I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

03 Oct 2023

10.00am

Room 1, Level 26
135 Albert Street
Auckland

 

Komiti mō te Waeture me te Haumaru ā-Hapori / Regulatory and Community Safety Committee

 

OPEN AGENDA

 

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Cr Josephine Bartley

 

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Ken Turner

 

Members

IMSB Member Edward Ashby

 

 

Cr Julie Fairey

 

 

Cr Alf Filipaina, MNZM

 

 

IMSB Member Tony Kake, MNZM

 

 

Cr Mike Lee

 

 

Cr Kerrin Leoni

 

 

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

Ex-officio

Mayor Wayne Brown

 

 

Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson, JP

 

 

(Quorum 5 members)

 

 

 

Sam Riddiford

Governance Advisor

 

28 September 2023

 

Contact Telephone: 027 305 1871

Email: sam.riddiford@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 


Regulatory and Community Safety Committee

03 Oct 2023

A close up of a logo

Description automatically generated

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS            PAGE

1          Ngā Tamōtanga | Apologies                                                                            5

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

3          Te Whakaū i ngā Āmiki | Confirmation of Minutes                                        5

4          Ngā Petihana | Petitions                                                                5  

5          Ngā Kōrero a te Marea | Public Input                                           5

5.1    Public Input: Tammy Downer - Youth Vaping Epidemic in Aotearoa                                                                            5

6          Ngā Kōrero a te Poari ā-Rohe Pātata | Local Board Input         5

7          Ngā Pakihi Autaia | Extraordinary Business                     5

8          Dam safety regulations                                                        7

9          Animal Management Annual Report 2022 - 2023            11

10        Recommendation for the Appointment of Independent Hearings Commissioners 2024-2026                                17

11        Summary of Regulatory and Community Safety Committee information memoranda, workshops, and briefings (including the Forward Work Programme) - 3 October 2023                                                                       23

12        Determination of an Objection to a Nuisance Abatement Notice by Paulette Campbell                                             25

13        Te Whakaaro ki ngā Take Pūtea e Autaia ana | Consideration of Extraordinary Items

PUBLIC EXCLUDED

14        Te Mōtini ā-Tukanga hei Kaupare i te Marea | Procedural Motion to Exclude the Public                                                                                          33

C1       CONFIDENTIAL: Recommendation for the Appointment of Independent Hearings Commissioners 2024-2026                  33


1          Ngā Tamōtanga | Apologies

 

 

 

 

2          Te Whakapuaki i te Whai Pānga | Declaration of Interest

 

 

3          Te Whakaū i ngā Āmiki | Confirmation of Minutes

 

            Click the meeting date below to access the minutes.

 

That the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee:

a)           whakaū / confirm the ordinary minutes of its meeting, held on Tuesday, 5 September 2023, including the confidential section, as a true and correct record.

 

 

 

4          Ngā Petihana | Petitions

 

 

5          Ngā Kōrero a te Marea | Public Input

 

5.1       Public Input: Tammy Downer - Youth Vaping Epidemic in Aotearoa

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.      Tammy Downer from the Vapefree Kids NZ group will address the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee on youth vaping and the sale of vapes in New Zealand.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.      This committee is responsible for regulatory hearings (required by relevant legislation), regulatory policy and bylaws and is responsible for overseeing improvement of the Council’s regulatory functions and making certain regulatory decisions that are appropriate to be made by elected members.

 

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee:

a)      whiwhi / receive the public input from Tammy Downer regarding youth vaping in New Zealand and whakamihi / thank Tammy Downer for attending the meeting.

 

 

 

 

6          Ngā Kōrero a te Poari ā-Rohe Pātata | Local Board Input

 

 

7          Ngā Pakihi Autaia | Extraordinary Business

 

 


Regulatory and Community Safety Committee

03 Oct 2023

 

Dam safety regulations

File No.: CP2023/13863

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.      The purpose of this report is to review and adopt the proposed policy for “Dangerous, Earthquake-prone and Flood-prone Dams”.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.      Section 161 of the Building Act requires a regional authority to develop a dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams, and flood-prone dams policy within their region.

3.      A policy under section 161 must be adopted in accordance with the special consultative procedure in section 83 of the Local Government Act 2002.

4.      The policy is to be reviewed at intervals of not more than five years.

5.      The purpose of the policy is to help prevent the catastrophic failure of a potentially dangerous dam, and to ensure deficiencies in an earthquake-prone or flood-prone dam are addressed.

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee:

a)      whakaae / approve consultation of the proposed Dangerous Dams Policy 2023 using special consultative procedures under s83 of the Local Government Act 2002.

Horopaki

Context

6.      Section 161 of the Building Act requires a regional authority to develop a dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams, and flood-prone dams policy within their region. The policy must be reviewed at intervals of not more than five years.

7.      The purpose of the policy is to help prevent the catastrophic failure of a potentially dangerous dam, and to ensure deficiencies in an earthquake-prone or flood-prone dam are addressed.

8.      The policy must state the regional authority’s approach for fulfilling and prioritising its functions around these dangerous, earthquake- prone and flood-prone dams. The policy must also state how it will be applied to heritage dams and must be found on the Council’s website.

