1                                         9 September 2021

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Komiti Iti Ahumoni I Tūraru |Audit and Risk Subcommittee

 

Minutes of a meeting held via Zoom

 on

 Thursday 9 September 2021 commencing at 2.00pm

 

 

 

PRESENT:

(via audio-visual link)

Ms S Tindal (Independent Chair)

Mayor C Barry (Deputy Chair) (from 2.01pm)

 

Cr J Briggs

Cr S Edwards

 

Cr A Mitchell

Cr S Rasheed

 

Cr N Shaw

 

 

APOLOGIES:                  There were no apologies.

 

IN ATTENDANCE:       Ms J Miller, Chief Executive

(via audio-visual link)      Mr M Boggs, Director of Strategy and Engagement

Ms H Oram, Director Environment and Sustainability

Mr K Puketapu-Dentice, Director Economy and Development (part meeting)

Ms J Livschitz, Group Chief Financial Officer

Mr L Allot, Chief Digital Officer

Mr B Hodgins, Strategic Advisor

Ms E Davids, Risk and Assurance Manager (part meeting)

Mr D Newth, Financial Accounting Manager (part meeting)

Ms H Stringer, Financial Transaction Services Manager (part meeting)

Mr G Herman, Strategic Programmes Lead

Mr M Ackroyd, Service Desk Analyst

Ms J Randall, Democracy Advisor

Ms T Lealofi, Democracy Advisor

 

 

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

          There were no apologies.

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

There was no public comment.   

 

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS         

          There were no conflict of interest declarations.

          Mayor Barry joined the meeting.

4.

Risk Management Update (21/1234)

Report No. ARSC2021/4/189 by the Risk and Assurance Manager

 

Ms Cecilia Tse, Independent Consultant was in attendance via audio visual link for the item.

The Chief Executive provided an update on Covid-19, attached as pages 7 to 9 to the minutes.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive advised a session was conducted with the Senior Leaders Group on how to deal with difficult situations under Covid alert level restrictions. She said there were guidelines in place for leaders to provide to their teams. She noted the Assura Health and Safety system would keep a record of any incidents that might occur.

The Group Chief Financial Officer ackowledged the resignation of the Risk and Assurance Manager. She thanked her for her work and said a process was underway to recruit for the vacant position.

Ms Tse elaborated on the report. She highlighted the work undertaken with a number of key risks during the period. This included a review of Council’s risk framework and setting the risk appetite which was adopted at the Council meeting held in June 2021.

The Risk and Assurance Manager added that Council had three high risks with residual risks. She noted that residual risk was the level of risk remaining after the control of mitigation responses. She said the high risks were workforce, health and safety and asset management. She advised the three high risks had been addressed to modify the risk residual ratings.  

 

Resolved: (Ms Tindal/Cr Mitchell)                                          Minute No. ARSC 21401

“That the Subcommittee:

(1)   notes and receives the information in this report;

(2)   notes the Risk Register attached as Appendix 1 to the report; and

(3)   notes the results from the periodic fraud risk review and unusual transaction analysis will be considered at the next Audit and Risk Subcommittee on 11 November 2021.”

 

5.

Holidays Act 2003 Compliance Update (21/1276)

Report No. ARSC2021/4/190 by the Financial Transaction Services Manager

 

The Group Chief Financial Officer elaborated on the report. She highlighted a Project Steering Group had been established and the Chief Executive was the project sponsor. She said the Project Steering Group was liaising with the current payroll vendor to complete the technical review audit. She advised staff training was in place for initial planning for the remediation work. She noted further work needed to be undertaken such as communication planning and further engagement with staff who were members of the New Zealand PSA .  She added the Holidays Act Compliance Project had experienced resourcing challenges over the past six months.

In response to a question from a member, the Group Chief Financial Officer advised the remediation work was estimated to take six to nine months. She said a clearer picture of the timeline would be identified in due course.

In response to a question from a member, the Group Chief Financial Officer advised an estimated 1,400 previous staff members had been affected. The Chair advised any unclaimed funds would need to be allocated under the Unclaimed Monies Act 1971 if no responses were received from affected staff.

 

Resolved: (Ms Tindal/Cr Briggs)                                             Minute No. ARSC 21402

“That the Subcommittee notes and receives the report.”

 

6.

External Audit Update (21/1315)

Report No. ARSC2021/4/191 by the Manager Financial Strategy & Planning

 

Mr Andrew Clark from Audit New Zealand was in attendance via audio visual for the item.

The Manager – Financial Strategy and Planning elaborated on the report. He highlighted two reports had been received from Audit NZ: the Update on the Interim Audit and the final report on the Council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) 2021-2031. He said Council’s audit would commence on 18 October 2021.

