What happened in Council
Summary details for two meetings will be kept on this page at any one time and then archived. You are welcome to enquire with the Team Leader Executive Support for previous meeting recaps. These will be saved to our system and are publicly available. They are a summary of discussion that occurred on reports tabled. The summary is designed to be brief.
Most recent meeting
Thursday 28 March 2019
Five people spoke at the Open Public Forum.
- The first speaker spoke about homelessness in Tokoroa and his disappointment regarding an idea to perhaps put residential properties into the CBD area.
- The second speaker spoke about the impact of the Tokoroa CBD development on businesses in Leith Place. He made some suggestions that staff will have a look in to – suggestions included having a site manager on site to monitor parking when works allow and potentially opening the site up for parking outside of construction hours.
- The third speaker spoke about his disappointment with the closure of the Tokoroa i-SITE.
- The fourth speaker spoke about the public health issues regarding tobacco.
- The fifth speaker spoke about the Tokoroa CBD development. He mentioned the support for the project and encouraging shop owners to not park in the area, leaving the limited parking bays for their customers. He also spoke about the fence being installed and then no works for a period of time being frustrating. He enquired about possibilities for the fence to be opened up a little bit more, if works are slightly removed at the time and asked for us to work on the balance between efficiencies and impact on businesses.
The Mayoral Report was presented. Councillor van Rooijen enquired as to what is the outcome and way forward for the forestry symposium. He was advised that the input will be collated and further meetings would occur.
New road names – the new road names were suggested in consultation with Raukawa; the report passed with little discussion. The two road names agreed by Raukawa Kaumatua and the RST Board are ‘Waitete Way’ for the newly formed road behind Subway and ‘Raukawa Way’ for Leith Place Central (the road in front of Raukawa).
Unformed roads – there was little discussion, report adopted. Council authorised the stopping and sale of two unformed roads in Puketurua off Old Taupo Road. Sales of the road have been negotiated with adjoining owners, subject to the road being successfully stopped.
District licensing committee membership – this report appointed two new members to the committee – being Ngapo-Lipscombe and van Rooijen. Existing members are Bell, Glucina, Machen, Her Worship the Mayor and Gash (Chairperson). Changes to WLASS governance arrangements – to approve funding for an independent chair from existing funding, and adopt Gareth Green, Chief Executive of Taupo District Council, approved as our Council’s nomination for the Southern Waikato Council’s WLASS representative.
Code of Conduct Review – Crs involved were required to leave the room. Mayor Shattock tabled that the Council could not question the decision of the investigation panel. The investigation panel found that no material breaches were brought against Cr Cook, two material breaches were brought against Cr Schulte. Council can decide on penalty for the two material breaches. Councillors were divided in wanting to resolve and move on and ensure Cr Cook received an apology from Cr Shulte. Mayor used casting vote to pass Council resolution that an apology was required from Cr Shulte to Cr Cook. Cr Shulte advised that he would not.
Community and Assets meeting
- Corporate Group Report Fees and Charges are out for public consultation.
- Assets valuation was queried, staff provided an overview of what the valuation includes - kerb and channels, pavement, drainage, formation, stormwater, catchments, footpaths. We do valuations for replacement cost purposes.
- OIRs reported on, 57 received, 55 processed on time. Crs queried which OIR was from the Ombudsman. The response was ‘urban dog fee’.
Regulatory Group Report
- Putāruru Growth Plan newsletter was distributed, will go out later today. Same content as the Prattler.
- Healthy Rivers Wai Ora submissions – staff acknowledge the great work by Mayor Jenny Shattock during her submission. The steering group to meet in April regarding continued level of involvement and collaboration with stakeholders.
- Highlighted success in derelict building area, and some success in that area thanks to our good relationship with Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Crs queried how easy it is to make current derelict buildings in the CBD into residential properties. Staff response indicated it would likely be costly and difficult.
- Building consent table – it was queried as to why Putāruru is significantly higher than the other wards? Staff response included several developments on Horahora Road and along Arapuni Road with the Heartland Homes subdivision and development.
- Whakarau dog case went to court. Complainant didn’t appear. It was noted that it still costs ratepayers several thousand dollars.ARLA appeal is not going any further.
Finance, Audit and Risk meeting
Strategy and Risk report:
- Three health and safety audits for contractors. Some deficiencies were found, largely around procedures not being followed in accordance with written procedures; nothing critical, just working through that with the crews
- Risk assessment at the airfield, being collated.