9.      In the past each regional authority developed their own dangerous, earthquake-prone, and flood-prone dam policy. With the recent introduction of the Building (Dam Safety) Regulations 2022, Regional Authorities have been working collaboratively to produce a policy that is fit for purpose nationwide. The policy presented is a result of this collaborative work.

10.    It is not seen that the policy has any direct implications for the Long-Term Plan; all matters being equal the next review will be in 2029.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

Introduction

11.    The objective of the dams policy is to identify and remove the risk to people and communities from dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams, and flood-prone dams.

The policy sets out:

12.    the approach and priorities that Councils can take in performing its functions in relation   to dangerous dams, earthquake-prone dams and flood-prone dams, and

13.    how the policy will apply to heritage dams.

Principles

14.    1. Dam owners have the primary responsibility for identifying, monitoring, and reporting on dangerous, earthquake-prone and flood-prone dams and for reducing or removing the risk of harm to people, property and the environment in a timely and effective manner.

15.    2. An engineer engaged (by the owner) to provide any dam classification certificate, dam safety assurance programme certificate, or an annual dam compliance certificate will notify the Council and the owner of the dam if he or she or they believe that the dam is dangerous.

16.    3. If the state of dangerous, earthquake-prone and flood-prone dams is known to the Council, the Council will make such information readily available to all persons potentially affected by the safety risks of a dangerous, earthquake-prone or flood-prone dam.

Priorities

17.    Priorities provided in the policy are tailored towards reducing the pre-existing risk of dangerous dams.

18.    It is not intended to provide priorities for emergencies that arise in the future.

19.    The policy includes three different sets/options of priorities.

20.    It is up to each Council to consider what priorities it wishes to include in its policy.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

21.    There are no known climate change implications to this decision.     

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

22.    Healthy Waters- Auckland Council

23.    Watercare Services Ltd

24.    Auckland Transport

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

Local impacts and local board views

25.    This proposal contributes to social and environmental well-being, through the implementation of the policy for dangerous dams.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

26.    Special consultative procedures will be undertaken and followed.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

27.    The project is funded within the Regulatory Services budget.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

28.    A policy on dangerous dams is required under s161 of the Building Act 2004. If a policy is not adopted Council will be in breach of the statutory requirements.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps .

29.    Prepare comms media statement for submissions.

30.    Prepare submission form and a brief description on the submission process.

31.    Make the statement of proposal and summary publicly available:

·    Adverts in newspapers notifying the public of the submission period and how to access documents

·    Updates to council website notifying the public of the submission period and how to access documents

·    Social media

32.    Send correspondence and summary of proposal to key stakeholders/affected parties, regional groups, Local Boards etc.

33.    Send correspondence and summary of proposal to iwi partners.

34.    See attachments for complete list of ‘schedule of tasks’.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Proposed policy for "Dangerous, Earthquake-prone and Flood-prone Dams"

 

b

Schedule of tasks

 

      

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Denise Whelan - Business Development Advisor

Authorisers

Ian McCormick - Manager Building Control

Craig Hobbs - Director Regulatory Services

 

 


Regulatory and Community Safety Committee

03 Oct 2023

 

Animal Management Annual Report 2022 - 2023

File No.: CP2023/13964

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.      To inform the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee about the statutory requirement under Section 10A of the Dog Control Act 1996 (the Act) for each territorial authority to report on its dog control policy and practices and to provide specific statistical information.

2.      To provide an update to all stakeholders on the activities and performance of the Auckland Council Animal Management unit.

Executive summary

Dog Population

3.      The known dog population in Auckland increased this year by 5.5 per cent to 131,795 dogs, with 110,398 individual dog owners. This is an increase of 6,779 dogs, which continues the upward trend seen in previous years.

4.      There were 116,209 dogs registered in Auckland at the end of June 2023, which is 88 per cent of all known dogs. This is a 2.2 per cent increase in the total number of registered dogs, but a 2.8 per cent decrease in the registration rate.

5.      The unit’s operational focus on registration compliance was significantly affected by the high occupancy levels in all three animal shelters, which were operating near full capacity for much of the year.

Dog Attacks

6.      The total number of dog attacks reported this year increased by 28 per cent to 2,437. There were 250 more attacks on people and 280 more attacks on other animals reported this year.

7.      A comprehensive bite prevention strategy was developed during the year, which includes exploring international best practice guidance to address dog aggression. Several initiatives were introduced, which involved an increased focus on community outreach programmes and working with elected members to focus on the most affected communities.

8.      As a result of these dog attacks, Auckland Council initiated 121 prosecutions during the year against dog owners for serious breaches of the Dog Control Act 1996. A diversion scheme was implemented in December 2022, which is targeted at reparation for the victim, the rehabilitation of the offender, and the elimination or reduction of risk that attacking dogs may pose.

9.      There were four appeals filed in the High Court against destruction orders made in the District Court, but these appeals were all dismissed.

High-risk Dogs

10.    Auckland currently has 5,410 dogs classified as menacing and 10 dogs classified as dangerous. This is a small increase in the number of menacing and dangerous dogs.

11.    Overall compliance with the requirement for menacing and dangerous dogs to be neutered is currently at 79 per cent, which is four per cent lower than the previous year. The reduced availability of veterinary services during the past three years continues to affect this rate of compliance.

