I hereby give notice that an extraordinary meeting of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Tuesday, 26 September 2023

10.00am

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board Office
1 The Strand
Takapuna

 

Devonport-Takapuna Local Board

 

OPEN AGENDA

 

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Toni van Tonder

 

Deputy Chairperson

Terence Harpur

 

Members

Peter Allen

 

 

Gavin Busch

 

 

Melissa Powell

 

 

George Wood, CNZM

 

 

(Quorum 3 members)

 

 

 

Henare King

Democracy Advisor

 

20 September 2023

 

Contact Telephone: 027 2043 466

Email: henare.king@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 


 


Devonport-Takapuna Local Board

26 September 2023

 

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                         PAGE

1          Nau mai | Welcome                                                                                                        5

2          Ngā Tamōtanga | Apologies                                                                                         5

3          Te Whakapuaki i te Whai Pānga | Declaration of Interest                                         5

4          Te Matapaki Tūmatanui | Public Forum                                                                      5

5          Funding Auckland's Storm Recovery and Resilience                                               7

 


1          Nau mai | Welcome

 

The meeting was opened with a karakia.

 

Whakataka te hau ki te uru

Whakataka te hau ki te tonga

Kia mākinakina ki uta 

Kia mātaratara ki tai         

E hī ake ana te atakura   

He tio 

He huka 

He hau hū  

Tīhei mauri ora

Cease o winds from the west

Cease o winds from the south

Bring calm breezes over the land

Bring calm breezes over the sea

And let the red-tipped dawn come

With a touch of frost

A sharpened air

And promise of a glorious day.

 

 

2          Ngā Tamōtanga | Apologies

 

At the close of the agenda no apologies had been received.

 

 

3          Te Whakapuaki i te Whai Pānga | 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.

 

 

4          Te Matapaki Tūmatanui | Public Forum

 

A period of time (approximately 30 minutes) is set aside for members of the public to address the meeting on matters within its delegated authority. A maximum of three minutes per speaker is allowed, following which there may be questions from members.

 

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

 

 


Devonport-Takapuna Local Board

26 September 2023

 

 

Funding Auckland's Storm Recovery and Resilience

File No.: CP2023/13852

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To provide local boards with an opportunity to provide input regarding the funding package that has been provisionally agreed with central government.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       Seven months on from severe weather events in January and February 2023, many Aucklanders with impacted homes are still facing a challenging and uncertain future.

3.       Auckland Council has worked with central government to secure a funding package that would enable people in the region to move forward with certainty, as quickly as possible.

4.       The proposed funding package includes just under $2 billion of investment in storm recovery efforts for three key activities:

·        repairing storm damage to the transport network

·        Making Space for Water (the council’s flood mitigation programme) and other resilience projects

·        Category 3 property buyouts.

5.       If we do not accept the funding package, we will still need to fund the necessary infrastructure improvements but would not be in a position to buy out Category 3 homes.

6.       Public consultation is underway from 11-24 September.

7.       Local board feedback will be provided to the Governing Body along with public feedback ahead of its decision-making on 6 October 2023.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board:

a)      tuhi ā-taipitopito / note that input is being sought from local boards at the same time as public consultation due to the very tight timelines involved and the need to provide certainty for impacted Aucklanders

b)      whakarite / provide feedback on whether the local board supports Auckland Council agreeing to the funding package

c)      whakarite / provide feedback on features of the package that you would like to comment on

d)      whakarite / provide feedback on the design of the Category 3 buyout process.

 

Horopaki

Context

8.       Severe weather events in January and February 2023 have had a devastating and lasting impact on many communities and thousands of individuals across Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland. Flooding and land slips have damaged or destroyed thousands of homes and up-ended lives and communities. Essential lifeline infrastructure and facilities have been impacted and are in urgent need of repair. This includes roads, bridges, stormwater systems and community facilities.

