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

 

Date:                      

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

9.30am

Reception Lounge
Auckland Town Hall
301-305 Queen Street
Auckland

 

Auckland Development Committee

 

OPEN ADDENDUM AGENDA

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse

 

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Chris Darby

 

Members

Cr Anae Arthur Anae

Cr Calum Penrose

 

Cr Cameron Brewer

Cr Dick Quax

 

Mayor Len Brown, JP

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

Cr Dr Cathy Casey

Member David Taipari

 

Cr Bill Cashmore

Cr Sir John Walker, KNZM, CBE

 

Cr Ross Clow

Cr Wayne Walker

 

Cr Linda Cooper, JP

Cr John Watson

 

Cr Alf Filipaina

Cr Penny Webster

 

Cr Hon Christine Fletcher, QSO

Cr George Wood, CNZM

 

Cr Denise Krum

 

 

Cr Mike Lee

 

 

Member Liane Ngamane

 

 

(Quorum 11 members)

 

 

 

Tam White

Democracy Advisor

 

10 November 2015

 

Contact Telephone: (09) 890 8156

Email: Tam.white@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 

 


Auckland Development Committee

12 November 2015

 

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                        PAGE

  

15        Local Government New Zealand - Response to Resource Management Act Discussion Document                                                                                                                       5

16        Hobsonville Point update and proposed screen precinct                                      39   

 

    


Auckland Development Committee

12 November 2015

 

 

Local Government New Zealand - Response to Resource Management Act Discussion Document

 

File No.: CP2015/23681

 

Purpose

1.       The purpose of this report is to seek confirmation of Auckland Council’s feedback into a discussion process on Resource Management Act (RMA) reform being led by Local Government New Zealand.

Executive Summary

2.       Local Government New Zealand has sought feedback on a draft discussion document on what is likely to comprise the Government’s next round of RMA reform legislation, as part of a two part discussion into RMA reform to include a wider ‘blue skies thinking’ on a ‘fit for purpose’ regime. The positions proposed in the discussion document are largely consistent with positions expressed by Auckland Council in the context of other regulatory review processes and where different, comments made to reflect Auckland Council’s position.

Recommendation/s

That the Auckland Development Committee:

a)      endorse Attachment A as Auckland Council’s feedback to Local Government New Zealand discussion document t ‘RMA Section Position Paper – draft for feedback, 15 October 2015’.

b)      delegate through the Chief Executive to the Director Regulatory Services the ability to make minor amendments to Attachment A to reflect decisions of Auckland Development Committee.

Comments

3.       Central Government has indicated that further reform of the Resource Management Act will occur within its current term. While this reform forms part of a continued review process initiated by the current Government, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is of the position that there is an opportunity to:

-  frame the discussion and develop a sector position prior to Parliament’s consideration of any RMA-reform legislation; and

- use this juncture to carry out ‘blue skies thinking’ on what a ‘fit for purpose’ resource management regime could look like 25 years after the current regime was first regime was introduced.

4.       This report is in relation to a discussion document RMA Section Position Paper – draft for feedback, 15 October 2015’, issued by LGNZ in relation to the first of the above points only. The discussion document sets out the issues that LGNZ considers should be addressed in the next RMA-reform legislation, proposes positions where they can be articulated and where they do not have a firm position, seeks comment.

5.       Despite a narrow timeframe for providing feedback (document circulated on 27th October and feedback sought by 13 November), Auckland Council has been provided an opportunity to provide feedback on the issues raised in the discussion document.


6.       It is acknowledged that the bulk of the issues and proposed positions raised in the discussion document reflect, and are largely consistent with, those of Auckland Council submitted to other regulatory reviews carried out by the Ministry of the Environment, the Productivity Commission and the Rules Reduction Taskforce as they related to plan-making and decision-making processes. In that regard, Auckland Council’s scale and experience as a unitary authority provides a mandate for contributing meaningfully to discussions around further reform of the RMA.

7.       A summary of the issues, proposed positions of LGNZ, and Auckland Council’s position in relation to these, are found at Attachment A to this report. The discussion document itself is found at Attachment B to this report.

Consideration

Local Board views and implications

8.       The views of any and all Local Boards were not sought or received in the preparation of this report. Due to the compressed timeframes provided by LGNZ to provide comment, there was no ability to consult. In addition, it is a discussion document only and should be essentially viewed as the start of an engagement process by LGNZ.

Māori impact statement

9.       The views of any and all mana whenua groups were not sought or received in the preparation of this report. Due to the compressed timeframes provided by LGNZ to provide comment, there was no ability to consult. In addition, it is a discussion document only and should be essentially viewed as the start of an engagement process by LGNZ.

