I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Budget Committee will be held on:

 

Date:                      

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

9.30am

Reception Lounge
Auckland Town Hall
301-305 Queen Street
Auckland

 

Budget Committee

 

OPEN AGENDA

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Mayor Len Brown, JP

 

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Penny Webster

 

Members

Cr Anae Arthur Anae

Cr Calum Penrose

 

Cr Cameron Brewer

Cr Dick Quax

 

Cr Dr Cathy Casey

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

Cr Bill Cashmore

Member David Taipari

 

Cr Ross Clow

Member John Tamihere

 

Cr Linda Cooper, JP

Cr Sir John Walker, KNZM, CBE

 

Cr Chris Darby

Cr Wayne Walker

 

Cr Alf Filipaina

Cr John Watson

 

Cr Hon Chris Fletcher, QSO

Cr George Wood, CNZM

 

Cr Penny Hulse

 

 

Cr Denise Krum

 

 

Cr Mike Lee

 

 

(Quorum 11 members)

 

 

 

Mike Giddey

Democracy Advisor

 

4 May 2014

 

Contact Telephone: (09) 307 7565

Email: mike.giddey@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 


 

TERMS OF REFERENCE

 

 

Responsibilities

 

Development of the Long Term Plan and Annual Plans under the chairmanship of the Mayor who leads these processes including:

 

·         Local Board agreements

·         Local Board Funding Policy

·         Financial Policy related to LTP and AP (recommendation to the Governing Body)

·         Setting of rates (recommendation to the Governing Body)

·         Draft LTP and Annual Plan prior to community consultation

·         Development contributions policy

 

Powers

 

(i)         All powers necessary to perform the committee’s responsibilities.

Except:

(a)     powers that the Governing Body cannot delegate or has retained to itself (see Governing Body responsibilities)

(b)     where the committee’s responsibility is explicitly limited to making a recommendation only

(ii)      Approval of a submission to an external body

(iii)     Powers belonging to another committee, where it is necessary to make a decision prior to the next meeting of that other committee.

(iv)    Power to establish subcommittees.

(v)     Power to establish panels for the purpose of hearing submissions.

 

 

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                        PAGE

1          Apologies                                                                                                                        5

2          Declaration of Interest                                                                                                   5

3          Confirmation of Minutes                                                                                               5

4          Petitions                                                                                                                          5  

5          Public Input                                                                                                                    5

6          Local Board Input                                                                                                          5

7          Extraordinary Business                                                                                                5

8          Notices of Motion                                                                                                          6

9          Annual Plan 2014/2015 - Overview and process update                                           7

10        Update on the six Māori priority project areas                                                        61

11        Independent Māori Statutory Board - proposed Funding Agreement for the 2014/15 financial year                                                                                                                71

12        Annual Plan 2014/2015 - Local board advocacy                                                       77

13        Local Board Agreements 2014/2015 update

This report will be provided in an addendum agenda.

 

14        Annual Plan 2014/2015 - Budget Update                                                                 127

15        Rates related policies and changes to fees and charges                                     223

16        Mayor's Proposal for the final Annual Plan 2014/2015

This report will be provided prior to the meeting.

 

17        Auckland Arts Festival annualisation                                                                     255  

18        Consideration of Extraordinary Items 

 

 


1          Apologies

 

An apology from Cr D Quax has been received.

 

2          Declaration of Interest

 

Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as a member and any private or other external interest they might have.

 

3          Confirmation of Minutes

 

That the Budget Committee:

a)         confirm the ordinary minutes of its meeting, held on Thursday, 27 March 2014 as a true and correct record.

 

 

4          Petitions

 

At the close of the agenda no requests to present petitions had been received.

 

5          Public Input

 

Standing Order 3.21 provides for Public Input.  Applications to speak must be made to the Committee Secretary, in writing, no later than two (2) working days prior to the meeting and must include the subject matter.  The meeting Chairperson has the discretion to decline any application that does not meet the requirements of Standing Orders.  A maximum of thirty (30) minutes is allocated to the period for public input with five (5) minutes speaking time for each speaker.

 

At the close of the agenda no requests for public input had been received.

 

6          Local Board Input

 

Standing Order 3.22 provides for Local Board Input.  The Chairperson (or nominee of that Chairperson) is entitled to speak for up to five (5) minutes during this time.  The Chairperson of the Local Board (or nominee of that Chairperson) shall wherever practical, give two (2) days notice of their wish to speak.  The meeting Chairperson has the discretion to decline any application that does not meet the requirements of Standing Orders.

 

This right is in addition to the right under Standing Order 3.9.14 to speak to matters on the agenda.

 

At the close of the agenda no requests for local board input had been received.

 

7          Extraordinary Business

 

Section 46A(7) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:

 

“An item that is not on the agenda for a meeting may be dealt with at that meeting if-

 

(a)        The local  authority by resolution so decides; and

 

(b)        The presiding member explains at the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public,-

 

(i)         The reason why the item is not on the agenda; and

 

(ii)        The reason why the discussion of the item cannot be delayed until a subsequent meeting.”

 

Section 46A(7A) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:

 

“Where an item is not on the agenda for a meeting,-

 

(a)        That item may be discussed at that meeting if-

 

(i)         That item is a minor matter relating to the general business of the local authority; and

 

(ii)        the presiding member explains at the beginning of the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public, that the item will be discussed at the meeting; but

 

(b)        no resolution, decision or recommendation may be made in respect of that item except to refer that item to a subsequent meeting of the local authority for further discussion.”

 

8          Notices of Motion

 

At the close of the agenda no requests for notices of motion had been received.

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Annual Plan 2014/2015 - Overview and process update

 

File No.: CP2014/08436

 

  

 

 

Purpose

1.       To provide an overview of the consultation process and related matters on the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 and outline the process to finalise and adopt the Annual Plan 2014/2015.

Executive summary

2.       The Governing Body adopted the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015, including draft local board agreements, on 19 December 2013.  The draft annual plan largely represented year three of the LTP 2012-2022, and proposed an average rates increase of 2.4% (lower than the average rate increase proposed in the LTP of 4.9%).  The key consultation topics for the draft plan were making the Auckland Arts Festival an annual event and Auckland’s stadium strategy.

3.       Public consultation took place between 23 January and 24 February 2014, followed by local and regional hearings between 17 March and 11 April.

4.       Auckland Council received 1,967 submissions covering around 10,230 submission points on the draft plan.  283 submitters (14.4 per cent) wished to be heard, of which 44 requested to be heard at a regional hearing. 

5.       Most of the feedback received related to the two key consultation topics.  All submission responses have been reviewed.   Local board workshops and deliberation meetings were held between 24 March and 17 April to consider responses to local issues.  Regional analysis is provided as part of this report or within the relevant reports on today’s agenda (Auckland Arts Festival, Budget update and Financial policy/fees related). 

6.       While analysis of the submissions on the stadium strategy show 46.9 per cent do not support the stadium strategy, a significant proportion of the comments (72 per cent) relate to specific issues, rather than the overall strategy.  RFA have analysed the annual plan submissions and the summary report to the RFA Board at its meeting on 30 April is attached.  The annual plan submissions will inform further work to be undertaken by RFA on the stadium strategy and any financial impact will be considered as part of the LTP process. An update on the stadium strategy will be reported to the Governing Body in June 2014.

7.       Since the draft annual plan was adopted, staff have reviewed and updated group budgets to better reflect the true cost of delivering the activities included in the draft plan.  In addition, new budget requests have been put forward since the budget refresh, including requests arising through the submissions process.  These requests will be considered today as part of the Mayor’s proposal.

 

Recommendation/s

That the Budget Committee:

a)      refer the analysis of submissions on the stadium strategy contained in this report to the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee to consider and provide any feedback to the RFA, noting that the annual plan submissions on the stadium strategy, along with any feedback from council, will form part of RFA’s considerations in the further development and implementation of the stadium strategy and that any financial impact will be considered as part of the LTP process

b)      note that the decisions required to finalise the Annual Plan 2014/2015 are set out in separate reports on today’s agenda.

 

 

Comments

 

8.       The Governing Body adopted the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015, including draft local board agreements, on 19 December 2013.  A special edition of OurAuckland, summarising the draft plan and the regional and local consultation areas was distributed across Auckland, along with a submission form.  A draft Annual Plan website was launched on 23 January providing a comprehensive overview of the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 and an online submission form tailored for each local board area.  Volumes 1 and 2 of the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 were available in libraries, local board offices, service centres and online.  Accessible versions were also available online.

9.       The special consultative procedure (SCP) was used to consult on the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015.  Public consultation took place between 23 January and 24 February 2014.  The hearings phase on the draft plan ran from 17 March to 11 April - there were 21 local hearings and 2 days of regional hearings.  The regional hearings consisted of 1.5 days of traditional hearings and a half day forum on the stadium strategy.

10.     The draft annual plan largely represented year three of the LTP 2012-2022, and proposed an average rates increase of 2.4% (lower than the average rate increase proposed in the LTP of 4.9%).  The key consultation topics for the draft plan were:

·        Making the Auckland Arts Festival an annual event

·        Auckland’s stadium strategy.

11.     Analysis on submission responses to annualising the arts festival, budget related or financial policy/fees and charges related matters is provided in the relevant reports that are part of this agenda.  A summary of submission responses to the stadium strategy, along with other key themes coming through the consultation process, is set out in the consideration section of this report.

Deliberation of budgets

12.     Between 24 March and 17 April, local board workshops and meetings were held to discuss the key issues for finalising local board agreements, feedback on region-wide priorities and policies and advocacy areas. 

13.     Discussions between local boards and the Budget Committee took place between 29-30 April, providing an opportunity to discuss local priorities for 2014/2015 and beyond and key areas of advocacy for each local board prior to the Budget Committee making final decisions for the Annual Plan 2014/2015.

14.     On 5 May, the Budget Committee held discussions with each substantial council controlled organisation (CCO) to discuss 2014/2015 priorities, budgets and key deliverables, as well as any issues raised through the annual plan submission and hearings process and any local board advocacy areas that involve CCOs.

Updated high-level budget situation

15.     Since the draft annual plan was adopted, staff have reviewed and updated group budgets to better reflect the true cost of delivering the activities included in the draft plan.  In addition, a range of new budget requests have been put forward since the budget refresh, including:

·        budget requests from CCOs and parent

·        additional funding sought by the Independent Maori Statutory Board

·        local board advocacy

·        A range of requests arising through the submission process.

16.     A separate report on today’s agenda provides a full update on budgets and Council is asked to consider the budget requests through the Mayors proposal for the final Annual Plan 2014/2015. 

Consideration

Summary of public consultation

17.     Auckland Council received 1,967 submissions covering around 10,230 submission points on the draft plan.  This is in line with submission levels for the 2011/2012 Annual Plan (around 1,800 submissions), but significantly lower than for the Annual Plan 2013/2014 where around 3,950 submissions were received.

18.     283 submitters (14.4 per cent) wished to be heard, of which 44 requested to be heard at a regional hearing.  Submissions that covered both regional and local content were heard at local hearings, with at least the ward councillor(s) present to hear regional content.  Most of the feedback received related to the two key consultation topics – the proposal to annualise the Auckland Arts Festival and the stadium strategy.

Response to proposal to annualise the Auckland Arts Festival

19.     The Auckland Festival Trust has requested approximately $1 million additional funding per annum from the council (through the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board) from 2015/2016 in order to hold the Auckland Arts Festival annually instead of every two years.  While the funding request does not impact budgets for 2014/2015, an indicative decision is required now in order to meet planning requirements.  A business case has been prepared and a decision is sought via a separate item on today’s agenda.  

Response to Auckland Stadium strategy

20.     RFA’s stadium strategy has been in development since RFA’s establishment in 2010, with a series of engagements taking place over 2011 and 2012.  In December 2012, Auckland Council resolved to undertake wider public consultation on the stadium strategy (deferred until the 2014/2015 annual plan process).

21.     In addition to the draft annual plan SCP process, council staff organised three public information sessions in March at Mt Smart, Eden Park and North Harbour Stadiums with council and RFA staff in attendance.  Public attendance at these sessions was very low.

22.     A total of 1,069 submitters (54.4% of all submitters) provided a response on the stadium strategy.  Of these, 230 (21.5%) supported the proposal, while 501 (46.9%) did not support it and 338 (31.6%) were unsure.  Analysis by sub-region and by stadium/activity was provided in the report to the Long-term and Annual Plan Hearings Committee on 8 April 2014 titled Summary of public submissions on the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 –Regional overview.

23.     RFA staff have analysed the submissions and RFA board members and management also joined councillors to hear verbal submissions on the stadium strategy.   The RFA analysis notes that a significant proportion of the comments (72 per cent) relate to specific issues, rather than the overall strategy. Those specific issues relate primarily to the specialisation of stadium functions, such as rugby league moving from Mt Smart or speedway moving from Western Springs. The integration and high performance aspects of the strategy attracted relatively little attention from submitters.

24.     Of the main issues identified, a large proportion of comments related to the proposed speedway move from Western Springs. There was particular emphasis on the history of speedway at Western Springs, with many submissions noting its presence at that site since the 1930s. To a large extent, the specific issues raised through this process are similar to those already identified by the key sporting organisations directly affected by stadium specialisation. These organisations have stated that they will need to manage a degree of customer and stakeholder concerns if and when they make their decisions to move their businesses as identified within the strategy.

25.     The graphic below summarises responses to the draft annual plan consultation as analysed by the RFA[1].

26.     RFA will undertake further work on the stadium strategy in the short to medium term.  A report was presented to the RFA board (refer to Attachment A) at its meeting on 30 April, which recommends “that the annual plan submissions form part of RFA’s considerations, alongside other inputs, in the further development and implementation of the stadium strategy”. The submissions will help further inform the direction RFA takes with stadium owners, sporting codes and stadium hirers. Any financial impact will be considered as part of the long term plan process. 

27.     An update on the stadium strategy will be reported to the governing body in June 2014.

                             

Other feedback received

28.     The Summary of public submissions of the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 – Regional overview report to the 8 April draft annual plan hearings identified key submission themes. Staff have reviewed the submission points across all themes, including the key areas identified above, and responses to specific queries raised are provided in Attachment A of this report.  There are no changes recommended as a result of the analysis.

Local board views and implications

29.     Local boards have access to all submissions, have held local hearings, made final decisions for local board agreements and also had the opportunity to formally advocate on any regional issues with the Budget Committee.  A separate report on today’s agenda covers local board advocacy. 

30.     Five of the 21 local boards made resolutions pertaining to the stadiums strategy topic in the draft annual plan, on a range of topics. Hibiscus and Bays local board supports the inclusion of North Harbour Stadium as part of RFA. Maungakiekie-Tamaki and Puketapapa local boards noted submitters’ concerns (Maungakiekie-Tamaki particularly acknowledged the local concerns about proposed changes to sporting codes at Mt Smart). Rodney local board supports speedway remaining at Western Springs, with no further limitations on its operation. In contrast, Waitemata local board supports the proposed changes that would see speedway move to Mt Smart and Western Springs developed as a test cricket venue.

31.     Local board views are also covered in each of the relevant decision-making reports on today’s agenda.

Māori impact statement

32.     The draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 includes a number of proposals that will have a direct impact on Māori initiatives and outcomes.  In particular, the draft plan proposes an additional $1 million per annum for marae development and Māori housing initiatives and $770,000 per annum additional funding for identification and protection of significant Māori sites. 

33.     Mana Whenua authorities were sent a letter about the consultation process.  Mataawaka received information via standard communications processes that Auckland Council use to disseminate annual plan information.  Te Reo Māori regional summaries and submission forms were available, as well as translators for submissions received in and/or submitters wishing to address the hearing in Te Reo Māori.  Three Maori organisations requested to be heard at a regional hearing.

34.     A specific budget request for additional funding in 2014/2015 and later years has been received from Ngati Whatua Orakei Reserves Board, which will be considered through the Mayors proposal for the final Annual Plan 2014/2015.

General

35.     Changes in the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 were assessed against the significance policy and were not considered to be material changes.  Staff advise that the decisions required at today’s meeting are within the scope of the consultation on the draft annual plan and that this decision-making would comply with the provisions in the Local Government Act 2002.

Implementation

36.     Decisions on annual plan budgets are required today in order for staff to prepare financial statements, finalise local board agreements and support adoption of the agreements by local boards, and prepare the annual plan document for adoption by the Governing Body on 26 June 2014.

37.     A rates resolution will also be prepared for adoption at the 26 June meeting.

38.     The recommendation by the Budget Committee on fees for dog registrations and the environmental health and licensing fees for 2014/2015 will be considered at the Governing Body meeting scheduled to follow this meeting. 

 

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

RFA board report - Annual Plan submissions on stadium strategy - 30 April meeting

13

bView

Analysis of key draft annual plan submission themes and responses

31

      

Signatories

Author

Tanya Stocks – Programme Director, Financial Plan Policy and Budgeting

Authorisers

Matthew Walker - Manager Financial Plan Policy and Budgeting

Andrew McKenzie - Chief Finance Officer

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 



















Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Attachment B: Analysis of key draft annual plan submission themes and responses

1,967 submissions were received on the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015.  Around 10,230 total submission points were extracted from the submissions.  Analysis of the submissions on the Arts Festival, budget related (including requests for additional funding) and financial policies/fees and charges are considered in other reports to this agenda. 

An overview by theme of the submissions is provided below and submission points requiring a response are set out in Table One.  The themes include the key submission themes identified in the Summary of public submissions on the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 –Regional overview report to the 8 April Long-term and Annual Plan Hearings Committee. 

The most common submission topic themes are:

a.         Fluoridation

b.         Regional arts, culture & events

c.         Transport – Public transport and roads

d.         General comments about the plan

e.         Regional environment & heritage (including environmental strategy, policies and programmes)

 

Other submission themes analysed are:

f.          Regional libraries

g.         Economic strategy & initiatives

h.         Planning & strategy

i.          Financial strategy / living wage

j.          Bylaws

k.         Regulation

l.          Governance and democratic process

m.        Regional recreation services

n.         Regional communities

o.         Regional park services

p.         Stormwater management

q.         Auckland Waterfront Development Agency

r.          Watercare Services Ltd

s.         Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development

t.          Waste & recycling services

u.         Emergency management

 

a.        
Fluoridation

There were 242 submitters that raised the issue of fluoridation of water supply with 241 opposing it. The majority (217) of submissions opposing fluoridation were on a pro forma outlining that they object to the addition of fluoride chemicals to the public water supply and want the practice to stop. The pro forma stated that fluoridation is a violation of human rights, that it poses a health risk and they do not want their rates spent on an outdated practiced. It also stated that if people want fluoride they can get it from brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste.

24 submitters made their own submissions, with The Fluoride Action Network NZ (FANNZ), and Health Professionals Opposing Fluoridation providing detailed submissions.

Overall the main reasons for opposing fluoridation of water supply were:

·          That it is unethical and a violation of basic human rights as people are not given the right to choose what they consume. Related to this was the view that fluoridation of water supply is forced medication and that the removal of fluoride is expensive. 

·          The chemical used to fluoridate water, Hydrofluorosilicic Acid (HFA) is highly toxic poison, which is a by-product of the fertilizer industry and has no evidence of safety.

·          Belief that the ingestion of fluoride is linked to various health impacts including lower IQ, weaker bones, dental fluorosis, endocrine system dysfunction and other health problems, particularly those with challenged immune systems, the young and the elderly. Linked to this is that there is no control over who gets it and how much they consume.

·          Questioning its effectiveness and that it is only effective in preventing tooth decay when applied topically not ingested. Recommended more effective ways of  delivering fluoride or addressing tooth decay such as providing free toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes, and fluoride tablets to those most in need, subsidizing dental care, and addressing dietary causes.

The issue will be formally considered as part of the review of water services in the region, i.e within the Water Strategic Action Plan currently being developed.

b.         Regional arts, culture & events

Of the 54 submissions that commented on this topic, 48 were requests for council to consider annual investment and assistance for Massive Theatre Company.  The Theatre has also made a request for funding which is considered as part of the budget requests on today’s agenda, along with other budget requests raised through the submissions process.

c.         Transport – Public transport and roads

A large number of submissions were received.  Some of these covered multiple points meaning that, in all, around 150 points were made by submitters.  This is not surprising given the scale of transport operations and the level of public interest.  Submissions came from a broad spectrum of organisations (such as Local Boards, AA and Federated Farmers) and from individuals from across the whole geographic area served by Auckland Council.

Some issues were perennial (such as cycling and congestion), while others were more topical such as the CRL and introduction of electric trains.  Given the wider range of views expressed, it is difficult to say that a consensus exists, except in a few areas.

Walking and Cycling.  There was overwhelming support for improvement in this area with more than 20 points made in support and no submitters suggesting we were investing inappropriately in this area.  Comments universally sought more investment and speedier progress.  Specific points ranged from the need to link the existing network, use of the rail corridor for cycle-ways and safety concerns including lighting, traffic calming and intersections.

In addition to the submissions noted above, nine submitters wanted the Auckland Harbour Bridge Skypath to proceed.  One submitter was against this on the basis of cost.

