Regional Council Agenda – Long Term Plan 2021-2031 Deliberations

NOTICE IS GIVEN that the next meeting of the Regional Council for the purposes of the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 Deliberations will be held in the Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga on:

Wednesday 12 May 2021 COMMENCING AT 9.30 am

This meeting will be recorded.

The Public section of this meeting will be recorded and uploaded to Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s website.  Further details on this can be found after the Terms of Reference within the Agenda.

 

Fiona McTavish

Chief Executive, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana

4 May 2021

 


 

Council

Membership

Chairperson

Chairman Doug Leeder

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Jane Nees

Members

All Councillors

Quorum

Seven members, consisting of half the number of members

Meeting frequency

Six weekly or as required for Annual Plan, Long Term Plan and other relevant legislative requirements

Purpose

·                Enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, Bay of Plenty communities.

·                Meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses.

·                Set the overarching strategic direction for Bay of Plenty Regional Council as an organisation.

·                Hold ultimate responsibility for allocating financial resources across the Council.

Role

·                Address Local Electoral Act matters and Local Government Rating Act matters.

·                Oversee all matters relating to identifying and contributing to community outcomes.

·                Consider and agree on matters relating to significant new activities or areas of involvement such as infrastructure which are not the responsibility of a specific committee.

·                Provide regional leadership on key issues that require a collaborative approach between a number of parties.

·                Review and decide the Council’s electoral and representation arrangements.

·                Consider issues of regional significance which are not the responsibility of any specific standing committee or that are of such regional significance/high public interest that the full Council needs to decide on them.

·                Adopt Council’s Policy on Significance and Engagement Policy.

·                Develop, adopt and implement the Triennial Agreement, Code of Conduct and Standing Orders.

·                Consider and agree on matters relating to elected members’ remuneration.

·                Appoint the Chief Executive, and review their contract, performance and remuneration at least annually.

·                Approve all delegations to the Chief Executive, including the authority for further delegation to staff.

·                Oversee the work of all committees and subcommittees.

·                Receive and consider recommendations and matters referred to it by its committees, joint committees, subcommittees and working parties.

·                Approve membership to external bodies and organisations, including Council Controlled Organisations.

·                Develop, adopt and review policies for, and monitor the performance of, Council Controlled Organisations.

·                Monitor and review the achievement of outcomes for the Bay of Plenty Community.

·                Review and approve strategic matters relating to the sale, acquisition and development of property for the purposes of meeting Council’s organisational requirements and implement Regional Council policy.

·                Address strategic corporate matters including property and accommodation.

·                Consider and agree on the process to develop the Long Term Plan, Annual Plan and Annual Report.

·                Adopt the Long Term Plan, Annual Plan and budgets variations, and Annual Report.

·                Adopt Council policies as required by statute (for example Regional Policy Statement and Regional Land Transport Strategy) to be decided by Council or outside of committee delegations (for example infrastructure policy).

·                Develop, review and approve Council’s Financial Strategy and funding and financial policies and frameworks.

·                Institute any proceedings in the High Court that are not injunctive proceedings.

·                Exercise the powers and duties conferred or imposed on Council by the Public Works Act 1981.

Delegations from Council to committees

·                Council has a role to monitor the functioning of all committees.

·                Council will consider matters not within the delegation of any one Council committee.

·                Council may at any time, revoke or modify a delegation to a Council committee, either permanently, for a specified time or to address a specific matter, if it considers there is good reason to do so.

·                The delegations provided to committees may be further delegated to subcommittees unless the power of further delegation is restricted by Council or by statute.

·                It is accepted in making these delegations that:

·                The committees, in performing their delegated functions, powers or duties, may, without confirmation by the Council, exercise or perform them in a like manner and with the same effect as the Council itself could have exercised or performed them.

·                The delegated powers given shall at all times be subject to their current policies and principles or directions, as given by the Council from time to time.

·                The chairperson of each committee shall have the authority to exercise their discretion, as to whether or not the delegated authority of the committee be used where, in the opinion of the chairperson, circumstances warrant it.

Powers that cannot be delegated

Under Clause 32 Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002, Council must make the following decisions:

·                Make a rate.

·                Make a bylaw.

·                Borrow money or purchase or dispose of assets, other than in accordance with the long-term plan.

·                Adopt the long-term plan, annual plan, or annual report.

·                Appoint a chief executive.

·                Adopt policies required to be adopted and consulted on under the Local Government Act 2002 in association with the long-term plan or developed for the purpose of the local governance statement.

·                Adopt a remuneration and employment policy.


 

Recording of Meetings

Please note the Public section of this meeting is being recorded and will be uploaded Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s web site in accordance with Council's Live Streaming and Recording of Meetings Protocols which can be viewed on Council’s website. The recording will be archived and made publicly available on Council's website within two working days after the meeting on www.boprc.govt.nz for a period of three years (or as otherwise agreed to by Council).

All care is taken to maintain your privacy; however, as a visitor in the public gallery or as a participant at the meeting, your presence may be recorded. By remaining in the public gallery, it is understood your consent is given if your image is inadvertently broadcast.

Opinions expressed or statements made by individual persons during a meeting are not the opinions or statements of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Council accepts no liability for any opinions or statements made during a meeting.

 


Bay of Plenty Regional Council - Toi Moana

Governance Commitment

mō te taiao, mō ngā tāngata - our environment and our people go hand-in-hand.

 

 

We provide excellent governance when, individually and collectively, we:

·        Trust and respect each other

·        Stay strategic and focused

·        Are courageous and challenge the status quo in all we do

·        Listen to our stakeholders and value their input

·        Listen to each other to understand various perspectives

·        Act as a team who can challenge, change and add value

·        Continually evaluate what we do

 

 

TREAD LIGHTLY, THINK DEEPLY,
ACT WISELY, SPEAK KINDLY.


Regional Council                                                                                                                12 May 2021

Recommendations in reports are not to be construed as Council policy until adopted by Council.

Agenda – Long Term Plan 2021-2031 Deliberations

E te Atua nui tonu, ko mātau ēnei e inoi atu nei ki a koe, kia tau mai te māramatanga ki a mātau whakarite mō tēnei rā, arahina hoki mātau, e eke ai te ōranga tonu ki ngā āhuatanga katoa a ngā tangata ki tō mātau rohe whānui tonu. Āmine.

 

 

“Almighty God we ask that you give us wisdom in the decisions we make here today and give us guidance in working with our regional communities to promote their social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being.  Amen”.

1.       Opening Karakia

2.       Apologies

3.       Public Forum

4.       Items not on the Agenda

5.       Order of Business

6.       Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

7.       Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

7.1      Regional Council LTP Hearings Minutes - 12 to 15 April 2021             1

8.       Reports

Decisions Required

8.1      Overview of Long Term Plan Deliberations Process                            1

Attachment 1 - Appendix A - LTP 2021 Strategic Framework                                       1

Attachment 2 - Appendix B - Submission Process                                                          1

Supporting Document 1 - Separate Appendix A - Analysis of Submissions

Supporting Document 2 - Separate Appendix B - Consultation Questions

8.2      Financial Overview - Deliberations Decisions

This item will be distributed under a separate cover.

Attachment 1 - PwC BOPRC Summary Financial Framework Review March 2021

Attachment 2 - Long Term Plan 2021-2031 Schedule of Funding Applications and Staff Recommendations

8.3      Fees and Charges - Deliberation Decisions                                           1

Attachment 1 - Fees and Charges Policy Submissions                                                   1

8.4      SP: Community Participation and Constructive Relationships - Deliberations Decisions                                                                           1

Attachment 1 - Priority One - links with related work                                                     1

8.5      SP: Maori Partnerships Deliberations Decisions                                   1

Attachment 1 - Attachment 1: Maori Partnership Funding Assessment summary     1

8.6      SP: Transportation and Urban Planning - Deliberations Decisions     1

Attachment 1 - Background Information on Transport                                                   1

8.7      SP: Climate Change - Deliberations Decisions                                      1

Attachment 1 - BOPRC Climate Change Statement                                                        1

8.8      SP: Regional and Sub-Regional Leadership - Deliberations Decisions

This item will be distributed under a separate cover.

8.9      Council Activities - General Matters - Deliberation Decisions            1

Attachment 1 - RSRS funding criteria - PDF                                                                     1

Attachment 2 - Photo Maps - Flood Control and Protection                                         1

Attachment 3 - Table of Proposed Targeted Rates - Minor Rivers and Drainage Schemes                                                                                                                                 1

9.       Consideration of Items not on the Agenda

10.     Closing Karakia


Regional Council                                                                                                          12 May 2021

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Report To:

Regional Council

Meeting Date:

12 May 2021

Report Writer:

Zhivan Alach, Organisational Performance Manager

Report Authoriser:

Karen Aspey, Director, People & Leadership

Purpose:

To provide Councillors with an overview of the meeting, the guidance sought, and the methods proposed.

 

 

Overview of Long Term Plan Deliberations Process

 

Executive Summary

This paper provides an overview of the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 deliberations process, provides information on the context within which Council is making decisions, and recommends a two-step approach to deciding upon the Key Decisions contained in the accompanying papers.

There are eight accompanying papers:

1.  Financial overview;

2.  Fees and charges;

3.  Strategic Priority: Community Participation and Constructive Relationships;

4.  Strategic Priority: Māori Partnerships;

5.  Strategic Priority: Transportation and Urban Planning;

6.  Strategic Priority: Climate Change;

7.  Strategic Priority: Regional / Sub-Regional Role;

8.  General issues covering several Groups of Activities;

Based on the decisions made today, the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 and associated documents will be compiled and subjected to the remaining stage of the statutory audit process. Council will then meet on 24 June 2021 to adopt the final audited Long Term Plan 2021-2031 and associated policies, as well as confirm changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) fees and charges for 2021/22, and set rates.

 

Recommendations

That the Regional Council:

1        Receives the report, Overview of Long Term Plan Deliberations Process.

2        Agrees to the recommended two-step process for decision-making whereby Council first makes “in principle” decisions on all of the issues requiring such as papers are considered. Council then reviews the “in principle” decisions and confirms or amends them at the end of the meeting.

 

1.        Introduction

Council has been engaged in the Long Term Plan process for some time. In February 2021, Council approved a Consultation Document and Supporting Information for public consultation. Consultation occurred from 22 February to 22 March 2021.

Council received 319 submissions on its Consultation Document and Supporting Information, an increase of 33% over the 2018 Long Term Plan. Councillors are now requested to make final decisions on levels of service, projects, and budgets for the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 in the light of that information. These will largely fit within three categories: (1) decisions required to deliver core business, (2) decisions linked to our Consultation Document, and (3) decisions relating to other submissions received from the public.

Figure 1 - Relationship between GOA, SP, and consultation

Core business is defined by our activity structure, which is:

Catchment Management

Coastal Catchments ; Rotorua Lakes ; Regional Parks ; Biosecurity

Flood Protection and Control

Rivers and Drainage Schemes ; Regional Flood Risk Co-ordination

Resource Regulation and Monitoring

Air Quality ; Resource Consents ; Regulatory Compliance ; Maritime Operations

Transportation and Urban Planning

Public Transport; Transport and Urban Planning

Democracy, Engagement, and Planning

Environmental Strategy; Regional Development ; Policy and Planning; Māori Policy; Community Engagement; Governance Services

Emergency Management

Emergency Management

Support Services

Technical Support ; Corporate Support

This Long Term Plan has been developed in the context of a changing operating environment, including the impact of COVID-19, and evolving central government direction on the roles and responsibilities of local government. There are still substantial unknowns, particularly around changes to resource management legislation and potential planning requirements. In this environment, a conservative approach to financial management, including the maintenance of reserves for potential future required expenditure, would be prudent. Making the best use of our resources has meant that staff recommendations have been developed by “doing more for less”, and in only a few instances are additional internal resources requested to deliver additional levels of service. The bulk of the increased levels of service in these papers are delivered through the reprioritisation of existing workloads.

1.1      Legislative Framework

Council is required to have a Long Term Plan under section 93 of the Local Government Act 2002.

1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework

 

A Healthy Environment

 

Freshwater for Life

 

Safe and Resilient Communities

 

A Vibrant Region

 

The Way We Work

We deliver value to our ratepayers and our customers.

This paper by enabling the delivery of the Long Term Plan indirectly contributes to all of them.

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

Low - Positive

þ Cultural

Low - Positive

þ Social

Low - Positive

þ Economic

Low - Positive

 

 

2.        Long Term Plan Process

2.1      Early 2020

During a series of meetings and workshops, Councillors confirmed a revised Strategic Direction, including specific priorities, to guide the Long Term Plan. This Strategic Direction is attached at Appendix A. The Strategic Priorities in this revised Strategic Direction are:

Regulatory reform

Regional recovery

Climate change

Land use and transport

Partnerships with Māori

Making best use of our resources

Sub-regional / regional view

Community participation and constructive relationships

2.2      October 2020 Workshop

At this meeting, Councillors provided high-level guidance on activity plans, including performance goals (levels of service) and budgets. Councillors also received detailed information about Council’s Financial Framework Review, and provided high-level guidance on financial levers.

2.3      November 2020 Workshop

At this meeting, Councillors provided additional guidance on key strategic issues that required further consideration after the October 2020 workshop. These included (1) freshwater reform, (2) engagement and volunteers, (3) Māori outcomes, (4) urban form and transport, (5) asset management, (6) consultation approach, (7) climate change, and (8) fees and charges.

2.4      December 2020 Meeting

At this meeting, Councillors adopted a draft Consultation Document and Supporting Information for Audit. The draft Consultation Document set out seven specific consultation questions covering: (1) climate change projects, (2) sustainability funding, (3-6) public transport, and (7) regional safety and rescue services funding.

2.5      February 2021 Meeting

Council received an unmodified audit opinion on its draft Consultation Document and Supporting Information. At this meeting, Councillors adopted the Consultation Document and Supporting Information for Public Consultation.

2.6      February-March 2021 Consultation

Council conducted a multi-media communications and engagement campaign. This led to 319 formal submissions being made to Council, addressing both the specific consultation questions as well as broader issues. Councillors have already received the full text of these submissions. 319 submissions was a significant increase (30%) on the number received during the 2018 Special Consultative Procedure, but given the self-selected nature of submitters, and the overall Bay of Plenty population of approximately 337,000, it still falls short of being entirely statistically representative.

Submissions have been used to inform staff recommendations in the accompanying papers. All submitters will receive a response to their submission once the Long Term Plan has been adopted and Council direction has been given. Appendix B to this paper shows the process whereby submissions have been considered.

Separate appendices to this paper, accessible via Stellar Library, provide an analytical report of submissions and the full consultation questions from the Consultation Document.

2.7      April 2021 Hearings

Council heard from 73 submitters over four days of hearings in Tauranga, Whakatāne, and Rotorua. The purpose of these hearings was to listen to the perspectives of the community on issues of relevance to Regional Council.

 

3.        Recommended Decision-Making Approach

A large number of decisions requiring resolution are covered in the associated papers. As some decisions link with others, and because of the potential cumulative financial impact of decisions on the overall plan, it is recommended that Council make decisions in a two-step process:

1.   First, “in-principle” decisions are made on the Key Decisions as each paper is considered;

2.   Second, Council reviews the full set of “in principle” decisions at the end of the meeting and confirms or amends them.

Papers will also order decisions so that core business is considered before Consultation Questions, and Consultation Questions before other submissions.

4.        Summary of Papers

4.1      Approach

We have arranged papers according to Strategic Priorities where there is a sufficient number of decisions required against those priorities, and also included a general matters paper summarising other decisions.

There are substantial linkages between papers – for example, climate change actions may be materially discussed in papers other than the Climate Change paper. We have endeavoured to show these linkages. The Regulatory Reform, Regional Recovery, and Making Best Use of Our Resources Strategic Priorities do not have specific papers linked to consultation questions or previously unallocated funding. However, the Regulatory Reform Strategic Priority is key to this Long Term Plan, and there are additional comments included in many of the papers related to this priority area.

4.2      SP: Community Participation and Constructive Relationships

This paper has the following key topics:

1.   Community Initiatives Fund requests.

a.   Council received 28 of these. Eleven of these are considered in the Māori Partnerships paper due to their relationship to engagement on freshwater management or co-governance, one in the Transportation and Urban Planning paper, leaving sixteen for consideration in this paper. Fourteen of these are considered within the general Community Initiatives Fund budget (as one is considered under both the Māori Partnerships and Community Initiatives Fund budgets).

2.   Volunteer support. Three Community Initiatives Fund requests are considered within this specific Volunteers budget.

3.   Youth engagement;

4.   Community participation.

4.3      SP: Māori Partnerships

This paper has the following key topics:

1.   Additional funding for Māori engagement for freshwater reform;

a.   Allocation of this against submissions received during the Special Consultative Procedure (see 4.2 above);

2.   Additional funding for Māori partnerships capacity and capability;

a.   Allocation of this against submissions received during the Special Consultative Procedure (see 4.2 above)

3.   Confirmation of the performance goal / level of service for Māori Policy;

4.   Komiti Māori future work programme;

4.4      SP: Transportation and Urban Planning

This paper has the following key topics:

1.   Consultation Question – free fares for school students;

2.   Consultation Question – free fares for tertiary students;

3.   Consultation Question – free fares for Community Services Card holders;

4.   Consultation Question – flat fares;

5.   Bus Decarbonisation Feasibility study;

6.   Transport Programme Management and Delivery;

7.   Carless Wednesday Challenge Initiative (received as part of 4.2);

8.   Rotorua public transport.

4.5      SP: Climate Change

This paper has the following key topics:

1.   Consultation Question – climate change initiatives;

2.   Consultation Question – sustainability funds;

3.   Confirmation of the performance goal / level of service for corporate emissions

4.6      SP: Regional and Sub-Regional Role

This paper has the following key topics

1.   Regional Spatial Planning

2.   Funding for Climate Change

3.   Funding for Third Party Infrastructure.

4.7      General Matters

This papers has the following key topics:

1.   Consultation Question – Regional Safety Rescue Services Fund;

2.   Expenditure on the Motiti Protection Area;

a.   Education;

b.   Compliance and monitoring.

3.   Expenditure on Maritime Capability;

a.   Eastern Bay of Plenty resourcing;

b.   Vessel support

4.   Aerial wetland biodiversity monitoring;

5.   Expenditure on Flood Control and Protection Assets;

a.   Rangitāiki River Floodwalls;

b.   Ford Road Pump Station Upgrade;

c.   Whakatāne River Urban Stopbank Upgrades;

d.   Modification of Targeted Rates

4.   Considerations

4.8      Risks and Mitigations

If Councillors do not provide direction on the issues raised as Key Decisions today, there is a risk that the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 presented for adoption will not reflect the most recent information, as it will be based on the version that was adopted for the Special Consultation Procedure.

4.9      Climate Change

 Individual papers considered implications for climate change in relation to specific decisions.

4.10    Implications for Māori

Individual papers considered implications for Māori in relation to specific decisions.

4.11    Community Engagement

 

Adobe Systems

CONSULT

Whakauiuia

To obtain input or feedback from affected communities about our analysis, alternatives, and /or proposed decisions.

The information presented in the accompanying papers summarises and analyses 319 community submissions received during the Special Consultative Procedure.

 

4.12    Financial Implications

If the recommendation is adopted by Council, will it result in:

-    Unbudgeted work during the current financial year?

-    Unbudgeted work for any of the years remaining in the current Long Term Plan?

If the answer is ‘no’ to both questions please select the dropdown option 1 and complete appropriately.

If the answer is ‘yes’ to either question please select “Budget Implications” in the building block below and liaise with your Management Accountant in order to complete the Financial Impact table.

Detailed information on the financial implications of the Key Decisions presented today is presented in the accompanying Financial Overview report.

5.        Next Steps

Next Steps: What next? What resources are needed? Further analysis? Timeframes ahead. Any consultation planned. Remind Council of the process ahead. Next update to Council?

Conclusion: Short concluding remarks. Referring back to recommendations. No new content.

At the conclusion of deliberations, staff will update all text and financial information in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031. The draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 will then undergo a final audit stage with Audit New Zealand prior to it being presented to Council for adoption on 24 June 2021.

