1                                           8 September 2021

TE KAUNIHERA O TE AWA KAIRANGI | HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

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

 Wednesday 8 September 2021 commencing at 2.32pm

 

 

 

PRESENT:

Mayor C Barry (Chair)

Deputy Mayor T Lewis

 

Cr J Briggs

Cr K Brown

 

Cr B Dyer

Cr S Edwards

 

Cr D Hislop

Cr C Milne (from 2.34pm)

 

Cr A Mitchell

Cr S Rasheed

 

Cr N Shaw

Cr L Sutton

 

 

 

 

APOLOGIES:                   There were no apologies.

 

IN ATTENDANCE:         Ms J Miller, Chief Executive

Ms A Blackshaw, Director Neighbourhoods and Communities

Ms H Oram, Director Environment and Sustainability (part meeting)

Mr K Puketapu-Dentice, Director Economy and Development  

Ms J Livschitz, Chief Financial Officer

Mr M Jennings, Kaitatari Tumuaki Māori

Mr B Hodgins, Strategic Advisor (part meeting)

Mr G Craig, Head of Business and Economy (part meeting)

Ms K Stannard, Head of Democratic Services

Ms K Glanville, Senior Democracy Advisor

Ms H Clegg, Minute Taker

 

 

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 

 There were no apologies.

3.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.    

4.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS

         There were no conflict of interest declarations.

5.

Three Waters Reform Update (21/1334)

Report No. HCC2021/4/207 by the Strategic Advisor               

 

Speaking under public comment (via audio-visual link), Mr Max Shierlaw expressed concern with the proposed Three Waters reform.  He believed there had been no specific or robust analysis undertaken.  He said existing efficiencies that had occurred with Wellington Water Limited on behalf of the region had not been taken account of.  He considered that further savings and efficiencies could occur if Wellington Water Limited continued.  He asked that Council reject central government’s proposed Three Waters reform model, pending more thorough financial analysis.

 

Speaking under public comment (via audio-visual link), Mr Gary Quirke expressed concern with the proposed Three Waters reform.  He questioned the quality of the information that individual councils had lodged with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).  He expressed concern with the proposed ability of ratepayers to influence any decision-making processes under the proposed model.  He asked that Council fully consult with ratepayers.

 

Under Standing Order 30.10, Mr Helmut Modik, Chief Executive of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira (via audio-visual link) expressed concern with the historic under investment and poor decision-making in the Three Waters space. He said Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira wanted to see clean waterways, a renewed environment where people were able to enjoy water and an environment where waste water was dealt with appropriately.  He advised economies of scale were supported if they could be achieved through the aggregation of the Three Waters management.  He said a sound and established entity was also supported whether it was local, regional or a super-regional entity.  He believed local priorities should be advanced and converted into working programmes.

 

Under Standing Order 30.10, Mr Lee Hunter, Chief Executive of Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika (Port Nicholson Block Settlement) Trust advised the well-being of the environment including the priority of assets were of primary concern.  This included opportunities for local employment in the entity that was established.

 

 

Under Standing Order 30.10, Ms Liz Mellish, Chairperson of Palmerston North Māori Reserve Trust advised the Wellington region’s water supply was susceptible to the effects of climate change, sea level rise and saline intrusion into the aquifer.  She said rates alone would not be able to pay for the future Three Waters management.  She added that the expertise and skills of scientists, especially in climate change matters, needed to be retained by the Three Waters management entity.  She asked that water not be sold to exporters.  She acknowledged a different funding model was required to manage water moving forward.  She stated that stormwater infiltration throughout the city be investigated further.  She concluded that mana whenua were keen to understand the future governance model for Three Waters and its implementation.

 

Under Standing Order 30.10, Mr Teri Puketapu, Te Ātiawa Kaumātua expressed concern with the proposed super regional entities as they covered many diverse ecological environments which could result in some areas subsidising others.

 

In response to a question from a member regarding the level of engagement from the DIA consultation process to date, Mr Modik expressed satisfaction with the consultation process and welcomed its continuation.  Mr Hunter welcomed involvement and engagement in the whole reform process.  Ms Mellish expressed disappointment that little to no consultation had occurred with DIA.  Mr Puketapu said there had been very little consultation to date and welcomed any opportunity to consult with their people in the future.  Ms Huia Puketapu, Trustee of Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika (Port Nicholson Block Settlement) Trust added there was an expectation there would be consultation and that it should occur at the beginning of a process and not towards the end.  She expected all mana whenua to be fully involved in the formation of all documentation regarding the Three Waters reform.

 

Members expressed concern with the mixed level of engagement with mana whenua to date.  Members welcomed continued dialogue and partnership, believing that a Te Ao Māori process would ensure a thorough engagement process occurred.

