Ordinary Council Meeting
Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Tauranga City Council
By video conference
Please note that this meeting will be livestreamed and the recording will be publicly available on Tauranga City Council's website: www.tauranga.govt.nz.
Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda
19 May 2020
19 May 2020
File Number: A11485570
Author: Marty Grenfell, Chief Executive
Authoriser: Marty Grenfell, Chief Executive
Purpose of the Report
1. This report is to provide an update and summary of key areas and activities within Council.
That the Council:
Strategic Finance Project Update – May 2020
2. As reported last month, the Strategic Finance project (aka SAP project) was due to ‘Go live’ over the Easter long weekend. With the impacts of COVID-19, the steering committee agreed to delay the project ‘Go live’ date to a yet to be determined time.
3. To recap, even with the implications of COVID-19, the project team successfully:
(a) Completed User Acceptance testing (i.e. the selected user community including finance team confirmed that the SAP solution met the requirements set by the project).
(b) Completed a technical ‘Go Live’ (i.e. the production system has been built and fully configured, except for migrating users and data).
(c) Since last month, the project team has been working on developing a new plan for ‘Go-Live’. This plan is now based on an assumed ‘Go-live’ in mid-July 2020 (after the end of the financial year). A formal decision on this timing will be made by the steering committee near the end of May 2020.
Property Rental Relief
4. Council agreed to provide relief for small and medium-sized businesses and community groups facing financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was agreed that this would include:
(a) A rent reduction of 50 percent, through to 30 June 2020, for eligible commercial and residential organisations that lease council land
(b) A rent reduction of 100 percent for community organisations and sports groups that lease Council land, up to 30 June.
(c) Further measures may be considered after 30 June, on a case-by case basis.
5. Property Management oversees 420 agreements across Tauranga City Council and we have developed a strategic, 3-step process to capture, contact and update our finance systems to ensure we notify all these tenants appropriately.
6. Our Elder Housing and Residential portfolios are not affected at this time and rents are continuing to be paid.
7. 150 agreements involve rentals of under $1pa and we do not anticipate contacting these Lessees at this time.
8. We have contacted all lessees that have approached us for rent relief and have worked through these requests, with final details being sent out this week. These have included Community Groups, Sports Organisations and Commercial Businesses.
9. We are working through the 100% rent abatement for 140 Community Groups and Sporting Organisations Lessees with lease agreements on TCC land.
10. To date, we have contacted 46 Lessees and had a very positive response from Community and Sports groups. We will continue to work through these lessees and liaise with Open Space and Community teams as we progress.
11. Commercial Businesses which approached us (25) for support have been offered 50% rent relief. All have been very appreciative of the rent relief support and we are just working through one lease that would like more than offered. Additional Commercial requests are coming through and we continue to work through these as they are received.
Change proposed to LGFA debt-to-revenue covenant
12. Last month, we received confirmation that the New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA) will seek shareholder approval for a change to the existing 250% debt-to-revenue limit on council borrowings. After discussions with ratings agencies and shareholders, LGFA is proposing to increase the debt-to-revenue limit for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years to 300%, and then reduce the limit by 5% each year for the next four years. From 2026, the borrowing limit would remain at 280%.
13. The proposed change will be considered at a Special General Meeting of shareholders in June.
Annual Plan 20/21
14. The official draft Annual Plan 2020/21 consultation period ended on 3 May, with 285 written submissions and 72 requests to speak with councillors during hearings that were originally scheduled for 13-15 May. These hearings, and later deliberations scheduled for 2-4 June, have now been placed on hold.
15. The deferrals have been made due to COVID-19 and its associated financial disruption, the lack of certainty about future alert levels and because of the likelihood we will need to re-consult on a revised plan in the coming weeks. The draft plan has rapidly become out-of-date since consultation started on April 3. Disruption to council finances means it might not be possible to provide some of the services and building projects described in the consultation documents.
16. It is expected that a new round of consultation will take place. People who have already submitted will be given the option of retaining, revising or retracting their submissions. People who have asked to be heard will be advised of new hearing dates when they have been finalised.
harington street transport hub
17. Work continues on design and costing options to remedy the building’s seismic strength deficiencies. A report and recommendations will be presented to council in June to make a decision on the future of the Harington Street Transport Hub project.
Project Management Review
18. We have initiated a review into the manner in which Council currently delivers its annual capital programme and projects. As the city develops, we are committing increasing capital investment to support growth, and further, the possibility of significant post-pandemic economic stimulus funding by the Crown requires us to ensure we have the capability to effectively manage and deliver our capital programme. Max Pedersen has been engaged to carry out the review.
Free School Bus Trial
19. As part of the 2018 Long Term Plan, Council resolved to support the delivery of a free-fare trial for school buses in Welcome Bay, in conjunction with Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BoPRC), through provision of:
· Capital expenditure of $500,000 in year 1 (2018/19) for priority bus measures; and
· Operational expenditure of $137,000 in year 1 (2018/19) and $274,000 in year 2 (2019/20) to cover forgone revenue for BoPRC.
