Tagged: Portable seating

Environment and planning committee and extraordinary full council meeting (16 July)

The environment and planning committee meeting was held on 16 July 2015. Apologies were received from Crs Bryant, Edgar, and Mirfin. All other councillors were present.

The agenda included: (1) Golden Bay (Mohua) landscape project, (2) resource consent manager’s report, (3) contact recreation water quality annual report, (4) dog control policy and practices report, and (5) the manager’s report. Presentations were also received from the public and are briefly summarised below. At the conclusion of this meeting, an extraordinary full council meeting was also held. This is discussed below.

Public forum

The public forum received presentations from: (1) Gillian Bishop and Kevin McClintock on the importance of the Waimea inlet, and (2) Liz Thomas and Petra Stephenson regarding a rural land use petition that was tabled.

Golden Bay (Mohua) Landscape Project

The final report on the Golden Bay/Mohua Landscape Project was received from the small group. The rthe final report describes and evaluates 6 outstanding natural landscapes (ONLs), and 10 outstanding natural features (ONFs) in Golden Bay (Mohua) area. The draft (and final) reports are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/tasman/projects/environmental-projects/golden-bay-landscape-project/. At the time of writing this post, the final report had not yet been uploaded. It is expected to be uploaded once council has considered it as part of a plan change consultation workshop.

Changes to the draft report include a more detailed description of the qualities of the ONLs andONFs and a clearer narrative explaining how the Small Group came to its view in relation to each ONL and ONF. The biggest change from the draft report is a reduction in the number of ONFs. Many of them are now included within ONLs.

I took the opportunity to congratulate the small group for their efforts. It was always going to be a difficult process that had caused a great deal of robust discussion (and tension) amongst the group. I thanked them for their efforts in having that debate on behalf of the public.

Council resolved to support option 1 in the agenda, and hold a workshop in September 2015 in preparation for a draft plan change and public consultation on the proposed designations in early 2016.

The reasons for the project are summarised at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/tasman/projects/environmental-projects/golden-bay-landscape-project/golden-bay-landscapes-project-plan/. Essentially, its a statutory obligation of council.

Resource consents

The manager’s report presented a summary of the resource consents team performance for the 2014-15 year. A total of 1,319 applications were lodged, with 38 being withdrawn or cancelled, and 56 incomplete applications being returned. A total of 1,097 applications were completed.

Of the 1,097 applications completed 7 hearings were required. Of the 69 publicly or limited notified applications, 7 were able to be granted without a hearing because all issues were resolved.

Applications Lodged During 2014-2015 Year

Category 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15

Certificate of Compliance

2

10

6

4

7

3

Coastal

20

21

16

55

36

17

Discharge

124

202

133

152

171

231

Water

61

247

134

173

189

349

Land Use District

431

478

548

474

438

480

Land Use Regional

141

31

42

35

36

39

Designation

10

4

0

2

0

5

Outline Plan

19

15

14

6

8

15

Subdivision

188

137

151

120

130

131

Rights of Way

9

13

8

6

12

12

Totals 1,005 1,158 1,052 1,027 1,027 1,319

A total of 484 (45%) of all resource consent applications completed, had time extensions applied, 70% of those at the request of or with agreement from the applicants. 41% of non-notified applications had time extensions applied in the 2014-2015 year, compared with 24% in 2013-2014. 80% of the notified applications completed during 2014-2015 had time extensions applied, compared with 70% in 2013-2014.

For the 2014-2015 year, there were 7 non-notified applications involving 12 consents that were completed out of time, resulting in 7 fee discounts. These discounts totalled $3,000 excluding GST (compared with $436 in 2011-12, and $3,000 in 2012-13 years).

Timeliness of Non-notified Applications

NonNotified2015

Timeliness of Public and Limited Notified Applications

PublicNotified2015

Contact Recreation Water Quality Annual Report

Tasman District Council has monitored swimming holes and coastal beaches since the mid 1990s in accordance with national guidelines and responsibilities under s 35 of the Resource Management Act. A total of 11 sites (7 freshwater and 4 marine) were sampled for faecal indicator bacteria between November 2014 and March 2015.