 

Mr Modik advised Ngāti Toa and Te Ātiawa had been progressing relationships with Council over the past few years..  He acknowledged the genuine intent of all parties and expressed optimism for the future.

 

In response to a question from a member regarding where Council’s priorities should lie with the Three Waters management, Mr Hunter stated it would be difficult to cater to all priorities in a super-regional entity.  He said that whatever model was agreed upon, mana whenua needed to be heavily involved.  Ms Mellish advised everyone had a responsibility to look after all our people and believed thinking beyond territorial local authority boundaries was required.   She acknowledged the need to advocate for the people of Lower Hutt and urged Council to clearly quantify its role if it became part of a wider region.  Mr Modik acknowledged some areas would have greater priorities.  He said Council needed to progress its priority areas.  He further acknowledged the obligation to the wider community, including the team of five million.

 

Mr Puketapu agreed with comments made by the previous speakers. He believed that in the end it might come down to money.  Ms Puketapu suggested the proposed Three Waters governance structure model be overlaid with the climate change models. She expressed concern with the data provided as it did not reflect the growth which could occur in areas.  She advised everyone was responsible for the protection of our taonga in our area.

In response to a question from a member, Mr Modik advised the proposed boundaries of the proposed four governance entities were vast and covered diverse geographical and circumstance areas.  He cautioned against the risk of money overwhelming all other considerations. 

Mr Dougal List from RDC Group Limited and Mr Dan Marshall from PricewaterhouseCoopers were in attendance for the matter.

The Strategic Advisor, Mr List and Mr Marshall elaborated on the report and used a PowerPoint presentation.  A copy of the presentation can be viewed here http://iportal.huttcity.govt.nz/Record/ReadOnly?Query=container:[uri:%205848591]&Tab=31&Uri=6015031&Page=1

The Director Economy and Development advised it was important to bring mana whenua along with Council on the Three Waters reform journey.  He acknowledged the variable involvement to date.  He said there were currently a number of reforms underway, each requiring mana whenua involvement. 

In response to a question from a member regarding the success or otherwise of overseas Three Water models, Mr List advised he had assessed the Scotland Water, Vic Water (Victoria, Australia) and Taz Water (Tasmania, Australia) models.  He said areas of approximately 1M population represented the best economies of scale models. 

In response to a question from a member regarding an enhanced Wellington Water Limited model, Mr List advised this model had been suggested to central government. He said it would require legislative change to transfer assets and provide an alternative funding mechanism to maintain separation from other Council finances.  He acknowledged such a model might offer similar benefits to those suggested in the government proposal.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Financial Officer confirmed central government would provide funding to ensure the debt to revenue capacity of Council remained unchanged if the reform was adopted.  She added there was also an additional $38M to be provided to Council.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Financial Officer advised more work was required to ascertain the proposed methodology for the payment or otherwise of assets and implications for the level of Council debt.  She acknowledged the assumptions made in the financial model were not reflected in the value of assets.

In response to a question from a member regarding the legislative requirements of the proposed reforms, Mr List advised it was currently unclear what consequential legislation might be required.  He added central government would make a high level decision on the proposed reforms in October 2021 and any required legislative process was expected to commence in the new year.  He acknowledged this process may supercede existing provisions of the Local Government Act regarding consultation processes and requirements.

 

In response to a question from a member, Mr List advised more certainty regarding local voice would evolve over the first years of operation of the new system.  He further advised Council needed to be clear about its own priorities to be in a position of influence in the new entity. 

The Chief Financial Officer agreed to distribute a complete version of Appendix 4 ‘Funding to invest in the future of local government and community wellbeing’ to members.

In response to questions from a member regarding central government’s plans for the scenario of Councils “opting-out”, Mr List advised this was an unknown and that Councils were not required to provide reasons for their “opt-out” decision.  He suggested each Council needed to evaluate its current situation and whether it was achievable and affordable to deal with any future infrastructural requirements.

Mayor Barry thanked all involved in providing the information to members.  He said it was important to continue to invite mana whenua to meetings on the matter.

Mayor Barry foreshadowed his intention to move an additional recommendation noting that he would engage with other Councils and representatives within the proposed Entity C and would keep Council informed about the progress.

Members discussed an additional recommendation and amendments ensuring a clear outline of consultation was undertaken and ensuring engagement with mana whenua was enhanced.

The meeting adjourned at 4.28pm and resumed at 4.37pm.

Cr Shaw acknowledged the contributions made by mana whenua at the meeting. 

Cr Dyer thanked all involved in providing the information to members.  He looked forward to the consultation process.

