Informal Workshop Notes

LTP 2024- 2034 Workshop No. 10

Regional Council

Held:                            09:30 am, Wednesday 8 November 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

Cr Matemoana McDonald

Cr Kat Macmillan

Cr Ron Scott

Cr Ken Shirley

Cr Paula Thompson

Cr Lyall Thurston (Via Zoom)

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Te Taru White

Cr Kevin Winters

In Attendance:            Staff: Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive; Mat Taylor – General Manager, Corporate; Chris Ingle – General Manager, Integrated Catchments; Namouta Poutasi – General Manager Strategy and Science; Reuben Fraser – General Manager Regulatory Services; Kataraina O’Brien – General Manager Strategic Engagement; Kumaren Perumal - Chief Financial Officer; AJ Prinsloo – Finance Manager; Gillian Payne – Principal Advisor; Olive McVicker – Corporate Performance Team Lead; Mark Le Comte – Principal Advisor, Graeme Howard – Corporate Planning Lead; Mary Burford – Programme Manager, Finance and Corporate Performance; Annabel Taylor – Manager, Special Projects; Santiago Bermeo – Senior Planner; Nic Newman – Climate Change Programme Manager; Jane Palmer – Senior Planner Climate Change; Angela Foster – Communications and Engagement Manager; Stephanie Macdonald – Community Engagement Team Leader; Herewini Simpson – Kaihautu (Te Amorangi Lead); Stephan Lamb – Environmental Strategy Manager; Mark Townsend (via Zoom); Kirsty Brown – Rivers and Drainage Assets Manager; Jo Pellew- Rates Manager (via Zoom); Merinda Pansegrouw – Committee Advisor.

1.     Declarations of Conflicts of Interest


2.     Introduction

Key Points - Staff:

·     Provided an update on the current uncertain operating environment and direction pending the establishment of the incoming Central Government (policy and financial challenges) and the appropriate planning being undertaken by staff to prepare accordingly

·     Acknowledged the huge volume of reading/preparation required by councillors to prepare for Long Term Plan (LTP) 2023-2024 workshops in addition to other meetings

·     In terms of the depth of detail presented to councillors in future workshop papers/packs, councillors would be provided with summarised overviews/key issues/options to focus on and consider (plain English/salient bullet style)

Key Points - Members:

·     Highlighted the need for a more integrated approach to planning systems (i.e. Transport Planning Funding): In their respective LTPs, Territorial Local Authorities/Toi Moana, needed a combined/coherent approach to achieve effective/integrated budgets/communication with ratepayers

·     SmartGrowth Funding/City Deal implications needed to form part of the bigger macro/regional picture; particularly in the current “catch-up mode” to address the infrastructure deficit/future growth requirements.

Next Step:

·     Priority One Chief Executive, Nigel Tutt to present to Council further details on the proposed City Deal to enable consideration of any matters that needed to be linked with Toi Moana’s LTP 2024-2034 process.

3.     Workshop Papers


Draft Infrastructure Strategy & Asset Management Plans

Presentation - Draft Infrastructure Strategy & Asset Management Plans - LTP 2024-2034 Capital Programme Y1: Objective ID A4531369  


Presented by: Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments, Kirsty Brown -  Rivers and Drainage Assets Manager and Mark Townsend - Engineering Manager.

Guidance Sought from Councillors

To provide feedback on the:

·     Approach of the asset management framework

·     Draft Infrastructure Strategy

·     Draft Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) and Asset Management Plans (AMPs) that supported the asset management framework approach for LTP 2024-2034.

Key Points - Staff:

·     Council was required to review/adopt its AMPs and Infrastructure Strategy every three years as part of the LTP process - to ensure relevancy/accuracy

·     Information from the Rivers and Drainage AMP would feed into the Infrastructure Strategy

·     The Infrastructure Strategy was linked with the Climate Change Action Plan.