Service Response

12.    Field officer teams responded to 33,301 requests for service during the year, which is 34 per cent higher than the previous year.

13.    Officers performed 6,913 proactive patrols, property visits, and registration checks during the year.

14.    Roaming or uncontrolled dogs still account for the highest number of service requests received by the field teams, and officers responded to 12,737 reported incidents of roaming dogs and 3,025 reports of dogs behaving aggressively to people or other animals.

15.    A total of 5,357 requests to collect a dog that was found roaming by a member of the public were also received.

16.    Field officers responded to 637 incidents of stock roaming or straying on public roads, and 30 incidents of animals at large on the Auckland motorway network.

17.    Barking complaints increased significantly this year, and the unit investigated 6,670 complaints about nuisance barking, which is a 21 per cent increase from the previous year.

Shelter Services

18.    There were 6,596 dogs impounded this year in the three Auckland animal shelters. This is a significant increase from the previous year, which placed a huge strain on shelter resources and capacity.

19.    Only 53 per cent of impounded dogs were claimed by their owners, and this caused the shelters to operate above 80 per cent capacity for every day of the year, and at almost full capacity for most of the year.

20.    Several adoption drives and shelter open days were organised to raise awareness of the dogs in the shelters that were available for adoption, and this was extensively covered by the mainstream media, radio broadcasters, and other online platforms.

21.    A total of 382 dogs were adopted from our shelters or transferred to rescue organisations, which is slightly higher than the previous year.

22.    There was a large increase in the total number of dogs euthanised at the three shelters, which can mostly be attributed to the increased number of unwanted puppies impounded, as well as an increase in the number of aggressive and poorly socialised dogs ending up in the shelters.

23.    The Animal Management Dog Rehoming Policy was reviewed during the year, and a positive outcome is that all dogs, regardless of breed, will now be considered for adoption if they are of suitable temperament and in good health.

Supporting the Community and Other Agencies

24.    Despite the large increase in workload, the Animal Management unit worked tirelessly to assist the community during the unprecedented weather and flooding events that Auckland and other areas in the North Island experienced in early 2023.

25.    Large donations of dog food were received by the shelters, and these were distributed to the most affected communities. Tonnes of food were delivered to Whenuapai air base to be flown to Hawke’s Bay, and throughout Auckland, deliveries were made to emergency centres and marae.

26.    Staff also volunteered their free time to assist at some of the emergency centres and used the opportunity to provide advice and education to dog owners.

27.    Welfare-related complaints increased by 1,183 per cent during the year, which is evident of the dire situation many dog owners found themselves in. The teams worked with other organisations, like SPCA and NZ Police, to address these issues before these dogs ended up in the animal shelters, which would have increased dog numbers beyond sustainable levels.

28.    Animal Shelter staff also arranged special events where they groomed dogs for free, as well as providing free registration and microchipping for the dogs of the most affected owners.

Education

29.    The unit increased the delivery of dog safety awareness programmes during the year and held a large event over a 3-day period that educated at least 300 at-risk workers.

30.    Outdoor community events were also attended where possible to raise public awareness of responsible dog ownership and safety around dogs, as well as to find suitable homes for some of the dogs available for adoption from our shelters.

Ongoing Work and Projects

31.    The Animal Management Lead Team is working extensively on strategic planning, with the key focus still on dog bite prevention. A sector-based approach to in-house staff training in public and private organisations, as well as fostering partnerships with community groups and leaders in high-risk areas, is currently being explored.

32.    Animal Management is planning a multi-year communications and marketing approach to engage communities, focusing on those most at risk of dog aggression. The unit is in discussions with Starship Foundation, ACC and SafeKids regarding a mandatory reporting tool partnership for medical professionals to report dog attacks more effectively, particularly those on children.

33.    Significant planning is also underway to manage and improve resources as part of the Auckland Council long-term plan, which will be critical to the unit in light of the constant increase in the dog population and the demand for Animal Management services.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee:

a)      whiwhi / receive the Animal Management Annual Report 2022 – 2023

b)      tuhi ā-taipitopito / note that the Animal Management Annual Report is required under Section 10A of the Dog Control Act 1996, and that the report will be published on the Auckland Council website, and a link to the report forwarded to the Department of Internal Affairs.

 

Horopaki

Context

34.    The objective of Animal Management is to keep dogs as a positive part of the life of Aucklanders by:

·    maintaining opportunities for owners to take their dogs into public places,

·    adopting measures to minimise the problems caused by dogs, and

·    protecting dogs from harm and ensuring their welfare.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

35.    Section 10A of the Dog Control Act 1996 (the Act) requires each territorial authority to report on its dog control policy and practices and to provide specific statistical information.

36.    This report acts as a medium for this statutory requirement, and to provide an update to all stakeholders on the activities and performance of the Auckland Council Animal Management unit.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

37.    There is no climate impact arising from the Animal Management Annual Report 2022 – 2023.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

38.    There are no council group impacts arising from the Animal Management Annual Report 2022 – 2023.

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

Local impacts and local board views

39.    There are no local board impacts associated with the Animal Management Annual Report 2022 – 2023.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

40.      Field officers increased their mahi with patrols of the maunga while working alongside the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority (TMA). The team received great feedback regarding an increase in members of the public having their dogs on leash, especially on Maungawhau, which indicates that the patrols are really making a difference, and the TMA expressed their appreciation of the efforts the team has put into this kaupapa.

