2                                       14 September 2021

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Komiti Ratonga Rangatōpū me te Rautaki

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee

 

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

 Tuesday 14 September 2021 commencing at 2.00pm

 

 

 

PRESENT:

Cr S Edwards (Chair)

Mayor C Barry

 

Cr J Briggs

Cr K Brown (Deputy Chair) (from  2.20pm)

 

Cr D Hislop

Deputy Mayor T Lewis

 

Cr C Milne (via audio-visual link)

Cr A Mitchell

 

Cr S Rasheed

Cr N Shaw

 

Cr L Sutton

 

 

APOLOGIES:                  Cr Brown (for lateness) and Cr Dyer

 

IN ATTENDANCE:       Ms J Miller, Chief Executive (part meeting)

Ms A Blackshaw, Director Neighbourhoods and Communities (via audio-visual link) (part meeting)

Mr M Boggs, Director Strategy and Planning (via Zoom) (part meeting)

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 D Kerite, Head of Regulatory Services (part meeting)

Mr D Koenders, Manager, Financial Strategy and Planning (part meeting)

Ms K Alkema, Chief People Officer (via audio-visual link)

Mr D Bentley, Environmental Health Manager (part meeting)

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

Mr T Kimbrell, Parks, Reserves and Recreation Planner (part meeting)

Mr J Pritchard, Principal Policy Advisor (part meeting)

Mr P Benseman, Budgeting and Reporting Manager (part meeting)

Mr K Eagle, Senior Management Accountant (part meeting)

Ms C Ellis, Head of Chief Executive’s Office (part meeting)

Ms K Shaw, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Manager (via audio-visual link) (part meeting)

Ms K Stannard, Head of Democratic Services

Ms K Glanville, Senior Democracy Advisor (via audio-visual link)

Ms J Randall, Democracy Advisor

 

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

 

OPENING FORMALITIES – KARAKIA TIMATANGA

 

 

1.       APOLOGIES 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Briggs)                                     Minute No. PFSC 21401

“That the apology received from Cr Dyer be accepted and leave of absence be granted and the apology for lateness received from Cr Brown be accepted.”

 

 

PRECEDENCE of Business

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Hislop)                                    Minute No. PFSC 21402

“That in terms of Standing Order 10.4, precedence be accorded to items 2-10, with the exception of Item 7: Council performance overview for the year ended June 2021.”

 

The items are recorded in the order in which they are listed on the Order Paper.

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate. 

 

Cr Brown joined the meeting at 2.20pm    

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS     

Cr Shaw noted she was a member of a Committee that accessed funding from the proceeds of Class 4 gaming. Mayor Barry advised that according to legal advice received on the same issue on a previous occasion she was still able to participate in discussion and voting on the matter.

4.       Recommendations to Council - Te Kaunihera o Te Awa Kairangi - 5 October 2021

a)

Land Sale Proposal - 2 Miromiro Road (21/1215)

 

Speaking under public comment, Mr Alistair Hardy expressed confidence that the ten pounds owed to Council for the parcel of land in 1960 would have been paid at the time. He said this should now enable him to adjust his boundary. He acknowledged the history of the sale was unclear. He noted Council’s failure to follow up the matter at the time had unfairly impacted him. He suggested an additional option would be to agree to negotiate a price based on the current land valuation.

 

 

Resolved:   (Cr Edwards/Cr Hislop)                   Minute No. PFSC 21403

“That the Committee:

(1)     notes that there are no grounds under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for withholding part of the proceedings of the Land Sale Proposal - 2 Miromiro Road because the information is no longer confidential; and

(2)     agrees to consider the information in the public part of the meeting. “

 

In response to questions from members, the Parks, Reserves and Recreation Planner explained the boundary encroachment situation was unique since most encroachments did not have such an uncertain history. He considered negotiating a price would therefore not set a precedent for other boundary encroachments.  He noted the issue stemmed from actions that occurred a considerable time ago and could not be proved one way or the other.

 

Members noted the previous owner had attempted to resolve the issue between 1959 and 1960. They agreed it was a moot point whether Council bore some responsibility for the historical uncertainty of the sale of the parcel of land.

 

The Chair foreshadowed an additional recommendation that Council agree to a compromise on the land sale price.

 

recommended: (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)
                                                                                      
Minute No. PFSC 21404

“That the Committee recommends that Council:

(1)     agrees to proceed with the sale of land to resolve the encroachment which is an approximately 58m2 section of land on Part Section 73 Normandale Settlement CT WN492/165 attached as Appendix 1 to the report; and

(2)     agrees that the sale of land be on the basis of half of the valuation of $8,685 in view of the fact the earlier transaction history cannot be verified; and

(3)     agrees that the costs associated with the land sale (surveying, legal and any other distributions) will be met by Mr and Mrs Hardy.”

