Archive | Councils

Council maintenance contract decision process enters final stages, Panuku report, home fires bylaw

Auckland Council is nearing the end of a long process to reorganise its maintenance contracts for parks, council buildings & open space, called Project 17.

Preferred suppliers were identified last Friday and the council’s community facilities department is taking its proposals to local boards over the next fortnight, starting with a session at the local board chairs’ forum today.

The material before local boards is extensive, set out in 8 documents:

Attachment 1, political engagement timeline
Attachment 2, local board resolutions (September 2016)
Attachment 3, standard & enhanced assets
Attachment 4, full facilities contract service specifications
Attachment 5, supplier-specific information (in confidential agendas)
Attachment 6, contractor performance balanced scorecard
Attachment 7, tupuna maunga values specification
Attachment 8, contract information (in confidential agendas).

According to the schedule outlined for local boards, the council’s strategic procurement committee is set to make its recommendations on supplier contracts at the end of next week, so the finance & performance committee can agree suppliers, pricing & baseline service levels the following week.

In April, as part of the council annual plan process, local board workshops will be held to discuss locally driven initiative funding priorities, which may include recommendations to enhance maintenance service levels.

In another round of workshops at the end of April & early May, local boards are scheduled to agree local service level priorities.

Public submissions on the council’s annual plan close on Monday 27 March.

The council governing body will meet on 31 May-1 June to finalise its 2017-18 budgets, and new maintenance contracts will start on the first day of the new financial year, 1 July.

In other material before local boards over the next fortnight:

Panuku reports on Wynyard, waterfront strategy & own lease

The first tenants have moved into the Mason Brothers building in the Wynyard Quarter. The building is part of stage 1 of Precinct Properties NZ Ltd’s programme of developing commercial sites in the quarter.

Council organisation Ateed (Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development Ltd) has taken the head lease on the neighbouring new development of 12 Madden St for the establishment of Grid AKL, the coworking space for innovative business & startups. It’s scheduled for completion in July.

Panuku Development Auckland’s lease on its Westhaven office expires mid-year, and the organisation says it’s likely that it will be more cost effective for Panuku to move to a modest-quality building in the cbd rather than remain in its current building.

Panuku is working on a refresh of the waterfront strategy, which will frame future development within the cbd waterfront area. It will be report to the council on the strategy this month, and draft framework plans will be reported in May.

Home fires bylaw

The council publicly notified the draft air quality bylaw for indoor domestic fires on 27 February, and public submissions close on Monday 27 March.

Local boards have been given until Monday 3 April to send in written submissions, and can give oral submissions at a local board hearings session scheduled for Wednesday 19 April.

Project 17, Auckland Council maintenance contracts
Grid AKL
Draft air quality bylaw & statement of proposal

Attribution: Council agendas.

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A weighty 3 days for Auckland councillors

Auckland Council’s politicians enter day 2 today of 3 days of weighty issues to start the third term of the council.

The planning committee met yesterday, the finance & performance committee gives its first consideration today to mayor Phil Goff’s proposal on the annual budget, and tomorrow the regulatory committee has a number of issues to consider.

I’ll run more extensive reports later in the week on all 3 meetings. For the moment, below are some of the questions resolved at the planning committee meeting:

The committee agreed to lodge an appeal in the High Court against conditions in a KiwiRail designation concerning crossings on the long-proposed Avondale-Southdown railway line.

The committee agreed the council should make a submission on the NZ Transport Agency’s proposals for the East-West link between State highway 1 at Mt Wellington & State highway 20 at Onehunga, set up a political reference group to deal with urgent issues during the hearing, then expanded the reference group because a number of other councillors wanted to be on it.

A political reference group was also set up on the northern corridor improvements project, which is the final piece of the Western ring route jigsaw.

The committee debated whether the housing accord should be extended to allow for the last special housing areas to remain covered by it, instead of falling under the regulations of the new unitary plan, but eventually went with an extension.

Attribution: Committee meetings.

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Winder to stay on at Kaipara council as Crown manager

Peter Winder.

Peter Winder.

One of the 3 commissioners who’ve been in charge of the Kaipara District Council since 2012, Peter Winder, will stay on as Crown manager after the local body elections on 8 October.