City Rail Link.  Ten comments were made against investment in CRL with eight in favour.  Those against cited limitation of benefits to a few Aucklanders, cost and the need for better analysis before proceeding.  Those in favour generally expressed the view that it was part of a desirable public transport system.

Public Transport (PT).  Twenty-two comments were made making recommendations for greater investment in public transport.  These ranged from support for public transport generally/ greater investment to specific suggestions around integrated fares, better service frequency, ferry services to new locations, rural services, more bus lanes and bus feeder services.  In contrast only two submissions contained negative comments on public transport; being that we are investing too much and benefits accrued only to some people while roads provide services to freight and a broader group of users.

Roads.  Four submissions were against further spending on roads with a similar number wanting to increase investment.  The need to address rural roads and freight corridors was raised.  Nine similar submissions were received seeking investment in sealing of rural roads.

Environmental Issues.  All the six comments in this area were supportive of tighter standards and reducing emissions with some supporting specific initiatives such as electric trains and cars.

Parking.  Several submitters raised parking issues.  Several commented on the need to consider suburban parking or the need for resident parking in central suburbs.  Other comments included the need to require more parking per dwelling in the Auckland Plan, the possibility of selling parking buildings to pay for park & rides and the need for consultation before raising parking charges.

Financial.  Ten submitters raised financial issues.  Some of these commented on the current priorities (in addition to the specific comments noted above suggesting more investment in walking & cycling, public transport and roads) while several mentioned the need for alternative funding mechanisms.  These included use of development levies for PT, levying new residents and road use charging.  Two submissions raised the need to reduce cost across the board and the existence of unnecessary spending (on road maintenance).

Electric Trains.  The small number of comments on investment in electric trains were evenly split between those who saw these as expensive relative to other modes or beneficial to only a few people, to those who saw environmental and congestion reduction benefits of this service.

A large number of submissions dealt with specific issues.  Of these, eight submitters wanted AMETI accelerated while one wanted it stopped.  The four submissions on Penlink were evenly split.  Three wanted acceleration of the East/ West link while one was opposed.  Two were in favour of a NW bus-way.

Some submissions showed innovation with suggestions for a digital strategy, improved transport information for decision-making, speed limit reductions, micro cars and a monorail.

All other comments reflected a single view on a specific issue.  Examples include Franklin Road, motorway extension to Warkworth, growth in Pukekohe, Ellerslie’s main street and gold card concessions.

Summary.  Generally progress is already being made, or is incorporated into the Annual Plan, on many of the issues raised.  A number of issues belong more correctly in the debate on the forthcoming long term plan.  The strategic intent to give priority to public transport is clearly well supported.  There is a need to continue progress on walking and cycling initiatives.

d.         General comments about the plan

There was a fairly small response stating the plan is “prejudiced” or that there was no point in responding as the decisions are a “foregone conclusion”.  There was both praise and complaints about the information within the document.  Some found the document too complex and too long and therefore didn’t read it. Two submissions requested visibility in the plan of how much money is being spent on consultants.  It was noted to alert organisations of the accessible options we have in place and the Blind Foundation found it difficult to access the accessible version. Staff are meeting with the Blind Foundation to explore options for the LTP.  There was some negative feedback generally around the online submission form from local boards, which will also be explored to remedy for the LTP. 

 

e.         Regional environment & heritage

Submissions provided general support for heritage protection. In particular:

·          support for increased  assistance, including financial, to owners of heritage buildings

·          support for surveying and identification of heritage

·          support for a heritage incentives policy

·          support for identification of sites of value to mana whenua and request an increase in the number of identified sites of significance.

Five submitters specifically raised air quality in their submissions.  These included the Regional Public Health Service (AP141447), Te Rununga o Ngati Whatua (AP141434), Heart of the City (AP141126), Ellerslie Residents Association (AP1410383) and a local resident (AP140107).  Points raised included reducing emissions from industry and transport, reducing exposure to poor air quality, providing air quality data/information, additional funding for air quality monitoring and  general support for policies to improve air quality in Auckland.

f.          Regional libraries

6 submission points were raised for regional libraries, with the key themes being the planning and development of library buildings and associated expenditure, and accessible library buildings, collection material and services.  Responses to specific submission requests are included in Table One.

g.         Economic strategy & initiatives

The submissions cover a range of issues related to the Auckland Economic Development Strategy, with strong support for council’s collaborative approach and ambitions for economic growth generally.

There are no particular trends in the responses relating specifically to economic strategy and initiatives.  The issues raised of greatest relevance to economic strategy and initiatives refer to local economic development (Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)), digital enablement and the business-friendly dimensions, including council efficiency and fees. Comments of particular interest to economic strategy and initiatives are set out below.

Local Economic Development:

·          Support for better integrated business precinct in industrial south

·          Concern about lack of accountability and value for money relating to the BID programme

Business Friendly:

·          Requests for more transparent charging of staff time against client fees

·          Opposition to increased fees and charges for building control and consents

·          Advocacy for Auckland ‘gigazone’ (higher internet speeds within CBD and/or city fringe

·          Request for faster rollout of business-friendly initiatives

Skills and local workforce:

·          Support for council partnering with businesses to better match skills supply and demand

Internationally connected:

·          The view that council should not own the Auckland Film Studios Ltd

None of the submission points require revision to the content of the Annual Plan.

h.         Planning & strategy

Submissions relating to spatial, strategic and infrastructure strategy address the wide range of challenges with managing population growth in Auckland.  Several submissions dispute the amount of growth Auckland Council is planning for in the Auckland Plan and other key planning documents and ask for this to be reviewed.  Concerns are raised about the implications of this growth scenario, the risk of poor quality developments being built and inability of Council to ensure good outcomes.  Issues of fairness in terms of providing and paying for the infrastructure needed to support growth also feature.

Suggestions for addressing the demands of accommodating population growth included encouraging and supporting people to settle elsewhere, not allowing people to move to Auckland, additional restrictions on immigration, and planning for reducing the population.  A number of submissions support intensification in areas of Auckland (particularly the isthmus) and further “building up” of the city as approaches to these issues.  Capture of land value uplift as a result of rezoning and direct involvement of Council in exemplar housing developments is also suggested.

A range of views on the form and intensity of development proposed through the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) were received, including comments both in support and opposed to proposed environmental and cultural heritage protections. The Annual Plan process is not the vehicle for considering such matters. Many of these issues are expected to have also been raised by submitters to the PAUP. Submissions on the PAUP closed on 28 February 2014. Submissions will be considered by an Independent Hearings Panel.

i.          Financial strategy and living wage

The key topics identified within this theme were comments on the level of council’s expenditure and debt.  38 submitters made comments around expenditure being too high with a number specifically mentioning council sticking to “core services”, “essentials” or “main council elements”.  How submitters defined these varied slightly but generally included roads, transport, water, sewage, waste collection, and parks.  22 submitters made comments around the level of borrowings being too high with many concerned about the rate at which it is growing.

Following the discussion around the living wage concept in the lead-up to the adoption of the Draft Annual Plan a number of submitters included comments on this in their submissions.  Support for a living wage policy for council staff was expressed in 14 submissions with a number of these indicating this should be extended to contracted workers.  Three submitters noted specifically that they did not support a living wage policy whilst a number made other comments around staff costs and salary levels.

 

j.          Bylaws

8 submissions were received on bylaws, relating to Alcohol licensing laws, dog by-laws and other general bylaw suggestions. Specific responses are provided in Table One.

k.         Regulation

These submissions relate to alcohol licensing, noise control, and the control of animals. They also relate to the fees charges for various licences.  Responses are set out in Table One.

l.          Governance and democratic process 

There were 44 submissions in this category. Key themes were agreement for a review of CCOs and comments on annual plan governance related measures. Specific responses are provided in Table One.

m.        Regional recreation services

Seven submissions expressed support for the implementation of the Sport and Recreation Strategic Action Plan. (SARSAP). Submitters acknowledged existing council investment, encouraging both continued and increased investment as a means of delivering Auckland Plan outcomes.

Three submissions also requested consideration of a skating rink to expand provision and provide increased access for inline skating leagues. Sport and recreation facility and provision planning forms part of the actions of SARSAP under the Infrastructure theme.

n.         Regional communities

25 submissions were received; most responses were supporting social housing. Specific responses to each point are provided in Table One.

o.         Regional park services 

The submissions highlight the special role regional parks and the maunga play as part of Auckland’s unique natural and cultural identity and in making Auckland the world’s most liveable city.  The submissions are generally supportive of the continued acquisition, development and maintenance of regional parks.

The submissions support gaining World Heritage status for the maunga and seek to increase the level of service the maunga offer and the funding necessary to achieve this.

Submissions support the management of cemeteries and the need to ensure their management aligns with the relevant health regulations and the recent review of the Burial and Cremations Act, which the council participated in.

p.         Stormwater management

The main theme from the submitters is that Stormwater Management is a core Council service and that more priority is required in relation to Stormwater management.  In particular a number of submissions focussed on stormwater maintenance and upgrades  in relation to erosion and flooding.  Two submissions made reference to the need for holistic water management and one submitter supported cost effective delivery of services.

q.         Auckland Waterfront Development Agency

Submissions on waterfront redevelopment highlight the on-going tension between the provision of public open spaces and public buildings, and the development of commercial and residential buildings.  Waterfront Auckland is required, through its Statement of Intent, to provide Auckland Council with a return on investment on its landholdings on the waterfront.  Waterfront Auckland has a strategic plan, and provisions via the District Plan and Unitary Plan along with very stringent development guidelines to ensure that the balance between commercial and public buildings and open space is achieved.  Waterfront Auckland has a strong track record of successfully creating and activating public spaces such as Queens Wharf, Karanga Plaza, North Wharf and Silo Park. The same approach will be translated into the new public spaces being created in the area.  In addition, Waterfront Auckland undertakes a very intensive public engagement programme to ensure that current and future development will meet the needs of local residents and businesses, the wider region, and visitors to Auckland. 

 

r.          Watercare Services Ltd

Key submission themes included charges being considered too high and comments relating to sewerage/waste water treatment.  Specific queries have been responded to in Table One.

 

s.         Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development

Key submission themes relating to ATEED included:

·          General support of work to promote Auckland as a tourist/visitor destination (Auckland Visitor Plan).  In particular

o    Improved online promotion of Auckland required

o    Increased recognition of economic value of tourism/heritage tourism

o    Support for domestic marketing partnership with HOTC

o    Support required for local i-SITE (Franklin)

·          General support for holistic economic development approach

·          Support  for promotion of sectors such as equine

·          Support for the creation of  a Gigazone within Auckland

 

t.          Waste & recycling services

There is general support for the Waste and Recycling initiatives described in the Waste management and minimisation plan adopted by Council and incorporated into the LTP. There are questions over the different levels of service within Auckland Council, suggestions for focus, request for more detail and questions about green waste services.  Specific responses are provided in Table One.

 

u.         Emergency Management

There were only four submissions relating to emergency management.  Submissions focussed on seeking clarification on how council responds in an emergency and what capability is in place, and there was also a query around insurance responsibilities.   

 


Table One: Responses to specific queries or requests raised in submissions

Theme: Fluoridation of water supply

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

Requests Council to incorporate one of the following in its Annual Plan  

1) End water fluoridation permanently, and pass a by-law prohibiting the use of public water supply for medical intervention purposes, (recommended) OR

 2) Suspend water fluoridation indefinitely, until such time as the international scientific community has reached a consensus that water fluoridation is safe

1123 (FANNZ)

The current practice of fluoridation of water supply will continue. However, Council will consider how it will address the issue of fluoridation of water supply through the Water Strategic Action Plan being developed. i.e. whether there will be a review of policy.

Requests Council to cease fluoridation of water supply

1123 (FANNZ), All pro forma submissions, 1264, 1429

As above. Council to consider how it will address the issue of fluoridation of water supply.

Request for a review of water fluoridation policy for Auckland

1349 (NZ Health Professionals Opposing Fluoridation), 1987, 622

A review of fluoridation policy is required as currently Watercare has adopted legacy policies thus there is no consistent policy across Auckland, and due to increasing public concern on the issue. Council will undertake a review of fluoridation policy as part of its Water Strategic Action Plan, currently in development. A review of policy, however, may trigger Council’s Significance Policy requiring a certain level of consultation. This may have cost implications.

Theme: Regional arts, culture & events

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

37.2 Regional arts & culture initiatives.

48 responses supporting investment in Massive Company.

48 submissions

 

Massive Company delivers regional arts programmes with active participation by diverse young Aucklanders. They have a track record of successful project delivery with Arts Alive & Creative Communities Scheme grants.  The budget request will be considered through the mayoral proposal.

37.2 Regional arts & culture initiatives. 3 of 4 responses don’t support any Pride Parade funding

160, 397, 421, 1045

The Pride Parade have applied for funding from the Major Events Baseline Sponsorship Fund.  Decisions on 2014/15 funding are expected to be made in the next few weeks.

 

 

Theme: General comments

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

In the final Annual Plan statistics on pages 110 and 111, provide a reference to another section of the Plan where more detail is available. In the final Annual Plan separate out consultants fees from other operating expenses and provide the comparison figures for last year’s Annual Plan.

1049

The Local Government Act requires that our Funding Impact Statement is laid out in a specific way, this does not allow for the separation of consultancy costs from other applications of operating funding.  Our Prospective Statement of Comprehensive Income is formatted to be consistent with the Annual Report.

The key purpose of an Annual Plan (or a Long-term Plan) is to discuss with the community options around the costs and funding of activities to be undertaken by the local authority.  The focus of this document, therefore, is on what services are being delivered, at what cost, rather than how the services are delivered.

In an organisation such as Auckland Council that delivers different programmes and services from one year to the next, inter-year comparisons can be misleading.  This is particularly true with respect to consultancy expenditure which, by its nature, is predominately used for one-off specialist pieces of work rather than the delivery of continued levels of service.

Further details of actual expenditure (including separating out consultancy expenditure and inter-year comparisons) can be found in the Annual Report.

 

1) Requests greater cross-referencing between the large number of plans and reports produced by Council.

2) Seek realistic population projections and consistency between annual plan and unitary plan projections.

3) A better understanding of council operations would be achieved if other operating expenditure were further analysed by separating out consultant’s costs and property costs.

1090

1)         Greater cross-referencing can be increased for the LTP.

2)         The population projections used by Auckland Council are sourced from the Statistics New Zealand. The Unitary Plan is based on the Auckland Plan. The Auckland Plan states the population of the region could be between 2.5 and 1.7 million people at 2041. The high growth scenario is used (2.5 million) is assumed as the base planning for the Auckland Plan. For the purposes of the LTP a medium population growth scenario has been assumed.

3)         Same response as the above submission 1049

Submission window should be 6 weeks.

1211

The tight timeframes and legislative parameters make it difficult to extend the submission period, however this will be considered for future processes.

The Blind Foundation suggests that public awareness campaigns be established to alert organisations to barriers and solutions to include people who have significant vision loss in their planning for cultural and arts initiatives. We suggest that those who are involved in the design and construction of entertainment products and services have, and make use of, access to adequate knowledge and information on the specific needs and requirements of people who are blind or have low vision.

 

1275

Staff will work with the Blind foundation to improve the public awareness, specifically with visually impaired members of the public.

Theme: Regional environment and heritage

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

Request to increase financial assistance (rates rebates) and advice to owners of historic buildings.

1049, 1074, 1144, 1338

Work is underway to develop a heritage incentives policy for Council consideration.

Requested funding for additional air quality (and noise) monitoring in the CBD. (Heart of the City)

141, 1126

A strategy for air quality monitoring and investigations is being prepared which considers priority pollutants, key air quality issues, good practise methods and the monitoring network overall (including in the CBD).  Funding will be considered in light of this strategy (and overall in the context of other environmental monitoring).

Requested air quality monitoring data be more accessible (e.g. on line or summary reporting), including at a local level

(Heart of the City, Ellerslie Residents Association, Te Rununga o Ngati Whatua, Regional Public Health Service)

141, 1126, 1410, 383, 1434,  1447

Agree that air quality monitoring data is not easily accessible (although it is available on request). Over the long term it is intended that the data will be publically available on-line.

Supports Council policy to improve air quality and requested that Council reduce air emissions.

(Heart of the City, Ellerslie Residents Association, Te Rununga o Ngati Whatua, Regional Public Health Service)

1126, 383, 1434, 1447

Noted.  Improving air quality is a council responsibility under the Resource Management Act.  Actions that are being taken include policies in the Unitary Plan, development of an air quality bylaw, resource consents, advocacy (e.g. council submissions), working with other organisations to reduce emissions, etc.

Resolve discrepancy between the AP air quality targets and the key priorities. (Te Rununga o Ngati Whatua)

1434

While there is no specific “key project” for air quality outlined in the annual plan text, it is included in the Environmental Strategic Action Plan and in business as usual activities.  “Key projects” for air quality in the next year include the Unitary Plan and the air quality bylaw, and we will start to work again on transport emissions.

Progressively reduce air quality performance targets (Regional Public Health Service)

1447

Noted. This is something that could be considered for the LTP.

Auckland Council is a member of the Inter Council Working Party on GMO’s, and that budget from this Annual Plan should be allocated to support the Council’s obligations.

1352

At this stage, no budget requirement is anticipated to be needed to meet Auckland Council’s obligations to help with the collaborative work programme of the ICWP for 2014/15.  If this situation changes, additional funds could be requested through the 2015/25 LTP.

More money needs to go to environmental protection and less to rail and the purchasing of trains which only services a very small area of Auckland.

141

The share of funding allocated to each category of council service is a question that will be considered through the next long-term plan process.

Theme: Regional libraries

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

Region wide library facility strategy

Current library build capital expenditure

517

46

Auckland Libraries is in the process of developing a library facility strategy that will inform both the long term plan and asset management plans. 

The following library builds are under construction and were planned and budgeted by legacy councils – the builds were subsequently approved to proceed by Auckland Council:

·              Ranui Library Replacement ($6.4m)

·              Waiheke Library Replacement ($8.2m)

·              Te Atatu Library Replacement ($10.3m)

·              Devonport Library Replacement ($7.9m)

·              Otahuhu Library Replacement ($5.5m)

·              Westgate Library (growth) ($13.4m) construction imminent

 

The libraries below are either in the planning and design phase (P/D), early consultation (C) or a placeholder (P) for future planning.  They are still going through the council approval process.

·              Flatbush Library (P/D) ($15.7m)

·              Takanini Library (C) ($5.8m)

·              Albany (P) ($8.7m)

·              Highland Park (P) ($3.5m)

 

Library buildings are more than book repositories; they are key place-making facilities that connect people with each other, their communities and with the world of information.  For many, the technology provided in the library also enables access to the world of online information.  Libraries buildings serve as civic hubs that facilitate active participation in the democratic process and are for many people their place of choice for leisure and relaxation.

Since amalgamation libraries have on average welcomed 36,500 visitors per day to library buildings.  This number remains consistent even with the growth in online resources.

Toilet upgrade in the central library

645

The toilets in the central library are currently being upgraded.  All work should be complete by June 2014.

Restore Freegal Music Service

1120

As part of the 2013/2014 annual plan, Auckland Council's governing body resolved to end the Freegal downloadable music service. The Naxos and Music Online e-resources were not affected by this reduction.

Libraries would like to provide this type of service to our customers as we think that access to downloadable music is a core future service.  At this stage Council has no plans to reinstate this service; but will considered through the LTP process (indicative cost would be $205,000 in operational funding per annum).

In the meantime Auckland Libraries is continuing to build the amount of downloadable/accessible content available to Aucklanders in the form of e-books and e-audiobooks. In December the number of titles available rose to more than 40,000. More will be added throughout 2014, and the dramatic increase in the use of these collections means that customer demand requires the library progressively to apply more of its budget to e-content.

Accessible Libraries

1275

Through the approved Library Strategic Plan, the council has made a commitment to the use of universal access principles in the delivery of Library services:

·              Universally accessible – a place for me, open for everyone

·              Universally understandable – a world of ideas simply arranged

·              Universally appealing – to connect with my family, my community and our future

This commitment is reflected in the design of new buildings and the expansion of downloadable/accessible content available to Aucklanders in the form of e-books and e-audiobooks. In December the number of titles available rose to more than 40,000.

Libraries are also applying universal access principles to the design of the new library website.

Public heritage service available in each library

1322

There are currently 4 specialist research and heritage centres around the Auckland region.  The Whau local board is serviced by the research and heritage centre located in the Henderson Library.  Auckland Libraries do not support the implementation of a ‘heritage office’ in each library.  There are however, local history collections at each branch and staff are happy connect local historians with specialist staff to preserve the unique cultural history of the different areas of Auckland.

 

Theme: Organisation support

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

Also as regards the Built and Natural Environment theme, NWO raises issue with the relatively low target of 61 sites of significance to Maori to be protected, especially when compared with the target of 2,600 for historic heritage (presumably non-Maori) resources to be protected.

1175

NWOs support across other points is noted and appreciated.  It is acknowledged that a target of 61 is not high, but it reflects the complexity and resourcing required for this process.  As noted, it is intended to significantly augment this in coming years.

 

We suggest that Auckland Council engage more closely with NZHPT to capitalise on the considerable amount of knowledge held and opportunities identified by the Trust.