41.    Extensive dog food donations were made to several marae around South Auckland, with the largest delivery made to Papakura marae. Several deliveries of dog food were also made to the Waka of Caring in Manurewa, which was gratefully received.

42.    A bite-prevention initiative was introduced during the year, and this initiative will specifically focus on Māori and Pasifika communities, which are disproportionately affected by dog attacks.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

43.    There are no financial impacts resulting from the Animal Management Annual Report 2022 – 2023. This report has been reviewed by the Senior Finance Business Partner for Regulatory Services.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

44.    There are no risks or mitigations associated with the Animal Management Annual Report 2022 – 2023.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

45.    That the Animal Management Annual Report 2022 – 2023 is received by the committee. Then the report will be published on the Auckland Council website and a link to the report will be forwarded to the Department of Internal Affairs.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Animal Management Annual Report 2022 - 2023

 

     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Christo van der Merwe - Principal Specialist Animal Management

Authorisers

Eleanor Waitoa, Manager Animal Management

James Hassall - General Manager, Licensing and Regulatory Compliance

Craig Hobbs - Director Regulatory Services

 


Regulatory and Community Safety Committee

03 Oct 2023

 

Recommendation for the Appointment of Independent Hearings Commissioners 2024-2026

File No.: CP2023/11778

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.      To confirm the process for the appointments to the independent hearings commissioner pool for a three-year term commencing 1 January 2024 and expiring on 31 December 2026.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.      The Regulatory and Community Safety Committee approved the recruitment process for a new pool of independent hearings commissioners at its meeting of 27 June 2023 (RSCCC/2023/28) including the appointment of a selection panel. Independent hearings commissioners are contracted by Auckland Council for a three-year term and are responsible for hearing and making decisions under delegated authority on a range of resource management issues.

3.      A selection panel shortlisted and interviewed candidates during a three-week period in August 2023. 

4.      The selection panel received 50 applications from new candidates and 47 of the existing 49 commissioners submitted an expression of interest. The panel agreed a final list of candidates which will be recommended to the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee for appointment in confidence.

5.      The cost of independent hearings commissioner recruitment included staff and elected and appointed members’ time, plus $1,858.00 for advertising the vacancy.  This cost was met from within existing budgets.

6.      The contract term for council’s existing 49 commissioners will expire on 31 December 2023.  New contracts must be in place by 1 January 2024 to ensure continuity of service.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee:

a)      tuhi ā-taipitopito / note the selection process for independent hearings commissioner appointments for the 2024-2026 term

b)      tuhi ā-taipitopito / note that it will consider recommendations for independent hearings commissioner appointments after the public has been excluded.

 

Horopaki

Context

7.      On 27 June 2023, the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee approved two pathways for commissioner recruitment, one for new candidates and one for existing commissioners (RSCCC/2023/28).  These pathways were selected to recruit a new pool of independent hearings commissioners to sit on hearings and make decisions under delegated authority for a range of resource management matters.  A commissioner with Reserves Act experience may also be appointed by a local board to sit on a panel with elected members who make recommendations for matters under the Reserves Act.

8.      The Regulatory and Community Safety Committee also appointed a selection panel to shortlist and interview new candidates and to provide a recommended list to the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee for approval.

The selection panel comprised of:

·    Cr Ken Turner

·    Cr Angela Dalton

·    Independent Māori Statutory Board chair David Taipari

·    Phill Reid, Manager Auckland wide Planning and Celia Davison, Manager Planning-Central/South, as the delegates for General Manager Plans and Places

·    Dean Williams, Manager Premium as the delegate for General Manager Resource Consents.

9.      The independent hearings commissioner vacancy was advertised from 4 to 23 July 2023, through the following channels:

·    Auckland Council Careers website

·    Mahi website

·    Maoripacificjobs website

·    Jora website

·    Auckland District Law Society

·    Resource Management Law Association NZ

·    NZ Planning Institute

·    NZ Institute of Architects

·    NZ Institute of Landscape Architects

·    Engineering New Zealand.

10.    Staff received 50 applications from new candidates within the application period and 47 expressions of interest from commissioners on the existing pool.  Three late applications were received from new candidates and the selection panel choose not to accept those.

11.    The selection panel used a set of criteria for shortlisting new candidates which included experience and proven expertise in their area of speciality, experience as a commissioner, qualifications, knowledge of our obligations under te Tiriti o Waitangi and understanding of Te Ao Māori.  Panel members assessed each applicant against the criteria. Staff then facilitated a workshop with panel members to review each application and decide which candidates would be shortlisted and progress to the interview stage.

12.    The selection panel shortlisted 22 new candidates across a range of generalist and specialist fields and carried out interviews during a three-week period in August 2023.

13.    Candidates who were not shortlisted were informed by email in early August 2023.

14.    Following the interviews, the Hearings Manager met with the selection panel members who reviewed the interview results and agreed a list of candidates made up of new candidates and existing commissioners to recommend to the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee for appointment. 