The Government appointed 4 commissioners to replace the elected council in August 2012 – John Robertson (chair), Richard Booth, Colin Dale & Peter Winder. Mr Dale, former chief executive of the Manukau City Council, left his Kaipara role in February 2014 to become acting chief executive of the Far North District Council.

The primary cause of the decision to appoint commissioners was the blowout in cost of the new Mangawhai sewage scheme.

Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston said yesterday Mr Winder would bring with him his extensive experience & in-depth knowledge: “Mr Winder will support council members by taking responsibility for legal actions relating to past issues on their behalf. This will allow council members to focus on the district’s future.”

The Crown manager role is for 3 years.

Mr Winder was chief executive of the Auckland Regional Council for the 5 years until it became part of the new Auckland Council, and set up a private firm, McGredy Winder & Co Ltd, in 2010 to work on advice & strategies for public organisations.

He was previously the regional council’s transport director for a year, chief executive of Local Government NZ for 2 years and spent 5 years at Tourism NZ as industry strategy general manager. He’s chaired the Manukau Institute of Technology since December 2013.

Earlier stories:
6 June 2016: Kaipara to get elected council in October
26 April 2015: Kaipara commissioners reappointed until 2016
30 August 2012: 
Minister names 4 commissioners to run Kaipara council

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Kaipara to get elected council in October

The Kaipara District will return to having a fully elected council at this year’s local body elections, supported by a Crown manager & a Crown observer. The previous elected council resigned in 2012 and was replaced by commissioners.

Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston said last week: “The Kaipara commissioners have made significant progress in getting the council into a stable financial position. It is time the council returns to a fully elected council. I have called an election of the council to coincide with the local body elections in October.”

Ms Upston said she would also appoint a Crown manager and a Crown observer to support the newly elected council as it settles in: “I will appoint a Crown manager to take responsibility for certain outstanding legal actions on behalf of the newly elected council. Newly elected council members will then be able to focus on providing effective governance and on the district’s future, rather than being distracted by past issues.

“It is important that newly elected council members have the right support to be successful in their demanding & complex role. With this in mind, I will also appoint a Crown observer to help ensure newly elected council members are well supported. The Crown observer will not be involved in decision-making and will only offer advice or guidance.

“It is crucial that the Kaipara District is able to look to the future. The return to a fully elected council, together with a Crown Manager and Crown Observer supporting the Council, will provide the District with a fresh start.”

Crown Manager and Crown Observer appointees will be announced in the coming months.

Earlier stories:
27 April 2016: Kaipara commissioners seek input on annual plan
26 April 2015: Kaipara commissioners reappointed until 2016
30 August 2012: Minister names 4 commissioners to run Kaipara council

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Law passed for ECan’s transition to elected council

Legislation for a 2-stage transition of Environment Canterbury (ECan) back to being an elected council passed its third reading in Parliament last week.

The Government appointed commissioners to replace ECan members in 2010 after a critical external review of its performance. Legislation empowering the governance arrangements said their term was to end at the local body elections in 2013.

7 councillors will be elected this October to work alongside 6 appointed councillors, before moving to a fully elected council in 2019.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said: “The commissioners have done an outstanding job of progressing the plans required to properly manage freshwater, rebuilding the organisation, strengthening its relationships with the 10 councils across Canterbury and supporting the earthquake recovery.

“This transition is important in maintaining continuity and the momentum of ECan in areas such as the earthquake recovery, the completion of catchment water plans and its work in regional economic development.”

Dr Smith said the transition was particularly important in respect of freshwater management: “Canterbury had no operative regional plan in 2010, nor any limits on intensification & nutrients. It was a huge step forward when the commission completed the regional water plan. The key to its success is in completing zone plans in each of Canterbury’s 10 catchments. This task is do-able with the transitional mixed governance model & special streamlined planning process provided for in this bill.

“This pragmatic transition for ECan is about supporting Canterbury’s move from earthquake recovery to regeneration, and getting the foundations right for the long-term management of the region’s freshwater resources.”