9.       Seven months on, many Aucklanders with impacted homes are still facing a challenging and uncertain future. We need to support these Aucklanders and improve the resilience of our infrastructure so that we are better prepared and can mitigate the impacts of severe weather events.

10.     Auckland Council has worked with central government to secure a funding package that would enable people in the region to move forward with certainty, as quickly as possible.

11.     To achieve all the outcomes of the package the government would provide just under $1.1 billion of new and reprioritised existing funding, with the council investing around $900 million. This is the same “locally-led, centrally-supported” approach that has been taken with other regions affected by the January and February storm events, just at a larger scale. It is different from the Christchurch earthquake recovery, where central government funded all the purchase of properties.

12.     As a locally-led effort, Auckland Council is expected to take the lead on the design and implementation of any package. This means we have a number of detailed decisions to make as part of our main decision whether to proceed with the co-funded package.

13.     Public consultation is taking place from 11-24 September. Details can be found at https://akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/recoveryfunding

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

14.     The proposed funding package includes just under $2 billion of investment in storm recovery efforts for three key activities, as outlined in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Proposed central government and Auckland Council contribution to recovery

 

Central government funding

Auckland Council funding

Total

Transport network recovery

$309 million

$81 million

$390 million

Making space for water and other resilience projects

$380 million

$440 million

$820 million

Category 3 home buy-outs

$387 million

$387 million

$774 million

Total

$1,076 million

$908 million

$1,984 million

 

Transport network recovery

15.     Auckland Council is projecting that $390 million will be needed to make repairs to roads and bridges that were damaged by the severe weather. This includes the Mill Flat Road bridge, access to Karekare and Piha, and a number of roads in the west, the north and on Aotea / Great Barrier Island that were significantly damaged. The funding would ensure that repairs can be undertaken with greater certainty.

Making Space for Water and other resilience projects

16.     A critical part of recovery is making sure we are better prepared for future severe weather. Improving resilience is essential to provide security for those who will continue to live in hazard-prone areas. This includes the flood risk management projects such as those that we have outlined in the Making Space for Water programme that we consulted on last month.

17.     This programme would allow us to create new ‘blue-green networks’ in areas with critical flood risks, and to rehabilitate streams so that they are more resilient to floods. We would be able to increase our stormwater maintenance and overland flow path management.

18.     This portion of the funding package could also be used for other resilience projects, such as community based geotechnical projects where risks can be mitigated. Importantly, the funding package would allow us to move more quickly with our efforts to build resilience.

Category 3 property buy-outs

19.     Homes in Category 3 are not safe to live in because the risk from future flooding or landslips is intolerably high. Options to reduce this risk at a property or community level are not available or affordable. Homes in these areas should not be rebuilt or remain on their current sites.

20.     Central government’s co-funding conditions for Category 3 properties are that they must be:

·        residential

·        impacted by the severe weather events of January and February 2023

·        subject to ongoing intolerable risk to life, and

·        without an economic way to mitigate the risk.

21.     The proposed funding package would provide up to $774 million to buy Category 3 homes and allow people affected by the January and February severe weather events to move on with their lives. The funding for this would be split evenly between Auckland Council and central government.

22.     The $774 million is based on current estimates of around 700 homes to be included in this category. If this maximum amount is exceeded, central government and the council have agreed to work together in good faith to decide next steps.

23.     Auckland Council would need to administer the buy-out process from start to finish, including the purchase and removal of homes, and the ongoing management of the land. We know that there would be extra costs that wouldn’t be fully co-funded through the proposed funding package, including the costs of demolishing buildings, and any costs arising from the ongoing management of the land. We will also need to consider how we best make use of the newly acquired land, for example public parks and blue-green networks.

24.     We need to make some decisions about how the buy-out process would work, including the price we pay for Category 3 houses, how this works with insurance, and any conditions (e.g. price caps or exclusions) that might need to be put in place. Given the complexity of the task, we are proposing to take an approach where we work towards decisions that are simple, fair, cost-effective, timely, and give certainty to affected Aucklanders.