Mr Clark identified two stages to Council’s LTP 2021-2031 work: the consultation document was stage 1 and the LTP final was stage 2. He said the one recommendation was not included regarding updating the asset management plans for further information and conditions assessments which was to be completed by Wellington Water Limited.

 

Resolved : (Ms Tindal/Cr Edwards)                                        Minute No. ARSC 21403

“That the Subcommittee:

(1)   notes the updated timelines for the Audit for the year ended 30 June 2021;

(2)   notes Audit New Zealand’s interim management report for the year ended 30 June 2021, attached as Appendix 1 to the report; and

(3)   notes Audit New Zealand’s final management report on the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 as attached in Appendix 2 to the report.”

 

7.

Strategic Change Framework Briefing (21/1336)

Report No. ARSC2021/4/115 by the Strategic Programmes Lead

 

The Strategic Programmes Lead elaborated on the report.

 

Resolved : (Ms Tindal/Cr Mitchell)                                          Minute No. ARSC 21404

“That the Subcommittee:

(1)   notes and receives the report;

(2)   considers future reporting on the Strategic Change Framework would go to the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee as part of reporting on organisation performance; and

(3)   notes that any risks associated with the implementation of the strategic change framework will be reported through to the Subcommittee as part of the regular risk management reporting.”

 

8.

Kerbside Rubbish and Recycling Services Implementation Update (21/1343)

Report No. ARSC2021/4/192 by the Strategic Advisor

 

The Strategic Advisor elaborated on the report. He said the programme to exchange recycling bins would resume on 13 Sepember 2021 and Waste Management Ltd would undertake this work. He advised the rubbish and recycling project would be completed by the end of September 2021. He said a project closure report would be reported to the Project Board.

In response to a question from a member, the Strategic Advisor had confirmed every household should now have a recycling bin.

The Chair commended the officer for the work undertaken on the rubbish and recycling project and the reporting to this Subcommittee.

 

Resolved: (Ms Tindal/Cr Briggs)                                              Minute No. ARSC 21405

“That the Subcommittee:

 

(1)   receives the report, noting it is the final report to this Subcommittee for the project to implement the kerbside rubbish and recycling services; and

 

(2)   notes that reporting on these services will continue to the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee for at least the first year of operation.”

 9.      Information Item

 

Audit and Risk Work Programme (21/1277)

Report No. ARSC2021/4/116 by the Democracy Advisor

 

The Chair highlighted the Strategic Change Programme Update report contained in the work programme should read: Strategic Change Framework Briefing.

 

Resolved: (Ms Tindal/Cr Edwards)                               Minute No. ARSC 21406

“That the work programme be received and noted.”

 

10.     QUESTIONS   

          There were no questions.

 

 

 

 

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 3.00pm.

 

 

 

 

S TINDAL

CHAIR

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 5th day of October 2021


 

 

Chief Executive - Covid-19 Update as at 8 September 2021

 

1.       At midnight 17 August 2021, the country went into lockdown and our buildings and community facilities closed in line with Level 4 restrictions. We moved to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on 31 August and to Alert Level 2 at 11:59pm on Tuesday 7 September.

2.       Assistance was immediately provided to 2DHB with setting up a pop-up CBAC in the Riverbank carpark.

3.       Although no emergency was formally declared the Emergency Operations Centre, primarily staffed by Council and under the control of Lester Piggott, operated virtually during Alert Level 3 and 4 providing support and co-ordination services over this time. This included visiting sites where rough sleepers have their camps. They did twice daily checks  on the welfare of these vulnerable people. Contact was made with welfare and DHB agencies to gauge future demands. An enormous thank you to all of our staff for putting their hands up to be part of the EOC and to Anthony Robinson our Emergency Management Lead. The EOC was stood down on Friday 3 September.

4.       Daily stand-ups were held with the Corporate Leadership Team and managers in key areas. We were linked into LGNZ and Taituarā receiving regular updates and providing co-ordination for the Wellington region, Police and other key agencies including MSD. Regular catch-ups were held with mana whenua with our Kaitātari Tumuaki Māori (Principal Māori Advisor), Matiu Jennings attending these.

5.       Our tried and tested Response Plans for each Alert Level were updated following new government advice. These proved invaluable in terms of providing clear and consistent information about our facilities and services at each of the Alert Levels. These documents were used to update members, for website content and to inform our communications. Along with press releases, promotion of information on our news page and social media channels we also re-instigated our Covid-19 newsletter to ratepayers and others who we have email addresses for. We also advertised in the Dom Post (the Hutt News was not printed during Alert Level 4).

6.       Nine staff updates were emailed out, several all staff meetings were held via Teams, the Mayor did several FB Lives and there were a number of joint livestreams with the Chief Executive. New Wellbeing initiatives were shared with staff and were well received. A Wellbeing Wednesday newsletter was sent to staff and a TV journalist, Jehan Casinader, shared his story about his mental health journey. Others including councillors, mana whenua and community partners joined us for this session.