There were a total of 11 exceedances of national guidelines, out of a total of 221 samples taken. All marine sites except Pohara were fully compliant this season in all weather.

Pohara Beach exceeded four times in dry weather. After sampling at a total of 4 sites along Pohara beach it was found that the beach water contamination originated from the Pohara Creek plume and that it only spread as far west as the campground boat ramp at worst. Pohara Creek was confirmed as a potential source of this contamination in 2005-2006 and again this season.

A sanitary survey was successfully undertaken over the 2006-07 summer. A significant faecal discharge was discovered and the household’s sewerage system was repaired to ensure it connected with the municipal system in 2006.

In 2015, sewage and stormwater pipes from several key properties were dye tested and sewer lines inspected. No obvious source of faecal contamination was found. The source of contamination remains unknown. Staff will be taking a fresh approach to testing in 2016.

Laboratory costs of around $12,000 made up the vast majority of the annual budget apart from staff time and vehicle running costs. Summer student employees do most of the fieldwork required.

Coastal beach locations

WaterQuality2015_1

Red results are over alarm levels (>280 Enterococci/100ml) and orange results are in the alert range (140-280 Enterococci/100ml).

Freshwater locations

WaterQuality2015_2

Red results are over alarm levels (>550 E. coli/100ml) and orange results are in the alert range (260-550 E. coli/100ml).

Sampling results (and locations) are displayed on a council webpage located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/environment/water/swimming-water-quality/.

Results for toxic algae monitoring in the regions rivers in are displayed on the councils webpage located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/framework/main.php/water/rivers/river-water-quality/monitoring-toxic-algae/?url=/environment/water/rivers/river-water-quality/monitoring-toxic-algae/.

Dog Control Policy and Practices

The Council reviewed its Dog Control Policy and Bylaw in 2014 adopting the Dog Control Policy 2014 and Dog Control Bylaw 2014 on the 18 September 2014.

Number of dog owners in the district is 6,778 (including probationary owners 1, disqualified owners 0). The number of registered dogs in the district is 10,391(comprising rural dogs 5,663 and urban dogs 4,728).

The number of dogs classified as dangerous was 9. The number of dogs classified as menacing was 68. A toital of 119 infringement notices were issued. The report provides a detailed summary of the types of complaints received by council.

Recently, dog control services had put out for tender and awarded to Control Services Nelson Ltd.

30 June 2015 was the deadline for registrations. At the time of the report, 70% of dogs had been registered. Penalties for late registration would be added in August.

Overall, dog control appears good, with very few incidents considering the number of dogs and dog owners in the region.

Manager’s report

Highlights of the report include:

  • Aquaculture. The Ministry of Primary Industries announced (on 5 June 2015) 2011 ha of new space available for aquaculture in the region. Council will need work with iwi and marine farmers to identify and allocate 20% of the space, as part of the settlement of Maori claims to commercial aquaculture.
  • National Environmental Standard on Plantation Forestry. The new standards propose standardising RMA rules for forestry activities across the country. In my opinion, while this might be beneficial for large forestry operations that cross a number of different regions (with different rules and plans), it fails to reflect the different environmental conditions of those different regions – which is the basis of the concept of sustainable development and management (see http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/71259064/nelson-city-council-submits-to-national-forestry-standards and http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/70328763/forestry-standards-will-harm-regions-biodiversity). Staff were asked to draft a submission on the proposal.
  • Water quality advisory groups. Waimea Flag and Takaka Flag have released its overall water management objectives for feedback. The Waimea Flag group is currently focussing on understanding more about potential changes to nitrate leaching under different land use patterns and the effect this has on the aquifer water quality in relation to the drinking water standards. Councilors raised questions over costs and staff undertook to report back on the issue.
  • Low impact design. On 2 June, a discussion workshop was held in Takaka about what is commonly referred to as low impact design (LID) standards for land development and its relevancy to the Rural Land Use and Subdivision Draft Plan Change 54. Crs Bouillir and Ensor were in attendance.
  • Development contribution refunds. Refunds are to be made to those people who paid contributions now that Coastal Tasman pipeline project has been removed from the LTP. The sum of the refunds is $915,967 and the credits total a further $37,442.
  • Dam safety regulations. The Government has decided that dam safety is better suited to being managed under the Resource Management Act (RMA) rather than the Building Act. Accordingly, the Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2008 have been revoked under the Building (Dam Safety) Revocation Order 2015, with effect from 30 June 2015.
  • Spa pool exemption. Section 6 of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act allows the council to allow an exemption from fencing by way of resolution where the exemption would not significantly increase the level of danger. Staff consider that spa pools with lockable covers would comply with the exemption test. In the spirit of removing unnecessary red tape, council resolved to provide an exemption from fencing a spa pool with a lockable lid.
  • Water data. The Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) web site has recently been upgraded to include real-time data on river flow, groundwater and rainfall levels at over 1000 sites around New Zealand (see http://www.lawa.org.nz).
  • Air quality. Only 2 exceedences of the National Environmental Standard occured this winter in the Richmond.
  • House insultation rates subsidy. The Council has been operating the Warm Tasman Voluntary Targeted Rate (VTR) scheme programme since 2010. This programme enabled home owners to apply for a voluntary rate on their property that paid for the costs of upgrading insulation or upgrading a wood burner in the Richmond Airshed. The number of applications had dropped away over the last few years to 14 in 2014-15 (20 applications in 2013-14). Staff recommended terminating the scheme. The basis for this was the cost of administering the scheme. In my opinion, the argument was unconvincing. Numbers had dropped away, which meant very little time was actually spent on administering the scheme. On this basis, there seemed to be little gained in terminating the scheme. The majority of council resolved to terminate the scheme.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/environment-and-planning-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EnvironmentPlanningCommittee/2015/2015-07-16.