 


 

b)

Budget Update 2021/22 (21/1271)

 

The Budgeting and Reporting Manager elaborated on the report. He said total capital carryovers amounted to 22% of the revised budget for the current year. He noted the capital carryovers represented the timing of projects and would not directly impact debt.

 

 

RECOMMENDED:    (Cr Edwards/Cr Briggs)            Minute No. PFSC 21405

“That the Committee recommends that Council:

(1)   notes the year-end carryovers of projects due to timing changes; and

(2)   agrees to amend the operating and capital budgets for 2021/22:

Table 1 : Summary of proposed budget changes for carryovers

 

$000

Previously approved carryovers

New carryovers proposed

Total carryovers proposed

NZTA subsidy revenue

673

Increase

97

Reduction

576

Increase

Opex

3,956

Increase

1,992

Increase

5,948

Increase

Capex

14,369

Increase

4,652

Increase

19,021

Increase

 

       due to the new carryovers that have been identified as attached as Appendix 1 to the report.”

 

c)

Financial Assistance - Knowing Your Pipes (21/1275)

 

The Manager, Financial Strategy and Planning elaborated on the report.

 

In response to questions from members, the Manager, Financial Strategy and Planning advised an exemption for the Voluntary Targeted Rating Scheme could take some years to be granted.

The Chair expressed concern that sewage overflows and stormwater were major causes of waterway pollution. He noted that by joining a group of councils and working with central government on a Targeted Rating Scheme, Council could help drive action and clean up water pollution.

 

RECOMMENDED: (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)  Minute No. PFSC 21406

 “That the Committee recommends that Council:

(1)     agrees not to proceed with the Voluntary Targeted Rating Scheme and rates postponement scheme as consulted on in the Draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 process;

(2)     agrees to offer assistance on an individual contractual basis, as noted in option three contained in Report PFSC2021/4/198; and

(3)     agrees in principle that officers progress work with other councils to engage with the Ministry of Business and Innovation and seek an exemption for the Voluntary Targeted Rating Scheme from the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003. “

  

5.

Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy (21/1237)

Report No. PFSC2021/4/199 by the Principal Policy Advisor

 

Speaking under public comment (via audio-visual link) Mr Gerhart Berking, a representative of Mapu Maia,  expressed support for the officer recommendations for a wellbeing approach to Class 4 gaming.  He noted Pasifika people were more likely to live in high deprivation areas where Class 4 gaming machines were more prevalent. He added Pasifika people were disproportionately affected by problem gambling and more likely to turn to gambling to solve financial problems. He urged Council to consider a sinking lid policy in its future decisions.

 

Speaking under public comment (via audio-visual link), Ms Kristy Kang, a representative of the Problem Gambling Foundation Group, noted Class 4 gaming machines were highly addictive. She expressed concern Lower Hutt residents had an exceptionally high exposure to the machines with over 50% located in high deprivation areas. She supported the officer's recommendations to implement a cap on gaming machines and venues. She considered a sinking lid policy was best practice to reduce harm from gaming machines.

The Head of Strategy and Planning elaborated on the report.

In response to questions from members, the Head of Strategy and Planning advised Class 4 gaming funds came disproportionately from high deprivation areas. She acknowledged these funds provided financial benefits for local sports. She noted Council had limited power to address the social harm from Class 4 gaming but could control the number of venues or machines in its locality. She agreed the Naenae Bowling Club would be financially impacted if its gaming machines were removed. She added Waiwhetū Marae and mana whenua had been consulted and had supported a wellbeing approach to the issue.

Members agreed to support a wellbeing approach and noted the following points:

 

·         Total gaming machine proceeds from Lower Hutt over the past three years were $80M.

·         The majority of those adversely affected by Class 4 gaming did not seek help.

·         The stories of those adversely affected by Class 4 gaming would be important for Council to make an informed decision.

·         Most proceeds from Class 4 gaming in Lower Hutt were not returned to local communities.

·         Ideally Council would work with central government in a unified approach.

·         Removing gaming machines could encourage an increase in other forms of gambling that would not return funds to local communities.

 

The Chair noted Council’s decision on the matter could have financial ramifications. He agreed it was important to hear from local communities on the issue.  He said enforcement also needed to be considered. He asked officers to ensure the consultation material provided a balanced view of the policy’s impacts.

