I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee will be held on:

 

Date:                      

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

9.30am

Level 2, Reception Lounge
Auckland Town Hall
301-305 Queen Street
Auckland

 

Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

 

OPEN AGENDA

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Cr George Wood, CNZM

 

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Anae Arthur Anae

 

Members

Cr Cameron Brewer

Cr Mike Lee

 

Mayor Len Brown, JP

Member Kris MacDonald

 

Cr Dr Cathy Casey

Cr Calum Penrose

 

Cr Bill Cashmore

Cr Dick Quax

 

Cr Ross Clow

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

Cr Linda Cooper, JP

Cr Sir John Walker, KNZM, CBE

 

Cr Chris Darby

Cr Wayne Walker

 

Cr Alf Filipaina

Cr John Watson

 

Cr Hon Christine Fletcher, QSO

Cr Penny Webster

 

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse

Member Glenn Wilcox

 

Cr Denise Krum

 

 

(Quorum 11 members)

 

 

 

Barbara Watson

Democracy Advisor

 

24 March 2015

 

Contact Telephone: (09) 890 8105

Email: barbara.watson@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 

** This meeting will be webcast live – www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz **

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TERMS OF REFERENCE

 

Responsibilities

 

This committee will deal with all strategy and policy decision-making that is not the responsibility of another committee or the Governing Body i.e. strategies and policies associated with environmental, social, economic and cultural activities. Key responsibilities will include:

 

·         Final approval of strategies and policies not the responsibility of other committees or the Governing Body

·         Setting/ approving the policy work programme for Reporting Committees

·         Overviewing strategic projects, for example, the Southern Initiative (except those that are the responsibility of the Auckland Development Committee)

·         Implementation of the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan

·         Operational matters including:

o   Acquisition and disposal of property relating to the committee’s responsibilities

o   Stopping of roads

o   Public Works Act matters

 

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 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


EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC – WHO NEEDS TO LEAVE THE MEETING

 

Members of the public

 

All members of the public must leave the meeting when the public are excluded unless a resolution is passed permitting a person to remain because their knowledge will assist the meeting.

 

 

Those who are not members of the public

 

General principles

 

·         Access to confidential information is managed on a “need to know” basis where access to the information is required in order for a person to perform their role.

·         Those who are not members of the meeting (see list below) must leave unless it is necessary for them to remain and hear the debate in order to perform their role.

·         Those who need to be present for one confidential item can remain only for that item and must leave the room for any other confidential items.

·         In any case of doubt, the ruling of the chairperson is final.

 

Members of the meeting

 

·         The members of the meeting remain (all Governing Body members if the meeting is a Governing Body meeting; all members of the committee if the meeting is a committee meeting).

·         However, standing orders require that a councillor who has a pecuniary conflict of interest leave the room.

·         All councillors have the right to attend any meeting of a committee and councillors who are not members of a committee may remain, subject to any limitations in standing orders.

 

Staff

 

·         All staff supporting the meeting (administrative, senior management) remain.

·         Only staff who need to because of their role may remain.

 

Local Board members

 

·         Local Board members who need to hear the matter being discussed in order to perform their role may remain.  This will usually be if the matter affects, or is relevant to, a particular Local Board area.

 

Independent Maori Statutory Board (IMSB)

 

·         Members of the IMSB who are appointed members of the meeting remain.

·         Other IMSB members and IMSB staff remain if this is necessary in order for them to perform their role.

 

Council-controlled Organisations (CCOs)

 

 


Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

02 April 2015

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                        PAGE

1          Apologies                                                                                                                        7

2          Declaration of Interest                                                                                                   7

3          Confirmation of Minutes                                                                                               7

4          Petitions                                                                                                                          7

5          Public Input                                                                                                                    7

5.1     Weed Management Advisory - Hana Blackmore                                              7

6          Local Board Input                                                                                                          7

7          Extraordinary Business                                                                                                8

8          Notices of Motion                                                                                                          8

9          Local Approved Products Policy Adoption                                                                9

10        Update on the Empowered Communities Approach Project                                 45

11        Disposal Recommendation Report – 237R James Fletcher Drive, Ōtāhuhu        49

12        175th Auckland Anniversary Weekend Events Presentation                                 57

13        Update on the Southern Initiative                                                                              59

14        Consideration of Extraordinary Items

 


1          Apologies

 

An apology from Deputy Chairperson AJ Anae 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 Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:

a)         confirm the ordinary minutes of its meeting held on Thursday, 5 March 2015, 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.

 

5.1       Weed Management Advisory - Hana Blackmore

Purpose

1.       Hanna Blackmore and Dr Meriel Watts, representing Weed Management Advisory, wish to present a copy of the Advisory groups’ paper “Human Rights Impact Assessment of Auckland Transport's Road Corridor Vegetation Control” and speak to council's responsibility with regard to this matter.

Recommendation/s

That the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:

a)      thank Hanna Blackmore and Murial Watts of Weed Management Advisory for their presentation.

 

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.

 


Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

02 April 2015

 

Local Approved Products Policy Adoption

 

File No.: CP2015/04149

 

Purpose

1.       To receive the report from the hearings panel and to adopt the Auckland Council Local Approved Product Policy.

Executive Summary

2.       The Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 (the Act) sets a regulatory framework for the manufacture and sale of psychoactive substances administered by the Ministry of Health.  Council’s role is limited to the adoption of a Local Approved Product Policy (LAPP) to regulate where approved psychoactive substances can be sold.

3.       The Regional Strategy and Policy Committee approved a proposed LAPP for public consultation on 9 October 2014 (REG/2014/123) and appointed a hearings panel to hear submissions, deliberate and make recommendations. The panel members were Councillors Cooper (chair), Quax and Krum, and member Wilcox of the Independent Maori Statutory Board.

4.       The hearings panel has considered 1,454 submissions and heard from 42 submitters over a four day period. The hearings panel would like to thank all those who contributed to the consultation process.

5.       Major recommendations (changes to the proposal) are as follows. A full copy of the amended LAPP recommended for adoption is contained in Attachment A and a table comparing the notified and recommended amendments are contained in Attachment B.

·    Increasing the buffer zone between stores in the central city from 100 meters to 200 meters.

·    Addition of Marae as a sensitive site with a 100 metre buffer zone

·    Addition of Mt Wellington highway / Waipuna road commercial area as a special restricted area

·    Addition of Papakura Caravan Park as a special restricted area

·    Addition of Don Buck road / Triangle road commercial area as a special restricted area

·    Addition of Manukau station road commercial areas as a special restricted area

·    Addition of Te Hana commercial area as a special restricted area

·    Monitoring and evaluation of the policy and policy review after two years from the date of adoption.

6.       The panel also recommends monitoring and evaluation of the city centre restriction zone, over the two year period up to the review date of the policy, to ascertain whether the city centre restriction zone needs to be amended or expanded.

Recommendation/s

That the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:

a)      adopt the Auckland Council Local Approved Products Policy contained in Attachment A pursuant to Sections 66 to 69 of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 with immediate effect.

b)      endorse the Hearings Panel’s recommendations for staff to commence the following non-regulatory activities:

i)        develop guidelines for the implementation of the Auckland Council Local Approved Products Policy for the Ministry of Health

ii)       undertake additional advocacy work to central government and the Ministry of Health, outside the scope of the Local Approved Products Policy, including restrictions to hours, conditions on licences, information and training.

c)      authorise the Manager, Social Policy and Bylaws, in consultation with Councillor Cooper as Chair of the Hearings Panel, to make any minor changes to the Auckland Council Local Approved Products Policy (LAPP) to correct any identified errors or typographical edits or to reflect any decisions made by the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee.

Comments

Background

Psychoactive Substances Act 2013

7.       The Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 (the Act) regulates the manufacture and sale of psychoactive substances. 

8.       Initially, the Act created interim licences to allow the sale and supply of a small number of products until the Act had been fully implemented.  However, this was amended in 2014 with the effect that no psychoactive substances can be sold until The Ministry of Health developed regulations to establish a testing regime for product approval and a licensing regime.