Key Points - Members:

·     Expressed concerns regarding deliverability; challenges slowing project delivery/continued risks to successful implementation of the capital programme

·     Noted that the purpose of the Infrastructure Strategy document was to highlight to Council the issues/implications to be faced over the next 30 years

·     Remarked that, within the maintenance budgets, allowance had been included for a five-year event every five years, and a 10-year event every 10 years, but no allowance had been made for a big disaster flood event

·     Stressed the need to achieve a balanced budget within the first three years; however noting that the capital programme needed to be realistic, but balanced to accommodate possible risk

·     Despite yearly deliverability reviews, levels of delivery was always lower than expected. ($25 million to $30 million seemed to be the capacity to deliver). Required to be more realistic in terms of what would be achievable.  Suggested considering $25 million in Year 1 of the LTP and smoothing the balance further on

·     Stressed that a hard-line approach would be required

·     Noted that since a number of co-funders were also involved in projects, pressure to complete projects as soon as possible remained a requirement

·     Noted that the River Scheme Sustainability Project, which would include all four River Schemes, was scheduled for completion by 2028/2029 (with the inclusion of community engagement)

·     In the context of Te Uru Kahika, noted ongoing liaison amongst staff in the regional sector to ensure best practice approach

·     Emphasised the critical importance of community education/awareness: communities needed to understand the enormity of this programme/the residual risk/reality of the challenges. Suggested that a bigger awareness drive, beyond the LTP process, needed to be embarked upon (“Needed to get out of the bunker”)

·     Encouraged best practice approach for maintenance of weed control in drains/to be as cost effective as possible/to investigate alignment with aquatic herbicide control options where possible

·     Highlighted the importance of proactive planning: sound research-based strategic/forward planning should guide future development in flood prone areas

·     Acknowledged the nexus between the work undertaken by the Rivers and Drainage Team and the strategic spatial planning activity (highlighting go/no-go areas).

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·     Review the discrepancy in numbers relating to the Rivers and Drainage Assets (reference page 7 of the report/Asset Management Plan $445 million/$401 million)

·     Update: Infrastructure Strategy Improvement Plan (reference page 26) “Other key council projects and programmes such as the Invest Bay of Plenty Spatial Plan, Water Programme, Tauranga Harbour Strategy and similar

·     Future report to the Monitoring and Operations Committee on the work programme (with the inclusion of a focus on ongoing work/priority list)

·     Stopbank Condition Assessments (reference page 14) – staff to compile a map, with appropriate colour coding, identifying areas with critical defects (to be aligned with capital expenditure requirements)

·     Requested a review of the terminology “one in five year floods/one in 10 year floods”; encouraged avoiding using these phrases due of a common misunderstanding amongst communities. Language used needed to be clear

·     Review the settings in terms of ownership of assets: to investigate/consider best practice (as part of the activity review for Year 2 or 3 of the LTP)

·     Regional Parks/Coastal Parks – review of the appropriateness of the current Operating Expense (OpEx) allocated.

10:55am - The workshop reconvened.

11:00am - The workshop adjourned.


Activity Plans - Part 2

Presentation - Item 2 - Activity Plans Part 2 LTP Workshop 10: Objective ID A4540231  


Presented by Kumaren Perumal, Chief Financial Officer, Namouta Poutasi, General Manager Strategy and Science, Chris Ingle, General Manager Integrated Catchments, Kataraina O'Brien, General Manager Strategic Engagement, Antoine Coffin, Manager Spatial Planning and Herewini Simpson, Kaihautu Te Amorangi.

Guidance Sought from Councillors

·     Following September 2023 workshops, Council had identified activities where further information was required

·     Activity plans for these activities were listed in the report. Invited further guidance/comment on the levels of service and performance measures for each activity.

Key Points - Members:

Spatial Planning Activity

·     Suggested the establishment of the Regional Planning Committee be placed on hold (until such time that certainty had been obtained with the formation on the incoming Government)

·     Generally expressed support for Option 2

·     Noted that in the instance of supporting Option 1, high-level political conversation with partners would be required

·     Spatial planning function deemed hugely important: supported that it be reviewed as part of the annual plan process (to align with SmartGrowth Funding/Implementation Plan)

·     Spatial planning should remain a priority and be continued in order to address misaligned regional development, irrespective of the lifespan of the Spatial Planning Act 2023 - having a robust spatial plan for the region would only be beneficial.

Rivers and Drainage Activity

·     Planned expenditure for Year 1 of the LTP was too high; needed to be deferred over the first 4 years of the LTP.