20. The free-fare trial ran for 12 months. We can report that Council’s contribution comprised $126,511.00 (incl. GST) to cover 94,152 individual bus boardings for the first six months of the trial (Jan – June 2019) and $116,169 (incl GST) to cover 71,709 bus boardings for the last six months (Jul – Dec 2019).
21. A free school bus service for all Tauranga schools, funded by BOPRC, came into effect in February this year.
Wharf Street Upgrade
22. With the move to Alert Level 3, construction commenced on the Wharf Street upgrade. Higgins has two crews working on the project, who are observing all of the protocols required under AL3 and now AL2 restrictions. The first phases of work involved removal of the footpath mosaics and repairing/replacing underground services. The project team engaged with businesses on the street to understand how they are recovering from the lockdown. Businesses remain supportive of the project and despite the lockdown delaying kick-off, the project is still on track to be completed for summer 2020.
Kerbside Waste Collection Services and Facilities RFP Update
23. The evaluation of the kerbside waste collection services and facilities RFP has recommenced, with presentations from suppliers undertaken during the week of 25 May. A dedicated Project Manager has been appointed who is overseeing the entire kerbside project including the timing of the RFP, liaison with internal subject matter experts, communications and engagement, risk management, etc. An update will be provided to the PSOC meeting in June.
Waste Project Advisory Board
24. The first Waste Project Advisory Board meeting was held on 6 May 2020. The meeting agreed the draft Terms of Reference, and discussed in detail the proposed kerbside waste collection services and facilities project. The Waste PAB will be held monthly and has representatives from TCC (councillors and executive), WBOPDC, Tangata Whenua, and Auckland Council.
Jack Shaw’s Cleanfill
25. The Jack Shaw Cleanfill (JS Cleanfill) is a privately-owned cleanfill site for inert waste. It has been operating in Tauriko since approximately 1990 and under the terms of its resource consent, is very close to full capacity.
26. The cleanfill owner had planned to close to small customers (e.g. small-scale builders) by April 2020, and then large customers (e.g. Page Earthworks, A & J Demolition) by September 2020. However, due to COVID-19, the operator made a decision to close the facility permanently from the commencement of Alert Level 2.
27. TCC, WBOPDC and BOPRC have jointly communicated with businesses regarding the closure of the Jack Shaw Cleanfill. We obtained permission to display a billboard outside the site, redirecting users to the Te Maunga Transfer Station. We are directing users to Te Maunga as it has the ability to accept and sort construction and demolition material for recovery/recycling, whereas Maleme Street does not (all material taken to Maleme Street would be sent directly to landfill). If customers pre-sort their material, they will benefit from reduced charges, depending of the material to be disposed of (e.g. soil, concrete, metals, etc).
28. We have also been communicating with large waste customers about sending their waste directly to landfill (e.g. Hampton Downs) for a cheaper gate rate than the Transfer Station offers. These conversations are ongoing.
Recycling Hui – Standardising Kerbside Collection Services
29. A Standardising Recycling project has been initiated by the Ministry for the Environment and contracted to WasteMINZ to make recommendations:
(a) for standardised presentation of materials for kerbside recycling (i.e. lids on or off, type of plastics collected etc)
(b) on standardised kerbside collection systems for recycling, rubbish and organics
30. The aims of the project are to:
(a) increase consistency in household rubbish and recycling collections across the nation
(b) reduce confusion for householders and provide the basis for national messaging
(c) improve recyclable material quality through the reduction of contamination
31. The project had a very short timeframe (end of May) and was based on best practice from overseas and within Aotearoa. The recommendations resulting from the project are expected to be implemented across the country over the next decade.
32. A Bay of Plenty hui was held on 7 May 2020 to discuss the project, and the considerations for the Bay of Plenty region.
33. TCC operates two wastewater treatment plants located in Tauranga - Te Maunga and Chapel Street. Together the two plants produce approximately 15,000 tonnes of biosolids per annum, with Te Maunga producing 60% and Chapel Street producing 40%. Chapel Street is at capacity, so future growth in tonnage will be from the Te Maunga facility.
34. In August 2016, TCC adopted a new Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP) with a vision to ‘minimise waste to landfill’. Within this Plan, TCC adopted an action (B1, page 24) to ‘Investigate alternative recovery, reuse and discharge options for biosolids’. In October 2019, TCC began a trial with Ecocast Ltd, a Kawerau-based vermicomposting operation, to meet action B1. The trial currently diverts 25% of TCC’s biosolids from landfill to vermicomposting and has been a great success, with all of the biosolids converted into vermicompost for use by the agriculture industry. The vermicompost trial has saved approximately 8.5% in disposal costs to landfill to date. The trial is continuing until a final decision on the future disposal option for biosolids is made (see below).