15.    Referee checks were conducted for new candidates before confirming the final recommendation.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

16.    In the report to the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee on 27 July 2023, staff recommended that Auckland Council appoint approximately 50-60 hearings commissioners. This would meet the requirement of expertise in each specialist category and allow for new appointments to join the pool.  Staff split candidates by area of expertise and the selection panel assessed candidates directly against others within the same field of expertise.

17.    The fields of expertise include:

·    Planning

·    resource management law

·    engineering (transport and infrastructure)

·    landscape architecture

·    ecology, biodiversity and environmental management

·    freshwater management

·    te Tiriti o Waitangi and Te Ao Māori

·    coastal management

·    heritage and conservation management

·    urban design

·    air quality

·    rural planning and land management

·    waste management

18.    The panel’s final recommendation ensures a distribution of commissioners across these areas of expertise, noting that some commissioners are specialists in more than one field.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

19.    There are no climate or environmental impacts arising from the decision-making processes relating to this report. The minor impacts from the greenhouse gas emissions relating to travel associated with appointments to hearing panels are minimised by holding hearings as close as possible to the site relating to the application.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

20.    The selection of independent hearing commissioners does not impact other parts of the council group. The views of council-controlled organisations were not required for the preparation of the report’s advice.

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

Local impacts and local board views

21.    In accordance with s15 of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009, local boards can provide feedback on applications under the Resource Management Act.  They can also appear at hearings to present their communities views and interests if the decision affects or may affect the responsibilities or operation of the local board or the well-being of communities within its local board area.

22.    Local board members who are accredited with the Making Good Decisions accreditation may be appointed to hearing panels.

23.    The recommended appointments for the 2024-2026 term include people with experience in local reserve matters and knowledge of reserve management plans, who may be appointed by local boards to chair local park management plan hearing panels and other Reserve Act matters.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

24.    All independent hearings commissioners are expected to have an understanding of te Titiri o Waitangi and Te Ao Māori. This expectation was built into the recruitment process through the position description, shortlisting criteria and interview questions.

25.    The selection panel included the chair of the Independent Māori Statutory Board, who played a key role in testing the candidates understanding in this area.

26.    The council also deliberately sought independent hearings commissioner candidates who are experts in te Tiriti o Waitangi and Te Ao Māori to ensure better decision-making by, and for, Māori.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

27.    Applicants for resource consents, private plan changes and Notices of Requirement meet the costs associated with the hearings commissioners when the work is completed.  In a small number of applications, the applicant may be Auckland Council.

28.    The hearing costs for an application where Auckland Council is the applicant or proponent are met by council’s Democracy and Engagement Department.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

29.    Successful candidates will undergo Ministry of Justice checks, which is a standard requirement.  As new appointments are subject to this check being satisfactory, all appointments are not made public until this process has been completed.

30.    A robust recruitment process which included reference checks ensure that qualified commissioners are recommended for appointment.

31.    Each commissioner makes a conflict of interest declaration prior to each hearing, in accordance with the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee Policy.

32.    Assessment of commissioner performance is ongoing throughout the term of appointment and commissioners must comply with all terms in their contract agreements.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

33.    Staff are presenting a report with a list of the recommended candidates to the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee when the public have been excluded.  The report including the names of successful candidates will be publicly released after the committee makes it appointments, satisfactory Ministry of Justice checks have been carried out, and the successful candidates confirm their acceptance of the appointment.

34.    The contract term for council’s existing 49 commissioners will expire on 31 December 2023.  New contracts must be in place by 1 January 2024 to ensure continuity of service.

35.    The new independent hearings commissioner contract term will be effective from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2026.

36.    Contract values awarded to each commissioner are also publicly available to ensure transparency.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.    

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Julie McKee - Hearings  Manager

Authorisers

Kenneth Aiolupotea - General Manager Democracy and Engagement

Craig Hobbs - Director Regulatory Services

 

 


Regulatory and Community Safety Committee

03 Oct 2023

 

Summary of Regulatory and Community Safety Committee information memoranda, workshops, and briefings (including the Forward Work Programme) - 3 October 2023

File No.: CP2023/13929

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.      T note the progress on the forward work programme appended as Attachment A

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.      This is a regular information-only report which aims to provide greater visibility of information circulated to Regulatory and Safety Committee members via memoranda/briefings, where no decisions are required.

3.      No information items have been distributed.

4.      Note that, unlike an agenda report, staff will not be present to answer questions about the items referred to in this summary. Committee members should direct any questions to the relevant staff.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee:

a)      whiwhi / receive the Summary of Regulatory and Safety Committee information memoranda and briefings – 3 October 2023

b)      tuhi ā-taipitopito / note the progress on the forward work programme appended as Attachment A of the agenda report.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Forward Work Programme

 

     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Sam Riddiford - Governance Advisor

Authoriser

Craig Hobbs - Director Regulatory Services

 

 


Regulatory and Community Safety Committee

03 Oct 2023

 

 

Determination of an Objection to a Nuisance Abatement Notice by Paulette Campbell

File No.: CP2023/12414

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.      To hear and determine the objection by Paulette Campbell against a Nuisance Abatement Notice (NAN) issued on 19 April 2023 pursuant to section 55(1)(b) of the Dog Control Act 1996 (DCA).