Implementation

10.     There are no implementation issues associated with adopting the recommendations. The report relates to a discussion document that is not binding on the council.

 

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

Summary of Auckland Council positions on proposed positions found in LGNZ discussion document ‘RMA Sector Position Paper, draft for feedback, 15 October 2015’

7

bView

RMA Sector Position Paper

15

      

Signatories

Author

Andrew Calder – Principal Planner Resource Consents

Authorisers

John Duguid - General Manager - Plans and Places

Penny Pirrit - Director Regulatory Services

Jim Quinn - Chief of Strategy

 


Auckland Development Committee

12 November 2015

 

 

Attachment A: Summary of Auckland Council positions on proposed positions found in LGNZ discussion document ‘RMA Sector Position Paper, draft for feedback, 15 October 2015’

LGNZ Position Paper Issue

LGNZ Proposed Position / Question

Auckland Council’s position

National Direction

(The following is a summary of the discussion on pages 4-5 of the discussion document)

The RMA promotes a devolved model of environmental management where local authorities (at regional and territorial level) undertake both policy and regulatory functions as allocated to them under the Act.

 

However, central government retains seven primary means of exercising national intervention:

·    Regulations (under section 360 of the Act);

·    National environmental standards (NESs);

·    National policy statements (NPSs);

·    Call-in of applications;

·    Bespoke legislation for plan making (applying to Auckland, Christchurch, Canterbury);

·    Changes to plans via an amendment to the RMA; and

·    Granting of resource consents via amendment to the RMA.

 

It was assumed that when the RMA was enacted, national direction (in the form of NPSs and NESs) would follow closely behind. A suite of national guidance has not eventuated and officials guidance and case law become the de facto national direction. The exception has been the small number of National Environmental Standards.

 

Interest in national instruments has again picked up. Specifically, the government has announced that the Plan Template will be part of the next bill to reform the RMA. The scope of the Template has yet to be determined but is expected to comprise the format of plans, standard definitions and standard zones with associated provisions.

 

Ministry of the Environment officials have also started to consider the Forward Agenda for National Direction. Officials want input from stakeholders and particularly from local government about what national instruments are want.

 

The concept of a National Plan Template to include standard definitions and terms is supported and standard format is supported in principle

Agree in part:

 

Merit in standard definitions and terms - 

difficulty anticipated in applying standard format and content across all plan provisions but support exploring template further.

 

 

The arrangements for the transition to a Plan Template or standardisation should minimise the need for local authorities to initiate changes to their plans (minimising cost and uncertainty) through the Schedule 1 process

 

 

Agree

Local or bespoke provisions should be provided for.

Over-arching national direction is needed, this would set the direction for NPSs and NESs

 

 

Agree in principle – need more detail.

Local government should help set the priorities for national direction: National Policy Statements, National Environmental Standards and the scope of any Plan Template

 

Agree

Priorities for national direction are water and natural hazards

 

 

Agree – suggest additional priority of ‘urban development’.

Effective and meaningful iwi / Maori participation

The Ministry for the Environments 2013 Discussion Document ‘Improving our Resource Management System’ argued that Iwi/ori values are not always effectively recognised in resource management processes and outcomes.

 

The Discussion Document proposed that:

·    Where a council does not have an arrangement in place with local iwi (as recorded under section 35A provisions) it would be required to establish an arrangement that gives the opportunity for iwi/Māori to directly provide comprehensive advice during the development of plans.

·    The arrangement would need to allow iwi to provide advice on proposed policy ahead of council decisions on submissions, with this advice having statutory weight under the RMA. Only where councils and iwi do not have existing Treaty of Waitangi settlements, or other specified existing arrangements, that meet or exceed the specifications above would the requirement apply. Existing arrangements would continue where they provide this engagement clearly.

·    where they provide if iwi/Māori interests and values were to be considered at the right stages of resource management planning processes, position could be sought upfront.

·    The criteria for joint management agreements and transfers of resource management responsibilities under the RMA would be amended to make them easier to be used for enabling iwi participation. This would facilitate greater uptake of these under-used tools.

·    To make iwi management plans easier to use, expectations on the structure, minimum content and lodgement process of iwi management plans (including their online availability) would be set out in legislation.

 

LGNZ seek comment on the specific proposals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do they go far enough?

Discussion document identifies the main issues.

What do they mean for resourcing?

Auckland has large number of iwi authorities to engage with and acknowledges the demand on resourcing associated with the identified issues for councils and iwi/Māori.

How do they align with LGA consultation requirements?

The suggestions are seen as ways of working with iwi/Māori on RMA matters rather than replacing LGA consultation requirements.