The Long Term Plan 2021-2031 will comprise two volumes:

1.  Volume One/Tahi: Strategic context, levels of service/performance goals, and financial impacts;

2.  Volume Two/Rua: Financial and infrastructure strategies, key policies, and detailed financial statements.

Attachments

Attachment 1 - Appendix A - LTP 2021 Strategic Framework

Attachment 2 - Appendix B - Submission Process

Supporting Document 1 - Separate Appendix A - Analysis of Submissions

Supporting Document 2 - Separate Appendix B - Consultation Questions  

 


Regional Council                                                                                                                           12 May 2021

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Regional Council                                                                                                                           12 May 2021

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Regional Council                                                                                                          12 May 2021

 

Item 9.3

Supporting Document 1

Separate Appendix A - Analysis of Submissions


Regional Council                                                                                                          12 May 2021

 

Item 9.3

Supporting Document 2

Separate Appendix B - Consultation Questions


 

 

 

Report To:

Regional Council

Meeting Date:

12 May 2021

Report Writer:

Mark Le Comte, Principal Advisor, Finance and Alex Miller, Compliance Manager - Primary Industry & Enforcement

Report Authoriser:

Sarah Omundsen, General Manager, Regulatory Services

Purpose:

For Council to consider submissions on the draft Fees and Charges Policy and provide direction on preparation of the Final Fees and Charges Policy for Adoption

 

 

Fees and Charges - Deliberation Decisions

 

Executive Summary

The draft Fees and Charges Policy, which includes Resource Management Act charges, Building Act charges and changes to Bylaw charges, was consulted on concurrently with consultation on Council’s draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031.

Council has received a total of 20 submissions on the draft Policy. These submissions have been assessed by staff and Council decisions are sought to direct preparation of a final draft policy for adoption at the 28 June 2021 Council meeting.

There are no financial impacts on the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 fees and charges budget, or the draft Revenue and Financing Policy for the relevant activities, resulting from the staff recommendations in this report.

 

Recommendations

That the Regional Council:

1        Receives the report, Fees and Charges - Deliberation Decisions.

2        Directs staff to prepare the Fees and Charges Policy for adoption including

(a)  Reversing proposed changes to Geothermal monitoring categories to reflect the current policy with inflationary adjustments.

(b)  Simplifying changes to the water abstraction compliance monitoring categories from eight to four based on reporting method.

(c)  Minor changes to simplify charges, with no charge being higher than consulted on.

(d)  Any changes from final legal review.

 

1.        Introduction

The Council is responsible for controlling the use of a wide range of resources, which requires staff to process resource consents, monitor and manage consented and other authorised activities, and investigate the state of the region's resources.

The framework for setting RMA charges sits under Section 36 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). The Council also has certain functions under the Building Act 2004; section 243 of the Act allows Council to set a fee for the performance of some of its functions.

Each year we review the Council’s charges for the services and functions undertaken when carrying out its regulatory functions under the RMA and Building Act (BA) 2004 which are contained in the Council’s Resource Management Act and Building Charges Policy.

In addition, Port Charges are set in the Navigation Safety Bylaw 2017. These may be changed following consultation in a manner that gives effect to the consultation principles set in the LGA s82.

The proposed new Fees and Charges policy, which includes RMA charges, BA charges and changes to Bylaw charges; was consulted on concurrently with consultation on Long Term Plan 2021-2031.

1.1      Legislative Framework

Council fees and charges are set under various Acts and Bylaws including the Local Government Act (2002), Resource Management Act, Maritime Transport Act, Floodways and Drainage Bylaw and Navigation and Safety Bylaw.

1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework

 

A Healthy Environment

 

Freshwater for Life

 

Safe and Resilient Communities

 

A Vibrant Region

 

The Way We Work

We deliver value to our ratepayers and our customers.

Fees and charges cover part of the cost of services related to the Healthy Environment, Freshwater for Life and Safe and Resilient Community Outcomes.

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

Medium - Positive

¨ Cultural

 

þ Social

Low - Positive

þ Economic

Low - Positive

 

The funding from fees and charges helps to provide for resource consenting, compliance monitoring, data and science, flood protection and maritime operations.

 

2.        Submissions on proposed changes

The Statement of Proposal outlined the major changes to the Charges Policy. The submissions received mostly focussed on clarifying a particular circumstance or more general comment not related to the major proposed changes. Specific queries were answered and overall themes in general feedback are outlined in section 3.  The full submissions are provided in Appendix One.

The following subsections outline feedback and recommendations on the major proposed changes.

2.1      Incorporation of other charges

No submissions were received on charges for the Flood Protection and Drainage Bylaw which were well signalled in that Bylaw review, or for general staff charge- out rates.

No submissions were received on the proposed increase to Port Charges. Staff level discussions with the Port of Tauranga have confirmed that they did not intend to make a submission.

Given that the increase in Port Charges is relatively large, as it takes into account changes in operations since the last Port Charge increase on 1 July 2015 and changes to forecast shipping levels, staff have conducted extra cost benchmarking with Ports of Auckland.

Ports of Auckland charges $1.40 per gross tonnage (GT) for general marine service charges (including pilotage, towages, linesmen and Port Charges). In comparison, Port of Tauranga Charges $1.26 per GT for marine services, plus the proposed $17.65 per 1,000 GT (approximately $0.0176 per GT) making approximately $1.28 per GT. After the change, Port of Tauranga remains cheaper than Port of Auckland. It is also worth noting that the Port Charge is a very minor part of overall port costs, approximately 1% of marine service costs. This comparison excludes other costs like berthage and cargo handling etc.

2.2      Changes to consent monitoring categories and frequencies

Topics raised by submitters in response to this area were:

OSET monitoring. What is the reason and evidence for increasing monitoring from 10 yearly to 5 yearly as this will double costs.

Recent compliance monitoring has found a particularly low level of compliance across all OSET consents, with only 56% of systems complying with their resource consents in 2018/2019, and 64.3% in 2019/2020, compared to an average of over 80% across all other consents. This indicates that there is a higher level of oversight required.

Water abstraction. Comments on the proposed change noted that:

·      There were potentially large increases for those placed into a high risk category

·      The basis for telemetry charges and how they were estimated.

Water abstraction consents have previously fallen into two categories based on the size of the allocation, and charged a fixed fee based on the cost of a 3 yearly or 5 yearly inspection. However, these costs have not historically captured the amount of time that is required to receive and interrogate water use data, which has become increasingly significant and forms the bulk of work around monitoring compliance with consent conditions. The new categories and proposed fees are the result in a detailed review of the time that is required to monitor water abstraction consents, based on the way in which data is submitted; staff consider that these costs should be passed on to the respective consent holders under the “user-pays” principle.

The proposed policy included eight new categories for compliances fees and charges relating to water abstraction, which took into account whether the abstraction was surface water or ground water, and the method for record submission.

Based on feedback, staff recommend that this be simplified into four separate categories, as per the table below.

 

Consultation Document

 

Proposed Staff Changes

Activity

Fee

 

Activity

Fee

Groundwater (Cold) Abstraction - Telemetry Reporting - Low Risk

$160

 

Consumptive Water use (surface water, groundwater and warm water) - Telemetered Low Risk

$160

Groundwater (Cold) Abstraction - Telemetry Reporting - High Risk

$415[1]

 

Groundwater (Cold) Abstraction - Manual Reporting - High Risk

$4951

 

Consumptive Water use (surface water, groundwater and warm water) - Telemetered High Risk

$441

Groundwater (Cold) Abstraction - No Reporting - High Risk

$97.50

 

Surface Water and Geothermal (Warm) Abstraction - Telemetry Reporting - Low Risk

$162.50

 

Consumptive Water use (surface water, groundwater and warm water) - Manual Reporting

$498

Surface Water and Geothermal (Warm) Abstraction - Telemetry Reporting - High Risk

$5451

 

Surface Water and Geothermal (Warm) Abstraction - Manual Reporting - High Risk

$5001

 

Consumptive Water use (surface water, groundwater and warm water) - No Reporting

$99

Surface Water and Geothermal (Warm) Abstraction - No Reporting - High Risk

$102.50

 

A number of submissions raised concerns about the increased costs for water take consents, particularly when comparing between high risk telemetry reporting and a consent which requires no reporting being much lower. It’s important to note that the overall context for the proposed increases is to capture the time spent receiving and monitoring data, which has not been fully accounted for in previous iterations of the policy. As a result of this, newer consents which require the submission of more frequent data in turn require much more frequent monitoring to assess compliance.

It is also important to note that Council is continuing to invest in tools and systems to improve the efficiency with which we can capture and view water data, and any such efficiencies will be passed on to the consent holders in future years.

Geothermal. Submitters asked for more clarity on how risk is assessed, how they know which risk category they are in, and how they could reduce their costs by reducing their risk assessment. This is particularly relevant for the changes to the Geothermal abstraction categories with a current fixed charge of $200 in Rotorua that will either increase to $425 or decrease to $150 based on the level of risk.

The proposed policy for consultation included the creation of new risk-rated categories for geothermal abstraction consents. After consideration of public feedback, staff recommend that these risks could be more simply managed via compliance and enforcement tools, including the newly added clause allowing inspection frequency to be adjusted at a compliance officer’s discretion.


 

As such, staff recommend that the proposed changes revert back to the previous categories, as outlined in the table below

Consultation Document

 

Staff Recommendations

Activity

Proposed Fee

 

 

Activity

Proposed Fee

 

Geothermal - non Rotorua - High Risk

$1190

 

 

Geothermal Abstraction - excluding Rotorua field

 

$345

Geothermal - non Rotorua - Medium Risk

$425

 

Geothermal - non Rotorua - Low Risk

$152.50

 

Geothermal Abstraction - Rotorua field only

 

$200

Geothermal - Rotorua - High Risk

$1190

 

Geothermal - Rotorua - Medium Risk

$425

 

Non-consumptive Geothermal Abstractors (Warm Water)  Bores Tga

 

$200

Geothermal - Rotorua - Low Risk

$152.50

 

 

2.3      Fees and Charges

Most fees and charges were increased by 6% to cover the impact of two years of inflation. Several submitters questioned the level of general increases and how they can know they are not above inflation. The full draft policy used tracked changes to show old and new amounts.

Staff are proposing further minor changes to round off charges to more convenient figures. This will be achieved strictly through small decreases to proposed charges and has no material impact on budgeted fees and charges revenue within the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031.

2.4      Administrative Charges

The only submissions related to administrative changes were to seek clarity on how travel costs will be charged. Staff intend to clarify that these will be charged from the nearest office, not where an officer has actually travelled from.

3.        Other Submission Themes

In addition to the specific changes outlined in the Statement of Proposal, submitters also commented on aspects of the draft Policy that had not substantially changed. Staff view these submissions as ongoing opportunities for improvement, however, need to bear in mind the legal ability to make further changes that were not specifically consulted upon. Staff intend to either make improvements to the final draft Policy for adoption or carry improvements to the next policy review based on legal advice.

The following general themes were received:

The policy is hard to understand. Staff will benchmark our policy against the policies of other Councils as part of a future review to look for improvements. The large number of different consent types and other charges may limit the ability to present a simple policy. Future reviews of the policy will look more broadly at opportunities to streamline and simplify the approach to charges, in order to make it easier for consent holders and general public to understand.

Clarity on consent, monitoring and data/science charges. Several submitters commented on this and the perception that Council may be ‘double dipping’. Staff intend to add simple explanatory text on why there are different charges, and the distinct costs that they cover.

Potential for discounts. Submitters asked about the potential to reduce their costs based on a range of factors. Staff have delegation to waive costs. These included:

·      Whether a holder of multiple consents can receive a discount. Depending on the type of consent there may be the ability to combine compliance inspections saving some time.

·      Waiving costs where there is an environmental benefit e.g. micro hydo generation. The RMA Section 36AAA states that the “sole purpose of a charge is to recover the reasonable costs incurred by the local authority in respect of the activity to which the charge relates”. This appears to limit the ability to reduce charges as a behavioural incentive.

Transparency in costing/invoicing. Several submitters asked for itemised breakdown of costs. In the case of actual and reasonable charges and actual time spent is itemised in the invoice. For fixed charges the time spent is recorded and used in reassessing whether the fixed fee remains appropriate – several fixed fees were reduced on this basis. Including this detail in the actual policy would make it much longer and more difficult to use, however, for the next review it is intended to include a supporting document that outlines the methodology for calculating fixed fees with examples.

4.        Considerations

4.1      Risks and Mitigations

Fees and Charges can be a contentious topic, however, the policy generally received little public feedback. This year the draft policy received 20 submissions compared to 6 and 10 in the two previous reviews.

There are no significant risks associated with this matter/subject/project/initiative.

4.2      Climate Change

Fees and charges do not directly impact climate change, however they are part of funding the implementation of environmental policies.

The matters addressed in this report are of a procedural nature and there is no need to consider climate change impacts.

4.3      Implications for Māori

Māori are both consent holders/applicants and Kaitiaki. As consent holders or applicants they would generally be charged in the same way as other members of the community. There are current delegations in place to remit charges, which may be considered for Māori where there are wider community outcomes or public benefits provided.

Resource Management Act charges support effective monitoring of our natural resources which is of significant interest to Māori. Future revenue through charges may be considered for use as a targeted contribution to support monitoring of cultural health indicators under our Mātauranga Māori Framework.

4.4      Community Engagement

 

Adobe Systems

CONSULT

Whakauiuia

To obtain input or feedback from affected communities about our analysis, alternatives, and /or proposed decisions.

 

Council has completed a special consultative procedure as required for RMA fees and charges. The consultation period opened alongside LTP 2021-2031, however was extended for two weeks following an advertising omission.

A total of 20 submissions were received, compared to 6 and 10 in the previous consultations.

4.5      Financial Implications

If the recommendation is adopted by Council, will it result in:

-   Unbudgeted work during the current financial year?

-   Unbudgeted work for any of the years remaining in the current Long Term Plan?

If the answer is ‘no’ to both questions please select the dropdown option 1 and complete appropriately.

If the answer is ‘yes’ to either question please select “Budget Implications” in the building block below and liaise with your Management Accountant in order to complete the Financial Impact table.

There are no material financial implications as these recommendations fit within the allocated fees and charges budget in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031, and are consistent with the draft Revenue and Financing Policy for the relevant activities. Council proposed that most fees and charges would increase by 6% to cover the impact of two years of inflation.  In considering the Making best use of resources priority focus, Council has been progressively increasing fees and charges so that that user pays is contributing more to the cost of these services.

5.        Next Steps

Next Steps: What next? What resources are needed? Further analysis? Timeframes ahead. Any consultation planned. Remind Council of the process ahead. Next update to Council?

Conclusion: Short concluding remarks. Referring back to recommendations. No new content.

Following direction at this meeting, staff will prepare the final draft Policy for Council adoption in June 2021. Feedback will be provided to all submitters following adoption of the Policy.

Attachments

Attachment 1 - Fees and Charges Policy Submissions  

 


Regional Council                                                                                                          12 May 2021

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Report To:

Regional Council

Meeting Date:

12 May 2021

Report Writer:

Zhivan Alach, Organisational Performance Manager and Graeme Howard, Corporate Planning Lead

Report Authoriser:

Chris Ingle, General Manager, Integrated Catchments

Karen Aspey, Director, People & Leadership

Purpose:

To gain Council direction on allocating funding for various community-facing and –led projects.

 

 

SP: Community Participation and Constructive Relationships - Deliberations Decisions

 

Executive Summary

To gain Council direction on the following funding allocations:

·           Community Initiatives Fund Applications

·           Supporting volunteer groups and engagement projects

·           Enhanced youth engagement

 

Recommendations

That the Regional Council:

1        Receives the report, SP: Community Participation and Constructive Relationships - Deliberations Decisions.

2        Directs staff to incorporate into the draft Long Term Plan for Adoption, Council direction on funding for the following Community Initiatives Fund applications within the overall budget of $200,000 per annum for this fund:

(a)  Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital (TMBC) (funding recommended)

(b)  Tourism BOP – Low Carbon Circular Economy (funding recommended)

(c)  Priority One (funding not recommended)

(d)  Discovery Through Nature (funding not recommended)

(e)  Western BOP Neighbourhood Support (funding not recommended)

(f)   Film BOP (funding not recommended)

(g)  Bay of Connections (funding not recommended)

(h)  Sport Bay of Plenty (funding not recommended)

(i)   Sustainable BOP Charitable Trust (funding not recommended)

(j)   Taonga Tauranga Heritage BOP Charitable Trust (funding not recommended)

(k)  Waiariki Park Region (funding not recommended)

(l)   Tourism BOP – Cultural Tourism (funding not recommended)

(m) Rotorua X Charitable Trust (funding not recommended)

3        Directs staff to incorporate into the Draft Long Term Plan for Adoption, Council direction on funding for the following community submissions, which did not include formal Community Initiatives Fund applications, within the overall $200,000 per annum budget for this fund:

(a)  Kawerau Trails Trust (funding not recommended)

4        Directs staff to incorporate into the Draft Long Term Plan for Adoption, Council direction on funding for the following projects involving Volunteers, within the overall budget of $500,000 per annum:

(a)  Bay Conservation Alliance (recommended $85,000 per annum)

(b)  NZ Landcare Trust (recommended $100,000 per annum)

(c)  Envirohub (recommended $100,000 per annum)

(d)  (Council staff led) Administrative Support for Volunteers (recommended $215,000 per annum)

5        Notes the following requests for funding will be considered in the accompanying Māori Partnerships paper:

(a)  Tauranga Moana Iwi Partners (TMAG)

(b)  Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Trust

(c)  Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa

(d)  He Taonga Te Wai

(e)  Rangitāiki River Forum and Te Maru o Kaituna

(f)   Ngāti Pikiao Environmental Society

(g)  Priority One

(h)  Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT)

(i)   Toi Kai Rawa

(j)   Te Arawa Ki Tai

(k)  Te Tatau Te Arawa

6        Notes the following requests for funding will be considered in the accompanying Transportation and Urban Planning paper:

(a)  Car-free Wednesday

7        Directs staff to incorporate into the Draft Long Term Plan for Adoption, Council direction on Youth Engagement funding of $45,000 per annum from within the overall budget of $200,000 per annum for Enhanced Community Engagement and Participation; and notes that staff will continue to work on an overall approach to enhancing community participation through 2021/22.

1.        Introduction

Community Participation and Constructive Relationships is one of Regional Council’s Strategic Priorities, and is reflected in existing work across a number of activities. During the Long Term Plan Special Consultative Procedure, Council received a large number of funding requests from community groups to deliver work in a number of different areas.

Council’s primary source of funding this type of community participation is via the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF), which has an annual allocation in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 of $200,000, and has very general criteria. However, in addition to the above, Council has recently allocated funding for more specific types of work that might be suitably delivered by community groups. These include:

·   Additional support for volunteers ($500,000 per annum)

·   Additional support for enhanced community engagement and participation ($200,000 per annum)

·   Additional support for Māori engagement on freshwater reform and other initiatives to enhance Māori capacity and capability via co-governance (detail contained in Maori Partnerships paper)

·   In addition, staff are recommending additional funding for community climate change initiatives (per the LTP Consultation Document) of up to $350,000 per annum (refer to the Climate Change report in this agenda).

Some of the applications received are, by their nature, eligible for consideration under these more specific funding categories. Where this is the case, they have been considered preferentially here to avoid displacement of applications that are eligible only for the general Community Initiatives Fund budget. All applications have been subjected to the same impact assessment, with no special weighting for applications of specific types, as per Council direction on 1 April.

Council received 28 community funding requests in total. All submitters were requested to use the Community Initiatives Fund application form to ensure sufficient information was available for an evaluation of the likely impact of the proposal. These requests were subjected to single-blind impact assessments by panels of staff. The financial overview report provides a full list of funding requests, the amount requested, and staff recommendations.

Eleven of the community funding requests were identified as being eligible for Council funding for Māori engagement on freshwater, supporting Māori Partnerships and/or Māori co-governance. They are noted in this paper, but decisions and discussion on them is noted in the separate Māori Partnerships paper. However, one of those, Priority One, has two distinct activities, and the second is considered under the core Community Initiatives Fund.

Three of the funding requests were identified as being eligible for the volunteer-specific funding allocated by Council. They are discussed in this paper.

One funding request was identified as being eligible for funding from the core Public Transport budget, and is considered in the relevant paper.

This leaves fourteen general funding requests for consideration within the core Community Initiatives Fund.

The process whereby submissions have been allocated to various papers for decision-making is shown in the following diagram.

·         Figure 1 - Diagram of submission allocation

1.2      Legislative Framework

Council does not have any legislative requirements to provide funding to community groups, but the services provided by those groups contribute to Council outcomes in legislatively-aligned areas, such as catchment management and biosecurity.