- Dumfries road – as our community is aware we bought this property to keep it away from the Headhunters. We have now sold this property. It is going to be used for a residential property not commercial. In terms of cost, between purchase price and sale price and legal fees, we came out slightly in the red; worthwhile given the community good that came out of this rather brave and unusual move by Council.
- Summary of KPIs – no discussion.
Deloitte, Audit Engagement
Audit/Council seeking responsibilities for each as part of AR and AP. Mayor queried the cost of the audit. Staff responded with roughly $140k. Auditor is appointed.
The Chief Financial Officer highlighted that Council currently has debt of around $15m and has borrowed that through the BNZ. At the end of the 10 year plan that is estimated to grow to $35m (primarily because of our big wastewater project). Council will consider borrowing from Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA) in future, and moving the existing borrowing from BNZ to LGFA.
The LGFA was established around six years ago. It is a not for profit organisation that is owned collectively by NZ councils, and was set up solely to enable cheaper borrowing for NZ councils. An example given recently was being able to borrow significant funds at an interest rate of 2.8% for 5 years. Because LGFA is not for profit, NZ banks can’t really compete as they need to add a profit margin on, and they can’t borrow money as cheaply as LGFA can. LGFA can borrow cheaply because NZ councils are a very very safe place to invest in as we have the power to be able to increase rates to fund borrowing. Of course there is a big weigh up as to what rates Councils can realistically charge, but the power is still there.
Thursday 7 March 2019
Open Public Forum
Two people spoke at the open public forum.
- The first speaker congratulated the efforts of Councillors for attending the recent Children’s Day event, and spoke about homeless in Tokoroa.
- The second speaker spoke about installing public noticeboards and open public forums in general.
Some discussion around the Putāruru Community Gardens move to Grey Street. Grey Street requires classifying as a local purpose. This is a public consultation process. The playground equipment is being moved to nearby Barnett Reserve. Barnett Reserve is currently a dog exercise area so that will need to be amended through a Bylaw review. Another more suitable area has been identified for Putāruru Dog owners.
Community and Assets Committee meeting
Assets Group Report
There was some discussion on the roading network and the current works, both local roads and SHs. The status of the SH1 works including stormwater was also discussed. Councillors expressed continued frustration at the works, the temporary solutions and general support from NZTA with acknowledgement that the Transport Agency has a lot of pressures on them at the moment from a number of councils.
Wastewater ammonia levels was queried and staff reported that significant improvements have been made. We continue to work with WRC on this.
Community Group Report
The Economic Development team has hosted two symposiums recently – real estate and forestry sectors; with an aim to guiding work programmes. A meet and greet at the Chinese Consul was held; a Councillor enquired about our sister city relationship; discussions on specific projects have yet to be formalised.
Seasonal pool closure pending and dog pool party. Pool Rave parties are being run at the seasonal pools with huge success, especially at Putāruru. Noted Learn to Swim programme being run in Tīrau and Toddler programme at Putāruru.
Waikato River Authority presentation
The team provided an overview of the WRA – which is to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River. Brief notes follow:
- They are undergoing a review which is guided by various plans, and includes significant consultation and engagement with partners and stakeholders. The team noted several South Waikato projects – the SWEI, Momona Farm Ecological Restoration, Mangkaowhiriwhiri Stream restoration (Whakamaru Reserve), Waikato River Trails and the Baldwin farm wetland.
- 228 projects have received grant funding since 2011, totalling $44.1 m with 138 complete. 91 projects have been led by iwi.
- Councillors noted the success of the SWEI project; that it is working well, achieving objectives.
- The team highlighted the Restoration Strategy for the Waikato and Waipa rivers – identifies projects that have the most benefit for the catchment. 1.5million native trees have been planted, 11,000 non-natives planted, 5,000km of fencing, 1,000 ha of pasture land retired from grazing.
- There has been a focus on working with the media to get their messages out regarding successful projects; helping to change the hearts and minds of people.
- The Chief Executive enquired about what is the biggest challenge and/or opportunity in the South Waikato. The team talked a lot about forestry roads, farming practices regarding nutrients and riparian protection, gully protection.
- They mentioned that meetings with Oji is also on the cards.
- Councillors enquired about the impact of Wai Ora and the various bits of research that scientists are working on through the various bodies. The team spoke about the balance between visual indications of health and the science.
Dynamo presented its annual event report. Mentioned: the activities flyer staff provided, social media engagement, positive series.