 

Natural hazards

The local government sector has been advocating for some time for the need to include as a section 6 Principle in the RMA the management of risk associated with natural hazards.

 

The Minister for the Environments Principles Technical Advisory Group made a number of specific recommendations in February 2012 - the significant recommendations with respect to amendments to the RMA form LGNZ’s proposed position.

 

LGNZ understands the Government proposes to amend sections of the RMA to enable decision-makers to decline or place conditions on subdivision consents where there are significant risks from natural hazards. The sections which specify the circumstances in which a consent authority may refuse subdivision consent, and the conditions on which a subdivision consent may be granted would be amended to introduce a risk- based approach to subdivision consent decision-making and ensure all natural hazards are considered (rather than a limited list of hazards that currently exists).

 

LGNZ seek feedback on whether other tools specific to the RMA are necessary.

Include a provision requiring decision-makers to recognise and provide for issues around natural hazard risks in section 6 of the RMA, managing the significant risks associated with natural hazards.

 

Agree

Amend section 106 to:

·    expressly include liquefaction and lateral spreading, along with any other consequences of the events included in the definition of “natural hazard in section 2;

·    reflect the risk associated with any natural hazard, rather than the likelihood of the event;

·    require the consent authority to refuse consent if there will be a significant increase in the risk associated with any natural hazard; and

·    extend the scope to include land use consents issued by regional councils.

 

 

Agree in principle:

·    need more detail on wording; and

·    query the need to extend scope of s106 to include regional council (regional level for unitary authority) land use consents.

Promulgate a NPS or NES on the management of risk associated with natural hazards.

 

 

Agree

Plan-making

(There are nine areas that LGNZ seek input on in relation to the plan-making processes found in the RMA. Background discussion on plan-making is found on page 6 of the discussion document)

Decision-making

(The following is a summary of the discussion on pages 7-8 of the discussion document)

 

Key areas of discussion raised by LGNZ relate to:

·    Recourse to the Environment Court for appeals on council initiated plan changes / plan reviews;

·    Prescribing the use of independent commissioners;

·    Prescribing the selection of independent commissioners – council, government, or joint process.

 

 

 

Should the ability to appeal to the Environment Court be removed for all council initiated RMA

plan/policy change processes?

 

 

Agree – limit appeals to points of law or adopt the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan process.

Where recourse to the Environment Court is removed should the use of independent commissioners be prescribed - in part? In full?

 

 

Agree in part:

·      either all independent commissioners; or

·      a mix of independent commissioners and elected members, with an independent commissioner as chair.

Should councils continue to have the choice about the make-up of the panel and the ability to include elected members.

 

 

Agree in part:

·    full council discretion should depend on the scale and complexity of plan review / plan change process; and

·    joint responsibility with central government for larger scale reviews (as distinct from the current central government appointment process for the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan).

If the use of independent commissioners is prescribed should councils choose the commissioners; should it be joint with Government; should Government choose the commissioners?

 

Whether appeal rights should be removed for specific plan changes only (possibly with the agreement of Government) or only where a collaborative process has been used or a bespoke process (approved by Government).

 

Appeal rights should be the same as the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan preparation process (i.e. limited to points of law, out of scope decisions and rejection of panel recommendations).

Approval of regional coastal plans

The value of the requirement for the approval by the Minister of Conservation for regional coastal plans is questioned by some local authorities. Since the Marine & Coastal Areas (Takutai Moana) Act 2011, the status of the Crown and the Minister of Conservation over all coastal marine areas has changed.

 

Significant delays to achieving operative status of regional coastal plans are associated with the need to have the Minister (rather than the regional council itself) approve these plans. Minister of Conservation retains submitter rights for notification of any proposed plans and in plan-making process and anecdotal evidence suggest little or no amendments resulting from final approval. 

 

 

 

 

Remove the requirement for regional coastal plans to be approved by the Minister of Conservation.

 

 

 

 

 

Agree

Fast track plan amendments to optional plan provisions

The provisions of regional and district plans now fall into one of two types mandatory or optional content. For optional content, councils should have much greater freedom to amend such provisions without having to follow the full Schedule 1 process. These provisions include issues statements; method statements (other than rules); policy or rule explanations; anticipated results; effectiveness monitoring indicators; and introductory, scene setting text for which it would be efficient to simply update or amend the text content in an agile manner without inviting contests over these sorts of plan provisions, where there are no effects on resource use rights created by such amendments.

Enable changes to plans through a fast-track process if new versions of standards/models are introduced.

 

 

Do not agree or support. Changing policy or rule explanations could change how rules are to be interpreted and applied and therefore should not be administratively inserted.

