Informal Workshop Notes

Long Term Plan 2024-2034 (Workshop No 3)

Regional Council

Held:                            12:30pm, Wednesday 23 August 2023, Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga and via Zoom (Audio Visual Link)

Chairperson:               Chairman Doug Leeder

Deputy Chairperson:  Deputy Chairperson Jane Nees

Present:                       Cr Malcolm Campbell

Cr Stuart Crosby

Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti (via Zoom)

Cr Kat Macmillan

Cr Ron Scott

Cr Ken Shirley

Cr Lyall Thurston

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Te Taru White

Cr Kevin Winter

In Attendance:            Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive; Mat Taylor – General Manager, Corporate; Namouta Poutasi – General Manager Strategy & Science; Reuben Fraser – General Manager Regulatory Services; Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments; Kataraina O’Brien – General Manager – Strategic Engagement; Karen Aspey - Director, People & Leadership (via Zoom); Kumaren Perumal - Chief Financial Officer; Olive McVicker – Corporate Performance Team Lead; Gillian Payne – Principal Advisor; Karlo Keogh – Finance Support Team Lead; Graeme Howard – Corporate Planning Lead; Angela Foster – Communications & Engagement Manager; Steve Groom – Governance Manager; Merinda Pansegrouw – Committee Advisor.

Apologies:                  Cr Paula Thompson and Cr Matemoana McDonald


1.     Introduction

Chief Executive Fiona McTavish provided an overview of the next steps in developing the Long Term Plan 2024-2034 (LTP), and highlighted the following key matters for members to provide guidance on:

·       New strategic direction - activity structure and prioritisation goals

·       Levels of service - initial review process

·       LTP consultation process and document


Items relating to Regional Infrastructure Funding and Rates Remission would be considered at Workshop No.4, scheduled for 7 September 2023.



Long Term Plan 2024 - 2034 Activity Structure

Presentation - 2023-08-23 LTP Workshop No 3: Objective ID A4455886  

Presented by: Chief Financial Officer, Kumaren Perumal.


Key Points - Staff:

·     Following approval of Council’s new strategic direction, a revised activity structure had been developed to be used as the basis for activity planning/budgeting/determining levels of service/work streams as part of the LTP process

·     Alongside the development of the LTP, the focus in September 2023 would be the development of the Financial Strategy, Funding Policies and activity/service planning/budgeting

·     Audit process would commence in December 2023

·     Council’s financial system/general ledger had been updated to reflect the new activities

·     The revised activity structure would also inform the Revenue and Financing Policy review process; the policy was currently being analysed to determine the best options for funding the revised activities.

In response to Questions:

·     Activity structures did not reflect reporting lines to General Managers’ portfolios; staff’s focus would be based on an integrated approach to working cooperatively across portfolios

·     The Freshwater Programme had been added as a new activity since implementation was fast approaching and to enable staff across the organisation to work towards the implementation of the plan change (a total of 55 staff members would support the programme)

·     Consideration had been given to reducing/consolidating/re-packaging activities to be more effective/aligned with the new strategic direction

·     Noted that the activity structure would also provide structure for the packaging of future considerations relating to the levels of service delivery/ prioritisation.

Guidance provided:

·     Was comfortable for staff to proceed with further developing the draft LTP Activity Structure.

Refining of the New Strategic Direction

Key Points - Members:

·     Community Outcome 5 - The Pursuit of Excellence (Partnering with tangata whenua towards a prosperous and equitable regional future)

o   Members requested opportunity to reconsider Community Outcome 5:

§  Based on discussions at earlier workshops, the intention had been for Community Outcome 5 to not solely apply to tangata whenua, but the wider community

§  To be in alignment with the principle of inclusion, Goal 15 - Supporting Māori capacity and capability building to empower proactive relationships should also be extended to apply to the wider community (i.e. include Council’s summer student programme/volunteering community groups)

o   Suggested that Community Outcome 5 be amended to “Partnering with tangata whenua and the community towards a prosperous and equitable regional future”, with both Goals 15 and 16 to include the wider community

o   Generally supported the view that Outcome 5 should be applicable to the wider community. However, highlighted the importance of not losing the clear focus on tangata whenua (essential for tangata whenua to be reflected as a distinct Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner)

o   Cautioned that making a clear distinction between “tangata whenua” and the “community” could potentially be offensive.

Guidance provided:

·     Staff to amend Outcome 5 and align Goals 15 and 16 to include/capture the “wider community”, but keep the tangata whenua/dual focus, for inclusion in the next draft for consideration by Council

o   Outcome 5 to read “Partnering with tangata whenua and community towards a prosperous and equitable regional future

o   Goal 15 to read “Supporting Māori and community capacity and capability building to empower proactive relationships”

·     Community Outcome 1 – “A healthy environment”: outcome statement to be updated to reflect the Ki uta ki tai/Mountains to the sea approach as a guiding principle applicable to a healthy environment (and to align with SmartGrowth).




Prioritisation of 2024-2034 Strategic Outcome Goals

Presented by: Chief Executive, Fiona McTavish.


Prioritisation Principles

Key Points - Staff:

·     Sought direction on how to prioritise the goals within the draft 2024-2027 Strategic Direction across time horizons so consequential prioritisation of activities and levels of service could occur

·     Requested direction on the following four prioritisation principles:

1.    Building on the existing 3 BOPRC impact statements

2.    Recognising the importance of fiscal responsibility/need to achieve further organisational efficiencies

3.    Focused Delivery of Priorities

4.    Maintaining our Culture and High Performance levels

·     Acknowledged the theme for the 2024-2034 LTP was prioritisation: making sure that Council’s work met the needs of the community/taking into consideration the fiscal outlook for the next 2-3 years/LTP to fit with the current environment.