1074

Auckland Council already works closely with NZHPT on a variety of fronts including archaeological assessments, work related to waahi tapu and koiwi discovery. There are also statutory requirements in the Historic Places Act that require local bodies to engage with NZHPT in particular situations. The Maori Department within Council has an established relationship with its counterpart service in NZHPT and often work together on projects.

 

Theme: Economic strategy and initiatives

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

Suggestion that Mangere-Otahuhu is recognised as the ‘gateway’ to Auckland

042

The Mangere Gateway Programme is a legacy Project initiated by the former Manukau City Council. The Programme aims to create an international Visitor Gateway in the large area to the west of SH20, from the Auckland Airport in the South to the Mangere Bridge/ Manukau Harbour in the North. The project involves a range of initiatives which focus on promoting Auckland’s point of distinction – with Maori economic development a key aspect of the Gateway work – including the creation of a new Visitor / Heritage Centre within the area. It has been envisaged that the culturally significant Otuataua Stonefields site would be the site for such a centre – however, the project is on hold pending further discussion with iwi / Mana Whenua and could involve an alternative location. Other projects include cultural walks, cycle ways, heritage trails ETC. The Mangere Gateway Programme is progressed by City Transformation South (budget also) but is currently “on hold” pending discussions with The Southern Initiative Team around the best “home” within Council for the work.

Request for higher prioritisation of digital and telephony infrastructure to Anawhata (West Auckland)

710

Anawhata falls within the remit of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).  This is central government’s investment in providing DSL broadband (offering 5 megabits per second [Mbps]) to 86% of rural New Zealand homes and businesses through a combination of wireless and fixed line solutions.  However, it is unclear if RBI will impact services in Anawhata.

Any service improvements depend on the telecommunications industry.  Outside of RBI there is limited appetite from the telecommunications industry to invest in infrastructure for rural and remote areas.

However, Council does advocate for the telecommunications industry to enhance coverage and services in rural and remote Auckland and the Waitakere Ranges are noted as a priority area.

Support for the development of an integrated precinct plan for the industrial south

818

The Local Economic Development team are currently developing an Integrated Business Precinct Plan for the Industrial South.

This has involved extensive consultation with Local Boards, the Southern Initiative, Business Improvement Districts and Business Associations, major developers and land holders and large firms within key sectors.

The Integrated Business Precinct Plan for the Industrial South will be available in draft form later in 2014.

Concern about discussion by the Business Advisory Panel not translating into action and change at officer level within council

090

The Business Advisory Panel was established to complement and inform implementation of the Auckland Economic Development Strategy.  The panel is a useful medium for the exchange of ideas and issues. The Panel’s effectiveness is subject to regular scrutiny and opportunities for improvement – in keeping with the council’s overall approach to such initiatives. This includes how areas of discussion might best inform council’s economic growth agenda and translate into action.

Recommends review of Business Improvement District (BID) programme, including:

·              Update of BID targeted rate budgets against BID decisions in time for the AP and rate-setting in June

·              Review of accountability arrangements and value for money of services received by council

114

The adopted 2014/15 Annual Plan will incorporate the BID targeted rate amount as approved by BIDs at their Annual General Meetings.

The BID Partnership Programme approach is a public-private partnership between Auckland Council and business associations that have a commitment to develop and promote their local business environment.   The Council does not receive services through the BID programme.  The BID Partnership Programme is funded through BID target rates collected by Auckland Council and administered by the Business Association to achieve agreed objectives.  Governance and accountability arrangements are set out in the Auckland Region Business Improvement District Policy (2011). 

 

Recommend that Auckland Council adopt a collaborative approach with the private sector, central government and other key stakeholders.

114

Noted. The newly established Business Leadership Group, chaired by Michael Barnett illustrates this approach.

Recommends council use Health Impact Assessment (HIA) for health planning, including economic dimension.

447

Council supports evidence-based decision making, to meet the current and future needs of communities with regards to good quality local infrastructure, public services and performance of regulatory functions in a cost-effective manner.

Evidence based decision making includes an assessment of the likely intended and unintended effects of a policy against various criteria, including equity, social, environmental and business impacts, among others, to the extent that it is possible. As such, we consider that aspects of Health Impact Assessment will be included in council policy analysis, albeit not under the formal designation of a “Health Impact Assessment”.

Theme: Planning and Strategy

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

Reconsider introduction of Zoning Charge Levy to ensure community share in large windfall profits arising from zoning changes

1457

The idea of capturing part of the windfall gain made by landowners resulting from decisions to re-zone land to urban or to substantially up-zone land in order to fund infrastructure or affordable housing was consulted on as part of the Draft Unitary Plan in 2012.  Following consideration of the feedback on this and other funding options it was decided, on balance, that this was not a preferred method of funding infrastructure or affordable housing in Auckland.

We submit that (whether through a change to the draft Annual Plan or otherwise) council should engage with Counties Power to re-establish a co-ordinated liaison channel and a mutual no surprises policy.

1268

Auckland Council is committed to liaison with groups like Counties Power through active involvement in the Auckland Utility Operators Group and the Infrastructure Providers Forum.  Utility providers are consulted as a matter of course if proposals and initiatives come up that are likely to affect them.

NZAA broadly supports the integrated "One System" approach that the Draft Plan takes. We are concerned, however, that the Draft Plan fails to identify the relationship between transport capital projects and the plans that sit below the Auckland plan, eg City Centre Masterplan or the Waterfront Plan.

1273

Clear links between the transport capital projects and the underlying plans like the City Centre Masterplan, the Waterfront Plan and Auckland Plan are very important.  It is intended that further explanation of the linkages between spending and specific elements of Council’s strategic documents will be proposed in the Long-term Plan 2014-2025.

Grey power asks that a full review of the basic assumptions of the Auckland Plan be carried to ensure current planned development and expenditure levels are in line with what is now anticipated Auckland population changes will be.

1457

 The Auckland Plan provides for three scenarios for the future of Auckland’s population – high, medium and low growth.  Auckland Council will periodically review with Statistics New Zealand, the appropriateness of the high growth model base adopted for land supply related planning and the medium growth model base adopted for investment decisions on infrastructure.

Given the decision of the Hearing Panel to implement Plan Change 28 for the urban development of Kingseat, I seek that the Annual Plan and the LTP make appropriate budget allocations to provide for the planning and construction of the necessary infrastructure, including roading, water supply, wastewater treatment, stormwater, parks, riparian reserves and community facilities.

1177

The Council’s decision to approve Plan Change 28 to the Operative Auckland District Plan (Franklin Section) has been appealed the Environment Court in its entirety.  Consistent with due process, decisions on funding to support growth in Kingseat should await the decision of the Court on these matters.

Recommend that the council give consideration to developing a program for upgrading village centres.

1256

The Auckland Plan provides direction on the prioritisation of centres throughout the Auckland region.  Council will continue to work with Auckland Transport and other entities to give effect to the Auckland Plan outcomes for centres.

Spatial-based projects such as the Southern Initiative and Tamaki Redevelopment should not just focus on new housing. Much of the existing housing is cold, damp and unhealthy which leads to poor social and health outcomes.

1331

The Southern Initiative focuses on seven work streams or priority areas over the next five years. Housing is one of these priority areas. There are also some longer term outcomes such as a safe community and healthy community which are systemic but takes longer than five years to achieve.

Theme: Bylaws

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

We request that, in revising and harmonising the bylaws, the focus be on increasing access by all to the community and not just on what might be the least expensive solutions to implement.

1120

The council is committed to providing the information on the development of the bylaws and through its public consultations, material that can be used effectively by those with impaired vision.

In addition, during the development of a number of the bylaws disability groups are actively consulted for their advice and experience.

NRC notes and supports the initiative to review and implement a single set of Auckland-wide bylaws to replace the 158 former council bylaws, and makes the following requests and recommendations:

• Requests that the review includes consultation with NRC.

• Recommend that a consolidated summary of bylaws affecting the performance of the freight sector be published as a key output of the review process.

942

 

The council is reviewing the remaining 80 legacy bylaws over the next two years, and will add the National Road Carriers (NRC) to its database of interested stakeholders and will keep the NRC informed of progress.

 

Council staff has passed on the NRC’s request for a consolidated summary of bylaws affecting the performance of the freight sector to Auckland Transport for their information and response, and the traffic related bylaws are the jurisdiction of Auckland Transport.

We recommend Council keep ARPHS informed and engaged with Bylaw reviews

1447

The council is committed to maintaining the relationships with our external stakeholders as the council reviews its bylaws and various codes of practice. 

Theme: Regulation – Licencing & compliance

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

No increase of liquor outlets at all.  I want to see them decreasing.

169

 

This will be considered as part of the Local Alcohol Plan

My submission relates to industrial noise. I think we need serious consideration given to localised heavy nidustries which operate next to residential areas. eg Winstone Gib and Hansells in Oranga Penrose operations. Any factory that 'needs' to operate machinery all night long does NOT belong in a city. Noise Control Officers are very helpful but they are constrained by by-laws that make nonsense of liveability. Until everyone in our city has the right to a restful night's sleep - without machinery vibrating continuously even while oberating within the bylaw decibel limit - Auckland will never be the world's most liveable city.

639

The current district plan and the proposed unitary plan, possess specific rules designed to protect residential properties and their occupants from any unreasonable noise that may be generated from any commercial or industrial activity, regardless of where that commercial or industrial activity is located.  Historically a lot of industrial and commercial activities were located together in specific locations away from residential areas.  In some instances residential developments have been established next to existing commercial and industrial businesses.  With modern advances in acoustic engineering technology, a requirement for a specific distance separation, between residential properties and industrial or commercial properties, cannot be justified in terms of achieving a desired noise reduction, because industrial and commercial activities can be designed and engineered to operate adjacent to residential properties without adverse noise effects.

Increases in licensing fees are just a rip off.

680

 

All licensing fees are based on the ‘user-pays’ principle.  License holders are the primary beneficiary (i.e. ‘users’) of the licensing service as the receipt of a licence and the associated compliance inspections, allows a licence holder to operate.  Accordingly the licence fees are a direct reflection of the cost of providing the licensing service and in that context are inherently reasonable and appropriate.

Massive shame that formulating a noise policy for the CBD was mostly submitted against last year. CBD has very different needs to the rest of the region, not to mention a requirement for more tolerance of noise from those who choose to live in the CBD

703

It is recognised that certain areas of Auckland should have higher permitted noise levels than others. This is reflected in the current district plan and proposed unitary plan, which includes higher permitted noise levels in the central business districts than the in other areas, such as residential.

Why do we not have any dog free beaches in central auckland? Please make Pt. Chev beach dig free.  There is not enough room for dogs at high tide as well as other users.  Dogs can be walked at Meola Reserve very nearby.  This could be developed into a proper "doggie park" with all the facilities.

677

The Albert-Eden local board is scheduled to complete a review of selected local dog access rules in 2015.

Theme: Governance and democratic process

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

The Annual Plan target of 40% is too low and should be increased to 45%.

1144

Historical voter turnout has been around 30-35%, so 40% is a stretched target. Council is working with central government to raise awareness for future local government elections, including online voting.

The blind community wish to be able to cast votes in the election on equal terms with the sighted community. This includes equal access to information about candidates and being able to cast our votes in a confidential secret manner.

1120

Council provides some of the election material is readable by the sight impaired. E-voting, once introduced will alleviate most of the sight impaired issues.

Ngati Whatua O Orakei (NWO) support the intended performance measure under the theme of Governance "percentage of Maori residents who fee/ they can participate in local board decision-making" (page 29). The intended target of 50% still appears low and indeed, active engagement and partnership with NWO at the outset will contribute to achieving a greater percentage of participation in decision-making by Maori.

1175

This measure is the same as non-Maori and needs to remain linked to that.  Staff agree that engagement and partnership will deliver a greater percentage. This is the first year that this measure has been implemented, so will be reviewed through the LTP process.

Grey Power Auckland Region: 

1)         Of particular concern is the very high number of staff the Council currently has, and also the large numbers receiving high salaries.

2)         Auckland Council is asked to set a freeze on current staff levels and costs and initiate a full review aimed at reducing staff levels to 7,500 by 2015 and holding salary costs levels as part of this process.

3)         It would be very helpful to have an Ombudsman type office who has the ability to sort out ratepayers issues when the initial Council response is inadequate.

1457

Legislation now provides for the Governing Body to determine a remuneration policy for the Council. In December 2013, the Governing Body resolved that the Auckland Council prepare a remuneration policy for the 2014/15 financial year.

The Waitakere Ranges Protection Society submits that the Governing Body should investigate and rectify the apparent loss of the Te Henga Bethells Quarry rehabilitation fund. The former Waitakere City Council collected royalties from quarry operators over many years for quarry remediation upon closure.

911

This is a legacy council fund, and is not ‘lost’. The fund was an accounting entry to record a “non-restricted fund” intended to be used for future rehabilitation. In 2010, Auckland Council decided that the Rehabilitation fund for Te Henga Quarry should be released back to Equity in the new Council’s accounts. Good accounting practice requires that we recognise as a liability (a provision) for its obligations to rehabilitate the Quarry. At 30 June 2013, staff undertook a preliminary assessment of rehabilitation costs. This indicated a cost in the range of $300,000 to $400,000. This was not entered as a provision as the level was not material and insufficient evidence was available to support the provision. However, once the final use of the site has been determined by Auckland Council, a provision for the rehabilitation will be entered in the Council’s accounts.  This will then be funded. Council will drive this process to develop a rehabilitation plan, once the end use is determined, and will fund it accordingly. The royalties paid from the quarry have and continue to be treated as income to Council and is used as part of the funding of services of the Council.

 

The Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) need to be reviewed to ensure more accountability and transparency, with input from the stakeholders and public

1090, 1114, 1120, 1268, 1393

The Governing Body has instigated a review of the CCOs with terms of reference decided and has agreed that consideration be given to a public submission process.

Theme: Regional communities

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

32.5 Regional social housing   - Housing in rural areas.

151, 516

Auckland Council as a provider of social housing owns and operates 1412 Housing for Older Persons (HFOP) dwellings. The dwellings are unevenly distributed across the city, with provision concentrated in the south, west and north.

HFOP supports people being active and independent within their communities. This approach is commonly referred to as “aging in place”, and recognises the social and economic advantages of enabling citizens to be part of their communities.

To support independent living HFOP villages are located close to amenities such as shopping centres and public transport.

There are currently villages in Waiuku, Pukekohe and Torbay, there are no villages in the legacy Rodney area due to Rodney District Council decisions to divest.

32.2 Regional community development policy  - Ageing Strategy policy document.

1457

While an Ageing Strategy is not currently on the policy forward work programme, the issue of policy and strategy relating to older people will be discussed with the Seniors Advisory Panel and their recommendations on this issue will be brought to council for consideration.

32.3 Regional community development initiatives. Council provides Literacy programs and work related skills programs.

1375

Council’s major support for literacy is through library provision and funding of COMET Auckland. Further council involvement in literacy tends to be indirect and through working in partnership with central government and the community sector (for example through the provision of council facilities from which organisations may provide literacy programmes). Youth employment is a Mayoral priority and council is increasing its graduate programme from 17 to 50 people and its cadets from 10 to 20 in 2015. Council considers youth employment to be a major issue for Auckland and is committed to supporting positive transitions for young people from school, in partnership with central government and others. Council has received confirmation from the Tindall Foundation of 1.85 million over the next three years for the Youth Connections youth employment initiative across Auckland.

32.2 Regional community development policy - Alcohol policy.

1434

Council is committed to reducing alcohol related harm, through local alcohol policy development and the range of other policy and operational activity undertaken by council. Any council generated policy will support the aims of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 and this recommendation to include a reference to alignment of council policy and activity with this Act in the Annual Plan is supported.

Theme: Regional park services

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

More drinking fountains needed 

81

The need for and location of drinking fountains are considered as part of the concept planning for new parks or the redevelopment of existing parks.

 

No one is able to tell me how to apply for access to land for garden allotments.  As an apartment dweller, I'd like to have an allotment.  Please consider an initiative on this topic and put unused land to good use.

160

The council does not provide for  “garden allotments” however there are a number of “community gardens” dotted around the region,  which make provision for citizens to participate in gardening activities. Reference to community gardens and volunteer  programmes can be found on the council website.

Submitter wants to ensure there is adequate support and funding for volunteers and conservation parks.  Also requests that greater funding is put into the acquisition of regional parks and volcanic landscapes.

494

The council budgets for and supports an extensive volunteer programme on its parks, including some of the volcanic landscapes, and will continue to do so .

Submitter requests that funding to support and resource volunteers is shown in Auckland wide parks (volcanic cones and regional parks).

494

The council budgets for and supports an extensive volunteer programme on its parks, including some of the volcanic landscapes, and will continue to do so . These are incorporated in the operational budgets for the management of parks and open space across the city.

Concern that the area commonly referred to as the Horse Paddock remains in the ownership of the party that owns the Sugar Refinery. Council will have Right of First Refusal for purchase of the Horse Paddock. Request that Council initiate contact with the Owner of the Refinery and commence negotiations to purchase the Horse Paddock. Once the Horse Paddock is brought into public ownership, it should be made part of the Chelsea Heritage Park.

530

The “ horse paddock” adjacent to the Chelsea Heritage Park has been identified as a potential purchase should it become available on the market. The decision to purchase will depend on priorities for other purchases and the value this land will contribute to the existing open space network.

Request for smoke free public open spaces.

716

The council has adopted a “smoke free” policy for public open spaces and buildings  At this stage it is an educational programme involving signage informing people of the policy and encouraging them not to smoke in the vicinity of other people  with a particular focus on areas where children congregate, such in the vicinity of playgrounds.

We support the Regional Parks budget of $28,492m opex and $14,241m capex for additional Regional Parks acquisition and submit that provision should be made for additions to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Parkland.

911

The council will continue to provide strong support for the creation and maintenance of its regional parks, including the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, as an essential component of Auckland’s unique natural and cultural identity and in making Auckland the world’s most liveable city. 

The council states that keeping the tree-scape is important as providing a benefit for the general public but there is no provision for assisting residents with the costs incurred in maintaining large trees in a residential area.

Action: Divert part of the funds devoted to Parks to provide a fund to assist with the pruning and shaping of designated trees.

1049

The council does not currently have the capacity to help manage trees within private land. The council has over 55,000 hectares of parkland currently under its care. As a priority the council devotes resources to the management of this asset through pest animal and weed control and will provide private land owners with assistance with these programmes on private land. But apart from some arborist advice the council does not normally involve itself in pruning and shaping of designated trees on private land. 

Botanic Gardens - maintaining the Auckland Botanic Gardens, including creating opportunities for outdoor recreation, accommodation and events.

1074

The council will continue to provide strong support for the creation and maintenance of the Auckland Botanic Gardens, in recognition that the Botanic Gardens are one of Auckland’s major visitor and recreational attractions with over 1 million visits each year.

Recommend that the council not make any further investment in acquiring new regional parks at this time.

1256

The council uses criteria to assess the need for additional parkland, including regional parkland. These criteria look at the strategic need as well as the suitability of the land for its recreational and the protection of its natural and cultural heritage values. Land that does not satisfy these criteria will not be purchased.  

Recommend a new design for children's playspaces be incorporated to include nature, fantasy, adventure.
 The planting budget now needs to increase e.g. for fruit tree communities, food and forests on public reserves.

1322

The council recognises the need for children to experience and learn from natural settings. The Auckland design manual currently under development will explore opportunities for play-spaces that incorporate nature, fantasy and adventure. The council also acknowledges the need for community gardens and will continue to support and grow these initiatives.  

I am concerned that only $1 million has been allocated to Auckland's maunga. How does this square with the plans for World Heritage status by 2020? Do not support level of focus on visitor experience and recreational use aspects of volcanic cones policy.

1385

The future management of the volcanic cones is currently being established through the co-management framework with the Tamaki Collective. The need for future expenditure will be determined as part of developing management plans for the cones and will be reflected in future annual plans

Edge Trimmers dangerous need guards on

1408; 1420

The council and its contractors adhere to recognised health and safety standards.

We recommend the DAAP should signify that all expansion and upgrading of burial sites must not be adverse to the details and limitations as posed by the recent review of the Burial and Cremations Act.

1434

The council has participated in the review of the Burial and Cremations Act and is aware of the implications of this legislation. 

In terms of Cemeteries, we recommend Council recognises public health risks and engagement issues.

1447

The council has participated in the review of the Burial and Cremations Act and is aware of the implications of this legislation and its responsibilities under the relevant health related legislation.  The council would welcome engagement and collaboration on these matters of common interest with the submitter.

Theme: Watercare Services Ltd.

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

Water and waste water charges unfair.

231

Watercare is required by legislation to be a minimum cost provider of water and wastewater services and is prohibited from paying a dividend to its shareholder the Auckland Council. The cost of water and wastewater services reflect the actual cost of delivering those services to the people of Auckland while maintaining a high standard of public health and environmental protection.

The Huapai sewage treatment plant is decommissioned. It is not appropriate that a sewage treatment plant is positioned in a park (public area) or next to a waterway that flows to the Kaipara harbour. There have been constant issues with this plant including smell & overflow. This is a health & safety issue.