35. Envirowaste currently provides both transport and disposal services for the remaining 75% of biosolids to Hampton Downs Landfill. This contract expires in September 2020. In April 2020, TCC released a Registration of Interest (ROI) to the market for the biosolids contract, which was followed by Supplier Briefing Sessions and a virtual tour of the two wastewater treatment plants. Staff will be releasing an RFP for the service at the beginning of June, with a key focus being diverting the biosolids from landfill in an economically sensible way. The RFP provides an opportunity to see if there are other industry or best practice solutions council can be adopting and the associated costs involved.
36. A final decision as to the preferred supplier is expected to be made in August 2020.
37. At the 10 March Council meeting, Council requested a report on potentially viable operating models for Our Place going forward (from 9 July 2020), including any funding implications. The resolution requested the report come to the 2 June Council meeting. The Urban Spaces team has been working with Our Place to explore potential operating models and has been assisted by Crs. Abrie, Hughes, Baldock and Robson.
38. Our Place has been identified as part of the organisation-wide Annual Plan Activity and Operating Expenditure review which is now underway, responding to the post-COVID financial constraints Council now faces. This wider review will be considered by Council in early-June. Given this is happening, a standalone report for Our Place is no longer considered necessary and any potential future operating models will instead be presented for consideration through the Annual Plan process.
Tourism Bay of Plenty (TBOP)
39. TBOP has launched its new website, in readiness for targeted marketing campaigns. The No Place Like Home campaign includes a new video and specific information hub for locals, the industry and visitors on bayofplentynz.com.
40. TBOP continues to work with Tourism NZ and Regional Tourism NZ on the ‘reimagination’ of the tourism sector nationally. With a strong domestic market and dedicated product development resource, TBOP is well-placed to help tourism businesses survive this period and restart New Zealand’s tourism economy.
41. Spend patterns across the coastal BOP for the week ending 3 May show the impact of the Alert Level 4 lockdown on the local economy (see attached Marketview report). The first week of level 3 showed an uptick in spend on retail and consumer services. In the last week of AL4 (w/e 26 April), spend was down 51.5% compared the same week in 2019. In comparison, the latest weekly results indicate spend was down 39% (cf. same week in 2019). Over the period since 3 Feb, spending is down 19% on last year.
42. The Libraries team quickly responded to the challenge of lockdown through a combination of taking existing programmes online, and creating new digital initiatives designed to entertain, inform and keep staff connected with our customers. 286 events, programmes, presentations and sessions providing digital assistance were held over March and April, attended or viewed by a total of 31,198 people. One of the highlights included Toddler Time, streamed twice weekly on Facebook, with a highest reach of 1,104 viewers. Although the sessions are live, they remain on the Facebook feed and viewing numbers grow as people watch at their leisure.
43. Digital library use nearly doubled during lockdown. Access was assisted by the fact that the library has had a digital-only membership category. This was a useful option for people who were not already members of the library at the time of the lockdown, but could easily apply for membership through the library website and receive a quick response. The most popular resources were e-books and e-audio books.
44. Combined e-book and e-audio book issues were 26,014 over March and April, a 92% increase on the same period last year. An average of 45,544 electronic documents were downloaded during March and April, compared to a monthly average of 28,380 in the financial year to date. Facebook engagements (the number of people liking, commenting on or tagging someone into a post) averaged 4,698 in March and April, compared to a monthly average of 2,071 in the financial year to date. The number of posts viewed (reach) averaged 59,889, compared to a monthly average of 32,386.
Building Control Officers
45. As you know, our building inspection team has been understaffed for a considerable period of time and since resuming inspections after the move to COVID-19 pandemic Alert Level 3, we looked to attract experienced professionals to this key role to help us get on top of a backlog of work.
46. This involved linked media releases around the work that went into preparing AL3 safety protocols and rescheduling inspections, followed by a release focusing on our need for more people with an engineering or plumbing and drainlaying background to join the building inspection team.
Sale of Lakes Boulevard & Aneta Way Properties (ex-Bella Vista)
47. The preferred parties identified from the earlier call for Registrations of Interest (Residential Development Opportunity – The Lakes, Tauranga TCC Reference No: TC184/19) were provided with Council’s Request for Proposal (RFP) on 22 April 2020.
48. The RFP invites each party to submit a response which includes a concept design of their proposed development, a development timeline, how the proposed development aligns with the City Plan and The Lakes (2012) covenants, the party’s on-sale target market, anticipated sale prices, development status at the time of sale, and the price and terms and conditions on which they are prepared to purchase the property from Council.
49. Supporting information provided with the RFP included a draft Sale and Purchase Agreement with specific terms and conditions; an encumbrance addressing the maintenance of the retaining walls which bound Pikimai Reserve; and an encumbrance limiting the purchaser from selling or occupying any of the property until specific works, including the retaining of the large cut, have been issued a code compliance certificate and LIMs have been updated.
50. The deadline for submission of proposals is 11 June 2020. An evaluation of the proposals will be completed, with the objective of identifying a top-ranked party to purchase the property, for a price and on terms and conditions which are acceptable to Council. A recommendation will then be made to the Chief Executive on the sale of the property to the top-ranked party. Council is under no obligation to accept any offer submitted.