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.      Paulette Campbell is the primary owner of the following dogs: an 11-year-old female, tan, Labrador Cross called Lucy and a 7-year-old female, black, Labrador Cross named Poppy.  Since June 2020, Animal Management has received several barking complaints involving the two dogs.

3.      Section 55 of the DCA provides that upon receipt of a complaint about a dog barking or howling, a dog control officer may issue a nuisance abatement notice to the owner of the dog if the officer is satisfied on reasonable grounds that a nuisance is being created by the loud and persistent barking or howling of that dog.

4.      The DCA does not define ‘loud’ or ‘persistent. They must be interpreted according to their general meaning and usage. The third edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘persistent’ as: ‘Of an action or condition: Continuous, constantly repeated’. ‘Constantly’ in turn means ‘continually recurring’.  ‘Loud’ means: ‘Of sounds or voices: Strongly audible, striking forcibly on the sense of hearing’.

5.      The DCA does not define ‘nuisance’ but it is akin to a tort of private nuisance.  For the purposes of the DCA a nuisance is created by the loud and persistent barking or howling of a dog if it unreasonably interferes, disrupts, or inhibits the activities ordinarily carried out by an occupant of residential property.

6.      Nuisance is objectively determined on a balance of probabilities.

7.      The probabilities in this case support the conclusion that the two dogs, namely Lucy and Poppy are barking loudly and persistently which is causing a nuisance to the complainant.

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee:

a)      whakaae / agree to hear and determine the objection to the Nuisance Abatement Notice, and

b)      whakaae / agree to uphold the Nuisance Abatement Notice.


 

Horopaki

Context

8.      The Governing Body of the Auckland Council has delegated to the Regulatory Committee the responsibility for regulatory hearings in Resolution No. GB/2019/109 which was adopted on 12 November 2019. The regulatory hearings which the Regulatory Committee is responsible include, amongst others, decisions under the DCA in relation to the consideration of objections under the DCA.

9.      A NAN is issued under section 55(1) of the DCA if the Auckland Council receives a complaint about barking dogs and upon investigation a dog control officer has reasonable grounds for believing that a nuisance is being created by the persistent and loud barking or howling. 

10.    The DCA does not define ‘persistent’ or ‘loud’. Officers are guided by their general meaning and usage to determine whether barking is persistent and loud. According to the third edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary:

a)   ‘Persistent’ means: ‘Of an action or condition: Continuous, constantly repeated’.  ‘Constantly’ in turns means ‘continually recurring’. It follows that continuous barking over a prolonged period, or periodical but consistent barking is regarded as persistent, and that intermittent or occasional barking is not persistent.

b)   ‘Loud’ means: ‘Of sounds or voices: Strongly audible, striking forcibly on the sense of hearing’.  

11.    The DCA also does not define when the loud and persistent barking of a dog becomes a nuisance. It is however akin to a tort of private nuisance which is the unlawful interference with a specific person’s use or enjoyment of the property they are occupying. 

12.    For the purposes of the DCA the nuisance caused by a barking or howling dog must be more than irritation or annoyance. It must be such that it unreasonably or unjustifiably interferes, disrupts, or inhibits the activities ordinarily carried out by an occupant of residential property.

13.    There is no exact rule or formula for a dog control officer to determine when the barking or howling is unreasonable but, as with a tort, the objective standard of a reasonable person is applied. This means that a nuisance under section 55 of the DCA is created if an officer is satisfied on the established facts that the loud and persistent barking or howling would probably interfere with the average person’s activities on their property. 

14.    A NAN requires the owner of the dogs causing a nuisance to make reasonable provisions on their property to abate that nuisance. These provisions are stipulated in the NAN. The owner is given a seven-day grace period to either comply with or object to the notice. 

15.    It is an offence under section 55(7) of the DCA if an owner who did not object to the notice, fails to comply with the provisions in the NAN any time after the seven-day grace period.

16.    An objection suspends the operation and enforcement of the NAN. The objection may be directed at the reasonableness of the provisions prescribed in the NAN, or it may question the grounds for issuing the NAN.

17.    In considering the objection to a NAN, the Regulatory Committee must have regard to: 

a.   the evidence which led to the issuing of the notice

b.   any evidence that that the objector and their witnesses may present during the hearing, and

c.   any other relevant matters.

18.    Section 55(3) of the DCA determines that the Regulatory Committee may:

a.   confirm the NAN

b.   modify the requirements stipulated in the NAN, or

c.   cancel the NAN.

Background

Earlier complaints

19.    Ms. Campbell resides in a residential property in Auckland.  She is the registered owner of a female, tan, Labrador Cross dog called Lucy and a female, black Labrador Cross dog named Poppy. Lucy is 11 years old, and Poppy is 7 years old.

20.    During the period June 2020 to October 2020, Animal Management received complaints from a neighbour about the barking of these dogs. These complaints led to the issuance of a Nuisance Abatement Notice (NAN) on 29 October 2020. Ms. Campbell objected to the NAN and stated that she will be sending her dogs to a dog trainer. The NAN was withdrawn to give Ms. Campbell enough time to implement dog training. There were no further complaints until April 2021. 

21.    From April 2021 to November 2022, Animal Management started to receive complaints again about the barking of the dogs. This time the complaints came from two different people who are residents in the area. In the process, Ms. Campbell was notified of the complaints and supplied with educational material on the possible reasons for and abatement of, dogs barking. 