9.       The regulations for product testing and approval, and licensing of non-retail activities are now complete.  Regulations for retail licences are expected in June 2015. 

10.     The Act prohibits licensed retailers from selling products from the following locations:

·    any dairy, convenience store, grocery store, supermarket

·    any premises where the primary business carried out is the sale of automotive fuels, repair or servicing vehicles, sale of automobiles

·    anywhere alcohol is sold or supplied

·    any non-fixed permanent premises or vehicle or conveyance.

11.     In addition, the Act empowers Auckland Council to adopt a Local Approved Product Policy (LAPP) to regulate the following:

·    the location of premises from which approved products may be sold by reference to broad areas

·    the location from which approved products may be sold by reference to proximity to other premises from which approved products are sold

·    the location of premises from which approved products may be sold by reference to proximity to premises or facilities of a particular kind or kinds.

 

12.     The Act does not allow Councils to ban products or make locations for retailers so restrictive that it is a de facto ban.

The policy development process

13.     On 6 March 2014 the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee approved a work plan for the development of the Auckland Councils LAPP. (REG/2014/34).

14.     The policy development has progressed through issues and options and preferred position stages.

15.     Throughout the development process extensive engagement and consultation has occurred with both internal and external stakeholders, council advisory panels and local boards.

16.     On 9 October 2014 the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee adopted the Local Approved Product Policy Statement of Proposal (including the proposed LAPP) for public consultation (REG/2014/123).  The proposed LAPP sought to:

·     prevent licences being granted in areas of high deprivation, near schools and near addiction and mental health treatment centres

·     limit how close to an existing shop a new shop could open. 

17.     A hearings panel was appointed to hear submissions, deliberate and make recommendations to the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee on the proposed LAPP.

Additional Considerations

18.     As there is no direct case law on LAPPs to provide guidance on when a restriction turns into an effective ban. The brothels bylaws in Hamilton in 2006, Auckland City in 2006 and Christchurch in 2005 were used as a model that covered a similar topic.  These three cases shed light onto what the courts have taken into consideration and what they have viewed as acceptable for restrictions. 

19.     In general the courts have a wish to see restrictions that directly address concerns and are reasonable, based on the evidence available to the council, rather than relying on general moral judgements.

20.     This evidence can include strong community opinion on a specific local issue, as courts are slow to intervene on reasonable policy decisions that reflect local concerns.  The courts have also made it clear that while a restriction has to make it possible for an operation to find a venue, it does not have to make it easy or have the location be in the most desirable area.

21.     If there is a very low density of outlets and/or large areas with no access to products and a demand for them continues, there is a risk of creating an illegal trade in the products with consequent support of criminal enterprise.  There is also the risk of increased travel to purchase products resulting in the possibility of driving under the influence of a mind altering drug. When the opposite occurs and there is a high outlet density you have a risk of price competition creating cheap products that lend themselves to being used in high quantity by vulnerable populations.  It follows then, that these users would then experience higher harm from the increased consumption. 

22.     Ensuring there is an appropriate balance between these trade-offs has been a core component of the analysis and recommendations of this policy.

Comments

Feedback from submissions

23.     At close of the submission period, 1454 submissions were received, 41 submitters made verbal submissions.  Hearings were held over four days spread across Auckland held on the 13th February, 23rd February, 27th February and the 13 March 2015 respectively.

24.     Submitters included:

·    representatives of mental health and addiction services

·    individuals working in, or for, mental health and addiction organisations

·    individuals who had tried psychoactive substances

·    industry substance manufacturers and retailers

·    research and evaluation organisations and individuals

·    residence and community members

·    education, churches, community centre workers and businesses

·    Local boards and panels

·    NZ Police


 

25.     Feedback received from submitters through both the written consultation process and the public hearings covered a range of issues including:

·    effects of the sale of approved products on business and the local community, including safety, amenity and good order

·    change in the proposed buffer zones around schools, mental health facilities or between stores

·    sensitive sites to be expanded to include  churches, marae and early childhood centres

·    expansion of the mental health and rehabilitation services list to include Salvation Army locations and wider services that provide support for vulnerable population groups

·    the role of council advocacy in relation to hours, complete ban of products and recommending conditions on licences

·    concerns with unintended consequences of the policy for industrial areas of Auckland

·    addition of some site specific areas that are experiencing harm

·    concerns with displacement and travel to purchase products

 

26.     Overall, individual submitters supported the proposed policy for Auckland (75 percent), those that completely disagreed was 5 percent or less of the responses. 

27.     For the city centre restriction, 73 percent of submitters supported the restriction, while 23 percent wanted the same rules for the city centre as for the rest of Auckland. 

28.     Around 15 percent of submitters (223 submitters) made an additional comment requesting a total ban on the sale of substances.  Other submitters including local boards and advisory panels also expressed a wish for a ban.  However, submitters generally understood that it was not possible for the LAPP to ban approved products. 

29.     Feedback from external stakeholders was mixed, but there was general support for the overall proposed policy. 

30.     The New Zealand Police and Auckland Regional Public Health Service generally supported the proposal.  The only recommendation was to extend the buffer zones, but this was tempered by the acknowledgement that if they were too large they might contribute to the LAPP being considered a de facto ban.

31.     The Ministry of Health, The Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority and The New Zealand Drug Foundation all fully supported the proposed policy.

32.     The treatment agencies were supportive of the proposed policy with a number of them requesting the increase in buffer zones around schools and treatment facilities.

33.     The proposal has been presented to the Youth Advisory Panel and the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel.  Both groups were supportive of the proposal.  The Youth Advisory Panel requested an increase in the buffer zones around schools. 

34.     Business Improvement District (BID) generally supported the proposal although there were some concerns about the hours of operation, especially in industrial areas.  Hours are outside the scope of the policy.

35.     In addition to the proposed restrictions, submitters requested a number of other additions.  Most of these were requests for additional places to be included as sensitive sites as follows:

·     around 5 percent of submitters requested Early Childhood Education Centres and Kohanga Reo, places of worship, council facilities such as libraries, and parks and / or open spaces be included as sensitive sites. 

·     around 5 percent of submitters asked for residential areas to be included as a sensitive site. This restriction was already included under the last group of regulations made under the Act, banning the sale and manufacture of approved products in residential areas.

·     less than 1 percent of submitters asked for the inclusion of medical facilities, other places of learning, transport hubs and / or  marae.

36.     The draft LAPP created two special restricted areas where licenses could not be granted.  These areas are small sections of commercial areas in Otara and Manurewa where it was considered the surrounding excluded zones and the character of the area made it counter to the principles of the LAPP to allow licences to be granted there.

37.     The two additional requests from submitters were for the whole Manurewa town centre to be restricted (63 submissions) and for the Drury area to be restricted (99 submissions).  There were a very small number of requests for all industrial areas (five submissions) and for all commercial areas (one submission) to be special restricted areas.  One submitter asked for the Otara town centre to be restricted.

Deliberations

38.     On 13th March 2015, after considering this feedback, the Panel held its deliberations. The hearings panel deliberated on the views of the submitters and acknowledged there submissions.  The key topics covered during the deliberations are outlined below with the proposed LAPP details and the hearings panel deliberation comments and recommendations

Deliberations topic 1 – City centre restrictions - Separate rules for the city

Proposal as publicly notified

39.     This restriction proposes a separate set of rules for the city centre because it is a separate and very different urban landscape from the rest of Auckland.  This area is defined as the area inside the waterfront and the motorways. 

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

40.     The significant majority of public submissions and local boards supported this approach (73 percent).

41.     Waitemata local board supported the city centre restrictions but requested a 300 meters buffer around city centre residential mental health or addiction treatment facilities.

42.     Auckland Regional Public Health Service and the New Zealand Police requested greater distances between outlets and the inclusion of a small buffer around alcohol outlets.