Accepting the funding package

25.     If Auckland Council accepts the funding package:

·        We will receive additional government funding to accelerate our efforts to increase the resilience of our infrastructure.

·        We can get on with making improvements that would otherwise take decades to achieve.

·        We can offer a process forward for Category 3 property owners.

·        We will need to find extra revenue to meet the council funding commitment.

26.     If Auckland Council does not accept the funding package:

·        We won’t receive all the proposed funding from central government, although we could still anticipate receiving some of the transport funding in the normal way, and could apply to the National Resilience Plan for further funding without a guarantee of our applications being successful.

·        We will still need to fund the necessary infrastructure improvements and may need to take longer to do this using the available council funding methods.

·        We won’t be in a position to buy out Category 3 homes: some property owners would face severe hardship and people would remain at risk.

27.     Accepting the funding package would be a significant step in the recovery process. We acknowledge that recovery is not happening as quickly as affected communities would like. There is a difficult balance between moving quickly and moving accurately, especially with so many thousands of potentially affected homes needing individual technical assessments. It’s important that everyone can have confidence in the information and evidence available so that we can make robust, defensible and enduring decisions.

28.     We also need to balance the needs of impacted homeowners with the needs of the wider community and consider the affordability and hazard management impacts for all Aucklanders.

Methodology of Category 3 buy-outs

29.     If we go ahead with the funding package, the details of the purchase methodology for Category 3 properties would need to be determined, and would have a strong influence on how simple, fair, cost-effective and timely our process could be, and how much certainty we could offer affected homeowners.

30.     Some of the policy details we need to consider include:

·        How we define Category 3 residential properties. We need to consider whether we should make different provisions for holiday homes and rentals that are assessed as being in Category 3, compared to primary residences. We will not be purchasing non-residential properties.

·        How we set the buy-out price. If our starting point is to take a ‘fair value’ approach, we need to decide how we assess that. Using capital value (the valuation that helps us to assess rates bills) would be the quickest option but wouldn’t necessarily reflect the true market value of every individual house. Establishing market value would be a much slower option: it could delay the process and would add further administrative costs. We could adopt a hybrid approach that gets most of the money to homeowners sooner and allows the balance to be resolved through valuation. Other alternatives would be to offer a fixed sum to all Category 3 homeowners or establish a sliding scale of payment based on hardship.

·        The size of owner contributions. Like all investments, property ownership carries risks. Aucklanders, through Auckland Council, do not guarantee owners against loss. Auckland Council will need to consider whether to offer 100% of the value of the property, or a lesser amount, provided we can meet our objective of removing people from situations of intolerable risk. This could take the form of a cap on buy-out offers above a certain amount.

·        What we do about insurance settlements, and uninsured and underinsured properties. Government and council contributions are intended to ‘top up’ rather than replace any amounts received through private insurance or EQC (Earthquake Commission). We still need to decide how this would work in practice. We also need to determine a fair outcome both for homeowners and for the Aucklanders who will have to fund buy-outs. This will mean we need to consider if Aucklanders who had no insurance or limited insurance should receive more, less or the same as other Category 3 homeowners.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

31.     The response that is being proposed in this funding package is a one-off, made necessary by the urgent and extraordinary scale of events.

32.     As climate change increases the risk of severe weather events, Auckland Council will not be in a position to continue to buy out other flood- and slip-affected homes. We are working to improve public awareness of hazards, so that Aucklanders are better able to manage their risks. We are also reviewing our approach to the planning and development of homes in areas with natural hazards, however the impact of this is confined largely to new development, and doesn’t address the legacy of thousands of homes that are already built in higher-risk areas.

33.     We are strongly advocating to central government to establish a national scheme to support recovery from future events, and to put in place better processes for managed retreat in advance of disaster.

34.     Both the Auckland Plan 2050 and Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan advocate for greater resilience to severe storms and flood events. A key principle of the proposed Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Plan is ‘Opportunities to build resilience and avoid future harm are sought proactively’.