CLASSIC DEVELOPMENTS NZ LTD vs TAURANGA CITY COUNCIL
51. Classic Developments NZ Ltd sought a Judicial review of a resource consent for a convenience centre at 520 Gloucester Road (Council Reference RC26847). Classic Developments challenged both the decision to not notify the application for the consent, and also the substantive decision which granted the consent. Provided below is a summary of the grounds for the judicial review and the High Court’s response to these matters.
52. Challenged the notification decision. In particular Classic thought it should be notified.
(a) The Court determined that Council followed due process and that effects were appropriately assessed, and stated that the challenge to the notification decision cannot succeed.
53. That Council erred in law and failed to give adequate reasons for its decision. Classic stated that the decision was unlawful.
(a) The Court determined that Council followed proper procedures, took into account relevant considerations and made a decision that was available to it.
54. The court states that “the application for judicial review fails” and agrees with Tauranga City Council’s procedures and decision-making.
Communications & ENGAGEMENT
55. There has been a sustained need for regular communication to the public on our level of service and operation of facilities as we move through the pandemic alert levels. This includes media releases, website changes, social media posts and responses, and design of signage/artwork. Internal communications have focused on keeping our people informed and providing the necessary information to enable staff to effectively work from home, while juggling families and maintaining wellbeing.
56. At the same time, we have been asking for feedback from our community on two key topics: annual plan 2020/21 and ‘Shape your City’ – Te Papa and Housing Choice plan change. A number of other key projects are progressing, including SAP, Vital Update research, Cameron Road improvements, Wairakei landscape plan and the proposed cycle plan. The Save our Pipes from Wipes campaign continues.
57. The Engagement Team has been supporting the essential service activities of the Communications team, in accordance with our pandemic plan. We have also supported the Western Emergency Operations Centre, particularly the welfare response, allowing other teams from council to continue delivering essential services.
58. Currently, we are working with teams planning engagement throughout council, in particular, we have been reviewing the engagement plans of our CIP project applications to ensure COVID-19 risks are identified and planned for.
59. Call Centre and Service Centre staff are continuing their collaborative work with MSD, making calls to vulnerable members of the community and referring those who need essential services support to the EOC. Over 2000 calls have been made to date, with several hundred remaining. In addition, staff have been assisting the Chamber of Commerce, Priority One and Tourism Bay of Plenty with “check in” calls to many local businesses, to ensure they are aware of the availability of relevant business support.
60. LIM and property file applications rose sharply when the alert levels changed from AL4 to AL3.
61. The Service Centre is preparing for opening at AL2 which will involve controlled customer entry, contactless interactions where possible, tracing requirements being met and strict hygiene management.
62. Takawaenga has re-established a process to facilitate Te Rangapu Mana Whenua o Tauranga Moana meetings. This will be done via two workshop groups, with the independent chair bridging the two groups. It has been a challenge with varying degrees of capability for members from 35-75 years of age.
63. This is especially important as local government continues to progress a range of major initiatives requiring consultation and tangata whenua input. Tangata whenua are already especially wary of the talk of fast-tracking RMA processes, so we need to be diligent and thorough to ensure due process.
64. Takawaenga has progressed online training delivery processes throughout the lockdown. Led by Mererina Murray, a number of video resources have been developed that will enable staff to undertake training remotely and online, at their own pace. In addition, a staff webinar has been trialled so that regular knowledge-building can be achieved through topical presentations available to all staff.
65. We have used a survey tool called Ask Your Team to understand how well our TCC team has been coping with our Covid response/working from home over the last 6 weeks. Happily, the results show we were doing well. We made a number of changes to improve people’s working from home set up and their connections to the organisation through online meetings, regular catch-ups with their people leaders etc. We are re-testing this week to understand the impact of these changes and the changing Alert Level.
66. Employment Related Cost Initiatives: We have created new processes/policies to ensure we can continue to manage our people-related costs over the coming financial year. This includes creating a ‘gateway’ review of all recruitment/contractor requests; redeploying employees where necessary; reassessing our spend around training and development activities; reviewing annual leave/time in lieu cost and processes, assessing the overall salary costs to the organisation.
67. Focusing on future ways of working –The impact of Covid-19 and working from home for a period of time means we’ve learnt a lot about new ways of working and living. We want to leverage this opportunity and are working with a cross-section of people from across the business to design recommendations for the future.
68. Council meetings under Alert Level 2 - Committee and Council ‘in-person’ meetings in the Council chambers are proposed to start with the Urban Form and Transport Development Committee meeting on Tuesday, 9 June 2020. Physical distancing, contact-tracing and health and safety protocols will be put in place for meetings. A decision will be made closer to the time, based on up-to-date information on the risk of community transmission. In the meantime, virtual Council and Finance, Audit and Risk Committee meetings will continue to be held fortnightly, alternating each week. These are livestreamed and the recordings are available on the council’s website.