43.     The Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel (EPAP) and the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) both supported this approach; the Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel (PPAP) requested a total ban.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

44.     The hearings panel deliberated on the views of the submitters and acknowledged their submissions.

45.     The panel supports the proposed LAPP.

Deliberations topic 2 – 100m City centre buffer zone between stores – suggestion to increase to 200m

 

Proposal as publicly notified

46.     For the city centre it’s proposed that licences will not be granted in areas of residential deprivation and within 100 metres of an existing retail licence. This is a smaller buffer zone compared to the rest of Auckland (500 meters) due to the significantly greater commercial density in the city centre.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

47.     The difference in buffer zone between stores in the city centre versus the rest of Auckland has been supported by the Waitemata Local Board, Heart of the City and Auckland City Mission.

48.     Other submitters requested an increased distance of between 200 meters to 500 meters. This included the Massey University social and health research unit, Alcohol Healthwatch, some Industry representatives, Waitemata Local board, New Zealand Police, and Youth Advisory Panel.

49.     New Zealand Police also asked for an additional restriction to prevent licences being granted within 50 meters of an existing alcohol off-licence store. 

50.     Generally most written submissions (76 percent) supported the proposal, including nine local boards and Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel.

51.     The PPAP recommended a total ban

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

52.     The panel recommended expanding the proposed LAPP buffer zones from 100 metres between stores to 200 metres between store based on feedback, officers analysis and recommendations.

53.     The panel believe this increased restriction will reduce harm, achieving the object of the Act and still allows a suitable amount of area available for retailers to locate in the CBD.

Deliberations topic 3 – City centre restriction - City centre deprivation index

Proposal as publicly notified

54.     The New Zealand Deprivation Index is calculated by scoring nine items.  These items are effective at providing a measure closely matching social deprivation in New Zealand.  When the city centre population is considered it is not so effective.  The high number of students who share factors with high deprivation households such as low personal income, no access to a car and no home ownership lead to a high deprivation index that is not a good measure of overall social deprivation in the city residential population.

55.     Use of high density social housing areas replaced the deprivation zones used in the other areas of Auckland. 

56.     High deprivation social housing zones more effectively capture the intent of the deprivation restriction.  They represent areas of the city centre where the residents with the highest social deprivation live. 

57.     By targeting these areas it is considered this restriction will have the same effect as the deprivation restrictions outside the city centre.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

58.     Most submitters supported the proposal (85%)

59.     One submitter heard wanted to include a restriction around all city residential apartments

60.     Auckland Regional Public Health Service and the New Zealand Police supported the restriction with Police asking for increased deprivation areas.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

61.     The panel acknowledged the vast amount of information received from all submitters especially the Auckland Metropolitan Police; however felt there were insufficient grounds to change the city centre restrictions for deprivation and supports the proposed LAPP.

62.     In considering the matters raised by submitters on this topic and after a lengthy discussion, the panel recommended the city centre to be monitored and to be evaluated during the two year policy review to address any concerns.


 

Deliberations topic 4 – Deprivation index restrictions – whole of Auckland except the city

Proposal as publicly notified

63.     This restriction would prevent licences being granted in any census area unit that has a New Zealand Deprivation index score of eight, nine or ten.  These scores represent the 30 percent most deprived areas in Auckland.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

64.     The significant majority of public submissions (87 percent) supported this restriction.

65.     Two verbal submitters suggested increasing the deprivation index to include deprivation 7.

66.     16 Local boards fully supported the proposal, 3 chose to not comment.

67.     Franklin Local Board expressed a concern about the use of deprivation as it suggests communities with high deprivation are more predisposed to substance use.  The board also felt that this restriction might move substances into low deprivation areas where there is a greater ability to purchase them.

68.     The Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel and Youth Advisory Panel both supported the proposal.  The Youth Advisory Panel is concerned that the New Zealand Deprivation Index does not accurately express the levels of social deprivation in all neighbourhoods due to the way it is calculated.  They feel that the different business and residential mixes in different areas may result in inaccurate representation of an area’s deprivation.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

69.     The hearings panel noted that it would be a significant change to the policy and increase the restricted zone to almost half of Auckland if the deprivation was increased to include deprivation 7.

70.     The increase would increase the risk of legal challenge.

71.     The hearings panel supports the proposed LAPP.

Deliberations topic 5 – Buffer zones – Schools (years 1 to 6 inclusive)

Proposal as publicly notified

72.     The restriction will prevent shops from opening within 200 metres of any school that has year six or younger students. 

73.     This restriction is not based on the type of school such as primary or secondary but rather on the age of students that attend the school. 

74.     Schools must be licensed by the Ministry of Education at the time of the LAPP being adopted for the restriction to apply. 

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

75.     The significant majority of public written submissions and local boards supported this restriction (82 percent).

76.     Only 13 percent of public submissions supported a greater than 200 metre buffer zone.

77.     During hearings some submitters were concerned with the exposure of children to those under the influence of legal highs and suggested an increase from 200 metre to either a 300 metre or a 500 metre buffer zone.

78.     14 local boards supported the proposal, 3 chose not to comment and 4 suggested changes to the buffer zone, increasing it to either 300 metres or 500 metres.

79.     The Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel and Youth Advisory Panel both support the proposal and the Pacific peoples Advisory Panel recommend a total ban.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

80.     The panel acknowledged the verbal submissions requesting larger buffer zones around schools years 1 – 6 inclusive.

81.     Due to the number of primary school and schools that have year 1 to 6 inclusive, this option would make a significant change to the proposed policy and therefore significantly increases the risk of legal challenge.

82.     The panel also agreed that there is insufficient evidence to support an extension of restrictions.

83.     The panel supports the proposed LAPP buffer zone of 200 metres.

Deliberations topic 6 – Buffer zones – Schools (year 7 and above)

Proposal as publicly notified

84.     The restriction will prevent shops from opening within 500 metres of any school that has year seven or older students. 

85.     This restriction is not based on the type of school such as primary or secondary but rather on the age of students that attend the school.  So a primary school with year seven students would have the same restriction as a college. 

86.     Schools must be licensed by the Ministry of Education at the time of the LAPP being adopted for the restriction to apply. 

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

87.     The significant majority of public written submissions and local boards supported this restriction (83 percent).

88.     Most submitters heard were supportive of this proposal, a small percentage requested it to be increased based on the walking distance children walk from school to local shops.

89.     Local boards mostly supported this proposal with two requesting a larger buffer zone of 600 metres – 1000 metres.

90.     Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel and Youth Advisory Panel both support this proposal and the Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel recommended a total ban.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

91.     The panel considered this to be a significant change to the proposed policy and therefore considerably increases the risk of legal challenge

92.     The panel felt very few submitters requested an increase to buffer zones for years 7 and above to qualify a change in the proposed LAPP.

93.     The panel supports the proposed LAPP buffer zone of 500 metres.

Deliberations topic 7 – additional restrictions and buffer zones – around major school walking routes

Proposal as publicly notified

94.     This suggestion was considered during the policy development process and was not recommended in the proposed draft LAPP.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

95.     During verbal submissions some voiced concern about children being exposed to or having access to legal highs on their way to or from school.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

96.     The panel felt it would be difficult to confirm routes and map restrictions for easy and practical implementation and enforcement by the Ministry of Health.

97.     Due to the extent of the possible network of walking routes in Auckland, this would significantly increases the risk of legal challenge.

98.     The panel supports the proposed LAPP and recommends not including buffer zones around major school walking routes.

Deliberations topic 8 – Increasing the buffer zones around sensitive sites in rural areas

Proposal as publicly notified

99.     This proposal was not recommended in the proposed draft LAPP.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

100.   During verbal submissions some suggested that rural areas are quite different in nature to the rest of Auckland and that the proposed buffer zones were too small to protect the community.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

101.   The panel did not feel there was sufficient evidence to support this change.

102.   The panel supported the proposed LAPP buffer zones.

Deliberations topic 9 –Sensitive sites – addition of specific mental health facilities

Proposal as publicly notified

103.   This restriction would prevent any licences being granted within 500 metres of mental health or addiction treatment centres that have residential services. 

