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 1 August 2019
Open Public Forum
One speaker raised the question of barriers on the shop front car parks to stop cars parking over the footpath and also the location of the ramp for wheelchair access. Council will raise with the Project Manager.
Cr van Rooijen queried the time frames on SH1 stormwater works. Project Manager has advised that Swanston Street should be open partly; and that NZTA has resolved the traffic management issues on SH. She mentioned that doing stormwater works in winter wet weather is not ideal.
Banking authorisations report was tabled by the Chief Financial Officer. Crs queried the $10m limit and that it seems high, was it normal? Was concerned about the number of people on the list. It was explained it is largely around the Christmas period when we are on skeleton staff. Crs asked staff to bring another report back, fuller and to the FAR Committee.
The Policy Planner tabled the Delegations Update. Council has happy to resolve the name change to Delegations Manual and the financial limits for staff. Crs queried if there is a limit to the number of payments a staff member can authorise in a period and queried the tenders board process. CE sits on the board as a non-voting member. It was asked if the Mayor could sit on the tenders’ board and staff explained that it was an operational board and not governance. In terms of numbers of authorisations, was explained that we have checks and balances, budgets and the inability to split a larger payment into several payments. Crs requested a new organisational chart because of only the changes. The question of having politicians on management boards was discussed at length and decided that it is best practice to keep governance and operations separate. Wanted explanations on a few delegations outside the meeting. Report resolved.
The Community and Corporate Group Manager tabled the Road Safety Strategy. Crs suggested some further points to be included in the Council submission on this Government Strategy change, including additional driver training, enforcement, no blanket speed management change, interaction with train crossing. Crs were happy to do a Council submission, acknowledging that they can do their own submission.
The Planning Assistant tabled some changes to two Bylaws – dog control and land transport, related to dog exercise areas, prohibited areas and parking. Councillors had a few questions and made a few comments, including entry and exit one way at the Tokoroa pool facility, parking bays and prohibiting cars. No parking reference was not accepted.
The HR Manager tabled a report regarding the Remuneration Authority’s change to remuneration regarding childcare support. Council resolved to wait for the new Council to decide.
Mayor Shattock tabled a report from Te Waka, the economic development agency. Just one comment about a scanned report being difficult to read.
Regulatory and Assets Committee
The Regulatory Group report was tabled. Highlighted was the sale of food on Facebook and increased monitoring and compliance in that area, the retirement of our EH Manager has meant that two staff have increased duties, building control IANZ compliance, Civil Defence audit. Crs were happy with the report, with few questions.
The Development Engineer tabled a report regarding the segregation strip be stopped and provided to the property owner and reimburse the owner with funding held in bond.
He also tabled the Rangiura Village development and that part the upgrade work is regarding the stormwater. They have purchased the land next door to develop a stormwater retention dam. They have developed a larger site than needed and are requesting Council to assist with the costs since the retention dam will service part of Putāruru too. It was resolved to support.
Finance, Audit and Risk Committee
The Quality and Risk Report was tabled by the Quality and Risk Manager. He highlighted the 12 months’ worth of data in Vault, our safety incident management system; focus encouraging education around near miss reporting. The Chair of the FAR was very impressed with the report structure and detail.
The IT Manager tabled the IT/IS report. He highlighted the recent audit that the auditors were generally pleased with the process improvements that we had made since the last report.
The Chief Financial Officer tabled the Financial Report. Crs queried the overspend at the Tokoroa landfill. The CFO reminded the Council regarding a report about that had come to Council regarding the increased costs of waste management and the shortfall.
The Chief Financial Officer tabled a report to increase the monthly limit for the travel credit card. It was approved.
The Infrastructure Strategy Manager tabled the revaluation report for three waters and roading. He highlighted the reason we do revaluations, the scope, external provider. It was approved with little discussion.
Thursday 20 June 2019
Open Public Forum
One person spoke at the Open Public Forum about the rates rebate system. He is concerned that the rebate system should be across all four payments and not one lump sum. He also mentioned that in the past staff would go to homes where people were housebound and it seems to have fallen away. Council would look into both concerns.
Cr Schulte expressed his thanks to Council staff for the Tīrau Domain and Walkway development, especially Parks Manager Phil Parker; for all his efforts.
Cr Gash asked for a review on Healthy Rivers submission. Staff recapped the presentation by Cr Baldwin who presented a view of his own farm and the impact that the legislation would have on his farming practice. The presentation was very solution focussed.
Council adopted the Annual Plan 2019-20. The Plan was not consulted on because it wasn’t substantially different to the LTP 2018-28. The rate revenue increase is 7.7%, a decrease from the LTP proposed of 8.9%. Staff will start work on Year 3 of the LTP in the coming months.
Corporate and Regulatory Committee
The Group Manager Community and Corporate tabled the Corporate Group report. He highlighted work on the upcoming Annual Plan, Long Term Plan and several policies that are required for the LTP. He noted the recent IS audit. He reported on the Official Information Requests. He also noted the recruitment statistics as we fill vacated roles and new roles under the new structure. Mayor Shattock commented on the Flexible Working Policy and asked for some clarification on the types of flexibility.
Mayor Shattock mentioned the stormwater assessments and meetings. Cr Glucina was pleased with the transparent process. Staff are submitting a second letter reminding residents about the building floor height assessment.
The Group Manager Regulatory tabled the Regulatory Group Report. She highlighted the increase in numbers of resource consents. She also highlighted the efforts of staff regarding a large store of tyres at the wreckers in Putāruru. The owners have committed to getting rid of the tyres by the end of July. She noted the upcoming building consent authority audit coming up in and commented on the reduction of processing times due to the team being up to full complement. She noted building stats slightly down. She noted the additional compliance work that the Animal Control team is doing. She also commented that staff are engaging very well in Civil Defence training; funded by Waikato Regional Council rates, not DC rates. Cr Lee queried saleable land in the district.
The Business Improvement Manager tabled the Quality and Risk Report; with no queries.
The Chief Financial Officer tabled the Performance Report. Mayor Shattock complimented the team on the layout of the financial report, commenting that it is very easy to understand. The Mayor commented on the lower consultant costs vs spend; and staff explained that was due to having more staff in the right places. She pointed out that our current debt is $15m; it is forecast to go up to $36m and is largely due to the new digester at the wastewater treatment project. It is the largest project we have ever undertaken, although not a very exciting one!
Price Waterhouse Coopers presented to Council on the benefits of us using the Local Government Funding Agency for our future borrowing. LGFA is 100% owned by local authorities and was set up to reduce the cost of borrowing as the funding that they are able to access is better than banks are able to access, and there is no margin added. Councils have the ultimate power to collect rates, and therefore are a really safe investment. Before LGFA started, most Councils got borrowing through the banks and the pricing didn’t reflect how safe we were. It is probable that through using LGFA for our borrowing that we will save several hundred thousand dollars. Council approved us to start going through the process which will enable us to borrow from LGFA.