Te Pae Tawhiti (Māori Capacity and Capability)

·     Formally referred to as the new Māori Capacity and Capability Activity

·     Sought a change of name from the Chief Executive to accurately reflect the purpose of the activity to respond to the proposed LTP Māori Outcome, He Ara Poutama

·     Te Pae Tawhiti meant to seek out the distant horizons, drew its origins from a whakatauki:

o   Ko Te Pae Tawhiti – seek out the distant horizons

o   Whaia kia tata – while cherishing

o   Ko te pae tata – those achievements

o   Whakamaua kia tina – at hand

·     Acknowledged clarification of the intent of the Te Pae Tawhiti (Māori Capacity and Capability), the focus being on relationship building in terms of achieving common goals/to provide structured reporting/improved visibility of kaupapa Māori, provide an internal measure to report on progress/improvement and areas of excellence (internal management tool) – based on legislative responsibilities – formalising current activity

·     Emphasised the importance to continue embracing partnerships with tangata whenua

·     Cautioned to not over promise/under deliver in Council’s undertaking to engage

·     Expressed concern about the implications of changing the direction travelled/rebalancing the importance of Te Mana O Te Wai and how this might be communicated/explained to communities and the potential impact on relationships/trust between iwi and the sector (credibility of the regional sector was at risk).


·     Emphasised the importance of spending relativity in the various catchments (i.e., Rotorua focus catchment compared to others); emphasised that spending across the region needed to be equitable

·     Concerned about possible funding implications for the regional sector as a result in the possible shift in central government policy (reduction in Ministry for the Environment (MfE); Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) funding streams) and the consequent fiscal constraints/challenges

·     In the context of funding constraints, having an outcomes based approached would be critical.

Item for Staff Follow Up:

·     Rotorua Catchments (reference Year 2, $1.5 million, operational costs to repair corrosion of the Ohau Wall): requested further information in preparation for community engagement over summer period (i.e. metres of moulded plastic to be fitted/current percentage of leakage/nutrient flows), to be shared with all councillors via email.

Direction Provided:

·     With regard to the Spatial Planning Budget:

o     Currently no budget allowance for the new planning system

o     To consider a reduction in the SmartGrowth budget

o     Reduction in the Rotorua Budget

o     Reduction in Rotorua Lakes Council Future Development Strategy (FDS) (Scenario 1), with a possible review as part of the annual plan process

o     Would require an understating of the service delivery implications once the FDS had been adopted

·     Expressed appetite to move towards Option 2, however required further detail – an “Option 1B” to be presented to Councillors

·     Would require an understanding of the actual cost implications - further detail to be provided.



Climate Change Activity and Action Plan

Presentation - Climate Change Activity and Action Plan LTP Workshop No 10 - 8 November 2023: Objective ID A4531346  


Presented by: Jane Palmer, Senior Planner Climate Change and Nic Newman, Climate Change Programme Manager.

Guidance Sought from Councillors

·     Feedback on the draft Climate Change Action Plan 2024-2026

·     Identification of the preferred climate change related consultation question/s for the LTP 2024-2034 Consultation Document

·     Identification of Gross Emission Reduction Target for the organisation as a steppingstone to Net Zero.

Key Points:

·     Draft Climate Change Action Plan 2024-2026 had built on the substantial work/progress made in the climate change space; updates reflected the following:

o      Council’s new strategic direction

o      Increasing maturity of the Council’s climate change mahi

o      Changes in the legislative environment

o      Feedback from the internal audit of the Climate Change Programme

·     Identification of Gross Emission Reduction Target for the organisation as a stepping stone to Net Zero

·     Identification of the preferred climate change related consultation question/s for the LTP 2024-2034 Consultation Document.

Key Points - Members:

·     In relation to corporate emissions reduction, noted that extraordinary events would require extraordinary activity (i.e. diesel fuel pumps in adverse weather events). Highlighted the need for transparency in this space and the necessity to make a distinction between ordinary/extraordinary activities

·     Pointed out that a new regional park could offer a potential future educational opportunity (i.e. detailed interpretation/information boards)

·     Commented that Regional Council’s climate change activities/impact reached far wider than Regional Parks (i.e. regulatory activities)

·     Regarding climate change educational resources, suggested that Council could potentially link existing national education resources to a climate education hub, through Bay of Connections or House of Science

·     Reminded that, as directed by the Local Government Act 2002 decision-making principles, processes for making decisions needed to be open and transparent.  Highlighted the awareness/transparency particularly regarding trade-offs being made in decision making; needed to be clear on why/how trade-offs were being made/change in direction.

