will inform decisions the member councils make in this key area, including around water infrastructure.

Transport

The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport (GPS) identifies that the purpose of the transport system is to improve people’s wellbeing and contribute to the liveability of places.  It achieves this by contributing to five key outcomes – inclusive access, healthy and safe people, economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, and resilience and security. 

Figure 2: Transport Outcomes Framework [2]

Central Government has identified four strategic priorities for land transport investment over the next 10 years to contribute to improving the wellbeing and liveability of communities.  These four priorities are – safety, better travel options, climate change, and improving freight connections. These priorities will guide central government and regional investment.  The GPS may change over time and any changes can influence Hutt City Council’s planning. 

Figure 3: Strategic priorities for land transport investment[3]

Wellington region transport challenges

At a regional level the transport network faces the following challenges:

·    The region’s geography and topography has resulted in a transport network that is highly vulnerable to disruption with only two main north-south corridors, and very limited east-west linkages;

·    Lack of capacity in the public transport network is limiting the region’s ability to accommodate future growth and achieve desired mode shift;

·    Lack of safe, sustainable, and attractive transport choices is resulting in an inefficient transport system and limiting access for people and freight; and

·    Transport infrastructure isn’t designed to adequately accommodate different transport modes leading to increasing conflicts between transport users in urban centres and on rural roads which results in poor safety outcomes.

Spatial Planning

Many aspects of our infrastructure vary due to geographical and spatial factors. Council is preparing to develop a city spatial plan and is participating in the Wellington Regional Growth Framework (WRGF) – a 30-year spatial plan for the Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region that includes aspects such as a regional response to climate change, a long-term three-water strategy, and a focus on improving transport connections.[4]  The Framework provides for a scenario of accommodating an additional 200,000 people and 100,000 jobs over the 30-year period, of which the population Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt is a subset. The framework has been developed to deliver on the objectives of the Government’s Urban Growth Agenda (UGA), which include improving environmental, employment, transport, and housing outcomes for communities, and the requirements of the National Policy Statement on Urban Development. It takes account of work done by councils in the region, through their District Plans and urban development processes, and in future it will also need to consider the implications of the Resource Management Act review and the three waters reform.

The Framework outlines how the region can accommodate additional people and jobs and meet the following objectives:

 

•     Enable more housing developments around transport nodes (i.e. train stations and bus hubs) and support transformational change in key locations across the region – where there is good access to public transport that supports mode-shift.

•     Develop more well-located greenfield housing development, ensure that it is higher density than most current greenfield (i.e. townhouses and apartments), and that is it connected to public transport. [5]

•     Increase housing capacity in our centres (including Lower Hutt Central Business District (CBD), and Wainuiomata) by expanding the housing footprint and permitting higher densities than are currently enabled in many places.

•     Investigate improved multi-modal west-east connections across the region that benefit the region’s economy and accessibility, and that include urban development along these corridors.

 

Proposed regional spatial changes are outlined below.

Figure 4:

 The Framework was endorsed by Hutt City Council on 8 December 2020. The Framework includes the following key initiatives that will impact on future infrastructure requirements:

·    Develop a regional approach to the impacts of climate change including coastal protection, longer term development areas, and areas to stop developing. This will include a programme to consider protection and management of taonga such as water, and our approach to at risk infrastructure include transport assets.

·    Develop a 50- to 100-year regional three waters strategy to support anticipated growth, including upgrades to infrastructure (including bulk infrastructure) that supports growth in key development areas and improves environmental outcomes.

·    Increase rapid transit rail/bus network accessibility, capacity and frequency including inter-regional connectivity to address over-crowding, provide for future growth and enable higher service frequencies including inter-regional connectivity.

·    Significantly improve multi-modal connections to rapid transit stops as part of master planning and delivery of higher density urban development in major centres and at nodes.

·    Establish a connected regional cycling network by eliminating pinch points on the network and delivering transformational projects to improve access.

 

5.  Lower Hutt Infrastructure Networks    

 

Lower Hutt has a well-developed and modern infrastructure network and, overall, the roading network is in good condition; however we know that our three waters network is ageing and there is an increased focus on understanding the condition of our very high and high critical assets. The total capital replacement value for the Council owned infrastructure included in this strategy is over $2 billion, while each year Council spends, on average, $51m in capital replacements and $7m to improve and upgrade this infrastructure. [6]

Table 2: Extent of Council infrastructure networks in this Strategy

Infrastructure Category

Total Length

Estimated Value[7]

Key components

Levels of service

Condition and lifespan[8]

Water supply

711 km (pipes)

Depreciated Replacement Cost: $110m

 

Replacement Cost: $275m

·      Reservoirs

·      Water mains

·      Pump stations

·      Safety of drinking water

·      Maintenance of the network

·      Fault response times

·      Customer satisfaction

·      Demand management

The average life of our pipe network is 70-75 years.

Based on age data there is currently a backlog of life expired pipes of approximately 27%. This backlog of renewals would continue to increase without the investment agreed by Council.

Wastewater

680km

(pipes)

Depreciated Replacement Cost: $231m [9]

 

Replacement Cost: $532m

 

Waste water treatment replacement cost: $81m

·      Treatment plant

·      Sewage trunk mains

·      Pump stations

·      Storage tanks, and

·      Outfall pipeline

·      Dry weather overflows

·      Discharge compliance

·      Fault response times

·      Customer satisfaction

The average life of our pipe network is 80 years.

Based on age data, there is a current backlog of life expired pipes of approximately 14%. This backlog of renewals would continue to increase without the investment agreed by Council.

Stormwater

454km

(pipes)

Depreciated Replacement Cost: $190m

 

Replacement Cost: $374m

·      Stormwater mains

·      Pump stations

·      System adequacy

·      Discharge compliance

·      Response times

·      Customer satisfaction

 

The lifespan of stormwater assets varies between types of asset. For example, minor culverts have an estimated average life of 100 years, while major culverts generally last 80 years

 

The pipe renewals backlog is currently estimated at approximately 3%, with nearly 30% expected to need replacing (due to age) over the next 30 years. NB the replacement (upgrading) of the SW pipe network is mostly driven by the need to increase levels of service (capacity) to reduce the impacts of flooding etc., rather than purely because of age/condition, which drives the renewal of water supply and wastewater pipes, which tend to deliver the same levels of service.

Local roads and footpaths

484km (roads)

and 728km (footpaths)

 

Depreciated Replacement Cost: $446m

 

Replacement Cost: $945m

 

·      Roadways and bridges

·      Footpaths and walkways

·      Cycleways

·      Retaining walls and seawalls

·      Traffic services, and

·      Street lighting

·      Residents’ satisfaction

·      ‘Quality of ride’ measured by the percentage of the road network meeting roughness standards.

·      Accident trend (measured by NZTA).

·      Prompt issue response

·      Percentage of sealed local road network that is resurfaced

·      Percentage of footpaths that fall within the service standard for footpath condition

The Waka Kotahi NZTA Surface Condition Index, which measures the condition of the road surface in relation to surface defect, is rated in a range of 0 to 100, where a lower number indicates better condition. HCC’s current rating is 1.6 which means our road surfaces are in a very good condition.

Lifespans vary between roading assets: for streetlights it is 25 years while a bridge may last more than 100 years. The average life of a chipseal surface in Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt is about 12 years, and asphaltic concrete has an average life of about 15 years.

Age Index is one of the components of the Surface Condition Index. Council monitors a number of conditions and performance indexes to optimise pavement renewals of the local roads.

 

Three waters

Infrastructure networks in Lower Hutt are very much integrated with those at a regional level, and some of the city’s infrastructure is shared or co-managed with other councils in the region. (See Appendix 1 for a list of these assets)

Wellington region is defined by water catchments, rivers and streams, groundwater, harbours, and coastline that form major parts of the water cycle. Wellington Water Ltd. was established in September 2014 to take a regional approach to the delivery of the three waters services, reflecting the natural catchment structure of the region. Wellington Water is a council-controlled organisation jointly owned by the Hutt, Porirua, Upper Hutt, Wellington City and South Wairarapa District Councils and Greater Wellington Regional Council. A representative from each council sits on the regional Wellington Water Committee that provides overall leadership and direction for the company.  Services are provided using the assets owned by shareholding councils. Wellington Water Ltd. has a Regional Service Plan that sets out a consistent, cost-effective and sustainable approach to delivering the three waters services across the region

Much of the Lower Hutt three waters network is at, or close to, capacity, while approximately 60% of our pipes are due for renewal in the next 30 years.  The capital investment needed for this infrastructure often requires substantial expenditure, particularly when these assets need renewing or require significant maintenance. The long life of most infrastructure assets means that significant peaks in expenditure are typically followed by long periods of relatively low expenditure.  This means investment can be managed to ensure that renewal and maintenance of core (critical) infrastructure is prioritised while investment in less critical or non-critical infrastructure can be strategically managed on a ‘just in time’ basis i.e. just before failure.[10]

Water supply

Hutt City Council’s responsibilities in providing a water supply are to:

•     ensure there is enough safe water for industrial, commercial, and residential use

•     ensure there is enough water for firefighting

Te Awa Kairangi / Lower Hutt’s bulk water comes from several sources including the Hutt River, Wainuiomata and Orongorongo Rivers, and the Waiwhetu Aquifer. Bulk water infrastructure is the responsibility of the Greater Wellington Regional Council, which city councils contribute their share of through the bulk water levy. The bulk water levy is an opex fee and the level of investment in bulk water activities, both capital and operational has a relationship with city councils affordability of investment in other strategic priorities.

Finding the right balance of investment is particularly important with respect to the strategic priority of reducing water consumption as council investment in activities such as proactive leak detection and repair or demand management are key to deferring the regions need to invest in a new water source. This investment would impact through the bulk water levy and is still required within the next 10-20 years, but would potentially impact in the next LTP period without sufficient level of intervention across the region.

Lower Hutt’s water supply system consists of a network of water mains, pumping stations, and reservoirs. Very high and high critical assets include large diameter pipes, together with all reservoirs and pumping stations. While some areas for improvement have been identified, most areas of the city meet expected standards for water storage (in reservoirs or storage lakes) and water pressure.

An important issue is ensuring the availability of water in the future. The average New Zealand family uses 250-300 litres of water per person per day.  A study of water use in Auckland found that people typically use between 140 and 175 litres of water a day.  In contrast, it is estimated that people in Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt use approximately 380 litres per person per day on average.[11]  When this level of use is considered alongside the impacts of climate change, water allocation rules and growth in the Wellington region means that an additional water supply source will be required by about 2025; that’s 10 years earlier than previously planned. Hutt City Council has informed Wellington Water Ltd. that it wants to adopt a conservation approach to our water supply, including demand management measures such as meters, as opposed to large investments in reservoirs.  To provide more guidance on how the network is operating Wellington Water is increasing the number of network meters and pressure management devices.

Household meters are one method to help influence residents’ use of water and, if introduced, could initially be used to identify leaks and show water use rather than for volumetric charging.[12]

Wastewater

 

Council’s main responsibility is to protect people from the negative effects of human and industrial wastewater.

The wastewater system collects, treats, and disposes of wastewater from residential and business properties, and industrial liquid wastes (or trade waste). The system consists of a network of pipes connecting to each property, which in turn discharge into a system of larger-diameter trunk sewer pipes. There are two main trunk sewer pipelines for the Hutt Valley – one follows the western Hutt River stopbank, and the second passes through the eastern suburbs of Taita and Naenae, before following the rail corridor to Moera. The trunk sewers convey wastewater from Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt to the treatment plant at Seaview. Treated effluent from the Seaview plant is then discharged into the sea from the main outfall pipe at Bluff Point near Pencarrow Head. Ongoing environmental scanning is in place to monitor compliance with consent processes and inform future practices. The consent for discharging the treated effluent from Seaview will expire in August 2031.[13]

During wet weather, there is the possibility of stormwater inflow or groundwater infiltrating the wastewater system, leading to possible overflows which cause issues in terms of water quality and impacts on public health. Existing infiltration/inflow reduction strategies, including pipeline inspection and renewal programmes, are designed to minimise the entry of stormwater or groundwater to the wastewater system.

Very high and high critical assets are identified in Wellington Water’s Regional Service Plan and include large diameter pipes, trunk pipes, the Seaview Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the Silverstream Storage Tank. Seven out of the 22 pumping stations in the city’s wastewater network are identified at this level of criticality. An increased focus to determine the condition of very high and high critical assets is underway to ensure that Lower Hutt has an effective maintenance and renewal programme to lower the risk of failures. Lower criticality assets, however, would not be proactively repaired and would run to fail in line with recognised asset management practices.

Stormwater

 

Hutt City Council owns the stormwater pipe network that takes rainwater away from built-up areas and discharges it to the harbour and places along the coastline. Our main responsibilities are:

•     To prevent the flooding of habitable buildings and reduce property damage in rain events.

•     To ensure that stormwater is managed and removed in a way that protects our built environment and keeps it functioning.

The primary stormwater system consists of pipes, open drains, retention dams, and pumping stations. Stormwater is discharged into the harbour through a combination of streams, rivers, drainage channels, and pipes. ‘Secondary flow-paths’ are provided in some areas to accommodate floodwaters when the primary system is overloaded.  Very high and high critical assets are identified in Wellington Water’s Regional Service Plan and include large diameter pipes, pipelines that operate under pressure, pipes located beneath buildings, stormwater intakes and flap gates on stormwater pipelines. Two of the fourteen pumping stations in Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt have been identified as critically important to the city’s stormwater system.

 

The majority of the existing stormwater infrastructure was originally designed to accommodate a five-year ‘average recurrence interval’ rainfall event. As such, some of the infrastructure may be overloaded when more severe rainfall events occur.  Service level expectations are higher than when the system was designed and general replacement or renewals are now built to a 10-year average recurrence interval standard. We are also now experiencing more intense rainfall events that put pressure on our stormwater networks. The effects of the higher rainfall and other climate change effects are incorporated in the design standards and the eventual stormwater mitigation solutions. It is often not practical to build our way out of stormwater flooding and, in such situations, Council uses non-asset solutions such as District Plan changes, changes in maintenance regimes, or overland flow path options to manage the effects of these issues.

Under the GWRC Proposed Natural Resources Plan, councils in the region will be required to hold resource consents for stormwater discharges. This may require upgrades to the network to meet environmental standards, and could increase the need to consider alternative stormwater management approaches (e.g., rain gardens or swales) when developing new housing or businesses in areas of the city.

A key planning requirement in relation to stormwater is to understand the likelihood and consequence of flooding that goes beyond agreed levels of flood protection. Avoiding building in high hazard areas is one way of managing flood risk in the long-term. Stormwater management (for which Hutt City Council is responsible) and managing flood risk for major waterways (primarily the responsibility of GWRC) both contribute to protecting urban areas of the city from flooding. Hutt City Council works in collaboration with GWRC to develop and implement ‘catchment environmental strategies’ (currently in place for the Hutt River) and Floodplain Management Plans (currently in place for the Hutt River and being developed for the Waiwhetu Stream). The two councils are also currently working on Riverlink, a major project to raise and widen the stopbank on both banks of Hutt River along the city centre, widen the river channel and enhance the river promenade.

Transport

 

A transport system that enables people to travel safely using different modes, connecting people and communities to jobs, services, and leisure opportunities, is essential to wellbeing. Hutt City Council’s key responsibilities are to:

•     Provide safe convenient and accessible transport throughout the city.

•     Ensure Lower Hutt is well connected and people and goods can move throughout the city safely and efficiently.

•     Provide safe and easy access to places and activities for recreation and sport, business and employment.

Our aim is to meet the needs of all road users, including walkers, cyclists, and people using micro-mobility modes of transport such as electric scooters, electric bikes or skateboards. As well as roads and footpaths, transport assets include carparks, walkways, bridges, subways, street lighting, seawalls, and items such as parking meters. Of Council’s total infrastructure value in this category, about 50 percent is roads and footpaths, 20 percent is bridges, and the remainder consists of streetlights, parking meters, signage, and so on. Critical assets in the city include key strategic or arterial routes and bridges.

Hutt City Council is taking a leading and progressive approach nationally to managing its roads and footpaths, including being one of New Zealand’s earliest adopters of pavement deterioration modelling and assessments of bridges for seismic strengthening. Investigations have identified the need for major improvements in roads connecting the CBD and Seaview/Petone to State Highway 2.  The Melling Bridge renewal and East Access Route (to access or bypass the CBD via Knights Road, Cornwall Street and Pretoria Street) improvements are planned to address these concerns for the CBD. The work is planned to coincide with stopbank upgrade work as part of Riverlink. The proposed new Cross Valley Connector is expected to remove through traffic from The Esplanade and Jackson Street in Petone and ease current congestion. This is also an important project to accommodate the increased traffic volumes generated by growth in Petone, Eastern Bays, and Wainuiomata, and has significant resilience benefits.

Council is committed to improving the use of public transport and investing in infrastructure to support the use of active modes of transport that are environmentally friendly, improve liveability, and reduce carbon emissions. This means changing how we design and use the road network with roads modified to accommodate a greater range and volume of public and active transport options. 

There are significant opportunities, particularly in relation to travel over shorter distances, to improve the local transport system to encourage walking, cycling, and micro-mobility.  Council has been investing heavily in the city’s cycling and walking network since 2015 and this work is expected to be completed within the next 5-10 years.  The focus now is on developing local connections which link the core routes with key employment, education, and transport hubs, to encourage greater use of active modes. New investment in this infrastructure is proposed in Council’s Long-Term Plan 2021-2031.

Changing travel mode preference also requires incentives to influence people’s transport choices.  For instance, the cost and availability of parking influences mode choice and can be used as a lever to change current transport patterns and contribute to sustainable environmental outcomes.

In conjunction with the Infrastructure Strategy, Council is developing an Integrated Transport Strategy to improve and strengthen the transport network. The Strategy will:

·    Provide a high level vision for the city’s transport system

·    Identify priorities and trade-offs involved in developing this system

·    Highlight links and dependencies with external influences as well as other Council plans

·    Inform strategies, policies, action plans and funding applications and

·    Identify focus areas and strategic interventions for the city. 

Hutt City Council works closely with Waka Kotahi NZTA as a co-investor in our transport network to ensure an appropriate level of service is delivered. Waka Kotahi provides subsidies for most of our roading and active transport projects, and therefore the policies and priorities of Waka Kotahi and the way in which this impacts their funding decisions has influence on the decisions Council makes with regard to this infrastructure.

6.  Significant Infrastructure Challenges and Opportunities

This section outlines the four significant infrastructure issues and opportunities identified for Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt, together with Council’s response for managing the issues and their implications. All four issues require increased capital and operational expenditure to effectively manage the impacts of our current ageing infrastructure and take advantage of growth and development opportunities. The issues are:

§ Ageing infrastructure and investment in renewals

§ The effects of climate change and natural hazards

§ Growth and demand variations

§ Technological advancements

 

i.          Ageing infrastructure and investment in renewals

 

a)    Ageing three waters infrastructure

A key challenge facing Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt is the investment needed in the three-water infrastructure over the next 30 years. Investing in renewals over time improves network resilience, facilitates growth, reduces water loss and leakage of the wastewater into the environment, and helps to reduce operational costs. Determining the optimal time that assets should be renewed is often a complex task requiring good information. Some assets are visible and their condition can be observed relatively easily while others are underground making it difficult to forecast when they may fail. Renewing very high or high critical assets after they fail can be more expensive and therefore running these assets to failure is not regarded as good practice. An unplanned failure leading to a disruption of services, particularly in relation to critical assets, can have a significant impact on service users. The graphs below show the backlog of investment in each of the three waters.

The graph shows the backlog and pending investment based on age profiles of the wastewater pipes (this data excludes manholes, pump stations and treatment plants).

 

 

Figure 4: Hutt City Council wastewater network pipe renewal profile

Graphical user interface

Description automatically generated

The next graph (from January 2020) shows the pending and backlog investment for Council’s water supply network based on the age profile of the pipes (this data only relates to pipes and excludes pipe fittings, reservoirs and pump stations).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 5: Hutt City Council water supply network pipe renewal profile

The graph below shows the backlog of investment in stormwater pipe assets. As noted in Table 2, the backlog of investment in stormwater pipe assets is less than for water supply and wastewater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 6: Hutt City Council stormwater network pipe renewal profile

 

Addressing the investment shortfall requires a 25% increase in operational investment within three years, alongside making between 5% and 10% efficiency saving across all operational activities.  This will enable:

·    Improved maintenance and operations over the next 10 years – reduced water demand and service risks, moving from reactive to predictive detection, and proactively fixing water leaks

·    Increased private network inspections over the next one to three years – reduced wastewater overflow and reduced public health risk

·    Increased investigations and monitoring over the next 10 years – better long-term value as we move from a reactive approach to a planned programme of work, and reduced service risks particularly in relation to critical assets

Addressing capital renewals requires a $25m annual increase in investment within ten years. This is in addition to the current commitment of $10.5m on average for each year of the current LTP.  For our core infrastructure, this will enable achievement of:

·    Water supply renewals – reduced water demand, reduced service risks, and an increase in network resilience.

·    Waste water renewals – reduced overflows into streams, rivers, and harbour, and increased network resilience and reduced service risks.

These service enhancements will help ensure that our basic infrastructure supports the growth of Lower Hutt and provides the foundation on which the city and its people thrive and grow now and into the future. Investment is also needed to ensure that we prepare to meet population growth and the need for new housing supply.  The map below shows water supply network constraints in 2020 based on high level modelling. Detailed modelling for Wainuiomata, Petone, and Kelson Heights is being completed for all three waters over the next two years.

Figure 7: Water supply network capacity and constraints

Most of Lower Hutt’s water infrastructure was built in the 1930’s and 1950’s and while average life expectancy varies from 10-80 years depending on infrastructure type, substantial investment in the city’s core three waters infrastructure is required to ensure that our pipe networks continue to operate effectively. 

Programmes based on robust modelling need to be put in place to guide renewal or replacement of assets when the asset condition and performance dictates this. Appropriate maintenance approaches extend the life of assets, particularly those assets with longer lifespans and extremely high replacement cost.

b)    Investing in transport connections

Hutt City Council is planning significant investment in strengthening and improving transport networks to improve services for existing residents, create a more reliable transport system that contributes to reducing the effects of climate change, and which enables the city to increase housing supply in well-connected neighbourhoods. This work includes considerable investment in the road network, such as $160 million towards the Cross Valley Connector, as well as in projects such as eastern bays shared path, and seismic strengthening of bridges.

Table 3: Response to ageing infrastructure and investment in renewals

Response

 

Explanation

Benefits, advantages and positive implications

Costs, disadvantages and negative implications

Timing

1: Increase our investment in understanding our ageing infrastructure assets in order to increase  resilience, sustainability and long term adaptability of the infrastructure 

Increased spend on condition information assessments to inform planning and timing of renewals

Improved resilience

Minimised disruption

Greater ability to respond to known growth and climate change impacts

An inability to complete the assessments in a timely manner in order to identify and prevent critical asset failure.

 

Immediate/short term/ongoing

2: Investment in a maintenance programme that supports the reliability, efficiency and effectiveness of the infrastructure networks

 

 

A well targeted maintenance programme will ensure that Lower Hutt’s assets perform effectively and maximise their useful lives

Improved resilience

Minimised disruption

Increased network effectiveness and efficiency

Due to the backlog, despite increased and ongoing maintenance, there is a residual risk that unplanned service disruptions and critical asset failures could still occur, despite the increased investment.

 

Immediate/short term/ongoing

3: Enable a structured programme of planned investment in the renewal of ageing assets

A structure programme of renewals based on good asset information will reduce the risk of unplanned service disruptions and critical asset failures.

Improved resilience

Minimised disruption

 

Costs over the next 30 years will be significant as a peak in renewals is addressed. This will be addressed through borrowings

 

Immediate/short term/ongoing

The Effects of Climate Change and Natural Hazards

 

Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt is located on a floodplain and large parts of the city are vulnerable to natural hazards.

a)    Earthquake and its consequences

Earthquake and its potential consequences pose a major risk of structural damage. A rupture of the Wellington fault rupture could cause extensive subsidence in Petone, liquefaction in floodplain areas, landslide and slope failure in Western Hills, Eastern Bays, and Wainuiomata Hill Road, and tsunami in Petone and Eastern Bays. The city’s infrastructure needs to be able to withstand a significant earthquake both in regard to structural integrity and to ensure that the provision of services is maintained or can be resumed with minimal disruption to the public.