Enable amendments to regional and district plans through a fast-track process where the content is optional.

 

Alignment of plan provisions with national environmental standards

The RMA currently limits the ability to amend a plan to make it consistent with a National Environmental Standard (NES). Sections 43B and 44A are worded to allow amendment of rules which conflict with any NES, but any amendments to objectives, policies or other plan provisions which conflict with the same NES still need to go through a Schedule 1 plan change. The result without a change to the plan is that rules no longer in conflict, but the plans objectives and policies become disconnected.

 

Another issue with NESs relates to the ability to be more stringent than the provisions in an NES. Where a plan already includes provisions that are more stringent that the NES a simple process is needed to enable these provisions to be clearly identified in the plan (so it is clear these override the NES).

 

Enable a simplified plan amendment process to enable objectives and policies in subordinate plans affected by an NES to be aligned with the NES.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agree

Enable a simple process to identify existing plan provisions (meeting the criteria) that are more stringent than the NES

Overlap between the RMA and other statutes

(The following is a summary of the discussion on pages 9-10 of the discussion document)

 

There is the potential for duplication of regulation under the RMA with the HSNO Act, the HNZPT Act, the Building Act and legislation covering health and safety. These pieces of legislation contain specific regulatory regimes for hazardous substances, archaeological sites and health and safety and there is the potential for councils to duplicate those regimes. In relation to the HSNO Act, the HNZPT Act and the Building Act, land use rules duplicate these provisions.

 

Amend the functions in sections 30 and 31 to reduce the potential for duplication of regulation between the RMA, HSNO, the Building Act and HNZPT Acts and consider whether there are others.

 

 

 

Agree in principle – however there needs to be careful consideration of ‘duplication removal’ where there are potential deficiencies in other statutes.

Align the RMA with other regulatory frameworks which deal with the same matters to remove duplication.

 

Private plan changes

(The following is a summary of the discussion on page 10 of the discussion document)

 

Private plan changes can be a useful mechanism for enabling the private sector to respond to development opportunities; however they can clog up the planning system and put councils into a reactive position, rather than a proactive one. LGNZ support councils having the ability to reject private plan changes in specific circumstances.

 

Provide local authorities with the ability to reject requests for a private plan change where:

 

·    the topic or land subject to the plan change has been through the Schedule 1 process of the RMA within the past five years; and

·    a full plan review or relevant plan change on the same subject matter is being undertaken through the Schedule 1 process.

 

 

 

 

Agree

Combined plans for unitary authorities

For some time unitary authorities have considered that the requirement to have a Regional Policy Statement (RPS) is redundant. Because the territory of a unitary authority covers a single district that is the same as the region, the over-arching RPS is not necessary. As the RMA stands, for unitary authorities, unnecessary duplication of regional policy statement provisions and district provisions is required. It is necessary to have a mechanism to identify within the combined plan, those provisions that have the status of a RPS provision.

 

Remove the requirement for unitary authorities to have a Regional Policy Statement.

 

Agree in principle – unitary authorities should still be able to identify certain provisions as not being subject to private plan change requests. The requirement to ‘tag’ provisions as being regional coastal plan, regional plan or district plan should also be reviewed.

Legal effect of rules sections 86A-86G RMA

(The following is a summary of the discussion on pages 10-11 of the discussion document)

 

Sections 86A-86G determine when proposed rules have legal effect. These provisions are unduly complex and difficult for councils to administer and the distinctions for those with early and those with delayed effects are arbitrary. In addition, the link between policies and rules is severed with these provisions. There is little point in having a new policy with no effective rules, e.g. hazard policies. Where rules deregulate, these statutory rules prevent them having effect from notification.

 

Current regime results in:

·      time and money spent interpreting the plans and there is a high risk of interpreting the sections wrongly. It is illogical to treat rules and policies differently they are drafted as a package and should be treated as such;

·      difficulties for integrated unitary plans and the layers of rules having effect at differing times and communicating to wider community.

 

There are quite unnecessary transaction costs in gaining Court orders to give rules early legal effect.

 

Both rules and policies should have legal effect at notification. All polices and rules having legal effect at notification is the preferable alternative.

 

Do not support. Current regime provides some flexibility and proposal does not acknowledge scale of new generation plans and level of ‘settling’ that occurs during submission and hearing process.

 

Alternatively, support limiting immediate legal effect only to those rules relating to protection, and relevant objectives and policies on the same basis.

Permitted activity status

The recent discussion document for the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry (NESPF) proposes as a permitted activity the reduction/removal of a setback where the written approval of an affected party is provided. Councils have understood this is ultra vires but it is a tool they would welcome for activities such as bulk and location infringements.