Extraordinary full council meeting

The meeting was a result of a request under section 2.15 of standing orders. The meeting was to discuss the full council’s prior decision to dispose of the portable seating on 18 June 2015. I was not present at that meeting as I was in the UK attending my brothers wedding. However, I was intrigued to see another instance of councillors re-litigating earlier decisions of council. This discussion was confidential as was the discussion on 18 June 2015. Although I really could not see why it could not have been held in public.

The agenda and minutes for this meeting are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/full-council-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/FullCouncil/2015/2015-07-16.

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Community development committee (19 June)

The community development committee meeting was held on 19 June 2014. Apologies were received from Cr Higgins and myself.

The meeting agenda received various managers reports as well as an update on the Ecofest expo. I have organised these various updates under topic rather than the manager providing them.

Golden Bay Service centre

A decision on funding for the centre was made in the annual plan. However, council were asked to convene a hearing panel to consider changing the classification of land behind the centre from reserve vested land to local purpose reserve land. This was to ensure the use of the land could have a wider civic purpose. Crs Edgar, Sangster, and Bouillir were appointed to the hearing panel. The council noted the Golden Bay Community Board’s recommendation for up to $30,000 to be allowed for seismic testing.

Tapawera and Brightwater reserve lease hearings

Crs Bryant, Norris, and Edgar were appointed as panel members to consider the publicly notified reserve lease applications of: (1) the Tapawera Menz Shed Group, who sought to renew a lease of reserve land that the former Scout hall building was located on, and (2) the Wanderers Rugby Club who sought to extend their building over reserve land. However, if no public submissions are received, then hearings would not be required.

Kina leases

The council has advised those parties wishing to lease parts of the Kina reserve of any restrictions council has sought to impose on the use of the reserve. We await a response.

Brook sanctuary

The agreement between the council and the sanctuary trust over the council’s financial contribution towards the pest proof fence was signed. This completed the earlier contribution from council towards completion of the fence. In my opinion, without the second installment, the earlier contribution would have been wasted. It is also noted that half of the trusts financial members come from the Tasman region so this was an activity where a sizeable proportion of the community had skin in the game. As discussed in earlier posts, the trust had reassured council that no further requests for funding would be forthcoming.

ASB Aquatic centre – water treatment

Staff advised council that the option of purchasing an ultra violet (UV) treatment system to destroy chloramines (that would improve the pool atmosphere and reduce water waste), would be prepared for consideration in the 2015-2025 long term plan (LTP).

LTP workshops for councilors were being prepared for late June and July, and these would feed into formal proposals for consideration. Generally, I have found workshops are a great opportunity to wrestle over the issues, although they do not always provide the opportunity to think outside the square.