A low magnitude earthquake which damages roads will disrupt transport and is likely to have a negative impact on business and wellbeing. However, a significant seismic event could seriously disrupt single access routes, particularly those connecting Hutt Valley to Wellington CBD and Wainuiomata. This loss of access may affect the transport of vital supplies and therefore improving the resilience of arterial or single access routes is a key issue in relation to transport infrastructure.

A major earthquake is also likely to cause disruptions to water supply and wastewater networks, both in terms of structural damage to pipes or pumping stations, and the ability to ensure continuation of supply. Council’s planning focusses on both wider change and treatment capacity to ensure people have access to clean drinking water and sanitation. Earthquakes may also cause significant damage to the stormwater network, leading to significant problems, particularly in the event of heavy rainfall following an event.

Additionally, the strategy’s multi-asset approach recognises the connection between transport and water infrastructure networks.  For instance, if roads are significantly damaged this could damage underground pipes, and in turn, if stormwater networks are damaged the subsequent overflowing could affect the ability of roads to continue functioning.

b)    Intense storms and heavy rainfall and severe dry periods:

Infrastructure should be able to protect and support people, property and the environment in case of a major storm or drought. As the effects of climate change grow, intense storms and heavy rainfall may lead to increased risk of flooding and conversely more frequent dry periods may result in drought. The CBD, Alicetown, Petone, Waiwhetu, and Wainuiomata are areas of the city most vulnerable to these effects.

Intense storms and heavy rainfall can lead to surface flooding and slips, overload the stormwater system resulting in overflow or inundation. A major event could lead to stopbank failure or overtopping and damage to property and infrastructure. It also has the potential to lead to road closures and require increasingly frequent clearing of debris. These effects could create hazardous conditions for both road and footpath use.

Increasing levels of rainfall that exceed the capacity of the stormwater network may also result in infiltration of the wastewater system, creating public health risks through human contact with potentially contaminated water, as well as damage to property and infrastructure. The increasing likelihood of prolonged dry periods means that water supply, and wastewater infrastructure, may not be able to adequately meet demand also leading health risks.

c)    Sea Level Rise

The Ministry for the Environment recommends that councils plan for sea level rise of between 50cm and 80cm by the 2090’s, and continuing rises beyond that. [14] A recent NIWA regional report suggests that sea level is expected to rise by 12cm to 24cm by 2040.[15]  Such rises in sea levels over the century threaten core coastal infrastructure as well as property. Sea level rise also poses risks of salination, which could threaten the viability of using water from the aquifer. Council is proactively managing the extraction of water from the aquifer to mitigate the salination risk.[16]

Sea level rise of between 50 cm to 80 cm by 2090 means that a number of coastal properties and roads could be swamped and submerged by water, and that we face an increased likelihood of storms and tsunamis surging inland, damaging seawalls, roads, wharves, and public and private properties. The extent of the impact in Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt could be significant given local factors including erosion, liquefaction, and subsidence. This projected rise in sea level may also compromise the ability of the stormwater network to drain effectively and further exacerbates the impacts of flooding. Additionally, the projected sea level rise means that some of the city’s key infrastructure, particularly the Seaview wastewater treatment plant, is likely to face inundation which is a threat to the functioning of the wastewater system.

Table 4: Response to the effects of climate change and natural hazards

Response

Explanation

Benefits, advantages and positive implications

Costs, disadvantages and negative implications

Timing

1: Strengthening at risk infrastructure

Bridges seismic strengthening – much of this work has already been undertaken; completion is expected in 2021-22. However, this timing will depend on the outcome of the East West Connector investigations.

Public safety

Improved resilience - Minimised disruption in case of an event

Minimise risk of infrastructure damage

Traffic disruption during the works

Potential issues in the case of Cuba Street overbridge if Council and Waka Kotahi decide to develop the Cross Valley Connection and there are timing conflicts

Short term

Road network seismic strengthening - increasing resilience both to seismic activity and capacity to withstand the impacts of flooding and liquefaction

Public safety

Improved resilience - Minimised disruption in case of an event

Minimise risk of property and infrastructure damage

Traffic disruption during the works

Environmental impacts

Short term

Main and critical water supply pipeline seismic upgrades and water main renewals.

Public health and safety

Protection of property

Minimised disruption

Improved resilience

 

 

 

Service disruption (including traffic) during works

Ongoing

Water reservoir seismic upgrades

Public health and safety

Minimised disruption

Improved resilience

 

Service disruption (including traffic) during works.

Ongoing

Wastewater trunk and treatment plant seismic upgrades

Public health and safety

Improved resilience

Environmental benefits

Minimised disruption

 

Service disruption (including traffic) during works

Environmental impact during works

Short term

Strengthening infrastructure in vulnerable areas. Taking into account the vulnerabilities by using resilient materials or building techniques

Public health and safety

Reduced risk to property

Minimisation of damage

Value for money

Precautionary approach

May involve using more expensive materials

 

Ongoing

2: Maintain a robust emergency preparedness system

Agreement with contractors for the provision of initial response and recovery following an emergency including priority access to necessary equipment and utilisation of the road network prioritisation map.

Improved resilience

Minimised disruption

Ability to evacuate/ bring in necessary supplies to support human life, health and wellbeing  in case of a major event

Risk of reliance upon external resources.

Ongoing

Public emergency preparedness- encouraging and supporting residents and local organisations to be prepared for an emergency by having an emergency supply of water etc.

Public health and safety

Improved resilience

Value for money

Cultural benefits – through greater respect of water as an important natural resource 

Positive flow on effects such as prompting further emergency preparedness measures e.g. in preparation for earthquakes, and broader uptake of sustainable practices

 

 

Minimal cost

Risk of contamination of improperly stored water

Ongoing

Access to emergency water through existing bores and reservoirs as well as water extraction capacity from streams as planned in the Community Infrastructure Resilience Programme

Public health and safety

Environmental benefits

Risk of contamination of improperly stored water

Ongoing

3: Maintain, and where required, invest in providing back up infrastructure

The stormwater secondary network to ensure the continuation of this service in case of a primary network failure

Continuation of service

Improved resilience

Public health and safety

Future proofing in regard to effects of climate change and by accommodating growth

Constraint on land use

Building in redundancy comes with higher costs and relies on accurate modelling

Medium term

Building redundancy and secondary wastewater network to ensure the continuation of this service in case of a primary network failure

Continuation of service

Improved resilience

Public health and safety

Future proofing in regard to effects of climate change and by accommodating growth

 

Medium term

Providing alternative transport routes. This is limited to certain situations as grid road networks often provide natural alternative routes.

Improved resilience and public safety – ability to both evacuate and bring in supplies in an emergency event

Increased efficiency by reducing Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT), congestion and carbon emissions

Drive social change and growth through better access and land value uplift

Limited to certain situations

Property acquisition and land degradation

Disruption during the construction (including noise and vibration)

Environmental impacts

Likelihood that a major event destroys both main and alternative route

Long term

4: Invest in protective infrastructure

Upgrading (raising/extending) stopbank and/or seawall, where practical, to provide protection against either sea level rise or flooding.

Protection of people, their property and infrastructure

Opportunity to develop waterfront / shared path

Positive flow on effects e.g. improved wellbeing, facilities for active modes of travel, more green open space and beautification

Significant financial restrictions - requires support from NZTA

Social concerns – loss of water view from neighbouring properties

Environmental concerns – Habitat destruction and behaviour disruption of native wildlife e.g. penguins unable to access their nesting area

Property acquisition

Medium term

5: Ensure the regulation and monitoring system is robust and functioning

Ensuring hydraulic neutrality so new public and private developments do not pose a negative effect on the flow of stormwater or increase the risk of overflow

Minimising damage to aquifer caused by construction of new buildings e.g. through pilling

Including climate change in the code of practice and all work streams 

Responding to NPS-UD requirement that district plans do not set minimum car parking requirements

Public health and safety

Increased awareness

Value for money

High efficiency and effectiveness

Environmental benefits – reduced emissions and climate change mitigation

Risk of technology features used for monitoring not being maintained 

Cost of carrying out this monitoring

Need to mitigate potential constraints on provision for other modes caused by an increased demand for on-street parking as a result of higher levels of intensification

Ongoing

 

The provision of insurance is considered as a mitigation measure rather than a response option. Council considers different insurance options where applicable, for instance, market-cover, or self-insurance (setting aside funds for covering foreseeable events) and maintains appropriate levels of insurance to safeguard core assets against significant losses. [17]

Growth and Demand Variations

 

Demand-side management practices are currently only expected to offset a fraction of the impacts of growth on the city’s infrastructure network and our infrastructure response will need to take account of the city’s changing population, and resulting need to increase housing supply and more intensive housing provision, and changes in service preferences . Climate change will also affect the demand, particularly in case of the stormwater and wastewater network, as explored with natural hazards issues. There is no marked change in the number of industrial and commercial businesses expected in the next 30 years and desired service levels are likely to be stable.

a)    Demographic change

Current information shows that future population growth will be concentrated in some areas of the central valley, Western Hills and Wainuiomata. The ageing population of the city, together with the limited greenfield and intensification opportunities for residential development are expected to slow down the growth to an average annual growth of 0.5% after 2028. Population growth means that the city needs to increase housing supply and ensure that it has the core services available enable this increase and ensure that residents have access to services and transport connections. The 2020 National Policy Statement on Urban Development directs local authorities to provide sufficient development capacity, and plan for the required infrastructure, for housing and business growth.

Demographic and societal changes are likely to increase the number of one and two person households, resulting in the need for a greater range of housing.

b)    Shifts in service preferences

Changes in preferences could present a particular challenge for the city’s transport network, although there may be impacts on other core infrastructure. Changes in people’s transportation preferences along with technological change means that roads and footpaths will need to accommodate multimodal transport both in regard to active transport such as walking and cycling, as well as micro-mobility options. Additionally an increase in demand for public transport, while not provided directly by Council, will need to be accommodated by appropriate infrastructure, such as the provision of space for bus stops.

The recent changes in where and how people want to live are also likely to continue, posing a possible challenge for infrastructure. For instance the increasing demand for ‘inner city living’ may put pressure on areas such as the CBD and Petone, and in turn lead to changing requirements for road alignment and car parking. The predicted increase in growth of certain areas will also increase the demands on other core infrastructure; requiring a greater capacity of water supply and waste water systems to match the demand.

 

 

 

 

Table 5: Response to growth and demand variations

Response options

Explanation

Benefits, advantages and positive implications

Costs,  disadvantages and negative implications

Timing

1: Promotion of alternative transport modes

Encourage people public to use active modes of transport.

Develop active transport routes, increasing walkability and connecting to public transport. 

Reducing unnecessary transport by making Council services available online

Information and awareness provision both in regard to routes and safety

Environmental impact –reduced emissions

Future proofing by reducing reliance on fossil fuels

Public health and safety

Efficiency/ reduce traffic congestion

Drive social change

Enhance urban economic growth

Cost of providing facilities

Safety concerns –during transition when cycling network is poor

Modes of transport choices are impacted by adverse weather events

Ongoing

2: Explore and use methods to manage demand

Introduction of demand management initiatives such as water conservation, hydraulic neutrality, traffic management, and inflow / infiltration reduction

This is necessary in response to population growth, changes in regulations or public expectations, and changes driven by the effects of climate change.

Limiting parking and a greater emphasis on user pays to guide traffic and transport choices while promoting the uptake of alternative means of transport.

Environmental impacts- conservation

Sustainable approach

Reduced cost

Reduced congestion

Efficiency

Value for money

Short term costs

Social concerns

Equity implications

Potential costs to individual property owners

Need to support the use of alternative transport to ensure the social and economic performance of the city continues to improve

Ongoing

3: Enhance accessibility for the ageing population

Smoother foot paths, ramp walk offs, and mobility parking.

Urban growth

Social inclusiveness/ cohesion

 

Short term

4: Focus on adapting and developing infrastructure for and in high demand areas

Providing footpaths and three waters in intensification and Greenfields areas. Understanding trends and increase in demand and use modelling to predict effects. Using this information to encourage growth in areas where there is infrastructure capacity to meet the associated increase in demand. Incorporating both access routes and bypass routes so as to ensure ease of accessibility while minimising unnecessary congestion

“Just in time” delivery will be followed to maximise efficiency and value for money.

Urban growth

Efficiency

Safety

Economic growth (for instance by making shopping districts more attractive places to be)

Enhanced amenity value

Environmental effects

Public health and wellbeing- through encouraging high foot traffic areas to be pedestrian and cycling friendly 

High cost

Environmental impact

Social concerns –particularly from retailors

 

Ongoing

 

Technological Advancements

 

Infrastructure planning must increasingly consider the rapid development of technology and our approach to renewing and replacing infrastructure needs to be flexible to enable us to take account of possible future scenarios and solutions. The expected issues and imminent opportunities in terms of technology can be categorised as follows:

a)    Monitoring and information generation

 

Technological advancements present an opportunity for significant improvements in monitoring and data gathering. Wellington Water utilises technology for some real-time monitoring and control to increase understanding and help mitigate potential risks. Technology could also provide opportunities to manage demand which is likely to become increasingly necessary with regulatory changes and as the effects of climate change increase. Monitoring and analysis technology could also enhance the ability to forecast long term costs of different investment options and increases the understanding of the balance between cost (including asset replacement or renewal), level of service, and risk exposure.

b)    Innovative technology

The inherent nature of technological advances is that they are constantly evolving and this presents significant issues of uncertainty in planning for the long term. For instance, driverless cars are expected to become a key form of transport in the future and this is likely to require considerable changes to the way roads operate such as the installation of communication networks between the cars themselves, the roads and traffic lights. However, there are difficulties in predicting when and how changes will happen, or exactly what technology will be required in the future in order to encourage and accommodate this. As such, flexibility is needed in order to exploit technological opportunities as they arise.

Table 6: Response to technological advancements

Response

Explanation

Benefits, advantages and positive implications

Costs,  disadvantages and negative implications

Timing

1: Develop modelling and monitoring tools and systems

Using technology as a tool to provide information to enhance effectiveness and efficiency. Use of tools such as dTIMS infrastructure asset management software to model best approach and use of materials. Modelling enables us to test different scenarios to see how the system will respond.

Information generation

Demand management

Enhanced planning capacity e.g. simulation for extensions or new developments

 

Short term cost in requiring the technology and training the staff

Ongoing cost to ensure these are up to date

Ongoing

2: Maintain flexibility in the investment programme to take advantage of technological developments and ensure that we use the most effective and efficient materials and techniques to improve the city’s infrastructure

Technology and the advancement of technology present a huge number of diverse opportunities and challenges to infrastructure such as new materials, equipment, as well as changes to best practice. There will likely also be technological innovations that we cannot predict; therefore this response entails openness and flexibility, along with investing in platforms that are scalable and improve the quality of data, so that Council can exploit the best technology to renew our infrastructure and ensure that it functions at optimal levels.

Council’s planning includes monitoring and assessing for potential technological solutions in order that our three waters and transport infrastructure can adapt and develop effectively. 

 

Flexible and adaptable approach as changes occur

Take advantage of technology that may positive environmental or financial benefits

Efficiency

Value for money

Service improvements

 

Uncertainty of direction- planning implications, particularly in the long term.

Local industry limitations and availability

There is a need to build up foundational data collection tools and improve data quality to be able to do this. This work also requires digital infrastructure investment for which it is not fully budgeted.

 

 

Ongoing

 

 


 

7.  Implementing the Strategy

Significant work has already been carried out to address the issues and opportunities identified in this Strategy. A number of projects have already been investigated and incorporated into the LTP, while there are also decisions that Council expects to make in due course.

Significant Projects Incorporated into Existing Plans

 

We have a significant programme of renewals planned as some of our assets come to the end of their useful lives. Several projects are considered to ensure asset preservation as natural hazards are identified as a significant issue in Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt. Many bridges and reservoirs in the district have been seismically strengthened, or are identified for such work. Some other projects, such as the proposed Cross Valley Connector, the Melling Bridge renewal, and some water main renewals, will not only help us to achieve increased resilience but also increase the network capacity to accommodate the expected population growth. Council is also continuing to carry out a range of projects to ensure that we reflect other demand variations as our population grows and changes and as more information about the new and innovative technologies becomes available.

Key projects that will occur during the course of this Strategy are listed below.

Water Supply

·    Wainuiomata Reservoir Number 3: $43m proposed for 2027/28 to 2033/34.  To support growth in Wainuiomata and provide for the existing shortfall in water storage in the Wainuiomata water supply zone.

·    Naenae Reservoir Number 2 and outlet main: $34m proposed for 2021/22 to 2025/26.  To support growth in the Valley Floor and provide for the existing shortfall in water storage in the Central Hutt water supply zone.

·    Universal metering (smart network): $27m proposed for 2025/26 to 2028/29. This is a key component of the regionally strategic priority to reduce water consumption with the aim of deferring significant investment in a new regional water source. 

·    Kingsley Reservoir Seismic replacement: $6m proposed for 2022/23 to 2025/26. 

·    Wainuiomata local fire flow pipe upgrades: $6m proposed for 2025/26 to 2028/29.  To address fire-fighting water supply limitations due to existing constraints and accounting for future demand.  This work has been identified through the Wainuiomata growth study. 

 

Wastewater

·    Main Outfall Sewer renewal: $196m proposed for 2029/30 to 2040/41.  To replace the main outfall sewer from the Seaview Treatment Plant when at the end of its service life.  Exact timing would be subject to ongoing asset inspection and assessment, and discharge consent requirements.  Renewal of critical assets such as this are key to the strategy for looking after existing infrastructure.

·    Sludge treatment renewal of dryer: $44m proposed for 2025/26 to 2028/29.  To replace the existing dryer at the Seaview Treatment Plant when at the end of its service life.  The management of sludge including drying and transport is a key component of reducing carbon emissions and managing resources in a sustainable way.

·    Western Hills Main Sewer renewal (Stage 1-4): $34m proposed for 2038/39 to 2044/45.  To replace the Western Hills Main Sewer when at the end of its service life.  Exact timing would be subject to ongoing asset inspection and assessment, and consent requirements.  Renewal of critical assets such as this are key to the strategy for looking after existing infrastructure.

·    Hutt Valley Main Sewer renewal: $33m proposed for 2027/28 to 2032/33. To replace the Hutt Valley Main Sewer when at the end of its service life.  Exact timing would be subject to ongoing asset inspection and assessment, and consent requirements.  Renewal of critical assets such as this are key to the strategy for looking after existing infrastructure.

·    Seaview WWTP wastewater storage: $27m proposed for 2021/22 to 2024/25.  The provision of wastewater storage is key enabling work necessary to mitigate overflows at the Seaview Treatment Plant and subject to consent requirements. 

 

Stormwater

·    Black Creek stormwater improvements: $3m proposed for 2031/32 to 2033/34.  To address flooding issues due to existing constraints and accounting for future demand.  This work has been identified through the Wainuiomata growth study. 

·    Victoria Street/Hume Street stormwater improvement: $2.1m proposed for 2021/22 to 2022/23.  To address known local flooding issues through the provision of upgraded stormwater infrastructure. 

·    Te Mome pump station renewal - pipework, electrical and pumps: $1.9m proposed for 2022/23 to 2023/24.  To replace pump station assets when at the end of their service life.  Routine asset renewals such as this are key to the strategy for looking after existing infrastructure.

·    William street pump station renewal - pipework, electrical and pumps: $1.7m proposed for 2021/22 to 2022/23.  To replace pump station assets when at the end of their service life.  Routine asset renewals such as this are key to the strategy for looking after existing infrastructure.

 

Transport

·    Significant Bridge seismic strengthening: $1.3M budgeted for Cuba St. Overbridge (the work for other bridges is completed) (2021-22). This is an important project to minimise the risk of bridge collapse or damage in the event of a significant earthquake, which has significant benefits both in terms of protection of life and prevention of injury along with minimising property damage and reducing disruption.

·    Road network resilience: $5M budgeted to increasing the ability of the roading network to withstand shocks (2021-23).  This minimises potential damage and disruption in the event of an emergency or other significant shock.

·    East Access Route: $3.9M for improving intersections and signalisation to ensure better alignment with the relocated Melling Bridge and other outcomes of Riverlink, along with responding to the expected growth in CBD.

·    Eastern Bays shared path: $30M budgeted for increasing the accessibility of alternative means of transport in Eastern Bays by providing a safe shared path for pedestrians and cyclists (2021 -27). This project is considered to be responding to changes in demand and the increased uptake of alternative modes of transportation and has received funding from the Government’s post-Covid economic stimulus package.

·    Cycleway network development: $7M budgeted for the Northern and Central sections of the Beltway cycleway along the eastern edge of the valley floor.  This construction started in mid-2020 and is expected to be completed in mid-2021. Options for the Southern section of the Beltway and critical connections between the cycleways, to the CBD, schools, community hubs, sports facilities and other key recreational centres are still under consideration. This project will increase the cycling opportunities in Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt and thereby respond to changes in demand, in particular the increasing uptake of alternative means of transport.

·    Road network improvements: Approximately $250M in the next 20 years (including a $198M provision for the Cross Valley Connection). The Preferred Programme for the Cross Valley Connection is staged across three phases with the major work signalled for post 2029 to align with other related projects. The general network improvement timeframe allows for considering technological advancements, for instance in using techniques or materials that maximises the effectiveness and efficiency of the road networks or in making improvements in preparation for accommodating driverless cars. The improvements are expected to be continued with a provision in the budget from 2041 to 2051.

Strategic Decisions

We have a good understanding of our transport infrastructure’s current condition, the levels of service it is required to provide, and what needs to be done to properly manage and maintain infrastructure in the period to 2051. We are increasingly gaining a better understanding of this for our three waters infrastructure. Decisions have already been made on a wide range of key projects for infrastructure investment, and funding allocated within the LTP. These decisions have resulted in a significant proposed increase in investment which has been included in this LTP.

Refinements in design and investment in improving the understanding of our assets will help ensure allocated funding represents best use of rate payer dollars. Consultation will take place in relation to key projects as this refining work is carried out. This will ensure we have the input from the community and other stakeholders as further decisions are made.

Future significant decisions to be made by Hutt City Council are primarily in refining understanding of assets to improve how we target our renewals projects and.  Other areas include:

·    Investment in water infrastructure to support growth - Development in parts of the city may require more investment in infrastructure, particularly wastewater. Modelling of the networks and urban development is planned in 1-2 of the 2021-2031 LTP to develop a better understanding of network capability and the impacts of growth. From 2021/22 Wellington Water is planning further investigation on the level of works required to address capacity constraints to growth in Wainuiomata, Petone and Kelson heights.  The investigative work is being carried out on a catchment by catchment basis and considered with each community.  We expect to be in the position to consult on the outcomes of this work for the 2024-34 LTP.

·    3 waters reform – As the government proceeds with its approach to 3 waters reform, we will be required to consider the implications of this on the operation of three waters within Council.

·    Cycling and micro mobility - Hutt City Council has made significant progress in completing the projects referenced in the Walk and Cycle the Hutt 2014-2019 strategy which includes the Wainuiomata Hill Shared Path, the Eastern Bays Shared Path and The Beltway cycleway. To exploit the opportunity created by this framework, we need to develop a connected cycleways and shared pathways network in Hutt City. Funding has been included in the first three years of the LTP to exploit these opportunities in the near term. Further decisions and consultation will be required on how this programme will continue in the future beyond the currently allocated funding.

·    Funding uncertainties – Waka Kotahi NZTA is our funding partner for the transport programme. All funding decisions about our programme of work will proceed through the investment decision process of Waka Kotahi. Council’s transport investment programme of work is included on the basis that it will receive the expected funding from Waka Kotahi.  Any change in this expectation would require consideration of the affordability of the planned programme of work.

 


Levels of Service

 

Based on the findings of community consultation and in conjunction with Asset Management Plans, the following groups of indicators will be used to monitor the performance and service provided by city infrastructure:

 

LTP performance measures:  Performance measures published in the LTP and reported on in Council’s Annual Report allows people to see the standard of the infrastructure service. Key indicators for measuring progress towards the three goals are identified in Table 8 below.

Customer standards: Quality and service availability, target response times for addressing problems with service provision, and courtesy, e.g. keeping property owners informed of system maintenance or other works.

Activity standards:  Activity standards cover aspects of activity likely to be of concern to the community, such as service quality, customer focus, cost-effectiveness, environmental performance and compliance with legal and industry standards.

Management indicators: Indicators relating to the performance of particular assets (e.g. pump stations), and the performance of service contracts.