Cr Hislop expressed concern that the Wellington region had been included with other regions who faced different challenges.  She also expressed concern with the possibility of saline inundation of the aquifer and the level of influence an individual Council might have in any proposed entity.  She supported the proposed recommendations and looked forward to the public consultation process. 

Cr Milne expressed concern that the status quo of enhancing the Wellington Water Limited model was not an option.  He believed the existing model was working well and could be further enhanced.

Cr Brown reflected that the meeting had been beneficial especially with the involvement of mana whenua.  She welcomed the public consultation process moving forward and believed change was required. She stated the desired outcome was clean water for all and supported the proposed recommendations.

Cr Rasheed expressed concern that the process to date apeared to be rushed with no room for public consultation.  She supported the additional recommendations, adding that more investigation into the proposed four entities was required.  She stated that full public consultation be undertaken before a formal response was presented to central government.

Cr Briggs stated the process had been a reminder of how a public consultation process, which Council did not control, could bring about high levels of anxiety.  He said it served as a reminder of how to consult in a meaningful way with the community.

Cr Mitchell acknowledged the complicated issue and the amount of information and misinformation available to the community.  He urged Council to provide clear directives to the community and acknowledged the input of mana whenua. 

Mayor Barry advised that ultimately the decision of central government regarding compulsory joining to an entity or not, would provide direction for community consultation.  He added that the proposed regulations reforms would add another layer to the process and that operating within the current Wellington Water Limited model would not suffice.  He believed that balance sheet separation would be a key issue, and that politics should be removed from discussions concerning the provision and maintenance of water services.  Mayor Barry thanked all involved to date, especially the mana whenua representatives.   

 

Resolved:    (Mayor Barry/Cr Edwards)                                            Minute No. C 21401

“That Council:

(1)        notes that in July 2020 the Government announced an initial funding package of $761M to provide a post COVID-19 stimulus to maintain and improve water networks infrastructure, and to support a three-year programme of reform of local government water services delivery arrangements;

(2)        notes that in August 2020 Council agreed to enter into a Three Waters Reform Memorandum of Understanding  and Funding Agreement with the Government which resulted in Council receiving funding of $10.6M;

(3)        notes the Government’s 30 June and 15 July 2021 Three Waters Reform announcements, which includes a $38.7M ‘better off’ funding for Lower Hutt, refer Section B of Report No. HCC2021/4/207;

(4)        notes the need to ensure and uphold active engagement, involvement and partnership with Mana Whenua throughout the three waters reform          programme, refer           Section C of Report No. HCC2021/4/207;

(5)        notes officer’s advice on the information provided to Council in June and July 2021 as a result of a Request for Information process and Water Industry Commission Scotland (WICS) modelling processes, refer Section D of Report No. HCC2021/4/207;

(6)        notes officer’s high level overview and analysis of the options available to Council for three waters service delivery, refer Section E of Report No. HCC2021/4/207; 

(7)        notes that a decision to support the Government’s preferred three waters service delivery option is not lawful (would be ultra vires) at present due to section 130 of the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA), which prohibits Council from divesting its ownership or interest in a water service except to another local government organisation, and what we currently know (and don’t know) about the Government’s preferred option;

(8)        notes that Council cannot make a formal decision on a regional option for three waters service delivery without doing a Long Term Plan amendment and ensuring it meets section 130 of the LGA;

(9)        notes that the Government intends to make further decisions about the three waters service delivery model after 30 September 2021;

(10)      notes that it is council’s position that it is necessary to gain an understanding of the community’s views through consultation and engagement once Council has further information from the Government on the next steps in the reform process;

(10a)    notes the government should provide a clear outline of consultation to be undertaken from 1 October 2021 and it is Council’s expectation that further engagement is undertaken as early as possible with mana whenua and communities to ensure they have an ability to influence what is being proposed;

(11)      requests the Chief Executive to seek further information and guidance from the Government on the following key areas:

(a)        the proposed boundaries and rationale for these;

(b)        plans for consultation with mana whenua and communities, noting that Council’s feedback from its mana whenua partners is that their experiences to this point have been mixed and it is Council’s expectation that engagement with mana whenua partners is enhanced;

(c)        ensuring that communities have a voice in the system and influence over local decisions;

(d)        prioritisation of investment, particularly ensuring integration with                      spatial and local planning, including growth planning;

(e)        effective representation on the new water service entities’ oversight boards for Councils and mana whenua; and

(f)        the criteria and conditions that will be associated with the Government funding packages for ‘better off’ and ‘no worse off’;

(g)        integration with other local government reform processes;

(h)        the scope of the stormwater role that entities will play, including in relation to growth and development planning, asset management and maintenance;

(i)        how councils will be involved in holding future entities accountable for performance and customer service levels;

(12)      notes that the CEO will report back further once further information and guidance from Government has been received on what the next steps look like and how these should be managed; and

(13)      in noting the above, agrees it has given consideration sections 76, 77, 78, and 79 of the Local Government Act 2002 and in its judgment considers it has complied with the decision making process that those sections require (including, but not limited to, having sufficient information and analysis that is proportionate to the decisions being made).