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Briggs)                                     Minute No. PFSC 21407

“That the Committee:

(1)   notes that the Gambling Act 2003 requires councils to adopt a Class 4 Gaming and Board Venue Policy and to review this every three years;

(2)   notes that the Gambling Act requires councils to set a Class 4 Gaming and Board Venue Policy and that councils’ powers are limited to regulating and administering class 4 gaming;

(3)   notes the Gambling Act requires Council to adopt a policy to influence the extent and minimise the impacts of Class 4 gaming in the city;

(4)   notes that Council is required to use the Special Consultative Procedure set out in the Local Government Act 2002 for consultation on this policy;

(5)   notes there are three options outlined and discussed in the report and supports a wellbeing approach;

(6)   agrees to consult on the proposed policy options for the Class 4 Gaming and Board Venue Policy;

(7)   agrees to endorse the Summary of Proposal and Statement of Proposal attached as Appendices 1 and 2 to the report;

(8)   establishes a subcommittee comprising the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Committee Chairs, Cr Mitchell, Cr Shaw and Cr Brown to hear submissions on the options for the Class 4 Gaming Machine and Board Venue Policy and make a recommendation to Council;

(9)   notes that Council will continue to work closely with mana whenua and other partners to collectively advocate to central government for transparency and control of the distribution of gambling profits and the actual costs and benefits of gambling for communities; and

 

(10) agrees that the public consultation material on the Class 4 gambling review be subject to review by the Mayor and Committee Chairs before release.”

 

 

6.

Review of the Dangerous, Affected and Insanitary Buildings Policy 2016 (21/1212)

Report No. PFSC2021/4/200 by the Principal Policy Advisor

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Hislop)                                    Minute No. PFSC 21408

(1)     approves the proposed Dangerous, Affected and Insanitary Buildings Policy 2021 for consultation under section 83 of the Local Government Act 2002 attached as Appendix 2 to the report;

(2)     approves the Statement of Proposal to develop the Hutt City Council Dangerous, Affected and Insanitary Buildings Policy 2021 for consultation attached as Appendix 1 to the report; and

(3)     agrees that a subcommittee be established comprising Cr Edwards (Chair), Cr Dyer and Cr Mitchell and Deputy Mayor Lewis (alternate) to hear submissions on the Dangerous, Affected and Insanitary Buildings Policy and make a recommendation to Council.”           

 

 

 

7.

Council performance overview for the year ended 30 June 2021 (21/905)

Report No. PFSC2021/4/201 by the Head of Chief Executive's Office

 

 

The Chief Executive and the Group Chief Financial Officer elaborated on the report.  The  Group Chief Financial Officer noted Council’s net operating deficit was less than the amount officers had budgeted. She advised this would place Council in a favourable position for implementing the Long Term Plan.

 

In response to a question from the Chair, officers agreed to provide a response to the Chair’s request for an education campaign to prevent dry weather wastewater overflows. The Chair agreed to submit a request through the Elected Members Email channel.

 

 

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Mitchell)                                  Minute No. PFSC 21409

“That the Committee:

(1)   receives the report;

(2)   notes the highlights and achievements as detailed in Appendix 1 attached to the report;

(3)   notes the Waiora engagement survey results detailed in Appendix 2 attached to the report;

(4)   notes the health, safety and wellbeing results detailed in Appendix 3 attached to the report;

(5)   notes the performance measure results as detailed in Appendix 4 attached to the report; and

(6)   notes the financial performance results as summarised in the report and detailed in Appendices 5 and 6 attached to the report.”

 

 

8.

2021 Standard and Poor's Credit Rating (21/1272)

Report No. PFSC2021/4/202 by the Manager Financial Strategy & Planning

 

The Manager Financial Strategy and Planning elaborated on the report.

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Rasheed)                                 Minute No. PFSC 21410

“That the Committee notes and receives the report.”

The meeting adjourned at 4.05pm and resumed at 4.14pm.

9.

Sale and supply of alcohol (fees) regulations 2013 - Regulation 19(1) - reporting by territorial authorities (21/1319)

Report No. PFSC2021/4/203 by the Environmental Health Manager

 

The Environmental Health Manager elaborated on the report. He advised that in addition to the reasons stated in the report, the impact of COVID-19 meant that a total recovery of costs was unlikely.  He added officers had been reducing overheads and would be streamlining inspections and reporting processes to achieve further savings.

In response to a question from a member, the Environmental Health Manager advised that officers could review the fees schedule at the end of the three year period if required. However, he noted Council’s current fees had been strongly opposed by industry and were amongst the highest in New Zealand.

 

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Cr Mitchell)                                  Minute No. PFSC 21411

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

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

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

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

 

10.

New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency 2021 Annual Report (21/1346)

Report No. PFSC2021/4/204 by the Treasury Officer

 

The Group Chief Financial Officer elaborated on the report. She advised the Local Government Funding Agency had achieved positive outcomes for Council through its access to international markets.

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)                 Minute No. PFSC 21412

“That the Committee notes and receives the Local Government Funding Agency Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2021 attached as Appendix 1 to the report.”

 

11.

Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee Work Programme 2021-2022 (21/1364)

Report No. PFSC2021/4/117 by the Democracy Advisor

 

Resolved: (Cr Edwards/Deputy Mayor Lewis)                 Minute No. PFSC 21413

“That the Work Programme be received and noted.”

 

12.     QUESTIONS   

There were no questions.

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 4.46 pm.

 

 

 

 

S Edwards

CHAIR

CONFIRMED as a true and correct record

Dated this 5th day of October 2021