 

Progress towards the goals

Table 8: Measuring progress towards the three goals

Goals

Key outcome indicators [18]

Strong and reliable basic infrastructure

Drinking water supply complies with part 4 of the drinking-water standards (bacteria compliance criteria)

Drinking water supply complies with part 5 of the drinking-water standards (protozoal compliance criteria)

Percentage of real water loss from networked reticulation system

Dry weather wastewater overflows per 1000 connections

 

Compliance with resource consents for discharges from wastewater system

 

Number of habitable floors affected by flooding events

 

Compliance with resource consents for discharges from stormwater system

 

Achieve water quality at main recreational beaches (monitored beaches are suitable for recreational use)

 

The change from previous financial year in number of fatalities and serious injury crashes on the local road network

Or if possible…

The change from previous financial year in number of fatalities and serious injury crashes on the local road network - where cause of accident or severity of accident was in part attributable to road condition, maintenance, signage or other Council controlled variables

 

Road risk rating - Percentage that have a high/high rating

 

Travel time reliability

 

And if possible

Average commute times within the city and regionally

 

Percentage of footpaths that fall within the service standard for footpath condition

 

Reliable, efficient, and effective water and transport infrastructure networks.

 

Length of cycleways/shared path

 

And if possible

Use of cycleways/shared paths

Water consumption per person per day for residents in Lower Hutt. (Gross measure which includes commercial and leaks divided across the population)

Audits of maintenance contracts - physical work

 

Audit of maintenance contracts – contractual obligations

 

Road travel time on key routes

 

Time for local authority to achieve resolution of urgent callouts of water supply interruptions

Time for local authority to achieve resolution of non-urgent callouts of water supply interruptions

Time for local authority to achieve resolution of callouts for wastewater overflows or blockages

Median response time to attend a flooding event

Provide current and new infrastructure in a sustainable way which focuses on guardianship of our environment and communities

 

New roads, footpaths, cycleways and shared paths meet national sustainability standard(s)

Audit of maintenance contracts – contractual obligations

 

Compliance with resource consents for discharges from wastewater system

 

Compliance with resource consents for discharges from stormwater system

 

 

8.  Projections and Assumptions

Indicative assessment of expenditure

Costs to maintain current levels of service for the existing infrastructure configuration and address the issues identified in this Strategy are shown in the following graphs.

All the costs are adjusted for inflation using BERL’s Local Government Cost Index (LGCI) forecasts.

Figure 8: Projected capital and operating expenditures for the three waters and transport infrastructure

Figure 9:  Capital expenditure based on asset category

Figure 10: Capital expenditures on wastewater network

Figure11: Capital expenditures on water supply network

Figure 12: Capital expenditures on stormwater network

Figure 13: Capital expenditures on transport network

 

Funding

The projects and programmes outlined in this Strategy are mainly funded through a mixture of general and targeted rates, collected in the year of expenditure or to repay loans raised for capital projects, as well as user subsidies and grants, fees and charges and development contributions. Council’s Revenue and Financing Policy indicates the approaches undertaken to fund the operating and capital expenditures.

General rates and targeted rates are the largest source of funding operating expenditures. General rates help fund activities that exhibit strong or dominant public good characteristics. Targeted rates are used where Council has decided that the cost of a service or function should be met by a particular group of ratepayers or where greater transparency about the use of the funding is essential. The targeted rates currently charged by Hutt City Council include water supply (per property) and wastewater services (per pan). Setting user fees and charges is another method used where the activity also provides private benefits. Rates are used to fund the balance of costs after the potential for user charges has been exhausted. Council can also fine people and businesses for certain rule infringements which creates another source of income. The other funding sources for operating expenditure are grants and subsidies. NZTA funding assistance for road maintenance makes up the majority of this funding. Council does not use borrowing, proceeds from asset sales or development or reserve contributions to help fund operating expenditure.

Council funds capital expenditure mainly from borrowing and then spreads the repayment of that borrowing over several years. This enables Council to better match funding with the period over which benefits will be derived from assets and helps ensure intergenerational equity. Some projects may also attract funding from other sources such as capital subsidies and grants from central government agencies, such as NZTA (in relation to certain roading projects), and contributions from Upper Hutt City Council (in relation to joint wastewater activities). Projects to accommodate growth may be partly funded by developers. Development Contributions Policy indicates that developers are required to provide the local infrastructure that is needed to service their development. The costs associated with providing local infrastructure, including local roads and pipes, for new developments should be recovered through development contributions charges. Other funds to support capital projects include annual revenue collected through rates to cover depreciation charges, proceeds from the sale of assets (not otherwise used for debt reduction), and operating surpluses.

Borrowing and repayments are managed within the framework specified in the Liability Management section of the Treasury Risk Management Policy. Council’s Financial Strategy further sets a number of limitations including debt to revenue limits and constraints on increasing rates to ensure the expenditures are affordable in long term. To overcome these financial constraints, Council has given priority funding to maintaining and renewing the existing assets, and will review the timing and scope of large projects to ensure expenditure on assets is done at the most cost effective time and according to the set goals and priorities as more information becomes available. Improved asset management systems and processes will assist in developing accurate programmes of maintenance, asset renewals and new capital expenditure, based on real time asset condition assessment.

Council also engages with the community by offering opportunities through the LTP and Annual Plan consultation processes to ensure that communities can express their views about infrastructure, the upgrades and new developments. Planning and delivering infrastructure is a balance between providing the levels of service the community desires and affordability for ratepayers. The LTP balances the forecasted spending needs with Council and ratepayer affordability.

 

Assumptions

 

Asset lives and conditions

The overall condition of the network is not expected to change significantly over the period of this strategy; however condition assessments for three waters assets may reveal that they have aged faster than our theoretical modelling anticipates. Assumptions have been made regarding the average useful lives and remaining lives of the asset groups, based on the current local knowledge and experience and historical trends. These need to be reviewed and the accuracy improved based on physical inspections and assessments of deterioration. Work is underway to evaluate the condition for very high and high critical assets in three waters.

Levels of service

Council’s investment aims to maintain and improve levels of service with regard to transport and three waters infrastructure. There is however expected to be a lag period for three waters as the renewals backlog is addressed.

Demand

The demand variations are likely to be driven by demographic changes, location preferences, climate change and regulatory changes. There is no marked change in the industrial businesses and desired service levels are likely to be stable. Demand-side management practices are able to offset some of the effects of population growth and reduce the need for new investments.

The population data used is from Statistics New Zealand data and demographic change has been projected by Council based on the current Statistic New Zealand data available.

Rates of growth that vary significantly from this assumed level may result in unbudgeted financial pressures. However, if lower levels of growth or population decline occur then council funding will not be used for development projects. There is a moderate level of uncertainty regarding population growth, although the risk to Council funding if growth targets are not achieved is relatively minor

Three waters reform

The strategy acknowledges the current reform of arrangements regarding three waters and our options are based on Council’s current responsibilities for the three waters system in the city.

Appendix 1

Council is both responsive and proactive in the way that its infrastructure is managed, depending on the criticality of the infrastructure and the level of risk it faces. The significant long term issues for Lower Hutt infrastructure are addressed in this strategy.

 

At the asset level, Activity Risk Management Plans outline the risks associated with providing infrastructure services, and the risk management activities associated with their operation, maintenance, and management. Resilience is increasingly being incorporated into activity management plans, including via contingency and emergency planning. For the roading network, Council has commissioned a resilience study to examine parts of the network at risk from earthquake and other hazards, as well as possible mitigation measures.

 

The assets described below are not included in the infrastructure strategy:

Council owned/managed: Parks and gardens, playgrounds, swimming pools, community facilities such as libraries, halls and integrated hubs, and assets and properties owned by Council-controlled organisations other than Wellington Water.

Regionally owned/managed: ‘Bulk’ water supply infrastructure, flood protection, public transport, coastal management, emergency management services.

Government owned/managed: Rail corridors, state highways and bridges, schools, hospitals, conservation land, social services and emergency services.

Privately owned/managed: Utilities – electricity, gas and telecommunications.

 

 


Long Term Plan/Annual Plan Subcommittee

29 January 2021

 

 

 

File: (21/1)

 

 

 

 

Report no: LTPAP2021/1/4

 

Draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to further progress the development of the Draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 and Consultation Document ahead of the upcoming formal public consultation process.

Recommendations

That the Subcommittee recommends that Council:

(1)     notes the high level plan as outlined in Table 1 and that formal public consultation process is planned for the period 29 March 2021 to 3 May 2021;

(2)     notes that the external audit process of the Draft LTP 2021-2031 and Consultation Document is currently underway;

(3)     agrees that the LTP Working Group (comprising the Mayor and Chairs of standing committees) be delegated the power to make decisions required as part of preparing the draft plan for consultation; and

(4)     requires that any such decisions made by the LTP Working Group be reported back to the next LTP subcommittee or Council meeting; and     

(5)     notes that the audited Consultation Document , together with the supporting underlying information of the Draft LTP 2021-2031will be presented to the LTP Subcommittee on 22 March 2021 for adoption ahead of the public consultation process;

(6)     notes the feedback from the early engagement on the LTP six key priorities, refer Section C;

(7)     notes the early draft version of the Consultation Document, refer Appendix 2;

(8)     notes and approves the overall approach to the draft Consultation Document subject to any feedback, refer Section D;

(9)     reviews and confirms the specific options for consultation, as detailed in the draft Consultation Document , refer Appendix 2

a)      Three waters

b)      Transport

c)       Naenae Pool

d)      Petone Wharf

e)       Increasing housing supply, includes Urban Plus Limited

f)       Supporting an innovative and agile economy, and attractive city, includes  Riverlink

g)      Connected Communities

h)      Rates Policy

i)       Development Contributions Policy.

(10)   considers the budget matters as detailed in table 4 and provides direction to officers in the preparation of the Draft LTP 2021-2031;

(11)   notes the revised financial projections, including projected debt and balance budget results as detailed in Section E;

(12)   agrees the proposed rates revenue increases for public consultation in the draft plan as summarised in Table 3 and detailed in Section H;

Table 3: Summary of rates revenue increases

 

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026-2031

Total overall rates revenue increase* 

5.9%

4.9%

4.9%

6.5%

6.5%

6.5%

*Note excludes revenue from growth in the rating base and the impact of service changes for the waste services.

(13)   notes that the impact on the average residential property valued at $629,000 will be a rates increase of $130 per annum or $2.50 per week in 2021/22 and note that this is excluding the changes to waste service charges (recycling and rubbish) previously consulted on and approved by Council ;

(14)   notes the detailed rating impact on properties as detailed in Section H of the report;

(15)   notes that further information on the change in the capital value of the Queensgate property will be reported to the LTP Working Group;  

(16)   endorses the draft Financial Strategy for inclusion in the Draft LTP 2021-2031 for public consultation subject to any feedback, refer Appendix 4;

(17)   endorses the Funding Impact Statement for Rates for inclusion in the Draft LTP 2021-2031 for public consultation, refer Appendix 6;

(18)   notes the Rates Remission Policy changes for consultation which have previously been approved by Council, refer Appendix 7; and

(19)   considers any further direction and guidance to be provided to officers ahead of finalising the draft LTP 2021-2031 and draft Consultation Document.

 

Acronyms:

AP - Annual Plan 2020/21

DLTP – Draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031

CD – Consultation document

Capex – capital expenditure

Opex – operating expenditure

CV – Capital Value

 

Executive Summary

2.    Over the past 12 months Council have taken a range of decisions to address key matters across Lower Hutt.  This has included drafting an LTP amendment to progress major projects such as Naenae Pool (which was ultimately deferred as a result of COVID-19), the 2020/2021 Annual Plan Emergency budget and completing an LTP amendment to implement a new waste and recycling service.

3.    Council’s work programme to date has broadly focused on investment in basic infrastructure and services, which has been a clear directive from elected members.  The 2020/2021 Annual Plan for example focused on investment in three waters infrastructure – particularly asset renewals. 

4.    The work completed to date has given officers a starting point ahead of the preparation of the Draft LTP 2021-2031 for public consultation.  Officers have also sought elected member feedback through a range of engagements, including a hui with Councillors & Community Board Chairs in September.

5.    From this hui, officers were able to distill the aspirations, priorities and vision elected members have for the city.  As a result of this and general public feedback (from relevant consultations), officers developed six draft priorities for the LTP.  These priorities are:

-     Investing in infrastructure | Whanake i ngā poupou o te hapori

-     Increasing housing supply | Hei āhuru mōwai mō te katoa

-     Caring for and protecting our environment | Tiaki taiao

-     Supporting an innovative, agile economy and attractive city | Taunaki ōhanga auaha, tāone whakapoapoa

-     Connecting communities | Tūhono hapori

-     Being financially sustainable | Whakauka ahumoni

6.    Early engagement with the public on these priorities took place from 2 December 2020 to 18 January 2021. Feedback from this engagement is reported in Section C of this report; this included strong support for the priorities: investing in infrastructure, caring for and protecting our environment and being financial sustainable.

7.    This report seeks a range of decisions to further inform the DLTP, including feedback on the draft Consultation Document (Appendix 2), budget decisions (table 4), further endorsement of the proposed rates increases (Section H) and endorsement of draft Financial Strategy (Appendix 4).

8.    A capital investment spend of $1.3 billion is proposed for the ten years of the DLTP which is double the previous LTP. Of the capital investment programme 44% is for Three Waters and 28% is for Transport. This 72% of capital spend reflects the Council’s commitment to fix and improve years of underinvestment in these vital areas for our city and is the prime driver for the planned rates rises in the next ten years. 

9.    Council considered the overall rates revenue increase at the meeting 21 December 2020. This was considered in light of a number of factors, including the legislative requirement for a balanced budget and financial prudence as well as factoring in the economic environment as a result of Covid-19. Council agreed the proposed 5.9% rates increase for 2021/22 be included in the DLTP for public consultation. The latest DLTP rates projections based on Council budget decisions to-date are as follows:  

 

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026-2031

Total overall rates revenue increase1 

5.9%

4.9%

4.9%

6.5%

6.5%

6.5%

Note 1- excludes revenue from growth in the rating base and excludes impact of service changes for waste services (refer table 7).

10.  Projected rating impact

Affordability of rates is a key consideration of Council. The proposed rates rise in 2021/22 equates to an average increase of $2.50 per week per household or an average increase of $1302 per annum. Investment in Three Waters infrastructure makes up over half ($72) of the average $130 per annum rise. The remaining $58 covers cost increases for all the other services provided (including Transport, Parks, Community facilities etc.).

Property category

2020/21 rates  

2021/22 rates

Change per annum

Change per week

Average residential, CV $629k

$2,608

$2,738

$1302

$2.50

Average commercial central, CV $1.7M

$13,994

$15,612

$1,619

$31.13

Note 2 – this excludes the changes to waste service charges (recycling and rubbish) which were previously consulted on and approved by Council.

11.  This report provides an update on the recent Queensgate property value change and the indicative rating impact of this. There is a Quotable Value objection process to be completed ahead of the value being confirmed. Early indications are that the average commercial central property could see a halving of the rates increase of $31.13 per week to $15.00 per week.

12.  Included in the LTP budgets is $2.2M of savings identified as part of the LTP Base Budget Review; these savings have been applied in order to reduce the rating impact. Council also took a number of decisions which led to savings of $3M as part of the 2020/2021 Annual Plan (Emergency Budget).  These savings have an ongoing effect and also reduce the rating impact.  

13. The financial projections as a result of the proposed DLTP rates revenue level:

-       A projected underlying net operating deficit in 2021/22 of $17.5M (table 10) 

-     A balanced budget projected to be achieved in 2028/29 (graph 1)

-       Net debt is projected to peak at $574M in 2028/29 (graph 2)

-       Net debt to revenue ratio peaks in 2025/26 at 193%, which is within the financial strategy limit approved for the DLTP of 250% (graph 3).

14.  The budget decisions in Table 4 are not included in these projections. Depending on Council decisions on these, debt levels could increase and there could be minor adjustments to the rates increases for years 4 to 10 of the draft plan. Officers will report to the LTP Working Party to finalise decisions required ahead of the next LTP Subcommittee meeting. .

 

Section A – High-level plan for LTP 2021-2031 (LTP)

15.  Council is required to prepare a ten year LTP every three years. Table 1 provides a summary of the process completed to-date together with the next stages and timing.

Table 1: High-level plan

Activity

Date

Status

Officers progress initial planning and preparation

July to Aug 2020

Complete

Waste Services Review decisions

15 Sept 2020

Complete

Councillors & Community Board Chairs LTP hui

21 Sept 2020

Complete

High level plan endorsed together with key assumptions. Initial decisions progressed on strategic direction and policies.

24 Sep 2020

Complete

Council agreed:  purpose, vision and priorities, three waters investment, base budget review changes, rates policy etc.

27 Oct 2020

Complete

Development contributions policy and Revenue and Financing policy progressed.

30 Nov 2020

Complete

Early engagement seeking feedback on key priorities

2 Dec to 18 January 2021

Complete

Key decisions finalised to enable draft CD and DLTP to be prepared ahead of audit.

21 Dec 2020

Complete

Feedback from early engagement. Initial draft CD & DLTP presented for Council review, together with Infrastructure Strategy & Financial Strategy.

10 Feb 2021

Today

DLTP and CD audited (six weeks)

Feb- Mar 2021

 

Council adopt CD and DLTP for public engagement

22 March 2021

Formal public consultation

29 March to 3 May 2021

Hearing of submissions and related advice

12 to 17 May 2021

Council meets to make final decisions

9 June 2021

Council adopts the LTP and sets the rates

30 June 2021

Section B – Delegation to the Mayor and Chairs of Standing Committees

16.  Following the LTP Subcommittee meeting 24 September 2020, the Council resolved as follows:

“establishes a working group to provide ongoing guidance on the Long Term Plan consultation document and questionnaire to allow this to be submitted for typesetting by February 2021; and

agrees that the membership of the working group be Mayor Barry, Deputy Mayor Lewis, Cr Edwards and Cr Hislop.”

17.  The timelines are very tight for the next stage of finalising the draft Long Term Plan public consultation content and completing the external audit process. There is further important information that is due to be received ahead of the next LTP Subcommittee meeting on 22 March 2021, such as Riverlink cost estimates from the Quantity Surveyors, Petone wharf cost information and Queensgate property value information from Quotable Value. There is also the need for changes to the Consultation Document and draft LTP to be confirmed, for example as a result of audit feedback.

18.  Given the time constraints and the importance of using the best information available at the time of consultation, it is recommended that the Council approves a delegation to LTP Working Group (i.e. the Mayor and Chairs of Standing Committees)  to enable urgent decisions to be progressed. Any decisions made would be reported back to the next LTP Subcommittee meeting. 


 

Section C – LTP early engagement process seeking feedback on priorities

19.  The work completed through a range of channels over the past year has provided officers with useful information on issues and priorities for the city ahead of the consultation on the LTP 2021-2031 (DLTP).  As part of this work, officers also sought elected member feedback through a range of engagement, including a Hui with Councillors and Community Board Chairs in September. Following this Council agreed six priorities for LTP engagement.  These priorities are:

Investing in infrastructure | Whanake i ngā poupou o te hapori

Increasing housing supply | Hei āhuru mōwai mō te katoa

Caring for and protecting our environment | Tiaki taiao

Supporting an innovative, agile economy and attractive city | Taunaki ōhanga auaha, tāone whakapoapoa

Connecting communities | Tūhono hapori

Being financially sustainable | Whakauka ahumoni

20.  Early engagement on the proposed priorities was conducted from 2 December 2020 to 18 January 2021. This included an online survey and a number of workshops.  The purpose of the early engagement was to:

·    inform our community about the six priorities and what projects and work Council was doing and considering under each.

·    get general feedback on these priorities and take note of any ideas our community had relating to the projects and work that might contribute to each.

·    begin to establish our neighbourhood engagement approach; briefing and enabling frontline staff to have informed conversations and, start building our network and understanding of community champions and/or advocates that will continue conversations within the community both for LTP and future consultations

21.  91 people had provided feedback online via the survey and the main points were:

·   Most respondents (over 80%) agree that investing in infrastructure (90%), caring for & protecting our environment (84%) and being financially sustainable (82%) should be priorities

·   Around a fifth (20%) of respondents were unsure if increasing housing supply or an innovative, agile economy should be a priority and over a quarter of respondents were unsure about connecting communities being a priority

·   Between 6 percent and 16 percent felt that the themes mentioned were not priorities

·   Attendees at the workshops agreed with the priority areas and welcomed the early information sharing.

The full analysis and verbatim comments are attached in Appendix 1.

 

Section D – Preparation of the DLTP 2021-2031 Consultation Document 

22.  Work on the draft Consultation Document (CD) has continued and incorporated the LTP subcommittee decisions and direction from the 21 December 2020 meeting.  An early draft version of the CD (Appendix 2) has been developed for consideration and direction from the LTP Subcommittee.  The draft CD describes the situation in Lower Hutt, outlines the issues, and the options being considered including Council’s preferred option. The emphasis is on those areas where resident and ratepayer feedback can influence the outcome. Supporting the CD will be the full detailed Draft Long Term Plan which residents can also provide feedback on.

23.  The LTP Subcommittee is requested to review and confirm the specific options for consultation which have been included in the draft CD, refer Appendix 2.

a.   Three waters

b.   Transport

c.   Naenae Pool

d.   Petone Wharf

e.   Increasing housing supply, includes Urban Plus Limited

f.    Supporting an innovative and agile economy, and attractive City, includes Riverlink Project

g.   Connected Communities

h.   Rates Policy

i.    Development Contributions Policy

24.  Note that there are some information gaps currently as the draft CD as it is an early draft document.  There are also separate reports on this agenda where Council decisions will inform the content to be included in the final CD – such as Petone Wharf.

25.  The CD is required to be audited and ensure it meets the legislative requirements and is “fit for purpose”. This process will be completed ahead of the next Subcommittee meeting on 22 March. There could be changes to the CD as a result of this process. Officers will report to the LTP Working Group on this. 

 

 


 

Section E – Strategic financial context

 

26.  There are significant challenges facing the Council, in particular in regards to the ageing Three Waters infrastructure, historical underinvestment and a growing city.

27.  A capital investment spend of $1.3 billion is proposed for the ten years of the DLTP which is double the previous LTP.

The planned rates rise for 2021/22 equates to an increase of $2.50 per week on average per household (refer Section H).

28.  Of the capital investment programme 44% is for Three Waters and 28% is for Transport. This 72% of capital spend reflects the Council’s commitment to fix and improve years of underinvestment in these vital areas for our city and is the prime driver for the planned rates rises in the next ten years. 

29.  The capital investment will be funded by borrowings, development contributions, central government subsidies and rates.  Borrowings are a key component of recognising the intergenerational equity principle whereby the cost of long term assets should be met by ratepayers over the life of those assets.

30.  The draft Financial Strategy is based on a number of important principles which provide the foundation for prudent sustainable financial management. These principles are summarised as:

-     Affordability of rates

-     Achieving intergenerational equity by spreading the costs between both present and future ratepayers

-     Maintaining prudent borrowing levels

-     Achieving a balanced budget and ensuring that everyday costs are paid for from everyday income

-     Delivering services effectively and efficiently

-     Strengthening Council’s financial position.

 

31.  The financial strategy focuses on strong fiscal management whilst addressing growing demands for increased capital expenditure in core infrastructure assets.

32.  The Draft CD includes a summary of key aspects of the Financial Strategy. The full detail Financial Strategy is available for review and feedback by the LTP Subcommittee, refer Appendix 4. The significant forecasting assumptions are also drafted and available for review, refer Appendix 5.

33.  The Financial Strategy has been prepared based on the Council decisions from the initial LTP amendment in March 2020 (pre-Covid), the Annual Plan 2020/21, the LTP amendment for waste services in October 2020 together with LTP 2021-2031 decisions between September and December 2020. External specialist support has assisted in the review of this strategy.

34.  As part of the 2020/2021 Annual Plan (Emergency Budget) Council decisions led to savings of $3M; these have an ongoing effect. As part of the DLTP the base budget review process identified further savings of $2.2M which have been applied to reduce the rating impact.

35.  Affordability of rates is a key principle of the Financial Strategy which has been very much front of mind in the preparation of the draft plan for consultation.  The overall rates revenue increase was considered by the Council in light of a number of factors, including the legislative requirement for a balanced budget and financial prudence as well as factoring in the economic environment as a result of Covid-19. 