1.3      Alignment with Strategic Framework

 

A Healthy Environment

We work cohesively with volunteers and others, to sustainably manage and improve our natural resources.

Freshwater for Life

We collaborate with others to maintain and improve our water resource for future generations.

Safe and Resilient Communities

 

A Vibrant Region

We work with and connect the right people to create a prosperous region and economy.

The Way We Work

 

1.3.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

Low - Positive

¨ Cultural

 

þ Social

Low - Positive

þ Economic

Low - Positive

Community activities have a positive, but small-scale, impact across multiple well-beings.

 

2.        Key Decisions

2.1      Impact Assessment for Funding Requests

At its meeting of 1 April, Council were informed of the evaluation method to be used for community funding requests. At that meeting, Council directed that all application areas were to be weighted equally, with no preferential weighting for applications in the areas of (1) climate change, (2) Māori partnerships, and/or (3) community participation and constructive relationships.

The evaluation method used has focused on the extent of positive impact claimed (“how much good?”), the strength of the evidence that the proposed activities will deliver that impact (“will it work?”), and on the quality of the project plan and budget of the application (“will this group deliver?”). In addition, legislative alignment and value for money is considered. Evaluation involved a single-blind process by a panel of evaluators, with their individual scores combined.

Applications have not been given a numeric score to avoid distortionary effects from the use of particular scales, but instead have been rated using a “Weak / Acceptable / Good” or “Weak / Low / Good / Excellent” scale (depending on the particular element evaluated).

It is important to note that the evaluation is based on the full project, and full funding. Part-funding of applications would lead to delivery of only a subset of the desired work, thus making the evaluation of overall impact less accurate.

2.2      Community Initiatives Fund Applications

2.2.1    Background

The Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) has $200,000 of funding allocated per annum for community-identified projects in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031. Only $100,000 is recommended to be allocated below, with $100,000 retained for expressions of interest from other groups.

2.2.2    Number of submissions

As noted in the introduction, a total of 28 funding requests were noted. These were subjected to impact assessment, and then to analysis of the most appropriate funding source. After applications were re-directed to Māori partnerships funding (eleven applications), volunteers-specific funding (three applications), and transport-related funding (one application), a total of fourteen applications remain for consideration under the core Community Initiatives Fund budget.

The following applications are presented in approximate order of impact (high to low).

2.2.3    CIF16: Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital (TMBC)

This proposal aims to raise awareness of biosecurity issues through newsletters, events, and social media; to build capability by facilitating and providing training on biosecurity issues; develop future leaders through targeted education campaigns and sentinel gardens in schools; and spotlight biosecurity via a symposium and spotlight week. The applicants are seeking $40,000 in years one, two, and three of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

Yes

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Low

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Low

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Low

 

Project Plan

Good

Budget

Good

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application;

2.   Approve the application in full (recommended);

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

Acceptance of the above recommendation would expend $40,000 of the $200,000 CIF budget, leaving $160,000 in years one through three.

2.2.4    CIF9: Tourism BOP – Low Carbon Circular Economy

This proposal aims to develop a low carbon circular economy programme for the coastal Bay of Plenty to support a vision for a regenerative tourism model. They are requesting $60,000 from Regional Council in each of years one, two, and three of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Low

 

Project Plan

Acceptable

Budget

Good

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application;

2.   Approve the application in full (recommended);

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

Funding this initiative recognises that the tourism sector needs to adapt and recover from the impact of COVID-19 in the Bay of Plenty. Acceptance of the above recommendation would expend an additional $60,000 of the $200,000 CIF budget, leaving $100,000 in years one through three.

2.2.5    EM42: Priority One

This proposal has two parts: (1) the establishment of a Māori innovation hub (considered in the Māori partnerships paper) and (2) a programme of work with businesses aimed at enabling those businesses adapt to climate change. The organisation is requesting $200,000 in year one of the Long Term Plan for the second piece of work (see attachment 1 for links with other work). It is evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Low

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Low

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

 

Project Plan

Acceptable

Budget

Acceptable

Cost-Effectiveness

Weak

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of $100,000.

Acceptance of the above recommendation would leave $100,000 unallocated in the CIF budget for year one, which would carry through for all of the below recommendations, as they are CIF applications. Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillor. One option would be to request expressions of interest from other economic development agencies across the region to allocate the $100,000 more broadly.

2.2.6    CIF2: Discovery Through Nature

This proposal aims to enable school students to connect with their local natural spaces through site visits and scientific monitoring. The applicant is seeking $36,006 in year one, and $21,240 in each of years two and three of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Low

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Low

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

 

Project Plan

Acceptable

Budget

Acceptable

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.7    CIF11: Western BOP Neighbourhood Support

This proposal aims to provide additional support to neighbourhood support groups through the provision of a part-time co-ordinator role. This organisation is requesting $36,520 in year one, $40,000 in year two, and $45,000 in year three of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Low

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Low

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

 

Project Plan

Acceptable

Budget

Acceptable

Cost-Effectiveness

Weak

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.8    CIF4: Film BOP

This proposal aims to develop the film workforce in the Bay of Plenty through a “learn and earn” apprenticeship scheme. The applicant is seeking $30,000 for each of years one through three of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Low

 

Project Plan

Weak

Budget

Acceptable

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors;

2.2.9    CIF15: Bay of Connections

This proposal aims to conduct an evaluation of existing cycle networks, their status, and identify gaps and barriers to connection with the goal of developing an integrated cycle network. The applicant is seeking $55,000 in year one and $100,000 in year two of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Low

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Low

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

 

Project Plan

Weak

Budget

Weak

Cost-Effectiveness

Weak

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.10  CIF6: Sport Bay of Plenty (Water Safety Bay of Plenty)

This proposal aims to support the development of a Bay of Plenty Water Safety Strategy through contributing to the funding of a Strategy Manager role, operational costs, and equipment and promotional costs. The applicants are seeking $25,000 in each of years one, two, and three of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

Yes

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

 

Project Plan

Weak

Budget

Weak

Cost-Effectiveness

Weak

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.11  CIF7: Sustainable BOP Charitable Trust

This proposal aims to work with various organisations to support sustainability across the region. It aims to do this via analysis, strategic planning, meetings, workshops, events, and educational opportunities. This group is requesting $30,000 per annum for each of the first three years of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

Yes

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

 

Project Plan

Weak

Budget

Acceptable

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.12  CIF8: Taonga Tauranga Heritage BOP Charitable Trust

This proposal aims to contribute to the development of a heritage intent/strategy for the Western Bay of Plenty / Tauranga. Specifically, this proposal aims to fund work towards engagement and the writing of a specific intent statement. This group is requesting $40,000 from Regional Council

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Weak

 

Project Plan

Weak

Budget

Weak

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.13  CIF10: Waiariki Park Region

This proposal aims to reconnect the people of Waiariki with each other and nature by developing a region-wide toolkit consisting of a digital platform, and a team to support Waiariki to become a greener, healthier, and wilder region. The applicant is seeking $96,408 for each of years one through three of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Low

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

 

Project Plan

Acceptable

Budget

Weak

Cost-Effectiveness

Weak

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.14  CIF14: Tourism BOP – Cultural Tourism Development Programme

This proposal aims to elevate the cultural tourism proposition for the Bay of Plenty by working with current operations to develop their tourism offerings. The applicants are seeking $50,000 in years one and two of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

 

Project Plan

Weak

Budget

Weak

Cost-Effectiveness

Weak

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.15  EM049: RotoruaX Charitable Trust

This proposal aims to encourage and support new and existing commercial and charitable enterprises, and provide inspiration and connectivity for leaders and business owners in Rotorua and the wider Bay of Plenty, through the provision of free events. The applicants are seeking $3,333 in years one, two, and three of the Long Term Plan. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Low

 

Project Plan

Weak

Budget

Weak

Cost-Effectiveness

Weak

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.16  Informal CIF applications

The following applications were received without a fully-completed application form, and thus with less accompanying information. They have been assessed in the same way as the full CIF applications.

2.2.17  537: Kawerau Trails Trust

This proposal aims to establish, develop, and promote a network of recreational trails in and around Kawerau and the Tarawera Valley. Specifically, it first focuses on trails on Kawerau District Council and privately owned industrial land alongside the Tarawera River. The applicants are seeking support in kind and funding, but have not provided a specific amount. It has been evaluated as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Low

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Weak

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Low

 

Project Plan

Weak

Budget

Weak

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Reject the application (recommended);

2.   Approve the application in full;

3.   Approve partial funding of the application to an amount directed by Councillors.

2.2.18  Summary of CIF Funding Requests and Staff Recommendations

This following table summarises the funding requests assessed against the Community Initiatives Fund which has an available budget of $200,000 per annum in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031:

2.3      Supporting Volunteer Projects

2.3.1    Background

Through the Long Term Plan workshop in November 2020, Councillors directed additional funding of $500,000 per annum in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 towards encouraging the work of Volunteers.

At their 1 April meeting, Councillors directed that the same impact assessment method used for the evaluation of Community Initiatives Fund applications be used for the evaluation of proposals in these areas.

Council has rich and lengthy relationships with many care groups and their volunteer bases. Established groups enjoy a direct connection with council, have demonstrated the delivery of benefits that align to Council Outcomes, and are an important element of Council’s relationship with local communities. The Council wants to encourage new groups to form, and/or extend the amount of work existing groups can deliver, thereby increasing the contribution of the volunteer sector to environmental outcomes. A significant annual growth in volunteer effort can be expected from this new investment.

Staff have identified three Community Initiatives Fund applications involving volunteers that are suitable for funding from this budget. Staff recommend a mix of direct funding and Council-delivered support. The three applications recommended for support are summarised below.

2.3.2    CIF1: Bay Conservation Alliance (BCA)

Bay Conservation Alliance are seeking $190,000 of funding in year one of the next LTP, and $250,000 in years two and three of the Long Term Plan. This proposal aims to provide support to volunteer environmental groups in the Bay of Plenty. This includes administration, support for fundraising, and the provision of training and capability development. The evaluation of this proposal is as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

Yes

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Acceptable

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Good

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Acceptable

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Good

 

Project Plan

Acceptable

Budget

Acceptable

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

The proposal’s focus on administrative support and training would reduce the burden on care groups and assist with operations, communications, and recruitment. However, staff believe that only 50% of current care groups might receive support. There appears to be a focus on the Western Bay of Plenty and smaller groups may not benefit as much as larger groups.

As part of any funding, it would be recommended that Bay Conservation Alliance expand the number of groups with which they engage across the Bay of Plenty.

Staff recommend part-funding of $85,000 for years 1-3 of the next LTP, primarily for facilitating training, supporting administrative needs, and covering membership fees to enable more groups to join the Bay Conservation Alliance. As part of the funding agreement, Council should require an equitable geographic spread of assistance.

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Provide no funding;

2.   Provide funding of $85,000 per annum for years one through three of the Long Term Plan (recommended);

3.   Provide the full amount of funding requested ($190,000 in year one, $250,000 in years two and three).

2.3.3    CIF5: NZ Landcare Trust

The NZ Landcare Trust’s submission seeks funding of $150,000 for years 1-3 of the next LTP for a catchment coordination position, and associated costs, to support catchment groups. This would help fledgling groups establish technical support, templates, systems, coordination and practical advice until they become self-sufficient. The evaluation of this proposal is as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

Yes

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Weak

Strength of Evidence

Acceptable

 

Project Plan

Good

Budget

Good

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

Staff strongly recommend that catchment groups (landowner groups) retain the option of being supported by an external agency, such as NZ Landcare Trust. Different types of volunteer groups will prefer to be supported in different ways and will align to different agencies. By having a range of agencies geared to provide support to volunteer groups, we can expect to encourage more such groups to form and grow in coming years. This is particularly important where the groups have been formed to address an environmental issue. NZ Landcare Trust have a proven record and are trusted by rural communities. Their independence from Council is valued.

Staff also note that there is a gap in resourcing in this space, which is critical to engaging and empowering communities to lead. There is community desire for practical support. Filling this gap will result in real gains in terms of volunteer effort.

Staff’s recommendation is part-funding of $100,000 per annum. Any funding would include the setting of specific performance goals around the number and geographical location of new catchment groups. One new group, per sub-regional area, per year might be a reasonable expectation.

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Provide no funding;

2.   Provide funding of $100,000 per annum for years one through three of the Long Term Plan (recommended);

3.   Provide the full amount of funding requested ($150,000 per annum for years one through three of the Long Term Plan).

2.3.4    CIF3: Envirohub

Envirohub’s submission seeks funding of $100,000 for years 1-3 of the next LTP to deliver a suite of programmes and initiatives that raise awareness, promote action around climate change, biodiversity, pollution and resilience through engagement with individuals and organisations Bay of Plenty. The evaluation of this proposal is as follows:

Legislative Requirement

No

Legislative Alignment

No

Levels of Service

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

A Healthy Environment

Extent of Influence

Good

Strength of Evidence

Good

Freshwater for Life

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

Safe and Resilient Communities

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

A Vibrant Region

Extent of Influence

Acceptable

Strength of Evidence

Good

 

Project Plan

Good

Budget

Good

Cost-Effectiveness

Acceptable

Staff analysis is that the support and facilitation of environmental actions in the urban environment sits well with this organisation, as it is a space where Regional Council has less of a focus.

Staff recommendation is full funding of $100,000 per annum for years one through three of the Long Term Plan..

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Provide no funding;

2.   Provide full funding of $100,000 per annum for years one through three of the Long Term Plan (recommended).

Note Envirohub’s second submission, on the Waiariki Park Region, is included in the list of proposals to consider for funding from the primary Community Initiatives Fund budget (refer to section 2.2).

2.3.5    Administrative Support for Volunteers

Councillor agreement with the staff recommended options above would expend $285,000 per annum of the $500,000 budget allocated towards encouraging the work of volunteer groups. Staff recommend that the remaining funding of $215,000 per annum be allocated for staff-provided administrative support to volunteer groups.

This would enable geographic equitability by providing an equivalent level of support to groups in Rotorua and the Eastern Bay as is currently delivered to the Western Bay of Plenty. It would also enable Council to deliver on care group desires, such as continuity of service, on-call technical advice, communications assistance, and a reduction in red tape.

This administrative support would include:

·          Communications and social media support;

·          Development of a volunteers database;

·          Recognition of volunteer’s efforts and achievements;

·          Assistance with skills training and health and safety requirements;

·          Support for fund-raising;

·          Research into volunteer group sustainability and growth;

·          Organising complimentary corporate volunteering events.

This administrative support would be provided via a mixture of Council staff and outsourced work.

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

1.   Provide no funding to administrative support to volunteers ($215,000 per annum remains unallocated within the pacific volunteer groups budget);

2.   Provide full funding of $215,000 per annum for years one through three of the Long Term Plan (recommended);

2.3.6    Summary of Funding Requests and Staff Recommendations

This following table summarises the funding requests assessed against the available budget for Volunteers of $500,000 per annum in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031:

2.4      Enhanced Community Engagement and Participation

2.4.1    Background

At its November 2020 LTP Workshop, Councillors directed additional funding of $200,000 per annum in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 for Enhanced Community Engagement and Participation.

Key to future decisions will be the additional climate change actions to be agreed by Council as part of these deliberations. Included in this is the development of a draft Whakatāne River Climate Change Resilience Plan, which is discussed in the General Matters paper.

In addition, the Climate Change paper proposes a focus on community participation to identify the risks faced by specific communities so as to enable planning for adaptation. It is also proposed that Council invests in decision-making tools, such as 1000minds, which could lead to greater participation in the council decision-making process. It does not propose the Council should run a one-off climate change forum.

Further policy development is required to enhance our engagement ability within council. This will be refined in year one of the long-term plan with a focus on exploring deliberative processes, strengthening social science and exploring how we better connect with communities of identity place or interest to ensure they feel engaged and heard. The outcome of this enhanced engagement will benefit our community participation which will be measured through reach, representation, process and insights that contribute to better decision-making. This will build on the vision, goals and measures in our current Community Engagement Strategy

It is anticipated that further work will be required through financial year 2021/22 to develop an approach to enhancing community participation. This will include further development of the Significance and Engagement Policy with a focus on enhancing community participation in the work of council and to reflect council priorities of climate change, and Maori partnerships.

2.4.2    Youth Engagement

Full council received and discussed the paper “Enhanced Youth Engagement” on 1 April. The recommendations were based on youth voice, research and working with partners within and beyond the region. Recommendations supported by council were that a youth engagement plan is developed including:

§ an assessment of the viability of developing a youth design group;

§ communication tools to inform young people more about the regional council’s role;

§ delivery of an innovative youth project – “Hackathon” for a priority project;

§ And scoping potential to deliver work experience opportunities for young people.

Few submissions were received on this topic during the Special Consultative Procedure. Submissions relating to Climate Change highlighted the importance of council taking tangible action while working in collaboration with partners and involving those most affected by the impacts of Climate Change. Direction is now required as to the implementation of this plan.

2.4.3    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following options for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

Option One: Do nothing ($200,000 per annum budget remains unallocated within the Community Engagement activity);

Option Two: Allocate $46,000 of the $200,000 per annum budget to deliver the Youth Engagement Plan and subsequent activities, leaving $154,000 per annum for further Enhanced Engagement activities (recommended)

Option Three: Allocate new funding of $46,000 per annum in the draft Long Term Plan for delivering the Youth Engagement Plan. This would result a 0.2% increase in general rates per annum.

Note the General Matters paper in discussing engagement for a Whakatāne River Climate Change Resilience Plan may (depending on the option chosen by Councillors) lead to further allocation of this budget.

3.        Considerations

3.1      Risks and Mitigations

There are no significant risks arising from this paper. Inaction will not hinder Regional Council’s abilities to deliver core services.

3.2      Climate Change

Several of the CIF applications primarily or indirectly contribute to climate change goals.

3.3      Implications for Māori

Several of the CIF applications primarily or indirectly contribute to partnerships with Māori.

3.4      Community Engagement

 

Adobe Systems

CONSULT

Whakauiuia

To obtain input or feedback from affected communities about our analysis, alternatives, and /or proposed decisions.

 

Applications have been received as part of Council’s Special Consultative Procedure on the proposed Long Term Plan 2021-2031.

 

3.5      Financial Implications

Council has determined that making best use of resources requires greater involvement of volunteers in achieving community outcomes. It also involves working with others to progress these community outcomes through the Community Initiatives and Environmental Enhancement Funds. Council staff will ensure that there are reporting requirements for any funds allocated under those mechanisms so that Council can monitor the contribution those allocations are making.

CouCouIf the recommendation is adopted by Council, will it result in:

-   Unbudgeted work during the current financial year?

-   Unbudgeted work for any of the years remaining in the current Long Term Plan?

If the answer is ‘no’ to both questions please select the dropdown option 1 and complete appropriately.

If the answer is ‘yes’ to either question please select “Budget Implications” in the building block below and liaise with your Management Accountant in order to complete the Financial Impact table.

Councillors directed funding in the draft Long Term Plan of $200,000 per annum for the Community Initiatives Fund; $500,000 per annum for Volunteers; and $200,000 per annum for Enhanced Community Engagement and Participation.

Allocation of the budgeted amounts to specific projects and organisations will not have any additional funding implications in the draft Long Term Plan. Allocations above the budgeted amounts will have implications on general funds.

 

4.        Next Steps

Next Steps: What next? What resources are needed? Further analysis? Timeframes ahead. Any consultation planned. Remind Council of the process ahead. Next update to Council?

Conclusion: Short concluding remarks. Referring back to recommendations. No new content.

Direction from Councillors today will enable staff to update the draft LTP 2021-2031 which will then be considered for adoption by Council in June 2021.

Funding requesters will be informed of the decisions following Council deliberations and contracts will be arranged for the provision of funding to successful applicants.

Attachments

Attachment 1 - Priority One - links with related work  

 


Regional Council                                                                                                                           12 May 2021

PDF Creator

PDF Creator


 

 

 

Report To:

Regional Council

Meeting Date:

12 May 2021

Report Writer:

Kataraina O'Brien, Strategic Engagement Manager; Graeme Howard, Corporate Planning Lead and Anaru Vercoe, Pou Whainga - Principal Advisor

Report Authoriser:

Namouta Poutasi, General Manager, Strategy & Science

Purpose:

To gain Councillor direction on funding for Māori engagement, co-governance, and capability building.