69. Ombudsman’s Audit - I met virtually with the Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, on Thursday, 30 April 2020. This meeting was postponed from March 2020 due to Covid-19 and is a regular part of the Ombudsman’s audit of councils’ Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) processes. Staff from the Ombudsman’s Office have resumed contact with our staff as they continue progressing their report.
Cameron Road Short-Term Multi-Modal Project – progress update
70. Last month, the project team carried out webinars with Stakeholders and Community Liaison Group (local businesses, schools, residents’ reps) members to obtain feedback on the three concept options outlined in the Exec Briefing just prior to lockdown. These were successful and provided valuable feedback. We have since held a number of 1-on-1 calls with concerned business owners to provide further clarity and talk through issues. This engagement process has provided us with feedback on the concept options, which we have fed into the assessment process.
71. The project team also held a webinar with iwi representatives, which successfully set us up with a process to partner with iwi, to ensure we obtain the cultural values input we would like for the designs.
72. The project team also held a Multi Criteria Assessment (MCA) workshop via webinar with all project partners and their specialist advisors (public transport; cycling; urban design, etc). The MCA process considered and ranked the three shortlisted options against the project objectives (i.e. improved safety; improved active & public transport mode use; improved sense of place/amenity). This saw Option 8: High-level safety/multi-modal/place-making Investment identified as the preferred option. We are currently completing some sensitivity-testing around this MCA outcome, but its ranking relative to the alternative options was quite strong.
73. Key benefits of this option are its balanced approach to improving safety and streetscape amenity and providing for people movement; and the higher level of investment that provides more scope for elements like kerb changes and the ability to continue to respond to issues raised and deliver a more tailored solution. The option also fits with the government/minister aspirations to support growth in Tauriko through improved public transport access to employment and services, UFTI direction, and agreement that Te Papa is our transformational priority project that supports intensification around Cameron Road’s spinal function. However, it is the costliest option (a very rough total cost estimate of $40M, of which we reasonably expect 51% FAR subsidy from NZTA). We realise fiscal constraints may impact this project and others, as a result of COVID-19. We will be value-engineering the preliminary design where possible to address this.
74. The main components of Option 8 (High-level safety/multi-modal/place-making) are:
(a) One traffic lane in each direction between Harington St and Elizabeth St (although additional lane capacity will be provided for at intersections, for safe and efficient operation). This is to create better place-making and amenity outcomes, but we are conscious of the experience in Greerton around removing capacity and are undertaking further transport modelling to assist this decision
(b) Two traffic lanes in each direction between Elizabeth St and 17th Ave – a resolution was passed in July 2019 “not to proceed with replacing a traffic lane with bus/HOV lane”, based on traffic modelling evidence
(c) Bus lane from 16th Ave to 9th Ave; bus clearway (car parking off-peak) from 9th Ave to Elizabeth St; no buses in Elizabeth-Harington – we envisage the clearway and bus lane will be staged and future proofed
(d) Two-way separated cycleway on the eastern side, next to footpath
(e) Signalisation of 3rd and 9th Avenue intersections
(f) All crossing points to be controlled and focus on pedestrian/cycle priority
(g) Upgrades to create boulevard amenity
(h) High-level focus on place-making, with planting, wayfinding, cultural storytelling, active frontages, rest areas, artwork
(i) Shift kerb lines and trees within the central median
(j) Layout changes and some street closures to make side streets and intersections safer/more accessible for people on foot, bikes, mobility scooters.
75. Although Option 8 is preferred at this stage of the investigation, we realise we need to continue to work through some of the more specific details/site locational aspects, to ensure that the option will function and operate well. We also need to undertake transport modelling to evidence operational capacity. This means that the Project team will now develop Option 8 further, in line with the feedback received recently (both internal and external), and consider how the delivery of the various infrastructure elements would be staged. Affordability and demand will also govern staging and/or overall timing of implementation, but we want to be able to move forward swiftly with an approved preliminary design, when economically appropriate.
76. The project team and partners finalised the details of Option 8 in early-May, following which the preliminary design stage of the project commenced. We will present the preliminary design to you by July, for approval to proceed to public consultation and detailed design.
Te Papa Indicative Business Case decision welcomed
77. We’ve had informal contact from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development that Council’s decision to endorse the Te Papa Indicative Business Case has been welcomed at a ministerial level. We understand Minister Twyford circulated media coverage of the decision to his colleagues, describing it as ‘great progress’.
78. Feedback from Ministry officials has been equally positive, describing the work done on the Te Papa Spatial Plan Framework as some of the best urban planning they have seen.
Kāinga Tupu: Growing Homes
79. In October 2019, TCC joined forces with TECT, BayTrust, Acorn Foundation, Te Pūni Kōkiri, Department of Internal Affairs and the Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC) to develop a sub-regional Homelessness Strategy, in response to a request received from the WBOP Homelessness Provider Network. The strategy development was contracted through SociaLink to ensure that it was representative of a collective voice across the Western Bay of Plenty.