36.  The Council considered options for the rates increase at the meeting 21 December 2020 and resolved in support of the option for a 5.9% rates revenue increase in 2021/22 to be included in the DLTP for public consultation. This excludes rates revenue from growth in the rating base. It also excludes changes to the waste services (refuse and recycling) where households will have offsetting savings for these service changes as they will no longer need to buy rubbish bags or pay for private operators.

37.  Projected rating impact

The proposed rates rise equates to an average increase of $2.50 per week per household or an average increase of $1301 per annum. Investment in our Three Waters infrastructure makes up over half ($72) of the average $130 per annum rise. The remaining $58 covers cost increases for all the other services provided (including Transport, Parks, Community facilities etc.).

Table 2: Rating impact for average residential and commercial property

Property category

2020/21 rates  

2021/22 rates

Change per annum

Change per week

Average residential, CV $629k

$2,608

$2,738

$1301

$2.50

Average commercial central, CV $1.7M

$13,994

$15,612

$1,619

$31.13

Note 1 – Note these exclude the changes to waster service charges (recycling and rubbish) previously consulted on and approved by Council.

38.  There were a wide range of budget decisions at the Council meeting 21 December 2020. Further information about these is included in Section F of the report. The financial projections included in this report reflect all the Council decisions to-date for the DLTP.

39.  A guiding principle of this financial strategy is about the importance of a balanced budget. This means that projected operating revenue over the lifetime of the LTP is set at a level sufficient to meet projected operating expenses, ensuring that current ratepayers are contributing an appropriate amount towards the cost of the services they receive or are able to access, i.e. ‘everyday costs are paid for from everyday income’.

40.  The projections that follow are based on the proposed rates increase and include all the budget decisions by Council to-date.  These are slightly improved result from the last report mainly due to the increased revenue from the landfill which had not been accounted for in previous projections.

-     A balanced budget  is projected to be achieved in 2028/29 (refer graph 1),

-     Net debt is projected to peak at $574M in 2028/29 (refer graph 2).

-     The debt to revenue ratio peaks in 2025/26 at 193% and is within the revised limit of 250% approved by the Council for inclusion in the DLTP (graph 3).

Graph 1: Projected balanced budget target

Graph 1 - Based on HCC Balanced Budget definition which is the Local Government (Financial Reporting and Prudence) Regulations 2014 definition for the balanced budget benchmark (Clause 19) [Council Revenue excluding development contributions, vested assets, gains on derivatives and revaluations of property, plant and equipment…and  operating expenses excluding losses on derivatives and revaluations of property, plant and equipment” modified to exclude the “ring fenced” NZTA capital subsidies for capital improvement works from revenue as well as central government co-funding from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund for Naenae Pool and Eastern Bays Shared Path. 


 

Graph 2: Projected net debt

Graph 3: Projected debt to revenue ratio

 

41.  A relatively minor adjustment has been applied to the longer term rates increases, mainly due to the increased revenue from the landfill (based on revised fees and charges Council resolved in support of). A reduction in the proposed rates increases for years 4 to 10 of 0.5% is proposed to be included in the DLTP as a result of this additional revenue.  

42.  The long-term view of rates increase for inclusion in the DLTP for consultation is summarised in table 3.

Table 3: Summary of rates revenue increases

 

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026-2031

Total overall rates revenue increase* 

5.9%

4.9%

4.9%

6.5%

6.5%

6.5%

*Note excludes revenue from growth in the rating base and impact of service changes for waste services.

Section F – Budget decisions

43.  The Council has progressed a range of budget decisions for the DLTP which are summarised below and further details are available in Appendix 3.

44.  Reduction in budgets – savings: Budget cuts from the emergency budget Annual Plan 2020/21 which have been reconfirmed and result in savings in the ten years of the DLTP include

Regional amenities fund $2M,

Major Events fund $1.8M,

Libraries $1M,

Pools $1M,

Parks $1M.

45.  Further reductions in DLTP budgets include:

Library collection replacement budget - $0.4M saving over ten years

Petone Settlers Museum and Dowse Museum –change to education programmes which include some changes to opening hours resulting in net savings of $0.3M over ten years

Projected interest cost savings of $1.3M in 2021/22 largely due to lower cost of borrowings and interest rate strategy management

A range of minor savings across a number of areas, including reduced budgets as a result of changes to the Sensitive Expenditure Policy.   

46.  Increases in budgets:

There have been a number of reports on the Three Waters investment options and the related financial impacts. Advice from Wellington Water has supported Council decisions. Changes to budgets include additional funding of $331M for asset renewals over ten years together with budget increases to provide for sustainable water supply, healthy urban waterways, reducing carbon emission together with other budget changes including resilience investment and growth related infrastructure. 

47.  Council has progressed budget decisions on a number of items including Naenae pool, Eastern Bays shared path, Cross Valley Transport Connections Programme, Transport (road resurfacing, network improvements, traffic safety initiatives, footpaths renewals), Homelessness Prevention, Love Wainuiomata, Business incubator funding, Wellington Regional Growth Framework, spatial planning, activating Naenae town centre amongst others

48.  At the last LTP Subcommittee meeting decisions were progressed on a number of projects/initiatives including decarbonisation of Council pools and The Dowse, accelerating the roll out of public charging stations for electric vehicles, District Plan, Solid waste disposal, resource recovery and charges to fees, Eastern Hutt road retaining wall strengthening, Cuba Street overbridge seismic strengthening project, Parks and Reserves asset renewals(including Petone Wharf and Point Howard wharf demolition), city safety, Riverlink, city event fund, Wainuiomata town centre and streetscape plan, Petone 2040, Naenae spatial plan, cycling and micromobility programme, development contributions revenue.

49.  There are some further budget matters where decisions/direction is sought in the preparation of the DLTP. Council is requested to consider each of these budget matters in table 4 and provide direction to officers.

Table 4: Budget matters requiring review and decisions

 

Priority area

Brief description

Financial impact over the ten years of the LTP and officer recommendation

1.

Investing in infrastructure

 

Connecting communities

Cycling and micromobility programme - to support the ‘Walk and Cycle the Hutt 2014-2019 strategy’, aiming to develop a connected cycleway and shared path network. 

A revised programme is proposed following feedback from Council at the last LTP Subcommittee meeting. Over 2021 to 2024 the recommended programme includes (1) Connections to schools along the Beltway (2) Connections to the hospital from the Beltway (3) Connection to the Petone foreshore from Jackson Street (4) Associated support measures for these connections, including education and cycle skills programmes, way finding signage, bike parking and associated infrastructure.

Capex budget of $9.75M in the period 2021 to 2024, with assumed Waka Kotahi NZTA funding.

NZTA funding is subject to the normal business case approval process. The revised programme of work for the 2021-24 RLTP/NLTP development has been submitted. The NZTA decision will be dependent on the relative merits of this work against other competing projects.

Future funding for the next stages of this programme would be considered in LTP 2024-2034.

Officers recommend the approval of the recommended changes.

2.

Investing in infrastructure

Naenae Pool

Rebuild Naenae pool as a modern and sustainable facility which meets the needs of the Naenae community, aquatic sports and pool users from the region as well as increasing activity in the town centre.

Refer separate report in this agenda entitled ”Naenae pool cost reassessment”.

 

 

Revised capital investment cost of $68M (previous estimate $54M). This is largely due to increased construction costs since initial costings from 2019 together with a quantitative risk assessment undertaken by specialists. The revised budget includes funding for new sustainable technology which will both reduce the operating costs of the pool in future years and reduce its impact on the environment.

Officers recommend the approval of the recommended change in the draft plan for consultation.

3.

Investing in infrastructure

Petone Wharf

The wharf is currently closed to the public due to safety concerns. Urgent maintenance works is currently underway.

Detailed engineer assessment work is being progressed however is not currently available.

Refer separate report in this agenda entitled “Parks Assets”.

A high level rough cost estimate of between $15M to $20M to demolish part of the head of the wharf and to refurbish the remainder of the wharf.

An alternative option would be complete maintenance works initially and to refurbish the wharf at a later date. 

The Subcommittee is requested to consider the information (refer separate report) and direct officers in the preparation of the DLTP.

4.

Investing in infrastructure

Point Howard wharf

No funding set aside for the planned demolition works.  The yacht club would like the stub of the wharf to be retained to house the control box for yachting events.

Detailed engineer assessment work is being progressed.

Refer separate report in this agenda entitled “Parks Assets”.

Increase in opex of $0.5M in 2022/23 and capex $1M in 2023/24. This is the estimated costs for the planned demolition works and to retain the control box for yachting events.

The Subcommittee is requested to consider the information available (refer separate report) and direct officers in the preparation of the DLTP for consultation.

5.

Investing in infrastructure

Petone Recreation Grandstand and changing rooms

Refer separate report in this agenda entitled “Parks Assets”.

Proposed preferred option to progress a refurbishment at a cost of $5.95M in 2023/24 and 2024/25.

6.

Investing in infrastructure

Riverlink project

A briefing on the 27 January 2021 provided an update and further information on this project.

The cost estimates for Riverlink are currently being reviewed by an independent QS. Further information will be presented for decisions when these results are available. 

 

 

 

Section G - Capital investment plans

 

50.  Council has $1.7B of assets, mainly relating to core infrastructure of transport $0.45B, three waters $0.5B and solid waste $40M.

51.  The total projected capital programme is $1.3B over ten years of the LTP, which comprises $680M of capital improvement works, $593M for capital renewals and $70M for growth related capital. Graph 1 shows this projected programme split by activity, with the key activities being Three Waters $578M and Transport $355M.

52.  A detailed listing of all the projects is available in Appendix 10. There are risks around capacity and capability of the organisation to deliver this significant step up in investment.

53.  Graph 4: Projected capital programme split by activity

54.  Table 5 provides a summary of the updated capital budgets by activity and provides a summary of the changes between LTP 2018-2028 and DLTP. The significant increase in the programme of $664M between the two plans is largely driven from new and better information about asset conditions and the need to take action to address historical underinvestment. Further detailed variance analysis is available in Appendix 9.

 

 

Table 5: High level summary of capital investment plans

$M

LTP 2018-2028 (A)

DLTP 2021-2031 (B)

Variance B-A

 

Commentary

Total capital expenditure

645.1

1,343.4

698.3

 

Comprising:

Transport

 

213.1

 

355.4

 

142.3

 

Mainly due to Cross Valley Transport Connection, Roading renewals and network improvements, footpaths renewals, Cycleway programme

Three Waters

257.1

577.9

320.8

 

Mainly due to increased investment in asset renewals.

Solid Waste

27.8

43.5

15.7

 

Mainly due to Landfill development, asbestos cell, transfer station.

City Development

40.6

121.6

42.8

Mainly due to Riverlink.

Social Cultural & Wellbeing (Libraries, Museums, Pools, Parks, etc.)

85.9

199.2

104.2

Mainly due to Naenae Pool and increase in Parks renewals, including wharves.

Other

20.6

45.8

25.2

Mainly due to facilities renewals, vehicle purchase, and IT investment.

 

55.  Inflation adjustment of budgets in the LTP

Our financial system holds both inflated budgets and uninflated budgets. In the last LTP all the financial information presented was inclusive of inflation except for the detailed project information which was inflation exclusive. This has caused a number of issues, in particular confusion for budget managers as to which budget they are held accountable for managing within.

 

For the LTP 2021-2031 all the budgets will be presented as inflation adjusted amounts including the project information. This will improve transparency about the full inflated budget amount and also help managers have a better understanding as to what budget has been set aside for projects.

 

There will be a transition period as we adjust to this. To assist with this we have included in this report both the uninflated project budgets as well as the inflated project budgets (refer Appendix 8).

 

Whilst the standard approach will be to apply the BERL indicators (refer Appendix 5 – Significant Forecasting Assumptions) there will be times where there is further detailed information for a specific project and other inflation adjustors are to be applied. This will be done on a case by case basis, and officers will aim to ensure the accuracy of project costings.

 

Section H – Revenue, including projected rating impact for ratepayers

 

56.  Detailed information about revenue was included in the 21 December 2020.The content that follows is a summary of the key aspects and further detail is included in the Consultation Document Appendix 2, Appendix 6 Rates Funding Impact Statement, Appendix 8 Financial statements and Appendix 10 Activity Statements. This includes information on the proposed change to rating policy, in particular the approach to rating differentials.

41. Wastewater and Water supply targeted rates

The proposed increase in targeted rates for 2021/22 is 8% for wastewater and 7% for water supply (refer table 6). These targeted rates are fixed charges applied to each rating unit.

Table 6: Proposed targeted rates for 2021/22

Differential

AP 2020/21

DLTP 2021/22

Change since 2020/21

Wastewater – per rating unit

$519.00

$559.00

$40.00    8%

Water supply – per rating unit

$489.00

$521.00

$32.00    7%

 

57.  Waste services targeted rates

The Council has changed the service levels for kerbside refuse and recycling for residential properties, with effect from 1 July 2021. Ratepayers are offered flexibility around bin sizes. Table 7 provides a summary of the impact for the average residential property and assumes that the mid-size 120 litre bin is chosen. The green waste service is optional whilst the recycling and refuse service is not.

Table 7: Proposed targeted rates for waste services 2021/22

Differential

AP 2020/21

DLTP 2021/22

Change since 2020/21

Recycling – per rating unit

$40.00

$105.00

$65.00   

Refuse/rubbish – per rating unit*

-

$144.00

$144.00  

Total

$40.00

$249.00

$209.00

*Further details are available in Appendix 6 Rates Funding Impact Statement.

58.  The additional cost incurred by residential properties for the refuse targeted rate will replace previous costs incurred by home owners to purchase Council rubbish bags or to pay commercial operator fees for rubbish collection. In many cases there will be a net savings for properties.

Previously it was reported that there was a risk of proposed targeted rates being increased due to the uncertainties of some cost elements. Latest information from financial modelling of costs is that there will be no increases for 2021/22 to the pricing/targeted rates for these services above those indicated in Table 7 i.e. the charges that we consulted on in September 2020 will not be increasing.

59.  Further information on the impacts of the rates changes on average properties across different rating categories and residential suburbs follows.

Table 8: Indicative projected rating impact for different property categories

Property category

2020/21 rates  

2021/22 rates

Change per annum

Change per week

Average residential, CV $629k

$2,608

$2,738

$130

$2.50

Average commercial central, CV $1.7M

$13,994

$15,612

$1,619

$31.13

Average commercial  suburban, CV $1.6M

$11,922

$13,080

$1,158

$22.28

Commercial Queensgate, CV $240M

$1,906,376

$1,985,414

$79,038

$1,520

Average rural, no services CV $872k

$1,617

$1,678

$61.00

$1.16

Utilities

$18,294

$19,106

$812

$15.61

 

Table 9: Indicative projected rating impact on residential suburbs

Range - Lowest Haywards $2.10 per week. Highest Woburn $3.09 per week

60.  The projected rates impact has been calculated using information in the rating database in November 2020 and includes an assumption about further growth in our ratepayer database. The actual growth and the changes to the ratepayer base (changes to existing rating values and number of rating units) may result in changes in the final setting of the rates that occurs on 1 July 2021. A review was undertaken to assess the amount of changes to the rating base between November and January; this was found to be relatively minor mainly due to the holiday period.

61.  There are risks related to the uncertainty of the final changes to the rating database ahead of 30 June 2021 when the rates are set. We are working with Quotable Value to better understand further changes expected in the rates database. Officers will continue to monitor this and report back to Council as the year progresses.

62.  Queensgate property development

There are current building consents for the new cinema and carpark at the Queensgate property. We are expecting a change to the rating valuation for Queensgate to reflect the construction progress that has been made under these building consents. The latest information from Quotable Value is that the capital value has very recently been increased to $295M from the previous value of $240M. This change in value is subject to the usual QV objection process. Given the very recent change in value and the uncertainty around the value of the property, the projected rating impacts provided in this report (and included in the Draft Consultation Document) do not reflect the change in value for Queensgate.

63.  If the value does increase for Queensgate, then with the new proposed rating policy there would be a favourable flow on impact for all other commercial central properties which would have a reduction in their share of the rates, whilst Queensgate would have an increase in rates. Table 10 shows the projected impact of a change to Queensgate’s property value and assumes no other changes to property values across the commercial central category. The proposed commercial central rating differential would reduce from 3.175 to 2.988. The average commercial central property of $1.7M value would have a $15.00 per week rates increase compared to $31.13 prior to the change in value (refer table 8). Queensgate’s rates would increase by $7,436.87 per week whilst prior to the property value change the increase was $1,520 per week.

Table 10: Indicative projected rating impact assuming Queensgate CV $295M

Property category

2020/21 rates  

2021/22 rates

Change per annum

Change per week

Average commercial central, CV $1.7M

$13,994

$14,774

$780

$15.00

Commercial Queensgate, CV $295M

$1,906,376

$2,293,093

$386,717

$7,436.87

64.  Further information and advice is being sought from Quotable Value about the property value change for Queensgate. Given the tight timeframes ahead of the draft LTP going out for public consultation, this matter will be reported back to the LTP Working Party. It is likely that an adjustment to the Queensgate property value will be included in the draft LTP for consultation. However the details of this are not confirmed as yet.

65.  Rates Remission Policy

We have a Rates Remission policy in order to allow rates relief where it is considered fair and reasonable to do so. As part of the review of the Revenue and Financing Policy review and specifically the rating policy aspects of this, Council has made decisions about rates remissions that would be implemented alongside the proposed changes to the rates policy. These are to support the rates category changes for rural properties and some commercial properties. There are also changes to the rates remission policy related to the new Rubbish and Recycling service. There are also some other minor changes to the Rates Remission Policy to make it easier to understand. Appendix 7 provides further information on this content for consultation.


 

Section I - Projected financial operating results

 

66.     Table 10 provides a comparison of the Annual Plan 2020/21 (AP) budgets with 2021/22 in the DLTP. This is based on updated budgets as detailed in this report including savings (refer Section F) and assumes the rates revenue increase of 5.9% (refer Section H).  In summary:

-    Projected net operating deficit of $17.5M which is $5.2M better than the Annual Plan 2020/21

-    Capital contributions of $22.9M, which is $9.9M higher mainly due to central government co-funding (Naenae Pool, Eastern Bays Shared path).

 

Table 10: Comparison of Annual Plan 2020/21 and projected DLTP 2021/22 

$Millions

Annual Plan 2020/21 

(A)

DLTP

2021/22

(B)

Variance (B – A)

Operating revenue

52.2

64.2

12.01

23.0%

Operating expenditure

188.2

211.8

(23.6)2

(12.5%)

Net operating deficit before rates income

(136.0)

(147.6)

(11.6)

(8.5%)

Rates income

113.3

130.1

16.83

14.8%

 

Net operating deficit

(22.7)

(17.5)

5.2

 

22.9%

Capital contributions

13.1

22.9

9.94

 

Net surplus/(deficit)

(9.7)

5.4

15.1

 

 

Note 1 Operating revenue - Increase of $12M largely due to higher user charges (Parks $1.5M, Consents $1.1M, Solid Waste $4.7M, Transport $0.7M, Water Supply $0.3m), Three Waters central government funding $2.7M, together with adjustments to interest revenue, operating subsidies and other revenue.

Note 2 Operating expenditure – Increase of $23.6M mainly due to $6.7M for increased service for waste(refuse, recycling, green waste) offset by targeted rates increase, Three Waters $6.8M, $3.7M higher landfill opex including Ministry of Environment levies and ETU costs which are offset by higher revenue, $1.2M Development Stimulus, $0.7M Regulatory services (offset by revenue), $1.3M higher interest costs on debt due to capex, $4.1M higher depreciation (due to asset revaluations and capital spend) offset in reduction due to one-off budget of $1.5M in 2020/21 for Naenae Pool rebuild project opex, $0.5M for Hutt Valley Tennis and $0.5M for Gymsports.

Note 3 Rates income  - Increase of $16.8M mainly due to $9M  increase for refuse, recycling and green waste targeted rate changes due to service level changes, $3M funding for Water Supply and Wastewater targeted rates and $4.8M for general rates which includes increased revenue from growth in the rating base.

Note 4 Capital contributions – Increase of $9.9M mainly due to central government co-funding for Naenae Pool $4.9M, Eastern Bays shared path $2.5M and Three waters $2.6M together with minor related to NZTA due to timing of works.

 

67.  Further detail information is available in Appendix 8 Projected Financial Statements, Appendix 9 Budget analysis and variance and Appendix 10 Notes to the Financial Statements.

Section J - Audit of the Consultation Document

68.  Our Consultation Document (CD) is required to be audited prior to going out for consultation. Our auditor has begun the initial stages of their work.  Further work will commence on 15 February when they will review the CD and underlying information of the Draft LTP 2021-2031 in detail. Once this audit visit begins, any significant changes to our CD or underlying information may result in additional work required to be undertaken by the audit team and can create delays and/or add cost to the process.

69.  Auditing the CD involves reporting on;

whether the CD provides an effective basis for public participation in the council’s decisions about the proposed content of its LTP i.e. that it is “fit for purpose” ; and

whether the underlying information and assumptions are reasonable.

Section K - Next steps

70.  Following decisions by the LTP Subcommittee at this meeting, officers will be finalising the DLTP and the CD. The final audited versions of the CD and DLTP will be presented to the LTP Subcommittee on 22 March 2021. The external audit process will have been completed and the Audit Director will present the results of the audit process at this meeting.

71.  The financial content for the CD and DLTP included in this report require further review and checking. There are likely to be other updates and minor adjustments to budgets as this review process is completed. There is also further information being progressed with urgency to support the development of the final draft plan for consultation; for example information on key project cost estimates for Petone Wharf. The DLTP will be updated to reflect the latest information as it becomes available. The external audit may result in further changes to drafted content. Officers will report to the LTP Working Group and seek direction on these matters as required.

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

72.  The matters addressed in this report have been considered in accordance with the process set out in Council’s Climate Change Considerations Guide.  Climate impact statements need to be compiled for decisions/projects that affect greenhouse gas emissions (in relation to both Council’s own emissions and city-wide emissions) and/or be affected by a changing climate (e.g. sea level rise, etc.).

73.  The draft LTP directly responds to the need to achieve emission reductions, by embedding the need to achieve emission reductions in a range of initiatives. For example, Council’s proposed investment in Naenae Pool assumes that the new building would not use natural gas for heating and instead utilise alternative low-carbon energy sources.  The proposed LTP also includes a number of projects to reduce emissions, including the decarbonisation of Council pools and the Dowse, and by investing in public charging stations in order to order help accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in the community.

74.  Where applicable, climate impact statements are, or should be, in place for each of the key initiatives or investments that have been included in the draft LTP.

Legal Considerations

75.  The most relevant legislation includes the Local Government Act 2002, Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 and the Rating Valuations Act 1998. 

Financial Considerations

76.  There are a range of financial matters detailed in this report.

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Appendix 1: Early engagement on key priorities for the LTP 2021-2031

91

2

Appendix 2: Draft Consultation document

107

3

Appendix 3: Summary of LTP 2021-2031 budget decisions of LTP Subcommittee

176

4

Appendix 4: Draft LTP 2021-2031 Financial strategy

189

5

Appendix 5: Significant forecasting assumptions for inclusion in the draft LTP 2021-2031

205

6

Appendix 6: Proposed Rates Funding Impact Statement for inclusion in the draft LTP 2021-2031

209

7

Appendix 7: Rates Remission Policy changes for consultation

216

8

Appendix 8: Detailed financial statements, including consolidated results, activity statements, projects list (uninflated and inflated), prudential reporting

230

9

Appendix 9: Detailed variance analysis between LTP 2018-2028 and Draft LTP 2021-2031, including variance commentary

285

10

Appendix 10: Notes to the Financial Statements and accounting policies

292

    

 

Author: Wendy Moore

Head of Strategy and Planning

 

Author: John Pritchard

Principal Policy Advisor

 

Author: Jenny Livschitz

Chief Financial Officer

 

 

Reviewed By: Matt Boggs

Director, Strategy and Engagement

 

Approved By: Jo Miller

Chief Executive

 


LTP 2021-31: Early Engagement

Feedback from the early engagement survey and workshops

Purpose

The purpose of the early engagement was to:

·    Inform our community about the six priorities and what projects and work Council was doing and considering under each.

·    To get general feedback on these priorities and take note of any ideas our community had relating to the projects and work that might contribute to each.

·    Begin to establish our neighbourhood engagement approach; Briefing and enabling frontline staff to have informed conversations and, start building our network and understanding of community champions and/or advocates that will continue conversations within the community both for LTP and future consultations

Key feedback

·    By Monday 18 January, 91 people had given feedback via the online early engagement survey

·    Most respondents (over 80%) agree that investing in infrastructure (90%), caring for & protecting our environment (84%) and being financially sustainable (82%) should be priorities.