104.   These addresses have been supplied by Auckland Regional Public Health Service and are not inclusive of all centres as a number of agencies wished to remain anonymous.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

105.   The significant majority of public written submissions (84 percent) and local boards supported this restriction.

106.   16 Local boards supported this approach, 3 did not comment and one requested an increase in the buffer zone from 500 metres to 600 metres.

107.   The Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel and Youth Advisory Panel supported this proposal and the Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel requested a total ban.

108.   A few verbal submitters wanted the addition of The Salvation Army and / or community centres that provide some sort of addiction and mental health support or service to be included in the proposed LAPP.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

109.   The panel agreed with the list of mental health and addiction centres provided by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, who were the designated representatives for all of the District Health Boards in Auckland for the LAPP.

110.   The panel acknowledged that there were some services and centres that were excluded due to privacy reasons, as the private rehabilitation facilities did not want to be included as sensitive sites and identified on a map. 

111.   The panel thanked the submitters for their views on additional sites to be added to the addiction and mental health providers list.

112.   Due to the lack of consistency of types of services and hours provided by the additional providers, it makes it difficult to have a general clear and concise restriction to apply to all places where some form of addiction or support services are provided.

113.   Some of the private mental health and addiction facilities and community centres discussed in the hearings process are covered by other sensitive site buffers and the deprivation index restrictions in the proposed draft LAPP already.

114.   The panel support the LAPP proposal for mental health and addiction centres.

Deliberations topic 10 –Sensitive sites – addition of places of worship

Proposal as publicly notified

115.   The proposed policy does not recommend places of worship as a sensitive site.

116.   The proposed policy takes a principle and evidence based approach and avoids making decisions based on general moral preferences. 

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

117.   Approximately 5 percent of submitters requested the addition of places of worship as a sensitive site. 

118.   Submitters argued that these places provided services to vulnerable population groups, addicts or those who are in need and therefore should be protected.

119.   Through the hearings process, a register of churches that provided addiction or mental health services was also suggested.

120.   4 Local boards requested places of worship to be included as a sensitive site.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

121.   The panel acknowledged the principle and evidence based approach to the policy and wanted to avoid making decisions based on general moral preferences. 

122.   Places of worship / churches or community centres were not included as sensitive sites because there was a lack of evidence to show that this approach would protect or minimise harm to vulnerable population groups.

123.   Services places of worship provide differ from place to place, tend to be of different durations, not conducted equally and some may only provide services for a portion of the year. 

124.   The lack of consistency makes it impossible for a general clear and concise restriction to apply to all places of worship.  Having a different restriction for each place of worship is neither practical, nor sustainable over time as services from place to place change.

125.   The panel noted that it would be a difficult administration task to get a comprehensive list of all places of worship that represented all religious denominations.

126.   Due to the potential number of places of worship in Auckland it would significantly increase the risk of legal challenge

127.   The panel acknowledged that a register was also suggested and requested information from officers regarding how this might work or if it was practical.  Officers stated that there would have to be some sort of criteria to register a church or community centre as a sensitive site, that in theory this could happen however it would be very complicated and it would require ongoing administrative functions by Council that is beyond what was intended in the legislation. 

128.   The panel recommended not including places of worship as a sensitive site as proposed in the draft LAPP.

 

Deliberations topic 11 –Sensitive sites – addition of marae

Proposal as publicly notified

129.   The proposed policy does not recommend marae as a sensitive site.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

130.   Less than 1 percent of written submitters (6 submitters) asked for the inclusion of marae as a sensitive site. 

131.   During the hearings process some submitters suggested that marae should be included as a sensitive site.

132.   Those submitters noted that marae are often used as social centres and some provide services to vulnerable members of the community.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

133.   The panel acknowledged submitters suggestion of marae as a sensitive site, based on them being used as social centres and that some provide services to vulnerable members of the community. 

134.   It was noted that as with churches, it is difficult to ascertain which marae provide support, addiction and mental health services. The services are not consistent; tend to be of different durations, not conducted equally and some may only provide services for a portion of the year.  The lack of consistency makes it difficult for a general clear and concise restriction to apply to all marae. 

135.   Having a different restriction for each marae is neither practical nor sustainable over time as services from place to place change.

136.   The panel noted the assurances from the Ministry of Education that the school lists provided for mapping purposes include Kura Kaupapa, which also often lie within or near marae.

137.   During analysis it was shown that most marae in Auckland are covered by another sensitive site buffer zone.

138.   Marae were mapped and 3 were shown to be outside of the current restriction zones.

139.   The panel noted that Maori as a sub population were over represented in health statistics related to alcohol and drug use and abuse, therefore because of this evidence higher weighting was given to this decision to create a 100 metre buffer zone around marae.

140.   The panel discussed the difference between places of worship and marae.

141.   The recommendations were split and went to a vote.

142.   Councillor Quax and Krum against and Councillor Cooper and Member Wilcox for. Councillor Cooper cast her deciding vote as chair to approve the inclusion of Marae as sensitive sites.

Deliberations topic 12 –Sensitive sites – Industrial areas

Proposal as publicly notified

143.   The proposed policy does not recommend industrial areas as a sensitive site or a restricted zone.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

144.   Several business associations during verbal hearings had voiced concerns about the location of legal high shops in industrial areas.

145.   Five written submitters indicated industrial areas as a requested additional sensitive site.

146.   Concerns included that there is insufficient security or services to support the industry in industrial zones.

147.   Manurewa and Maungakiekie-Tamaki local boards both expressed concern at the possible sale of psychoactive substances in industrial areas.  They felt that this could cause problems due to low levels of monitoring and the proximity of workplaces where people operate potentially dangerous machinery.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

148.   The panel noted the requirement of a resource consent, due to the non-complying status of retail in an industrial area.

149.   The addition of industrial zones as a restricted area would significantly change the policy and increase the risk of legal challenge considerably.

150.   The panel supports the proposed LAPP to not include industrial areas as sensitive sites.

Deliberations topic 13 –Sensitive sites – Prisons

Proposal as publicly notified

151.   The proposed policy does not recommend prisons as a sensitive site.

152.   Officers have no evidence to support the addition of prisons as a sensitive site.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

153.   Verbal submitters suggested adding prisons as a sensitive site to prevent visitors from smuggling legal highs into prisons.

154.   Prisons as a sensitive site was not suggested within the written submissions received.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

155.   The hearings panel noted that Officers had no evidence to support this option and do not foresee the location of premises associated with smuggling of legal highs into prison.

156.   The panel supports the proposed LAPP excluding prisons as a sensitive site.

Deliberations topic 14 –Sensitive sites – Public transport hubs

Proposal as publicly notified

157.   The proposed policy does not recommend transport hubs as a sensitive site.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

158.   5 written submissions requested transport hubs be added as a sensitive site.

159.   A few verbal submitters associated transport hubs as places where young people spend time and hang out. Submitters did not want young people to be exposed to or have retail stores near to transport hubs.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

160.   The panel noted that there would be an addition of 11 sites as identified by Auckland Transport as there are currently 11 major interchanges or public transport hubs for Auckland.

161.   These transport hubs are likely to change over time and many are not actually active at this time – they are proposed transport hubs.

162.   Due to the uncertainty of a clear definition of transport hub it is impractical to include in the policy.

163.   Each additional site added to the current proposed LAPP increases the risk of legal challenge.

164.   The panel supports the proposed LAPP and does not recommend transport hubs as a sensitive site.

Deliberations topic 15 –Special restricted areas – addition of areas

Proposal as publicly notified

165.   The LAPP created two restricted areas where licenses could not be granted.  These areas are in Otara and Manurewa where it was considered the surrounding deprivation and character of the area made it counter to the principles of the LAPP to allow licenses to be granted there.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

166.   The two main requests were for the whole of Manurewa town Centre to be restricted (63 submissions) and for the Drury area (99 submissions). 