526

Ever since commissioning of the new wastewater main from Kumeu, Huapai and Riverhead Watercare has experienced challenging odour issues as a result of the low number of connections and low wastewater volumes in the connected networks. Low wastewater flows and increased retention times cause septicity which raises the potential for odours to be generated. In response Watercare has mitigated this issue by reinstating pre-treatment at the Huapai wastewater treatment plant. As more growth and connections come on-line in this area these problems will reduce and the use of the plant for pre-treatment will be stopped.

Discharge from sewage/overflow needs to be handled on a community level - i.e. it is not acceptable for overflow from Waitemata harbour area to be discharged into Manukau Harbour.  It has taken years to finally have a clean up of the Manukau - sort out your area, don't dump in ours!!

543

The Mangere Wastewater Treatment plant is Auckland’s largest wastewater treatment facility and treats existing flows from a large part of the Auckland isthmus. Old combined networks across the city have carried wastewater and stormwater to the treatment plant for treatment for many decades. The new central interceptor will continue to take these flows as well as picking up some additional wet weather overflows.  However, the actual increase in average flows to the treatment plant is expected to increase by only 2%. Furthermore, additional flows from the north and west will be diverted to the Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant taking pressure of the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant and allowing for continued growth across Auckland while continuing to protect the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours.

Water rates are not fair and need overhaul.  Why should I pay for waste water rates on my garden and be prevented from having water stored from roof and gutterings?

544

The domestic wastewater tariff is only charged on 78.5% of the metered water use. In effect there is an allowance made for water use in gardens and other situations where it does not go down the drain. This figure is based on BRANZ research on average household water use. Households are free to install and use water tanks and will need to make decisions on whether there is benefit in doing so.

We believe in a greater allocation of money to construct water dams for Auckland for the future rather than relying on the Waikato River.

683

Unfortunately the major dam sources for Auckland have already been utilised and there are few remaining opportunities for dams. Building new dams is also very expensive realtive to the water yield which can be obtained and consenting would also be very difficult and expensive to achieve. Watercare is required by legislation to priovide services at minimum cost, collectively, to all the people of Auckland. Infrastructure, including a world class treatment plant, is already in place for a water take from the Waikato River and this source will continue to become more important as the region grows.

Reduce water charges which are hugely overpriced.

1108

At the time of integration in 2010 Watercare reduced water prices, in some cases significantly so. Watercare is rerquired by legislation to be a least cost provider of water and wastewater services and is prohibited from paying a dividend to Auckland Council. The cost of water and wastewater services reflect the actual cost of delivering those services to the people of Auckland while maintaining a high standard of public health and environmental proection.

Property owners should be encouraged to install storage tanks to collect rainwater for gardens, vehicle washing and toilet flushing.

1113

Sustainability initiatives are good in principle but the arguments for Watercare as a regional service provider are not always compelling in terms of cost and protection of public health. Watercare continues to design and build infrastructure to meet Aucklands peak demand when rain tanks are typically dry and customers fall back on the public supply network. The provision of bulk services remains consistent with Watercare's commitments to be a minimum cost provider and households who wish to install rain tanks continue to able to do so.

Re: Central Interceptor - should seek to stop wastewater overflows rather than just reduce

1113

Overflow structures are a standard component of modern wastewater networks and are designed for emergencies to protect private property and public health. Regional plans permit an average of two overflows from a controlled structure per annum and the central interceptor will result in a significant reduction in overflows along the network. These limits balance the adverse environmental effects of overflows which tend to be short lived, against the cost to build infrastructure to reduce them. Reducing overflows to zero, even if technically feasible, would cost many billions of dollars. The main emergency overflow for the central interceptor tunnel will be located near the Mangere wastewater treatment plant. However, due to the scale and potential risks, this has been designed with sufficient redundencies and contingencies that it is unlikely to ever be needed. Furthermore, Watercare has listened to the Consent Commissioners and agreed to install standby power generation.

The electronic versions of Watercare Services invoices are not fully accessible to blind and vision impaired readers.

1120

Watercare has worked with blind disability services to improve the way in which water and wastewater billing information was made available electronically. To date Watercare has done the best it can with the technology available. Watercare will continue to review and improve these services as billing and customer information systems are upgraded.

KIPT is supportive of fair volumetric charging for water and a mix of fixed charge and volumetric water charges for waste water calculation.

1133

Noted.

Request that Auckland Council extends the sewerage line to make a direct connection with:

·              Oratia District School

·              the Settlers' Hall

·              the Small Hall

·              the cluster of buildings which includes the Oratia Superette and Dragiceviches' Orchard buildings and allocates funding for this from the $38,000,000 allocated to Collection System Expansion and the $25,100,000 allocated to Collection System Improvement in the Wastewater section of the Capital Projects List7 (see 6).

1328

The provision of wastewater services to new areas is dependent on detailed Council planning (structure planning) or private plan changes. Much of Oratia is currently zoned countryside living and until such time as Council determines that such areas are a priority for growth and are accompanied by coordinated structure plans that determine the nature , mix and layout of growth and accompanying services, then Watercare is unable to service these new areas.

Beacon supports projects to manage demand for services, create a more resilient, localised and diverse network, and, where appropriate, maintain the network

1331

Noted.

Hunua water supply scheme is an important core service and we approve this.

1375

Noted. The Hunua dams have the greatest storage capacity of all our regional dams and along with the Ardmore water treatment facility represent some of most important Auckland water supply infrastructure.

I do not support the changes to having the Manukau Harbour used as a dumping ground for Auckland city's waste water. The environment could be adversely affected. Please pump it out past the Manukau Heads into ocean currents and keep our harbour a place for swimming and community enjoyment.

1390

The Mangere Wastewater Treatment plant is Auckland’s largest wastewater treatment facility and treats existing flows from a large part of the Auckland isthmus. Old combined networks across the city have carried wastewater and stormwater to the treatment plant for treatment for many decades. The new central interceptor will continue to take these flows as well as picking up some additional wet weather overflows.  However, the actual increase in average flows to the treatment plant is  expected to increase by only 2%. Furthermore, additional flows from the north and west will be diverted to the Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant taking pressure of the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant and allowing for continued growth across Auckland while continuing to protect the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours. The option to discharge past the Manukau Heads was considered by the public and discounted many years ago. As a result  the harbour discharge is of such high quality that contact recreation continues to be available. Watercare is commited to protecting the Manukau and has invested half a billion dollars in upgrades and improvements to the harbour including the removal of the old oxidation ponds and creation of new beaches. This commitment continues with ongoing upgrades to the plant, development of new walkways and Watercare's purchase of Puketutu Island to become a future park.

Watercare should be actively encouraging Aucklanders to reduce their water consumption as similar organisations do in other communities faced with water supply limitations such as the Australian cities. I see little sign of this. The CEO of Watercare is significantly overpaid for what must be a relatively straightforward job especially compared to the CEO of Auckland Council.

1393

Aucklanders already have the lowest water consumption rates compared with other urban parts of New Zealand. The cost of our water is also significantly lower than in Australia. However, Watercare remains focused on achieving by 2025 a 15% per capita reduction in water use throughout the region. This work includes updating the regional demand management plan and creating a free water audit service for households, in partnership with EcoMatters Environment Trust. The latest addition to this programme is the 'Be Waterwise' booklet aimed at helping households save water and money. It is available on Watercare’s website.

Opposes wastewater charges

1402

Watercare is required by legislation to be a least cost provider of water and wastewater services and is prohibited from paying a dividend to Auckland Council. The cost of water and wastewater services reflects the actual cost of delivering those services to the people of Auckland while maintaining a high standard of public health and environmental protection.

Upgrade sewer capacity

1440

Watercare is planning to spend approximately 2 billion dollars over the next 10 years building new wastewater infrastructure to increase capacity.

Most people I know are very unhappy with Watercare. I think Council should open up discussion on unpopular department instead of ignoring them.
 1. We don't want bills for water every month.
 2. We do not like the way they pit our bill up the month they estimate usage.
 3. We do not like paying for water down the drain, when we water the garden.

1473

At the time of integration in 2010 Watercare reduced water prices, in some cases significantly so. Watercare is required by legislation to be a least cost provider of water and wastewater services and is prohibited from paying a dividend to Auckland Council. The cost of water and wastewater services reflect the actual cost of delivering those services to the people of Auckland while maintaining a high standard of public health and environmental protection. Monthly billing was implemented to help customers avoid large quarterly or six monthly bills and to help identify water leakages. Estimates are used every second reading based on past water use figures. All customers in Auckland are charged in the same way for domestic water and wastewater services. Wastewater charges include an allowance of 21.5% for garden watering that does not go down the drain.

water meters should be installed free of charge.

1969

Watercare must recover all costs for services. Costs are typically directed to those who create the demand for services including water meter installations. Infrastructure growth charges are also levied to those who create demand for new services such as water and wastewater connections which require additional investment.

The Local Board also needs to advocate heavily on the issue of commercial water rates which according to our calculations will see some businesses facing a $10,000 increase in rates, which is simply not sustainable. These changes take place from the 1st July 2014 and we need to be aware? that this will have a large impact on many of our businesses?

This July water rates for commercial premises will be going up. We argued against this as there is no competition in the water sector meaning there is a monopoly of power that Watercare has.

Furthermore, by our calculations a large majority of our businesses will once again be facing huge increases. We hope there is some support in place for this change!

 

1990

Watercare’s new standardised non-domestic wastewater tariff will remove charging anomalies and bring greater fairness to the region. The 44 wastewater tariffs currently paid by non-domestic users were set by the former councils which each approached charging differently, eg wastewater charges based on variables such as land value or number of toilet pans. As a result, the cost of wastewater – and therefore the cost of doing business – varies depending on where in Auckland a business or organisation is located. Standardising the tariff will address this important issue of fairness. Changes to the non-domestic wastewater tariff will not generate additional revenue for Watercare.

Theme: Waste and Recycling

Specific submission query

Sub #

Response

WMMP implementation - Levels of service, green waste, hazardous waste

Various

The WMMP will introduce a consistent service across Auckland as a phased implementation. The main service requirements will consist of:

1)         a pay as you throw refuse collection differentiated by bin size. It will not be charged by weight but per lift.

2)         An enhanced recycle service

3)         An organic  collection in urban areas

4)         An on property inorganic collection supported by a number of sites providing a resource recovery network

5)         Fixed sites for hazardous waste collection to ensure safe handling and disposal.

The implementation will be supported by appropriate communications and education

A specific green waste service will not be provided by Council as there is already a mature private sector industry providing this service

Until the implementation, existing service levels including funding arrangements will prevail.

Council’s responsibility for landfill remediation on private land

1434

Private land utilised for landfill purposes is managed through the consenting process. Council’s responsibility is to monitor the consent conditions to ensure compliance, however responsibility to address the conditions rests with the owner. Council does have responsibility to manage a number of historic sites which are on council land.

Specific hygiene matters relating to organic collection

138

The method of using a kitchen caddy and a larger bin is utilised in a number of sites overseas and is a proven method. There are remedies if there are odour concerns and these issues will be dealt with as part of the communication and education component.

Waste initiative seed funding to include disabled community

1120

The funding available distributed by Council from the waste levy is available to all applicants. However the suggestion of targeted promotion of the fund to disability consumer organisations and service providers should  be explored.

 

Theme: Emergency management

Areas where a response is required

Submission #

Advice from business

If something urgent has suddenly happened, how can we quickly find our coordinator while it is not office hours? [In this situation] can there be a person coming together, which can translate it in Cantonese or Mandarin?

1127

 

CDEM has a 24/7 Duty Officer system to respond to events.  They have access to Language Line and a data base of council staff who can be contacted to communicate in various dialects.

Reinstate civil defence emergency management facilities and capability north of the harbour bridge in association with other local boards in the northern region.  Progress the implementation of disaster warning systems.

 Should include retention/reinstatement of 400 East Coast Bays as a key site in the CD infrastructure.

1336

 

The facility in 400 East Coast Bays is still important to Civil Defence and it is used for training, housing of staff, and as a radio communications hub.  We have no plans to close it.

In light of the recent Christchurch disasters we recommend future proofing the procedures, processes as well as the resource arrangements particularly insurance facilities to prevent a repeat of the debacle currently being played out particularly with respect to insurance payouts.

1434

 

Private insurance claims are dealt with the various insurance companies.  For larger events The Insurance Council appoints a coordinator to work with CDEM. The service that individuals receive will depend on the resources available within the various insurance companies.

Auckland Council has an insurance portfolio in respect of its own buildings to cover any resultant material damage (net of deductible). In the event of a natural catastrophe such as earthquake the Earthquake Commission (EQC) would underwrite any council, and private insurance claims in line with the EQC policy (‘EQC cover’) and property owner’s underlying material damage policy.  For any damage to Council property, our insurance brokers would provide claims management services.

EQC cover insures losses for earthquake, natural landslip, volcanic eruption, hydrothermal activity, tsunami and storm and flood (within limits). The EQC would administer their own claims through appointed loss adjusters.

Lastly, we highlight potential shortcomings of the Annual Plan in the event of unexpected regional emergencies.

1447

The size and scale of Auckland has resulted in greater capacity to respond to a regional emergency.

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Update on the six Māori priority project areas

 

File No.: CP2014/07213

 

  

 

Purpose

1.       To provide an update on progress on the Māori priority project areas identified in the Annual Plan 2013/2014.

Executive Summary

2.       On 27 March 2014 the Budget Committee agreed that staff report to the Budget Committee by May 2014 on the milestones and funding to progress the 2013/2014 Māori priority projects in 2014/15.

3.       The financial information and brief commentary for the Māori priority project areas is summarised in the table below. Further detail is contained in Attachment A to this report.

 

Priority Area

Annual Budget 2013/2014

 

($000)

Actual spend (to date) 2013/2014

($000)

Draft Annual Budget 2014/2015

($000)

Status update

1.Major event - explore a Māori event

13

8

37

Full feasibility study is expected to be completed by ATEED during the 2014/2015 financial year with the aim of putting the Māori Signature event in the LTP.

$8k spend to date is for consultation with mana whenua undertaken during Nov/Dec 2013

2. Transport walking and cycling infrastructure - Te Reo signage/narrative, Māori design and public artworks

230

386

Detail is being defined with project managers

Auckland Transport (AT) has engagement planned for 2014/2015 and budget definition will be completed by the end of May 2014.

Summary of actual spend:

·    AMETI $291k;

·    Dominion Rd $42k;

·    East West Link and Mill Rd $38k;

·    Road Safety promotion $6k;

·    City Rail Link $5k;

·    Walking and Cycling programme $4k. 

3. The Southern Initiative (TSI) - scope a project to address Māori interests

177

149

232

In the current financial year there is no specific budget for Māori specific projects, but all TSI work streams incorporate a Maori dimension. 

4. Unitary Plan - funding of mana whenua engagement, use of iwi management plans, sites of significance and other Māori Provisions

200

28

770

$35k for payments to iwi is still anticipated for the current financial year to complete engagement with Mana Whenua. 

Budget is in the draft AP 2014/2015 for identification and assessment of Māori sites of significance for protection / management.  Total budget over 10 years of $7.56m.

5. Tamaki Transformation Programme - opportunities for affordable housing, marae and associated education and cultural facilities

93

93

Yet to be defined

TRC is preparing a business case for the council and Crown, which is to be completed by 30 May 2014. The council, Crown and TRC will need to determine allocation of funding for the 2014/15 financial year.

Should further funding be allocated, TRC will continue to operate under the Tãmaki Strategic Framework, which includes projects with specific Māori outcomes.

Summary of actual spend:

·    Cultural mapping with three iwi $30k;

·    Tamaki Learning champions programme $30k;

·    Tamaki Youth Employment programme $33k;

6. Stormwater - incorporate Matauranga Māori

3,334

2,396

3,850

The Stormwater Unit has projects in a number of categories that protect and / or enhance streams, estuaries and marine receiving environments and therefore contribute positively towards the mauri of water in the Auckland region.

 

4.       Information on the wider range of expenditure contributions by council departments and CCOs to Māori outcomes in the Annual Plan 2013/2014 is not presented in this report.  This is included in the report ‘Quarterly Update: Business Improvements to identify Auckland Council contributions to Māori Outcomes’ to the Finance and Performance committee on 20 May 2014.

 

Recommendation/s

That the Budget Committee:

a)      receive the Update on the six Māori priority project areas report.

 

 

Discussion

5.       The Annual Plan 2013/2014 outlines what the council plans to do, how much it costs and how these will be funded in the 12 months to 30 June 2014.  The Annual Plan 2013/2014 included six priority areas as the council’s commitment to Māori. 

6.       In March 2014, the Budget Committee resolved to receive an update by May 2014 on the milestones and funding to progress the 2013/2014 Māori priority projects in 2014/2015. Progress since 1 July 2013 against each of these priorities is detailed in Attachment A as provided by the relevant departments and CCOs.

7.       Information on the wider range of expenditure contributions by council departments and CCOs to Māori outcomes in the Annual Plan 2013/2014 is included in the report ‘Quarterly Update: Business Improvements to identify Auckland Council contributions to Māori Outcomes’ to the Finance and Performance committee on 20 May 2014.

Consideration

Local Board Views

8.       Local boards were not involved in the preparation of this report as the relevant budgets are regional.

Māori Impact Statement

9.       This report is about progress on matters which will impact positively on Māori.  From this information provided, it appears that all projects are on track to achieve against the agreed budgets.

General

10.     Note the committee agreed, in November 2013, that regular progress and planning updates on the Māori priority project areas be included in future quarterly updates on Māori Outcomes to the Finance and Performance Committee.

 

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

Progress update on priority project areas for Māori

65

     

Signatories

Author

Shelby Young – Senior Advisor

Authorisers

Matthew Walker - Manager Financial Plan Policy and Budgeting

Andrew McKenzie - Chief Finance Officer

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Progress update on priority project areas for Maori

Priority Area

Status Update

Annual Budget 2013/14

Actual      (to date) 2013/14

Annual Budget 2014/15

1. Event - explore a Maori event

 

ATEED has been asked by the mayor to assess the concept of a Maori signature event for Auckland and is committed to delivering feasibility investigations of Maori event proposals.  

In March and April 2014, ATEED held cross-council meetings with Community Development, Arts and Culture (CDAC) and Te Waka Angamua (TWA) to discuss next steps for the project with the view of agreeing an approach to inform an ATEED feasibility.  Feedback from these sessions has been beneficial: firstly to stock-take the existing Maori event landscape and understand the Maori event calendar; and secondly, to begin to develop a strategic framework to facilitate a joint understanding of what a Maori signature event should deliver. This will provide a mechanism to assess event proposals against.  CDAC and TWA are supportive of a strategic and consultative approach to determine core event principles before assessing any individual applications. 

Following agreement on strategic direction and iwi engagement options, a project plan is being prepared, which will break down project milestones required to achieve project goals.  ATEED expects to work with CDAC and TWA on this next phase.  Future milestones will include involvement from the Independent Maori Statutory Board in developing assessment criteria in 2013/14 and requesting proposals from professional event organizers in 2014/15. 

ATEED estimated $50,000 would be required for feasibility assessment in 2013/14, allocating these funds from its Major Event Fund - $8,300 was spent on mana whenua consultation undertaken during November and December 2013.  ATEED anticipates it will conduct a full feasibility study on one or two proposals next financial year using forecast budget from its Major Event Fund ($50,000 has been assigned).  The current aim is to put the Maori signature event in the Long Term Plan.

 $13,000

 $8,300

 

 $37,000

 

2. Transport walking and cycling infrastructure - Te Reo signage /narrative, Maori design and public artworks

 

(Consolidated budget and actual spend)

AMETI - Mana Whenua (Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Tamaoho, Te Akitai Waiohua, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Maru and Ngāti Te Ata) worked with Auckland Transport on the design within the completed Panmure Rail Station, including signage (including street signs) and landscape aspects. 

Dominion Road - A cultural landscape design plan for Dominion Road (including walking and cycling) was completed in 2013 by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Tamaoho, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngāti Maru and Te Akitai Waiohua.  The landscape plan incorporates Māori cultural heritage, Māori values and narratives, as well as ecological footprints such as planting and bird habitat. The next phase of work has now commenced around implementation of the cultural landscape plan.

East West Link and Mill Road - Mana Whenua have been engaged early on the East West Link, with input into the business case development (which includes criteria for Māori Urban Design).  Mana Whenua who have completed initial Māori Value Assessments within this reporting period include Te Akitai Waiohua, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua and Te Kawerau a Maki. Mana Whenua are in the process of completing Māori Value Assessments for Mill Road. 

Road Safety promotion - Community Transport works with a small number of Māori groups to provide road safety education and information targeted at identified high risk themes. This includes drivers licence education, and educational tools, including a te reo booklet designed for the Travel Wise school programme on safety on the way to school that was launched in August 2013.

City Rail Link - A mana whenua forum comprising of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Maru, Te Akitai Waiohua, Ngāti Tamaoho, Te Kawerau a Maki, Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, has been established to achieve the conditions of the City Rail Link Notice of Requirement which require input by Mana Whenua into relevant aspects of this project. This includes interpreting and applying the Mana Whenua design principles imbedded in the Urban Design Framework which influence the design of this project. The project team has recently completed a video about the project in Te reo Māori. 