Earlier stories:
10 July 2015: Full ECan elections to come in 2019
23 March 2015: 
Government thinks semi-democratic for Environment Canterbury
7 September 2012: 
Ministers rate efficiency above democracy as they extend Environment Canterbury commissioners’ role
18 November 2009: 
2 teams named to investigate Environment Canterbury performance

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Kaipara commissioners seek input on annual plan

Kaipara District Council, still run by commissioners, is seeking feedback on its annual plan, which includes a $10.1 million reduction in debt.

Commissioner John Robertson, who chairs the council, said yesterday there were no significant changes from the long-term plan but the commissioners wanted feedback because the council had a number of projects actively involving members of the community.

“One project which is of great interest in Dargaville is the library redesign. The concept plans for this will be on display for comment. In Mangawhai, the early work on the town plan is also progressing, as are the ‘placemaking’ concepts for Kaiwaka & Dargaville.”

Mr Robertson said the round-table consultation sessions would also provide opportunities to discuss roading, water & wastewater – the last of these, in the form of the blowout in debt on the former council’s Mangawhai Ecocare scheme, resulted in the replacement of councillors & mayor by commissioners in 2012.

The commissioners will conduct “Let’s Connect” sessions from 2-10 May in Maungaturoto, Dargaville, Mangawhai, Kaiwaka & Paparoa.

The Government reappointed the commissioners in April last year until the local body elections this October.

Kaipara District Council

Earlier story:
26 April 2015: Kaipara commissioners reappointed until 2016

Attribution: Council release.

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Council development agency to decide initial shortlist by December

Auckland Council’s new development agency will cut a list of 9 large-site targets down to a shortlist of 2-3 when it reports back to the council’s Auckland development committee on 10 December.

When council strategists started on the project they had a list of 64 large sites that were recommended, referred to as type 1. The agency formed on 1 September, Panuku Development Auckland, will take over from here.

The council’s principal business growth & infrastructure advisor, David Taylor, said in a report to the committee yesterday the type 1 urban redevelopment areas would require a high custodial, long-term approach, such as the redevelopment activities at the Auckland waterfront. This was integral to council priorities such as spatial priorities & special housing areas.

The 9 areas on the list at the moment are Manukau, Otahuhu, Onehunga, Newmarket, Northcote, Takapuna, Mt Eden Station, Avondale & Henderson.

Cllr Cameron Brewer said Newmarket & Mt Eden station were potentially the top 2 in terms of market attractiveness, but asked if they were unlikely to make the shortlist because the council would have less land influence there.

Mr Taylor said all recommended sites had tradeoffs, and at this stage of Panuku’s existence control over how an area developed was important to it: “Without any funding for Panuku, land is a key element.”

Cllr Brewer warned that the public raised concerns about the role the council might get into in development: “If we’re starting to get into the role of purchasing land….” He said Panuku’s role needed to be in forming partnerships and facilitating development not in competing with the private sector.

Cllr Cathy Casey pointed to a role of providing housing for the elderly but was concerned at the emphasis on location, citing the Catholic Church’s Liston Village as an example where there was competition between taking land occupied by a number of elderly residents and using it for a park: “The local board has the view given the housing shortage that we retain the village. The location doesn’t enter into your list, but housing for older people is an issue across the whole region.”

Mr Taylor said Panuku had housing for older people as a separate project line. He said the initial type 1 category was about size, where the council agency could facilitate development and draw in partners: “Where we had some skin in the game was important.”

Attribution: Council committee meeting & agenda.

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First priority list proposed for new council development agency

Auckland Council staff will put 9 locations to a council committee on Thursday as priority areas for its new development arm to focus on.

They are: Manukau, Otahuhu, Onehunga, Newmarket, Northcote, Takapuna, Mt Eden Station, Avondale & Henderson.

These areas were selected after an urban location analysis project and will be put to the council’s Auckland development committee as areas for the new agency, to Panuku Development Auckland, to consider.

Panuku Development Auckland was formed on 1 September through the merger of Auckland Council Property Ltd & Waterfront Auckland.

The council’s principal business growth & infrastructure advisor, David Taylor, says in a report for Thursday’s meeting the analysis was done in the transition to recommend locations for the new “type 1” urban redevelopment programme, which would require a high custodial, long-term approach to redevelopment, such as the redevelopment activities at the Auckland waterfront.