7.       Council’s Team Manaakitanga was reactivated. This is a pool of staff who can be deployed at short notice to help the community welfare response. This includes people who are unable to continue their work from home, areas where work is quieter than usual, or just those with some capacity to help.

8.       At the time this report was written, work was underway to ensure our facilities could re-open safely in Level 2, meeting new guidelines around contact tracing, PPE, and relevant limits on numbers.

9.       Given lessons learned from the previous lockdown, we were able to quickly activate a local welfare response to the community ahead of central government support starting to flow. 

10.    We spent the last year working with a group of community partners to develop a Hutt Valley Resilient Food Network. This group was quickly able to pivot to form the Hutt Valley Emergency Kai Collective - a community-led initiative with leadership from Julia Milne (Common Unity) and Teresea Olsen (Kōkiri Marae) and support from Council, including funding and the provision of staff and vehicles to deliver food and other essential supplies. We also worked with these groups to access MSD funding as it became available. As a result of slowness of release of central government funding reaching our community and the fact that our community was unlikely to be met even when this funding is released, $30k was released to support our local welfare response to meet our community’s needs. $15,000 from the COVID Resurgence contingency allocation of the Recovery fund was paid to Kokiri Marae for food delivery; and $15,000 from the Hutt Valley Food Resilient Network allocation of the Recovery fund to Common Unity to boost administration support of the collective. The aim of the Collective has been to share resources, build on existing strengths and relationships, avoid duplication and make limited resources go further.

11.    As with previous lockdowns, our capital work programme and our revenue was impacted. The demolition of Naenae Pool was delayed by a week (works underway in the current Alert Level 2). As at September 2, the impact on revenue from our community facilities was estimated to be around $224K mostly from pools and swimming lessons. We again expect people to be slow to return to our facilities, and limits on gatherings will mean many events will continue to be cancelled during Level 2. Free parking was in place for Alert Level 4 and 3 and this will impact revenue from this service. This was put in place to support essential workers and businesses.

Support for business

12.    At the announcement that the country was going back into Alert Level 4 the Hutt Valley Covid-19 Business Support Group was activated. This group led by the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce is made up of staff from Hutt City and Upper Hutt City Councils and the Chamber.

13.    The Support Group provides information updates to businesses across the Hutt Valley and handles business enquiries on Covid 19 related matters. A series of 5 livestreams was also produced during Alert Levels 3 and 4 covering topics such as  Government Financial Support; Employment Matters; Contractual Obligations; Preparing for Alert Level 3; and Avoiding Burnout.

14.    Buy local and other hospitality promotions such as Spend on Small and WellingtonNZ’s At Yours have also been promoted as businesses transitioned to  Alert Level 3.  This continues as we move to lower Alert Levels.

15.    The Support Group Facebook page currently has over 730 members from businesses across the Hutt Valley.

16.    Marketview spending data for the city during lockdown showed similar declines in spending at Alert Level 4 as last lockdown, down approximately 50% but as before this is anticipated to bounce back as Alert Levels move down.

Other work

17.    As well as providing allowable services as per the Alert Level government guidance (rubbish and recycling where we were able to recycling glass in Alert Level 4, essential road maintenance) Council submitted two EOIs to the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund during Level 4. The first EOI relates to stormwater and wastewater upgrades in the RiverLink – Valley Floor area (Golden Triangle) which will enable housing development in the CBD and further intensification throughout the Valley Floor – this totals $157M. The second EOI is for $6.5M for a Structure Plan, Detailed Design work and a plan change (if required) to inform infrastructure investment in Wainuiomata North – leading to future housing developments. A report will be provided to the Infrastructure and Regulatory Committee on 21 September 2021.

18.   We supported Kahungunu Whānau Services to set up a pop-up vaccine clinic in the Lower Hutt Town Hall on 7 and 8 September. This service was primarily to vaccinate our staff, contractors and nearby businesses. The clinic also took walk-ins from members of the public. Lower Hutt is well serviced for vaccine centres and our staff assisted two of these with setup and ongoing support. One is administered by Te Awakairangi Health Network located at 218 High Street where we helped with parking and the Tamaiti Whāngai Covid-19 Vaccination Centre at Waiwhetu where we helped with promotion, road maintenance and lighting.

Alert Level 2

19.    We are now at Alert Level 2. An enormous amount of hard work was done in a relatively short period to open our facilities on 8 September with pools opening on 9 September. New signage, compulsory scanning and mask wearing were all adhered to on day one. Greeters were in place to assist our staff and the public as they entered our facilities. We still have many staff working from home and some of our very small facilities like Moera library are not open due to new government restrictions on physical distancing.