Key Points - Members:

·     In terms of considering the priority within the “Focused Delivery of Priorities”, noted that members would be presented with a scenario elaborating on what was absolutely core

·     Expressed the view that Council needed to review the way it engaged with communities to ensure it was both cost effective/efficient and aligned with the impact statements. Added that in terms of Council’s fiscal responsibility, it was important to ensure engagement/impact was maximised and provided value for money

·     Requested that “fiscal envelopes” for the scenarios be created at an early stage in the process to enable members to make informed strategic decisions influenced/driven by the strategy/principles/goals (it was critical to understand financial ramifications as soon as possible)

·     Noted that there would be a paper presented to Council at a future meeting requesting approval for unbudgeted expenses (recommendation from the Tauranga Public Transport Joint Committee); concurred that all decisions taken by Council needed to be made within the context of being fiscally responsible.

Guidance provided:

·     Supported maintaining the existing BOPRC impact statements (priority 1) as well as pursuing priorities 2,3 and 4, and continuing to build on them.

Key Points - Staff:

·     The scenario ‘’Cutting to the Core” (to be presented at Council Workshop No. 5 on 19 September 2023) would exclude all non-statutory initiatives

·     Ultimately three scenarios would be presented to members for consideration, alongside the associated fiscal implications

·     Invited members to provide staff with any further comments on the priorities.

Prioritisation of Goals

Key Points - Members:

·     Supported the draft prioritisation of goals, using the Three Horizons framework

·     Consideration should be given to reviewing how things have been done to date and to consider new ways to achieve smarter outcomes/longer term gains/future focussed

·     Prioritisation should remain the primary focus.

Key Points – Staff :

·     Acknowledged that the wording used on the “Goals” PowerPoint Slide was cryptic; would be more comprehensive in future for ease of understanding and clarity

·     Emphasised the importance of keeping in mind the need for attending to  business as usual, alongside other commitments (i.e. being part of future development strategies with partner councils).





Activity Planning - Review of Levels of Service

Presented by: Chief Executive, Fiona McTavish and Chief Financial Officer Kumaren Perumal.



Key Points - Staff:

·     Activity planning for the various activities/review of the levels of service for each activity had commenced

·     In response to the current economic climate, a cost-of-living crisis and many experiencing financial hardship, current operating expenditure levels were being reviewed to identify potential savings for the first three years of the 2024 – 2034 LTP. This included:

o   Deferring any funding requests addressed to Council to be included as part of the 2024 – 2034 LTP submissions process

o   Pausing external permanent recruitment at Toi Moana; aligning the People Plan with a core service delivery approach (as a first step freezing external vacancies; as a second step, to move to a refocus of vacancies); acknowledging the need to maintain levels of service and position Council for the future

o   Review process to identify potential savings based on three potential scenarios:

§  Scenario One: current levels of service updated to include spend to meet any new legislative requirements

§  Scenario Two: review of existing work programmes to identify what could be delayed or removed under the new strategic framework

§  Scenario Three: identify the baseline level of service, i.e. delivering to the minimum statutory requirements or agreements currently in place

o   A review was being undertaken for all activities; and

o   Staff were reviewing all alternative revenue/funding opportunities.

Key Points - Members:

·     Noted that the approach would ultimately be a “team approach”

·     Accepted that timing was critical; determining the direction of travel as soon as possible was essential

·     Acknowledged that there would be consequences for any decision taken; however, would be important to consider the non-financial consequences as well (both short and long term).

Guidance provided:

·     Supported pausing external permanent recruitment at Toi Moana

·     Supported the approach to review the levels of service/further develop the three scenarios proposed.


Regional Infrastructure Funding

This item would be considered at Workshop No.4 on 7 September 2023.


Verbal update: LTP Consultation

Presented by: Chief Financial Officer, Kumaren Perumal.

Key Points - Staff:

·     Provided an overview of the consultation process/document

·     Would influence thinking in forthcoming workshops as the process/document was a key deliverable to be adopted in December 2023

·     The consultation document would be a summary of the themes of the full LTP, highlighting key topics Council wanted to connect with the community on/seek feedback on

·     A (minimum) 4-week consultation period was planned for March/April 2024, followed by Hearings and Deliberations

·     Where possible, BOPRC would seek to align consultation with other local authorities across the region/seek synergies on topics

·     Other possible topics outside of the consultation document that would also be consulted on with the community included the Revenue and Financing Policy and the Rates Remission Policy

·     Expected high levels of feedback from the community based on past LTP processes

·     Requested members to keep the consultation process/document in mind during future LTP Workshops; invited members to raise matters that needed to be consulted on as part of discussion at future workshops to enable staff to shape/align connecting points in preparing the consultation document.

Key Points - Members:

·     Enquired if there were protocols/guidelines for elected members during an LTP consultation process (would be particularly useful for new elected members)

·     Expressed the view that four weeks would be insufficient to effectively consult with the community since the consultation document was expected to include a number of significant topics

·     Noted that it was a legal requirement for consultation documents to be audited prior to consultation; however, for significant topics it would be possible to pursue a pre-engagement process with communities (i.e. via Home | Participate BOPRC) to get some feedback on particular questions.



2.     Conclusion

Next steps:

·         Workshop No. 4 – Thursday 7 September 2023

·         Workshop No. 5 – Tuesday 19 September 2023

·         Workshop No. 6 – Wednesday 6 September 2023 (Public Excluded)

·         Workshop No. 7 – Tuesday 26 September 2023

·         Workshop No. 8 – Wednesday 18 October 2023

2.40 pm – The workshop closed.