·    Around a fifth (20%) of respondents were unsure if increasing housing supply or an innovative, agile economy should be a priority and over a quarter of respondents were unsure about connecting communities being a priority.

·    Between 6 percent and 16 percent felt that the themes mentioned were not priorities

·    Attendees at the workshops agreed with the priority areas and welcomed the early information sharing.

 

 

 



Comments relating to responses agreeing or disagreeing with priorities

48 people gave feedback about the priorities and their responses. These have been split by the 6 priority themes.         

Being financially sustainable

·   Aotearoa and Lower Hutt are facing big problems. While prudent spending is always important, I don't want Council to be scared of spending money to fix big problems, especially when a good return on investment is likely.

·   Financial stability is the keystone for everything HCC does. It is vital HCC invests in infrastructure to allow the city to thrive.

 

Caring for and protecting our environment

·   I would also like to see Lower Hutt be more forward thinking in terms of climate change. Why are we increasing density in parts of the city that have a high risk of flooding in a decade or two, and not making a huge effort to make sure those people have a place to move when that starts happening?

·   As long as protecting the environment is fact based and not based on climate change speculation, practical changes not radical virtue signalling changes

·   Care for the environment means more than the Council reducing emissions. Active transport and more public transport need to be factored in to infrastructure planning and environmental improvements.

·   For environment, use the reserves to advertise sponsors and generate revenue to pay for stuff to help keep rates down.

·   If we consider environment sustainability in designing all of the above, it’ll be like the foundation that ties them all together. Everything else will be useless if we don’t look after the environment.

·   The council should prioritise increasing funding for conservation in green areas

·   Need more business compliance checks to prevent release of waste into our environment, glaziers blue foam tabs, construction tails, nurdles and takeaway/fastfood container waste are the worst problems affecting our beaches and water ways.

·   Under environment you want to create a smart low carbon city so unclear why then there is also focus area that may come in conflict with that, or at least isn't expressed in the same way. Have to focus on one or the other - my votes with green business.

·   We need to put more investment into our local council reserves. Putting a larger investment in tree planting of natives, planting along our waterways, putting in a concerted effort for animal predator control, weed control increase tree planting to enhance our urban forest and linking our reserves together with planted walkways.

·   We are moving into times of increasingly constrained energy and environmental services resources to support our activities. The impacts of the past externalisation of environmental and ecological costs will exert an increasingly onerous burden of the City and its residents. I agree all 6 are priorities. However, there is one that is now over-riding all the others simply because to not address it as the primary may open Council to all manner of future liability. It may also lead to the unnecessary degradation of the Hutt as a great place to live work and play. The primary priority is "Caring for and protecting our environment". Choosing to process activities through the lens of "how well will this [activity] care for / protect our environment" will help determine what should and can happen, and what can't happen.

Supporting an innovative, agile economy and attractive city

·   Arts and culture are a powerful and effective way of supporting and innovative, agile economy and making a city attractive.

·   Attractive city needs to include ensuring new developments are visually attractive, footpaths and roads are maintained, gardens around the city are colourful and well-kept and green spaces are well maintained

·   Being able to provide employment locally as part of the economy in the Hutt would be amazing (including Wainuiomata)

·   Having more people living in the Hutt, spending money in the Hutt will do wonders for the economy and really make the Hutt the place to be. Supporting this growth with adequate housing supply (or densification) and good infrastructure is paramount to safeguarding the future of Hutt City.

·   If the public supports investment in these priorities that exceed Council's revenue, rates increases can be used to support popular increased investment. If revenues are constrained, HCC should focus on the core services as set out in Section 11A of the Local Government Act. Regional Economic Development is not one of these.  Also, lumping an "attractive city" in with regional economic development is not helpful. Much of the attractiveness of Lower Hutt relates to caring and protecting our environment, increasing our housing supply and investing in walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure.

·   The attractiveness of the Hutt etc. are less important to me than infrastructure and especially transport - as many of us live here but work and spend much of our time in Wellington city. So basic infrastructure, safety of communities, and transport are more important than having things to do here in the Hutt.

Connecting communities

·   The arts are also a powerful tool for connecting communities, beyond just digital access. A connected community is a resilient community.

·   Connecting communities sounds good but what does it really mean?

·   Connected communities to me means good public transport options. I want to take the bus to work but at the moment there is no easily available option for that to happen. So I drive.

·   Connecting communities has to include "getting everyone on board" with the plan so that there is minimal opposition

·   Connecting communities, this is like paddling upstream with no paddle if your priorities for housing keep sprawling.

·   I would like to see better and more transparent support of communities, funding community centres and community groups better.

·   I'm not sure that "connecting communities" should be a key priority. In terms of possible actions, I don't know what you mean by "connecting communities" (from the Council's description of this), and it seems to me that communities in Lower Hutt are already pretty well connected.

Increasing housing supply

·   Building affordable housing while protecting our nature reserves and natural environment is my biggest issue

·   Council needs to keep to its core purpose and function.  For a country housing is a national issue, council just needs to be partner however it is not our core.

·   Council shouldn’t be in the Business of building houses

·   Having a home to live in is a human right. This has to be a priority because at the moment it seems to be a privilege

·   Housing affordability should be the single biggest focus followed by infrastructure necessary to support the housing.

·   Housing is increasing where I live, but none of it is affordable; and none are for low income earners

·   Housing supply is a central government responsibility, why is the Council getting involved? Unless in changing the regulatory environment? Although Council may have various ideals/aspirations etc. it is critical that Council stays in its lane, and enable central government to do its role. Council needs to focus on its core role, and endeavour to do those things well.

·   Housing: stop urban sprawl. It kills town centres and creates more congestion for people to move around. Support more housing developments that go upwards. Encourage developers to create life style apartments with communal facilities to make them attractive. More population in the city centre helps businesses and makes it attractive to tourists.

·   Increased housing supply should be done by rezoning areas close to mass transit to increase the viability of services and encourage people to leave their cars at home.

·   Not at all happy with all the infill housing going on at the moment, especially in communities like Wainuiomata. By allowing this type of development council are creating tomorrow’s Ghetto’s. The developers involved in these housing developments are only interested in profits.

·   Housing is critical, but not at the sacrifice of best-practice town and community planning.

·   Regarding housing supply - need to be clear on what aspects you can and can't control. Enabling housing supply for example through things like your district and spatial plans, or supporting the Wellington Regional Growth Framework. Possibly connecting housing supply with infrastructure could be useful - getting the city ready for growth.

Investing in infrastructure

·   Transport generally: the backlog of cars along the Petone foreshore in the middle of a Saturday is frustrating. There are some odd roundabouts and traffic lights in places that don't make sense e.g. Kmart.

·   I would say that transportation infrastructure is the most urgent priority area to focus on. A robust transportation infrastructure makes a prosperous economy possible, and helps support increased housing and population growth. Good transport options and capacity can also have a positive impact on the environment if done correctly.

·   I’m not really sure why Naenae pool is a priority

·   Naenae pool is not a priority, it is a nice to have. This money could provide a lot of homes.

·   The council should prioritise the construction of the cross valley connection so the Petone Esplanade can be regenerated into a waterfront entertainment centre for the entire region.

·   Infrastructure upgrade is the top one priority for lovely Lower Hutt due to the rapid population growth.

·   Need a focus on transport road links, especially at Melling and Petone. Need more temporary and permanent solutions to get the traffic flowing all times of the day down the Petone foreshore. For example better monitoring for compliance of the bus/taxi lane and updated timing to match the traffic flow. Cameras would be a great start.

·   Seems a shame to be talking about cross valley links which need substantial government support. It isn't there.

·   Too much focus on roads in the integrated transport plan. Instead of a cross valley link (which will encourage more cars, pollute and quickly become congested) - how about we look at extending the railway into sea view and other areas.

·   Melling link is massive

·   Money must be spent on infrastructure before anything else. If infill housing is to be considered the upgrading of sewer, stormwater and water pipes must be carried out by the developer. Infill housing is overloading existing infrastructure.

General/Other

·   Support housing and ratepayers through the 4 r's should be the key for this 10yr plan.  The four R's are - Rubbish, Road(Active Transport), Reticulation (3 waters) and Recreation).  Get these sort out first without large rate increases. 

·   Giving rubbish collection to a foreign company was bad. Should always prioritise local businesses. Prioritise a plastic recycling plant

·   I am delighted with the priorities - they focus on both the immediate needs and long term environment and climate needs.

·   I don't know how you say the Hutt City supports business when you gave the recent rubbish contract to a Chinese owned company.

·   I feel that even though they were all important, some of the key priorities were more so than others but there was no way to show that in this feedback form.

·   Overall, the categories are too vague, and are not helpful: investing in infrastructure could mean anything from climate-damaging projects like the Cross Valley Link (which will induce increased driving demand) to positive and necessary water, flood protection or walking and cycling infrastructure. 

·   It is difficult to argue these are all important. However, it comes down to how we achieve them and their relative affordability

·   Please continue to keep improving and beautifying Petone Esplanade. Not with sculptures, but with upgraded paths, rest areas and picnic & BBQ zones. This has to be one of the most widely used areas/resources in Lower Hutt. Beautifying this area will and can be appreciated by hundreds if not thousands of people each week and is still a major draw card to Petone.

·   Stop increasing rates more than the rate of inflation. Exorbitant increases like this year's and forcing rate payers to pay extra for rubbish removal from next year is totally out of order in the current climate. Stop spending money on nice to haves and concentrate on reducing core costs for "essential" products and services.

·   The above points are all important and are priorities and most are mandated by the various pieces of legislation that Local Government operates under.

·   The proposed rates increase is too high.

·   Think you've covered the right areas of priorities.  However it's disappointing that the "method" of implementing one area (environment) has had a direct detrimental impact on another area (encouraging local business). 

·   This seems like a push-poll that is trying to get me to say everything is a priority, so I had to think harder about what might actually be meant. For example, while I support financial sustainability in practice I would rather the debt limit be raised than us having rate increases or worse cuts to council services.

·   I do not consent to any UN Agenda 21, 30 & 50 goals put upon our community. You should be seeking advice from locals here in the Hutt not be driven by internationals who don't even live here. You should be working for us! You are also not supporting the community if you're making decisions on rubbish collection which suit your needs and not that of the people. Is this another UN Agenda run programme?

·   Your survey is overly simplistic - of course all those things are priorities in a functioning city.

Comments relating to what was missing from the priorities

30 respondents left comments about what they felt was missing

·   A focus on water safety and teaching Tamariki of the hutt community vital water safety skills. It would be great if they had the opportunity to learn water skills for life as kids in other areas of the wellington region do

·   A modern public transport system, with trains and busses on the same payment scheme (not cash!) and busses linking with the train timetable.

·   Addressing rising sea levels must be a priority (may already be included in one of the above?)

·   Plan for a different mindset about transport - and while you're at it, reconsider rubbish and recycling incentives to reduce overall waste

·   Attracting big business headquarters to the Hutt. Reducing crime. Reopen the tunnel under the Wainuiomata Hill, either for traffic or for walking. Could be an opportunity for tourism.

·   Climate change resilience.

·   Detail about the direction of investment within each category.

·   Does the Council provide a Financial Statement to public.  Would be good to see how our rates are spent. Might also get more support when rates increases are announced as we can see it is necessary.

·   Focusing on building suitable arts spaces for the community especially performing arts spaces in key areas like Naenae  - like Te oro or otras music arts centre in Auckland, with purpose built theatres especially as little theatre is out of action. We need spaces for our rangatahi to grow and express themselves in the arts. This is critical and lacking in our city.

·   Future rising sea levels affecting roading, housing, water bores, businesses.  What is your response to this?

·   Given the broadness of the headings, not really. These hit the key issues. However, I thing trying to achieve them all is not possible. There is some significant tensions playing out in the priorities and it would be better to do two or three really well, rather than missing on all 6.

·   HCC needs to seriously think about its long term plan for cemeteries; we cannot rely on Akatarawa cemetery forever.

·   Houses will be uninsured in the next 15 years what is the council doing about this

·   Housing affordability, not just housing supply, needs to be considered. I am sick of investors buying up local properties that previously would have been purchased by first home owners. How will property developments be made accessible to first home owners? You can't "connect communities" if the properties being bought locally are being purchased by investors who have no investment in the local community.

·   How do we exploit the Petone to Ngauranga cycleway being built and the huge growth in Ebikes? Feeder routes to this cycleway or grants to get people an e bike?

·   I would like to see the arts - especially the performing arts - play a big role in the "attractive city" goal.

·   Investing in high-tech (such as big data and the internet of things) is also a priority for Lower Hutt's beautiful future. We need to develop a high-tech industry (may focus on one area) as a backbone of Hutt's economy in the future. Beautiful people create a great city. Investing in better education is also always the priority for Lower Hutt.

·   Investing in young people should be a priority.

·   It would be great to include public art in priority four and community based art investment in priority 5. There is lots of evidence to back up the efficacy of the arts in building strong communities and attractive cities that people want to visit and live in  https://www.creativenz.govt.nz/development-and-resources/advocacy-toolkit/the-evidence-for-advocacy#rejuvenates

·   Nothing generally - but would be interested in seeing more of the detailed implementation methodology to achieve the final targets.

·   Please give Incentives and help home owners to install water tanks for drought times. Remove taxes and city council fees for water tank installation.

·   Please sort out Melling exchange

·   The city should leverage its relationships with the local iwi and promote the use of te reo Maori along with other initiatives to showcase the diversity of the resident population.

·   The detail

·   The new proposed bird sanctuary next to Wainuiomata. I'm excited about this idea and am keen for the council to support it.

·   Transport - especially SH2 into the city, by car.

·   Try to reduce the rates bill not increase it.

·   You are not doing enough about active transport.  The increasing population you forecast will be gridlocked without the ability to get around.  The cross valley link is certainly a missing piece of the puzzle - but to avoid gridlock on most of our already congested arterial routes we need a "transformational" mode shift to public transport and active transport modes.

·   You priorities mention the investment in the Eastern Bays and Riverlink shared paths.  These are "orphaned" projects unless they are part of a fully connected and attractive cycle network, underpinned by a district plan and active promotion which aims to make active transport the easy choice. This requires a commitment from council to not only produce strategies and plans - but to resource delivery.  This has been your weak link in the past.  Sadly, your long term plan does not fix this weak link.

·   Within the investing in infrastructure priority, focus continues to be on new shared paths but a new project is required (of greater priority) to leverage the benefits of these by integrating shared paths with schools and shopping areas. In particular the area between Waterloo station and Hutt CBD (area encompassed by Woburn Rd, High St, Waterloo Rd and Pohutukawa St) has potential for massive benefits. We're increasing population so we need to get this right to avoid stacking on further congestion.

·   The fact that those priorities are inter-linked and dependent. I believe there is insufficient future environmental context being applied to this planning for this next decade; a decade that will be framed by how quickly we manage to reduce our overall environmental footprint - not just as a Council, but as a city, a country, a world.

Other comments made about the priorities identified for the upcoming Long Term Plan

·   An area where it takes in the demographic, aging population.  Ensuring with housing supply they are fit for purpose. For example wheelchair accessibility, perhaps an area/cul de sac is built for those with limited mobility. This could be a nice way of connecting communities where people with similar circumstances are connected in housing supply, but where it is near facilities i.e. medical centres, community hubs that provide services for them.  The same can be done for the elderly.

·   Bring non-service industry to the Hutt - IT hub for example so Hutt residents have local work options and not be compelled to commute to Wellington on unreliable public transport.

·   Community consultation regarding sea level rise and specialised Hutt specific reports including recommendations regarding SLR should happen before 10 year plan is agreed. This should also happen before cross valley link location is chosen and before funds are spent on the Petone Esplanade. If Council is serious about reducing waste should offer bigger incentives for reducing household waste. 80L bins or even smaller option could be free? More EV charging stations in the suburbs. Support the GWRC Proposed bird sanctuary in Wainui. Think about moving the district court to further beautify the civic centre. Support Wainui to Naenae link road. Support Bridge over the river to Stokes Valley. Support Petone to Grenada link Road. Consider looking outside the box for funding. Ask successful locals or Wellingtonians to help fund initiatives? Or consult the community for ideas on funding to reduce impact on rates. Housing- actively contact owners of vacant land to explain how they can develop, the process, cost and benefits to them etc. Provide more resources to the planning, building, subdivision engineering teams to speed up consenting processes and reduce consultant fees. More Hutt specific specialised reports on natural hazards and (fault rupture, landslide, SLR and storm surge). Make them publicly available and actively promote them. Employ a Natural Hazards expert at council.

·   Council should consider slowly bringing more services in house rather than contracting so much work out, this will give council longer term financial certainty.

·   I hope to see a Facebook page with regular updates. It would be good to see some updates translated into other languages e.g. Samoan, an Asian language and Te Reo. Council could facilitate this via the council website with a google translate type function.

·   I would reiterate the importance of including arts and culture within Priorities 4 and 5. “The arts and culture allow communities to come together and express shared values and beliefs. They help build social cohesion, community resilience and the rejuvenation of communities suffering from long-term economic deprivation, population decline and following natural disasters. The arts and culture work for our businesses and economy by creating jobs, promoting spending and attracting people to our communities. They also help to make our communities more inclusive and explore our connection to the natural environment. https://www.creativenz.govt.nz/assets/paperclip/publication_documents/documents/531/original/creative_new_zealand_advocacy_strategy_2016-2021_.pdf?1493335119

·   It's good to see the priorities but you also need to find things you can cut to help reduce the rates increase. The rates across the region are increasing at an unsustainable level.

·   Might be nice to include the Seaview marina in some of the infrastructure upgrades / ideas. It is a special resource, better than many others in NZ, let's keep it that way.

·   Naenae needs to be a priority. More of the city will be moving northward because of climate change.

·   Please add a housing affordability priority

·   Rate rises must be indexed to CPI or income

·   Replacing all traffic lights with flyovers on State Highway 2 should be an absolute priority. It should have been done decades ago, and needs to happen as soon as possible.

·   Rising sea levels will affect Petone/Eastern Suburbs the most so high density housing for these affected homes to go to a priority.  Also the business/retail in Petone - where will they be moving to?

·   Should invest in a really good recycling plan. As we shall now be paying way more, and recycling is more expensive. We should be able to recycle everything.

·   Sometimes think the Council are all wind no action. Would be good to get regular updates even if it’s just on FB

·   Sort out the basic, as you say however the priorities you are proposing don't align with the key statement you are saying at the start 'getting the basic right'.  Slow down you cannot do everything in your first 3 years.

·   The city should work with central government to increase the public transit quality and frequency including frequent “express” services from the main suburbs to the CBD where a train connection isn’t feasible. It would also be helpful for the city to engage the media to write features on “up and coming suburbs” such as Waterloo and Wainuiomata where there is still good quality, single family housing stock to encourage Wellington City residents to move to the area.

·   The Cross Valley link through Wakefield St doesn't solve any problem - there's no advantage to getting to SH2 faster, as SH2 is what causes the delays on the Esplanade. It will also destroy the quiet areas of Alicetown and Moera and will be a major concern for residents in these areas. Why not just upgrade the existing busy roads - Esplanade and Randwick Rd-Ewen Bridge-Hutt Rd.

·   There needs to be a look at Council internal expenditure. Council has to a certain degree a lack of agility and is not responsive to an ever changing market. This has been made very clear post the lockdown, where the private market has bounced back, but Council services have not responded and are very slow and the priorities or processes are no different than before lockdown. Council needs to have a look at itself internally to see how it can be more agile, and less cumbersome in its operations.

·   We support the key priorities especially improving infrastructure, improving public transportation and public facilities

·   When looking at the plan, need to be really clear about what success looks like, and how these priorities would be measured. This should be considered during priority setting, as if we don’t have a clear view of what success looks like, and how/if it’s possible to achieve them, we are likely setting ourselves up for failure.

·   Yet another pool is not innovative or sustainable. We need to focus on the basics first and be more innovative about the Naenae economy. Public transport and inner city safety is not prioritised and will be a key enabler for decarbonisation- a real opportunity with Riverlink. More imagination and cost efficiency is needed.

·   More modern housing

·   The "Supporting an innovative, agile economy and attractive city" priority needs work, it seems rather under-baked and needs to be better formed by engaging the business, education, research and science communities. But the council needs to strictly scope this, so it remains within the scope of services a council is responsible to deliver and not a well-meaning pet project.

·   What is the City's Carbon-Budget and Carbon Reduction Profile? We state what our Money Budget is, but what's the plan for Carbon reductions to meet the Carbon neutral by 2050 target (too late by the way), and therefore how likely we are to contribute the Aotearoa meeting its international obligations for the reporting period - such as Paris NDCs and the Climate Change Commission's Carbon Budget period? For the period 2001-19, carbon emissions reduced by 1% per year on average. If, generously, we were to reduce to net zero by 2050, that indicates a SL rate of 3.33% p.a. However, recent science reports are indicating past projections have been too conservative, and we should be steeling ourselves to accelerate the transition to net zero. Therefore the LTP should be built on an expectation that we (Lower Hutt) will achieve at least a 50% reduction by 2030, with the remainder being squeezed out by 2035-2040 at the latest. This would indicate a 5.6% SL reduction built into this LTP by way of a C-Budget Reduction Profile (CBRP). (We may find 50% by 2030 is too slow anyway; scientists are now arguing for 7.5%p.a. reductions in the 2020s, but it's now 2021, so....) Having a C-Budget, like a financial one, would tell decision makers if any activity (either new or existing) will actually fit within the LTP's CBRP for the City within the LTP timeframe. It would impose a whole new discipline to decision making, and make clear to Council, officers, residents and business owners what can be done to contribute to the ongoing reduction in the City's emissions and environmental footprint. Not only would this indicate the City's willingness to adopt a radical approach in response to the existential threat of near future climate chaos, it would also help the City to identify those activities that must change or cease in order to keep within its CBRP. Propose a C-Budget, allocate the 5 other priorities their share of it, and propose allocations across the other activities within the City - and develop a CBRP for the duration of the LTP. (Council gave itself permission to do this with the 2019 declaration of a state of climate emergency - use it!)

 

Reporting on the LTP and priorities

Nearly half of those who responded to the online survey would like to see progress reported quarterly. The other half or respondents were split between twice yearly and annual reporting.

 

A few respondents left comments relating to reporting on progress once the LTP has been adopted. Several of these comments did not appear to relate directly to the question. All comments are below by relevance.

·    Once a year reporting is not enough. Rate payers are interested in the work Council does. It’s easier to follow frequent short reports than a long winded yearly report and is more engaging.

·    Short dashboards or virtual meetings could be provided regularly to enable those interested to be involved and taken on the ride.

·    Reminding people of the measurements and how they are measured is important

·    Would be interested in seeing more details around how implementation is going to happen.

·    Are there opportunities for residents to support the implementation of the Plan? Through working committees or reference groups?

·    Given the urgency of (especially) reducing our carbon footprint, and also our overall environmental footprint, and the need to rapidly bolster the resilience and strength of services the environment provides back to us (through LULUCF changes), then a mid-way 6 month quantitative report back would be helpful to know how well we are tracking locally and contributing nationally.

·    More face to face public meetings with the behind the scenes council staff

·    The city should increase its engagement in social media including the local Facebook groups to create wider engagement.

·    Cost savings. House valuations are moving faster than CPI. What are you doing with the money and where are the benefits?

·    You will just line your pockets

 

Workshop attendance and feedback

 

Date

Venue

Attendance

8 December

Naenae Pop up space

No members of the public.

Lily Chalmers (Naenae Clubhouse Co-ordinator) and Cr. Mitchell

8 December

Wainuiomata Library

8 members of the public and Cr. Brown

9 December

Koraunui Stokes Valley Hub

1 member of the public

11 December

Eastbourne Library

No one

11 December

Walter Nash Centre

No one

12 December

War Memorial Library

2 members of the public

14 December

Kelson Community Hall

No one

17 December

Petone Library

No one

 

Attendees agreed with the priority areas and welcomed the early information sharing. They offered several ideas and were keen to hear more in the New Year once the consultation document was finalised.

The wording of one theme did not resonate with some and a suggested change was put forward; change from “supporting an innovative, agile economy and attractive city” to “supporting an innovative, agile economy and inviting city”. It was felt the word ‘attractive’ suggested clean, beautiful buildings and parks rather than a city that was welcoming and inviting to business.