Create a new category of consent that enables a district plan to identify an activity as permitted, subject to affected party approval being provided.

 

Agree in principle. Need more detail on how to identify what types of ‘breaches’ could be considered in such a manner.

Resource consenting

(There are seven areas that LGNZ seek input on in relation to the decision-making (resource consent) processes found in the RMA)

Notification determinations

(The following is a summary of the discussion on page 11 of the discussion document)

 

Notification decisions require too much focus under the RMA. From the perspective of both applicants and interested parties, much turns on the decision (e.g. costs, timeframes, certainty and control of outcome, rights of input). Through applications for judicial review, notification decisions are a source of litigation. Notification determinations require officers to undertake effects assessments at the s95 stage that overlap with the substantive assessment.

 

The issue is not the decisions themselves but the time, effort and cost of making notification decisions and how this might be simplified.

 

Consider whether the RMA should require plans to state whether an activity is to be notified, limited notified or non-notified.

 

Agree. While the RMA already allows councils to specify whether an activity is to be notified or non-notified, it does not require them to do so, nor does it allow plans to specify limited notification. Limited notification is often the most appropriate way of allowing affected parties to participate in decisions that will have an adverse effect on them. The RMA should allow plans to specify limited notification. As the RMA does not currently provide for this, many councils have opted for the default of not specifying whether an application should be notified or non-notified.

 

A more significant change that is worth exploring would be for the RMA to link notification with activity status.

 

Amend the RMA to enable plans to state that an activity can be limited notified.

Substantive decisions

(The following is a summary of the discussion on page 12 of the discussion document)

 

Currently, Part 2 of the RMA is considered at both the plan making and consent stages. Arguably this is duplicative, and consideration should be given to whether making decisions on resource consents subject to Part 2 in s104 is necessary. Primary emphasis should be given to the preparation of clear, directive policy, taking into account Part 2, as part of the plan process.

 

This would be a significant change and we have not achieved a clear position of support on this with our member authorities. We would like to see the proposition tested as part of the next round of amendments.

 

Consider whether the requirement to consider Part 2 matters at the consenting stage should be removed.

 

Agree. Currently, Part 2 of the RMA is considered at both the plan-making and consent stages. Arguably, this is duplication, and making decisions on consents subject to Part 2 could be seen to weaken the focus on plans. The main focus should be given to the preparation of clear policies that give effect to Part 2 during the plan-making process.

 

Fast track consents

Consent authorities have 20 working days to process non-notified applications for resource consent. There is no statutory encouragement to process those straightforward applications that can be processed more quickly. Identifying suitable activities that generate minor effects cannot easily be prescribed in law given the need to take into account risk and the specifics of an application and the receiving environment. The discretion to identify which applications should be subject to a fast-track process should rest with a councilIf  this change is to be pursued there will be resourcing requirements needing to be considered.

 

Consider requiring consent authorities to develop and publish policies and procedures for fast tracking minor consents (with a target of 10 working days).

 

Agree in principle. Council currently employs risk-based approach to considering applications within 10 working days and reports on these applications as part of regular statistical monitoring

Make clear in law that these applications are processed without recourse to notification.

 

Bundling of consents

Most councils currently bundle multiple applications but the RMA could make it clear that this is correct and appropriate). Legally (s88 RMA) an application is for a resource consent (singular), however many proposals require multiple consent types and are applied for together as a single application. This would clear up the uncertainty created by the recent Ports of Auckland decision and give a clear direction to councils.

 

Amend the RMA to expressly allow applications for multiple consents to be bundled and therefore treated as such for processing timeframes (e.g. clock stopping, time extensions etc).

 

Agree – overlaps with ‘joint processing of resource consents’ issue, although to a lesser degree in unitary authority context.

Pre-lodgement meetings

Some councils require applicants to have pre-lodgement meetings (and charge for them) but there is nothing currently in the RMA which allows councils to make such meetings mandatory. Pre-lodgement meetings can be very useful for both the council and the applicant as they can reduce the likelihood of deficient applications being lodged and also to reduce s92 information requests being needed.

 

Amend the RMA to allow councils the ability to ‘require pre-lodgement meetings if the council considers that this is appropriate.

 

Agree in principle. Need more detail on how to define ‘when’ to require pre-application process.

Joint processing of resource consents

(The following is a summary of the discussion on page 13 of the discussion document)

 

Many regional and territorial councils jointly process applications (with one or the other taking on the lead authority role), and this can occur any time during the process (often immediately after the date of lodgement or before notification). In such situations joint s92 requests are often made and joint notification also occurs. The RMA does not specifically cover joint processing; the only part of the process that is currently covered is the matter of holding joint hearings and issuing decisions (s102).