22.    A property inspection was made by the Barking Complaints Advisor. The Advisor deemed that the barking at that time was not excessive to warrant the re-issuance of the NAN. Further, the complainants refused to give a formal statement.  Hence, the job was closed.

23.    From January 2023 to July 2023, Auckland Council started receiving complaints again from three different complainants about the loud and persistent barking of the dogs. They are all occupants of neighbouring properties. These complainants are in addition to the previous two complainants.

a.   Request For Service (RFS) 8101192158 received 9 January 2023

The complainant stated that the barking of the two dogs has been driving him mad and other tenants as the dogs bark most days and some nights and sometimes goes for 15 hours. The complainant said that they never heard the owner greet or talk to the dogs. He then gave specific dates and times when the dogs bark almost the whole day or for hours at night.

On 20 January 2023, the complainant signed a formal statement, refer Attachment A. On the same day, a Barking Complaints Advisor (BCA) called Ms. Campbell to notify her of the barking complaint. However, it went to voicemail, so the BCA left a message.

A Notification of a Further Barking Complaint letter was sent to Ms. Campbell via email with helpful information on how to reduce barking of dogs, refer Attachment B. She responded to the email saying that she disputes the allegations of excessive barking, refer Attachment C. However, no evidence was provided by Ms. Campbell to support her claim. 

On 31 January 2023, the BCA issued the Formal Warning to Ms. Campbell for the barking of the two dogs, refer Attachment D. Ms Campbell has 7 days to reduce the barking.

b.   RFS 8101209293 received 3 February 2023

The complainant said that a black dog which looks like a Labrador on the property started barking from 6pm that evening. That the barking has happened repeatedly. However, since this complaint came within the 7-day grace period, the job was noted and closed.


 

c.   RFS 8101230274 – received on 8 March 2023

The complainant said that the two dogs had been barking throughout the day when the owners are not at home.  He said that the dogs will stand at the gate and will bark from the time the dog owner leaves until she gets home.  A list of date, time and duration of barking was provided by the complainant.  This was communicated by the BCA to Ms. Campbell in an email on 17 March 2023, refer Attachment E.

On 21 March 2023, a Notification of Property Inspection Recommendations was sent to Ms. Campbell via email. A property inspection was carried out by the BCA, and she made the following recommendations to reduce any loud or persistent barking from the dogs, refer Attachment F:

1)   Use a correctly fitted and in working order Noise and Vibration collar

2)   Walk the dogs for at least 30 minutes each day

3)   Cover the front gate with weed mat or shade cloth so the dogs cannot see through.

Complaints resulting in a Nuisance Abatement Notice

24.    On 3 April 2023, Animal Management received another complaint about the dogs’ barking. RFS 8101247335 refers. The complainant said that both dogs have been barking throughout the day. They stand at the gate and bark at people walking past for no reason at all. The loud and persistent barking from these dogs is a nuisance and causing them to lose sleep and preventing them to relax in their own home. The complainant has provided a formal statement dated 12 April 2023, refer Attachment G.

25.    On 17 April 2023, a further barking complaint was received. RFS 8101256598 refers. The complainant said that both the black and tan coloured dogs were at the gate barking from 3:34pm until 6:50pm and could be heard when they were making the complaint with Auckland Council.

26.    A Nuisance Abatement Notice (NAN) was issued to Ms. Campbell on 19 April 2023 and served the following day, refer Attachment H.

The NAN required Ms. Campbell, within 7 days of receipt of the notice, to carry out the requirements as set out below to abate the noise nuisance caused by the barking of the dogs:

1)   Use correctly fitted and in working order bark collars on both dogs.

2)   Cover the gate so that the dogs cannot see through.

3)   Section off the back yard so the dogs cannot get to the front section when left on the property by themselves.

On 20 April 2023, Ms. Campbell provided a letter of support from one of her neighbours, refer Attachment I.

On 27 April 2023, a formal objection was made by Ms. Campbell, refer Attachment J. Ms. Campbell said that she has purchased one bark collar for one of her dogs, Poppy, as it is the dog that is mainly on the property when she is not home.  However, she is not comfortable sectioning off the backyard so the dogs cannot get to the front section when left on the property by themselves. 

On 1 May 2023, the NAN was put on hold pending the review of the file. The complainant requested to be given an opportunity to provide supporting evidence. On 9 June 2023, Ms. Campbell provided two emails of support from her neighbours, refer Attachment K.


 

Subsequent Complaints

27.    Although an objection suspends the operation of the NAN, Animal Management is still obliged to investigate subsequent complaints in the event of the NAN being confirmed and enforcement action being warranted.

a.   RFS 8101275545 and 8101275556 received on 16 May 2023

On 16 May 2023, further complaints were received from two different complainants. One of the complainants provided a formal statement, refer Attachment L.

The Animal Management Officer (AMO) who visited the property provided a formal statement, refer Attachment M and made the following observations:

1)   There was covering over the front gate.  However, the black dog who came to the gate barking at her was able to put her paws on top of the gate and look over the gate to bark.

2)   The back of the property was not fenced off which is in breach of the NAN requirements.

3)   Only one of the dogs had a collar and it was not even working, which is a breach of the NAN requirements.