Mr Taylor said the work done through this project, and the focus of Panuku especially as it relates to type 1 locations, was integral to council priorities such as spatial priorities & special housing areas.

The new organisation’s board could now shortlist type 1 locations and develop a type 1 programme. Mr Taylor said Panuku would also prioritise the existing portfolio carried over from Auckland Council Property and the treatment of these projects into other less custodial programmes.

“Panuku will seek to develop a view on the full range of programmes – including the next-order type 2 & 3 locations – they will take forward across the Auckland region and will engage further with councillors, local boards & communities on this before the end of the year.”

Attribution: Committee agenda.

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Smith cites ECan water collaboration as example to repeat

Collaboration on water management in Canterbury may be followed by a similar approach on biodiversity.

Environment Minister Nick Smith said on Friday Canterbury’s experience of collaboration on water was being published to help other regions & communities run their own collaborative planning processes.

Dr Smith said at the report’s launch in Christchurch: “This report reinforces the benefits of a more collaborative approach to the challenge of improving freshwater management. The staff & zone committees of Environment Canterbury have made more progress on freshwater over the past 5 years than in any other part of the country by getting all of the parties with an interest in water engaged in the rules & initiatives needed to better manage Canterbury’s water.

“The staff of Environment Canterbury share not only their successes in this report, but they also acknowledge their struggles & challenges to demonstrate that, while it’s not always easy, it’s worth it. The report shows that collaborative processes are not just about coming to an agreement – they also provide an opportunity to strengthen the wider community and define the future of their region through the sustainable, long-term decisions that are made.

“Freshwater management is not the only area that stands to gain from using a collaborative approach. I have previously suggested a collaborative approach to developing a national policy statement on biodiversity. This is another contentious environmental issue which to date has been unable to be progressed, and I see a role for a tight collaborative process involving farmers & conservationists. The experience will have much to offer by way of guidance.”

Links: Environment Canterbury, Canterbury water management strategy report
Environment Canterbury

Earlier stories:
10 July 2015: Full ECan elections to come in 2019
23 March 2015: 
Government thinks semi-democratic for Environment Canterbury
7 September 2012: 
Ministers rate efficiency above democracy as they extend Environment Canterbury commissioners’ role
18 November 2009: 
2 teams named to investigate Environment Canterbury performance

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Full ECan elections to come in 2019

The Government has settled on a mixed elected/appointed model for Environment Canterbury to be selected next year, and for the council to be fully elected in 2019 – 10 years after commissioners were put in place.

The central issue for the Government has been water management. Environment Minister Nick Smith said on Wednesday this had been greatly improved under the commissioners.

At next year’s local body elections, Environment Canterbury will have 8 elected members, 7 appointed, and all the members will vote on who should be chair & deputy.

Dr Smith said a majority of Canterbury’s 10 territorial councils had supported this model provided the transition to a fully elected council was made in 2019.

“Environment Canterbury has made huge progress in developing a comprehensive water plan, supporting the earthquake recovery and in rebuilding relationships with the region’s 10 council,” he said.

“Improved water management remains at the core of the Government’s decisions on ECan, with the region having half the nation’s water take and a third of the region’s hydro-electric generation, and some of the most challenging issues over nutrient management & water quality.

“The commissioners have made huge progress, taking Canterbury from being a laggard to a leader in setting limits on water takes & nutrients. The special powers that enabled commissioners to impose moratoria on water takes and manage water conservation orders are no longer required and will lapse in October 2016. The mixed governance council will retain the limited appeals on plan changes until 2019 to enable the rules to be finalised in each of the zones of the Canterbury land & water regional plan.”

Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston said: “The mixed model will also help maintain the strong relationships that have been built between ECan & Ngai Tahu & the Canterbury councils. The people of Canterbury need certainty & continued stable governance to deal with the unique challenges of freshwater management &the earthquake recovery.”

The decisions the ministers announced will be included in a bill to be referred to the local government & environment select committee. The public will have another opportunity to make submissions this year.

Earlier stories:
23 March 2015: Government thinks semi-democratic for Environment Canterbury
7 September 2012: Ministers rate efficiency above democracy as they extend Environment Canterbury commissioners’ role
18 November 2009: 2 teams named to investigate Environment Canterbury performance

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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