 

Introduce a new provision into the RMA which states that applications (not the resultant consent that may be issued) will lapse automatically after two years if there is lack of action on the part of the applicant.

(This may arise in several instances – examples given on page 13 of discussion document)

Agree in principle – suggest one year only for ‘on hold’ and in relation to all undetermined applications in addition to scenarios raised.

 

Noted that proposed position does not fully relate to discussion document narrative.

Section 28A(4) – supply of information to Minister of Conservation

Section 28A(4) requires councils to provide information to the Minister of Conservation without charge. Such requests can entail a large amount of staff effort and there is no reason why, in appropriate circumstances, the Department should not be charged for such information like any other person who makes information requests.

Delete section 28A(4).

Agree

Section 37 – waiver and extension of time limits

Section 37 should provide for extensions beyond doubling without the applicants agreement in situations where there are competing applications for the same resource and the first application (which is not a nullity) must be decided first. In such situations the other application(s) cannot be heard and there is no provision to suspend processing or extend their timeframes, unless the applicant agrees under s37 but in most cases such agreement would not be forthcoming. An alternative could be that a clock stopping provision be included under s88E for such situations.

 

Amend  s37  to provide clarification  ato  what constitutespecial  circumstances in  termoextending timeframes over and above the examples currently provided in that section

 

 

 

Agree in principle.

Section 89A – application referral to Maritime New Zealand

Section 89A of the RMA requires councils to circulate certain applications to Maritime New Zealand (MNZ). MNZ then has 15 working days from the date of receipt of a copy of the application to prepare a report to the council. When the ordinary course of the post (refer s352(5) RMA) is taken into account, councils must wait 17 working days (assuming a copy of the application is sent to MNZ on the date the application is lodged) before being able to issue any decision. Seventeen working days constitutes 85% of the processing timeframe for a non-notified consent.

 

Include a clock stopping provision in s88E for such applications or provide a specific ability to extend timeframes under s37 for such applications

 

 

 

Agree

Permitted activity charging

(The following is a summary of the discussion on pages 14-16 of the discussion document)

 

Section 36 of the Resource Management Act 1991(RMA) sets out the regime by which local authorities are empowered to charge for carrying out various RMA functions, including the processing of resource consent applications. These provisions date from the original drafting of the Resource Management Bill in the late 1980s. Business and user pays environments for local government have changed significantly compared with the situation twenty years ago. Provisions for RMA cost recovery need a reconsideration to match current practices and expectations.

 

LGNZ seek comment around:

·      what is meant by ‘fixing’ charges under section 36 of the RMA;

·      Simplify the process for determining what charges are to be under s36, and increasing flexibility of determining charges;

·      Clarifying and simplifying how charges can be reviewed / objected to;

·      Clarifying when councils can charge for objections to resource consent decisions

 

 

 

In recognition of the issues outlined above, the RMA charging regime embodied in Sections 36, 357B and 358 should be amended as follows:

·    Clarify the legal ability for councils to charge fees for monitoring and enforcement.

·    Delete the terms fix and fixed in Subsections 36(1), (2) and (4) and replace them with adopt and adopted (or similar), thereby removing the perceived assumption that all of the kinds of charges listed in Section 36(1) can or must be fixed at a set dollar amount.

·    Amend section 36 to provide flexibility in the charging regime to match the range of RMA functions listed in Section 36, including clear powers for local authorities to require staged deposits, to make interim charges based on cost estimates, to revise estimates as work proceeds through the prescribed stages of an RMA function, and to require full payment of estimated costs before decisions are notified.

·    Amend section 36(1)(b) to include pre-lodgement advice, declining of applications, and considering objections.

·    Amend subsection 3A to enable requests for estimates to be made for all charges, with the clear provision that the local authority is free to revise its estimates at any stage before the overall task is completed.

·    Clarify that section 36(7) can apply to all charges, whether deposits, standard charges, or based on estimated costs; and ensure that the discount regulations do not apply when applications are “on hold waiting for payments to be made.

·    Delete subsection 36(6), and the references to charges in Section 357B and 358, thereby removing the prescribed rights of objection and appeal; and replace them with a simplified provision that requires a local authority to review its RMA charges on request and does not require mandatory hearings.

·    Delete the references in subsection 36(8) to “subsection (1)(ab)(ii) [and] (ad)(ii) so that if the local authority requires deposits or payment of hearing costs in advance, that will apply to all persons required to pay the charges (ie, the submitters requiring a Commissioner, as well as the applicant) this will require an alternative safeguard to ensure that submitters cannot delay a hearing by not paying their portion of the charges in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agree in principle – charging regime needs amendment.