Walking Cycling programme - Further engagement in upgrading and reconstructing assets for the Domain Walking and Cycle project has resulted in the construction of mana whenua inspired retaining walls, fencing and footpath, speed hump design, which celebrates and acknowledges Mana Whenua history in the area.  Te Akitai Waiohua, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki and Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei assisted in leading this input.  Mana Whenua were consulted on the Mt Roskill Safer Routes and Pt England to Panmure walking and cycleway projects.  

$ 230,000

$ 385,900

$ 291,000

 

 

$  42,300

 

 

 

 

$  37,400

 

 

 

$   6,300

 

 

 

$   4,700

 

 

 

 

 

$   4,200

Detail is being defined with project managers

3. The Southern Initiative (TSI) - scope a project to address Maori interests

 

The Terms of Reference to incorporate the appropriate reference to the Treaty of Waitangi were discussed at the December meeting and not resolved. The TSI has provided in kind support to the Weymouth/ Waimahia special housing development for its community open day/ launch in December and is in regular liaison with the development partners to identify other opportunities for Council or government agencies to provide co-ordinated services to the project. The TSI is not aware of any further progress over the vacation period on the Otara papakainga housing development.  The budgets for 2014/2015 remain in draft.  In the current financial year there is no specific budget for Maori specific projects but all work streams incorporate a Maori dimension.

 $177,000

 $149,000

$232,120

4. Unitary Plan - funding of mana whenua engagement, use of iwi management plans, sites of significance and other Maori Provisions

No new activities have been planned and $35,000 is still anticipated by the end of this financial year to complete the budget spend for 2013/2014.

 

 $200,000

 $  28,377

 $ 770,000

5. Tamaki Transformation Programme - opportunities for affordable housing, marae and associated education and cultural facilities

No new activities have been planned since the update provided on 27 March 2014.

The council is still in discussion and negotiation with the Crown and TRC. TRC is preparing a business case for the council and Crown, which is to be completed by 30 May 2014. The council, Crown and TRC will need to determine allocation of funding for the 2014/15 financial year.

Should further funding be allocated, TRC will continue to operate under the Tãmaki Strategic Framework, which includes projects with specific Maori outcomes.

 $93,000

 $93,000

Yet to be defined

6. Stormwater - incorporate Matauranga Maori

 

The Stormwater Unit has projects in a number of categories that protect and / or enhance streams, estuaries and marine receiving environments and therefore contribute positively towards the mauri of water in the Auckland region.  

In delivering stormwater projects, the Stormwater Unit consults and works collaboratively with iwi to achieve mutual beneficial outcomes where appropriate.

Consultation with iwi is undertaken on individual stormwater projects with letters sent directly to iwi as identified by local board boundaries that the relevant project is located within.  The assistance of iwi staff within Council has assisted in getting more targeted consultation on individual projects.  

In addition, at a regional level the Stormwater Unit notifies iwi about forthcoming projects that are likely to require resource consent. Further progress on keeping iwi informed of forthcoming projects is expected now that the restructure of the Stormwater business is now complete.  Early consultation with relevant iwi allows identification and confirmation on whether a Cultural Impact Assessments (CIA), is required and allows iwi early input into the stormwater solution.

No new activities have been planned since the update provided on 27 March 2014.

 $3,334,322

 $2,395,847

$3,850,000

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Independent Māori Statutory Board - proposed Funding Agreement for the 2014/15 financial year

 

File No.: CP2014/07705

 

  

 

 

Purpose

1.       To recommend the funding agreement for the Independent Māori Statutory Board (IMSB) for the 2014/2015 financial year (2014/15FY). 

Executive summary

2.       Auckland Council and the IMSB are required each year to negotiate in good faith to “make a funding agreement on the amount of money and the level of servicing that the council is to provide to the board”.

3.       On 27 February 2014 the Governing Body authorised Councillors Webster, Clow and Cashmore to form a working party to conduct negotiations with the IMSB for the 2014/15 funding agreement.

4.       Negotiations with the IMSB have resulted in a recommended basis for the 2014/15 funding agreement.  Key features of the recommended agreement are:

·   Board member remuneration has increased consistent with percentage increases determined by the Remuneration Authority for elected members

·   IMSB will directly fund staff previously seconded and funded by council. As a consequence, council’s staffing budget will be reduced.

·   Additional work monitoring progress against the IMSB’s Issues of Significance and supporting IMSB’s participation in council’s Long-term Plan (LTP) is anticipated in the 2014/15 FY and increased funding provision made for this.

·   Funding is included for IMSB’s second Treaty Audit of the Auckland Council group.

5.       A high level comparison with the 2013/14 funding agreement is as follows:

 

2013/2014

2014/2015

Direct funding to IMSB 

2,374,500

(opex and capex)

2,710,000

(opex- no capex)

Contribution from other council budgets

   176,000

(seconded staff)

-    

Total

2,551,000

2,710,000

 

6.       In addition to the direct funding, the following amounts will be held within council’s budget, with an agreed sign-off process between council and IMSB for their expenditure:

·   $80,000 for legal expenses; and 

·   $140,000 for Unitary Plan work.

7.       The new sign off process will facilitate council and IMSB agreeing expenditure against these allocated amounts. The resulting work will assist both parties and ensure that there is no duplication of effort between the Council and the IMSB.

 

Recommendation/s

That the Budget Committee:

a)      note that the IMSB funding agreement political working party has negotiated a recommended funding agreement for the 2014/15 FY with the IMSB.

b)      endorse the recommended IMSB funding agreement for the 2014/15 FY.

c)      recommend that the Governing Body adopt the proposed IMSB funding agreement for the 2014/15 FY.

d)      note that following adoption of the recommended agreement by the Governing Body and the IMSB a funding agreement will be prepared for signing by the mayor and council’s chief executive and the IMSB chair and chief executive.

 

Comments

 

 

Background

8.       The Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 established the IMSB with the following purpose “to assist the Auckland Council to make decisions, perform functions, and exercise powers by:

(a)     promoting cultural, economic, environmental, and social issues of significance for mana whenua groups and mataawaka of Tāmaki Makaurau; and

(b)     ensuring that the council acts in accordance with statutory provisions referring to the Treaty of Waitangi”.

9.       The IMSB also has certain functions. These include:

a)    Appointing a maximum of two persons to sit on each council committee that deals with the management and stewardship of natural and physical resources

b)    Appointing a person or persons to other committees if so invited to do so by council

c)    Preparing, keeping up to date and prioritising a schedule of issues of significance to mana whenua groups and mataawaka of Tāmaki Makaurau

d)    Working with Auckland Council on the design and execution of documents and processes to implement the council’s statutory responsibilities towards mana whenua groups and mataawaka of Tāmaki Makaurau.

10.     The IMSB has appointed members to 15 of the council’s 19 Governing Body committees. 

11.     The council has a number of responsibilities. These include:

e)    Providing the board with information needed by the board to identify business of the council that relates to the board’s purpose

f)     Consulting with the board on matters affecting mana whenua groups and mataawaka of Tāmaki Makaurau

g)    Taking into account the board’s advice

h)    Appointing an independent expert to inform it of appropriate fees for members of the board

i)     Meeting the reasonable costs of the board’s operation.

12.     Auckland Council and the IMSB are required each year to negotiate in good faith to “make a funding agreement on the amount of money and the level of servicing that the council is to provide to the board”.  The funding agreement must include, or make provision for:

·   the reasonable costs of IMSB’s operations and secretariat;

·   IMSB seeking and obtaining advice and establishing committees;

·   IMSB’s work plan for the year;

·   IMSB board members’ fees and reasonable expenses.

13.     On 27 February 2014 the Governing Body authorised Councillors Webster, Clow and Cashmore to form a working party to conduct negotiations with the IMSB for the 2014/15 funding agreement. These negotiations have resulted in a recommended basis for the 2014/15 funding agreement. 

Key components of the recommended funding agreement for 2014/15

14.     Total direct funding for IMSB for 2014/15 to be $2,710,000. The key components of the recommended funding agreement are set out below. 

15.     IMSB board member remuneration increased as of November 2012 consistent with percentage increases determined by the Remuneration Authority for elected members

16.     In the 2014/15 FY, IMSB will directly fund staff who were previously seconded to IMSB from council.  As a consequence, IMSB’s salary budget has increased and council’s staffing budget will be reduced.

17.     IMSB’s work programme for the 2014/15 FY includes data collection and analysis of wellbeing indicators associated with the IMSB’s Issues of Significance; and work supporting IMSB’s participation in council’s LTP process. The 2015-2025 LTP process provides a significant opportunity for better alignment of outcomes in IMSB’s Māori Plan/Issues of Significance and council’s LTP.

18.     The Treaty Audit is a key IMSB work programme that assists the Auckland Council group to identify areas for improvement and to effectively fulfill the IMSB’s statutory purpose of ensuring the council acts in accordance with statutory provisions referring to the Treaty of Waitangi.  The first audit was completed in 2012 and the 2013/14 funding agreement anticipated a second audit being undertaken in 2014/15.  IMSB have engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to work with council to prepare the scope for the second Treaty Audit. The new audit will be commissioned once the scoping process has been completed.

19.     The funding agreement includes provision for IMSB to engage specialist Māori expertise to assist council to progress certain key projects. The intention is to utilise this funding where council does not have the necessary in-house expertise. In the previous two years, council has held this funding within its own budget. In 2013 the budget for this was $160,000 and council agreed its expenditure jointly with IMSB.  The recommended 2014/15 FY funding agreement includes $100,000 for this and IMSB’s preference is to hold this funding within their budget.

Other components of the recommended funding agreement for 2014/15

20.     In addition to direct funding, the following amounts will be held within council’s budget, with an agreed sign-off process for their expenditure:

·   $80,000 for legal expenses; and 

·   $140,000 for Unitary Plan work.

21.     The new sign off process will facilitate council and IMSB agreeing expenditure against these allocated amounts. The resulting work will assist both parties and ensure that there is no duplication of effort between the Council and the IMSB.

22.     The following council departments provide support services to IMSB:

·   Human Resources; Information Services; Finance; Accounting; Procurement; Treasury; Property; Copy Centre/Mailroom; Records Management; Customer Services; Democracy Services; Risk Management; Legal. 

23.     These support services will be listed in the funding agreement without an estimated dollar value. There are no actual payments from IMSB to council for the services and overheads are allocated through the annual plan process.

24.     The following table reflects the recommended agreement and provides a comparison with the 2013/14 agreement.

2013/2014

Agreement

Proposed

2014/2015

Refer paragraph

Board remuneration and expenses

663,600

782,500

15

 

Secretarial

Salaries

1,111,900

1,214,500

16

 

Expenses, including audit fees

119,000

119,000

 

 

Professional services

Legal, contractors, other professional advice, communications, engagement and reporting to Maori stakeholders.

190,000

264,000

17

 

Work program

Te Tiriti o Waitangi Audit

140,000

160,000

18

 

Research, managing and monitoring Māori Plan outcomes

100,000

70,000

 

Specialist Māori expertise for council projects

                  0

    100,000

19

 

Total direct opex funding

2,324,500

2,710,000

 

 

CAPEX

50,000

0

 

 

Total direct funding (opex and capex)

2,374,500

2,710,000

 

 

Contribution from other council budgets

Seconded staff

176,500

0

 

Total direct funding

2,551,000

2,710,000

 

 

Consideration

Local board views and implications

25.     Local boards have not been consulted as this has been a process of negotiation between the Governing Body and the IMSB. However, the work resulting from the IMSB work program and related council work programs impacts on local boards. For example, engagement with Māori and consideration of the Māori outcomes priorities identified by the IMSB are important in the development of the Local Board Plans.

Māori impact statement

26.     The funding agreement supports the IMSB to give effect to its statutory purpose of promoting cultural, economic, environmental, and social issues of significance for Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau; and ensuring that the council acts in accordance with statutory provisions referring to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Implementation

27.     Following adoption of the recommended agreement by the Governing Body and the IMSB a funding agreement will be prepared for signing by the mayor and council’s chief executive and the IMSB chair and chief executive.

 

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.    

Signatories

Author

Deborah James - Executive Officer

Authorisers

Grant Taylor - Governance Director

Andrew McKenzie - Chief Finance Officer

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Annual Plan 2014/2015 - Local board advocacy

 

File No.: CP2014/08662

 

  

 

Purpose

1.       This report provides an update on local board advocacy areas to the governing body and Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs). Advocacy areas are areas for which local boards do not have decision making responsibilities but reflect community needs and priorities identified by the local boards through engagement processes.

Executive summary

2.       The updated advocacy areas are a combination of some initiatives that local boards have advocated for over the last 3 years and some new initiatives. They have been informed by recent community engagement undertaken by the local boards on the 2014 local board plans. A summary of all local board advocacy areas is attached.

3.       The advocacy areas will form part of the local board plans, the strategic documents that complement the Auckland Plan and will help inform the Long-term Plan 2015 - 2025. 

4.       The local board advocacy areas align well with the transformational shifts in the Auckland Plan.  The common advocacy areas across the local boards include:

 

·    Transport, including a well-connected and accessible public transport system, safe and uncongested roads and road corridor planning

·    Access to safe walking and cycling routes for health and wellbeing, to enjoy and preserve our green spaces and as an alternative means of transport to cars and public transport

·    Community development and safety, including adequate operating funds for community centres and community facilitators, and reductions in alcohol, gambling and psychoactive substances outlets

·    New and upgraded community facilities, particularly for growth areas, including community centres, sports facilities, aquatic centres, arts and culture centres and libraries

·    Developing and implementing town centre and area plans and protecting our natural and built heritage

·    Implementing local economic development plans including tourism initiatives

·    Environmental management such as weed and pest control and improving the quality of our waterways

·    Ensuring that our communities have access to open spaces and parks and enabling local boards to facilitate community led place shaping

 

5.       Auckland Transport continues to have the greatest share of local board advocacy areas to CCOs. Local boards see transport as key to unlocking economic development opportunities, improving the quality of urban living and place shaping to create a community identity.  In large infrastructure projects local boards play an important role in not only advocating for action on behalf of their communities but also bringing together the main stakeholders to ensure that community led development occurs where possible.

6.       Community facilities and community development has the greatest share of advocacy areas to the governing body.  This reflects the role of local boards in leading on community development and placemaking.  Local boards engage and empower their communities to participate in local decision making and provide a range of activities, events and services that build community cohesion and identity.  Through their advocacy areas local boards are voicing a concern that more planning should occur for social infrastructure in growth areas. 

7.       Key advocacy points were covered in the governing body and local board discussions on 29 and 30 April.  In addition to the common themes mentioned above, local boards raised the importance of the local board funding policy, planning effectively for growth, the need to address service level equity issues and some service delivery issues, and role that local procurement can play in achieving local outcomes.

 

8.       This report provides a summary of advocacy areas where there is an element of commonality across local boards. Attachment A contains all current advocacy areas to the governing body by local boards. Attachment B contains all the current local board advocacy areas to CCOs.   A resolution of the Strategy and Finance Committee in September 2013 requested that CCOs consider reporting to local boards on their advocacy plans.

 

Recommendation/s

That the Budget Committee:

a)   note:

i)    the advocacy areas to the governing body and CCOs that local boards have identified for inclusion in the Annual Plan 2014/2015 as set out in Attachments A and B.

ii)   that the advocacy areas, read in conjunction with local board plans, reflect the priorities for the communities that local boards represent, and therefore should inform the development of the Long-term Plan 2015 – 2025.

 

b)   request that council and CCO staff continue to work with local boards to progress advocacy areas during the 2014/2015 financial year and that CCOs consider reporting to local boards on their advocacy plans.

 

 

Comments

9.       Local boards have a statutory requirement to engage with their communities and are well placed to understand their community’s priorities and aspirations. The advocacy role of local boards is key to informing the governing body, CCOs, council departments and external agencies of local priorities. 

10.     Local boards have been identifying advocacy areas through community engagement on Council planning processes (local board plans, annual plans and long-term plan) and ongoing dialogue with their communities.  These advocacy areas have been refined through political meetings, business meetings, workshops and informal processes since establishment. 

11.     The updated advocacy areas are a combination of some initiatives that local boards have advocated for over the last 3 years and some new initiatives. At their April meetings, local boards confirmed an updated list of advocacy areas for CCOs and the governing body for inclusion in the Annual Plan 2014/2015. 

12.     The complete set of local board advocacy is extensive, with over 500 specific issues identified across all local boards.  Analysis of the key themes identified across all local board advocacy is provided below.  Attachment A contains all current advocacy areas to the governing body by local boards. Attachment B contains all the current local board advocacy areas to CCOs.

 

13.     The key themes have been grouped under the transformational shifts of the Auckland Plan. Some contribute to more than one transformational shift but have been placed under one for presentation purposes. 

 

 

Dramatically accelerate the prospects of Auckland’s children and young people

14.     Local boards have a strong sense of responsibility to the children and young people of their communities. Most local boards are working with local youth advisory forums on youth led engagement approaches. This engagement results in community facilities that meet the needs of children and young people and initiatives that build a sense of belonging and identity. A common advocacy area is for new or upgraded community facilities, including community centres, parks, libraries, sports facilities and pools, arts and music centres. Local boards also stress the importance of adequate operating funds for these facilities.

15.     Another focus area for local boards is working with community groups and external agencies to deliver programmes to foster wellbeing and capacity building. This model of community development follows an international trend which enables local government to both deliver more with less and increase community engagement. An engaged, cohesive community is more likely to provide for the needs of its children and young people. Ongoing funding to support community groups and community led engagement is important for this sustainable approach to building strong communities. 

16.     Educational opportunities, youth employment and training opportunities are also common advocacy areas with local boards asking for secure funding for Youth Connections. 

17.     The impact of alcohol, gambling and psychoactive substances on communities continues to be a concern for local boards particularly those in the south, with many advocating for sinking lid policies in these areas.

 

Strongly commit to environmental action and green growth

18.     Core to Auckland’s liveability is its stunning natural environment and coastline. Local boards are keen that access to and quality of these are not lost with population growth and development.  Most Auckland communities have people who are passionate about protecting our environment and prepared to volunteer their time.  Local boards are active in working with these volunteers, external agencies and iwi, who have a kaitiaki role, to deliver significant environmental programmes.  This work often brings the communities together and creates a sense of pride and belonging. 

19.     Management of the environment is a key advocacy area for many boards with particular focus on weed and pest control.  Some boards have emphasised the need for more regional and local collaboration along with continuing support for community groups that contribute to environmental outcomes. In addition to council departments, CCO’s are seen to play an important role, such as Auckland Transport for roadside weed control.

20.     Many local boards advocate for improved management of our waterways, particularly the Manukau harbour, although lagoons, streams and lakes are also mentioned.   Most advocacy areas relate to managing the input into waterways although some also relate to weed control, daylighting of streams and beach restoration.  Waiheke Local Board are advocating for the establishment of marine reserves.

 

Move to outstanding public transport within one network

21.     Local boards fully support the transformational shift that aims to move to outstanding public transport within one network. Transport continues to be a significant advocacy area for local boards due to the role that transport plays in moving people and goods efficiently, connecting communities and supporting urban living. The importance of co-ordinated infrastructure planning across external agencies, particularly in growth areas, and the role of local boards in facilitating community input is emphasised by a number of local boards in their transport advocacy points.

 Access to well-connected and affordable public transport is the most prevalent area of transport advocacy for local boards.  Local boards would like to see:

·    Connected public transport through frequent feeder services and the provision of new or improved park and rides, such as at Glen Eden, Paerata, Drury, Silverdale, Manurewa, Homai, Puhinui, Papakura and Takanini

·    Increased bus services and reviewed bus routes

·    Rail and bus station and ferry terminal upgrades taking into account urban design and community led place shaping

·    Strategic direction provided for water transport and increased ferry services.  This includes determining ownership and management responsibilities for the Port Fitzroy wharf on Great Barrier.

22.     The prioritisation of specific road projects feature highly with key projects including road sealing (Great Barrier and Rodney), development of specific routes or initiatives, plans to reduce congestion, improved interchanges and better connections between state highways.  The importance of roads for economic development is also raised such as roads for quarries and linking business areas. The impact of road development on the community is a common theme including the role of road corridors in place shaping, ensuring community involvement in infrastructure project planning, considering urban design and safety.

23.     Many local boards are advocating for transport safety initiatives in their communities including safer rural roads and rail crossings, ensuring safe pedestrian and cycle routes and traffic calming measures, such as slow speed zones.

 

Cycling and walking

24.     Providing access to safe and enjoyable walkways and cycleways for wellbeing and recreation or for transport is a key area of focus for local board advocacy action plans.

25.     For some local boards the focus is on providing and promoting an alternative mode of transport to cars and public transport. This may include safe pathways along key commuter routes with features such as over-bridges. Walkways and cycleways can contribute to outstanding public transport within one network by ensuring connectivity with public transport such as providing lockers and bike racks at stations and terminals. Some local boards also see promoting cycling and walking as a means to ease congestion on the roads.