167.   There was one request for all commercial areas to be restricted.

168.   One submitter asked for the Otara town centre to be restricted.

169.   A number of local boards have requested restricted areas in their board similar to the two set out in the draft LAPP. 

170.   During the hearings process the following places have been requested to be added as a ‘special restricted area’.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

171.   Each special restricted area was discussed and analysed based on a set of criteria and the panel made the following recommendations.

172.   The maps of the additional recommended ‘special restricted areas’ are in the final draft policy document in Appendix 1.

Proposed ‘special restricted area’

Officers Notes / recommendations

Deliberations decision

·    St Lukes mall – Mt Eden

·      Officers used a set of criteria to analyse potential ‘special restricted areas’ for the LAPP.

·      The criteria included:

·       Is the option already encompassed in another buffer zone?

·       Will this option decrease / minimise harm?

·       Will this option reduce the negative impacts on the community?

·       Is there political, community, public health or police, or industry support for this option?

·       Is the surrounding area largely high deprivation?

·       Will this option increase the risk of legal challenge?

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would not qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel noted that this was not a high deprivation area.

·    The panel supported the officers recommendations not to include St Lukes mall as a special restricted area.

 

·    Valley Road shops - near Mt Eden Primary School

No need for restrictions

·      The panel acknowledged that this identified area did not require a special restriction as it was already covered by another restriction.

 

·    Wallace road shops – Mangere

No need for restrictions

·      The panel acknowledged that this identified area did not require a special restriction as it was already covered by another restriction.

 

·    Mt Wellington highway / Waipuna road commercial area

 

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    There are no licenses permitted in a high deprivation area –this location is between a deprivation 8 and 9 zone.

·    Noted a license could be permitted in the mixed use or business area across from Waipuna road and also in the commercial area at the top of Mt Wellington highway.

·    Anecdotal evidence provided indicates the area has local shops, countdown and local services and already has issues with crime and disorder.

·    Local board, community and organisations support the addition of the restriction.

·    The panel supports the officers’ analysis and recommends this as a special restricted area.

·    Drury Shops

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would not qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel noted that Papakura Local Board identified Drury commercial area as a requested additional restricted area.

·    Drury shops area has a light industrial area where a licence could locate – however the applicant would be required to get resource consent.

·    There is also a commercial area available for a retailer.

·    The location is close to two school buffer zones however is not in a high deprivation area.

·    Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would not qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel supports officers recommendations based on the criteria not to include Drury shops as a special restricted area.

·    Snells Beach retail area

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would not qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel noted that Rodney local board requested Snells Beach retail areas to be included as a restricted area.

·    Snells Beach retail area has a commercial and light industrial zone and a nearby rural zone, all in which a retailer could apply for a licence.

·    For the light industrial zone a resource consent may be required.

·    Snells Beach area has two school buffer zones in close proximity.

·    Snells Beach is not a high deprivation area or within or between a high deprivation area/s.

·    The panel supports the recommendation not to include Snells Beach as a special restricted area.

·    Westgate – Massey / Henderson

 

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would not qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel noted that Westgate is situated in a light industrial, commercial, mixed use and business zones.

·    Licences are permitted in these zones.

·    This area is close to a deprivation area but is not in between high deprivation areas.

·    Henderson / Massey local board has not indicated this area as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel do not recommend Westgate as a special restricted area.

·    Lynfield local centre

 

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would not qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel noted that Lynfield has a residential zone and neighborhood centre – licences are not permitted in a residential zone / neighborhood centres.

·    Lynfield also has a commercial area; a license would be permitted in this area

·    The panel noted that the high deprivation area is not in the closest residential area surrounding this site.

·    The panel did not recommend Lynfield Local Centre as a special restricted area.

 

·    Council apartments in Parnell

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would not qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel noted that the Parnell apartment are situated near commercial, light industrial and mixed use zones and therefore licences could be permitted in these areas.

·    For a light industrial area resource consent would be required.

·    Licences are not permitted in the surrounding residential area.

·    There are several schools buffer zones within this area.

·    There is deprivation 8 and 9 nearby, but the apartments are not surrounded by high deprivation.

·    The panel has not recommended this site as a special restricted area.

·    Papakura caravan park / holiday park

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    Papakura caravan park / campground / holiday park – is within a residential and light industrial zone.

·    No licences are permitted in a residential area. A license could be permitted in the light industrial area with a resource consent.

·    This area is surrounded by deprivation 9 and 10 areas.

·    There is a schools buffer zone nearby.

·    This is a caravan / camping area and therefore is transient and the location of a shop could be contra to the object of the policy and Act.

·    The panel recommended the addition of the commercial area by Papakura Caravan Park as a special restricted area.

·    Don Buck road / Triangle road – Henderson / Massey

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel noted that licenses are permitted in the commercial zone and that this location has deprivation 9 and several school buffer zones nearby.

·    Restricting this area does not significantly contribute to a de facto ban due to other areas in this local board being available.

·    The panel have recommended this commercial area to be a special restricted area.

·    Cavendish Drive commercial area – Manukau

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel noted that licenses are permitted in both the commercial and business zones in this area.

·    This location is surrounded by deprivation 8, 9 and 10 and several school buffer zones.

·    Even though this is a relatively large commercial area, this is a highly deprived area and would be contra to the object of the Act if it was not included as a special restricted area.

·    The panel recommends its inclusion as a special restricted area.

·    Te Hana

Based on officers analysis criteria for the inclusion of special restricted areas this location would not qualify as an additional restricted area.

·    The panel noted that Te Hana is near a commercial area in a rural zone and therefore licenses are permitted in this commercial area.

·    One submitter had identified this area as an additional restricted area.

·    This location is near to a deprivation 8 zone which is the closest town, and is close to a school buffer zone.

·    This area is perceived as a high deprivation area, but is masked by its inclusion in a rural area.

·    Member Wilcox has requested that this area be included as a special restricted area as it has high deprivation and is an anomaly in Auckland.  It has high levels of crime, disorder and family violence and that it would be contra to the object of the Act if it was not included.

·    The panel has recommended that Te Hana commercial zone be included as a special restricted area.

 

Deliberations topic 16 –Additional topics – Identifying areas to place retail licences – near police stations

Proposal as publicly notified

173.   The proposed policy does not recommend this approach

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

174.   A submitter suggested that if additional sites were required for retailers, that they be placed near police stations.

175.   No submitters indicated this preference in written submissions.

176.   Police had no comment to make in relation to this option.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

177.   The Panel discussed the difficulties with the practicality of this rule.

178.   The panel did not recommend this proposal.

Deliberations topic 17 –Additional topics –concern with use of products close to areas of purchase

Proposal as publicly notified

179.   No rules regarding use of products in the proposed policy, this is out of scope.

180.   The consumption of products in a public space is covered under The Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw and would be enforced by the police. 

181.   Public places include road reserves, footpaths, parks and beaches, public transport vehicles and facilities.

 

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

182.   A few verbal submitters were concerned with the purchase and use of product in public spaces, outside shops and in local parks and streets.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

183.   The panel acknowledged that this would be covered by the Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw and would be enforced by the police.

184.   The panel are making no recommendations regarding this topic.

Deliberations topic 18 – Councils advocacy role

Proposal as publicly notified

185.   Advocacy is not included in the draft LAPP and is outside the scope of the LAPP.

186.   Council officers will complete the requirements under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 and work with the Ministry of Health to ensure smooth implementation of the LAPP. 

Matters raised in submissions

187.   Advocacy was a topic spoken to by most verbal submitters.

188.   Recommendations that were most strongly supported were: restricting hours, imposing conditions on licences such as host responsibility policies, CCTV and limit on sales per transaction were the most strongly supported.

189.   Around 15 percent (223) of written submitters made an additional comment requesting a total ban on the sale of substances. 