Ideas by theme from workshop participants

An innovative agile economy and attractive city

·    Look into Tearfund / microfunding / microbusiness opportunities

·    Sharing skills sessions

·    Business planning in hubs for start-ups / new businesses / people thinking about starting up a business e.g. info on gst, companies register, legal requirements, how to be an employer / team leader / manager

·    Spaces (e.g. Naenae) that allow for co-operative working and partnerships to form and potentially could sell products from

Financial sustainability

·    Don’t bog children and students with debt, we don’t want to bog down Council

·    Does the consolidated fund still exist? Council should be putting money aside

Increase housing supply

·    Need to facilitate tiny homes – the time on property and number allowed on a property; look at rules and regulations around leasing land

·    We don’t have enough housing but solution needs to come from local and central working together

·    Need to look not only at greenfield development but also at opportunities to turn commercial into residential

Connecting communities

·    Forms and rules around use of parks and reserves are a pain point and barrier to community partnerships

·    Need a retain creative communities partnership fund – increase funding to increase partnerships

·    Free entry to pools for your under 14, or college and below

·    Several groups who could assist in getting the LTP message out to the community where suggested: St. David’s, Wainuiomata Women’s Group, Team Naenae and, Christians against poverty

Caring for and protecting our environment

·    How effective is house solar power? – can they be partly subsidised?

·    Street bins – what happens to them under upcoming changes? Why not a recycling option at these?

·    Rainwater collection needs to be a requirement for new developments – incentivise their inclusion and use

·    Turbines technology needs to be investigated – use the power from the Hutt River

·    Mine the landfill rather than not having one

Investing in infrastructure

·    What technology is Wellington Water using or looking into using?  Need to ensure the best solutions are being considered

·    Naenae Pool – is there a lightweight option?

·    Need to show the problems at Naenae Pool on a video: “seeing is believing”.

Other

·    The ‘tomorrow’ on the advertising for the workshops need to be complimented with the actual day and date

·    Council should employ a videographer for large projects so people can see the progress being made

·    The agendas for Council meetings needs to be in plain English, use consistent language and font, and have images and pictures added where relevant. They need to be easier to read and easier to find.


Our 10 year plan 2021-2031

Getting the basics right | E whakatika ana i ngā mea matua

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a consultation document prepared in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002.   It is designed to provide information about Hutt City Council’s 2021 – 2031 Long Term Plan, including:

·    Priority areas for the Long Term Plan, and initiatives/proposals we would like your feedback on; and

·    Our preferred options for each initiative/proposal; and

·    Information about the financial impact (debt and rates revenue) as well as impacts on levels of service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS:

Section one (# = page number)

# Message from the Mayor
# About this document and the ten year plan
# Where we’ve come from
# Challenges we face
# We want your feedback

Section two

# Priority areas for the 10 year plan
# Investing in Infrastructure
# Caring for and protecting our environment
# Increasing Housing supply
# Supporting an innovative, agile economy and attractive city
# Connecting communities

Section three

# Infrastructure strategy
# Financial sustainability
##
How this plan will affect your rates
# Affordability of rates - proposed changes to rating policy
# Proposed changes to development contributions policy
# Independent audit report
# Have your say
# Next steps

MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

To come

 

 

 

 

 

 

TE REO TRANSLATION MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

To come

 

 

 

 


 

ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT AND THE TEN YEAR PLAN

Every three years Hutt City Council prepares a ten year plan which sets out the initiatives and services we plan to fund in the ten year period ahead.  The last 10 year plan was adopted in 2018, and this year it’s time for us to adopt a new one.

This document sets out our key proposals for investment from 2021 to 2031.  For the ten years ahead we’re proposing to invest across a number of areas to strengthen our core infrastructure, care for and protect our environment, increase housing supply, foster an innovative, agile economy and attractive city, and connect our communities. Our active partnership with Mana Whenua will drive our work to create a thriving city underpinned by commitments to prudent financial management and working towards protecting and enhancing our environment and achieving carbon zero by 2050.

The lion’s share of investment over the next ten years will be in the areas of three waters infrastructure and transport. 

Where we’ve come from

Over the past ten years Hutt City Council has been focused on rejuvenating our city, and in doing that we have delivered a number of high quality facilities, including the refurbished Walter Nash Centre, Ricoh Sports Centre, Naenae Bowling Centre, and Huia Pool.  These facilities are much loved by the community, and help to make our city an attractive place to live.

Our Walk and Cycle the Hutt Strategy has also meant that we have invested significantly in promoting active transport – completing the Wainuiomata Shared Pathway as well as a number of other cycleways across the city – and succeeded in gaining central government funding support to expand our activities.   

During this time Council has maintained an AA credit rating from international credit rating agency Standard and Poors – which was re-confirmed in 2020.  This reflects our strong financial management and an ongoing commitment to invest prudently.   Our strong financial position provides us with a good platform from which to invest in the infrastructure our city needs.

In October 2019 a new Mayor and Councillor team was elected, and have asked us to prioritise getting our basic infrastructure right, particularly in renewing and replacing our ageing three waters infrastructure, adding key transport connections and ensuring that our network meets the needs of all users, with an emphasis on continuing to improve our active transport connections.  This direction has strongly informed the direction of this 10 year plan. 


 

Challenges we’re facing

While in recent years we have focused on developing new community assets and improving the vibrancy of our city, like other major cities we are facing a number of big challenges that we must begin to address as part of this 10 year plan.  These include a fast growing population, responding to global issues such as climate change and the serious implications of this for us locally, as well as maintaining and strengthening services to our communities.  

It is the right time to increase investment in our basic infrastructure. Doing this will in particular enable us to renew and replace our three waters system, which is key to the health and wellbeing of residents, contributes to protecting and enhancing our environment, and supporting  economic growth.

Our proposed 10 year plan identifies a number of specific challenges to which we must begin responding if we are to create a city where everyone thrives. 

Demand and pressure on infrastructure 

A considerable period of under-investment in our basic infrastructure, particularly three waters, and combined with our growing population and the need for additional housing supply, means that we need a major programme of infrastructure investment to service existing and future residents. 60% of our water infrastructure needs to be replaced over the next three decades and better transport connections, including active transport networks, are needed to ensure our city is easy to move around and environmentally sustainable.

Housing supply and affordability

Increasing housing supply and improving housing quality are major challenges. The housing crisis continues to have an escalating effect on people and whānau in Lower Hutt. Over the past four years, the lack of supply and increasing demand has driven house prices and rent increases and led to homelessness and housing hardship. Acute hardship means that we are seeing growing numbers of individuals and families in emergency and temporary accommodation, living in insecure housing situation with whānau and friends, or rough sleeping, and the number of households on the Social Housing Register has increased by over 1000 per cent – from 53 households to 611 – between 2015 and 2020. The crisis is having a significant effect on health and wellbeing, and providing safe, warm, and affordable homes is essential for whānau and Lower Hutt as whole to thrive. 

Climate Change and Sustainability

Lower Hutt faces numerous environmental challenges, including approaches to sea level rise, coastal erosion, and flooding, loss of biodiversity, water quality, and waste issues.  Issues such as higher temperatures and an increase in the severity and frequency of rainfall and flooding will affect the city and impact on key services including transport and infrastructure, and affect the functioning of the city and the well-being of our people. Given our geography and topography, sea level rise and flooding from rainfall events are particularly serious for our city and there are potential effects for individuals and communities in relation to housing and living environments, business costs, and threats to our infrastructure and assets.

Council’s Climate Change Emergency Declaration recognises the seriousness of the situation faced in Lower Hutt and the commitment to enhance our environment and achieve our climate change goal underpins all the work we are proposing to ensure the wellbeing and success of our city. We are currently working in both the mitigation and adaptation spaces and this includes aiming to reduce our own carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, plans to engage with communities on climate change, and ensuring that our infrastructure investment and housing developments take account of climate change impacts. 

Covid-19

Covid-19 caused problems and disruptions for both residents and businesses in Lower Hutt and, although our economy responded well, there we expect that the environment will be challenging in the short-term depending on event in Aotearoa/New Zealand and globally. Given the uncertainty for residents and businesses it’s crucial that we ensure our plans are affordable and that costs are shared fairly.

Currently, the effects of Covid-19 continue to weaken the Lower Hutt City economy. Provisional estimates from Infometrics show that the city’s economic activity fell 0.4%pa in the September 2020 quarter, contributing to an annual decline of 1.4% in the September 2020 year. This compares to a 3.3% decline nationally and a 3.2% decline across the Wellington Region.

Consumer spending has recovered from its drop during lockdown. Marketview data shows that spending in the district increased 0.7% in the September 2020 year compared with a 2.8% fall across the region.

Jobseeker Support recipients in Lower Hutt City in the year to September 2020 increased by 14.6% compared with previous year. Although this increase was lower relative to the New Zealand rate of 27.3%. An average of 4,586 people were receiving a Jobseeker Support benefit in Lower Hutt City in the 12 months ended September 2020.  The annual average unemployment rate in Lower Hutt City was 4.3% in September 2020, up from 3.9% 12 months earlier. This is slightly lower than the New Zealand rate of 4.4%

In summary, while the Lower Hutt economy has recovered better than NZ as a whole from the impacts of the Covid19 lockdown, there are some within our community who have been and continue to be effected.

Achieving our programme in a financially sustainable way

The challenges we face, particularly in relation to the condition of our Three Waters infrastructure and transport system, requires considerable financial investment over the next 10 years and the longer-term.  

Council is acutely aware of the financial pressures on residents and businesses in the city, and particularly the impact of higher housing costs on some households and the effects of covid-19, and that we must seek to achieve our proposed plan in an affordable way. Our financial strategy uses a combination of rates and borrowing to ensure that we are achieving a balanced approach to paying for services and developments, and sharing the costs in a way that is fair and equitable to both current and future residents, and businesses in the city.

We need your feedback

Ultimately this is our city’s/your plan and this document sets out what we are proposing, and provides an opportunity for people across Lower Hutt to have their say on what they think about it.  All of the feedback we receive is considered by the Mayor and Councillors, and helps to inform and shape the final plan when it’s adopted in June this year.

It’s our job to have a view of the future – and identify the challenges we face, and what we need to address them.  But we need to make sure we are prioritising the things that are important to you, and to do that, we need to know what you think. 

There are lots of different ways to get involved and consultation opens on Monday 29 March and closes on Monday 3 May. To find out more about how to have your say see our website at haveyoursay.huttcity.govt.nz, or turn to page x on this document.

Key priorities for the 10 year plan

Our vision is for Lower Hutt to be a place where all of our people can thrive. To achieve this over the next ten years we’re proposing to prioritise investment across six key priorities for our city:

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Investing in Infrastructure

Investing in high quality infrastructure that supports our people to move around, receive basic services (like water), and enjoy our community facilities.

 

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Caring for and protecting our environment

Working with our communities to meet the challenges of climate change and our goal to become carbon zero by 2050. 

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Increasing housing supply

Effectively planning for growth in our city, and ensuring an increase in housing supply, and working with organisations to ensure our people have warm, safe, dry homes to live in.  

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Supporting an innovative, agile economy and attractive city

Investing to drive economic growth, and harnesses the talents of business, education, research and science communities in Lower Hutt Te Awa Kairangi to make our city an attractive place to work and invest. 

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Connecting communities

Investing to connect and empower neighbourhoods and communities so they can thrive. Thriving communities will be safe, connected, healthy, inclusive and resilient.

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Financial sustainability

Investing in a financially sustainable and prudent way – that ensures we are carefully managing our finances to deliver on our community’s expectations.



Investing in Infrastructure

Lower Hutt is a growing city – with our population increasing at one of the fastest rates in our history. We need to ensure we get the basics right and deliver the core infrastructure that enable all of the people in our city to thrive. 

With significant population growth comes some growing pains which we need to address.  A larger population puts pressure on our three waters and transport infrastructure. Along with growth, we know some of our infrastructure is reaching the end of its life.  For example, we know that we will need to replace approximately 60 per cent of our three waters infrastructure over the next three decades.

As the city continues to grow we also need to consider investing in maintaining and creating high quality community infrastructure including our pools and our libraries.  Key facilities that require significant investment so that they are useable for communities across the city and region are Naenae Pool and Petone Wharf.

By investing to upgrade and build new infrastructure, we are building a strong foundation for sustainable growth and help meet our aims of protecting and enhancing our environment.  We consider it prudent to invest now, to avoid large costs in the future or seeing our infrastructure fail to meet the demands of the population.

In our 10 year plan we are proposing to:

·    Invest $578 million in our three water infrastructure (# number)

·    Invest $355 million in our transport infrastructure (# number)

·    Invest $68 million to rebuild Naenae Pool (# number)

·    Invest $x million to maintain/upgrade Petone Wharf (# number)

Infrastructure Strategy 2021 - 2051

Our proposed Infrastructure Strategy 2021 – 2051 outlines our long-term approach to ensuring we have good three waters and transport infrastructure on which to build a sustainable future.  The Strategy goes beyond the scope of our asset management plans and provides a strategic view by setting our vision and goals for infrastructure, and an approach for managing infrastructure decisions.  Significant issues and opportunities, and the proposals for managing the issues and implications are outlined in the proposed Infrastructure Strategy.

Goals

The proposed infrastructure strategy has three goals:

i. Strong and reliable basic infrastructure

ii. Reliable, efficient, and effective water and transport infrastructure networks; and

iii. Provide current and new infrastructure in a sustainable way which focuses on guardianship of our environment and communities

 

Scope

At this point, the strategy focusses on the mandatory infrastructure categories in the Local Government Act 2002:

·    Water supply

·    Wastewater (sewage treatment and disposal)

·    Stormwater drainage and flood protection(at a local level); and

·    Roads and footpaths

Identified issues and summary of response

The strategy focusses on where improvements can be made in response to four identified issues we face. Council and its partners have identified four major challenges affecting Te Awa Kairangi/Lower Hutt’s infrastructure. The city’s ageing infrastructure combined with the impacts of climate change and natural hazards are significant issues, and Council needs to prioritise investment to provide good basic infrastructure that increases resilience, maintains public health, and protects the environment.  The population served is growing and changing and this will continue to impact on demand and service delivery. Radical changes in technology will provide new solutions and as a result, renewal and replacement programmes need to be flexible to take account of possible future scenarios and solutions.

 

Table 1: Identified issues and summary of response

Issue

Response summary

Ageing infrastructure and investment in renewals

·      Increase our investment in understanding our ageing infrastructure assets

·      Investment in a maintenance programme that supports the reliability, efficiency and effectiveness of the infrastructure networks

·      Enable a structured programme of planned investment in the renewal of ageing assets

The effects of climate change and natural hazards

·      Strengthen risk infrastructure

·      Maintain a robust emergency preparedness system

·      Maintain, and where required, invest in providing back up infrastructure

·      Invest in protective infrastructure

·      Ensure the regulation and monitoring system is robust and functioning

Growth and demand variations

·      Promotion of alternative transportation modes.

·      Explore and use methods to manage demand

·      Enhance accessibility options for the ageing population

·      Focus on adapting and developing infrastructure for and in high demand areas

Technological advancements

·      Develop modelling and monitoring tools and systems

·      Maintain flexibility in the investment programme to take advantage of technological developments and ensure that we use the most effective and efficient materials and techniques to improve the city’s infrastructure.

 

Further details on the draft Infrastructure Strategy can be accessed XXX 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design to show this is a part of investing in infrastructure section
Three Waters Infrastructure

Overview

Over the past year we have received detailed advice about the state of our three waters infrastructure.   That advice showed us that we have significant challenges with our assets, which require attention and investment in the short, medium, and long term.

The major challenges are the condition and age of the water network – and the fact that much of the infrastructure is reaching or will soon reach the end of its life.  60 per cent of the water network needs to be renewed over the next 30 years – at a cost of $2.6 billion.[19]   The increasing rate of water leaks is one indication of the deterioration of the network. The number of reported water leaks is trending up and has done so over the past few years.  For the six month period July to Dec 2020 we had 1,457 leaks, which is nearly twice the 754 leaks reported for the same period in 2019. The overall age profile and condition of the pipe network means that the incidence of water leaks is likely to continue until such time as we have an effective programme of renewals.

Asset renewal is not the only factor we need to consider during the 30 year period.  Our population is also expected to grow 10 to 20 per cent and this will put additional pressure on our infrastructure as we prepare for the housing supply and developments we will need to accommodate a changing demography. 

Last year, based on initial advice and community feedback, we immediately increased investment in three waters infrastructure.   This money is to address urgent issues but it is not sufficient to resolve longer-term concerns.  Additional investment is needed to avoid asset failures, improve environmental outcomes, and to plan for growth.

We have considered a number of options, and their related financial impacts, to address the issues. We were concerned with the affordability of the work required as a result of Wellington Water’s initial advice and the company’s subsequent advice provided a revised option which accounted for Three Waters Reform funding from central government. This Government funding will go some way to offset the proposed increased investment in three waters infrastructure over the next few years. The comprehensive water reform process is in its early stages and there is still uncertainty around its likely to impact on Council, such as the transfer of assets, but we will factor the reforms into our decisions on three waters in the future.    


 

What we propose to do

Having taken into account the expert advice received on our water infrastructure, we are proposing to significantly increase investment in the city’s three waters.  Over the ten year period, our proposal will see us invest a total of $578 million into our three waters infrastructure. The estimated additional capital investment package over the period of the LTP to implement the initiatives is $321M compared to the previous LTP. The additional capital cost is in part offset by capital subsidies of $2.7M with the balance proposed to be funded by borrowings.

Ongoing higher operational costs, including interest cost of borrowings and depreciation would be funded by rates income. This equates to about $229M higher than the previous budgets in the LTP. The remaining difference would be funded from the proposed annual increases in rates.

Part of our proposal is to improve the conservation of water and explore using metering as a means of managing the network and to ensure leakage from both the public and private parts of the network is minimised. This is a regional issue as minimising leaks in the network across the four cities supplied by Greater Wellington will ensure that bulk water supply can meet current and forecasted growth demand in the short to medium term and delay the need for expensive capital infrastructure in the form of a new reservoir, the cost of which is estimated at around $300M.

The increase in funding will allow us to tackle some of the challenges we have.   Ultimately this will:

·    Reduce the risk of asset failure and service disruption

·    Provide infrastructure required for future growth, and relieve stress on existing assets

·    Support a reduction in water consumption – which will extend the life of some infrastructure 

·    Improve the health of our urban waterways

·    Support reduction in carbon emissions

·    Accommodate increases in bulk water charges

This investment will ensure we are able to deliver high quality and fit for purpose infrastructure. 

Could include infographic/high level snapshot of proposed investments in graphical form.

Options

Option 1: Preferred option – significant increase in three waters investment

Investment programme

Service level impacts

Financial impacts over ten years of the plan

Managing existing infrastructure -

Reduces the risk of asset failure and service disruption ensuring that infrastructure will continue to provide the levels of service expected by the community

Increased funding of $331M for assets renewals.

Sustainable water supply

Reducing our water consumption is vital. We currently consume approximately 390 litres per resident per day which is unsustainable. Having enough water for everyone in the future will rely on more water efficient appliances and water conservation and fair distribution between households, industry, agriculture, and the environment.  Lower Hutt, in conjunction with the broader Wellington region, needs to consider ways of reducing consumption for both environmental protection and in order to defer the need for a new reservoir in the short to medium term. Universal metering is proposed to provide information help understand water demand, help find leaks and target water usage reduction activities.

Increased funding of $36.3M capex (includes universal metering) in years 2025/26 to 2028/29.  $10.6 opex.

Healthy Urban Waterways

Our unique land and water-based native ecosystems are threatened by pollution, reduction in available habitat because due to land development, stormwater and wastewater infiltration, natural hazards and climate change. This needs to be addressed to make sure people can safely use our waterways for recreation and food gathering.

Increased funding of Capex $29.2M and opex $7.8M.

Reducing Carbon Emissions

Council is committed to reducing our carbon emissions and in addition to setting an organisational target, Council has agreed a plan to prioritise to community-focused actions in order to reduce city-wide greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the proposed New Zealand net Zero by 2050 target.

Increased funding of $52.6M capex and opex $2.8M.

Bulk water supply

No service level changes

GWRC are proposing increases in the bulk water charge for all councils in the region. The cost impact is about $1M per annum for council (depending on volumes used) with ongoing projected cost increases of about 5% p.a. thereafter. 

 

We are also focused on key projects related to growth worth $40M, and specific funding is forecast for investment in network resilience of $22.6M.

The investment in three waters will result in increases in the targeted rates for wastewater and water supply in future years. The initial amount of funding from the three waters reform investment has been included in the projected funding requirements. 

 

Annual Plan 2020/21

What you’re currently paying

DLTP 2021/22

Proposed to pay

Change since 2020/21

Wastewater – per rating unit

$519.00

$559.00

$40.00    8% Increase

Water supply – per rating unit

$489.00

$521.00

$32.00    7% Increase

 

Option 2: Maintaining current levels of service, with modest additional investment 

This option involves a lower level of increased investment overall in three water activities, particularly in respect of asset renewals. This approach means accepting both an increasing risk of asset failure over the next ten years and the costs of those failures to the individual, businesses and the community as a whole. 

This option is likely to result in more frequent unplanned service disruptions, a decrease in customer satisfaction and a growing number of service disruptions as the renewals backlog increases. There will be limited progress against the regional priorities increasing the risk of having to invest in another drinking water source and ramping up spending to meet requirements of the National Policy Statement on Fresh Water, National Policy Statement on Urban Development and achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050.


 

 

Investment programme

Service level impacts

Financial impacts over ten years of the plan

Managing existing infrastructure -

Reduces the risk of asset failure and service disruption ensuring that infrastructure will continue to provide the levels of service expected by the community

Total capital renewals programme of $233M proposed over the next ten years which is $153M higher than previously budgeted. This would be funded by way of additional borrowings. Ongoing higher operational costs, including interest costs of borrowings and depreciation would be funded by rates income (i.e. targeted rates for Water Supply and Wastewater a general rates for Stormwater).

Providing growth related infrastructure$

The city is growing and this is increasing the stress on existing assets. The funding is based on 3 growth areas – Wainuiomata, Kelson, and Petone.

Capital funding of $72M which will be funded initially from borrowing and then offset by Development Contributions income.

Sustainable water supply

Reducing our water consumption is vital. We currently consume approximately 390 litres per resident per day which is unsustainable. Having enough water for everyone in the future will rely on more water efficient appliances and water conservation and fair distribution between households, industry, agriculture, and the environment. 

An increase in opex of $27.1M over 10 years and $4.5M in capex. This would not include universal metering.

Healthy Urban Waterways

Our unique land and water-based native ecosystems are threatened by pollution, reduction in available habitat because due to land development, stormwater and wastewater infiltration, natural hazards and climate change. This needs to be addressed to make sure people can safely use our waterways for recreation and food gathering.

Increased funding of Capex $10.8M and opex $15.1M.

Reducing Carbon Emissions

Council is committed to reducing our carbon emissions and in addition to setting an organisational target, Council has agreed a plan to prioritise to community-focused actions in order to reduce city-wide greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the proposed New Zealand net Zero by 2050 target.

Nothing spent on this priority.

Other, including resilience

Improvements in resilience to climate change impacts and natural hazards.  This is largely to seismically strengthen water reservoirs around the City.

Funding of $12M capex and opex $2.2M.

Bulk water supply

No service level changes

GWRC are proposing increases in the bulk water charge for all councils in the region. The cost impact is about $1M per annum for council (depending on volumes used) with ongoing projected cost increases of about 5% p.a. thereafter. 

 


 

Transport

Overview

Our city needs a transport system that enables our communities to be connected, our businesses to be efficient, and is above all is safe for our people.

With the extraordinary growth our city is experiencing, we need make investments in our transport infrastructure that will allow all of our road users to enjoy a well-functioning transport system.

As our city population grows, congestion on our road networks is growing too. That’s why we have to invest in transformative projects like Cross Valley transport Connections, the Eastern Bays Shared Pathway and the Beltway Cycleway.

Council is currently developing its Integrated Transport Strategy which will look at a multi-model approach to transport, and allows all road users to have their needs met. This means that walkers, cyclists, and people using micro-mobility modes of transport such as electric scooters, electric bikes or skateboards have as good opportunities to get around our city as vehicle users.

There are significant opportunities, particularly in relation to travel over shorter distances, to improve the local transport system to encourage walking, cycling, and micro-mobility.  Our focus is on developing local connections which link the core routes with key employment, education, and transport hubs, to encourage greater use of active modes.