26.     For other local boards the focus is on community wellbeing and recreation in addition to the environmental benefits of providing an ecological corridor alongside a pathway.  

27.     With the majority of local boards adopting, or in the process of developing, greenways plans, this is a shared initiative that local boards are seeking support for from the governing body. 

28.     These initiatives tend to link pathways across parks and open spaces with pathways built into existing or developing transport infrastructure. As such the development of these paths may involve teams in transport, parks, environmental and planning areas working together. There is also potential for pathways to cross a number of local board areas creating a network of greenways routes across Auckland.

29.     Local board chairs have met to discuss how to progress greenways including the potential for collaborative working between local boards. 

30.     The Governing Body could assist with progressing this area through:

·        Providing resource for a co-ordinated approach which brings all the stakeholders together, enables learnings to be shared across local board areas and connects pathways across local board areas where appropriate.

·        Providing funding for pathways, possibly through a regional fund, particularly where development is outside of transport infrastructure and therefore not covered by the Auckland Transport Capital Fund.

 

 

Radically improve the quality of urban living

31.     Quality urban living is at the heart of what local boards do, which makes them crucial to the delivery of this transformational shift. Their role brings together both the physical and social dynamics of urban living with a strong emphasis on creating resilient, inclusive and thriving communities. Local boards’ important placemaking role helps bring together communities, council departments, CCOs and external agencies to encourage community led planning and development.

 

Community development and facilities

32.     Community development and safety is fundamental to the role of local boards to foster strong, cohesive communities.  An overarching focus of local boards is to develop community cohesion through building a sense of identity and belonging. The advocacy areas relating to these points span a wide variety of issues from safety initiatives to increased support for Citizens Advice Bureau.

33.     The need for new or upgraded community hubs that are adequately funded is an important issue for local boards. There are a number of requests for increased operating budgets including funding for community facilitators. Local boards see this as sustainable investment which builds capacity in the community through enabling community groups to deliver more.

34.     An emerging advocacy area is funding to support migrant communities including requests for regional funding for Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust. 

35.     Sports facilities are a key area for many local boards with a focus on Auckland maintaining world class facilities.  Advocacy points include upgrading existing facilities, the acquisition of land for new facilities and the development of specialist centres such as a table tennis centre in Waitemata and equestrian facilities in Henderson Massey. 

36.     Aquatic Centres are seen as an important community facility with local boards advocating for new pools in areas such as Beachlands, Waiheke, Westgate and Warkworth or upgrades of pools.  Henderson-Massey Local Board are advocating for schools to be supported in making their pools available to the wider community.

37.     The majority of advocacy areas for arts and culture relate to continued or increased support for existing facilities.  Manurewa Local Board are advocating for a music and arts centre to nurture young and budding artists and Rodney Local Board is advocating for more arts centres across the local board area.

38.     Local boards see libraries as an important community service which builds community identity and cohesiveness.  Some boards are advocating for new libraries, a number of local boards are advocating for extensions to mobile library services or existing libraries. More digital services available at libraries, including enhanced internet connectivity and wireless, is another advocacy area. 

 

Planning and infrastructure

39.     Local boards play a central role in planning to ensure that development reflects the aspirations of the local community. Increased focus on planning is seen as essential to ensure a holistic, co-ordinated approach to radically improving the quality of urban living.

40.     A number of local boards have advocated for support in the development or delivery of area plans or precinct plans including Albert-Eden Area Plan, Henderson Lincoln Rd Area Plan, Howick development planning, Hobson Bay Action Plan, Mission Bay Precinct Plan, Otara-Papatoetoe Area Plan, Papakura, Stoddard Road/May Road development plans, Three Kings Precinct Plan, Matiatia Master Plan, Aotea Quarter Plan, Waitemata Area Plan and Rodney Area Plan.

41.     Thriving town and metro centres are seen by local boards as important for social, economic and cultural reasons.  Local boards are advocating for support in developing and implementing town centre plans for growth areas or revitalising town centres or main streets.

42.     The need for social and physical infrastructure planning for growth areas is another concern for a number of local boards. Social infrastructure includes community centres and facilities such as libraries or sports fields. Physical infrastructure refers to transport or water services.

43.     A number of local boards have advocated for a greater proportion of development and financial contributions to be invested in the local area where the fees are raised, to enable the impacts of growth to be offset.

44.     Maintaining built and natural heritage is a priority area for a number of boards who are advocating for support in developing heritage assessments or funding for the preservation of specific heritage sites.

45.     Affordable housing and housing for the elderly is an area of concern for some boards who are advocating that this be considered in planning for Special Housing Areas.  Other boards are focusing on the importance of quality urban design in housing development.

46.     A number of local boards have advocacy requests for prioritisation of stormwater and waste water projects including to address flooding issues. 

47.     Other advocacy points relating to water services include the provision of water to rural communities and the relocation of filling stations.

 

Parks, open spaces and recreation

48.     A number of boards have advocated for the purchase of land for parks and open spaces, particularly in growth areas.

49.     Some local boards have asked for reserve or park management plans to be reviewed to enable local boards to lead on community development and placemaking.

50.     Local boards are keen to ensure that their communities continue to have access to open spaces and harbours with particular focus on managing this in areas of development.  Advocacy areas include ensuring that boat access and dredging maintain recreational use of the harbours of Auckland.  

51.     The development of walkways through our open spaces and foreshores is a common advocacy point, this is linked to the cycling and walking section above with a focus on the recreational use of our open spaces to promote health and wellbeing. These initiatives are often connected with the aspiration for better environmental management of these ecologically important areas.

 

Substantially raise living standards for all Aucklanders and focus on those most in need

52.     Local economic development is a focus for local boards who aim to increase local prosperity, raise living standards and provide opportunities for young people. Another key driver is to provide the option for people to work closer to home.

53.     A number of local boards have advocated for more support for local economic development, including for local tourism. This is particularly important for areas further away from the city centre.

54.     Local boards have prioritised discretionary funding to develop local economic development plans, tourism plans or visitor strategies. These plans reflect the needs and opportunities of the local communities and contribute to the overall economic development objective articulated in the Economic Development Strategy. As local boards move into delivery, many encounter difficulties in implementing the actions, due to limited support and discretionary funding.  Local boards are advocating for more support for local economic development. 

55.     Economic development advocacy areas include identifying and supporting growth sectors and developing local investment attraction strategies.  Specific tourism advocacy areas relate to the promotion of local areas through the development of visitors centres and the availability of tourism information.  Some local boards support the current prioritisation of specific initiatives such as innovation precincts and fast broadband.

56.     While the specific needs of local boards in economic and tourism development vary greatly from board to board, there is a need to clarify how projects are prioritised, and to clarify how delivery is supported by the council departments and ATEED.

 

Significantly lift Māori social and economic wellbeing

57.     Many local boards are further building on their relationships with iwi and see them as an important partner, in particular some local boards are exploring options for enhancing Māori input into local board decision making. Working with Māori ratepayers and residents is also important for many boards; they support urban marae and work with them on community wellbeing initiatives.  

58.     The importance placed by many boards on engaging with the local Māori population means that the advocacy areas discussed above will inherently impact on this transformational shift.  For example initiatives such as Youth Connections often target young Māori and some local economic development plans have a particular focus on opportunities for Māori.

Consideration

Local board views and implications

59.     This report summarises local board advocacy areas for 2014/2015 as consulted on as part of the draft annual plan.  Local boards are currently drafting the 2014 local board plans, which are also likely to reflect the advocacy areas in this report.  The local board plans will in turn inform the Long-term Plan 2015 – 2025.

Māori impact statement

60.     Many local board decisions are of importance to Māori and continuing to build relationships with mana whenua and Māori residents and rate payers is an ongoing focus. The recent informal engagement on draft local boards plans included innovative and successful approaches to engaging with iwi through joint hui. Particular areas of focus for local boards engagement and partnership work with mana whenua and Māori residents and rate payers include environmental management, community development and economic development. 

Implementation

61.     The Mayor has signalled that the Long-term Plan 2015 – 2025 provides an opportunity to review the focus of council activities to better align with delivery of the Auckland Plan.  The local board advocacy areas as well as other local strategic priorities developed in the local board plans will be an important component of the Long-term Plan discussions.

 

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

Local board advocacy to governing body

85

bView

Local board advocacy to CCO's and external agencies

107

     

Signatories

Authors

Anna Bray - Policy and Planning Manager - Local Boards

Karen Titulaer – Senior Policy Advisor, Local Board Services

Authorisers

Karen Lyons - Manager Local Board Services

Andrew McKenzie - Chief Finance Officer

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 






















Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 





















Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Annual Plan 2014/2015 - Budget Update

 

File No.: CP2014/08787

 

  

 

 

Purpose

1.       To provide an update on the budget context and related issues to inform the mayoral-led process of deciding on the final budgets for 2014/2015 on 8 May 2014.

2.       This report is a revised version of a report to 27 March 2014 Budget Committee meeting which provided a preliminary view of the budget context prior to regional hearings on the draft annual plan.

Executive summary

3.       The current long-term plan sets out a programme of significant capital investment to help achieve the Auckland Plan.

4.       The long-term plan also identifies the funding streams and efficiency savings necessary to support council’s delivery of core services alongside the capital investment programme in a way which is affordable for current ratepayers and financially sustainable for future ratepayers.

5.       The Draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 represented an update and refinement of year three of the Long-term Plan 2012-2022 (LTP).

6.       Since the adoption of the Draft Annual Plan, budgets have been refreshed to better reflect the true cost of delivering the activities and projects planned for 2014/2015.  Performance measures and targets, and schedules of user fees and charges have also been reviewed.

7.       A total of 1,967 public submissions were received on the draft annual plan with a sizeable number commenting on the council’s financial strategy, expenditure levels and proposed rates increases.  A number of these submissions were requests for additional funding.

8.       Projected capital expenditure for the group for 2014/2015 has been revised down by about $80 million to $1.70 billion. Along with the return of capital from Auckland Airport and capex reductions for 2013/2014, this has resulted in the projected net debt for the group at 30 June 2015 being revised down by about $120 million to $7.31 billion.

9.       Since adoption of the draft plan, council has approved $4.4 million of additional expenditure. In addition, about $20 million of additional cost pressures have been identified including:

·    a budget shortfall for Auckland Transport with a rates impact of $15.6 million. This budget shortfall is primarily driven by lower projections of public transport revenue as a result of lower than expected patronage, and lower than anticipated car parking revenue

·    additional expenditure requirements relating to the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan

·    budget shortfalls for Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Auckland Council Properties Limited (ACPL) and Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA).

 

10.     The 2.4 per cent average rates increase proposed in the draft annual plan[2] can still be achieved after accommodating all of these cost pressures due to a range of favourable budget movements including:

·    higher projected dividends for Ports of Auckland

·    interest savings associated with the capital return from Auckland Airport

·    Auckland Transport deferring $50 million of capital expenditure

·    changing the approach to funding the future replacement of Auckland Transport’s Electric Motor Units to better align this with the approach to replacing other assets   

·    Waterfront Auckland paying a one-off dividend to return higher than expected after-tax earnings back to the council parent

·    proposed increases in parking charges for the Central Business District.

11.     The final average rates increase for 2014/2015 could range between 2.4 and 2.7 per cent, depending on the decisions council makes on the following discretionary items:

·    $2.5 million of cross-council economic development initiatives proposed to be led by Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED)

·    $1.8 million of additional funding for The Southern Initiative

·    $365,000 of  additional democracy services support for the Advisory Panels

·    $150,000 for Waitakere Ranges possum control as referred from the February 2014 Regional Strategy and Policy Committee meeting.

12.     Looking ahead to 2015/2016, we are currently projecting budget pressures of about $30 million which would need to be addressed to achieve the 4.9 per cent average rates increase projected for that year in the current Long-term Plan.  This is primarily the result of a lower than anticipated increases in public transport revenue combined with the impact of the electric trains become operational earlier than previously anticipated.

13.     The lagged impact of changes in the capital programme on operating budgets mean that it would be very challenging to significantly lower the average rates increase for 2015/2016 by cutting capital expenditure in that year.

14.     One option to mitigate the high projected average rates increase for 2015/2016 would be to reduce or defer capital expenditure during the 2014/2015 financial year.  While there is not sufficient time to undertake another full review of capital expenditure budgets in time for the adoption of the Annual Plan 2014/2015, such a review could be undertaken over the next few months as part of the Long-term Plan work programme. 

15.     If council were to target a $300 million reduction or deferral of capital expenditure in 2014/2015, then the rates requirement for 2015/2016 could be reduced by approximately $23 million as a result of lower interest and depreciation costs. 

16.     Auckland Transport has proposed some material changes to their performance targets for public transport patronage and customer satisfaction.

17.     Once this committee has decided on the final budgets for the Annual Plan 2014/2015 officers will prepare the annual plan document (incorporating 21 Local Boards Agreements) for agreement and adoption by 30 June 2014.

 

Recommendation/s

Staff have not made any recommendations on changes to budgets or performance measures in this report as it is the Mayor’s role to lead the budget process.

 

 

Discussion

 

Background

Investing in Auckland

18.     The Long-term Plan 2012-2022 (LTP) set out a programme of significant investment in Auckland, with an average of $1.15 billion to be spent on new assets for the first three years.

19.     Some of the key capital project budgets included over the three year period were:

·    $528 million for local activities, including local parks, libraries and cultural, community, and recreation facilities

·    $461 million for the City Rail Link

·    $323 million to purchase electric trains

·    $184 million for the Panmure transport corridor as part of the Auckland-Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI)

·    $58 million to upgrade the Albany Highway

·    $31 million to develop cycleways

·    $154 million for the Hunua Number 4 water supply scheme

·    $49 million for North Shore trunk sewer upgrades

·    $35 million for strategic property developments.

 

20.     Total assets were projected to increase by $6 billion over the first three years of the long-term plan and be $41.7 billion at 30 June 2015.

21.     The LTP also sets out the council’s strategy and policies for funding this investment, based on the key principles of fairness, prudence, affordability and efficiency.

22.     Debt is used to fund investment in new assets after netting off other sources of capital funding specific to those assets such as subsidies and development contributions. Asset sales are used to reduce the overall level of debt and consequential operating costs. The use of debt to fund new assets promotes the principle of fairness as the benefits from those assets are spread over time.

23.     In accordance with the principle of prudence, the LTP included limits on its borrowing to maintain debt at a sustainable level and provide flexibility to deal with unforeseen events. While debt was projected to increase substantially over the 10 year period of the plan, it was projected to remain within prudent levels in comparison to the council’s income and able to be managed within the limits on rates and debt. 

24.     Net debt was projected to increase by $2.7 billion over the first three years of the long-term plan and be $7.5 billion at 30 June 2015.

25.     The following chart shows the projected movements in assets and net debt over these three years:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draft Annual Plan 2014/2015

26.     The Draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 represented an update and refinement of year three of the long-term plan, focusing on maintaining the momentum generated over the first two years of the LTP.

27.     The capital programme for the council group in the draft annual plan was as follows:

$ million

2014/15

New works

1,230

Renewals

550

Total capex

1,780

 

28.     To help fund the $1,230 million investment in new assets, net debt for the group was projected to increase by $920 million.  As a result, net debt at 30 June 2015 was projected to be $7.4 billion, just slightly lower than the LTP projection.

29.     The group’s sizeable capital investment programme has resulted in depreciation and interest expense growing much faster than the rate of inflation.

30.     Over the first three years of the long-term plan, depreciation was projected to grow at an average rate of 7 per cent per annum while interest expense was projected to grow by an average rate of 16 per cent per annum. This means that the capital investment programme places considerable pressure on operating budgets.

31.     These cost pressures, along with $17 million of new cost pressures related to increasing customer expectations and additional legislative compliance requirements, were able to be accommodated in the draft annual plan with a projected 2.4 per cent average rates increase through the identification of further efficiency savings. 

32.     Auckland Transport signaled an $18 million budget shortfall for 2014/2015, in part driven by lower projections of public transport revenue as a result of lower than expected patronage. However, no provision was made for covering this shortfall in the draft annual plan.  Instead, the mayor proposed holding robust discussion with the board and senior staff on the underlying issues before considering any increases in funding.

 

Budget refresh

33.     Since the adoption of the draft annual plan, budgets have been refreshed to better reflect the true cost of delivering the activities and projects planned for 2014/2015.  Performance measures and targets, and schedules of user fees and charges have also been reviewed.

34.     The following sections present the key results from this budget refresh, along with other new information such as the results from the analysis of public submissions.

 

Public submissions

35.     A total of 1,967 public submissions were received on the draft annual plan.  These submissions have been analysed and the following key points are noted:

·    81 submissions commented on the council’s financial strategy, with 38 of these specifically commenting that the proposed expenditure was too high and 22 of these specifically commenting on debt being too high

·    53 submissions commented on rates, with 44 specifically commenting that the proposed rates increase was too high

·    51 submissions opposed the proposed 5 per cent increase in charges for social housing on the basis of affordability

·    48 submissions requested annual funding for Massive Theatre Company and funding to assist them with finding a home

·    7 submissions requested additional funding to support Auckland Sport in implementing their priority actions identified in the Sports and Recreation Strategic Action Plan

·    a submission was received from Ngati Whatua Orakei Reserves Board for reserve maintenance and development under the new co-governance arrangements 

·    25 other submissions requested funding for other various arts, culture, community and sports organisations.

 

36.     Of the 25 general funding request submissions received, 13 of these were for local board consideration as they related to services determined by the local boards. The remaining 12 requests plus the requests for the Massive Theatre Company, Auckland Sport and Ngati Whatua Orakei Reserves Board, have been summarised and included in Attachment A, together with staff commentary on any current context around the particular requests.

37.     For those submissions requesting specific amounts, the total capital grant funding requested was $1,421,316 and the total operational funding requested was $576,000 in respect of the 2014/15 financial year.

 

Capital budgets and debt levels

38.     The capital budgets and debt levels set out in this section are generally unchanged from those reported on 27 March.  The one exception is the proposed new capex for animal management services, where a proposal to in-house some services has already been agreed to by the Finance and Performance Committee on 16 April, while the proposals to co-locate other services has been deferred to the next long-term plan.

39.     The budget refresh process has resulted in projected 2014/2015 gross capital expenditure for the group of about $1.90 billion. This figure represents the sum of the individual capital projects in the plan.  Because we assume that about $200 million of these projects will not be delivered during 2014/2015, we are projecting that $1.70 million will actually be spent in that year.  Later in this report we discuss the option of further reducing capex delivery for 2014/2015.

40.     The revised $1.70 million projection for capital expenditure is about $80 million lower than the $1.78 billion in the draft plan.  This is primarily the result of:

·    Colin Maiden Park being acquired in 2013/2014 rather than 2014/2015

·    deferral of land acquisitions for the City Rail Link

·    capital expenditure deferrals for Watercare and Waterfront Auckland.

 

These reductions were partially offset by:

·    $57 million of proposed additional capex for Ports of Auckland’s commercial operations

·    $9.5 million of proposed new capex for integrated bylaw implementation

·    $5 million proposed capex timing change for ACPL’s Yard 37 development at Hobsonville Point

·    $2 million of agreed new capex to in-house some animal management services

·    $1.5 million of proposed additional capex for ATEED’s fit out of the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct and $200,000 for a mobile i-SITE.

·    $0.4 million of proposed new capex for animal management services for asset renewals and minor upgrades to support day-to-day operations.

 

41.     In addition to the net reduction in projected capex for 2014/2015, the group’s borrowing requirement has also reduced as a net result of:

·    deferral of city rail link property acquisitions from 2013/2014

·    the return of capital from Auckland Airport

·    lower projections for weathertightness claims

·    partially offset by lower development contributions and reduced capital revenue from Yard 37.

 

42.     Overall, if all the proposed additional capital expenditure is approved, the closing net debt balance for 2014/2015 would now be about $7.31 billion, which is about $120 million lower than the $7.43 billion in the draft plan.

43.     Given the commercial nature of the proposed additional $57 million capex for Ports of Auckland, no detail is included in this report. Whether or not to proceed with this investment is a commercial investment decision for the board of Ports of Auckland. Given the scale of the investment, Auckland Council Investments Limited will discuss this when they present their 2014/2015 budget submission at the Budget Committee on 5 May.

 

Operating budgets

44.     On 27 March we reported on $25 million of cost pressures and funding requests not provided for in the draft annual plan, along with $9 million of mitigating items. We therefore advised that further mitigating budget movement of about $16 million would need to be identified over the following six weeks to achieve the average rates increase of 2.4 per cent proposed in the draft annual plan.

45.     Following further work on cost pressures and mitigating items we now advise that all cost pressures can be accommodated with a 2.4 per cent average rates increase for 2014/2015. However, there are still some funding requests which could require a higher average rates if council decides to approve those requests.

46.     An average rates increase of 2.4 per cent refers to the average across all ratepayers.  The council’s long-term differential strategy reduces the rates burden on business payers and increases it on other ratepayer groups.  For 2014/2015 the reduction in the differential from 2.53 to 2.43 will shift $11.1 million of rates requirements to other differential groups. An overall 2.4 per cent average increase for 2014/2015 will mean that the average increase for business ratepayers of 0 per cent and an average for residential and other ratepayer groups of 3.6 per cent.