 

 

SP: Maori Partnerships Deliberations Decisions

 

Executive Summary

This report seeks decisions relating to Council’s Māori Partnerships Strategic Priority and proposes Long Term Plan funding across three key areas of that priority:

•   Freshwater Māori Engagement ($1 million per annum)

•   Co-governance ($200,000 per annum)

•   Other Initiatives [Māori capacity and capability] ($600,000 total)

Through the draft Long Term Plan, Council initially allocated $500,000 per annum for Māori engagement on freshwater, noting additional funding of $1 million would be required. This was factored into the draft LTP Budget for consultation pending further consideration.

This paper details those additional funding requirements, informed through the LTP submission process and in anticipation of regulatory reforms and proposed changes to Councils operating environment.

A summary of key kaupapa Māori submissions is also provided, with a view to these informing the role Komiti Māori and the development of their corresponding work programme in the Māori Partnerships space. Of particular note is a proposed new Community Outcome focused specifically on Māori Wellbeing.

Finally, to ensure explicit levels of service for all activities, a new Māori responsiveness performance goal is proposed for adoption, reflecting Councils increasing focus on Māori partnerships and shared decision making arrangements.

 

Recommendations

That the Regional Council:

1        Receives the report, SP: Maori Partnerships Deliberations Decisions.

2        Directs one of the following options on funding for Māori engagement for freshwater reform for inclusion in the draft LTP for adoption

(a)  Option 1 (Recommended): Confirm the $1,000,000 per annum funding allocated in the draft LTP 2021-2031 to support and enable Māori engagement for freshwater reform

(b)  Option 2: Approve partial funding as directed by Council

3        Directs one of the following options on additional funding to provide independent secretariat and related support for co-governance entities for inclusion in the draft LTP for adoption

(a)  Option 1: No additional funding

(b)  Option 2 (Recommended): Include additional funding of $200,000 per annum

(c)  Approve partial funding as directed by Council.

4        Directs one of the following options on additional funding on other initiatives to enhance Maori capacity and capability for inclusion in the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  Option 1: No additional funding 

(b)  Option 2 (Recommended): Include total additional funding of $600,000 to support Toi Kai Rawa operations and projects ($300,000 in LTP Year 1, $200,000 LTP Year 2, $100,000 LTP Year 3)

(c)  Approve partial funding as directed by Council.

5        The following items are referred to Komiti Māori for inclusion in their work plan:

a)   Consideration of a Māori Well-being outcome incorporated into the 2024/2034 Long Term Plan

b)  Consideration of Māori Capacity and Capability being supported through the establishment of Taiao Hub or an alternative approach

6        Provides direction on the following options for inclusion of a Māori responsiveness performance goal in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 for adoption.

(a)  Declines inclusion of performance goal in LTP 2021-2031, or 

(b)  Endorses the proposed performance goal for inclusion in the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 Recommended

(c)  Recommends an alternative Māori responsiveness performance goal

In addition

(d)  Council delegate to Komiti Māori the development of a future performance goal, for subsequent consideration by Council through Annual Plan or Long Term Plan processes.  Recommended

7        Confirms the decision has a medium level of significance as determined by the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. Council has identified and assessed different options and considered community views as part of making the decision, in proportion to the level of significance.

 

1.        Introduction

This report seeks decisions relating to Council’s Māori Partnerships Strategic Priority.

Council identified this priority as being one of several key areas for Council to focus on over the next Long Term Plan in order to help achieve Community Outcomes and support Community Wellbeing as set out in Council’s Strategic Direction.

Through the development of the draft Long Term Plan, Council initially allocated $500,000 per annum for Māori engagement on Freshwater and identified that additional funding estimated at approximately $1 million per annum would be required. The draft LTP Budget for consultation was updated to include this additional funding requirement pending further consideration.

Through a joint Strategy and Policy Committee/Komiti Māori informal Workshop held in March 2021, Councillors considered a range of issues as part of the discussion on the Essential Freshwater Policy Programme and Engagement with Māori.

Based on that workshop, plus consideration of feedback received through submissions on the LTP, direction is sought in the following three key areas:

·      Freshwater: Māori Engagement

·      Co-governance resourcing requirements

·      Other Initiatives (towards enhancing Māori capacity and capability) – includes submissions received through the LTP seeking funding that aligns to the delivery of this Strategic Priority.

1.1      Regulatory Reform

Significant changes are underway or proposed to the regulatory environment in which Council operates. This includes the Essential Freshwater Policy Programme, which is tasked with delivering NPSFM implementation through the notification of a Proposed Regional Policy Statement and Regional Natural Resources Plan by July 2024. In addition, Government plans to repeal the Resource Management Act 1991(RMA) and replace it with three new pieces of legislation; the Natural and Built Environments Act, the Strategic Planning Act and the Climate Change Adaptation Act.

Specifically for Māori, proposed regulatory reforms including Three Waters, Essential Freshwater and Resource Management have a strong focus on accommodating Māori rights and interests, increased engagement and collaboration with Māori, and building capacity and capability to engage within the reformed regulatory environment. Specific proposals seek to provide for Māori by:

•   Recognising Te Mana o Te Taiao and requiring decision makers to give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, including setting environmental limits for certain resources;

•   Establishing a stronger strategic role for Māori in the system such as including mana whenua representation on joint committees that develop regional spatial strategies and regional combined plans, and enabling effective partnership in delivery

A number of other recent reforms such as the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act and Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill are likely to impact local government with timeframes and increase demand on local government and Iwi-Māori resources. Central Government has also announced a broad-scale review of Local Government structures through which additional Māori specific provisions may be anticipated, noting the recent enactment of the Local Electoral and Māori Wards Amendment Act 2021.

In light of these matters, Council maintains a continued focus on Māori Partnerships as one of its Strategic Priorities and is working to strengthen relationships with Iwi-Māori in the region.

These changes are part of what is driving increased expectations and requirements in relation to Māori participation and engagement in these regulatory reform and other statutory and non-statutory processes. In order to meet these greater expectations, greater focus is being placed on the partnerships that Council has in working with Māori across the Bay of Plenty region together with more emphasis on more inclusive, shared decision making.

1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework

 

A Healthy Environment

We work cohesively with volunteers and others, to sustainably manage and improve our natural resources.

Freshwater for Life

We collaborate with others to maintain and improve our water resource for future generations.

Safe and Resilient Communities

We work with our partners to develop plans and policies, and we lead and enable our communities to respond and recover from an emergency.

A Vibrant Region

We work with and connect the right people to create a prosperous region and economy.

The Way We Work

We honour our obligations to Māori.

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

Low - Positive

¨ Cultural

 

þ Social

Low - Positive

þ Economic

 

 

 

1.       Significance

The recommended proposal/decision has been assessed against the criteria and thresholds in Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy, and can be considered:

Medium

The financial costs and implications of the decision are not yet known or provided for.

 

2.        Submissions on the LTP

Through consultation on the LTP, council received a number of submissions from Māori (tangata whenua/hapū/iwi) across a range of matters. A common theme from the majority of submissions was capability and capacity challenges Maori are facing due to the increased complexity and volume of issues requiring their participation and perspectives. Key challenges of note include regulatory reform, climate change and fresh water management (Te Mana o Te Wai).

Maori submissions include a mixture of funding requests, non-monetary requests (such as seeking a partnership with Council) and support in kind (such as training, secondments, monitoring and technical support).  For many of the non-monetary submitters, staff will be seeking to identify operational solutions/opportunities to address specific requests within existing budgets.

The following sections of this report address particular points where Council decisions are needed in relation to the draft LTP 2021-2031. 

3.        Freshwater: Māori Engagement

3.1      Background

At a joint Strategy and Policy Committee/Komiti Māori Informal Workshop held in March 2021, councillors considered a range of issues as part of a discussion on the Essential Freshwater Policy Programme and Engagement with Maori.

Tangata whenua are faced a range of challenges in relation to responding to the expectations placed in relation to freshwater and regulatory reform. Particularly with respect to capacity and capability. In many cases a state of “readiness” to participate in the NPSFM implementation process is difficult to achieve because of financial constraints or where budget has been allocated to priority projects. Post COVID 19 effects and a focus on economic recovery has also slowed the process of engagement on freshwater.

As noted above, through the development of the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 Council allocated $500,000 per annum for Māori engagement on NPSFM and a further $1 million per annum of funding capacity was established in the draft LTP Budget pending further consideration.

The table below summarises the estimated annual costs of $1.5 million and staff recommendations as to the allocation of funding to Māori engagement on NPSFM.

Māori Engagement Freshwater

Proposed allocation of draft LTP funding

Estimated Annual Cost

$

Ngā Kaitohutohu – Māori Technical Advisory Group

Assumption: Estimate assumes up to 10 members, with regular meetings (to be held as required), and also allowing for preparatory reading time.  Meeting and appropriate fees will apply.

135,000

Sub-regional hui

Assumption: x6 in 2021 – 2022

35,000

Kaitiaki Collective Groups

Assumption: up to 3 per sub-region in 2021) - appropriate meeting and fees to be applied.

150,000

Consultants

Assumption: appropriate consultancy fees to be applied. Work is expected to continue through to 2023 with renewal of contracts if required.

240,000

General attendance and travel costs

30,000

Tangata whenua-led research

450,000

Total funding requests through submissions (refer tables below)

463,666

Total Estimated Annual Cost – Māori Engagement Freshwater

1,503,666

The above estimated annual cost of Māori Engagement on Freshwater is likely to be conservative, and Council will need to review this as engagement, relationships, and projects develop, and are confirmed with iwi and hapū.

It is also important to note that several sources of national funding (Provincial Growth Fund, Jobs for Nature, and Te Mana o te Wai fund) are likely to be accessed by Bay of Plenty iwi and this may reduce requests / needs for more support from Regional Council.   

3.2      Specified funding requests (Freshwater)

The table shows those submissions with linkages to the Freshwater programme, included for consideration within that funding stream.  As noted above, the recommendations in the following table are factored into the total cost sought to support Māori Engagement for the NPS-FM

ID

Submitter and brief description

Requested Funding

Staff comment

Recommendation

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

343

Te Runanga o Ngati Manawa
Te Mana o Te Wai one-off workshop

 

$30,000

 

 

External funding available via MfE.

 

$10,000

 

 

Partnerships, Joint Planning (incl kaitiaki training, monitoring, data and reporting)

$100,000

$100,000

$100,000

Support kaitiaki training up to $15,000 for years 1-3.

$15,000

$15,000

$15,000

Setting up an environment unit:

 

Total funding being sought is $880,000

$250,000

$150,000

$150,000

Support mahinga kai attributes and monitoring up to $10,000 for years 1-3.

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

EM18

Ngati Pikiao Environmental Society
Development of a Ngāti Pikiao Iwi Water Management Plan, concurrent with kaitiaki training programme

$205,000

 

 

Ngāti Pikiao Iwi Water Plan fits within the NPS-FM. Additional funding could be supported via operational budgets.

N/A - Support available within existing budgets

 

 

 

 

Support kaitiaki training up to $10,000 for years 1-3

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

EM47

*Tauranga Moana Iwi Partners (TMAG)
Tauranga Moana Mana Moana (creating a kaitiaki forum, creating council equivalent roles, hapū kaitiaki projects, building systems, enhancing capability);
     

Total funding being sought is $5,423,550

(see table below)

·  

$1,807,850

$1,807,850

$1,807,850

Alignment to fresh water NPSFM implementation

Support for kaitiakitanga training.

$116,666

$116,666

$116,666

 

 

 

 

Support over 3 years for mātauranga Māori research.

EM47

*Te Runanga o Ngai Te Rangi Iwi Trust
Building and lifting kaitiaki capability (via training, learning and developing skills)

Total funding being sought is $747,376

(see table below)

$262,225

$246,951

$238,200

Alignment to fresh water NPSFM implementation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support over 3 years for kaitiakitanga training.

 

Total

$2,655,075

$2,304,801

$2,296,050

 

$161.666

$151,666

$151,666

* Comment – Kia u te Manawarere and Papaki Tu Ana (Ngāi Te Rangi and Tauranga Iwi Partners) submission.

Ngāi te Rangi submissions align with the implementation of the NPSFM and the approach outlined under Te Hononga (Māori Engagement Plan to implement the NPSFM 2020). 

The submissions lend themselves towards the potential establishment of a Tauranga Moana Iwi Hub which is likely to be the longer term objective expanding into other activities of council beyond the management of freshwater.  Recommendations have been made on the basis of shorter term outcomes relating to the notification of a regional plan July 2024.

Submission Point

Summary

Recommendation

Building Kaitiaki Capacity and Capability: “kia u te manawarere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-      Responding effectively to resource consent applications

-      Involvement in catchment management activities

-      Certified Kaitiaki to undertake maritime activities

-      Lift capacity and capability in policy and planning (note NPSFM requirements for tangata whenua involvement).

-      Collation and preparation of Mātauranga Māori including contributions to the preparation of monitoring methodologies.

 

Total funding requested from BOPRC across 3 years: $747,376.

Recommendation: to combine “Kia u te Manawarere and Papaki Tu Ana submissions

Support building capacity and capability of kaitiaki particularly where the requirements under the NPSFM.  This should be combined with those submission points set out under Papaki Tu Ana (see below).  Support:

-      Kaitiaki training (including support in planning and resource consents)

-      Preparation and research of Mātauranga Māori and its potential application (e.g. monitoring methodologies).

-      Establishing a forum – potentially a key contact to provide higher level advice to council or where key decisions relating to freshwater management could be made.

-      Identify and prepare hapū led projects that would complement catchment based work

-      Design and information process/system to support kaitiaki.

-      Undertake engagement with marae and hapū.

 

Tauranga Moana Iwi Partners (TMAG) – “Papaki Tu Ana” (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi te Rangi and Ngāti Pūkenga).

-      Establishing a governance group (key liaison point for regional council)

-      Hapū lead projects

-      Increasing capacity and capability of kaitiaki supported through appropriate systems to manage and make decisions on information/issues.

Funding sought across three years: $5,423,550

 

Total combined funding recommended across 3 years $350,000. Refer to table above.

 

3.3      Options

Councillors are requested to:

Option 1:       Confirm $1,000,000 per annum funding to be allocated in the draft LTP 2021-2031 to support and enable Māori engagement for freshwater reform. Recommended option

Note: The draft LTP Budget for consultation included the additional funding requirement pending further consideration.

Option 2:       Approve partial funding as directed by Council

4.        Support for Co-Governance entities

4.1      Summary

At a joint Strategy and Policy Committee/Komiti Māori Workshop held in March 2021, councillors considered a range of issues as part of a discussion on the Essential Freshwater Policy Programme and Engagement with Maori.

Part of this discussion included a need for independent secretariat support for co governance entities that are currently operating such as; Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority, Rangitāiki River Forum, Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum and the  Tauranga Moana Advisory Group. At present these entities receive limited secretariat support directly from BOPRC.

In addition to existing co-governance entities, it is anticipated that a number of additional entities will be established over the term of the next LTP which will also require secretariat support. Through a joint LTP submissions, the Rangitāiki River Forum and Te Maru o Kaituna River Authority have sought an independent secretariat to jointly support the work of both co-governance fora, reporting directly to each Chair.

To address matters described above, one option is to include additional funding in the LTP to provide independent technical/secretarial support for existing co governance entities and also allowing some capacity for additional entities as set out in the table below. 

Co-governance Support

Estimated Annual Cost

$

·      Secretariat (strategic support for respective Chairs)

·      Technical Support (focus on resource management and regulatory reform)

·      Cultural/relationships expertise (Mātauranga Māori, partnerships and cultural integrity)

·      Other associated costs

200,000

4.2      Options

Councillors are requested to:

Option 1:       No additional funding

Option 2:       Include additional funding of $200,000 per annum in the LTP 2021-2031 to provide independent secretariat and related support for Co Governance entities. Recommended option

Option 3:       Approve partial funding as directed by Council.

5.        Other Initiatives (Enhancing capacity and capability)

Thorough its statutory framework, Council has a number of obligations to support initiatives towards enhancing Māori capacity and capability to participate within local government.

5.1      Specified funding requests

The table below outlines funding requests from Māori.  Staff have carried out an assessment of the funding requests based on the CIF framework and criteria. In addition, staff have sought to identify where work aligns with the NPSFM works programme and whether some operational solutions/opportunities to address specific requests exist within existing budgets.

 

ID

Submitter and brief description

Requested Funding

Recommendation

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

525

He Taonga Te Wai
Water Bottling & Plastics waste Iwi-rangatahi led project, one off funding.

 

$200,000

 

 

 

 

 

Comment: Little detail provided on the nature of the project. Submitter has been contacted and was unable to provide clarity on their funding request.

Recommendation: Decline funding due to lack of information.

 

EM13

Te Arawa ki Tai
Mātauranga Māori kaitiaki programme: Seeking $115,000 over years 1-3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maketu School

$55,000

 

 

 

 

 

Te Puke Intermediate

$10,000

 

 

 

 

 

Te Puke Intermediate

 

$20,000

 

 

 

 

Coordinator

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

 

 

 

Comment: Request is to support two school curriculums (Maketu and Te Puke Intermediate). We recognise the aspiration to grow future kaitiaki via kura and can look at opportunities to support in kind (resources) and through activity budgets for kaitiaki specific events.  This kaupapa is similar to ‘Wai Warriors’ which we have funded in the past.

Recommendation: Decline LTP funding. Non-core work.

 

 

EM54

Toi Kai Rawa
Operations and projects:

·          Innovation hub

·          Whenua solutions lab

·          Social procurement

$300,000

$300,000

$300,000

$300,000

$200,000

$100,000

Comment: Aligns with Māori outcomes (a vibrant community). Received annual plan funding of $250,000 (20/21) as seed funding and has met contract expectations and milestones.

 

On the basis of Council’s annual plan funding, Toi Kai Rawa embarked on a building phase and would like to increase this rate of build. The contract was only signed in September 2020 so TKR has had limited time to deliver outcomes. Never-the-less contracted project deliverables have been delivered. To gain the value of what has been invested to date, further funding is required to provide a certain funding platform.

This initiative was one of the few that combines Council’s desire to work with iwi/Maori with the component of economic development within Council’s Community Outcome of a Vibrant Region. It also fits with the delivery model in this space that looks to leverage expertise outside of normal Council delivery frameworks

 

Comment: Support funding on a descending scale.

 

Core funding creates the ability to attract co-funding such as the funding TKR has secured from the Spark Foundation towards digital connectivity. This funding proposal would provide an ongoing funding platform and would allow Council to consider future project funding “modules” to be added if these are identified.

EM42

Priority One
Māori Innovation Hub (Innovation Park on Māori owned land in Tauranga)     

$50,000 one off payment year 1

 $50,000

 

 

 

 

 

Comment: Priority One This project is being spearheaded by Te Awanui Huka Pak. The Māori innovation hub aims to be the Country’s first indigenous innovation park based on Māori-owned land in Tauranga. It will house technology innovations relating to growing businesses and supporting the economy via an innovation ecosystem.  They are seeking a $50,000 financial contribution from Council to develop a full business case at a total cost of $200.00

Recommendation: Maori Innovation Hub - Recommend partial funding via existing Economic Development activity budget.

 

 

EM51

Te Arawa Lakes Trust
Te Papa Ahurewa – Enviro Hub:  to support RMA capacity and capability. Seeking rollover of initial (annual plan) funding.

$265,000

 

 

 

 

 

Taiao Hub annuity - to maintain a core team of specialist staff, provide a platform for mātauranga māori into Council decision-making     

Seeking $600,000 p/a from 2022 to 2031

$600,000

$600,000

$600,000

 

 

 

Comment:

 

$350,000 allocated via Annual Plan 2020/21. $85,000 expended to date.

Annual plan timeframe not met and request the balance of funding ($265,000) be carried through to year 1 LTP.

 

 

 

Comment:

Remaining pilot funding to be carried over. No further funding recommended pending completion of pilot project.

 

Council currently provides a significant amount of operational support to TALT.

 EM37

Te Tatau o Te Arawa
Te Arawa Economic Transformational Plan

$158,610

$158,610

$158,610

 

 

 

Te Arawa Model for Housing

 

 

 

Te Arawa Spatial Mapping Model

 

 

 

Comment:

Seeks support for the advancement and implementation of Te Arawa Vision (strategy) to be delivered across three component areas. .

Can provide support in kind as appropriate to Te Tatau and in collaboration the Rotorua Lakes Council.

 

 

 

Comment:

Recommend decline funding and provide support in kind.

 

We recognise the value in supporting spatial planning to set frameworks for housing and economic transformation and can provide technical support (planning and geo-spatial mapping).