Compliance and enforcement under the RMA

There is a network of compliance and enforcement officers across the regional and unitary councils who meet regularly to discuss common issues and best practice. This group has identified legislative matters concerning compliance and enforcement that have long caused difficulties for those charged with exercising their functions under the RMA; inevitably where there is a difficulty or complexity there are unnecessary costs for parties involved.

 

 

(Note:  The discussion document refers to 10 recommendations / positions, with Appendix A containing 12 in total - the first and last recommendations are not contained in the body of the report. They have been added in this document)

Extend limitation period for filing a charging document from 6 months to 12 months

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agree

 

Provide for cost recovery for monitoring activities that do not require consent

 

Allow the Environment Court to issue an enforcement order to change or cancel a resource consent as a result of ongoing or repeated non-compliance

 

Remove the need for a police officer to be present to execute a search warrant

 

 

Remove the need for exhibits to be retained in the custody of a police officer

 

Make it unlawful to provide insurance against RMA fines, in a similar manner to Health and Safety legislation

 

Need more detail – insuring for prosecution and fines may appear unethical but it does ensure fines are paid.

Increase infringement fees, and introduce higher infringement fees for corporate offenders

 

Need more detail – there are potential difficulties enforcing any higher penalties.

Amend the provisions regarding the duty to give information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agree

 

Enable local authorities to remove unauthorised structures where ownership is unable to be determined;

 

Increase the penalties for someone who commits an offence under section 338(3) the current maximum is too low to be an effective deterrent or for councils to incur an expense in prosecuting

 

Reduce the maximum penalty of imprisonment for an individual to 12 months but increase the maximum financial penalty for an individual to $600,000

 

Section 339 (Additional penalty for certain offices for commercial gain) expanded to cover section 338(1) offences. At present it is only limited to section 338(1A) and (1B)

 

 



Auckland Development Committee

12 November 2015

 

 
























Auckland Development Committee

12 November 2015

 

 

Hobsonville Point update and proposed screen precinct

 

File No.: CP2015/23649

 

Purpose

1.       This paper is pursuant to the Auckland Development Committee (ADC) meeting of 7 July 2015 requiring Auckland Investment Office (AIO) to report on the market validation exercise and adoption of an appropriate procurement process to identify the best potential outcomes for a Screen Innovation and Production Precinct at Hobsonville, including the leasehold or freehold sale of council-owned land, and to seek the ADC’s decision on the detailed commercial proposals arising from the process.

Executive Summary

2.       At the Auckland Development Committee meeting of 7 July 2015 the committee:

·      agreed that Council adopt an appropriate procurement process to identify the best potential outcomes for a proposed Screen Innovation and Production precinct at Hobsonville, including the leasehold or freehold sale of council-owned land.

 

·      requested that Council, via the AIO report back to the committee on the market validation exercise and its procurement process to seek the committee’s decision on the detailed commercial proposals arising from the process.

 

·      required ATEED to complete the procurement process by 31 October 2015 and report back to the committee at its November 2015 meeting.

 

·      agreed that, in the event that a definitive and commercially viable proposal (or conditional agreement) for developing a screen precinct at Hobsonville Point has not been secured by 31 October 2015, and approved at the November Committee meeting, the 14/6 Masterplan for the 20ha Hobsonville Point block (as outlined in the agenda report) be adopted by Council.

 

·      directed ATEED to consult directly with the Upper Harbour Local Board and local community organisations as to how community needs might best be addressed under the Hobsonville screen precinct option.

 

·      as at 31 October, despite the significant amount of work done, we do not have a definitive and commercially viable proposal (or conditional agreement) for a screen precinct at Hobsonville Point – as requested by the ADC in resolution AUC/2015/150 from 7 July 2015.

 

Recommendation/s

That the Auckland Development Committee:

a)      receive the update on the Hobsonville Point and proposed screen precinct report.

Comments

3.       Market Validation – procurement process

 

Following approval to proceed at July’s Auckland Development Committee (ADC) meeting, KPMG concluded a Market Validation Exercise on behalf of ATEED which confirmed national and international interest in a Screen Innovation and Production Precinct.

 

·        Subsequently, ATEED – in conjunction with Auckland Investment Office – undertook a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) through Council’s Procurement Team to identify a Preferred Respondent(s) with which to advance negotiations towards a transaction that would meet Council’s objectives of a commercially viable proposal.

 

·        A total of eight responses were received from the REOI process with four additional parties expressing interest to work alongside any Preferred Respondent.