4)   The sonic bark box that was loaned to her by Auckland Council was destroyed by the dogs.

b.   RFS 8101282770 received on 26 May 2023

Further complaint was received about excessive barking coming from the property, refer Attachment N.

c.   RFS 8101295172 received on 15 June 2023

Further complaint was received from a new complainant. A formal statement was obtained on 16 June 2023, refer Attachment O.

d.   RFS 610298364 received on 20 June 2023

Further complaint was received about excessive barking.  A formal statement was obtained on 22 June 2023, refer Attachment P. 

28.    The BCA’s formal statement about her investigation of the complaints, refer Attachment Q.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

29.    All dogs bark, however, Labradors are a vigorous, very energetic breed that need lots of exercise daily and proper containment. If they don’t get enough exercise, they are likely to engage in hyperactive behaviour to release repressed energy, such as excessive barking.

30.    Ms. Campbell concedes that her dogs bark but puts it down to alert barking. Alert barking can become a nuisance if it is excessive.  In such instances a responsible dog owner would take steps to minimise any audio or visual stimulation that could lead to excessive barking. This is why the NAN requires Ms. Campbell to put a visual covering on the front gate and for the back area of the yard to be sectioned off for the dogs.  Photos showing the proximity of the complainants’ location and the footpath to where the dogs are kept and the inadequate visual barrier, refer Attachment R and S. Ms. Campbell has repeatedly failed to section off the back area for the dogs.

31.    Ms Campbell bought a bark collar for only one of the dogs and when the property was inspected by an AMO, the bark collar was not working.  There is no bark box in the premises.  The sonic bark box that was loaned to her by Auckland Council in the previous NAN was destroyed by the dogs.


 

32.    The complainant says that she would like to take the necessary steps to ensure her dogs are not a nuisance to anyone in the neighbourhood. She said that she would like Animal Management to work with her to find a fair and reasonable resolution for all parties involved.  However, she has objected to the Notice and failed to comply with the list of requirements.  The BCA has tried to work with her and has explained multiple times the importance of the visual barrier and fencing off the back area for the dogs, to reduce the barking.

33.    We continue to receive barking complaints about Ms. Campbell’s dogs.  The latest ones were made on 27 July and 29 July 2023,  RFS 8101323081 and 8101323081.

34.    The probabilities are that the dogs are barking loudly and persistently which causes a nuisance to others.

35.    The Bark Complaints Advisor has assessed that the use of a Noise and Vibration Anti-Bark Collar and bark box, and keeping the dog in the back area of the property would best abate the nuisance.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

36.    This is a report about a nuisance caused by the loud and persistent barking of dogs. It has no climate impact.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

37.    This is a report about a nuisance caused by the loud and persistent barking of dogs. It does not require council group views.

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

Local impacts and local board views

38.    This report has no local impact. Local Board views have not been sought

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

39.    This report has no impact on Māori.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

40.    The decision by the Regulatory Committee on the nuisance abatement notice has no financial implications.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

41.    There are no risks in upholding the NAN.

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

42.    The Regulatory Committee must give Ms Campbell a written notice of its decision as soon as practical.

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Complainant's formal statement dated 20.6.2023

 

b

Notification letter and formal warmings

 

c

Email dated 20.6.2023

 

d

Email dated 17.3.2023

 

e

Email from Dog owner dated 20.6.2023

 

f

Email dated 21.3.2023

 

g

Complainant’s formal statement dated 12.4.2023

 

h

Nuisance Abatement Notice

 

i

Letter dated 26.4.2023

 

j

NAN Objection email

 

k

Emails dated 6.6.2023

 

l

Complainant’s formal statement dated 16.5.2023

 

m

Animal Management Officer Statement

 

n

Complainant’s Formal Statement dated 28.5.2023

 

o

Complainant’s Formal Statement dated 17.6.2023

 

p

Complainant’s Formal Statement dated 17.6.2023

 

q

Barking Complaints Advisor Formal Statement

 

r

Location of dogs and complainants

 

s

Visual barrier for dogs

 

     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Angeli Castro, Team Leader, Animal Management

Authorisers

Eleanor Waitoa, Manager Animal Management

James Hassall - General Manager, Licensing and Regulatory Compliance

Craig Hobbs - Director Regulatory Services


Regulatory and Community Safety Committee

03 Oct 2023

 

Exclusion of the Public: Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987

That the Regulatory and Community Safety Committee

a)      whakaae / agree to exclude the public from the following part(s) of the proceedings of this meeting.

The general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded, the reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter, and the specific grounds under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution follows.

This resolution is made in reliance on section 48(1)(a) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and the particular interest or interests protected by section 6 or section 7 of that Act which would be prejudiced by the holding of the whole or relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting in public, as follows:

 

C1       CONFIDENTIAL: Recommendation for the Appointment of Independent Hearings Commissioners 2024-2026

Reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter

Particular interest(s) protected (where applicable)

Ground(s) under section 48(1) for the passing of this resolution

The public conduct of the part of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exists under section 7.

s7(2)(a) - The withholding of the information is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons, including that of a deceased person.

In particular, the report contains private information about the candidates.

s48(1)(a)

The public conduct of the part of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exists under section 7.