 

Total

$1,648,610

$1,088,610

$1,068,610

$300,000

$200,000

$100,000

 

5.2      Options

Councillors are requested to recommend one of the following options:

Option 1:       No additional funding  

Option 2:       Include additional funding of $600,000 in total, ($300,000 LTP Year 1, $200,000 LTP Year 2, $100,000 LTP Year 3) in the LTP 2021-2031 to support each initiative, up to each amount specified in the table above.  Recommended option

Option 3:       Approve partial funding as directed by Council.

5.3      Non-specified requests

Many kaupapa Maori submissions, raised important matters without identifying an immediate or specified financial impact (‘non-specified requests’). We include below a summary of these matters, to illustrate their alignment with the role of Komiti Māori in the Māori partnership and shared decision making space.

In short, Māori acknowledge the pivotal function of Council in managing the environment, and recognise the value of forming and/or strengthening relationships through partnership arrangements. Key kaupapa expressed in submissions were related to:

a)      Supporting hapū/iwi resource management capacity and capability; especially in relation to regulatory reform (fresh water management, resource consents and policy design and development);

b)      Managing the long term effects of climate change with particular focus on Marae and their communities; we received a request from a hapū to help them relocate their marae to higher ground due to the impending impacts of climate change;

c)      Enabling tangata whenua to be proactive kaitiaki within respective rohe/takiwa; Seeking opportunities to be at the forefront of leading localised environmental monitoring and compliance;

d)      Empowering tangata whenua to co-manage specific natural and physical resources; Māori are seeking shared decision making at all levels from operations (i.e. joint management agreements) to governance;

e)      Equity; Māori are pursuing equity across the four well-beings and are critiquing Councils responsiveness to Māori;

f)       Promoting Māori Economic Development innovation and opportunity;

g)      Targeted Support: Continuing existing targeted support from Council including: RMA training, He Toka Tu Moana / education scholarships, Hapai Ora, student internships, secondments, cultural monitoring and technical support.

h)      Kaitiaki Forums: Establishing specific kaitiaki forums to better provide for tangata whenua involvement in the management of rivers and associated catchments. They are seeking a more direct role in the management of resources, jointly with Council.

i)       Taiao (Enviro) Hubs: Establishment of Taiao Hubs as a dedicated resource for technical support and as a means to building capacity and capability challenges, resonated across the majority of submissions.

For many of these non-specified requests, staff will be seeking to engage with submitters to identify operational solutions/opportunities to address those requests within existing budgets.

In addition, regarding the establishment of Taiao hubs, Council staff are currently seeking for both the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation to jointly fund future Taiao hubs as all agencies are collectively seeking to deliver improved environmental outcomes through partnering with Māori.

Many of these submission points will be useful to Komiti Māori’s role in the Māori partnership space, and inform the development of its corresponding work programme. We note that Komiti Māori through that mandate, may also need to procure future resourcing via regular channels (annual plan etc) to support select kaupapa.

5.3.1    Fifth Community Outcome

Of particular note is a proposed fifth Community Outcome, giving visibility and attention to the importance of Māori wellbeings. This matter was supported by two submitters, noting “an [existing] assumption that Māori are included in the aspirations of the majority rather than being provided for by a set of visible, unique Maori-centric well-beings”.

Submitters referenced Auckland Councils inclusions of a specific “Māori identity and wellbeing” as one of its strategic outcomes and implored BOPRC to adopt a similar approach. Legislative provisions within the Local Government Act 2002 were also considered to provide a platform to support a specific Māori outcome, as below:

1)  A health environment

2)  Freshwater for life

3)  Safe and resilient communities

4)  A vibrant region

5)  Enabling Tangata Whenua / Māori well-beings

Staff consider some prima facie merit to the proposal but recommend further development of this concept is necessary to inform any potential decision.

5.4      Recommendations (non-specified requests)

It is recommended that:

1) These kaupapa be used to inform the development of Komiti Maori work programme;

2) Staff work with submitters to identify kaupapa (or aspects of) that could be met within existing activity budgets;

3) Where appropriate, Komiti Māori through its Māori partnerships mandate, procure additional resourcing through regular financial channels (i.e. Annual Plan), to support select kaupapa; and

4) Council through Komiti Māori, further investigate the concept of a specific “Māori    wellbeing’s” fifth Community Outcome.

6.        Māori responsiveness performance goal

6.1      Summary

During the October and November LTP workshops, Councillors confirmed performance goals for the LTP. At the time, no specific goal was confirmed for Māori responsiveness, due to the infancy of Māori responsiveness framework and ongoing development of this work.

Defining an appropriate performance goal remains challenging on account of the above. However, initial analysis indicates some value in linking the goal to shared decision-making arrangements (i.e. Co-governance, joint management arrangements, operational level partnerships etc) in line with Council’s Māori Partnership strategic priority. The proposed goal is as follows:

 

Service #1 – Reducing Council Emissions

Level of Service Description

Building Māori participation in Council decision making

Links to Our Strategic Outcomes

A healthy environment

Freshwater for life

Performance Measure and Targets

 

Current Performance

21/22

22/23

23/24

24/25-30/31

The number of shared decision making arrangements operationalised and supported by Council

New Measure

Set baseline

Improve on Previous Year

Improve on Previous Year

Improve on Previous Year

In addition, Komiti Māori thorough its Māori Partnerships mandate could assist with further refinement of an appropriate goal for subsequent adoption by Council for inclusion through a future Annual Plan or Long Term Plan process. Noting that for reasons of auditability the goal needs to be explicit, specific, and measurable. This would enable future performance goals to better align with the Māori Responsiveness Framework and KM Māori Partnerships work programmes, as these take shape over the forthcoming period. It would also provide a greater perspective on the practically of the goal and the degree to which it can be achieved with current parameters,

6.2      Options

Councillors are requested to direct either:

Option 1:       Decline inclusion of performance goal in LTP 2021-2031, or  

Option 2:       Approval of the proposed performance goal for inclusion in the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 Recommended

Option 3:       Recommends an alternative Māori responsiveness performance goal

In addition

Option 4:        Council delegate to Komiti Māori the development of a future performance goal, for subsequent consideration by Council through Annual Plan or Long Term Plan processes Recommended.

7.        Considerations

7.1      Risks and Mitigations

There are no significant risks associated with this matter/subject/project/initiative.

7.2      Climate Change

The matters addressed in this report are of a procedural nature and there is no need to consider climate change impacts.

7.3      Implications for Māori

The allocation of LTP funding as recommended, will jointly and severally assist the ability of Māori across the region to be better engaged with Council, to build their capability and capability to participate in local government processes and to prosper alongside the community large.   

7.4      Community Engagement

 

Adobe Systems

CONSULT

Whakauiuia

To obtain input or feedback from affected communities about our analysis, alternatives, and /or proposed decisions.

 

7.5      Financial Implications

If the recommendation is adopted by Council, will it result in:

-   Unbudgeted work during the current financial year?

-   Unbudgeted work for any of the years remaining in the current Long Term Plan?

If the answer is ‘no’ to both questions please select the dropdown option 1 and complete appropriately.

If the answer is ‘yes’ to either question please select “Budget Implications” in the building block below and liaise with your Management Accountant in order to complete the Financial Impact table.

 

The financial implications for the recommended options for the LTP budget are in the table below. Staff will continue to work with our partners to ensure we are making best use of resources.

Note: The draft LTP Budget for Consultation included the funding requirement for Māori Engagement Freshwater as shown in the table above. Confirming the allocation of this funding will not create additional rating requirements for the draft LTP.

8.        Next Steps

Next Steps: What next? What resources are needed? Further analysis? Timeframes ahead. Any consultation planned. Remind Council of the process ahead. Next update to Council?

Conclusion: Short concluding remarks. Referring back to recommendations. No new content.

Following direction from Council, staff will prepare a final draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 for adoption by Council at the Council meeting on 24 June 2021.

Attachments

Attachment 1 - Attachment 1: Maori Partnership Funding Assessment summary  

 


Regional Council                                                                                                          12 May 2021

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Report To:

Regional Council

Meeting Date:

12 May 2021

Report Writer:

Tobias Fransson, Performance Analyst; Zhivan Alach, Organisational Performance Manager; Ruth Feist, Team Leader Urban; Jessica Easton, Legal and Commercial Manager; James Llewellyn, Transport & Urban Planning Manager and Tiffany Dimmock, Financial Accountant

Report Authoriser:

Namouta Poutasi, General Manager, Strategy & Science

Purpose:

To gain Council direction on key decisions relating to the Transportation and Urban Planning Strategic Priority for the Long Term Plan.

 

 

SP: Transportation and Urban Planning - Deliberations Decisions

 

Executive Summary

To gain Council direction on the following key decisions:

·           Free fares for school students (consultation question).

·           Free fares for tertiary students (consultation question).

·           Free fares for Community Services Card holders (consultation question).

·           Flat public transport fares (consultation question).

·           Bus Decarbonisation feasibility study.

·           Transport Programme Optimisation.

·           Carless Wednesday Challenge.

·           Western Bay of Plenty public transport

·           Rotorua public transport

 

 

Recommendations

That the Regional Council:

1        Receives the report, SP: Transportation and Urban Planning - Deliberations Decisions.

2        Directs one of the following options relating to free fares for school students for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption

(a)  No free fares (Recommended)

(i)   While there would be no permanent free fares, there would be a one-year trial of free fares for school students on urban networks at specified times.

(b)  Free fares during arrival/departure times

(c)  Free fares at all times

3        Directs one of the following options relating to free fares for tertiary students for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption

(a)  No free fares (Recommended)

(b)  Free fares

4        Directs one of the following options relating to free fares for Community Services Card holders for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption

(a)  No free fares (Recommended)

(b)  Free fares

5        Directs one of the following options relating to flat fares for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption

(a)  No flat fares (Recommended)

(b)  Flat fares

6        Directs one of the following options relating to bus decarbonisation feasibility for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption

(a)  Proceed in year one (Recommended);

(b)  Postpone until year two or later.

7        Directs one of the following options relating to Western Bay transport programme management for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption

(a)  Provide funding for staff resources, and note the local share will be funded from reserves in LTP Years 1, 2 and 3 (Recommended);

(b)  Do not provide funding for staff resource.

8        Directs one of the following options relating to the Carless Wednesday Challenge for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption

(a)  Provide full one-year funding for the project (Recommended)

(b)  Provide a lower level of funding for the project

(c)  No funding for the project

9        Confirms “Status Quo” for funding UFTI (Medium Scenario) (recommended)

10      Directs one of the following options relating to Rotorua public transport:

(a)  “Do Nothing” option; or

(b)  “A Balanced Approach” option (Recommended).

11      Confirms the decision has a medium level of significance as determined by the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. Council has identified and assessed different options and considered community views as part of making the decision, in proportion to the level of significance.

 

1.        Introduction

1.1      Background

In order to meet our obligations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in line with required targets, Regional Council has a strategy to significantly increase travel by zero emission buses, at the expense of the single-occupancy private car.  In the western Bay sub-region, the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI) and Transport System Plan (TSP) have set out proposed service and infrastructure improvements that aim to deliver an efficient, safe and reliable bus transit network in the fastest growing urban area of New Zealand.  Across the rest of the region, improvements to bus routes are required to meet a range of development proposals as well as improve access to jobs, education opportunities and essential services.

This paper focusses on five aspects of a system-based approach:

1.   Potential changes to fares that people pay to use bus services across the region;

2.   Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the current diesel bus fleet;

3.   Well-resourced programme management and delivery arrangements to help implement the TSP;

4.   Travel demand management and behaviour change; and

5.   Provision of increased service frequencies in Tauranga and Rotorua, supported by delivery of priority infrastructure and parking management.

Attachment 1 provides background information relevant to the topics discussed in this paper.

1.2      Current Operating Costs, Patronage and Financial Performance

LTP deliberations decisions should be made in the context of the current levels of operating cost, patronage and financial performance. 

Regional bus patronage on Quarter 3 of 2020/21 (Jan to Mar 20) was 617,187, a decrease of 11.2% on the same period last year and a 0.8% increase on Q3 2018/19. 

With the exception of Tauranga school services, patronage levels have continued to decline in most areas because of the impact of COVID-19 which is a national trend.  Tauranga school services has experienced continued growth. In the 2020 calendar year, nearly 94,000 additional trips were made by school children, compared with 2019.


 

 

Figure 1: Quarterly Patronage Figures 2016/17 to 2020/21

The latest operational expenditure figures for the region show that services are under significant financial pressure.

Table 1: BOPRC Public Transport Performance FY2020/21

Item

Tauranga

Rotorua

Western Bay of Plenty

Whakatane

Regional

Full Year Forecast

Annual Plan

Budget Variance

Urban

School

Urban

Urban

Urban

Operational Expenditure ($million)

19.235

4.171

4.775

1.169

0.633

2.470

32.542

32.024

0.518

Fare Revenue ($million)

1.484

0.000

0.346

0.116

0.051

0.006

2.003

3.619

(1.616)

Subsidy ($million)

7.924

1.965

2.111

0.580

0.291

0.799

13.670

12.212

1.458

Passengers (million)

1.439

0.778

0.316

0.018

0.026

N/A

2.577

2.954

(0.377)

Farebox Recovery (%)

13.28%

0.00%

16.53%

7.40%

15.38%

N/A

13.43%

-

-

The table shows that fares received by Regional Council covered just over 13% of service operating costs.  Fare revenue is forecast to be $1.6million lower than forecast and operating subsidy $1.5million higher. 

Waka Kotahi/NZTA fare policy guidance has traditionally advised that councils should be aiming for a farebox recovery figure of not less than 50% (although this target has not applied since 2018).  We are aware that figures for some other councils are between 30% and 50%.

The underlying principles of the Waka Kotahi/NZTA policy are:

·      Fare policies should be consistent with the wider objectives in Regional Public Transport Plans and contribute to the government’s transport priorities;

·      Fares play an important role in helping cover the cost of public transport within available budgets; and

·      Farebox recovery is one component to consider when planning fare revenue and reviewing fare levels, but should not be the only measure considered.

Patronage levels in region have been significantly affected by COVID-19, but concessionary fares provided to senior citizens and school students in Tauranga are resulting in additional revenue being foregone. Free fares for school children are putting financial performance of the Tauranga network under further pressure. 

If there is an aspiration to deliver UFTI service frequency improvements, and to do so with zero emission buses, then the current level of financial performance is not sustainable.  Given the pressure on the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), we anticipate a factor in Waka Kotahi/NZTA decision making will be financial performance. Council has previously approved that costs associated with UFTI implementation in LTP Years 1, 2 and 3 are to be met through Regional Council reserve funding due to the regional benefit of reducing congestion in the western Bay of Plenty as well as the anticipated rates requirements western Bay of Plenty residents associated with transport system-related costs.

1.3      Legislative Framework

Regional Council provides public transport services under the Land Transport Management Act (LTMA) 2013.

1.4      Alignment with Strategic Framework

A Healthy Environment

We develop and implement regional plans and policy to protect our natural environment.

Safe and Resilient Communities

We work with communities and others to consider long term views of natural hazard risks through our regional plans and policies.

A Vibrant Region

We lead regional transport strategy and system planning, working with others to deliver a safe and reliable public transport system.

The Way We Work

We deliver value to our ratepayers and our customers.

A strong emphasis in this paper is on tackling greenhouse gas emissions through developing an attractive bus system run with zero emission vehicles.

Local communities across the region rely on the bus for providing safe and secure access to jobs, schools, essential services, whānau and leisure opportunities.

A modern low-carbon public transport system is integral to developing the Bay of Plenty as a thriving region.

Bus services and facilities need to be designed around the needs of our customers and communities.

1.4.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

Medium - Positive

¨ Cultural

Low - Positive

þ Social

High - Positive

þ Economic

Medium - Positive

Developing a low carbon accessible transport system – where people do not need a private vehicle – makes a solid contribution to community well being.

 

o Significance

The recommended proposal/decision has been assessed against the criteria and thresholds in Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy, and can be considered:

Medium

The decision is not within existing budgets and does not implement the current long term plan or annual plan.

 

2.        Key Decisions

2.1      Free fares for school students

2.1.1    Background

In 2020, Regional Council implemented a free fares trial for Tauranga school students, which has been extended until December 2021.  Students can currently travel for free on school days before 9.00am and between 2.30pm and 6.30pm.

The LTP Consultation Document requested public views on extending the free fares scheme to the whole region (including between towns) and making it permanent. The three options for school students consulted on were:

1.   No free fares; or

2.   Free fares during school arrival and departure times; or

3.   Free fares at all times.

2.1.2    Consultation Responses

Total Responses

Option one (no free fares

Option two (free arrival / departure)

Option 3 (free all times)

241

17

124

100

100%

7%

51%

41%

 

Of the people who responded, support for either of the options proposing free fares for school children overwhelmingly outweighed those in opposition.

Most of the support for this initiative stemmed from two main benefits offered by providing free bus travel for school students:

1.         Providing more equitable access to education for all children in the region; and

2.         Reducing the amount of congestion and emissions caused by private vehicles.

Respondents not in favour of free fares for school students were of the view that we live in a “user pays society”, and therefore people who benefit from such services should pay for them.  Other respondents felt that this was an issue that should be addressed by central government.

A number of respondents expressed concern that provision of free fares on all bus routes across the region could lead to some less than desirable outcomes; in particular school children travelling longer distances to attend a school that is not in their local area.

An analysis of the comments received on this topic is contained at Appendix A.

2.1.3    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following for incorporation into the draft Long Term Plan, noting option one (no free fares) is the staff recommendation:

Option 1: No free fares for school students region-wide and permanently (recommended).

However, while Regional Council would not implement a region-wide and permanent free fares policy, it would implement a one year trial of free fares for students on all urban services in the region during school arrival and departure times – proposed as 7.00am to 9.00am and 2.30pm to 6.00pm).

This would be roughly equivalent to a one-year, geographically-limited version of the consulted Option 2.  The trial would commence at the start of the school year in early 2022 and finish at the end of term immediately before the summer holidays. After the one year trial is completed, and outcomes evaluated, a decision on whether to implement the policy on a permanent basis will be made. 

For Option 1, the full-region trial would commence at the start of the school year in early 2022 and finish at the end of term immediately before the summer holidays.  A decision on whether to make the scheme permanent will be made as part of the Annual Plan process, and would rely on the work of the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) fare policy review.

The one year trial would have an estimated financial impact in LTP Year 1 of $1.4 million in foregone revenue funded by targeted rates. This equates to an average targeted rate per household (inc GST) of $24 in Tauranga, $4 in Rotorua and $1 in Whakatāne in 2021/22.

The following table summarises the financial impact of a one year trial noting:

·      LTP Year 1 assumes a full year of fare revenue foregone for Tauranga at approximately $1.2 million per annum due to the current Tauranga Schools Fare Free Trial and patronage of this service, plus a part year of fare revenue foregone for Whakatāne/Rotorua.

·      LTP Year 2 includes a part year of fare revenue foregone for Tauranga/ Whakatāne/Rotorua.

·      There is no provision for any additional operating expenditure which may be incurred as a result of increasing patronage due to the extended trial.

Option 2: Implement free fares for school students across the region at arrival and departure times (proposed as 7:00am to 9:00am and 2:30pm to 6:00pm).

The one-year financial impact for this option was estimated for Consultation at $759,000 in foregone revenue, increasing targeted rates by 11.4% on average compared with the pre-trial period (i.e. 2018/19 fare revenue levels). The following table provides an updated financial impact of Option 2 noting:

·      For Option 2, the changes would take place from the start of the school year in early 2022. 

·      LTP Year 1 assumes a full year of fare revenue foregone for Tauranga PT at approximately $1.2 million per annum due to the current Tauranga Schools Fare Free Trial and patronage of this service, plus a part year of fare revenue foregone in Whakatāne/Rotorua.

·      There is no provision for additional operating expenditure which may be incurred as a result of increasing patronage due to the new fare policy.

 

Option 3: Implement free fares for school students across the region at all times of the day, and on a permanent basis.

The one-year financial impact for this option was estimated for Consultation at $921,000 in foregone revenue, increasing targeted rates by 13.9% on average compared with the pre-trial period (i.e. 2018/19 fare revenue levels). The following table provides an updated financial impact of Option 3 noting:

·      For Option 3, the changes would take place from the start of the school year in early 2022. 