 

·        A process to evaluate responses was undertaken by AIO in September. There was no single response that met the ADC criteria of a commercially viable proposal. However, through the process the AIO identified two separate respondents which had the potential – in some form of combination or working relationship – to secure a quality outcome. The Preferred Respondents were:

 

§ Party A – a well-respected property developer, which is well known to Council and has a reputation for delivering exceptional results

§ Party B – a highly experienced international studio operator.

 

·        The AIO is of the opinion that no proposal is at a sufficiently advanced stage that an acceptable agreement on commercially appropriate terms could be concluded within the next two months.

 

4.         Current position

·    After working together with Party A and Party B following the REOI process, and after extensive discussions with a wide number of industry players and the NZ Film Commission, the following points have become clear.

·    There is clear interest from at least 20 industry participants in participating in the proposed Screen Innovation and Production Precinct at Hobsonville to capture the perceived benefits of such a facility. These businesses range from world-renowned industry players through to local tertiary providers and industry suppliers. The interest in long-term tenancies has validated the decision Council took to explore the screen precinct proposal in more detail.

·    There appears to be the additional benefit of relocating Auckland Film Studios’ operations to any to any new precinct with the opportunity to free up the current land at Henderson for redevelopment.

·    Excluding land costs, detailed estimates from a number of parties have determined that the cost of developing a 10ha Screen Innovation and Production Precinct would be in the vicinity of $65-$75 million with an additional $15 million for the land (assuming a commercial use valuation) – a total cost of $80-$90 million. The proposals under consideration contemplated a staged approach to meet/match the timing of demand and commitment from the industry to locate on and assume a long-term financial commitment to the precinct.

·    Notwithstanding the levels of interest expressed by significant number of industry participants, as at the end of October the AIO has been unable to obtain no firm commitment, either in substance or in principle, from any private sector party willing to assume, either the development risk or, alternatively, the overall operating risk of the precinct.


5.       Next steps

ATEED remains committed to assisting the region’s important screen production industry to secure appropriate studio infrastructure for the major international productions the region continues to attract but is currently unable to accommodate due to a lack of screen infrastructure.

ATEED and the AIO will continue to explore business and investment attraction opportunities with the private sector.

Consideration

Local Board views and implications

6.       ATEED engaged the Upper Harbour Local Board throughout on proposals to arrive at a commercially viable proposal, but there has been no specific engagement with the local board in the preparation of this report.

Māori impact statement

7.       There have been engagement with iwi in the report to the Committee in July 2015. We will continue to engage with iwi at the appropriate time.

Implementation

8.       Not applicable.

 

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

Extract from the Auckland Development Committee 7 July 2015 meeting

43

     

Signatories

Author

John Duncan – Executive Officer – Auckland Investment Office

Authoriser

Jim Quinn - Chief of Strategy

 


Auckland Development Committee

12 November 2015

 

 

Extract from the Auckland Development Committee meeting

7 July 2015

 

15

Hobsonville Point 20 hectare Block: Future Land Use

 

Resolution number AUC/2015/149

MOVED by Cr RI Clow, seconded by Cr WB Cashmore:  

That the Auckland Development Committee:

a)      agree that Auckland Council will not proceed with a Marine Industry Precinct at Hobsonville Point and that no further work be undertaken on the Marine Industry Precinct apart from existing contractual obligations.

b)      request that Auckland Council Property Limited do the following:

i)       advise the marine industry of the decision under clause a) and the reasons for it;

ii)      thank the marine industry for its attempts to activate this precinct over the last five years; and

iii)     encourage the marine industry to continue working with Waterfront Auckland and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd on refit options.

CARRIED

 

 

 

Resolution number AUC/2015/151

MOVED by Cr RI Clow, seconded by Chairperson PA Hulse:  

That the Auckland Development Committee:

j)       agree that council adopt an appropriate procurement process to identify the best potential outcomes for a screen precinct at Hobsonville, including the leasehold or freehold sale of council-owned land.

k)      request that Auckland Council (Auckland Investment Office) reports back to the Auckland Development Committee on the market validation exercise and its procurement process to seek the committee’s decision on the detailed commercial proposals arising from the process.

l)       require ATEED to complete the procurement process as per clauses j) and k) by 31 October 2015 and report back to the Auckland Development Committee at its November 2015 meeting.

m)     agree that, in the event that a definitive and commercially viable proposal (or conditional agreement) for developing a screen precinct at Hobsonville Point has not been secured by 31 October 2015, and approved at the November 2015 Auckland Development Committee meeting, the 14/6 Masterplan for the 20ha Hobsonville Point block (as outlined in the agenda report) be adopted by council.

n)      consult directly with the Upper Harbour Local Board and local community organisations as to how community needs might best be addressed under the Hobsonville screen precinct option.

CARRIED