 

Approved budget changes

47.     Since the draft annual plan was adopted, council has approved budget changes that increase the rates requirement for 2014/2015 by about $4.4 million as follows:

Organisation

Budget item

Rates requirement

$000

Auckland Council

 

Unitary Plan Independent Hearing Panel

-agreed by the Budget Committee on 27 March

3,140

 

Unitary Plan geographical information systems

-agreed by the Budget Committee on 27 March

730

 

Decisions of the Finance and Performance committee

-primarily the interest impact of decisions to spend additional operating expenditure in 2013/2014

575

 

Total

4,445

 

Additional cost pressures

48.     Overall $20 million of additional cost pressures have been identified which were not provided for in the draft annual plan, but which could now be accommodated with a 2.4 per cent average rates increase. A full breakdown of these cost pressures is set out in the following table:

Organisation

Budget item

Rates requirement

$000

Auckland Council

Independent Maori Statutory Board

-a separate report on this agenda proposes a funding agreement that is higher than the existing budget provision for 2014/2015

150

 

Removal of commercial revenue budget in relation to the redevelopment of the Pioneer Women's and Ellen Melville Hall

140

 

Consequential opex associated with the  new capex for implementation of the Bylaw Review Programme

310

Auckland Transport

Budget shortfall primarily due to lower than anticipated increases in public transport and parking revenue (before any increases to parking charges)

15,600

ATEED

Budget shortfall due to Foodbowl contractual commitments

1,000

Additional depreciation funding requirement for Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct

210

Auckland Council Properties Limited

 

Yard 37 (Hobsonville Point) rate funded interest expense increase due to timing change

400

Budget shortfall due to changes to the property portfolio

860

Overstatement of the Whitford Quarry surplus in ACPL and Auckland Council

850

RFA

Budget shortfall due to the ongoing costs of operating the upgraded Auckland Art Gallery

1,000

 

Total

20,520

 

49.     Investment proposals and supporting information for each of these items, as well as the proposed increases in capital expenditure outlined above, is included as Attachment B. 

50.     A separate report on this agenda addresses the funding agreement for the Independent Maori Statutory Board.   A separate report on local board budgets addresses the item related to the redevelopment of the Pioneer Women's and Ellen Melville Hall.

 

Mitigating items

51.     These cost pressures are fully mitigated by the following items that have not yet been included in the annual plan budgets: 

Organisation

Budget contribution

Rates requirement

$000

Auckland Council

 

Lower funding agreements for Auckland Regional Amenities, Auckland War Memorial Museum and MOTAT than provided for in the draft annual plan.

920

Additional revenue from Greenmount landfill

600

Additional revenue from Penlink forestry revenue

600

Changed treatment of property development funding

990

Auckland Council Investments Limited

Interest savings from Auckland Airport capital return

4,750

Enhanced dividends from Ports of Auckland, net of reduced 2014/2015 dividend from Auckland Airport

4,700

Auckland Transport

Increased parking charges in the CBD for both on-street and off-street parking.  This will bring the charges for council owned parking buildings more into line with prices currently charged by private operators.

5,500

Deferring $50 million of capital expenditure

2,500

In-sourcing roading professional services

500

Public transport contract reviews

500

Change to funding approach for asset replacement of electric trains

1,500

Waterfront Auckland

One-off dividend to return higher than expected after-tax earnings back to the council parent

3,000

 

Total

26,060

 

52.     These mitigating items are just slightly higher than the sum of approved changes and additional cost pressures outlined above, providing capacity to accommodate about $1 million of new funding requests while maintaining the average rates increase at 2.4 per cent.

 

New funding requests

53.     The following funding requests have been put forward for council to consider when deciding on the final budgets for the 2014/2015 annual plan:

Organisation

Budget item

Rates requirement

$000

Auckland Council

 

Additional funding for The Southern Initiative (TSI)

1,800

Democracy services support for advisory panels

365

Waitakere Ranges possum control

-referred from the February 2014 Regional Strategy and Policy Committee meeting

150

ATEED

Establishment of an Auckland Investment Office (AIO)

1,300

 

Developing global brand positioning for Auckland

500

 

Commercial partnerships (Partnerships for Auckland)

500

 

Additional funding to support the Skypath project

160

 

Total

4,775

 

54.     Investment proposals and supporting information for each of these items are included as Attachment C, along with ATEED’s new capex funding request for a mobile i-SITE.

55.     If council agrees to accommodate these or any other funding requests then an average rates increase for 2014/2015 may be required that is higher than the 2.4 per cent proposed in the draft annual plan.

 

Other potential budget issues

56.     At this stage the following potential budget issues have been excluded from the annual plan projections:

·    the funding requests from public submissions outlined above

·    local board advocacy items

·    additional funding for the development of the Maunga and other reserves under new co-governance arrangements

·    additional funding for the Auckland Regional Rescue Helicopter Trust

·    the cost of inspecting and strengthening of any council owned earthquake-prone buildings

·    the possible outcomes of the CCO review.

 

57.     Two separate reports on this agenda address local board advocacy items and local board budget issues.

 

Looking ahead

58.     On 26 March, we provided the results of financial modelling in response to the mayoral direction for the Long-term Plan 2015-2025.  The primary conclusion from that modelling was that it will be a significant challenge to reduce the projected future average rates increase from 4.9 per cent per annum to 2.5 or 3.5 per cent.  We discussed four available options available for addressing that challenge:

i.    Reducing or deferring capital expenditure

ii.    Reducing service levels

iii.   Increasing non-rates revenue

iv.  Further efficiency savings and/or more sales of surplus assets

59.     A secondary conclusion was that it would not be possible to reduce the average rates increase for 2015/2016 (the first year of the new plan) down to these levels solely by reducing or deferring capital expenditure in that particular year. 

60.     We are currently projecting budget pressures of about $30 million which would need to be addressed to achieve the 4.9 per cent average rates increase projected for that year in the current Long-term Plan.  This is mainly due to lower than anticipated increases in public transport revenue, slightly lower projected growth in the rating base, and higher interest funding requirements associated with the electric trains becoming operational earlier than previously anticipated.

61.     The lagged impact of changes in the capital programme on operating budgets mean that it will not be possible to significantly lower the average rates increase for that particular year by cutting capital expenditure in the 2015-2025 period of the next Long-term Plan.

62.     One option to mitigate the high projected average rates increase for 2015/2016 would be to reduce or defer capital expenditure during the 2014/2015 financial year.  While there is not sufficient time to undertake another full review of capital expenditure budgets in time for the adoption of the Annual Plan 2014/2015, such a review could be undertaken over the next few months as part of the Long-term Plan work programme. 

63.     If council were to target a net $300 million reduction or deferral of rates funded capital expenditure in 2014/2015, then the rates requirement for 2015/2016 could be reduced by approximately $23 million as a result of lower interest and depreciation costs. 

64.     This $300 million reduction or deferral would be in addition to the $200 million under-delivery already factored into the annual plan projections.  It would mean delivering $1.40 billion of the individual capex projects which total $1.90 billion.

 

Performance measures and targets

65.     As part of continuous improvement, Auckland Council departments and the CCOs have undertaken further reviews on the current performance measures and targets since the draft annual plan.

66.     Following this review, Auckland Transport has proposed adjustments to their public transport patronage and customer satisfaction targets for 2014/2015.  These proposed changes are outlined below.

67.     In addition, some minor changes are proposed to some measures and targets across the council group.  These are set out in Attachment D. These changes range from minor wording changes to the addition of one new measure for road quality.

68.     As part of the development of the Long-term Plan 2015-2025, council departments and CCOs are undertaking detailed reviews of their measures. The focus is to ensure that measures are relevant and provide the community with meaningful information about how successfully the council group delivers services.

Auckland Transport public transport patronage

69.     Auckland Transport have proposed changes to their public transport patronage targets for 2014/2015 based on current results that are lower than previously anticipated. 

Measure

Actual

2012/13

Annual Plan target

2013/14

Rolling  12 months to March 2014

Draft Annual Plan target

2014/15

Proposed Annual Plan target

2014/15

Rapid Transit Network rail boardings per annum (000's)

10,039

14,423

11,051

13,041

12,100

Rapid Transit Network busway boardings  per annum (000's)

2,279

2,618

2,371

2,588

2,511

Quality Transit Network and Local Connector Network bus boardings per annum (000's)

51,251

56,305

52,430

56,627

53,695

Ferry boardings per annum (000's)

5,506

5,744

5,149

5,899

5,940

Total

69,075

79,090

71,001

78,155

74,246

 

70.     The proposed target for 2014/2015 represents a 9 per cent increase on the rolling 12 month result to March 2014, compared with an 18 per cent increase projected in the draft annual plan.  

71.     These proposed targets are aligned to Auckland Transport’s revised revenue projections.

72.     As Statement of Intent measures, Auckland Transport has proposed changes for the three years from 2014/2015 to 2016/2017.  The proposed changes beyond 2014/2015 are set out in Attachment E.  While significant annual increases are proposed for the following two years, the proposed increases will not catch up to patronage targets previously anticipated for 2016/2017.

 

Auckland Transport customer satisfaction

73.     Auckland Transport has proposed an amendment to their 2014/2015 targets to reflect removal of neutral responses from the satisfaction targets. In calculating historical targets, Auckland Transport had included neutral in the targets. This also follows a change in survey methodology from a 5-point scale to an 11-point scale.

74.     Targets now reflect the new methodology and recent results using the new scale.  The reduction in these targets is primarily due to the change of methodology.

75.     It is also proposed that ‘percentage of residents satisfied with the quality of footpaths in their local area’ be removed in order to keep in line with other transport customer measures. Customer perceptions of the quality of footpaths in the Auckland region inevitably cover the perceptions of footpaths in their local area.

Measure

Actual

2012/13

Annual Plan target

2013/14

Draft Annual Plan target

2014/15

Proposed Annual Plan target

2014/15

Percentage of public transport passengers satisfied with their PT service

85%

87%

87%

83%

Percentage of residents satisfied with the quality of roads in the Auckland region

46%

75%

75%

70%

Percentage of residents satisfied with the quality of footpaths in their local area

43%

75%

75%

Removed

Percentage of residents satisfied with the quality of footpaths in the Auckland region

41%

75%

75%

65%

 

 

Fees and charges

76.     A separate report on this agenda discusses proposed changes to fees and charges for 2014/2015, including changes to water and parking charges. 

 

Consideration

Local board views and implications

77.     Local boards have heard annual plan submissions, reviewed their advocacy items, made decisions on budgets and considered changes to local fees and charges within their allocation of decision-making responsibility.  Local board views on advocacy items and any other matters pertaining to regional decision-making are covered by a separate report on this agenda.

Māori impact statement

78.     None of the revised budget projections covered by this report have been identified as having any material new implications for the delivery of Māori outcomes and initiatives. A separate report on this agenda provides an update on progress on the Māori priority project areas identified in the Annual Plan 2013/2014.

General

79.     Some of the budget matters covered by this report may be significant under the council’s significance policy. Any decisions on these matters are considered to be within the scope of the statutory decision-making process for the Annual Plan 2014/2015.

Implementation

80.     Decisions will need to be made on the annual plan budgets on or about 8 May 2014 in order for staff to prepare financial statements, co-ordinate the sign-off of the local board agreements and prepare the annual plan document for final adoption by the statutory deadline.

 

 

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

Funding requests from public submissions

139

bView

Further information on budget pressures

145

cView

Further information on new funding requests

187

dView

Minor changes to performance measures

217

eView

Public Transport changes

221

     

Signatories

Author

Ross Tucker - Team Leader Capital Planning

Authorisers

Matthew Walker - Manager Financial Plan Policy and Budgeting

Andrew McKenzie - Chief Finance Officer

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 






Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 











































Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 































Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Minor changes to performance measures

Organisation

Measure

Target

Change

Reason for change

Auckland Council

Percentage of Kauri dieback spread on closed tracks in the Waitakere Ranges

n/a

Reword measure to:

Percentage of closed tracks in the Waitakere Ranges that have Kauri dieback disease.

 

The changing of the wording of the measure better reflects the measures being carried out and aligns to the target set in the draft Annual Plan.

Auckland Council

Percentage of Kauri dieback spread on open tracks in the Waitakere Ranges

n/a

Reword measure to:

Percentage of open tracks in the Waitakere Ranges that have Kauri dieback disease.

 

The changing of the wording of the measure better reflects the measures being carried out and aligns to the target set in the draft Annual Plan.

Auckland Council

Lost time injury frequency rate

4.5

Amend target from 5 to 4.5

Amend target to recognise improvement in current performance which is already at 5.

Auckland Council

Percentage of customers satisfied with animal management service

70%

Amend target from 78% to 70%

Majority of Council interactions with customers involve a negative experience, such as dog impounding or late fee requests. As such, the baseline level of satisfaction is likely to be quite low. Current satisfaction rate is 60%, officers feel 70% is an appropriate target and 78% is not achievable.

Auckland Council

Percentage of urgent animal management complaints responded to within one hour (dog attacks etc.)

98%

Amend target from 80% to 98%

The initial set target was not based on substantial baseline data.

The new target is based on better baseline data and allows a marginal 2% for more distant travel times and traffic.

ACIL

Return on equity (ROE) for ACIL group

12.9%

Amend target from 13.1% to 12.9%

The reduction in the expected 2014/15 ROE (total comprehensive income of ACIL group over total shareholders’ funds) was due to the shareholders’ funds now forecast to be higher than previously anticipated. This is not due to decreased returns in dollar terms, rather due to the larger denominator of the ratio

ATEED

Spend by visitors in Auckland ($million)

5,194

Amend target from 3,898 to 5,194

The change in the visitor spend figures reflect a new methodological approach taken by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for reporting regional tourism expenditure.   Electronic card transactions have now been combined with the International Visitor Survey and the Tourism Satellite Account to provide a more accurate measure of domestic and international visitor spend.

 

Waterfront Auckland

Number of employees working in Wynyard Quarter area

4,810

Amend target from 6,120 to 4,810

The rate of commercial development (and therefore employment growth) is subject to market conditions. Assumptions that were made for non-WA land have not been realised and the termination of leases to enable redevelopment has led to some short-term loss of employment. Significant employment growth is expected in 2015-2017.

Auckland Transport

Off-street parking occupancy rates (All day)

n/a

Change measurement basis from all day to 4-hour peak period

Measuring parking occupancy over the 4-hour peak period will be more useful for management of parking space availability.

 

Auckland Transport

On-street parking occupancy rates (All day)

n/a

Change measurement basis from all day to 4-hour peak period

Measuring parking occupancy over the 4-hour peak period will be more useful for management of parking space availability.

 

Auckland Transport

Road maintenance standards (ride quality) as measured by smooth travel exposure (STE) for all urban and rural roads

Not less than 82% for urban roads and not less than 92% for rural roads

New measure

As there is limited measures for tracking the quality of roads, Auckland Transport have proposed to add a new measure to supplement customer satisfaction. This is also one of the Department of Internal Affairs mandatory measures from 2015/2016. Targets reflect actual performance for 2012/2013.

 

Auckland Transport

Public transport subsidy per passenger kilometre (CPI adjusted to June 2012)

$0.26

Amend target from $0.26 to $0.29

Revised target based on current performance

Auckland Transport

Number of morning peak (7-9 am) car trips avoided through travel planning initiatives

 

13,400

Amend target from 13,400 to 16,700

Revised target based on current performance

Auckland Transport

Arterial road network productivity

 

52%

Amend target from 52% to 53%

Revised target based on current performance

Auckland Transport

Public and customer safety and security incidents across public transport network per 100,000 passenger boardings

n/a

Change measurement basis to incidents per 1,000,000

Minor adjustment to improved clarity

Auckland Transport

Percentage reduction in total fatal and serious injuries on local road network

n/a

Change measurement basis from percentage to number of injuries

Minor adjustment to improved clarity

 

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Proposed changes to public transport patronage targets

Total Public Transport patronage (000's)

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Current SOI 2013-2016 & DAP for 2014/15

74,580

74,378

78,155

80,948

87,752

91,271

94,687

97,111

99,138

101,070

Draft SOI 2014-2017 and proposed Annual Plan 2014/15

74,580

74,378

74,246

77,705

80,399

Actual for 2012/13 & rolling 12 month at March for 2013/14

69,075

71,001

Rail (000's)

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Current SOI 2013-2016

12,376

11,440

13,041

14,477

17,758

18,258

18,758

19,258

19,758

20,258

Draft SOI 2014-2017 and proposed Annual Plan 2014/15

12,376

11,440

12,100

13,665

15,005

Actual for 2012/13 & rolling 12 month at March for 2013/14

10,039

11,051

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rapid Transit Network busway boardings  per annum (000's)

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Current SOI 2013-2016 & DAP for 2014/15

2,457

2,456

2,588

2,673

2,919

3,040

3,149

3,200

3,251

3,302

Draft SOI 2014-2017 and proposed Annual Plan 2014/15

2,457

2,456

2,511

2,635

2,759

Actual for 2012/13 & rolling 12 month at March for 2013/14

2,279

2,371

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bus (000's)

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Current SOI 2013-2016 & DAP for 2014/15

54,244

54,763

56,627

57,771

60,874

63,625

66,294

68,026

69,358

70,592

Draft SOI 2014-2017 and proposed Annual Plan 2014/15

54,244

54,763

53,695

55,292

56,375

Actual for 2012/13 & rolling 12 month at March for 2013/14

51,251

52,430

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ferry (000's)

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Current SOI 2013-2016 & DAP for 2014/15

5,503

5,719

5,899

6,027

6,201

6,348

6,486

6,627

6,771

6,918

Draft SOI 2014-2017 and proposed Annual Plan 2014/15

5,503

5,719

5,940

6,113

6,260

Actual for 2012/13 & rolling 12 month at March for 2013/14

5,506

5,149

 

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Rates related policies and changes to fees and charges

 

File No.: CP2014/08782

 

  

 

 

Purpose

1.       This report considers the submissions and the local boards’ feedback received on the proposed changes to the policies included in, or consulted on alongside, the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015, and advises on the adoption of changes to:

·        rates related policies

·        fees and charges.

2.       The report also advises on other rates and fees related issues that require the attention of the Committee.

Executive summary

Rating policy

3.       The rating policy in the draft annual plan was the same as the policy in the long-term plan except for changes proposed to BID targeted rates by business associations. The draft plan also set out the early payment discount, the instalment dates and penalties to be applied for 2014/2015.

4.       No submissions were received on any of the changes proposed. The rates related matters raised in submissions had been considered in the development of the rating policy for the Long-term Plan 2012-2022.

5.       The proposed changes to BID targeted rates required undertaking ballots with the business ratepayers in the respective areas. The ballots for Devonport, Otahuhu, and State Highway 16 were successful. The ballots for Dominion Rd and Manukau Central were unsuccessful. The Mission Bay Business Association decided not to proceed with joining the BID programme at this stage.

6.       Officers recommend that the extended boundary for the Otahuhu Business Association targeted rate and that new targeted rates for Devonport and State Highway 16 business associations  be included in the Annual Plan 2014/2015 (pending local board ratification) and the BID targeted rates for 2014/2015 be set accordingly.

Fees and charges

7.       The draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 implements the council’s decisions on fees and charges including

·        an annual inflation adjustment of 1.0 per cent made under the revenue and financing policy

·        the final transition to target fee levels that recover 60 per cent of the animal management cost

·        the continuing transition to uniform fee levels for food premises licensing.

8.       In addition, the draft included the following proposed changes to fees and charges:

·        a uniform 5 per cent increase to all social housing rents

·        standardisation of  health protection licensing fees across the region and increases to some fees and charges to meet the target of recovering 90 per cent of the cost of providing the service

·        changes to some of the building control fees to better align revenue with cost.

 

9.       The council received 67 submissions covering the fee proposals. The majority (94 per cent) of these submissions were on the proposal to increase social housing rent. There were 3 submissions on building control fees and one on health protection licencing fees.

10.     83 per cent of the submissions on social housing opposed the change on affordability grounds and 5 per cent supported it. council staff also met with residents of all 66 Housing for Older Persons villages.  Most residents did not oppose the increase during site meetings and one on one meetings. At some village meetings concerns were raised on affordability.

11.     Officers recommend that the proposed changes to fees be approved. Even after the 5 per cent increase the rentals will be considerably lower than the market level.

12.     The full schedule of regulatory fees and charges for 2014/2015 will be adopted as part of the final Annual Plan 2014/2015. The fees for animal management and environmental health and licensing for 2014/2015 need to be adopted earlier to allow sufficient time for implementation. Officers recommend that these be adopted at the Governing Body meeting scheduled to follow this meeting.

 

 

Recommendation

Staff have not made any recommendations on rates related policies and changes to fees and charges in this report, as it is the Mayor’s role to lead the budget process.

 

Comments

 

Rating policy

13.     The rating policy in the draft annual plan was the same as the policy in the LTP except for changes proposed to BID targeted rates by business associations. The draft plan also set out the early payment discount, the instalment dates and penalties to be applied for 2014/2015.