190.   Other submitters including local boards and advisory panels also expressed a wish for a ban. 

191.   The PPAP requested a total ban on all products.

192.   Submitters generally acknowledged that it was not possible for the LAPP to provide a ban. 

193.   Verbal submitters also requested advocacy towards a licencing regime where the licences holder pay a fee that is then utilised in the community for wrap around services, information dissemination, training and support.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

194.   The panel acknowledges the significant sentiment for additional advocacy.

195.   The panel reiterated that the LAPP cannot ban products and that advocacy is outside the scope of the LAPP work.

196.   The panel acknowledge the community’s concern about the harm caused by the previous products and the legal high system.

197.   The panel reiterated that it is the role of the Ministry of Health to ensure products are low risk and products are approved and monitored accordingly.

198.   Council can advocate to central government that the levels of harm experienced with the products that were previously sold must not be allowed to arise when new products are approved. If harm does occur from new approved products, Council can advocate for immediate action to review the entire regulatory scheme.

199.   The panel discussed other advocacy activities including: implementation guidelines, mandatory conditions specifying hours of operation, CCTV and limit on sales per transaction to The Ministry of Health.

200.   The panel recommends Officers to work with the Ministry of Health to develop Implementation Guidelines.

Deliberations topic 19 – evaluation of the policy

Proposal as publicly notified

201.   The proposed policy states that it will be reviewed in two years from the date it is adopted.

202.   Auckland Council will complete an evaluation to assess how effective the policy has been in its intent to reduce harm.

203.   The evaluation and monitoring will enable any appropriate recommendations to be decided and implemented.

Matters raised in submissions and hearings

204.   One submitter requested a shorter evaluation time due to the uncertainty of the effects of the approved products when they become available.

Hearings panel deliberations and recommendations

205.   The panel discussed that it is unlikely that there will be products on the market in one years’ time and therefore an annual evaluation would be ineffective at this early stage.

206.   The research investigations and monitoring unit of council have been contracted to complete a thorough evaluation of the policy and associated effects.  This timeframe and evaluation content will provide council with the required information to either amend or retain the LAPP in two years from its adoption.

207.   The panel recommends ongoing monitoring and evaluation as outlined in the proposed LAPP.

Next Steps

208.   It is proposed to review the policy after two years from the date of adoption.  The main consideration in setting this review period is gaining information to allow Auckland Council to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy and the impact of these substances on the people of Auckland.  This review period is necessary as there is very little information available to predict what will happen once psychoactive substances are once again legally being sold in Auckland. 

209.   The proposed policy review period and accompanying evaluation will also allow the LAPP to be assessed and any necessary changes made before the renewal of retail licenses. Retail licenses will be renewed three years after they are granted.  This is an important point; if the LAPP changes the new license will have to comply with the new LAPP. 

210.   The Councils Research Investigation and Monitoring Unit (RIMU) will design and undertake the evaluation programme alongside the implementation of the LAPP.  This work will allow Auckland Council to understand the impact these substances are having on Auckland, as well as evaluate how effective the LAPP has been in reducing that harm.

211.   The Ministry of Health are developing regulations for store retail licences, they have indicated these will be completed around June 2015.

212.   It has been recommended that council provide The Ministry of Health with guidelines to implement the policy. 

213.   It has been recommended that council do work outside the scope of the policy to advocate for certain items during the implementation stage. 

Consideration

Local Board views and implications

214.   The process to adopt the LAPP has considered local board views. The decision for the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee is whether to accept the recommendations of the Hearing Panel.

215.   Local board views are detailed under the deliberations topics in paragraphs 36 – 187.

Māori impact statement

216.   The process to adopt the LAPP has considered the impact of the sale of approved psychoactive substances on Māori. The decision for the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee is whether to accept the recommendations of the Hearings Panel.

217.   Māori are over represented amongst the groups of vulnerable people likely to be affected by using approved psychoactive substances and the policy aims to protect the vulnerable people of Auckland. 

218.   Consultation included engaging with Māori stakeholders throughout the various stages of the process by working with Te Waka Angamua and the Independent Māori Statutory Board.  Officers visited various community events, community centres and educational facilities in areas with a high Māori population and also engaged with Maori through a hui arranged by Te Waka Angamua for mana whenua and mataawaka representatives.

General

219.  The Panel would like to thank all those who contributed to the consultation process. The contributions from submitters and other stakeholders were greatly appreciated.

Implementation

220.   No implementation issues noted.

 

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

Final LAPP (Local Approved Products Policy)

31

bView

LAPP Amendments

43

      

Signatories

Author

Linda Cooper – Chairman, Hearings Committee

Authoriser

Dean Kimpton - Chief Operating Officer

 


Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

02 April 2015

 

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Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

02 April 2015

 

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Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

02 April 2015

 

Update on the Empowered Communities Approach Project

 

File No.: CP2015/04100

 

Purpose

1.       To provide an update to the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee (the Committee) on the Empowered Communities Approach Project.

Executive Summary

2.       The Mayor’s Proposal for the Long-term Plan 2015-25 (LTP) includes developing a more empowered community approach to the work of Auckland Council. The proposed changes to the community development function are:

·   to transition delivery to a more empowered community approach

·   to move away from direct delivery (and therefore save overheads) and fund community groups to deliver more

·   for local boards to play a much more active role by allocating more funding through them.

3.       The purpose of the Empowered Communities Approach Project (ECAP) is to develop a new, more effective and empowering approach to the way council delivers services and supports community activities. The ECAP will establish a new operating model for the Community Development and Safety (CDS) unit which will shift its service delivery to have a greater focus on local and community empowerment, with a view to embedding this way of working across the council family.  

4.       Cost savings are not the main driver of the project, however, a reduction in the cost to deliver over time is expected, starting with savings across Community Development and Safety in the 2015/16 financial year.

5.       A political advisory group (PAG) has been established to provide strategic advice and guidance as staff develop the empowered communities approach. Discussion has centred around what empowered communities look like, and what shifts are required within council to support them.

6.       With regard to timeframe, a revised approach and proposed CDS operating model will be presented to the PAG and local boards for comment in April and re-worked in May this year. The final empowered communities approach and the CDS operational model will be reported to the Committee in June 2015, for implementation in July-December.

Recommendation/s

That the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:

a)      receive the report.

Comments

Background

7.       The Mayor’s Proposal for the LTP includes developing a more empowered community approach to the work of Auckland Council. The proposed changes to the community development function are:

·   to transition delivery to a more empowered community approach

·   to move away from direct delivery (and therefore save overheads) and fund community groups to deliver more

·   for local boards to play a much more active role by allocating more funding through them.

8.       The purpose of the ECAP is to develop a more empowered communities approach to the way council delivers services and supports community activities that is widely accepted as a more effective way to work with communities.  The new approach should result in:

·   growing levels of community participation across the region

·   communities contributing towards the achievement of outcomes that meet their priorities

·   a move towards local prioritisation and delivery

·   diverse community needs being recognised and responded to effectively

·   council achieving better outcomes, tailored to local community priorities

·   reduction in the cost to deliver over time.

9.       A key output of the ECAP will be a new operating model for the CDS Unit, which will shift its service delivery to have a greater focus on local and community empowerment.

10.     Cost savings are not the main driver for the project however a reduction in cost to deliver over time is expected, and across Community Development and Safety in the 2015/16 financial year.

11.     The empowered communities approach implemented by CDS is expected to be rolled-out/embedded through the whole of council moving forward as a new way of working (acknowledging that some areas of council already work in this way). Implementation would look different in different parts of council.

Political Advisory Group

12.     A Political Advisory Group (PAG) has been established to provide strategic advice and guidance to staff during the development of the empowered communities approach.  Membership of the PAG includes the Mayor, six councillors, six local board members and a representative from the Independent Maori Statutory Board (IMSB). 