Youth council

Crs King and Bryant were respectively appointed as liaisons for the Waimea and Murchison youth councils. Crs Canton and Bouillir were respectively appointed liaisons for the Motueka and Golden Bay youth councils.

Community grants

Grants close on 31 August and are allocated to organisations that run activities that support the councils community outcome goals. Applications can be made and submitted online. See http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/grants-funding/available-grants-funding/community-grants-grants-from-rates/.

Ecofest expo

Staff updated the committee on the Ecofest event and sought (and obtained) approval to hold an additional Ecofest event in Motueka in 2014. Staff would continue to work with nelson city council (NCC) staff on a branding and support partnership for the main Ecofest event proposed to be held at Founders Park. Staff budgeted a total contribution towards both Ecofest events at $20,900. The Motueka event is projected to cost $15,000 with $3,000 already spent. For information on the festival see http://www.tasman.govt.nz/recreation/events/ecofest/.

Portable seating

The committee approved a new policy that provided a more consistent approach to charging for hire of the portable seating for commercial and non-profit events – including new criteria for reducing or waiving hire fees. The new policy is intended to ensure that the portable seating becomes self-funding (ie, has a neutral financial impact), instead of continuing to operate at a loss. Details of the policy can be found at pages 29 to 38 of the agenda – see link below).

The policy delegates decision-making on applications for hire fee reductions/waivers to the Chief Executive Officer or delegated officer. A report on the outcome of these applications will be submitted to the community development committee on an annual basis.

Briefly, the Council purchased 3000 portable seats in 2007, as part of the council’s contribution towards the upgraded Trafalgar Park. Generally, it takes 2 weeks for the seating to be assembled into the grandstand configuration and 2 weeks for it to be dismantled.

When not in use the portable seating is stored for free in a purpose-built shed at the Nelson A&P Association Grounds in Richmond. In return the A&P Association use the seating for free during show weekend each year. Good Sports Motueka has maintained and repaired seating between uses.

In recognition of this work, seating has been provided to this group free of charge. However, no formal agreement governs this arrangement. See my earlier posts for additional background information.

Mapua reserve land

Approval from the committee was sought to commence a publicly notified intention to declare a small land parcel of land owned by Council (see page 43 of the agenda) be a reserve and subsequently be amalgamated with existing adjacent reserve land. This would ensure an adequate connection to the existing reserve land is provided for from Aranui Road. The developer of land on the corner of Aranui Road and abutting this proposed strip of reserve land agreed to fund the notification process. Costs to council would only be future maintenance of the reserve strip.

Libraries update

During May 2014 all public internet computers and printers held in libaries were replaced as part of our partnership agreement with Aotearoa People’s Network Aotearoa (APNK). New and upgraded software was supplied with the computers.

Visitor numbers for May 2014 totaled 39,989. Active members at the end of May 2014 totaled 24,366. Visitor numbers for the year to date are 5% lower than last year. Most of this reduction appears to be happening in Motueka, with vistor numbers in Richmond and Golden Bay generally remaining constant since 2010. Items issued during May 2014 totaled 55,523. Issues for the year to date total 599,502 which is 3% lower than last year. Use of the library’s online resources shows continuing growth. Session numbers and downloads for the year to date are 10,563 or 46% higher than last year. In my opinion this is a significant trend.

When you look at the falling visitor numbers in Motueka and the growth trend in online usage, council need to tread carefully when it comes to spending decisions on new library buildings. In order to make an informed decision on any future investment in new library buildings, I would suggest that it would be prudent of council to defer any such decision towards the end of the long term plan (LTP) – perhaps 2020.

For some great visual aids on library statistics see pages 56 to 57 of the agenda.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes for this meeting are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/community-services-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/CommunityServicesCommittee/2014/2014-06-19.

Full Council meeting (17 April)

A full council meeting was held on 17 April 2014. Apologies were received from Mayor Kempthorne and Crs King and Norris.

The meeting considered the following agenda items: (1) disestablishment of the communications subcommittee, (2) portable seating policy, (3) report from the joint nelson and tasman regional transport committee, (4) mayor’s report, (5) chief executive’s activity report, (6) machinery resolutions report, and (7) action items – previous council meetings. I intend to summarise the main issues below.