Guidance Provided by Councillors

·     Supported the draft Action Plan amendments/proposed focus areas

·     Suggested a possible question for inclusion in the Consultation Document asking the community about Council’s role in community resilience

·     Supported the idea of additional focus on sequestration through plantings and regional parks and would support a question on this for inclusion in the Consultation Document; however, consideration of a potential LTP question regarding New Regional Park/s to be deferred

·     Supported a potential Gross Emission Reduction Target for the organisation, of a 25% reduction in gross emissions by 2026-27, relative to 2022-2023

·     Supported proposed changes to the position statement

·     Not supportive of possible loans for sustainable household initiatives (not council’s core business) – no LTP question regarding the provision of loans for sustainable homes across the region required

·     Climate change educational resources – preferred linking existing national education resources to provide easy existed for information from communities

·     Potential LTP question on Climate Education Resources – not required.

10:45am - The workshop adjourned.

11:00am - The workshop reconvened.


Regional Development Activity - Bay of Connections Implications


Presented by: Stephen Lamb, Environmental Strategy Manager and Namouta Poutasi, General Manager, Strategy and Science.

Guidance Sought from Councillors

·     To note information that has been provided in response to the request to understand the implication of Regional Development Activity Scenario 3.

·     To provide direction on a preferred Scenario.

Key Points - Members:

·     Noted that Bay of Connections was a significant part of Council’s Regional economic development activity

·     Questioned whether the current model had run its course

·     Concurred that LTP 2024-2034 offered an opportunity for Council to reconsider the role of the activity delivering its economic wellbeing/outcomes

·     Was supportive of a re-set/review; concurred however that there was a need to retain the regional economic development function/workstream

·     Would require further information regarding the implication of Scenario 3 (i.e. what would replace it/how long would it take/overall implications for Regional Council)

·     Needed to take into consideration the views of other partners

·     Noted a potential reputational risk for Council

·     Highlighted the importance of delivery in the area of a “low carbon economy”

·     Noted that there were a number of strengths in the current way of operating

·     Once central government direction had been confirmed, it would assist in defining the strategic future for the function

·     Council needed a vehicle to deliver economic development/co-ordinate across the region to grow/develop the region/provide ability as a region a position to connect with Central Government

·     Due diligence would be required

·     Suggested looking at a further “Option 2A”, considering a reset (trimmed down version/in-house/building on its strengths)

·     Noted option to include in the Consultation Document

·     Required a sensible process, with input from Bay of Connections.

Direction Provided:

·     Staff to explore a further option – Option 2A.



Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management

Presented by: Reuben Fraser, General Manager Regulatory Services.


Guidance Sought from Councillors

·     To provide feedback on the activity plan for Emergency Management

·     To note that the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (CDEMG) Joint Committee, at its meeting on 29 September 2023, approved additional resourcing with a budgeted annual cost of $356,752 (uninflated) to meet increasing demand to deliver Emergency Management responsibilities

·     To confirm an additional $356,752  to be included in the draft LTP 2024-2034 budget for 2024/25 (cost inflated in out years), funded by an increase to the CDEM targeted rate. This was to fund the additional Emergency Management resourcing approved by CDEMG Joint Committee

·     To provide guidance whether to increase Regional Safety and Rescue Service (RSRS) funding by $80,000 to $480,000 in Year one of the draft LTP 2024-2034 (due to not increasing with inflation over past 3 years), then increase funding in line with inflation in future years. (As endorsed by CDEMG Joint Committee at its meeting on 29 September 2023).

Key Points - Members:

·     Supported the status quo funding for the Regional Safety and Rescue Service (RSRS) funding, with no increase

·     Noted that RSRS fund was a targeted rate: spent where collected.