13.     At their meeting on 6 March 2015 the PAG endorsed the proposed approach.  The key points discussed were:

·   ‘Empowered Communities: Enabling Council’: The approach is underpinned by a two-way relationship between council and the community, leading to improved outcomes for Auckland.

·   Defining empowered communities: an empowered community is one where individuals, whanau and communities have the power and ability to influence decisions, take action and make change happen in their lives and communities. This includes communities of place, interest and identity.

·   How to support community empowerment: community empowerment is about providing real opportunities for people to participate and fostering the conditions that support this. An empowered communities approach is a ‘way of working’ that empowers people to play a more active role in the decisions that affect their communities.

14.     Working in a way that empowers communities requires ‘whole of council’ shifts to:

·   provide a gateway / portal into council resources and information

·   provide more support for local boards and other areas of council to work together in joined-up ways with local communities

·   facilitate and embed the empowered communities approach across council

·   develop and implement creative new engagement and participation practices

·   support the devolution of resources / functions / control to communities.

15.     Initially, the approach will be supported by a new operating model for the Community Development and Safety unit. This would see a shift from council-led and delivered activity to council and the community working together to achieve outcomes with more community led and delivered initiatives over time.

 

 

16.     Other key feedback from the PAG included:

·   the model should involve high trust between council and the community and be based on building good relationships

·   the path Maori have been on provides an example for the empowered communities approach, which should draw from the Maori responsiveness framework

·   one size does not fit all and the model may look differently across different activities of council and in different communities, reflecting the make-up of those communities and their capability and capacity

·   all parts of council need to work collaboratively to make this work. This should include the Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).

·   capacity building is important and there need to be examples of how to do this effectively

·   a recognition that embedding this approach will take time.

17.     Staff will report back to the PAG on 16 April with the following:

·   a revised approach based on political, community and staff feedback

·   the proposed operating model for the CDS unit

·   supporting tools

·   budget and implementation implications.

Consultation and engagement

18.     Engagement with community stakeholders is ongoing, with initial feedback workshops held in March across the region. At the workshops, staff explored with participants what capabilities and ideas for empowering communities, equity issues and activities the community see themselves as best delivering. Engagement was sought on what is best kept as council core functions in relation to community development and safety.

19.     A local board chairs and portfolio holders workshop was held on March 20th and further workshops will be held with local board members through April. Local boards are also represented on the PAG.

20.     Internal staff consultation is ongoing as the design is developed. A number of workshops have been held with staff from all departments in the operations division in the first instance.

Key deliverables and timeframes

21.     The following table outlines the key deliverables and timeframes for the ECAP:

Timeframe

Deliverable

April 2015

·        Revised approach and proposed CDS model of operation reported to PAG

·        Report to local boards

·        Local Board workshops

May 2015

·        Revised CDS model of operation reported to PAG

·        Local Board workshops (continued)

·        FY2015/16 CDS budget and proposed approach reported to LTP budget committee

·        Report to local boards

June 2015

·        Report to Regional Strategy & Policy Committee

·        Day 1 model complete

July – December 2015

·        Implementation

Consideration

Local Board views and implications

22.     The Empowered Communities Approach builds on the strong focus on community led planning and development in Local Board Plans 2014.

23.     The approach will deliver on local board priorities and the Mayor’s proposal that local boards play a much more active role by allocating more funding through them.

24.     Local boards will be consulted throughout the development of the approach through ongoing representation on the PAG and reporting to local boards in April 2015.

Māori impact statement

25.     The ECAP has the potential to impact on Maori over time. Engagement with mataawaka and mana whenua will be undertaken during the engagement phase to enable staff to understand potential impacts, and draw upon existing examples of Maori led and community led models.

26.     A representative from the Independent Maori Statutory Board sits on the PAG.

Implementation

27.     Staff are developing a transition plan to estimate and plan for the impacts of a new, ‘empowered communities’ way of working.  Further detail on implementation will be reported back to the committee in June.

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.

Signatories

Author

Leora Hirsh - Manager Community Development and Partnerships South

Authorisers

Graham Bodman - Manager - Community Development, Arts and Culture

Dean Kimpton - Chief Operating Officer

 


Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

02 April 2015

 

Disposal Recommendation Report – 237R James Fletcher Drive, Ōtāhuhu

 

File No.: CP2015/04281

 

Purpose

1.       Seeking approval to dispose of 237R James Fletcher Drive, Ōtāhuhu, which is a small, non-service council owned plantation reserve that Auckland Council Property Limited (ACPL) considers suitable for sale.  As a reserve subject to the Reserves Act 1977, the reserve status of the land would have to be revoked prior to any proposed disposal occurring.

Executive Summary

2.       The property presented in this report is a 238m2 plantation reserve subject to the Reserves Act 1977.  Fletcher Steel Limited (Fletchers) owns the neighbouring property at 193 James Fletcher Drive.  Fletchers have enquired about purchasing this site from Auckland Council as it has had a building encroached on the land for many years. 

3.       Following the approach by Fletchers, this property was reviewed and it was found that the subject site is not identifiable from the street as a separate parcel of land.  It serves no public purpose and is not regarded as an open space asset of council.  It does not provide any linkages to any other public land. 

4.       This property has now been through the agreed consultative process including organisation wide internal officer consultation, local board and Iwi engagement.  The feedback has been supportive of the proposed reserve revocation and disposal of this site.  A detailed overview of the rationalisation process undertaken for this site, including information and feedback gathered, is outlined in the Comments, Local Board Views and Implications, and Maori Impact Statement sections of this report. 

5.       The results of the rationalisation process indicate that this property is not required for any current or future service requirements.  This site serves no useful public purpose for access or as open space, and is occupied by a substantial industrial building.  Due to this, the proposed disposal of this site to Fletchers is recommended by ACPL.  As this property is a reserve subject to the Reserves Act 1977, should the land be sold, the reserve status would have to be revoked.  Should a resolution be obtained to dispose of the land, ACPL (on behalf of the council) will negotiate an agreement to sell the land at current market value to the adjoining landowner, with the purchaser to meet costs. 

Recommendation/s

That the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:

a)      approve, subject to the satisfactory conclusion of any required statutory processes, the disposal of the land at 237R James Fletcher Drive, Ōtāhuhu comprised of an estate in fee simple comprising approximately 238m2 more or less being Lot 45
DP 22869.

b)      approve, under the appropriate delegations, final terms and conditions.

Comments

6.       ACPL and Auckland Council’s Property Department work collaboratively on a comprehensive review process to identify properties in the council portfolio that may be suitable to sell.  Once identified as a potential sale candidate ACPL takes the property through a multi stage engagement and rationalisation process.  This process is outlined in detail in the second half of the comments section, by way of background information.

 

A.      Subject Site

7.       The subject site is a narrow, 238m2 strip of land.  A recent registered valuation provided a value of $80,000.00 for this site.  This site is a plantation reserve subject to the Reserves Act 1977.  The plantation reserve was created in 1929 and vested in the Crown following the subdivision of a large block of land on the south side of James Fletcher Drive (formerly Favona Road) between Savill Drive and Tui Street, Otahuhu.  It appears that the reserve was intended to provide a pedestrian linkage from James Fletcher Drive to the balance of the block in anticipation of future subdivision.  However the balance was never subdivided and was sold to Pacific Steel Limited in 1958, leaving the narrow reserve leading only to the immediately surrounding site.

8.       The subject site is indistinguishable from the surrounding land and is currently occupied by a substantial building erected on both this site and the adjoining land.  Fletchers own the land on both sides of the plantation reserve where it operates a rolling mill.  The mill building was inadvertently built across the plantation reserve many years ago.  Fletchers approached Auckland Council to enquire about purchasing this strip of land with a view to incorporating it into their property at 193 James Fletcher Drive, Otahuhu.

9.       Following the enquiry from Fletchers, the subject site was reviewed and has been identified as potentially surplus to council requirements.  The Parks, Sport and Recreation team and the Community Policy and Planning team have confirmed that they do not require this site for open space purposes.