 

What we propose to do

 

In order to stabilise growth pressures on our transport network and meet the needs of all of our road users, the estimated additional capital investment over the period of the LTP to implement the initiatives is $188M. This will make the total transport investment package $355M The additional capital cost is in part offset by capital subsidies of $103M with the balance proposed to be funded by way of additional borrowings.

Ongoing higher operational costs, including interest cost of borrowings and depreciation would be funded by rates income. This equates to about $11.7M higher than the previous budgets in the LTP offset by operating subsidies of $1.3M. The remaining difference would be funded from the proposed annual increases in rates.

A significant portion of this capital investment, $198M[20], will be spent on the Cross Valley Transport Connections (CVTC) project to ease access in and out of our city and put less pressure on current access points like Petone Esplanade.

Cross Valley Transport Connections won’t fix our city’s congestion issues, which is why this LTP also proposes funding other measures to encourage our people to get out of cars, and walk, cycle or use other micro-mobility means more. This includes the Eastern Bays Shared Pathway to improve connectivity and to unlock significant social, economic and recreational benefits.

Alongside this, we are also proposed an increased investment in footpath renewals, resurfacing and rehabilitation of our roads and cycleways, safety driven to intersections and routes, and seismic strengthening of the Cuba Street Bridge.

Options

Option 1: Preferred option – Proactive approach to Transport investment

Preferred option investment programme

Service level impacts

Financial impacts over ten years of the plan

Cross Valley Transport Connections

The CVTC provides a more resilient, higher capacity, multi-use east-to-west connection for Lower Hutt. It would divert through-traffic away from the Petone Esplanade with a better connection between SH2 and Seaview/Gracefield, Petone parts of Lower Hutt, Eastern Bays and Wainuiomata.

Improved local and regional connectivity, resilience of transport network, and reduced commute times

Improved level of service for all transport modes and improved amenity along Petone foreshore.

The Cross Valley Transport Connections (CVTC) is part of proposed planned road network improvements investment of $198M over the ten years of the LTP.  We have assumed Waka Kotahi NZTA funding of $98M.  The increased investment is made up of an increase of $121M capex and $61.6M revenue compared to the previous LTP. 

Eastern Bays Shared Path

The key driver for this project is to develop a safe and connected walking and cycling facility to connect communities along Hutt City’s Eastern Bays, and to provide links to other parts of the network for commuting and recreation.

Increased local and regional connectivity and increased travel options

Improved safety for vulnerable users

Capex increase of $17.6M from previously budgeted $14.4M to total cost of $30M. Funding of $9M from Waka Kotahi NZTA and $15M from central government Covid Response and Recovery Fund would cover $24M of the cost. The remaining amount would be funded by Council from borrowings.  

Eastern Hutt road retaining wall strengthening project

This is a key arterial road connecting Lower and Upper Hutt. The crib wall is vulnerable to failure as a result of storm or earthquake damage and this project will strengthen the wall and support the road platform.

Increased resilience to storm and earthquake events.

Capex increase of $2.1M from previously budgeted $2.9M, to total cost of $5M.  Funding from Waka Kotahi NZTA would cover $2.55M of the total cost.

Cuba Street over bridge seismic strengthening project

Strengthen this critical piece of infrastructure.

Increased resilience to an earthquake event.

Capex increase of $0.48M from previously budgeted $0.82M, to total cost of $1.3M.  Funding from Waka Kotahi NZTA would cover $0.663M of the total cost.

Cycling and micromobility programme

This supports Council’s work to strengthen our active transport connections, including routes to Waterloo Station and from the Beltway Cycleway to schools and Hutt hospital

Increased level of service for walking, cycling and micromobility.

Improved safety for vulnerable users.

Increase in capex of $10M with assumed funding from Waka Kotahi NZTA at 51% of $5.1M.

Wise Street Extension

Enabling increased housing development in the area of Wise Street, Wainuiomata. This work will enable a further 180+ houses.

Increased housing stock.

The capital cost of $1.2M will be recovered through Development Contributions.

 

Road resurfacing

Improving safety and the travel comfort of road users by resurfacing and rehabilitation of road surfaces.

Improved road safety and travel comfort. Providing waterproofing to the road pavements to provide for longer life

Increase capex by $15M (from $75.7M to $90.7M) a 25% increase. This is offset by additional Waka Kotahi NZTA subsidy net costs over ten years of $7.7M.

Road network improvements

Improving safety by addressing the increased road resurfacing programme.

Improved safety and travel comfort of road users.

Providing waterproofing to the road pavements to provide for longer life.

There is no increase to budget requirement. A revised start of 2024/25 rather than previous planned start in 2029/30. Over the LTP there is an increase of $2.9M offset by Waka Kotahi NZTA funding of $1.5M.

Funding for bridges and retaining walls

Increased funding enables annual condition inspections of assets together with undertaking the structural maintenance required.

Improved safety of road users and protection of roads and footpaths

A 60% or $2.6m increase in opex - from $4.3M to $6.9M. After adjusting for NZTA subsidy net costs over ten years of $1.3M.

Traffic safety

Improvements to intersections and routes to protect pedestrians and road users.

Increased pedestrian safety

A capex increase of $6.2M - from $4.6M to $10.8M.  This is offset by Waka Kotahi NZTA subsidy of $3.2M.

Footpath renewals

Maintenance and renewal of footpaths is essential to ensure the safety of footpath users.

Increased level of service for footpath users.

An increase of $2.3M (from $2.4M to $4.7M). Funded from transfer of budget from Road reconstruction budget $1.15M, together with additional funding of $1.15M to meet the needs of growing network across the city.

 

Option 2 –Reactive approach with reducing service levels over time

 

The alternative approach means

·        Only renewing pavements when they fail

·        Reactive management of roadways (addressing problems when they arise)

·        Increasing transportation capacity as funding allows  

The approach results in a compromise to level of service, safety and cost over the life of the Transport assets. While this option would reduce costs in the short term in the longer term costs will increase and the burden of addressing the resulting decline in levels of service will fall on future ratepayers.  There are a number of the Financial Strategy principles that are particularly relevant in assessing the preferred transport investment option - the intergenerational equity principle in particular.  Taking the alternative option will mean that the costs of long term transport assets are not evenly spread over the life of the assets. 

The impact of option 2 would be reflected in the following projects:

Alternative option investment programme

Service level impacts

Financial impacts over ten years of the plan

Cross Valley Transport Connections

Deferring and/or reducing the programme of work recommended by the preferred option. 

Defers and/or diminishes the improved local and regional connectivity, resilience of the transport network, and reduced commute times

Defers and/or diminishes the level of service improvements for all transport modes and amenity improvements along the Petone foreshore.

Defers and/or reduces the investment of $198M over the ten years of the LTP less the assumed Waka Kotahi/NZTA funding of $98M. 

 

A reduced programme of work would require consultation to agree the new scope, which would then be priced.

 

A deferred programme is likely to incur increased cost as contractor and material costs continue to escalate.

Cycling and micromobility programme

Defer and/or reduce the programme of  work to strengthen our active transport connections, including routes to Waterloo Station and from the Beltway Cycleway to schools and Hutt hospital

Defer and/or diminish the level of service improvements for walking, cycling and micromobility.

Defers the safety improvements for vulnerable users.

Defers the capital expenditure but risks a likely cost increase as contractor and material costs continue to escalate.

Road resurfacing, Road network improvements, Funding for bridges and retaining walls, Footpath renewals

Adopt a reactive approach to these work activities by only maintaining and renewing these assets as they fail

Decreased level of service for safety, travel comfort and network efficiency.

Increased network disruption as unplanned work activities are undertaken.

Increased whole of life cost.

Reactive maintenance and renewals would result which would cause greater disruption and have a greater overall cost in the long term.

Traffic safety

Defer the improvements to intersections and routes to protect pedestrians and road users.

Risk to pedestrian and road user safety increases as traffic and vulnerable user volumes increase with population growth.

 

Network efficiency is compromised as the safety improvements also enhance network performance.

Defers capital expenditure.

May lead to increased cost of work as contractor and material costs increase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naenae Pool

 

Overview

In April 2019 Naenae Pool was closed due to earthquake safety concerns. Closing the pool has had a substantial impact on the social and leisure facilities available to the local community, including tamariki and rangatahi for whom the pool was a place to gather, as well as on shops and businesses in Hilary Court which lost regular customers and income.

As well as supporting the physical, social, and economic wellbeing of the Naenae community, the pool is also part of the regional network of aquatic facilities, and is important to users from across the region.  Two-thirds of pool users were from outside Naenae and it was a well-used recreational facility which provided a range of activities including learn to swim, water safety, recreational swimming, school holiday programmes and gym services. 

Discussions on whether to rebuild the Pool or demolish it for reserve land were tabled at Council, but after engaging the community, and following the election of a new Council in late 2019, it was decided that the Pool would be rebuilt and a spatial plan would be developed to reinvigorate Naenae, subject to LTP funding process.

In 2019, pricing indications showed that the cost of rebuilding the pool to a standard where it would meet the needs of all existing pool users would cost roughly $54M. However, Council has secured support from Central Government, with $27M of co-funding from the COVID Response and Recovery Fund easing the burden on ratepayers and allowing the potential rebuild process to be quicker.

What we propose to do

We’re proposing that Council rebuilds Naenae pool as a modern and sustainable facility which meets the needs of the Naenae community, aquatic sports and pool users from around the region, as well as increasing activity in the town centre, at an approximate cost of $68M.

The cost has increased for a number of reasons. Firstly, construction costs have gone up since the first costings were done two years ago, and will go up again before building starts. Secondly, we want to be able to use new sustainable technology which will both reduce the operating costs of the pool in future years and reduce its impact on the environment, and we may need to invest more upfront to achieve that. Thirdly, we’ve taken a closer look at the cost estimates with more detailed work called a quantitative risk assessment. This considers the biggest risks in the project and calculates the probability of the project exceeding budget, giving us the opportunity to choose the level of risk we want to budget for.  We’ve taken quite a conservative approach setting our cost at the 90% mark (meaning only a 10% chance of exceeding budget) as we want to make sure we have enough contingency to build a pool that it meets the needs of all the previous users and new users.

If the budget for the new pool was to be capped at the original $54M, it would mean we couldn’t replace the pool like-for-like. We would need to work with the community to make choices about which functionality is reduced or removed. Retaining a 50 metre pool would remain a priority, if this was possible, but we would have to consider going from 10 lanes to 8 lanes, and whether we could still have a moveable floor and bulkhead. These things would limit the number of people who could use the facility at the same time and reduce the space for some sports. It would also limit the options for using new technology to reduce the impact of the facility on the environment and contribute to Council’s Carbon Zero target.

Option 1: Preferred option – Build a new, modern, fit for purpose and sustainable facility

Options

Levels of Service impacts

Financial Impacts

1. Build a new Naenae Pool to a scope which provides similar facility and services as the existing Pool. This will be a modern and sustainable facility which meets the needs of community and aquatic sports, at an approx. cost of not more than $68M. ($27M of which would be co-funded by central government from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund) 

The original $54M budget agreed for the pool was based on work completed in 2019. This higher cost reflects both the increase in construction costs since then and updated, detailed calculations on delivering a facility which replaces like for like and contingency for risks. This means returning most of the functionality of the existing Naenae Pool and therefore a similar service level for the community, aquatic sports and other pool users to a similar level as the existing Pool.  This would include two pools – the main 50m pool and a children’s/warm water pool.

This level of investment would include improvements to some areas of the Pool which were considered sub-standard, including changing rooms and accessibility. It would include a fitness suite similar to that in the current Pool and would see the Zoom Tube returned. It also includes the addition of a moveable floor which is now common practice for similar Pools. It would ensure multiple activities were able to take place at the same time and that a large range of groups could be catered for (previously 45% of admissions). It would mean that there could still be public access to some parts of the facility when events are being hosted.

This would also include the introduction of new technology which will reduce both ongoing operational costs and the pool’s impact on the environment, which contributes to Council’s Carbon Zero target.

 

We’re aiming to achieve the rebuild of Naenae Pool as part of the 10 year plan and are proposing that we invest $68M to achieve this.

This is proposed to be funded from both central government COVID Response and Recovery Fund $27M and the balance of co-funding ($41M) would by way of additional Council borrowings.  $9 million of funding for refurbishment of the old Naenae Pool and fitness centre was included in the previous 2018-2028 LTP.

Ongoing higher operational costs, including interest costs of borrowings and depreciation would be funded by rates income. This equates to about $10.9M higher than the previous budgets in the LTP, and would be funded from the proposed annual increases in rates (refer section XX).  

Over the 10 year term of the LTP, staff numbers, operational costs and revenue are expected to be at a similar level to the existing Pool. 

For a similar Pool, visitor numbers are expected to return to similar levels, including use by aquatic sports and visitors from across the region. This should return the economic impact experience by local retailers and improve the vibrancy and safety of the town centre. 

 

Option 2 - Rebuild Naenae Pool within the budget set by the earlier estimate of $54M

2. This Pool would provide a lower level of facility and services as the existing Pool and would not meet the needs of all previous users.

 

Capping the budget for the new pool at $54M would mean delivering a facility that is inferior to the existing Pool, and therefore represents a drop in service level.

Choices would have to be made about which functionality is reduced or removed. Retaining a 50m Pool would remain a priority, if this was possible. The initial options which would be considered are:

 

 

·      Reduce size/number of ancillary spaces eg: changing rooms, meeting rooms – same functionality but reduces number of people able to utilise the facility at one time.

·      Reduce width of 50m pool from 10 lanes to 8 lanes – limits ability to host international and some national level swim meets but maintains regional capability. Reduces useable waterpolo spaces from 3 to 2.

·      No moveable floor – limits flexibility and reduces capacity of learn to swim space.

·      No removable bulkhead - would remove the capability to use the Pool as 2 discreet 25m pools reducing number of activities that can occur (eg: waterpolo spaces reduced from 3 to 2). This would reduce the number of groups who could use the facility (previously 45% of admissions) and may increase public closures for special events.

·      No zoom tube – removes an attraction and limits play activities for young teens which are under-catered for in the city and local area.

·      Reduce scope/size of children’s/warm water pool – reduces the capacity of the pool to host the expected attendances, previous pool was already over stretched. Overcrowding places filtration plant under strain.

·      Reduce number of separate changing areas (which provide for accessibility, families and gender diversity)

·      Remove fitness suite – No gyms currently in the area which suffers from inactivity, poor health outcomes and high deprivation. Removes a revenue driver.

·      Less opportunity for innovation (including sustainable technology which will reduce operating costs over the 10 year period of the LTP and reduce emissions)       

 

As above, this is proposed to be funded from both central government ($27M) and the balance of co-funding would by way of additional Council borrowings. 

As above, ongoing higher operational costs, including interest costs of borrowings and depreciation would be funded by rates income. This equates to about $6.2M higher than the previous budgets in the LTP, and would be funded from the proposed annual increases in rates (refer section XX).  

Over the 10 year term of the LTP staff numbers and operational costs would be reduced in a facility with less functionality. Revenue would also be reduced. There would also likely be a reduction in the number of pool users, and therefore less benefit for local retailers, so less economic impact.

 


 

Petone Wharf

 

To come

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caring for and protecting our environment

Overview

We must do better to look after our natural environment and to reduce our carbon footprint. We want to make our city more resilient to natural hazards and climate change risks such as sea level rise, flooding and earthquakes. Our proposed investment in three waters and transport infrastructure is crucial in creating a city that is more sustainable and resilient to the impacts of climate change. Our water system needs to be effective and reliable to service the needs of residents and to protect our environment from the impact of leaks, discharges, and flooding, while our transport system needs to provide connections between neighbourhoods, jobs, and services, with an emphasis on active modes for shorter trips where possible.

Climate change is a priority for us all and we will support local action to move towards zero carbon by 2050. From July 2021 we are implementing a new city-wide kerbside rubbish and recycling service to residents. As part of this we are continuing the work we're doing to reduce waste to landfill.  We also need to protect and enhance our biodiversity and ecology, and support our city's landowners to manage indigenous habitats on their land.

What we propose to do

As part of our 10 year plan we are proposing to invest in a range of initiatives, which we would like your feedback on.  Together, these will support our work to achieve carbon zero by 2050, and make our operations more sustainable and climate friendly.

 

 

Carbon credits

Council owns a large amount of land that could be forested for carbon credits or carbon liability. Selling the credits could help move us to zero carbon more quickly or we could use the funds for biodiversity improvements. Carbon Forest Services Ltd are helping us find carbon opportunities on council-owned land. So far they’ve found 92 hectares of native recovering forest in East Harbour Regional Park that could be eligible for carbon credits.

 

Council vehicles

We’re reducing the number of vehicles in our fleet and swapping to Electric Vehicles (EVs) -. We’re also installing more EV charging stations around Lower Hutt.

Electric vehicle public charging stations

These new stations will be located at 10 locations around our city to support the growing number of electric vehicles and

Investment decisions

All reports presented to Council on key purchase and investment decisions must have a Climate Change Impact Assessment attached

New commercial builds

We’re looking at using the New Zealand Green Building Council GreenStar Building Rating for new commercial building projects including the Naenae Pool rebuild.

Council facilities

We have a plan in place to reduce carbon emissions by 30%. The biggest savings in this area will come from changing natural gas heating to a lower-carbon option at our pools.

Silverstream Landfill

We’re looking into ways we can reduce emissions like managing green waste better and installing a flare that will burn the methane into CO2.

Solid waste disposal and resource recovery

We’re planning to invest in the ongoing development of Silverstream landfill (landfill lining, leachate capture and reticulation, gas capture and treatment) with changes to timing

 

We’re also planning to develop a regional facility to accept asbestos $4.5M, as well as improve

 

The refuse transfer station to address safety issues $2.3M, enabling the development of a new resource recovery area $0.77M

 

 

 


 

Increasing our housing supply

Overview

Increasing our city’s housing supply and improving housing quality are major challenges that we must invest in.

Lower Hutt faces a lack of adequate housing supply, which is causing major affordability problems for renting and buying, and leading to an increase in homelessness and housing hardship. To alleviate this stress we have made changes to the District Plan under Plan Change 43 to enable greater supply and range of housing types and densities across a number of urban areas of our city. The current review of our District Plan will also focus on providing the capacity to deliver the housing supply we need. Through the city’s homelessness plan Council is also contributing funding to organisations to deliver the immediate response required to help people facing homelessness and housing hardship.

Council has also changed their expectations of its housing company, Urban Plus Limited (UPL), so that they deliver their operations to include wider housing outcomes and benefits to our communities. This includes pathways to housing permanency such as shared equity, rent to buy, reduced deposit schemes, and other means of assisting households into home ownership.

We have also developed a partnership with Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa to begin delivering homes for households in need. It is important that we strengthen our ties with Mana Whenua and local Iwi, who are well positioned to offer appropriate solutions for those impacted by the lack of suitable homes.

The work we are doing on spatial planning will help us create a thriving city with effective connections within and between our neighbourhoods, homes, jobs, and services. This planning is essential to increasing housing supply and enabling us to provide homes in integrated communities.

·    The District Plan is the city’s rule book for land use and the blueprint for future development.  It affects the lives of every resident and can influence housing availability and affordability. It helps guide how our city will look, feel and operate over the decades ahead. It governs how we care for the environment around us and how we protect our natural and historic heritage. It determines whether you can build a second house or tiny home on your land, what your neighbours can do on their land, and whether a business can set up next door.  We are currently reviewing our District Plan and there will be in-depth engagement and consultation on the review over the next few years. (Maybe link to further information)

·    At a regional level we have been working with other councils, central government and Iwi on the Wellington Regional Growth Framework (WRGF).  The framework is a 30-year spatial plan for the Wellington-Wairarapa-Horowhenua region that includes aspects such as responding to climate change, a long-term three-water strategy, and a focus on improving transport connections. Consultation on the WRGF is being undertaken during March/April 2021 but not as part of our Long Term Plan.  To participate in the consultation on the Framework, please go to https://wrgf.co.nz/.

What we propose to do

UPL is wholly owned by Hutt City Council (HCC) and operates as a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) under the Local Government Act 2002 and has previously focussed on delivering social housing for low income elderly at below market rental levels and releasing affordable and market housing for sale.  Council’s 2020 letter of expectation sought from UPL the delivery of wider housing outcomes and benefits.  These include:

·    Provide a broader range of affordable rental and homeownership options, commercially focussed housing products as well as delivering social housing outcomes for older people on low incomes, families, and individuals. The primary focus of this priority is to make more homes available and accessible to a wider range of the community. To deliver this wider remit UPL will develop partnerships with Mana Whenua, community housing providers (CHP) and government organisations.

·    Housing options to could include affordable and permanent 'rent for life’ homes (with social support as required), all the way through to home ownership.  UPL will investigate and deliver where appropriate, initiatives such as shared equity, rent to buy, reduced deposit schemes, and other means of assisting households into home ownership.

·    Council’s commitment to meeting its carbon zero objectives also extends to UPL. UPL is incorporating features into its dwelling design and development site layouts that lower carbon emissions.  Examples include using electricity or renewable sources of energy for space and water heating, minimising building waste, and making buildings ready for charging electric vehicles.

·    UPL will incorporate environmental design considerations into future projects, and align these with the HomeStar rating assessment to achieve no less than 6 stars in future housing developments.

·    UPL will take a leadership role in delivering medium density housing according to the objectives and outcomes envisaged by District Plan Change 43 (where Plan Change 43 applies to a development site).

Council has invested in UPL in order to begin its work of delivering housing to rent and buy for a wider range of household. This investment has been by way of providing loan facilities up to the value of $22M.

UPL does not utilise ratepayer funding for its operations. In order to achieve Council’s increased housing aims and therefore the larger proposed work programme over the life of the LTP, UPL requires additional funding lines of approximately $21M. This funding is not required immediately but over the next few years as development activity picks up, with a peak of $43M expected in 2023.

Following this peak, profit margins on several developments are expected to be realised which will positively impact UPL’s cash position, allowing borrowings to be significantly reduced. 

Option 1: Preferred option – Increase funding to Urban Plus Limited

Brief description

Service level impacts

Financial impacts over ten years of the plan

Increase funding to UPL to enable its work along the housing continuum

Delivery of housing products that will increase the supply of affordable housing, rental housing and social housing for the community.  These products will help to enable a wider range of individuals and families / whānau into housing permanency. 

Increase funding from $22M by an additional $21M to peak at $43M in 2023.

Developments are cyclical in nature and only require short term separate project funding structures for the duration of each project.

 

Option 2 – Maintain funding at current level

Brief description

Service level impacts

Financial impacts over ten years of the plan

Maintain funding at current level

Delivery of housing products will not meet the City’s short, medium or long term demand, resulting in the wider housing outcomes and benefits sought by Councils 2020 letter of expectation not being achieved.

Maintain funding at $22M.

 


 

Supporting an Innovative, agile economy and attractive city

Overview

In order to attract businesses and talent, we have to make Lower Hutt is an attractive city. One of our LTP priorities is to support an innovative and agile economy to help our city and people to thrive.

The RiverLink project is a big part of this work and is a transformative project aims to create a more resilient, connected, and vibrant city, and exploit the advantages of the Hutt river as a focal point for the city centre.  RiverLink is comprised of three partners, with Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) leading changes to reduce the risk of flooding, Waka Kotahi NZTA building a new Melling Bridge, and Hutt City Council investing in new roading connections, a pedestrian bridge over the river, and a development site that connects with the new river edge.

Delivering RiverLink will enable greater economic growth and development, more housing and will revitalise and renew our Central Business District creating more opportunities for our city and its people to thrive. The further investment will ensure the project is realised to its full potential and will stimulate future and ongoing economic growth within Hutt City.

More broadly, we are also extending our partner programme with the business incubator/start up hub and with Love Wainuiomata. The former encourages the start-up and developments of future digital and physical product ventures, while the latter continues involvement in spatial planning for the town centre and surrounding areas of Wainuiomata in order to implement the development plan agreed with the community.

What we propose to do

In order to support an innovative and agile economy, we’re proposing to increase our funding in these three projects.

We’re proposing to spend $121M over the next ten year period of the LTP on the Riverlink project. The estimated capital investment cost will be funded by way of additional borrowing after adjusting for offsetting Waka Kōtahi subsidies of $7M and proceeds from the sale of surplus land in later years. The projected capital investment cost of this project is more than double what was projected in the previous LTP – being 51.7M.