·      LTP Year 1 assumes a full year of fare revenue foregone for Tauranga PT at approximately $1.2 million per annum due to current trial and patronage; and a partial year of fare revenue foregone in Whakatāne/Rotorua.

·      There is no provision for additional operating expenditure which may be incurred as a result of increasing patronage due to the new fare policy.

2.1.4    Recommendation

The advantage of Option 1 is that withdrawing the free fare concession will make a contribution to improving the current financial performance of the bus network (especially in Tauranga).  However, any improvement to the farebox recovery ratio will be offset by the capital cost of installing ticket machines in the school bus fleet.

Draft public transport fares policy, was consulted on in December 2020, states that Waka Kotahi/NZTA does not support fare-free public transport for targeted concession groups on services operating during peak periods (where “peak” has the same definition as for the SuperGold Card scheme – i.e. 7.00am-9.00am and 3.00pm-6.30pm).  Although this is not currently government policy, there is a risk that provision of concessionary fares for school children will not attract any funding from Waka Kotahi/NZTA – meaning Regional Council will need to fund the entire cost.

An argument in favour of either Option 2 or 3 is that providing child free fares is undoubtedly popular amongst beneficiaries, and there is evidence to suggest that wider social benefits – for example increases in attendance at school amongst children from lower socio-economic groups – have occurred.  Although based on a low sample of the population, the consultation response was overwhelmingly in favour of making the trial permanent and extending it across the whole region. However, there is also the potential for negative effects on rural communities and schools if students can bypass their local school through the use of free fares. Further discussions with the Ministry of Education would be required to ensure that rural schools are not disadvantaged if Council decides on Option 2 or 3.

In the 2020 calendar year, nearly 94,000 additional trips were made by school children, compared with the pre-trial year of 2019.  While there has been reductions in congestion at school gates, and other anecdotal experiences, there is limited evidence to suggest that a free policy has had a significant impact on levels of car travel or traffic congestion.  It is very difficult to isolate the impact of free fares on traffic congestion, compared with all the other factors (such as weather, roadworks and general traffic growth).  During a free fares trial in Welcome Bay in 2019, there was a 40% increase in bus patronage but no change in the volume of traffic.  This results suggests that mode shift to buses came from students who previously walked or cycled to school.  In Tauranga as a whole, congestion in 2020 has increased by 1%, in spite of the free fares trial starting in at the end of January 2020.

There is a possible case for finding a third way between the binary choice of either free fares or charging for each and every trip.  The MRCagney report Value Proposition of Fare-free Initiatives states that:

·      Price is only one mechanism in a range of travel demand options;

·      There are alternative fare discounting schemes – including fare capping; and

·      Free fare schemes are more successful in combination with increases in service frequencies and temporal coverage.

However, as this approach has not been subject to public consultation it is not considered appropriate to recommend it now.  The Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) will consider future fare policies, and further alignment with TLA parking charges.

Staff Recommendation Option 1: That Regional Council adopts Option 1 – no permanent region-wide free fares for school children.

However, Regional Council would introduce a one-year free fares trial for school children across the region between 7.00am and 9.00am and 2.30pm to 6.00pm. 

The trial would apply to all urban bus services in Tauranga, Rotorua and Whakatāne.  This would have an estimated one-year financial impact of $1.4 million in foregone revenue. There would be minor changes to Tauranga’s forecast targeted rates in LTP Year 1 as the current Tauranga Schools fare-free trial is factored into the draft LTP Budget at circa $24 (inc GST) per household. However targeted rates for Rotorua PT and Whakatāne PT would increase by approximately $4 and $1 (incl GST) per household respectively on average. 

A decision on whether to make the trial permanent would be made following a full fare review and scheme evaluation, to be undertaken as part of the RPTP.

2.2      Free Fares for Tertiary Students

2.2.1    Background

Regional Council implemented a regional tertiary education fare free trial in partnership with education providers, which is due to end in December 2021.  Five trial bus services are free for tertiary students, and are also available to other passengers at normal fares.  On urban services, tertiary students currently pay the child rate.

The LTP Consultation Document requested public views on expanding this scheme to the whole region and making it permanent. The two options consulted on were:

1.   No free fares for tertiary college students; or

2.   Free fares at all times.

2.2.2    Consultation Responses

Total Responses

Option one (no free fares

Option two (free fares)

228

68

160

100%

30%

70%

There were almost double the number of comments in support of free fares for tertiary students than there was opposition.

Support was almost all on the basis of one of two reasons that the initiative would:

1.         Help students access further education; and/or

2.         Encourage mode shift (leading to environmental and congestion reduction benefits).

Respondents who disagreed with free fares for tertiary students in many cases wanted to see subsidised fares, or the concession being applied at certain times only.

An analysis of the comments received on this topic is contained at Appendix A.

2.2.3    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following for incorporation into the draft Long Term Plan, noting option one is the staff recommendation:

Option One (Recommended): Implement a policy of no free fares for tertiary college students on any bus service. On the current five trial services, the Bee Card fare reverts to a minimum student fare of $1.60 per trip (plus any allowance for inflation) and the cash fare to $2 (plus inflation). 

This was the preferred option in the Consultation Document and has nil financial impact compared with the pre-trial situation. For Option One, fares would revert to their pre-trial levels (adjusted for inflation) in time for the start of the 2022 academic year.

Option Two: Implement free fares for tertiary college students across the region at all times, and on all bus services. This would have a financial impact of approximately $264,000 per annum in additional net cost, increasing targeted rates by an average of 15.8%. The following table summarises the financial impact of Option Two over the ten year period.

2.2.4    Recommendation

The same arguments for and against free fares for school children apply to tertiary college students, although the financial impact is not as significant.  It is worth re-iterating that Waka Kotahi/NZTA is unlikely to financially support free fares schemes of this kind.

In addition, while there is current joint funding for the trail progressing, extending this scheme would need to be partly or even fully funded by the education provider, as there is a direct benefit to the institution of providing fare-free transport.  Submission from Waikato University notes support for fare free trials but doesn’t make a commitment to funding. 

There is currently not sufficient evidence to support funding free fares for tertiary students particularly noting the current financial performance of the bus service.

Recommendation Option 1: That Regional Council adopts Option One and withdraws the free fare concession for tertiary students.

2.3      Free fares for Community Services Card holders

2.3.1    Background

As part of an earlier Regional Fare Review, Councillors considered a concession option for Community Services Card (CSC) holders as part of providing transport choices for disadvantaged people.  Note this is separate from provision of the Accessibility Concession.  Councillors directed that the LTP Consultation Document seek public views on introducing free fares for CSC holders.

The two options consulted on were:

1.   No free fares; or

2.   Free fares for CSC holders.

2.3.2    Consultation Responses

Total Responses

Option one (no free fares

Option two (free fares)

223

68

155

100%

30%

70%

 

Primarily, support for option two was based on making life better or easier for what was considered to be a disadvantaged group of people. In addition to this, respondents cited the environmental and traffic congestion benefits that resulted from measures encouraging bus use.

Opposition to CSC holders receiving free fares was generally based on a preference for a part-subsidy (given the cost of fully funding this initiative).

An analysis of the comments received on this topic is contained at Appendix A.

2.3.3    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following for incorporation into the draft Long Term Plan, noting option one is the staff recommendation:

Option One (Recommended): Maintain existing policy of no free fares for CSC holders, who would pay the appropriate adult fare for their journey. This was the preferred option in the Consultation Document and has nil financial impact.

For Option One, there will be no change to the current situation. 

Option Two: Free fares for all CSC holders. This would have a financial impact of $442,000 per annum in foregone revenue, increasing targeted rates by 5.6% on average. The following table summarises the financial impact of Option Two over the ten year period.

For Option Two, the changes would take place from January 2022. 

2.3.4    Recommendation

The same arguments for and against free fares for school children and tertiary college students broadly apply to CSC holders.   It is worth re-iterating that Waka Kotahi/NZTA is unlikely to financially support free fares schemes of this kind.

However, it could be argued that of all the groups of people to which free fares could apply, CSC holders are consistently the most deserving because by definition they are from lower income groups (in contrast some school children and tertiary students are from middle and higher income households).

There is not sufficient evidence to support a change.

Recommendation Option 1: That Regional Council adopts Option One and maintains the existing policy of no free fares for CSC holders.

2.4      Introducing a Flat Fare Structure

2.4.1    Background

Council has previously considered introducing a flat fare structure, rather than fares that differ by distance covered, as a means of improving public transport patronage.  Councillors directed that the LTP Consultation Document seek public views on the advisability of introducing flat fares across the whole region. The two options consulted on were:

1.   No flat fares; or

2.   Flat fares.

2.4.2    Consultation Responses

Total Responses

Option one (no free fares

Option two (free fares)

212

103

109

100%

49%

51%

Respondents’ comments showed slightly more support for flat fares than opposition.

Support for flat fares was most often on the basis that flat fares were perceived to result in increased bus use, due to the increased simplicity (and reduced cost) for users.

Belief in a “user pays” model, and that costs should be borne by beneficiaries of bus services were the main reasons offered for those against the introduction of flat fares.

An analysis of the comments received on this topic is contained at Appendix A.

2.4.3    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following for incorporation into the draft Long Term Plan, noting option one is the staff recommendation:

Option One (Recommended): No flat fares, and retain the existing structure. This was the preferred option in the Consultation Document and has nil financial impact.

Option Two: Introduction of a flat fare structure across the Bay of Plenty region; differentiated between urban and inter-urban services. This would have a financial impact of $1,838,000 per annum in foregone revenue, increasing targeted rates by 34% on average. This funding incorporates free fares for school children, tertiary students and CSC holders.  The incremental increase in revenue foregone for flat fares alone is estimated at $365,000 per annum.

The following table summarises the financial impact of Option Two over the ten year period.

2.4.4    Recommendations

For any consideration around introducing flat fares, previous councillor direction has been that changes to fares should be aligned with parking charges from the TLAs.

When considering the issue of flat fares, it should be noted that the vast majority of bus trips in the region already pay the minimum adult or child fares ($2.72 and $1.60 respectively, with a Bee Card).  On the Tauranga network – which is by far the busiest – only travel to / from Te Puke attracts a fare greater than the minimum.  Therefore, it could be argued that for most bus trips in Tauranga there is already a de facto flat fare.

There is insufficient evidence that, on its own, introduction of a flat fare will make a significant difference to bus patronage and mode shift.  The MRCagney report Value Proposition of Fare-free Initiatives compares the “demand elasticities” of different interventions (based on a review of the academic literature).  Demand elasticity describes the change in travel demand as a result of a change to service attributes.  An elasticity of -1 implies that change in a service attribute will result in a 1% increase in bus patronage.

Table 8: Demand Elasticities of Bus Service Attributes

Service Attribute

Average Demand Elasticity

Passenger waiting time (service frequency)

-0.64

In-vehicle travel time

-0.40 to -0.60

Service supply (total bus vehicle kilometres)

-0.72

Fares

-0.20 to 0.50

In summary, the higher the negative elasticity of demand the greater the level of patronage increase as a result.  This table shows that demand elasticity for fares is the lowest of the main service attributes; and means that even significant fare reductions could lead to relatively small changes in demand. 

The additional funding required to replace the foregone revenue resulting from flat fares would result in a further deterioration in overall financial performance.

Recommendation Option One: That Regional Council adopts Option One and retains the current distance-based fare structure.  A review into the equity of current distance-based fares will be undertaken through the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP). 

2.5      Bus Decarbonisation Feasibility Study

2.5.1    Background

Following declaration of a climate emergency by the New Zealand government in December 2020, local councils have been informed that no new diesel buses must be purchased as part of local service contracts from 2025 onwards.  By 2035, the government wants the entire New Zealand local bus fleet (estimated at anywhere between 3,500 and 4,000 vehicles) to be decarbonised.

For local and inter-urban bus services, council currently contracts 166 buses across the Bay of Plenty region (excluding dedicated school buses).  As part of the new Western Bay bus services contract in 2018, Regional Council procured five new battery-electric vehicles which are now running across the network.

A report to the 18 March 2021 Public Transport Committee proposed a feasibility study to examine the options for introducing decarbonised (i.e. zero emission) buses and make recommendations for further technical studies which will enable future local bus contracts to procure these vehicles.  A key aspect of the feasibility study is the need to consider additional power supply requirements, charging infrastructure and well-located depot facilities.

The PTC recommended the inclusion of $300,000 for the feasibility study within the deliberations of the LTP.

2.5.2    Consultation Responses

As this initiative is a response to a recent government announcement, no specific question on inclusion of a decarbonised bus feasibility study was included in the public consultation.  However, submissions received as part of the LTP consultation provide strong support for Regional Council intent to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.  This provides further impetus towards decarbonisation of the bus fleet.

2.5.3    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following for incorporation into the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031, noting option one is the staff recommendation:

Option One (Recommended): Proceed with the bus decarbonisation feasibility study in financial year 2021/22. The following table summarises the financial impact of Option One over the ten year period.

Option Two: Postpone the bus decarbonisation feasibility study until a future year and resubmit through an Annual Plan process.

2.5.4    Recommendations

Given that the 2025 deadline for an end to new diesel bus purchases is less than four years away, delaying the feasibility study (option two) is not recommended.  Furthermore work on decarbonised buses is already being progressed by Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Transport Special Interest Group (TSIG).  Therefore a delay of even one year risks Regional Council not being able to work with these organisations; and take advantage of potential synergies and resource sharing arrangements.  Discussions about joint working with Waikato Regional Council are also taking place.  The scope of the Regional Council feasibility study would be carefully crafted to avoid duplicating work elsewhere, and will focus on practical matters in this part of the world.

Commencing the feasibility study provides an opportunity to consider introducing electric buses in Rotorua at the time of the 2024 contract renewal.  If feasible, this approach would send a powerful signal around the strategic intent of Regional Council in Rotorua, and represent a potential boost to a network that has suffered years of patronage decline.

Recommendation Option One: That Regional Council adopts Option One and allocates $300,000 in LTP Year 1 to commence the bus decarbonisation feasibility study in 2021/22. This option would require additional general funds as set out in the financial implications table above.

2.6      Western Bay Transport System Plan: Programme Management and Delivery

2.6.1    Background

At the 10 November 2020 workshop, councillors agreed to provision of $350,000 for additional staff resource to support implementation of the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI), Western Bay Transport System Plan (TSP), SmartGrowth and mode shift initiatives.  This direction was given on the basis that the TSP would, in the short term, implement the top ten projects in its Shared Tactical Implementation Plan (STIP).  The “top ten” assumption was made on the basis that TCC would only seek to implement the minimum number of projects.

Since that time, appointment of commissioners at TCC has resulted in a much more ambitious approach to TSP implementation. Recent advice from TCC senior managers is that their draft LTP proposes implementation of 25 projects through the STIP.  This means that our previous assumptions around levels of required Regional Council staff resource are now far too conservative.

Regional Council aims to ensure that delivery of programmes and projects is robust, and to that end seeks to improve staff capacity and capability.  The TSP is likely to fund a series of business cases and projects which will go well beyond the level of resource Regional Council has already provided support for additional technical staff resource through the LTP. 

In addition there are three specific initiatives being proposed for support through the LTP:

·      Project and programme manager support, experienced transport planners, consultancy assistance; and

·      Financial contribution to TSP Programme Management.

2.6.2    Consultation Responses

As they are operational in nature, programme and project management matters were not subject to any consultation questions.  However, it is clear from the consultation submissions that partner councils – both TCC and Western Bay District – as well as key stakeholders have high expectations for significant additional investment in transport to tackle issues such as traffic congestion, housing growth and climate change.

2.6.3    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following for incorporation into the draft Long Term Plan, noting option one is the staff recommendation:

Option One (Recommended): Provide funding for:

·      Programme / Project manager, senior technical support, consultancy support: $550,000 per annum;

·      Contribution to TSP programme management function: up to $40,000 per annum.

The following table summarises the financial impact of Option One over the ten year period. The local share for the TSP Programme Management and Delivery in LTP Years 1, 2 and 3 are being funded from reserves, which is consistent with previous Councillor direction.

Option Two: Do not provide funding for these initiatives.  As a result there are nil financial impacts.

2.6.4    Recommendations

If Option One is approved:

·      A well-qualified individual will set up robust programme / project management systems and processes which will enable Regional Council / TSP activities to be delivered to the required standards of cost, timescale and quality;

 

·      Regional Council will be a strong and well-resourced participant in the TSP projects; and

 

·      Regional Council will have a degree of influence within the overall TSP programme management function.

Failure to fund these initiatives runs the risk of Regional Council staff not having the capacity, capability and tools to be able to make a full contribution to the work of the TSP and thereby delivering UFTI.  Responsibility for programme and project management and additional TSP work will fall on key staff who already have a fully prioritised work programme, with risks of health issues and a failure to deliver other key priorities.

An inability to secure additional resource for high quality transport planners will run the risk of Regional Council failing to obtain the outcomes we need from the TSP projects.  It is worth noting that TCC, on the basis of the 25 projects, is proposing to recruit a substantial number of new staff.  Proposed levels of additional Regional Council resource are modest by comparison.

Lack of an additional contribution to the TSP programme management and resourcing will risk damaging relations with key partners and give Regional Council less influence.

Recommendation Option 1: That Regional Council adopts Option One and allocates $590,000 per annum to support additional staff resources required for robust programme management and delivery. The local share is being funded from reserves through LTP Years 1, 2 and 3.

2.7      Carless Wednesday Challenge Initiative

2.7.1    Background

In early 2021, Regional Council was approached by a member of a local community group with a request to support an initiative known as “Carless Wednesday”.  The aim is to facilitate a step change reduction in car dependency in Tauranga /  Western Bay.  The target is to achieve 20% mode share, one day a week, within a year. 

At the time, a relatively small sum of money $25,000 per annum was proposed as a potential Regional Council contribution. However, the promoters have now developed a business case and submitted to both the RLTP and LTP consultation requesting funding. This business case proposes a much higher level of funding, which has been based on additional work and community engagement since the initial contact.  The business case has re-named the initiative as “Carless Wednesday Challenge”.

2.7.2    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following for incorporation into the draft Long Term Plan, noting option one is the staff recommendation:

Option One (Recommended): Provide full one-year funding of $273,000 for the Carless Wednesday Challenge project. This would be funded via a $5 targeted rate for Tauranga residents, and would be conditional on other agencies providing funding.

Option Two: Provide a funding contribution of up to $215,000 for the Carless Wednesday Challenge project, on the basis that this level of funding will enable to progress priority activities.

 

Option Three: Do not fund the Carless Wednesday Challenge project.

2.7.3    Consultation Responses

The Carless Wednesday Challenge proposal comes directly from an LTP submission.  The introduction states:

“This submission requests that the Bay of Plenty Regional Council puts The Carless Wednesday Challenge (CWC) into the Regional Transport Plan as part of its Tauranga System Plan (TSP) Mode Shift Strategy. The CWC Initiative is in total alignment with the Government Policy Statement for Transport mode shift and can demonstrate measurable outcomes that directly meet the objectives of the GPS. The initiative also directly meets the key performance indicators of the Climate Change Commissions pathway and budget towards 1.5 degrees.

The initiative can also demonstrate tangible outcomes across the four well-beings, the cornerstones of local Government.

The CWC will provide invaluable data to support and inform infrastructure projects in the TSP.

This initiative has potential to succeed in facilitating cultural change in a way that is extremely challenging for Council organisations - We will work deeply and collaboratively across all of the agencies, grass roots communities and the business sector as an umbrella ‘movement’ for mode shift.” 

2.7.4    Recommendation

The Carless Wednesday Challenge project strongly aligns with Regional Council’s intention to commission the Travel Demand Management & Behaviour Change (TDM&BC) programme, on which preliminary work has commenced.  To date the LTP has not made specific provision for specific activities to be delivered by the TDM&BC programme, as these need to be identified by an initial scoping study (and then funded through the Annual Plan process).  Therefore the Carless Wednesday Challenge project provides an ideal opportunity for added impetus to the Regional Council TDM&BC programme; with the advantage that we will be working closely with the community.

The business case produced by CWC project promoters has been submitted as part of the RLTP, with Regional Council identified as a potential Approved Organisation (AO).  The business case sets clear targets for mode shift, and represents an opportunity to establish an evidence-base which demonstrates that behaviour change can be achieved.  Currently there is a lack of clear locally-derived evidence as to the levers for travel behaviour change – i.e. what works and what doesn’t.  With potential 51% funding from the Waka Kotahi/NZTA Low Cost, Low Risk programme, and the opportunity to review success of the project after one year, there is a strong case for demonstrating our commitment to climate change by fully funding the Regional Council share of the project costs. Noting additional support from other agencies would be needed.