14.     The draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 included possible new BID targeted rates for the Devonport, State Highway 16 and Mission Bay areas and possible extensions to the existing BID programmes in Dominion Rd, Otahuhu, Manukau Central. These changes required undertaking ballots with the business ratepayers in the respective areas.

Submissions

15.     There were no submissions on any of the changes proposed.  The submissions on other rates related matters are analysed in the table below.

Submissions on rating policy

Subject

No of Submissions

Percentage

Key comment

Rural differential

1

4%

Lower differential to better reflect service levels available

UAGC

14

54%

Too low: should reflect minimum cost of services provided to all rate payers

Business differential

9

35%

Too high given level of services used by businesses

Transition

1

4%

Use a higher UAGC to reduce impact of change

Targeted rates for swimming pool entry

1

4%

Adults should pay for entry

Total

26

100%

 

 

16.     Other comments included:

·        need for better balance between a minimum payment for services and “tax” element of rates

·        more differentials to recognise differences in the use of council services (public goods)

·        limit council activities to core services.

 

Conclusion

 

17.     The issues raised in these submissions had been considered in the development of the rating policy for the Long-term Plan 2012-2022.

18.     Officers note that the council cannot make any changes to the rating policy that have not been consulted on.  The matters raised in the submissions will be included in the Long-term Plan 2015-2025 work program for consideration by the council.

19.     The ballots for BID programmes for Devonport, Otahuhu, and State Highway 16 were successful. The ballots for Dominion Rd and Manukau Central were unsuccessful. The Mission Bay Business Association decided not to proceed with joining the BID programme at this stage.

20.     Staff recommend that the extended boundary for the Otahuhu Business Association targeted rate and that new targeted rates for Devonport and State Highway 16 business associations  be included in the Annual Plan 2014/2015 (pending local board ratification) and the BID targeted rates for 2014/2015 be set accordingly.

 

Key impacts of existing policy

21.     The rates transition management policy sets a maximum of 10 per cent increase for non-business rate payers.  However, 35,000 of former Auckland City Council ratepayers who are capped at 10 per cent will pay around $14 over the cap for the biennial inorganic collection service.

22.     The council’s long-term differential strategy (LTDS) reduces the rates burden on business ratepayers and increases it on other ratepayer groups.  For 2014/2015 the reduction in the differential from 2.53 to 2.43 will shift $11.1 million of rates requirement to other differential groups. The table below shows the percentage change for the main differential categories in 2014/2015.  These estimates are based on an overall rates increase of 2.4 per cent included in the draft Annual Plan 2014/0215.

Category

Average rates increase

LTDS impact

Net average increase

Business

2.4%

-2.4%

0.0%

Non-business

2.4%

+1.2%

3.6%

 

Local activity targeted rates

23.     Both the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board and the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board have requested the continuation of their swimming pool targeted rates to fund free access to swimming pools for adults 17 years and over.

 

Fees and charges

 

Overview of submissions

 

24.     Through the draft annual plan the council consulted specifically on:

·        social housing rents

·        health protection fees

·        building control fees.

 

25.     The council received 67 submissions related to the above fees and charges. The majority (63 or 94 per cent) of submissions were on social housing (see table below).  There were 3 submissions on building control fees and one on health protection licensing fees.

 

Submissions on proposed changes to fees and charges

Fee category

No of Submissions

Social housing

63

Building control fees

3

Health licencing

1

Total

67

 

 

26.     Council also received 12 submissions on other fees, of which: 2 were on dog registration and 8 on waste and recycling. Animal management fees were given extensive consideration in the development of the Annual Plan 2013/2014. They will be fully transitioned to the target level in 2014/2015 to recover 60 per cent of the cost of providing the service. Officers do not consider that any changes are required to the proposed fees.  The issues raised on waste and recycling fees will be considered in development of the Long-term Plan 2015-2025 as part of implementation of the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.

 

Social housing rent

 

27.     For the 2014/2015 year the council proposed to increase the rent on social housing for older persons by 5 per cent as a nominal catch up pending a wider review of social housing rentals, as part of the development of the Long-term Plan 2015-2025.

Engagement with stakeholders

28.     During February 2014, council staff conducted meetings across 66 Housing for Older Persons’ villages to seek feed-back on the proposed increase. This was supplemented by letters sent to 1,412 residents.

29.     During site meetings and one on one meetings, most residents did not oppose the increase. During some village meetings in the west and the south, there was vocal opposition to the change on affordability grounds.  In particular, 11 residents and 2 stakeholders at the Otara Court meeting and 20 residents and 5 stakeholders at the Hills Court meeting raised concerns about the increase.

Submissions

30.     The proposal to increase rent on social housing was supported by 5 submitters (8 per cent). The majority (52 or 83 per cent) did not support the proposed increase. Approximately half of the submitters who opposed the change said the increase would not be affordable. Other reasons cited for opposition included disparity of rents across the region and the absence of service level increases to justify the rent change.

 

Summary of submissions on social housing

Topic

No of submissions

Share

Support

  5

8%

Do not support

52

83%

Other comments

 6

9%

Total

63

100%

 

Local boards’ comments

31.     No local boards made any comment on this issue.

Conclusion

32.     The primary support for social housing is provided by the government through Ministry of Social Development subsidy (formerly Housing New Zealand) with Housing New Zealand being the principal landlord. The council supplements central government assistance through its social housing portfolio.  Social housing rents have remained unchanged for between three and six years. Even with this increase, rents will still be considerably lower than the market rents for similar properties. 

33.     As noted by some submitters there are differences in rent levels and assessment criteria across the region partly reflecting the policies inherited from former councils.  The council will consider the options for harmonising rents and assessment process/criteria for social housing as part of the development of the Long-term Plan 2015-2025.

34.     Officers recommend that the 5 per cent increase in social housing rent proposed alongside the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 be adopted.

 

Building control fees

35.     A number of changes are proposed to building control fees.  The changes are to:

·    fully pass on external charges

·    more accurately recover full costs including some reductions

·    cover the cost of new regulatory requirements.

 

Submissions

 

36.     There were three submissions on building control fees. One submission opposed fees increases in excess of the inflation rate.  The other two submissions:

·    sought clarification of the rationale for the increase in building control fees

·    suggested the need for more transparency in charging staff costs against consent related activity

·    recommended elimination of peer reviewing professional engineering reports submitted by applicants.  

 

Local boards’ comments

37.     No local boards made any comment on this issue.

 

Conclusion

38.     Under the Building Act 2004 the council can recover the cost of processing applications through user charges. The overall cost of the service needed to operate the business e.g. petrol prices, insurance, electricity, phones costs etc has increased. While efforts are made to offset these price increases with internal efficiency gains, the net change to costs is passed back to the user of the services through changes to the user charges. The fees and charges that typically make up the vast majority of the fees for a building consent (the hourly charge out rates) have increased marginally to reflect those changes. The fees that have increased by more than inflation are generally deposits which have no impact on the end cost, but give a better indication of the cost of the application.

39.     As part of a larger programme of work to consolidate council’s IT systems the council is also investigating options for providing better clarity of what individual charges relate to on invoices.

40.     In order to grant a building consent, the council is required to be satisfied that the application meets the building code standards. In some instances it is necessary to peer review some or all of an external specialist report in order to be able to determine compliance with the building code. We recommend that applicants approach the council regarding engineering reports they intend to commission to discuss possibilities.

41.     Officers recommend that the changes to the building control fees proposed alongside the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 be adopted.

 

Health protection licence fees

42.     In the draft annual plan the council proposed to:

·    standardise the fees for health and hygiene licencing across the region; and

·    increase some fees to meet the target of recovering 90 per cent of the cost of providing the service.

 

Submissions

43.     The council received only one submission which supported 100 per cent cost recovery.

Local boards’ comments

44.     No local boards made any comment on this issue.

Conclusion

45.     The proposed cost recovery rate of 90 per cent reflects the cost of licencing and associated administrative activities which benefit licensees. The balance reflects the cost of handling complaints associated with health and hygiene issues where investigations by council officers often result in no action against any individual party.

46.     Officers recommend that the proposed changes to health protection license fees be adopted alongside the Annual Plan 2014/2015.

 

Early adoption of animal management fees and environmental health fees

47.     The full schedule of regulatory fees and charges for 2014/2015, including the amended regulatory charges discussed in this report and the other regulatory fees and charges which are to increase by the council rate of inflation, will need to be adopted by the governing body as part of the annual plan.

48.     The registrations of approximately 100,000 dogs and 4,900 premises licensed with the council will expire on or before 30 June. The registrations of a further 4,000 premises will expire between 31 July and 30 August. The fees and charges for animal management and environmental health and licensing for 2014/2015 will need to be adopted earlier than the adoption of the full annual plan to allow sufficient time for data testing and the printing and mailing of renewal notices before those registrations expire.

49.     Officers recommend that the fees and charges for animal management and environmental health and licensing services, which are included in Attachment A and B respectively, be adopted at the governing body meeting scheduled to follow this meeting.

 

Water and wastewater charges

50.     The average price increase for water and wastewater is set at 2.4 per cent for 2014/2015. This is down from 3.5 per cent for water and 3.75 per cent for wastewater in the Draft Annual Plan 2014/2015. The reduction in the price increase reflects reduced operating costs from continued business efficiencies and improved borrowing costs.

51.     Following extensive consultation as part of Annual Plan 2013/2014, Watercare's new non-domestic wastewater tariff will begin to come into effect on 1 July 2014. This new tariff regime combines an annual fixed charge (per water meter) and a volumetric charge. The volumetric charge is based on a percentage of the volume of water that flows through the customer’s water meter. 

52.     The new tariff features four pricing usage plans - the fixed and volumetric charges vary depending on how much water an individual business or organisation uses. To allow time for customers to plan and prepare, the new tariff will be phased in over three years with the full new tariff taking effect from 1 July 2016.

 

Local board fees

53.     As part of the process for finalising their Local Board Agreements for 2014/2015, local boards have reviewed the 2014/2015 fee schedules for their local area.  As part of this process, the local boards considered a proposal to standardise the approach for administering fees for the use of local community, arts and cultural facilities.  This includes:

·    applying consistent naming convention across the region for the various fees

·    a consistent approach for local boards to apply extra discounts to particular activities (e.g. religious practice, or sport and fitness) in line with their Local Board Plan priorities

·    adjustments to the fees and charges themselves where necessary to improve consistency across the portfolio of facilities within a local board area, or for similar facilities in adjoining boards.

Consideration

Local board views and implications

54.     Where local boards have provided feedback by way of resolution on the matters consulted on through the draft annual plan, this has been incorporated in the corresponding section of this report.

Māori impact statement

 

55.     The issues supporting decisions on rates related policies and fees and charges were extensively canvassed as part of the LTP.  The Independent Māori Statutory Board is represented on the Budget Committee and will also be able to provide feedback on the proposed policies as part of annual plan process.

56.     The council does not hold information on the ethnicity of ratepayers or patrons to council services, so is not able to identify the exact impact of policy changes on Māori. The impact of the policy options on Māori will be similar to that on other residents in Auckland.

Implementation

57.     There are no implementation issues associated with the recommendations included in this report.

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

Animal management fees

231

bView

Environmental health & licensing fees

233

     

Signatories

Authors

Andrew Duncan - Manager Financial Policy

Eric Wen - Modeller User Charges

Ariya Randeni - Policy Advisor Financial

Authorisers

Matthew Walker - Manager Financial Plan Policy and Budgeting

Andrew McKenzie - Chief Finance Officer

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Attachment A   Animal management fees and charges for 2014/2015

 

As resolved by the council during the Annual Plan 2013/2014 process, the fees and charges for animal management will be increased to recover a greater proportion of cost of delivering the service, with the level of cost recovery reaching the target of 60 per cent in 2014/2015. The fees and charges included in this part reflect this decision.

Fixed fees

Type

Description

Fee from 1 July 2014 (incl. GST)

Dog registration - if paid on or before 1 August of the registration year (conditions apply)

Standard fee(1)

$134

Responsible Dog Owner Licence (RDOL) with de-sexed dog (2)

$60

Responsible Dog Owner Licence (RDOL) with entire dog

$69

De-sexed dog (no Responsible Dog Owner Licence) (3)

$96

Supergold Community Services Combo Card holder(4)

$60

Special category dog (5)

$0

Working dog (6)

$30

Classified dangerous dog

150% of applicable fee

Dog registration - if paid after 1 August of the registration year

Standard fee (1)

$164

De-sexed dog

$126

Supergold Community Services Combo Card holder(4)

$75

Special category dog (5)

$0

Working dog (6)

$37

Classified dangerous dog

150% of applicable fee

Licence application

Responsible Dog Owner Licence application fee

$0

Other animal management

Multiple dog permit application fee

$41

Replacement registration tag

$8

Dog impoundment fee first offence

$71

Dog impoundment fee second offence

$133

Dog impoundment fee third and subsequent offence

$205

Daily sustenance for impounded dog

$18

Large animal impoundment fee

$27

Large animal daily sustenance (excluding first day)

$16

Small animal impoundment fee

$16

Small animal daily sustenance (excluding first day)

$11

Vet care, microchipping, de-sexing, adoption, handover of ownership of dog

Contact the council

Stock driving fee per kilometre

Actual cost

Notes:

1.     Dogs less than three months of age and imported dogs registered for the first time on or after 2 August pay a portion of the annual fee based on the number of complete months remaining in the registration year. All other dogs registered for the first time on or after 2 August pay the fee listed under ‘If paid after 1 August’.

2.     To qualify, you must hold a current Responsible Dog Owner Licence (RDOL) prior to making your application and supplied the council a valid veterinary certificate as proof your dog has been de-sexed prior to, or with your application. You only need to send the certificate once. RDOL discount is only applicable to RDOL holders and RDOL status will be revoked for non-payment by due date (1 August). The fee category applicable then would revert to the underlying re-registration category.

3.     To qualify, you must supply the council with a valid veterinary certificate as proof your dog has been de-sexed prior to or with your application. You only need to send the certificate once.

4.     To qualify, you must present your current Supergold Community Services (CSC) Combo Card to the council. You need only present the card once.

5.     The term ‘special category dog’ applies to dogs used for or by disability assist, Police, Department of State, Aviation Security Service, Civil Defence, or Biosecurity Act 1993 as defined in section 2 of the Dog Control Act 1996 under the term Working Dog. It does not apply to dogs used for herding or driving stock or by security guards.

6.     To qualify, the owner must sign a declaration and, if requested, be able to demonstrate the dog’s ability to perform its nominated working function to the satisfaction of a council officer.

Hourly rates

Description (1)

Specialty

Hourly rate from 1 July 2014 (incl. GST)

Manager/project manager/legal services

All areas

$177

Team leader

All areas

$162

Planning, engineering, subdivisions, urban designer, arborist, animal management, other (excluding specialist/ advisor/ senior)

Planning, engineering, subdivisions, urban designer, arborist, stock impoundment, other

$146

Assistant/technician

Assistant planner, graduate development engineer, graduate resource consent planner, planning technician

$126

Administration

All areas

$98

Note:

1.     The categories denote descriptions of work performed by council officers. Position titles vary across the Auckland Council regulatory departments.

 


Budget Committee

08 May 2014

 

Attachment B   Environmental health and licensing fees and charges for 2014/2015

Food premises licensing

b)    As approved by the council during the Annual Plan 2013/2014 process, licensing fees for food premises will be standardised across the region over a period of five years (2013/2014 – 2017/2018), with cost recovery rate for the food licensing service increasing from 63 per cent to 90 per cent over the period. The tables below show the fees that will be applied for 2014/2015 (the second year of the transition period). The fee levels vary depending on which former council area the premises are located in.

c)     Premises that have a registered Voluntary Implementation Programme – Food Control Plan with council will be charged an annual fee based on the risk rating of the food premises (determined by Council) and using the Grade category they achieve in the previous year.

Auckland central and islands

Transitional fee category (1)

Standardised fee category (1)

Fee from 1 July 2014 for new premises and existing transferred to new owners (incl. GST) ($) (2)

Fee from 1 July 2014 for other existing premises

(incl. GST) ($)

Small high – risk A grade

Grade A, High risk

1,024

921

Small high – risk B grade

Grade B, High risk

1,206

1,145

Small high – risk D grade

Grade D, High risk

1,387

1,369

Small high – risk E grade

Grade E, High risk

1,748

1,712

Large high – risk A grade

Grade A, High risk

1,024

1,024

Large high – risk B grade

Grade B, High risk

1,206

1,206

Large high – risk D grade

Grade D, High risk

1,387

1,378

Large high – risk E grade

Grade E, High risk

1,748

1,748

Small medium – risk A grade

Grade A, Medium risk

530

530

Small medium – risk B grade

Grade B, Medium risk

892

802

Small medium – risk D grade

Grade D, Medium risk

1,109

988

Small medium – risk E grade

Grade E, Medium risk

1,399

1,240

Large medium – risk A grade

Grade A, Medium risk

530

530

Large medium – risk B grade

Grade B, Medium risk

892

892

Large medium – risk D grade

Grade D, Medium risk

1,109

1,109

Large medium – risk E grade

Grade E, Medium risk

1,399

1,399

Small low – risk A grade

Grade A, Low risk

398

338

Small low – risk B grade

Grade B, Low risk

452

409

Small low – risk D grade

Grade D, Low risk

615

524

Small low – risk E grade

Grade E, Low risk

832

680

Large low – risk A grade

Grade A, Low risk

398

398

Large low – risk B grade

Grade B, Low risk

452

452

Large low – risk D grade

Grade D, Low risk

615

615

Large low – risk E grade

Grade E, Low risk

832

832

Re-grading and re-inspections

Re-grading

577

577

New premises fee

New premises fee (3)

241

 

Notes:

 1.    These two columns provide an indicative mapping between the transitional (legacy) fee categories and the standardised fee category under the new grading system. The actual risk and performance grade of a specific licensee (and hence the standardised fee category that it falls under) will be determined by the council, during the year prior.

2.     The fees shown in these columns apply to new premises and existing premises being transferred to new owners, where the transition arrangement does not apply. Fees for other premises will be subject to the transition arrangement. These are displayed in the two right most columns of the table.

 3.    This is a one-off charge applied to new premises, in addition to the annual fees charged against risk and performance grade. The transition arrangement does not apply to this fee.

Franklin

Fee category

Fee from 1 July 2014 for new premises and existing transferred to new owners (incl. GST) ($) (1)

Fee from 1 July 2014 for other existing premises

(incl. GST) ($)

Grade A, High risk

1,024

619

Grade B, High risk

1,206

692

Grade D, High risk

1,387

766

Grade E, High risk

1,748

913

Grade A, Medium risk

530

418

Grade B, Medium risk

892

565

Grade D, Medium risk

1,109

653

Grade E, Medium risk

1,399

771

Grade A, Low risk

398

364

Grade B, Low risk

452

387

Grade D, Low risk

615

453

Grade E, Low risk

832

541

Re-grading

577

374

New premises fee 2

241

 

 

Notes to previous table:

1.     The fees shown in these columns apply to new premises and existing premises being transferred to new owners, where the transition arrangement does not apply. Fees for other premises will be subject to the transition arrangement. These are displayed in the two right most columns of the table.

 2.    This is a one-off charge applied to new premises, in addition to the annual fees charged against risk and performance grade. The transition plan does not apply to this fee.

Manukau

Transitional fee category (2)

Standardised fee category (2)

Fee from 1 July 2014 for new premises and existing transferred to new owners (incl. GST) ($) (3)

Fee from 1 July 2014 for other existing premises

(incl. GST) ($)

Up to 50m2

 

Grade A, High risk

1,024

742

Grade B, High risk

1,206

816

Grade D, High risk

1,387

889

Grade E, High risk

1,748

1,036

Grade A, Medium risk

530

530

Grade B, Medium risk

892

689

Grade D, Medium risk

1,109

777

Grade E, Medium risk

1,399

894

Grade A, Low risk

398

398

Grade B, Low risk

452

452

Grade D, Low risk

615

576

Grade E, Low risk

832

664

Up to 200m2

 

 

Grade A, High risk

1,024

825

Grade B, High risk

1,206

899

Grade D, High risk

1,387

973

Grade E, High risk

1,748

1,119

Grade A, Medium risk

530

530

Grade B, Medium risk

892

772

Grade D, Medium risk

1,109

860

Grade E, Medium risk

1,399

977

Grade A, Low risk

398

398

Grade B, Low risk

452

452

Grade D, Low risk

615

615

Grade E, Low risk

832

747

Up to 400m2

 

 

Grade A, High risk

1,024

893

Grade B, High risk

1,206

967

Grade D, High risk

1,387

1,040

Grade E, High risk

1,748

1,187

Grade A, Medium risk

530

530

Grade B, Medium risk

892

839

Grade D, Medium risk

1,109

927

Grade E, Medium risk

1,399

1,045

Grade A, Low risk

398

398

Grade B, Low risk

452

452

Grade D, Low risk

615

615

Grade E, Low risk

832

815

Up to 800m2

 

Grade A, High risk

1,024

963

Grade B, High risk

1,206

1,037

Grade D, High risk

1,387

1,110

Grade E, High risk

1,748

1,257

Grade A, Medium risk

530

530

Grade B, Medium risk

892

 

892

Grade D, Medium risk