The increased investment will enable key components of the RiverLink project to proceed which include the pedestrian bridge, transport upgrades to connect with the new Melling Bridge and river edge enhancements. The investment also includes an element of increased project contingency.

Ongoing higher operational costs, including interest costs of borrowings and depreciation would be funded by rates income. This equates to about $21M higher than the previous budgets in the LTP, and would be funded from the proposed annual increases in rates.

As previous funding for the business incubator/start up hub did not extend into the LTP period, we are proposing to add additional operational expenditure of $1M over ten years, or $100,000 per annum. This will stimulate more jobs in the city, and ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to support budding businesses when they are still growing, testing, and developing their products.

As with the business incubator/start up hub, we are proposing to invest $1M of operational expenditure in Love Wainuiomata as previous funding did not extend into the LTP. This funding will provide a dedicated resource to deliver the Wainuiomata Development Plan, and allow its implementation to be consistent with the Wainuiomata Town Centre Streetscape and Framework.

Riverlink

Option 1 – preferred option Increase investment in RiverLink

Key project

Service level impacts

Financial impacts

Increase investment in RiverLink

 

 

Delivery of the key projects within RiverLink including transport upgrades, pedestrian bridge, river edge enhancements and a provision for further project contingency. The increase of capital investment will enable Council to realise the city transformation objectives within the RiverLink project and enable the future economic growth of the city.    

A total estimated capital investment cost of $121M (which is $68M higher than the budgets in the last LTP). This is in part offset by capital subsidies of $7M and property sales revenue with the balance proposed to be funded by way of additional borrowings.

 

 

Option 2 – Maintain funding to RiverLink at current level

Key project

Service level impacts

Financial impacts

Option 2 – Maintain funding at the same level

The RiverLink project will be re-scoped and elements re-prioritised against the available budget. This will mean the delivery of key elements such as the transport upgrades, pedestrian bridge and river edge enhancements may not be possible and will likely compromise other components of the project being led by the other project partners (Waka Kōtahi and GWRC). A RiverLink project with a smaller scope will not fully enable the transformation of the Hutt city centre and reduce the economic growth potential of the project. 

No new funding. Current funding at $53M.

 

Business incubator/start up hub

 

Option 1 – preferred option extend partner program- Business incubator/start up hub

Extend partner program- Business incubator/start up hub

To continue a business incubator/start up hub to encourage the start-up and development of future digital and physical product ventures.

Delivery of a business incubator/ start up hub will enable the stimulation of more jobs within the city. The investment will ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to support businesses in their early stage when they are testing and developing their products.

Additional operational expenditure of $1M over ten years or $100,000 per annum. This would be funded from rates income.

 

Option 2 – No additional funding for the business incubator/start up hub

Extend partner program- Business incubator/start up hub

To continue a business incubator/start up hub to encourage the start-up and development of future digital and physical product ventures.

We will be unable to support fledgling businesses and contribute to the medium and high-tech economy that provides high-quality jobs in the city

This would result in no budget being allocated over the period of the LTP.

 

Love Wainuiomata

Option 1 – preferred option extend partner programme – Love Wainuiomata

Extend partner program - Love Wainuiomata

To enable Love Wainuiomata to continue involvement in spatial planning for the town centre and surrounds and continue to implement the Wainuiomata Development Plan with the community.

Delivery of the Wainuiomata Development Plan requires dedicated resource to ensure the implementation of actions and activities as agreed by the community. The Wainuiomata Town Centre Streetscape and Framework will contribute to the further development of the Wainuiomata Town Centre and will require support for its implementation and to ensure consistency with the Wainuiomata Development Plan.

Additional operational expenditure of $1M over ten years or $100,000 per annum. This would be funded from rates income..

 

Option 2 – No additional funding for the Love Wainuiomata programme

Extend partner program - Love Wainuiomata

To enable Love Wainuiomata to continue involvement in spatial planning for the town centre and surrounds and continue to implement the Wainuiomata Development Plan with the community.

Delivery of the Wainuiomata Development Plan will not be possible and activation opportunities within the Wainuiomata Town Centre will no longer continue. Participation of the Love Wainuiomata team in the Wainuiomata Town Centre Streetscape and Framework will be significantly limited.

 

This would result in no budget being allocated over the period of the LTP.

 


 

Connected Communities

Overview

Our neighbourhoods and communities give us a sense of place and purpose. Council’s role is to support and enable neighbourhoods and communities to thrive - to be safe, connected, healthy, inclusive, and resilient. Working in collaboration with Mana Whenua, our focus is on enabling neighbourhoods and communities to shape their futures. Connected communities focus both on people and the places and spaces that meet their needs and we working to improve services and the planning framework that will help create a thriving city.  The review of the District Plan will enable communities to plan the journey towards a city that has shared values and outcomes for everyone. (See increasing housing supply section) for now

What we are doing

A bit more story…We are developing our approach to helping communities be connected and thrive.. This includes:

Community Partnering and Support: We will invest in delivering an holistic approach  to neighbourhoods, partnering with the community to enhance the opportunity for Council and Councillors, Community Boards and community service providers to work together to improve results on the ground.  We will invest in working with communities to stimulate local sources of power and optimise the impact of our collective effort across our shared spaces.

Connectivity, creativity, learning, and recreation: We will work with the community to activate our shared spaces through activities that support wellbeing with a focus on physical and mental health, literacy, arts, culture and heritage, digital technology and civic participation.  This includes providing the following:   

Question: do you agree with the direction we are taking on connected communities? Yes/No and why?


Financial Sustainability

Overview

We’re facing some big financial challenges as we re-focus our work on getting the basics right. When making decisions about our 10 year plan and budget, we need to balance the need for services against the ability of our community to pay rates. Good financial management and long term sustainability must underpin our plans. We’re focused on carefully managing our city’s finances to ensure we’re able to fund infrastructure and services for our community now and in the future.  As a growing city, there is a need for additional infrastructure and we need to ensure that the associated costs are spread equitably.

Our total assets are worth $1.7 billion and include infrastructure assets, land and buildings; whilst total liabilities are lower at $0.3 billion and include borrowings and payables to suppliers. Annual income of around $200 million is largely applied to fund operating costs for services delivered by Council and to maintain assets.

We have carefully reviewed our Financial Strategy as part of developing our plans for the future

Our proposed Financial Strategy is based on six key principles which provide the foundation for prudent sustainable financial management:

 

·    Affordability of rates

·    Achieving intergenerational equity by spreading the costs between both present and future ratepayers

·    Maintaining prudent borrowing levels

·    Balanced budget and ensuring that everyday costs are paid for from everyday income

·    Delivering services effectively and efficiently

·    Strengthening Council’s financial position.

 

The financial strategy focuses on strong fiscal management whilst addressing growing demands for increased capital expenditure in core infrastructure assets. Our plans also ensure Council returns a balanced budget by 2028/29.

Over the life of the LTP, the proposed rates revenue increases range between 4.9% and 6.5%.

User fees and charges

User fees and charges are an important aspect of how we fund services. Setting fees and charges at an appropriate level is important to pay for the cost of Council’s activities.  A key aspect considered in reviewing fees for the LTP is that the distribution of benefits is fair - where there are direct identifiable benefits, the proportion of costs associated with those benefits should be recovered by the users.

In setting fees and charges, inflationary adjustments have been made where possible to ensure that revenue received keeps pace with the rising cost of services. The proposed fees and charges are available on our website (URL in here).

A balanced budget – everyday costs are paid for from everyday income

A guiding principle of the Financial Strategy is about the importance of a balanced budget. This means that projected operating revenue over the lifetime of the LTP is set at a level sufficient to meet projected operating expenses, ensuring that current ratepayers are contributing an appropriate amount towards the cost of the services they receive or are able to access, i.e. ‘everyday costs are paid for from everyday income’.

The level of rates revenue has been considered in light of the need to manage our finances in a prudent and sustainable manner in the line with the Financial Strategy principles, whilst also factoring rates affordability and the economic environment and uncertainty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. We also need to prioritise getting the basics right and ensure we are only spending where necessary. 

Rate revenue is council’s main source of income, and there are few other options available to offset cost pressures. As part of the Annual Plan 2020/21 emergency budget the Council took a number of decisions which led to savings of $3M; and these savings have an ongoing effect and reduce the impact on rates. During September 2020 a base budget review was undertaken which identified further savings of $2.2M which have been applied in order to reduce the rating impact for the LTP. Council will continue to seek efficiencies and revenue opportunities.

The draft LTP projects that the balanced budget target will be achieved in 2028/29. This proposed balance budget position is a pragmatic balance between managing the pressures on current ratepayers and ensuring the Council remains financially sustainable into the future, whereby the actions of today do not significantly impact unfairly on ratepayers in the future. It is financially prudent and in line with the legislative requirements due to the longer term plans for rates revenue generation and repayment of debt occurring to avoid a significant impact on future ratepayers. The level of funding also enables Council to maintain its levels of service, undertake asset renewals and is consistent with the Revenue and Financing Policy.

Figure 8: Projected HCC balanced budget position

Note: Hutt City Council (HCC) balanced budget target defined as Local Government (Financial Reporting and Prudence) Regulations 2014 definition modified to exclude from the definition of revenue Waka Kotahi NZTA’s capital improvement subsidies and central government Covid-19 Response and Recovery co-funding for Naenae Pool and Eastern Bays shared path.

 

 


 

Rating revenue

Over the life of the LTP, the proposed rates revenue increases range between 4.9% and 6.5%.

For 2021/22, we are proposing an overall 5.9% increase in rates charges for ratepayers. This equates to an average increase of $2.50 per week per household[21], or $130 per annum. Investment in our three waters infrastructure makes up over half ($72) of this increase. The remaining increase covers cost increases for all the other services provided by council.  For an average commercial central property an increase of $31.10 per week is projected.  

Figure 9: Projected rating impact for average residential ratepayer

 


 

How this plan will affect your rates

Indicative projected rating impact for different property categories[22]

Property category

2020/21 rates  

2021/22 rates

Change per annum

Change per week

Average residential, CV $629k

$2,608

$2,738

$130

$2.50

Average commercial central, CV $1.7M

$13,994

$15,612

$1,619

$31.13

Average commercial  suburban, CV $1.6M

$11,922

$13,080

$1,158

$22.28

Commercial Queensgate, CV $240M

$1,906,376

$1,985,414

$79,038

$1,520

Average rural, no services CV $872k

$1,617

$1,678

$61.00

$1.16

Utilities

$18,294

$19,106

$812

$15.61

 


 

Capital investment plans

A capital investment spend of $1.3 billion is proposed for the ten years of the LTP, 43% of which is for Three Waters and 26% on Transport. This is a doubling of the investment plans from the previous Long Term Plan. This investment will be funded by borrowings, development contributions, central government subsidies and rates. 

Figure 1: Total capital expenditure by Council Activity                                      Figure 2: Total capital expenditure by year and Council Activity  

         

Figure 3: Total capital expenditure by driver                                                                                 Figure 4: Capital expenditure funding sources

       

Spending in activity areas and where your rates go Content below is from prior year and update is underway

Borrowings

Debt is projected to increase from $0.2 billion to $0.6 billion over the next ten years in order to fund the proposed capital investment programme. It’s important that the amount of borrowings is prudently managed, while enabling continued investment in infrastructure and community assets. The borrowing limits have been reviewed and are proposed to increase to higher levels, with the key measure of net debt to revenue proposed to increase to 250%. This is within the requirements of the Local Government Funding Agency and aligned with the approach of other councils.

Figure 5: Projected net debt compared to debt to revenue limit of 250%

Figure 6: Projection of net debt to revenue ratio compared to debt to revenue limit of 250%

Figure 7: Projection of interest to revenue ratio compared to limit of 10%

Affordability of rates - proposed changes to Rates Policy

A)   Introduction

We have completed a full review of our Revenue and Financing Policy and are proposing some changes to how we rate properties in Lower Hutt. The changes we are proposing range from ones that will affect everyone, like our proposal to change how we share the general rate to our ratepayer groups – to changes that will affect only a small number of our property owners, like our proposal to change how we define rural properties.

B)   How does the rating system work?

Each year, in our annual and long term plans, we set the rates we need to invest in our city and facilities. The amount you pay is based partly on the capital value of your home (the building and the land) and partly on fixed charges for services like water supply, wastewater, and rubbish and recycling.

At a very basic level, there are three steps:

1.    We work out how much income is needed from rates to run the city.

2.    Some rates are for specific services like water supply. These are called ‘targeted rates’ and the cost of the specific service is shared among the properties that benefit from those services.

3.    The rest of your rates bill is the ‘general rate’. This rates money is collected to fund services that benefit the general good of the whole city – things like roads and parks maintenance. The total general rate amount is spread across the city in amounts proportional to each property’s capital value compared to the total value of the city.

Every three years there is a legal requirement for all the properties in the city to be revalued. The last revaluation was in 2019 and the next one is required in 2022. Following a property revaluation, the amount Council takes in rates revenue stays the same, but the distribution of the rates changes to reflect the revised property values.

For example, if there were two properties in the city each worth $500,000, each house would pay 50% of the general rates required to run the city. This is because each house makes up 50% of the total value of the city.

If, when they are revalued, house 1 is still worth $500,000 but house 2 is now worth $750,000, then they would no longer pay the same amount of rates. House 1 would pay less than 50%, and house 2 would pay more, because each pay a share of the rates in proportion to the value of their house compared to the value of the city as a whole In this case 40% and 60%.

The reason we use the capital value to calculate your share of the total general rate is because it’s more equitable – it means that a house with a higher capital value pays more than a house with a lower capital value.

C)   General rate percentage apportionment

Residents and commercial property owners pay different proportions of our city’s rates.

The current approach is based on a multiplier (or ‘differential’) that is used between categories of properties (commercial, residential, etc.). However, disproportionate changes in property values between categories can result in significant fluctuations in the general rate paid by each property type from the use of a direct multiplier.  This effect has been shown in the 2019 and 2016 citywide revaluations.

Quotable Value figures showed that on average between 2016 and 2019 in Lower Hutt:

·    residential property increased in value by 31.8%

·    commercial property increased in value by 16.9%,

Residential property increased in value much more than commercial property which triggered a larger proportional increase in the share of rates paid by residential property. Affordability for residential ratepayers is seen as a concern as a result.

Graph 1: Showing the change over the last ten years in the allocation of rates charges between property rating categories and the proposed approach for the LTP

Under the multiplier approach, the residential share of general rates has increased from around 51% over the last 10 years to 63% of the total general rate in 2020/21.  A policy implemented in 2012 to reduce the share of rates paid by businesses has also impacted on this trend. 

We have considered rating policy and the impact on affordability of rates for all ratepayers in the city. We are proposing to change the way we allocate the general rate between property types from a multiplier to a percentage allocation.  Applying a percentage allocation approach will help reduce fluctuation in the general rate caused by valuation movement differences between categories.

As a result we are proposing to reduce the percentage of rates paid by the residential rating category by 1% each year over a three year period from 2021/22 with a corresponding increase in commercial rating categories. This means in 2021/22 residential ratepayers would pay 62% of the general rate. Refer graph 1 to see the historical comparison and proposed LTP approach.

Our preferred option: Adopt a percentage allocation approach for sharing the total general rate and reduce the residential rating category share of general rates from 63% to 62% in 2021/22

Alternative option: Maintain the residential general rate share at 63% of the total general rate.

All ratepayers would pay proportionally the same percentage of rates as in 2020/21.

How each option would affect the average residential property rates[23]- $629,000 capital value

Option

Rates 2020/21

Expected future rates 2021/22

Change in amount per annum

Change in amount per week

Impact on rates

Our preferred option: 62% residential share of the total general rate

$2,608

$2,738

$130

$2.50

$27 per annum lower than alternative option

Alternative option: 63% residential share of the total general rate

$2,608

$2,764

$157

$3.01

$157 per annum higher than 2020/21

How each option could affect average commercial central rates - $1.7 million capital value

Option

Rates 2020/21

Expected future rates 2021/22

Change in amount per annum

Change in amount per week

Impact on rates

Our preferred option: 62% residential share of the total general rate

$13,994

$15,612

$1,619

$31.13

$474 per annum higher than alternative option

Alternative option: 63% commercial  share of the total general rate

$13,994

$15,139

$1,145

$22.03

$1,145 per annum higher than 2020/21

 


D)  Changes to rating category definitions

As part of our review of rates, we identified options to change rating category definitions. These changes would simplify our rating system and provide consistency between our different policies.

1.    Rural differential rating category

We are proposing a change to the definition of the rural rating category so that it aligns with the definition of Rural in our District Plan. This approach would improve definition clarity, support legal compliance, and would provide longevity to the policy as property rating will naturally change with land use over time.

This change in definition would mean a small number of properties will move from the rural rating category to the residential category and will see an increase in the amount of rates they pay.

How each option would affect the average property rates for those impacted - $872,000 capital value

Option

General Rate 2020/21

Expected future General Rate 2021/22

Change in amount per annum

Change in amount per week

Impact on rates

Our preferred option:
Align the rural rating category with the District Plan

$1,617

$1,931

$314
(includes remission)

$6

$314 increase in the General Rate payable in 2021/22

Alternative option:
Maintain the current rural rating category definition

$1,617

$1,678

$61

$1.16

$61 increase in the General Rate payable in 2021/22

 

We would phase in any increase in the general rates payable by properties moving from rural to residential and would do this by adopting a change to our Rates Remission policy. The new remission will allow us to grant a one year remission of 50% of the increase to the general rate payable.  We will also be able to use this remission for further District Plan zoning changes in the future that have the same impact on the general rate payable for a property.

Our preferred option: Align the rural differential rating category definition with the Rural definition in the District Plan – remission granted to phase in the change for those properties that change from rural to residential.

Alternative option: Maintain the current rural category definition which defines rural properties based on size.

 

2.    Combine commercial central and Queensgate business differential rating categories

We are proposing that the differential rating categories for commercial central properties and Queensgate are combined. This change will reflect the similar level of service we provide these properties.

This change means we would classify Queensgate in the same way it had been before our Annual Plan 2020/21. In that plan, we decided to maintain the percentage of the total General Rate each rating category had paid in the year before. We moved Queensgate in to a new differential rating category to do this.

How each option would affect Queensgate and the average commercial central property rates - $1.7 million capital value

Option

Property category

Rates 2020/21

Expected future Rates 2021/22

Change in amount per annum

Change in amount per week

Impact on rates

Our preferred option: Include Queensgate in the Commercial central rating category

Queensgate

$1,906,376

$1,985,414

$79,038

$1,520

$30,002 lower than alternative option

Commercial central

$13,994

$15,612

$1,619

$31.13

$81 per annum higher than alternative option

Alternative option: Retain Commercial Queensgate rating category, maintain previous percentage of total General Rate

Queensgate

$1,906,376

$2,015,416

$109,040

$2,096

$109,040 per annum higher than 2020/21

Commercial central

$13,994

$15,532

$1,538

$29.58

$1,538 per annum higher than 2020/21

3.    Remove the commercial accommodation rating category and merge these properties either into commercial suburban or central differential rating categories

We are proposing that the differential rating category for commercial accommodation is removed by merging these properties into either the commercial suburban or commercial central rating category depending on location. There is limited rationale for the commercial accommodation properties to be separately rated from other commercial properties and this change will reflect that.

The change would mean higher rates for those moving to central and lower rates for those moving to suburban. We would phase in any increase in the general rates payable by properties moving to the commercial central category by adopting a change to our Rates Remission policy. The new remission will allow us to grant a one year remission of 50% of the increased general rate payable.  

Our preferred option: Remove the commercial accommodation rating category, moving those properties to either commercial suburban or commercial central depending on location with a remission granted to phase in the change for those properties that change to commercial central.

Alternative option: Retain the current commercial accommodation differential rating category.

How each option would affect the average property moving from Commercial accommodation to Commercial central property rates- $5.685 million capital value; and the average property moving from Commercial accommodation to Commercial suburban property rates - $2.774 million capital value

 

Option

Property category

General Rate 2020/21

Expected future General Rate 2021/22

Change in amount per annum

Change in amount per week

Impact on rates

Our preferred option: Remove commercial accommodation category

Commercial accommodation to Commercial central

$37,900

$42,193

$4,293
(includes remission)

$82.56

$1,557 higher than alternative option

Commercial accommodation to Commercial suburban

$18,495

$19,799

$1,303

$25.06

$32 lower than alternative option

Alternative option: Retain commercial accommodation category, maintain previous percentage of total General Rate

Commercial accommodation  within central area

$37,900

$40,636

$2,736

$52.62

$2,736 increase in General Rate Payable 2020/21

Commercial accommodation
outside central area

$18,495

$19,830

$1,335

$25.67

$1,335 increase in General Rate Payable 2020/21

 

 

 

E)   Further information on all rating proposals

Further detailed information on these proposals can be found in the Draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031, refer the Revenue and Financing Policy and Rates Funding Impact Statement.

 

PROPOSED CHANGES TO DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTIONS (DC) POLICY

We are consulting on a proposed 2021 Development and Financial Contributions Policy. This Policy helps us to provide funding for growth related infrastructure.

Development contributions are a way to ensure that a fair, equitable, and proportionate share of the cost of infrastructure required to address growth is funded by the development associated with growth. A review of the DC policy has been progressing since September 2020.  The review estimates an increase in revenue from Development Contributions of approximately $29M over the period of the LTP, being an increase in budget from $10M to approximately $39M. The increase in revenue will result in lower borrowing and rates requirements. This reflects the significant increased investment we are proposing in our infrastructure to keep pace with our growing population.   

This growth is forecast to continue with a new home going up nearly every day for the next 10 years. We must provide for this growth to meet our obligations under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development. More importantly, we must provide for this growth so that all our people have a place to call home. 

Growth creates the need for new subdivisions and developments, and these place increasing demands on the assets and services we provide. As a result, significant investment in new or upgraded assets and services is required. The following projects have been proposed to help cater for growth.

·    Cross Valley Transport Connections – approximately $198m of which 16.5% is attributable to growth. Overall, approximately 8% of the programme’s cost is funded by development contributions as part of the growth costs are expected to be funded by subsidies by Waka Kotahi NZTA. 

·    Naenae Reservoir – approximately $28M of which 50% is attributable to growth, all funded by development contributions.

·    Wainuiomata Reservoir Number 3 - approximately $58M of which 50% is attributable to growth, all funded by development contributions.

·    Seaview Wastewater Treatment Plant Storage - approximately $20M of which 25% is attributable to growth, all funded by development contributions.

There are also several large ongoing programmes that collectively will provide capacity for growth in the wastewater and transport activities. For these programmes, the percentage attributable to growth is generally low (less than 6%).

Collectively, the total cost of growth-related water, wastewater, stormwater, and transport infrastructure that is covered by the DC policy is approximately $506M over the next 15 years. Just over $100M of those costs are attributable to growth.

Total cost of capital expenditure for growth and funding sources

 

Water

Wastewater

Stormwater

Transport

Total

Total capex

$102,277,879

$165,234,051

$13,090,796

$225,821,585

$506,424,311

Growth capex

$52,873,729

$23,503,121

$5,510,239

$34,772,549

$116,659,638

DC funded capex

$52,873,729

$23,503,121

$5,510,239

$17,734,000

$99,621,089

Total capex proportion funded by development contributions

52%

14%

42%

8%

20%

Capex proportion funded from other sources

48%

86%

58%

92%

80%

Total amount to be funded by development contributions

(inc interest)

$61,357,235

$25,784,853

$6,335,844

$21,117,218

$114,595,150

 

Comment here on reserves cost…..

Development contributions are one of the funding tools available to the Council and can be used to help fund this cost. Development contributions are levied on development and are established in a Development Contributions and Financial Contributions Policy, which the Council must review every three years.

The purpose of the Policy is to ensure that a fair, equitable, and proportionate share of the cost of that infrastructure is funded by development.

The charges proposed in the 2021 Development and Financial Contributions Policy, and how they compare to the 2018 Development and Financial Contributions Policy, is summarised below (GST exclusive). The notable increases in Wainuiomata and in The Valley Floor catchments are a direct consequence of increased planned investment in growth related water infrastructure in both catchments, and also increased investment in growth related wastewater and stormwater infrastructure in Wainuiomata.   

 

 

Catchment

 

 

Western Hills

Valley Floor

Stokes Valley

Wainuiomata

Eastbourne

Rural

Districtwide

Activity

 

Development contribution per Equivalent Household Units (EHU)

Transport

Current

$249

$65

$324

$407