Communications subcommittee

The disestablishment of communications subcommittee was discussed in an earlier post (and was passed unanimously by council with little debate) so I will not re-litigate the merits of disestablishing this committee. This was a good decision. However, in my opinion a working group needs to be established to review (and reduce) councils publishing costs. Especially if some publishing decisions are been driven by political, rather than regulatory, requirements.

Portable seating

In 2007, the council purchased 3000 portable seats as part of its commitment to upgrading the Trafalgar Park (as part of a number of rugby world cup initiatives). Interestingly the Trafalgar Park upgrade also included removing the cycle velodrome (located on the edges of the rugby field) and shifting it to Saxton field as part of improving the park for rugby viewing. To pay the $449,369 cost of the portable seats, $322,369 was taken from the regional facilities budget (ie the shared facilities rate) with the remaining $127,000 taken out on a 40 year loan. The balance on the loan balance is currently $106,500.

Unfortunately, the seats have been poorly managed, and during their use at the rugby world cup, parts were mixed with another supplier’s parts, resulting in the council having a number of inferior parts. Before the council could obtain the parts back, the supplier went bankrupt and any claim to the parts was not pursued further. Flooring planks are now delaminating and an estimate for their replacement is approximately $10,810. Unfortunately, due to parts being mixed it is unlikely a valid warranty claim could be made. However, community groups have provided their time for free in fixing the seats as well as assembling (and removing) them for major rugby events.

Since acquisition the council has spent a further $69,136 (including another $45,136 on replacement parts, $3,500 on maintenance, and $20,500 on loan payments). Over the same period the portable seats have raised $22,838 in income. In effect, an overall loss of around $40k.

Community organisations continue to seek use of the portable seats. However, there remains a tension in the council continuing to supply portable seats and the costs of providing those seats. Given the ongoing pressures the council has to confront increasing cost recovery for the use of the seats against their disposal. In effect leaving the community to hire the seats from a private vendor for higher charges.

Council decided in the short term to retain the seating (given hire interest from the Mako’s and the world cup cricket), but increase the charges and bonds for their use. Given much of the replacement costs had already been incurred, there seemed little merit in disposing of the assets.

Regional transport committee

On 10 February 2014, the NZ transport Agency (NZTA) asked the regional councils to support a joint transport committee. Council authorised the Mayor and the Chair of the engineering committee to advance a joint regional transport committee.

Mayors report

A number of items were raised in this report (including the training and travel budget, currently $17,000 for the 2013-14 year). Of interest to me was a proposal to establish an economic development advisory forum that would comprise business leaders and selected council representatives (p 30).

Chief executives report

The following summary is based on the contents of the chief executive’s report to the full council and the subsequent finance report to the corporate services committee (on 24 April 2014).

Councils net financial position (as at 28 February 2014) has been a good one and there appears to be a good chance that their might be a surplus at the end of the financial year against the planned annual budget for 2013-14. The year to date accounting income (against plan) was $4.4 million ahead of budget and expenditure was $440,000 below budget. The net position is an accounting surplus of $8 million achieved against the year to date budgeted surplus of $3.1 million. The underlying position was a surplus of $0.58 million.

The significant positive variance is mainly due to a $2.5 million gain on unrealised interest swaps, the sale of $110,000 of property and vehicles, vested assets of $2.2 million being lower than the budgeted year to date figure of $3.1 million, a positive variance of $850,000 in development contributions due to recent land development activity in Richmond, and the early arrival of some grant funds.

Capital expenditure at $12.4 million was below the year to date budget. However, this is mainly a timing issue that will be corrected as the richmond water treatment plant begins construction.

As at 31 January 2014, TDC’s working capital position was $5 million, compared to the year end projection of $4.4 million.

As at 31 March 2014, council debt was $151 million, paying a weighted average interest rate of 5.173%. TDC’s cost of funds (including interest rate swaps, bank margins and line fees) is 5.411%. A simple calculation suggests we are roughly paying $8 million in interest payments. Thats several community facilities (or one water treatment plant).

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes for this meeting are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/full-council-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/FullCouncil/2014/2014-04-17.