10.     The rationalisation process for this property commenced in June 2014.  Expressions of Interest were sought from council and its CCO’s in respect of this site.  No alternative uses for this site were identified during this process.  No issues were raised by the council Heritage Unit, the Closed Landfills and Contaminated Land Response team or the Maori Strategy Relations team.

B.      Rationalisation Process

11.     The first phase of the rationalisation process involves engagement with all council departments and relevant CCOs.  The engagement establishes whether a property is needed for a future funded project or whether it must be retained for some clear strategic purpose.  This is determined by an Expression of Interest (EOI) process whereby officers can request that all or part of a property is retained.  Alternatively officers may request that the property be encumbered or covenanted as part of the disposal process.  If the EOI sets out a robust financial analysis and evidence based rationale to retain the properties, then the EOI is endorsed. 

12.     If, however, the reasoning is more subjective a thorough business case is required.  An inter-disciplinary council and ACPL steering group comprised of senior managers, called the Property Review Steering Group (PRSG) meets on a monthly basis to assess such business cases.  The PRSG provides an opportunity for properties to be considered in a cohesive and integrated manner by relevant council departments and CCOs.

13.     The Heritage Unit is invited prior to the EOI process to flag any sites of particular archaeological merit that need to be assessed further.  ACPL also engages with the Closed Landfills and Contaminated Land Response team prior to the EOI process commencing to ensure any possible contamination issues that may be associated with a property are identified.  The EOI process also provides the Maori and Strategy Relations team the opportunity to flag any issue that is of particular relevance or cultural significance to Maori in connection with the potential disposal of a site. 

14.     Once a property has been internally cleared of any service requirements, ACPL then consults with local boards, ward councillors, mana whenua and the Independent Maori Statutory Board.

15.     All sale recommendations must be approved by the ACPL Board before it makes the final recommendation to the Finance and Performance Committee.  In this case, due to the Reserves Act/open space element, it is presented to Regional Strategy & Policy Committee.

Consideration

Local Board views and implications

16.     The Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board (MOLB) endorsed the proposed revocation of this reserve and disposal of this site at its February 2015 business meeting.  When making this resolution, the MOLB also formally requested that it receives the revenue from this sale for local activities and projects.  It is a Department of Conservation requirement (in accordance with the Reserves Act 1977) that any sale proceeds from reserves are placed in Council’s Reserve account so that additional funds can be used to acquire other land for reserve purposes or for maintenance of existing reserves.  Due to this, the MOLB’s request to directly receive the revenue cannot be undertaken.  The MOLB have been notified of the Department of Conservation requirement.

Māori impact statement

17.     The importance of effective communication and engagement with Maori on the subject of land is understood.  ACPL has accordingly developed a robust form of engagement with Mana Whenua groups across the region.  Each relevant mana whenua group is contacted independently by email based on a contact list which is regularly updated.  Each group is provided general property details, including a property map, and requested to give feedback within 15 working days.  Contacts are sent reminder notices a week out from the due date, and alerted of the passing of the due date in the week following if no feedback has been submitted.  Confirmation of any interest expressed is sent in writing and recorded for inclusion in the disposal recommendation report.  A feedback spreadsheet is provided to facilitate responses.  Any requests for extensions of a due date are handled on a case by case basis.

18.     ACPL’s engagement directs mana whenua to respond with any issues of particular cultural significance the group would like to formally express in relation to the subject properties.  We also request express notes regarding any preferred outcomes that the group would like us to consider as part of any disposal process. 

19.     Mana whenua groups are also invited to express potential commercial interest in any sites and are put in contact with ACPL’s Development team for preliminary discussions if appropriate to the property.  This facilitates the groups’ early assessment of the merits of a development opportunity to their Iwi.  In the event a property is approved for sale all groups are alerted of the decision, and all groups are alerted once a property comes on the market.

20.     Lastly a report is presented to the Independent Maori Statutory Board ahead of presenting any recommendations to sell detailing how Maori have been engaged throughout the process.

21.     Iwi consultation is also a requirement as part of Department of Conservation’s approval to revoke the reserve status affecting the plantation reserve under the Reserves Act 1977.  12 Iwi authorities which have mana whenua over the area have been consulted concerning the proposal to revoke the reserve status and dispose of the site to Fletchers.  The following feedback was received:

i)        Ngāti Whatua

Ngāti Whatua did not express any interest in this property or raise any concerns about the proposal.

ii)       Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei sought further information on the history of the encroachment on the reserve.  This was provided to Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei.  Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei did not raise any other concerns.

iii)      Te Kawerau-ā-Maki

Te Kawerau-ā-Maki did not express any interest in this property or raise any concerns about the proposal.

iv)      Te Akitai Waiohua

Te Akitai Waiohua initially opposed to the reserve revocation and disposal of this site due to it being a reserve.  Further information on the history of the encroachment was provided to Te Akitai Waiohua and it withdrew it its objection.

v)      Te Ahiwaru

Te Ahiwaru did not express any interest in this property or raise any concerns about the proposal.

vi)      Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua

Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua did not express any interest in this property or raise any concerns about the proposal.

vii)     Ngai Tai ki Tāmaki

Ngai Tai ki Tāmaki provided advice that this site is outside of its area of interest.  As such Ngai Tai ki Tāmaki would not be providing a response.

viii)    Ngāti Paoa

Ngāti Paoa did not express any interest in this property or raise any concerns about the proposal.

ix)      Ngāti Whanaunga

Ngāti Whanaunga did not express any interest in this property or raise any concerns about the proposal.

x)      Ngāti Maru

Ngāti Maru did not express any interest in this property or raise any concerns about the proposal.

xi)      Ngāti Tamaterā

Ngāti Tamaterā advised that it does not oppose the proposed disposal of this land.

xii)     Waikato Tainui

Waikato Tainui did not express any interest in this property or raise any concerns about the proposal.

Implementation

22.     Pursuant to section 24 of the Reserves Act 1977, public notification is required for a proposal to revoke a reserve, with such notice to include the reason for the proposal.  This will give the public the opportunity to consider the proposal and submit comments or objections.  If any objections are received, they will be referred back to this committee for consideration.  The decision of the committee must be forwarded to the Department of Conservation for completion of the revocation process. 

23.     The subject site is not used for a public work to which section 40 of the Public Works Act 1981 offer back requirements apply.

24.     The subject property is not one of council’s strategic assets to which the Significance Policy applies.


 

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

Property information for 237R James Fletcher Drive, Otahuhu

55

     

Signatories

Author

Letitia McColl, Senior Engagement Advisor, Portfolio Review, Auckland Council Property Limited

Authorisers

David Rankin – Chief Executive, Auckland Council Property Limited

Ian Wheeler - Manager Property

Kevin Ramsay - Chief Financial Officer

Dean Kimpton - Chief Operating Officer

 


Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

02 April 2015

 

PDF Creator


Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

02 April 2015

 

175th Auckland Anniversary Weekend Events Presentation

 

File No.: CP2015/04482

 

Purpose

1.         A presentation will be given to the committee on events held during the weekend of
24 - 26 January 2015 to celebrate Auckland’s 175th Anniversary (as presented to the Arts, Culture and Events Committee on 25 February 2015).

 

Recommendation/s

That the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:

a)      receive the presentation.

 

 

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.    

Signatories

Author

Jane Sheetz - Manager Event Delivery

Authorisers

Graham Bodman - Manager - Community Development, Arts and Culture

Dean Kimpton - Chief Operating Officer

 


Regional Strategy and Policy Committee

02 April 2015

 

Update on the Southern Initiative

 

File No.: CP2015/04602

 

Purpose

1.       A presentation will be given to update the committee on The Southern Initiative.

 

Recommendation/s

That the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:

a)      receive the presentation.

 

 

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.    

Signatories

Author

Gael Surgenor - GM -  Southern Initiative

Authorisers

Roger Blakeley - Chief Planning Officer

Dean Kimpton - Chief Operating Officer