An alternative would be to fund a lower proportion of the project costs, on the basis that other council partners and the private sector should be doing more.  A figure of $215,000 has been proposed on the basis that this will still enable priority activities to be progressed.

Whilst this approach would still demonstrate in-principle support for the project, there is a danger that the outcomes will not be as easy to achieve is less resource is forthcoming from other partners.  In reality, it is likely that Regional Council staff will end up putting more time and effort into the project, which may divert us from other priorities.

A decision not to fund the project would clearly save money, but would not look good from the perspective of Regional Council demonstrating a commitment to take practical action.

Recommendation Option One: That Regional Council adopts Option One and allocates $273,000 for one-year to support the Carless Wednesday Challenge initiative.

2.8      Improved Bus Service Frequencies

2.8.1    Western Bay of Plenty Area

The Western Bay of Plenty Transport System Plan (TSP) provides the transport “delivery mechanism” for the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI).

The TSP features a Shared Tactical Implementation Plan (STIP) which sets out a prioritised list of projects and recommended programme of activities within various timeframes.  As part of UFTI, various have scenarios considered the pace and extent of public transport service improvements that could be introduced.

At the November 2020 workshop, Councillors provided guidance to staff to incorporate the UFTI Medium Scenario into the draft LTP 2021-2031 budget. Another option, “Optimised Bus Services”, which involved delaying additional investment for three years pending further work by transport partners, was not selected. 

Incorporating the TSP Medium Scenario forecast costs over the ten-year LTP period by $59.3 million (using updated inflation rates), as per the table below.


 

Delivering UFTI Medium Scenario (per draft LTP 2021-2031)

Discussion at the November 2020 workshop noted the need for full alignment between partners before confirming additional funding.  A primary means of obtaining this alignment is production of a bus services and infrastructure business case, which is a key priority for funding in the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP).  There is also a need to align any service frequency improvements with TCC implementing a single-occupancy car demand management strategy through changes to supply and pricing of car parking.

In the short to medium term, Regional Council is committed to optimising existing spending and increasing patronage to assist with both mode shift and financial sustainability objectives.  It is our advice that whilst we should continue to make provision for the 10-year UFTI medium scenario, the Annual Plan process should be used to confirm bus service investment proposals. 

For the UFTI medium scenario, a key risk is uncertainty of funding for bus services and infrastructure projects within partner organisations (TCC and Waka Kotahi/NZTA) - and therefore the possibility that Regional Council investment will not be matched.  The UFTI Medium Scenario service is dependent on successful completion and approval of a business case by Waka Kotahi/NZTA. 

Recommendation – Western Bay of Plenty Area

Councillors are requested to reconfirm the following for incorporation into the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031:

Option One: Re-confirm the Western Bay of Plenty option 1: “status quo”. Maintain the existing level of funding as per draft Long Term Plan (UFTI Medium Scenario). Ensure that actual investment proposals emanating from services and infrastructure businesses case are confirmed by the Annual Plan. This option would have no financial implications beyond what has already been agreed.

2.8.2    Rotorua

At the 27 November 2020 Public Transport Committee meeting, Councillors gave direction to progress the consultation into the future Rotorua network. 

Accordingly a public consultation exercise was undertaken between 7 March and 7 April 2021.

Consultation was undertaken across a range of different mediums with a mix of in-person and online engagement.  Respondents were able to deliver their responses online through the BOPRC “Participate” portal, by posting in a feedback forms or by emailing/phoning the BOPC call centre.

A range of stakeholder organisations were contacted and provided with material for their members to share through the digital and physical channels.  Each retirement village was also contacted with feedback forms and information packs hand delivered.

Consultation Options - Rotorua Network Review

  Five options were put forward:

·      Rotorua Option One: No additional spending in the short term, but delivery of an optimisation project to improve the existing timetables (including reduction of frequencies to enable more reliable running);

·      Rotorua Option Two - A Bit Smarter: Some additional investment to increase the number of buses to enable both frequencies and greater service reliability to be delivered, extension of operating hours to 8.00pm, more services at weekends, new bus information systems and a free CBD “orbiter” shuttle;

·      Rotorua Option Three – A Balanced Approach: As option two plus additional bus stop shelters, new signage / wayfinding in the CBD, new cross-town service (Ngongotahā to Airport), new bus link to bypass the congested Te Ngae Road and investigations / investment in new bus lanes;

·      Rotorua Option Four – High Frequency Bus Services: as option 3 plus an additional crosstown service (Fairy Springs to Airport) and all services to be at 20 minute frequency by 2026; and

·      Rotorua Option Five – Almost Door-to-Door Services: a two-year trial of on-demand services before full roll-out in 2024 or 2025 and the two crosstown routes as described in option 4.

Consultation Options Rotorua Network Review “Add-ons”

In addition, the public consultation sought views on a number of “add-on” extras (which could be implemented under any of the options):

Add-On Option One: New bus service connecting communities around the edge of Lake Rotorua;

Add-On Option Two: Recreational bus service connecting Rotorua with Lake Ōkāreka and Lake Tikitapu; and

Add-On Option Three: Two new Park & Ride sites – one near the airport and the other north of Ngongotahā.

A total of 46 submissions were received.  Of the five options that were consulted on there was a clear favourite in option 3.  This option ranked highest of the options when asked about personal and social benefits and was considered to be more affordable than other options. In total 62% of respondents identified this as their preferred short-term option.

When asked about a preferred long-term option, 39% of respondents indicated that the short-term options would be sufficient, 34% preferred option 4 and 26% preferred option 5.  This indicates that a majority (60%) of respondents would like some form of further investment beyond the short-term options 1 to 3.

Figure 2: Summary of All Option Scores

Recommendation – Rotorua

Councillors are requested to direct the options for incorporation into the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031, noting Option Three is the staff recommendation. It should be noted that Option Three (recommended) is the Rotorua Option Three – “A Balanced Approach”:

Option One: Progress Rotorua Option One: “Do nothing”. No additional spending in the short term, but delivery of an optimisation project to improve the existing timetables (including reduction of frequencies to enable more reliable running)

Option Three (Recommended): Progress Rotorua Option Three “A Balanced Approach”.  Undertake an optimisation exercise in 2021/22 and use the Annual Plan process to fund a business case which identifies service / infrastructure proposals for implementation in the new contract (2024 onwards).

For the Rotorua network, a key consideration is the need to re-tender the contract in 2024, and to potentially do so with low or zero carbon buses.  Any decision to increase services in advance of a new contract is likely to be very expensive, as the incumbent operator only has a very short time in which to recoup their additional investment in buses, staff and depot facilities.

3.        Considerations

3.1      Risks and Mitigations

The financial implications of introducing any of the consultation options have been noted above. There remains a risk that the goal of patronage increase and mode shift will not be positively affected through fare reductions, as demand may not be strongly linked to price, and more to other aspects such as frequency, reliability, and speed.

Please refer to the relevant analysis in the options paper attached.

3.2      Climate Change

Mitigation

Adaptation

Reduce GHG emissions

Produce GHG emissions

Sequester carbon

Anticipate climate change impacts

Respond to climate change impacts

Increasing the use of public transport would likely have benefits for climate change through reducing overall carbon emissions. Please refer to the relevant analysis in the options paper attached.

3.3      Implications for Māori

Providing more accessible public transport for school and tertiary students, Community Services Card holders, and providing flat fares, may increase the benefits of public transport to Māori, enabling communities to more easily access work, home, and recreation.

 

3.4      Community Engagement

Adobe Systems

CONSULT

Whakauiuia

To obtain input or feedback from affected communities about our analysis, alternatives, and /or proposed decisions.

 

This paper summarises the submissions received from affected communities on the specific points covered.

Please refer to the relevant analysis in the options paper attached.

3.5      Financial Implications

Regional Council aims to make best use of its resources in this area through a mixture of reserve funding, Waka Kotahi subsidy, targeted rates, and general funds.

The local share of the Western Bay of Plenty Transport Systems Plan is reserve funded in LTP Years 1, 2 and 3. Council has previously approved that costs associated with UFTI implementation are to be met through Regional Council reserve funding due to the regional benefit of reducing congestion in the western Bay of Plenty as well as the anticipated rates requirements western Bay of Plenty residents associated with transport system-related costs.

Note: The draft LTP Budget for Consultation included the funding requirement for the current Tauranga Schools Fare Free trial. Confirming a new region-wide trial will not create additional rating requirements in the draft LTP budget for Public Transport targeted rates in Tauranga.

4.        Next Steps

At the conclusion of deliberations, staff will incorporate all direction in the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031. The draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 will then undergo a final audit stage with Audit New Zealand prior to it being presented to Council for adoption on 24 June 2021.

Attachments

Attachment 1 - Background Information on Transport  

 


Regional Council                                                                                                          12 May 2021

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Report To:

Regional Council

Meeting Date:

12 May 2021

Report Writer:

Jane Palmer, Senior Planner Climate Change; Santiago Bermeo, Senior Planner; Nic Newman, Principal Advisor; Zhivan Alach, Organisational Performance Manager; Matthew Searle, Corporate Planner; Sandra Barns, Economist and Stephen Lamb, Environmental Strategy Manager

Report Authoriser:

Chris Ingle, General Manager, Integrated Catchments

Purpose:

To gain Council direction on key decisions relating to the Climate Change Strategic Priority for the Long Term Plan 2021-2031.

 

 

SP: Climate Change - Deliberations Decisions

 

Executive Summary

To gain Council direction on four key decisions

·           Climate change initiatives (Consultation Document) (both quantum and specificity of projects)

·           Sustainability initiatives (Consultation Document)

·           Approve the Climate Change Position Statement (Attachment 1)

·           Addition of corporate emissions performance goal

 

Recommendations

That the Regional Council:

1        Receives the report, SP: Climate Change - Deliberations Decisions.

2        Directs staff to incorporate into the Draft Long Term Plan for Adoption, Council direction on one of the following options for Climate Change initiatives funding:

(a)  Option 1: No additional funding

(b)  Option 2 (Recommended): Fund projects costing approximately $175,000 per annum

(c)  Option 3: Fund projects costing approximately $350,000 per annum per annum

Note: Projects that are directed to be included in the Long Term Plan through deliberations will form the basis of Council’s new Climate Change Action Plan.

3        Directs staff to incorporate into the Draft Long Term Plan for Adoption, Council direction on one of following options for sustainability initiatives funding, noting that Options 2, 3, and 4 assume a one-off capital contribution of $2 million:

(a)  Option 1: No funding

(b)  Option 2: Provide low interest loans, this would increase the LTP budget by approximately $21,000 per annum from LTP Year 2.

(c)  Option 3: Provide low interest loans and partial grants, this would increase the LTP budget by approximately $63,000 per annum.

(d)  Option 4 (Recommended): Provide low interest loans, no interest loans, and partial/full grants. This would increase the LTP budget by approximately $65,000 per annum from LTP Year 2.

4        Approve one of the following options in relation to the Climate Change Position Statement (included as Attachment 1):

(a)  Option 1 (Recommended): Approve the Climate Change Position Statement

(b)  Option 2: Do not approve the Climate Change Position Statement.

5        Directs staff to incorporate one of the following options for a Corporate Emissions performance measure and target into the final draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 for Adoption:

(a)  Agree measure and target;

(b)  Reject measure and target.

6        Confirms the decision has a medium level of significance as determined by the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. Council has identified and assessed different options and considered community views as part of making the decision, in proportion to the level of significance.

 

1.        Introduction

Regional Council consulted on climate change initiatives and household sustainability improvement funding, as part of its Long Term Plan Consultation Document. Direction on these consultation topics is now required.

Alongside the above, direction is required on the inclusion of a performance goal for the Support Services activity around energy efficiency.

1.1      Legislative Framework

Inclusion of a performance goal for the Support Services activity aligns with requirements under the Local Government Act 2004.

 

1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework

 

A Healthy Environment

We work cohesively with volunteers and others, to sustainably manage and improve our natural resources.

Freshwater for Life

 

Safe and Resilient Communities

 

A Vibrant Region

 

The Way We Work

 

 

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

Low - Positive

¨ Cultural

 

¨ Social

 

¨ Economic

 

 

 

1.       Significance

The recommended proposal/decision has been assessed against the criteria and thresholds in Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy, and can be considered:

Medium

The decision is not within existing budgets and does not implement the current long term plan or annual plan.

 

2.        Key Decisions

2.1      Climate change initiatives

2.1.1    Background

Regional Council declared a climate change emergency in 2019. It has also issued a Climate Change Statement that will guide work throughout this Long Term Plan. Councillors directed that the LTP Consultation Document seek public views on additional funding for a set of operational climate change project categories.

The three options consulted on were:

1.   No additional funding allocated;

2.   Fund a subset of projects with a financial effect of $175,000 per annum;

3.   Fund all four projects a financial effect of $350,000 per annum

Within those options were the below potential projects:

-       Facilitate a co-ordinated approach to climate change risk assessment and adaptation plans for the region (up to $250,000 over three years)

-       Facilitate and support community conversations around adaptation (up to $600,000 over three years)

-       Run a one-off community Climate Change Forum ($35,000)

-       Supporting engagement and education around climate change to businesses and households ($200,000 over three years)

The climate change decisions made in this report will be significant in the action planning that council undertakes in the future as it looks to address climate change issues in line with the Climate Change Statement (attached).

2.1.2    Submission responses

Total Responses

Option 1 (no funding) (recommended)

Option 2 ($175k)

Option 3 ($350k)

199

50

63

86

100%

25%

32%

43%

Those who supported funding all four projects emphasised that taking urgent action regarding climate change is crucial, with some calling for greater measures than what is proposed.

Those who agreed with funding a subset of projects generally supported acting on climate change, and doing so in a collaborative way that will achieve measurable results.

Where no funding was the preferred option, respondents described an absence of belief or urgency that climate change would impact on them or their community.

A number of submissions emphasised the need for ‘action over talk’ thus a one-off Climate Change Forum is not supported.

An analysis of the comments received on this topic is contained at Appendix A.

2.1.3    Assessment of projects

Staff have assessed both the climate change projects in the consultation question and a number of other projects in order to ensure ones with the greatest impact are considered.

These assessment criteria were:

·      the impact on GHG emissions and/or the transition to a low carbon economy

·      the impact on building community and regional resilience

·      whether projects were either enablers, had a short term impact, or had a long-term impact, on contribution to Community Outcomes

·      the contribution to Organisational Priorities.

It is worth noting that a number of projects included in the transport deliberations paper could deliver on GHG emissions reductions and on the transition to a low carbon economy and they have been assessed separately in that paper.

Climate Change Consultation Question - Option 2 and 3 Projects

Table 1 summarises projects with estimated costs for funding of $175,000 (Reference A to E). Staff consider these to be core projects which are essential to progressing the Council’s climate change work programme and would recommend that these are prioritised to receive funding.

If Council seeks to invest funding of $350,000 as per consultation question Option 3, an illustrative mix of additional projects with estimated costs are also listed in the table (Reference F – K).

These are projects which do not have significant direct climate change impacts but which are important building blocks to facilitate action. These projects also support work being done by our Territorial Authorities around climate action: both Whakatāne District Council and Rotorua Lakes Council have Community Climate Action Plans in place, providing opportunities to work together.  

Table 1: Potential projects to progress

Ref

Project Description

Estimated Annual Cost

$000

A

Progress a regional risk assessment (year 1, building on the pilot currently being undertaken), leading into developing a regional adaptation plan (years 2-3)

80

B

Support iwi led adaptation planning (building on the pilot iwi risk assessment currently being undertaken), covering an understanding of the risks being faced by a specific iwi or hapū leading into plans on how to adapt.

35

C

Support community led adaptation, covering an understanding of the risks being faced by a specific community leading into plans on how to adapt.

35

D

Partner with Sustainable Business Network and EDAs on workshops to support the new ‘Climate Action Toolbox’ (one-off cost for three sub-regional workshops)

15

E

Host the Future Fit carbon footprint tool on our website and partner with our TAs in supporting its use in households across the region (3,000 users over 3 years)

10

 

Total of Climate Change Projects – Option 2

175

F

Update BOP Regional Carbon footprint with breakdown by district and greater detail around transport emissions. This work was supported in WDC & WRC submissions (one-off cost)

30

G

An analysis of the EV charging infrastructure in the region: including gaps, market failure, emerging trends, and opportunities for investment (one-off cost)

30

H

An analysis of primary industry GHG emissions in the region and methods to reduce emissions, including potential Council roles and next steps (one-off cost)

30

I

Scoping study on the potential for wetland restoration to contribute to carbon sequestration in the region (one-off cost)

30

J

Contribute to the establishment of BayTrust’s Nature Carbon Programme

20

K

Further investment, dependent on the outcomes from Year 1 investment, in projects A-J.

35

 

Total of Climate Change Projects – Option 3

350

Other projects related to climate change

There are a number of other projects being considered through the LTP deliberations relating to climate change which are covered in separate papers:

·      Carless Wednesday (Transport paper)

·      Free fares for public transport (Transport paper)

·      Bus Decarbonisation feasibility study (Transport paper)

·      Whakatāne River Climate Change Resilience Strategy (Council Activities – General Matters paper)

·      Funding applications through the Community Initiatives Fund (Community Participation paper). These applications have been assessed under the CIF criteria: details of the assessment are in the CIF report.

Table 2: Climate change related CIF projects

CIF Project

Funding Requested $000

Priority One: Supporting businesses on climate change actions

200

Tourism BOP: Low-carbon circular economy programme

180

Sustainable BOP Trust: Supporting sustainability across the region

90

There are also two decision making tools that have been raised through the LTP development process that could support Council decision making on climate change and other programme areas.

The first is 1000minds. It is an online decision-making tool developed by the Economics Department at the University of Otago; it has been used by a number of central government departments, Dunedin City and Greater Wellington. Its key feature is that it reveals people’s preferences, or their weighting of different criteria, based on a series of choices between different alternatives. Based on those preferences, it then ranks the different options/alternatives being considered. See Intro to Multi-Criteria Decision-Making – 1000minds Multi-Criteria Decision Making - YouTube.

The second is a transport emissions scenario tool, based on that used in Auckland that can allow a number of intervention options to be analysed based on their respective contribution to emissions reductions. 

Staff consider these tools could be developed/integrated under existing budgets. 

2.1.4    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following:

Option 1: No additional funding. This would have nil financial implications.

Option 2 (Recommended): Fund a subset of projects costing approximately $175,000 per annum. This would increase the LTP budget by approximately $175,000 in Year 1, approximately $0.99 (incl GST) in general rates per property.

Option 3: Fund a subset of projects costing approximately $350,000 per annum. This would increase the LTP budget by approximately $350,000 in Year 1, approximately $1.97 (incl GST) in general rates per property.

While option 2 is the staff recommended option councillors may also wish to consider a hybrid of Options 2 and 3, with a value between $175,000 and $350,000. 

Note: Projects that are directed to be included in the Long Term Plan through deliberations e.g. Option 1, 2 or 3 above) will form the basis of the Councils new Climate Change Action Plan.

2.2      Sustainability Initiatives

2.2.1    Background

One of the changes required in the transition to a low emissions economy, as per BOPRC’s Strategic Priority, involves households reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Although in New Zealand the majority (~80% on average) of grid electricity comes from renewable sources (e.g., hydro), a significant proportion still comes from fossil fuels (e.g., coal and gas).

Councillors directed that the LTP Consultation Document seek public views on additional funding to help homeowners to install solar panels, insulation and/or efficient heating via a mixture of loans and grants. Homeowners would repay loans through targeted rates over a period of 10 years. The four options consulted on, and their expected total cost to general ratepayers, were:

1: No funding allocated.

2: Provide low interest loans to households for installing sustainability initiatives. This would increase the LTP budget by approximately $20,000 per annum, approximately an increase in general rates on average of $0.11 (incl GST) per rating unit.

3: Option 2 but also include partial grants for low income households. This would increase the LTP budget by approximately $60,000 per annum, approximately an increase in general rates on average of $0.34 (incl GST) per rating unit.

4: A combination of low interest loans, no interest loans, and partial grants (for low income households). This would increase the LTP budget by approximately $61,200 per annum, approximately an increase in general rates on average of $0.35 (inc GST) per rating unit.