35.     The funding received from central government for Making Space for Water and other resilience projects will enable Auckland Council to implement the initiatives within these plans in a way that both builds resilience to the impacts of climate change, and has a lower carbon impact than the solutions that have historically been utilised.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

36.     The Recovery Office is working with Legal, Finance, the Chief Planning Office and the Mayoral Office to consider the approach set out by the Crown, the implications for council, and the appropriate parameters for council’s actions at each stage of the negotiations and potential implementation process. The Executive Leadership Team sub-group also spans the relevant parts of the council that are necessary to input and/or be involved in this process.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

37.     During August, local boards and local communities provided feedback on the draft Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Plan, which will inform how government funding for infrastructure will be allocated. Staff are currently analysing the feedback to inform the final content of the Plan.

38.     This report provides the opportunity for local boards to give feedback specifically on the funding agreement that has been agreed in-principle with central government.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

39.     The Recovery Office is engaging with mana whenua representatives to discuss the Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Plan. Meetings are underway and will continue throughout September.  These meetings also provide opportunity to discuss the government funding package.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

40.     Auckland’s recovery from the severe weather events of early 2023 is going to require significant investment, with or without central government co-funding. The proposed package increases the total investment into Auckland, with over $1 billion in new and reprioritised central government funding.

41.     Significant funding from Auckland Council would still be required to deliver on the activities described in this package.

42.     If we agree to proceed with the funding package, we would initially use borrowing to fund Auckland’s share of the proposal, until we can make more considered funding decisions in the next long-term plan. This is due to be consulted on in early 2024.

43.     Using borrowing in the short term would mean we could get the infrastructure repairs and the Category 3 buy-out process moving quickly.

44.     Based on initial timing projections the additional council debt required is likely to peak at $650 million. This would increase the debt-to-revenue ratio by 7 – 9 per cent over the next five to seven years, remaining within current debt limits.

45.     The council has a number of options to fund the proposed package in the long-term plan, including reducing or deferring other capital spending, sale of assets, service reductions, and rates. These decisions may also be impacted by the outcomes of the government’s water reform process.

46.     If the council were to proceed with the full proposed programme and fund it using only rates, then this would require an additional rates increase equivalent to 3.1 per cent of general rates, which could be phased in over two years. Any rates increase would be on top of other significant budget pressures the council is facing. Current indications suggest overall rates increases of over 10 per cent for 2024/2025 for residential ratepayers, if cost reductions or funding sources are not found.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

47.     Risks and mitigations with the Crown offer process are identified in Table 2.

Table 2. Risks and mitigations with the Crown offer process

            Risk

Mitigations

More than 700 properties are identified as category 3.

Good faith commitment with the Crown to develop a joint response if this situation arises.

Eligibility criteria for the National Resilience Plan have not yet been defined, meaning there is a risk to accessing the pre-committed funding for resilience

Address within terms of the agreement

Significant additional funding required from Auckland Council

An existing risk that will need to be addressed in the Long-term Plan 2024-2034, regardless of the Crown offer.

Terms of the Crown offer do not adequately provide for the complexity of the council processes needed to undertake buy outs.

Policy and legal analysis is underway to consider the implications of the terms of the agreement, to be reported to the Governing Body.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

48.     Technical assessment of affected homes and remediation of damaged infrastructure will continue throughout the decision-making process.

49.     Public consultation is underway from 11-24 September.

50.     The Governing Body will meet on 6 October to consider input from local boards and feedback from public consultation and will decide whether to agree to the proposed funding package.

51.     If the package is agreed, the council will begin conversations with confirmed Category 3 home-owners at the end of October.

52.     From November, voluntary buy-outs for Category 3 properties will begin, as technical assessments are confirmed.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.      

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Megan Howell – Recovery Specialist

Authorisers

Mat Tucker – Group Recovery Manager

Louise Mason – General Manager Local Board Services

Trina Thompson - Local Area Manager