(14)      notes that the Mayor is engaging with other Councils and representatives within proposed Entity C and will keep Council informed about the progress of those discussions.”

 

For the reason that Council needs to be in a position to seek guidance and provide feedback to  Government’s water reform programme in line with the expectations of the “eight week” process.

 

6.

Te Tira Māori Work Plan (21/1344)

Report No. HCC2021/4/193 by the Kaitatari Tumuaki Maori

 

The Kaitatari Tumuaki Māori elaborated on the report.

In response to questions from members, the Kaitatari Tumuaki Māori confirmed additional resources would be required to support the work plan.  He further confirmed that performance measures would be related to a timeframe and that effective engagement with Maori was created with good intentions.

Cr Briggs acknowledged the work of the Kaitatari Tumuaki Māori and his team.  He said the proposed work plan should be celebrated.  He noted that additional resources would be required to ensure the work plan thrived and partnerships with Mana Whenua were strengthened. 

Cr Shaw thanked the team for the work to date and encouraged the use of a glossary in reports going forward.

Cr Milne expressed concern that the proposed work plan had not been considered by the Policy, Strategy and Finance Committee.  He said there may be unintended consequences arising from the work plan that had not been identified. 

The Kaitatari Tumuaki Māori and Chief Executive explained the report provided an intent and information which would then be used to create the policy direction.  The policy would be considered by the appropriate committee. 

MOVED: (Mayor Barry/Cr Dyer)

That Council:

(1)        notes and receives the contents of the report;

(2)        approves the proposed approach to effective Māori engagement attached as             Appendix 1 to Report No. HCC2021/4/193; and

(3)        agrees that the work can progress to the detailed planning phase.

AMENDMENT MOVED: (Cr Milne/Cr Sutton)                           

“That Council refers the Te Tira Maori Work Plan to the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee for detailed consideration.”

Mayor Barry, Cr Mitchell, Cr Briggs and Cr Brown spoke against the motion.

 

 

The motion was declared lost by division with the voting as follows:

For

 

Cr Milne

Cr Sutton

Against

 

Mayor Barry

Deputy Mayor Lewis

Cr Briggs

Cr Brown

Cr Dyer

Cr Edwards

Cr Hislop

Cr Mitchell

Cr Rasheed

Cr Shaw

Total: 2

Total: 10

 

 

Resolved:        (Mayor Barry/Cr Dyer)                                            Minute No. C 21402

“That Council:

(1)        notes and receives the contents of the report;

(2)        approves the proposed approach to effective Māori engagement attached as Appendix 1 to             Report No. HCC2021/4/193; and

(3)        agrees that the work can progress to the detailed planning phase.”

Cr Milne requested that his abstention from voting be recorded in the minutes.

7.       QUESTIONS   

         There were no questions.

8.       EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

Resolved:         (Mayor Barry/Cr Dyer)                                           Minute No. C 21403

“That the public be excluded from the following parts of the proceedings of this meeting, namely:

9.       Matters Pertaining to RiverLink Project (21/1326)

10.     Chief Executive's Peformance Review for 2020/2021 and Key Performace Indicators for 2021/2022 (21/1332)

The general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded, the reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter, and the specific grounds under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution are as follows:

 

(A)

(B)

(C)

 

 

 

General subject of the matter to be considered.

Reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter.

Ground under section 48(1) for the passing of this resolution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matters Pertaining to RiverLink Project.

The withholding of the information is necessary to enable the local authority to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, commercial activities (s7(2)(h)).

The withholding of the information is necessary to enable the local authority to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations) (s7(2)(i)).

That the public conduct of the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exist.

 

 

 

Chief Executive's Peformance Review for 2020/2021 and Key Performace Indicators for 2021/2022.

The withholding of the information is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons. (s7(2)(a)).

That the public conduct of the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exist.

 

This resolution is made in reliance on section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and the particular interest or interests protected by section 6 or 7 of that Act which would be prejudiced by the holding of the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting in public are as specified in Column (B) above.

 

That Mr David Allen and Ms Libby Cowper from Buddle Findlay and Ms Katy Anquetil from Sheffield be permitted to remain after the public section of the meeting as they have knowledge of the matters that will assist Council in relation to the items.”

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 5.20 pm.

 

 

 

 

C Barry

MAYOR

 

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 5th day of October 2021