2.2.2    Submission responses

Total Responses

Option 1 (no funding) (recommended)

Option 2 ($175k)

Option 3 ($350k)

 

217

40

41

32

104

100%

18%

19%

15%

48%

A considerable number of submitters provided comments on their support for Option 4. In the majority of the comments, the rationale for support was based on environmental and sustainability concerns.

However, in almost as many comments the rationale was that the scheme would contribute to health outcomes. There were far fewer comments supporting the other three options.

An analysis of the comments received on this topic is contained at Appendix A.

Other points raised in submissions included:

·      need to prioritise low income households, particularly for insulation and efficient heating which are seen as essential;

·      suggestions to extend the scheme to marae, kohanga reo and non-for-profit organisations;

·      suggestions to extend the scheme to other facilities like EV infrastructure, ventilation, power storage, other renewable generation, solar hot water, double glazing, water storage, etc.;

·      various other organisations working in the area of healthy homes so need to ensure complementarity

2.2.3    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following:

Option 1: No funding. This would have nil financial implications.

Option 2: Low interest loans. This would increase the LTP budget by approximately $21,000 per annum from LTP Year 2. The analysis assumes Council contributes a total capital cost of $2 million.

 

Option 3: Low interest loans and partial/full grants for low income households. This would increase the LTP budget by approximately $63,000 per annum from LTP Year 2. The analysis assumes Council contributes a total capital cost of $2 million.

Option 4 (Recommended): Low interest loans, no interest loans, and partial/full grants for low income households. This would increase the LTP budget by approximately $65,000 per annum from LTP Year 2. The analysis assumes Council contributes a total capital cost of $2 million.

Staff recommend Option 4 with the scheme becoming operational in 2022/23 (LTP Year Two).

Implementing Option 4 would see the establishment of a “Bay of Plenty Sustainable Homes Scheme” in a similar way to the Rotorua Hot Swap Scheme.

As noted above, the Option 4 analysis assumes Council contributes a total cost of $2 million. Homeowners would voluntarily apply for funding for solar power, insulation and/or efficient heating. Homeowners would repay loans over a period of 10 years through voluntary targeted rates on the property. The scheme could potentially benefit between 200 and 500 households across the region. This would be subject to the type and cost of facilities, and the extent of leverage of other funding sources (e.g. Central Government programmes).

The proposal would be that the scheme would be set up in LTP Year 1 (2021-2022) which would involve staff time within existing budgets, plus an estimated $10,000 for legal and accounting external advice costs.

A number of operational policy choices will need to be made to establish a scheme – such as:

·      the proportion of capital funding that would be directed to interest-bearing loans, interest-free loans and grants (if any)

·      qualifying criteria for receiving loans/grants

·      setting up providers

·      putting in place contractual and accounting systems

·      addressing submitters’ specific suggestions on scheme design.

Compliance with any legal obligations would also be established through this establishment phase (such as those under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003). The first loans/grants would be available in the LTP Year 2 i.e. 2022-2023, and the proposed scheme would run for three years.

Currently Hawkes Bay Regional Council are running a similar scheme and there may be an option to request the parties involved in that scheme to manage or provide assistance on Bay of Plenty’s scheme subject to resourcing costs.

The figure below illustrates how the scheme would work conceptually, assuming the $2 million capital cost is taken up gradually over a period of three years from 2022/23. 

2.3      Climate change fund

Councillors considered the establishment of a Climate Change fund through Council workshops as part of the development of the draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031. Councillors gave guidance to staff for this to be considered from year 5 of the Long Term Plan. Further discussion on this item is included in the Regional and Sub-regional strategic priority paper included in this agenda.

2.4      Adoption of Climate Change Position Statement

2.4.1    Background

Regional Council declared a climate change emergency in 2019. It has also issued a Climate Change Statement that will guide work throughout this Long Term Plan. The climate change decisions made in this report will be significant in the action planning that council undertakes in the future as it looks to address climate change issues in line with the Climate Change Statement (attached).

A small number of submissions were received that referenced the Climate Change Position Statement and were supportive of the statement and intent. These included submissions from Whakatāne District Council, Tauranga City Council, Bay of Connections and Heritage NZ. 

Staff recommend the Climate Change Position Statement is approved as per Attachment 1. 

2.4.2    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following:

Option 1 (Recommended): Approve the Climate Change Position Statement as included as Attachment 1 to this paper.

Option 2: Do not approve the Climate Change Position Statement.

2.5      Corporate energy efficiency performance goal

2.5.1    Background

During the October and November LTP workshops, Councillors confirmed performance goals for the LTP. At the time, no specific goal was confirmed for the Corporate Support activity (within the Support Services Group of Activities) due to the need to wait for ongoing work.

Staff have since conducted analysis on an appropriate performance goal and have arrived at the following goal;

Change in total Council emissions compared to prior year

Support Services: Corporate Support

 

Service #1 – Reducing Council Emissions

Level of Service Description

Reduce carbon emissions through utilizing sustainable and energy efficient solutions

Links to Our Strategic Outcomes

A healthy environment

Performance Measure and Targets

 

Current Performance

21/22

22/23

23/24

24/25-30/31

Change in total council emissions compared to prior year

New Measure

5% Reduction on Prior Year

5% Reduction on Prior Year

5% Reduction on Prior Year

5% Reduction on Prior Year

The intent of the goal is to reduce the total greenhouse gas emissions that are under direct council control, and the methodology for measuring greenhouse gas emissions is guided by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Toitū carbonzero programme.

As such, it includes emissions originating from delivery of services which are under Council’s direct operational control, as well a number of indirect emission sources such as air travel and freight. It excludes emissions originating from delivery of services which are funded by Council, but outside the Council’s operational control. The exclusions mainly consist of three activities; i) Public Transport Activities ii) Rivers and Drainage Scheme Activities and iii) Regional Park Activities.

2.5.2    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following:

Option 1 (Recommended): Approve the proposed performance goal for inclusion in the Long Term Plan 2021-2031.

Option 2: Do not approve the proposed performance goal, and suggest an alternative, noting that to meet requirements for auditability this will need to be specific and measurable.

3.        Considerations

3.1      Risks and Mitigations

Climate Change has been identified as a Strategic Priority by Council over the next Long Term Plan, if Council does not provide direction on the matters contained in this paper, this would have a negative impact on Councils ability to address this Strategic Priority.

 

3.2      Climate Change

Responding to Climate Change has been identified as a Strategic Priority in Council’s Strategic Framework for the Long Term Plan 2021-2031. Items and options in this paper inform and guide Councils approach for responding to this Strategic Priority.

 

 

3.3      Implications for Māori

The impact of Climate Change will affect all members of our community including Māori. This paper includes initiatives that may benefit all members of our community including Māori and some matters noted in the paper will involve significant further engagement with iwi/hapū across the Bay of Plenty.

 

3.4      Community Engagement

 

The recommendations contained in this paper are based in part on the Special Consultative Procedure undertaken by Council from 22 February to 22 March 2021.

 

3.5      Financial Implications

The following table sets out the financial implications of all staff recommendations within this report.

The above financial implications assume a capital contribution of $2 million for Sustainability Initiatives.  Staff have considered the best way to make use of existing resources in funding the proposed recommendations.

 

4.        Next Steps

Direction from Councillors today will enable staff to update the draft LTP 2021-2031, which will then be considered for adoption by Council in June 2021.

Attachments

Attachment 1 - BOPRC Climate Change Statement   


Regional Council                                                                                                                           12 May 2021

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Report To:

Regional Council

Meeting Date:

12 May 2021

Report Writer:

Zhivan Alach, Organisational Performance Manager; Kirsty Brown, Rivers and Drainage Assets Manager; Alex Miller, Compliance Manager - Primary Industry & Enforcement; Pim De Monchy, Coastal Catchments Manager; Matthew Searle, Corporate Planner and Jon Jon Peters, BOP Harbourmaster/Manager

Report Authoriser:

Chris Ingle, General Manager, Integrated Catchments

Sarah Omundsen, General Manager, Regulatory Services

Purpose:

To gain Council direction on a number of general matters relating to the draft Long Term Plan.

 

 

Council Activities - General Matters - Deliberation Decisions

 

Executive Summary

The purpose of this paper is to gain Council direction in ten areas to guide the development of the Long Term Plan for adoption.

·           Regional Safety and Rescue Services Fund (Consultation Document)

·           Resourcing for education on the Motiti Protection Area

·           Resourcing for monitoring and compliance of the Motiti Protection Area

·           Resourcing for the Maritime Operations activity

·           Acquisition of a new vessel for Maritime Operations

·           Aerial wetland biodiversity mapping

·           Rangitāiki River Floodwalls

·           Ford Road Pump Station

·           Whakatāne River Catchment Climate Change Resilience mahi

·           Minor River and Drainage Schemes targeted rate changes

 

Recommendations

That the Regional Council:

1        Receives the report, Council Activities - General Matters - Deliberation Decisions.

2        Directs one of the following options relating to the Regional Safety and Rescue Services fund for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  No dedicated funding

(b)  $200,000 dedicated funding per annum

(c)  $400,000 dedicated funding per annum (recommended)

(d)  $600,000 dedicated funding per annum

3        Directs one of the following options relating to Motiti Protection Area education for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  Do nothing and continue with initial public education campaign only;

(b)  Undertake annual communication campaigns for three years at a cost of $30,000 annually (recommended).

4        Directs one of the following options relating to Motiti Protection Area compliance and monitoring for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  Do nothing (education-only);

(b)  One-in-five (35 days monitoring per annum) at a cost of $44,000 annually (recommended);

(c)  One-in-two (90 days monitoring per annum) at a cost of $125,000 annually;

5        Directs one of the following options relating to Maritime Operations resourcing in the Eastern Bay of Plenty for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  Do nothing;

(b)  Contract in assistance at a cost of $175,000 annually;

(c)  Recruit staff at a cost of $95,000 annually (recommended).

6        Directs one of the following options relating to Maritime Operations fleet in the Eastern Bay of Plenty for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  Outsource the maintenance of navigational aids and removal of navigational hazards, with an estimated daily cost of $8,000 per day, $350,000 per year;

(b)  Purchase a new vessel with a capital cost of $900,000 (recommended) and outsource the maintenance of navigational aids for Year 1 $350,000.

7        Directs one of the following options relating to aerial wetlands mapping for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  No additional funding;

(b)  Additional funding for wetland mapping of half the region annually at a cost of $150,000;

(c)  Additional funding for wetland mapping of the full region annually at a cost of $300,000 per annum (recommended)

8        Directs one of the following options relating to Rangitāiki River floodwalls for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  No additional funding;

(b)  Additional funding of $2,076,000 in year two capital expenditure to upgrade the College Road Floodwall (recommended).

9        Directs one of the following options relating to the Ford Road Pump Station for incorporation into the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  Do nothing;

(b)  Additional pump capacity at existing diagonal drain site at an additional cost of $8,685,000 in capital expenditure over years one through three (recommended);

(c)  New pump station at the existing Ford Road site at an additional cost of $17,054,000 in capital expenditure over years one through three.

10      Directs the following option relating to Whakatāne River Urban Stopbank Upgrade (Project Futureproof) into the draft LTP for adoption:

(a)  Provide allowance for public engagement on a Whakatāne River Climate Change Resilience Strategy by reallocating $80,000 from the baseline Engineering budget (recommended);

11      Directs one of the following options relating to changes to the Minor River and Drainage Schemes targeted rates:

(a)  Do nothing and retain rates at current levels;

(b)  Amend targeted rates for the Minor River and Drainage Schemes in LTP Year 1 as per the attached appendix (recommended)

12      Confirms the decision has a high level of significance as determined by the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. Council has identified and assessed different options and considered community views as part of making the decision, in proportion to the level of significance.

 

1.        Introduction

This paper seeks Council direction on a range of general matters that are not as strongly linked to particular Strategic Priority focus areas, as are covered in the accompanying papers in this pack.

They cover the Resource Regulation and Monitoring, Catchment Management, and Flood Protection and Control groups of activities.

1.1         Legislative Framework

The matters in this paper align with a number of statutory responsibilities relating to flood protection, maritime navigation, and resource management.

1.2         Alignment with Strategic Framework

 

A Healthy Environment

We manage our natural resources effectively through regulation, education and action.

Freshwater for Life

 

Safe and Resilient Communities

We support community safety through flood protection and navigation safety.

A Vibrant Region

 

The Way We Work

 

 

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

Low - Positive

¨ Cultural

 

¨ Social

 

þ Economic

 

 

 

o Significance

The recommended proposal/decision has been assessed against the criteria and thresholds in Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy, and can be considered:

High

The decision will potentially adversely affect Council's ability to fulfil its statutory functions or roles under any enactment.

 

2.        Key Decisions

2.1         Regional Safety and Rescue Services Funding

2.1.1    Background

Charitable regional safety and rescue services (RSRS) provide a number of vital safety and rescue services to both local people in our community, and visitors to our region. These organisations gain funding by applying to a multitude of bodies, including local authorities, regional councils, central government, and a variety of trusts and other entities. This arrangement has inefficiencies in that it results in resources that could be spent on service delivery being spent on applications for funding.

Councillors directed that the LTP Consultation Document seek public views on introducing a targeted rate to provide funding for a centralised regional safety and rescue services fund and to include funding of $400,000 in the draft budget.

The four options consulted on were:

1.   No funding; or

2.   Funding up to $200,000 per annum; or

3.   Funding up to $400,000 per annum (recommended); or

4.   Funding up to $600,000 per annum.

2.1.2    Consultation Responses

The following table shows the spread of responses.

Total Responses

Option 1 (no funding)

Option 2 ($200k)

Option 3 ($400k) (recommended)

Option 4 ($600k)

205

42

53

57

53

100%

20%

26%

28%

26%

Eighty percent of respondents selected one of the “yes” options, though there was a relatively even split between which specific option was preferred.

Several additional submissions were made stating their support for a targeted rate. Comments expressing support for any of the three “yes” options generally emphasized the essential benefits these services provide for the whole community.

Respondents highlighted services they felt were particularly vital and in need of more support, with Surf Lifesaving, Search and Rescue, and ambulance services all mentioned repeatedly.

Respondents frequently requested more information about which charities would receive this funding, how this allocation would be decided, and what outcomes would be expected. They noted that a transparent allocation process based on clear assessment of need was necessary.

Collaboration with district councils was also noted as crucial to ensure funding did not overlap and ratepayers did not end up paying twice.

Those who did not support the introduction of a targeted rate commonly felt that it should not be the responsibility of the regional council to fund these services, suggesting other means such as a user-pays system or central government funding.

2.1.3    Submissions from Service Providers

Several providers of regional safety and rescue services expressed support for the proposal and provided an indication of the level of funding they would seek if Council decided to establish a centralised regional safety and rescue services fund.

Organisation

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

Rotorua Mountain Bike Club Inc

$80,000

$80,000

$80,000

Youth Search and Rescue

$50,000

$50,000

$50,000

LandSAR NZ

Not stated 

Not stated 

Not stated 

SLSNZ*

$200,000

$200,000

$200,000

Coastguard**

$200,000

$200,000

$200,000

Total

$530,000

$530,000

$530,000

*in addition to funding Surf Lifesaving NZ receive from other Councils (estimated at over $500,000 pa)

**Indicative funding level provided by Coastguard at LTP Hearings.

2.1.4    Submissions from Councils across the region

Submissions were received from several councils. The following summarises these and includes information from inter-council discussions held at the same time.

Whakatāne District Council currently funds local safety and rescue services through the annual Harbour fund grant process. These rescue services include charities like Coastguard, Surf Lifesaving NZ and the local surf lifesaving club. In some cases these charities also have the opportunity to apply for funding through the WDC’s LTP cycle for three years at the time. Total annual funding: $60-75k.

Ōpōtiki District Council opposed the adoption of a targeted rate for funding of RSRS services stating that further conversations with the community were needed to provide greater clarity before any decision was made.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council were supportive of the proposal in principle, but had some concerns about the detailed mechanism.

Rotorua Lakes Council indicated support for the proposal to provide funding for charitable regional safety and rescue services. Within this proposal, RLC recommended funding support for the Whakarewarewa Forest Safety Service/Rotorua Mountain Bike Club Inc. application

Tauranga City Council stated in their submission that they were supportive with the proposal in principle, but were concerned that the range of applicants could include multiple national entities that run regional services as franchisees, creating a significant management challenge. They also suggested that Regional Council could consider funding this work via the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Targeted Rate.

Further conversations with Tauranga City Council have indicated that their relationship with Surf Lifesaving NZ involves more funding ($300,000) and a greater level of management support than originally envisaged when the centralised fund was first discussed.

2.1.5    Analysis and Implementation

There is clear support from the community for Regional Council to provide funding. However, there is also confusion and concern around how the funds would be allocated, the criteria for funding and how funding would operate given the current mix of funding provided by councils in the region. The level of funding currently provided is higher than first envisaged, meaning any funding round would likely be oversubscribed.

A number of changes have occurred in the operating environment over the last 12-18 months that have impacted the level of funding currently allocated by councils in the region. As a result any funding round is likely to be oversubscribed and the original intent of having funding centralised is unlikely to be achieved.

2.1.6    Options

Councillors are requested to direct one of the following for incorporation in the draft Long Term Plan for adoption, noting option three is the staff recommendation:

Option One: Provide no additional funding to RSRS services. In terms of the draft LTP Budget, this will realise cost savings of $400,000 in year one, approximately $1.60-$4.00 per property including GST. This is because Council has already factored in the forecast cost of providing RSRS into the draft LTP Budget for consultation.

 

Option Two: Reduce funding budgeted in the draft LTP to $200,000 per annum. This will realise a savings of $200,000 in year one, approximately $0.80-$2.00 per property including GST.

Option Three: Confirm funding of $400,000 per annum currently budgeted in the draft LTP. This would have no additional financial implications (Recommended). This is because Council has already factored in the forecast cost of providing RSRS into the draft LTP Budget for consultation.

Option Four: Provide funding of $600,000 per annum. This would have financial implications of approximately $200,000 in year one compared to what is currently budgeted. Equivalent to approximately $0.80-$2.00 per property including GST.

 

2.1.7    Implementation Approach

Staff are recommending option three ($400,000 per annum). There is strong community support for funding. Public and council concerns noted in submissions have been on the specific mechanism, and as such a detailed implementation model will be utilised:

1.   Regional Council will work with other councils to develop and agree explicit criteria for the criteria and operation of the fund (see Attachment 1 for draft);

2.   Due to the timing of different council Long Term Plan deliberations, in the interim the guiding principle will be “nobody left behind” that states that existing recipients of funding will receive the amount they would otherwise have expected from other councils in year one of the Long Term Plan, but which will not receive due to Regional Council’s fund.

For example, if a council is planning to reduce funding to providers based on Regional Council now providing funding, Regional Council will provide interim funding until the criteria and operation of the regional funding approach is confirmed and a funding round is able to be completed.

3.   There will thus be a “pseudo” funding round for Year 1 involving the continuation of existing funding where providers have been disadvantaged, before the first full open and contestable round.

4.   Investigate whether the fund can be managed by the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group, given all councils are partners and the group’s relationship with Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, and St Johns.

Based on recent knowledge that the amount of current funding across the region exceeds the $400,000 anticipated, it is likely that the amount of centralised funding required from year two onwards of the Long Term Plan will exceed that current allocated. Any changes will be considered via the Annual Plan process.

2.2         Motiti Protection Area

2.2.1    Background

As part of a public review of the Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Environment Plan (the Plan), the Motiti Rohe Moana Trust requested marine spatial planning provisions within the Plan. On 24 April 2020, following a lengthy judicial process, the Environment Court issued its final decision on the matter, confirming the establishment of the Motiti Protection Area, which will prohibit a number of activities, most notably fishing and anchoring, on a set of reefs around Motiti Island.

At the Annual Plan Deliberations meeting of 2 June 2020, Council directed that $41,000 be provided for an initial public education campaign, with decisions on funding for compliance monitoring and enforcement activities to be deferred until the paper was signed off by the Minister for Conservation.

The Plan was signed off by the Minister of Conservation, Hon Kiritapu Allen on 25 February 2021. On 4 May Council agreed on a timeline for implementing the Plan, which means rules will have legal effect from 12 August 2021.

This discussion sets out options for implementing the Motiti provisions in the Plan, and associated costs. Staff note the reason these costs were not previously notified to Councillors is that Regional Council was not given any indication that sign-off of the Plan was imminent.

2.2.2    Implementation

Staff have considered the most appropriate way to implement the Motiti Protection Area and the resource implications. There are tw