80. A governance steering group was established to support the development of the strategy. Organisations represented on the steering group included TCC, WBOPDC, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Te Pūni Kōkiri, Bay of Plenty DHB, Kāinga Ora: Homes and Communities, and four nominated providers - Accessible Properties Ltd, Under the Stars, Huria Management Trust, and Empowerment NZ. The strategy and action plan was completed in April 2020 and the steering group has now become the Mayoral Taskforce on Homelessness, chaired by Mayor Tenby Powell.
81. The WBoP Homelessness Strategy (Kāinga Tupu: Growing Homes) has four strategic priority areas; Prevention, Support, Supply and System Enablers, which align to the NZ Homelessness Action Plan. It is the intention of the Mayoral Taskforce to advocate for central government funding, including Tauranga being identified as a designated hot spot for homelessness, and a place-based response from Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing NZ).
82. Within the action plan, a number of identified priorities invite a commitment and involvement from TCC. TCC staff from Community Development, Strategy, and Policy and Planning will come together over the next two months to develop a position document on our proposed approach, and potential resource requirements to respond to the actions in this strategy. We will collectively seek endorsement of this proposed approach by Council.
Development of 82-98 Devonport Road
83. A public statement was prepared in mid-May on the intended sale of Council’s property at 82-98 Devonport Road and development proposed by Willis Bond. This required making the associated Council report public, with appropriate redactions of commercially-sensitive and legally-privileged material.
84. This followed a Council decision on 6 September 2019, which approved the sale of this property. The Council delegated authority to the CE to negotiate and agree terms, for a price within the range provided by two registered valuers.
Shape your city -Te Papa Plan and Housing Choice plan change engagement
85. The Te Papa and Housing Choice engagement is well underway with the Tauranga community, and the Te Papa community in particular. Due to COVID-19 limitations, community engagement was driven through council’s digital channels, such as website, social media and email, and substantially supported by radio and print advertising, as well as online and social media advertising. The chosen channels targeted a wide spread of our population. The community and our stakeholders were provided with all the information needed to engage with us to shape our city, supported by visual elements enabling them to picture both possible future urban form, and the outcomes of the projects on people and their lives. The team is also developing video content focused on bringing the community’s voice into these growth conversations, and showing how the Te Papa plan and Housing Choice plan changes could change the lives of our community. In this first video, produced under lockdown, we asked members of the Te Papa community what they think living in a more compact city could be like – right here in Tauranga: https://youtu.be/hX4F1FSjfHw.
86. People can provide their feedback on council’s proposals through various channels, and as the project teams can’t meet community members and stakeholders face to face at the moment, they offered other ways for people to ask questions and talk the projects. These ranged from emails and online meetings to narrated presentations for stakeholders, FAQs, online survey, an online form to ask questions, and a booking system for 1:1 phone discussions.
87. The online survey was designed to allow people to provide feedback on their own terms, by either taking the full survey or picking and choosing the topics they’re most interested in. The team promoted these options to participate in the discussion through various paid and organic channels, including the ‘Shape your City’ e-newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/31f30804edad/book-your-11-phone-chat-with-us-and-shape-your-city
88. To date we have gathered feedback from over 380 respondents (online survey only). The information analysed to date has been useful and will help inform the next steps for each project. Engagement ended on 19 May 2020.
Draft Land Transport GPS
89. The Government has issued the draft Land Transport Government Policy Statement and is consulting on it via a submission survey. TCC has completed and submitted the survey.
1. Attachment 1 Chief Executive Report Market view TBOP 3 May 20 - A11495049 ⇩
2. Attachment 2 Chief Executive Report GPS 2021 Submission survey - Final Draft - A11495051 ⇩
19 May 2020
File Number: A11504346
Author: Jane Groves, Stormwater Programme Leader
Authoriser: Nic Johansson, General Manager: Infrastructure
Purpose of the Report
To report back to Council on the following matters relating to the implementation of the Te Ara O Wairakei Landscape Plan:
1. The outcome of consultation carried out with residents of Palm Beach West and Tangata Whenua on enhancing the Te Ara O Wairakei reserve;
2. Existing and proposed arrangements relating to planting and maintenance of vegetation in this area; and,
3. Proposed continued engagement with these residents and the wider community on the Te Ara O Wairakei project.
That the Council:
a) Receives and accepts this report
b) Endorses the proposed arrangements relating to planting and maintenance of vegetation in the Stage 1 corridor (including the Palm Beach West area) until such time as a further update on the project is received from staff in mid-2021. These arrangements include:
o No further new planting within the Stage 1 corridor as a whole until mid-2021 (the commencement of the 2021/22 Financial Year).
o Continuation of maintenance including grass mowing, trimming and weed/dead plant removal where required. This extends to replacement of dead plants (like for like) to ensure adequate vegetation coverage to supress weed growth, to aid in stabilisation of stream banks and prevent erosion, and to comply with consent conditions to implement the landscape plan.
c) Endorses continued engagement with residents in the Palm Beach West area and the wider community until such time as a further update on the project is received from staff in mid-2021. The objective of continued engagement will be to develop a plan for planting the Palm Beach West reserve area that meets the requirements of the resource consent. This engagement will be carried out under advisement of the Project Engagement Specialist and will utilise a combination of the methods previously used to date.