Direction Provided:

·     Supported an additional $356,752 to be included in the draft LTP 2024-2034 budget for 2024/25 (cost inflated in out years), funded by an increase to the CDEM Targeted rate, to fund the additional Emergency Management resourcing approved by CDEMG Joint Committee

·     Not supportive of an increase in the Regional Safety and Rescue Service (RSRS) funding for the draft LTP 2024-2034, to keep status quo.



Rates Remission Policy Review - Māori Freehold Land

Presentation - Rates Remission LTP Workshop No10 - 8 Nov 2023: Objective ID A4531344  


Presented by: Gillian Payne- Principal Advisor, Jo Pellew - Rates Manager, Herewini Simpson - Kaihautu Te Amorangi Lead and Merehini Waiari - Senior Advisor Te Amorangi.

Guidance Sought from Councillors

·     Inclusion of an additional type of Māori owned land in the policy definition of MFL (Māori Freehold Land/General Land owned by Māori)

·     Whether to develop a separate policy for remissions on MFL or keep the current approach which combines all rates remissions provisions into one document

·     Objectives, options for criteria for remissions for Economic Development on MFL.

Key Points:

·     Initial direction on these matters was provided by Komiti Māori at its meeting on 10 October 2023

·     Overview of the legal requirements/key principles supporting the development of the Rates Remission Policy

·     Highlighted the possibility that some MFL owners might already be receiving remissions on the basis of remissions previously allowed by Territorial Local Authorities (TLAs), so might not necessarily be additional remissions

·     As part of aligning the policy with TLA policies, the additional type of Māori owned land in the policy definition of MFL would only be socialised with other TLAs once direction had been provided by Council; TLAs would be able to provide feedback through the LTP submission process

·     As a future exercise, staff would look into the detail relating to the size/range of scale of MFL properties. Initial indications were that it mainly involved smaller pockets of land

·     In considering the unintended consequences when looking at developing a separate policy for Rates Remission and Postponement on MFL, noted the potential risk that readers of the MFL policy may overlook the provisions that applied to all types of land; this could be mitigated by clear cross referencing.

Key Points - Members:

·     Requested further clarification/an estimation of what the 2022/23 rateable land was for whenua Māori land versus the proposal (before and after scenario/i.e. the implications of the proposed policy) so as to understand the difference between the status quo and the implication of the proposed policy

·     Noted that the cost for the additional classification of expansion of our MFL definition was not known as yet

·     Emphasised that the direction required today was more based on principle rather than fiscal numbers/implications

·     Enquired about the total amount of land which qualified as legislatively non-rated/inaccessible land (where Council did not strike the rate).

Direction Provided:

·     Endorsed the following direction but requested that staff provide further information regarding the financial implications of the policy:

o   Inclusion of an additional type of Māori owned land in the policy definition of MFL (General Land owned by Māori)

o   Whether to develop a separate policy for remissions on MFL or keep the current approach which combines all rates remissions provisions into one document

o   Objectives, options for criteria for remissions for Economic Development on MFL

o   Progress on draft wording of other aspects of the RRP Policy relating to MFL, based on direction from Komiti Māori in October.


2:30 pm - Cr Scott withdrew from the workshop.



Development or Environmental Contributions Policy


Presented by: Kumaren Perumal, Chief Financial Officer and Mark Le Comte, Principal Advisor, Finance.

Guidance Sought from Councillors

·     Feedback on the draft Policy on Development or Environmental Contributions.

Key Points:

·     Noted that Council was required to review its Policy on Development or Environmental Contributions every three years

·     Recognised that the new Natural and Built Environment Act (NBEA) would be required to be incorporated into an updated version of the Development or Environmental Contributions Policy.  However, since the policy direction of the incoming Central Government was currently unclear, preference would be to defer any amendments, to continue with the status quo until more certainly regarding the future of the NBEA was available.

Direction Provided:

·     Supported the draft Policy on Development or Environmental Contributions, with the inclusion of the principles set in the preamble to the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act (TTWMA) to be included as a support document for the audit of the draft LTP 2024-2034 and for public consultation

·     Noted that updating the Policy to include Environmental Contributions under the NBEA would be dependent on policy direction to be provided by the incoming Central Government.



2:50 pm - The workshop concluded.