4. The Stage 1 Te Ara O Wairakei Landscape Plan (Stage 1 Plan) was prepared in 2016/2017 in response to conditions within Tauranga City Council’s (Council’s) Comprehensive Stormwater Consent (CSC) RC62878. The CSC stipulates the requirement for consultation during plan development and for further consultation immediately prior to and during implementation. The CSC also specifies that the plan be fully implemented by 2025.
5. The Stage 1 Plan area encompasses 101 hectares of remnant stream corridor extending approximately 10km from Pacific View Drive in Papamoa to the boundary of Te Tumu.
6. Significant consultation and engagement with the local residents and Tangata Whenua has occurred since 2016 as required by the CSC. This consultation continues to this day and is proposed to continue until implementation of the Stage 1 Plan is complete (i.e. by 2025).
7. To date approximately 84% of the landscaping components within the Stage 1 Plan have been implemented – this includes 8.5ha of planting. This work is achieving Plan objectives which include the enhancement of recreation, amenity and stormwater/ecological management of the corridor. Community feedback in response to this work has generally been very favourable with the exception of one area in Palm Beach West.
8. A total of 9.9ha of planting remains, the majority of which is east of Parton Road within Palm Beach West. Palm Beach West residents have vocally opposed planting since planting commenced in their area. Their key concerns relate to their view that ponds are being converted to wetlands, obstruction of water views, bank slumping, plant selection, poor maintenance and vermin.
9. In response to these issues Council ceased new planting at this location and undertook more intensive engagement with residents through face to face meetings, public ‘area’ meetings, and establishment of a local e-newsletter distributed to all residents and Tangata Whenua. Issues relating to poor performance of the maintenance contractor were addressed and a new contractor was engaged and instructed to undertake an increased level of maintenance.
10. It is now evident that the above measures have failed to garner support for further planting from the Palm Beach West residents. On this basis staff now propose a range of recommendations in relation to further planting and continued engagement in this area.
11. Council holds resource consent (RC63636), a CSC granted by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BoPRC), to address stormwater management and the discharge of treated stormwater in the Papamoa Catchment.
12. The CSC requires Council to develop, in conjunction with stakeholders, a Landscape Plan for the Wairakei Stream Corridor and Taylor Reserve and facilitate the development, by Tangata Whenua, of a Cultural Plan for these areas. This Cultural Plan is to be implemented through the Landscape Plan.
13. The Wairakei Landscape and Cultural Plans direct development of the stream corridor, providing cultural recognition elements, enhanced recreation and amenity, together with stormwater and ecological management. They cover landscaping elements such as seating, signage, litter bins, cycleways, pedestrian bridges and plantings within the corridor including alongside the waterway. Cultural recognition elements include planting indigenous vegetation to reflect cultural values and historical association of Tangata Whenua with the site as specified in the CSC (Condition 10.6). Cultural elements also include provision of interpretation panels/signage, pou and other means of cultural interpretation.
14. The CSC (Condition 9) required that a draft Stage 1 Plan be lodged with the BOPRC by 31 December 2016 and a final Stage 1 plan by 31 December 2017. Stage 1 refers the geographical location of the stream corridor, which extends some 10km from Pacific View Road to the boundary of Te Tumu and encompasses an area of approximately 100 hectares.
15. To achieve the above requirements a draft Stage 1 Plan was presented to Council Elected Members [DC307] on 6 December 2016. Approval was given to lodge the draft plan with BoPRC and carry out public consultation (also a requirement of the CSC). The cost estimate for implementation of the plan, based on concept design, was $5.63M.
16. Following public consultation and detailed design the Stage 1 Plan was finalised and again presented to Council’s (then) Environment Committee [DC210] on 26 September 2017 with recommendations to approve the plan for submission to the BoPRC and support in principle, inclusion in the 2018-28 Long Term Plan of the updated budget of $5.77M. These recommendations were endorsed by the Committee.
17. In addition to consultation on the draft plan, the CSC also stipulates that public consultation occur prior to its implementation. For further detail on this aspect please refer to the Consultation section below.
18. The CSC requires full implementation of the final Stage 1 Plan by 2025 (consent Condition 9.8). If full implementation is not achieved, Council may be in breach of the CSC and subject to enforcement action by BoPRC (refer to Legal Implications/Risk section below for further detail)
19. Within the 101ha project area, implementation of tracks, seating, bollards, shade trees and signage has been completed in 4 of the 5 areas (84.3ha, 84%). This includes 8.5km of new tracks, extensive track widening, boardwalk and culvert crossings over wet areas, an upgraded bridge, 21 seats, 60 entrance and wayfinding signs, and 75 specimen trees for shade and amenity. Almost 300,000 plants have been installed in 8.5ha of the reserve.
20. 16% of the 101ha project area remains uncompleted (predominantly from Parton Road east). This includes 9.9ha of planting, of which 0.86ha (4.7%) is located in the Palm Beach West reserve area.
21. The specific area in which residents have raised concerns is within the Palm Beach West reserve from Bermuda Drive to Palm Beach Boulevard. Principal concerns relate to the planting of indigenous plants or more specifically, the maintenance of planted areas, the mature height of plantings, bank slumping, and outcomes of planting. Reserve enhancements such as seating, specimen trees, signs, or walkways have overwhelmingly been supported, evidenced by large numbers of the community using this area over the Covid-19 lockdown period.
22. Alongside TCC consultation, mailbox drops and online information has been disseminated by third parties containing incorrect information about the Landscape Plan, consultation and planting. Recent engagement has identified that this incorrect information has contributed to residents misunderstanding about key project details including: lack of consultation by Council, planting will fill in ponds to create wetlands, planting has caused bank erosion/slumping, residents decide and control how the reserve is managed, planting will include large scale flax plantations, plantings will increase rat infestations, planting will not improve reserve water quality, and planting will block all water views.
23. Council has experienced significant performance issues with the planting sub-contractor. The key issues were poor spraying practice resulting in high plant mortality and maintenance (weeding) not being completed to the agreed schedule. Council received complaints from residents about planted areas being overgrown and unsightly. To remedy this, Council terminated the sub-contractor’s contract and engaged a replacement contractor. Council and the new contractor developed a fast-track plan for remedying maintenance (interrupted by Covid-19 restrictions) and a plan to undertake infill planting in areas affected by over-spray and drought in planting areas from Pacific View Road to Palm Beach West.
Legal Implications / Risks
24. The CSC requires full implementation of the Final Stage 1 Plan by 2025 (consent Condition 9.8). If implementation in the Palm Beach West area differs significantly from that depicted in the final plan (i.e. the plan which was consulted on and submitted to and approved by BoPRC), Council could be held liable for breaching the CSC and therefore be subject to possible enforcement action. The nature of this action will likely depend on the perceived extent of breach i.e. the extent to which the plan was not implemented.
25. In addition, Tangata Whenua are deeply engaged with the Stage 1 Plan implementation including blessing the site at the commencement of planting. If implementation differs significantly from that depicted in the final plan, Tangata Whenua may view this as a breach of the CSC (Condition 9.7) which specifies that the Stage 1 Plan shall give effect to cultural recognition. Tangata whenua representatives have stated that they regard planting indigenous species as an integral component of achieving cultural recognition in the reserve.
26. The Stage 1 Plan plant selection and planting approach is consistent with Council’s landscape treatment in stormwater devices generally, including high amenity stormwater reserves. The Stage 1 Plan is not different or unusual with respect to landscape treatments for stormwater devices and meets Council specifications.
Consultation / Engagement
27. As per CSC requirements significant consultation has already occurred during plan development and immediately prior to and during its implementation. Consultation and engagement continues to this day.
Consultation thus far, as it relates to the landscaping elements, has included:
· A letter to all landowners who border the reserve,
· Public open days,
· Presentations to community groups and at council meetings
· Project profiles in newspaper articles and on the council website.
· Plans made available online and at the Pāpāmoa Community Centre with the ability to give direct feedback.
28. In relation to Tangata Whenua, consultation has comprised targeted workshops with Tangata Whenua representatives to ascertain cultural values for the corridor and facilitate development of Cultural Plans which will ultimately lead to implementation of cultural elements (e.g. plant species selection, planting approach, pou, interpretation panels etc.). To date, development of cultural interpretation elements continues with implementation anticipated in late 2020.
29. Attachment 1 to this report provides a log of all consultation and engagement (Community and Tangata Whenua) relating to this project from early 2016 to current. For community consultation it identifies the relevant party, the method of engagement and includes a link to any associated material prepared. Tangata Whenua meeting/workshops dates are also noted and minutes are available should they be required.
30. Under the Significance and Engagement Policy 2014, this project is of moderate significance as it is likely to have moderate public interest.
31. The following arrangements are proposed relating to planting and maintenance of vegetation in the Stage 1 corridor (including the Palm Beach West area) until such time as a further update on the project is received from staff in mid-2021. These arrangements include:
o No further new planting within the Stage 1 corridor as a whole until mid-2021 (the commencement of the 2021/22 Financial Year).
o Continuation of maintenance including grass mowing, trimming and weed/dead plant removal where required. This extends to replacement of dead plants (like for like) to ensure adequate vegetation coverage to suppress weed growth, and to aid in stabilisation of stream banks and prevent erosion.
32. Staff propose continued engagement with residents in the Palm Beach West area and the wider community until such time as a further update to the Committee on the project is provided by staff in mid-2021. The objective of this continued engagement will be to develop an appropriate plan for planting the Palm Beach West area that meets the requirements of the CSC. This engagement will be carried out under advisement of the Project Engagement Specialist and will utilise a combination of the methods previously used to date.
1. Stage 1 Wairakei Stream Landscape Plan Consultation Timeline - A10460508 ⇩