Regional Council

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Thursday 15 February 2024, 09:30am

Venue:                         Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga and via Zoom

Chairperson:               Chairman Doug Leeder

Deputy Chairperson:  Deputy Chairperson Jane Nees

Members:                    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

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Te Taru White – via Zoom

Cr Kevin Winters

In Attendance:            Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive, Mat Taylor – General Manager Corporate, Namouta Poutasi – General Manager Strategy & Science, Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments; Kataraina O’Brien – General Manager Strategic Engagement (via Zoom), Karen Aspey – General Manager, People & Leadership, Steve Groom – Governance Manager, Kumaren Perumal – Chief Financial Officer, Mark Le Comte – Principal Advisor Finance; Catherine Brown – People and Capability Solutions Team Leader; Garry Christoffersen – Programme Manager (Digital); Hamish Lass – Team Leader Biosecurity; Rebecca Taylor - People and Capability Support; Tone Nerdrum Smith – Senior Advisor Governance

Presenters as listed in the minutes

Apologies:                  None

Livestreaming of Meeting

Chairman Leeder advised those present in Chambers and via Zoom that the meeting was being livestreamed and recorded and that the recording would be made available on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website following the meeting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uCWqEsduDk

1.     Opening Karakia

A karakia was provided by Cr Lyall Thurston.

2.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

Cr Stuart Crosby - Quayside Holdings Limited - Councillor Directors (Public and Public Excluded) as a Director of Quayside Holdings Ltd

Cr Te Taru White - Quayside Holdings Limited - Councillor Directors (Public and Public Excluded) as a Director of Quayside Holdings Ltd

3.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

3.1

Regional Council Minutes - 14 December 2023

 

Resolved

That the Regional Council:

Confirms the Regional Council Minutes - 14 December 2023, including the Public Excluded Minutes, as a true and correct record.

Scott/Winters

CARRIED

 

4.     Presentations

4.1

BOPRC Toi Moana Summer Assistants 2023/24 Presentation

Presentation 1 - Daniel Weiss (Summer Assistant) - 15 February 2024: Objective ID A4608622

Presentation 2 - Ray Wang (Summer Assistant) - 15 February 2024: Objective ID A4608626

Presentation 3 - Jack Bowick (Summer Assistant) - 15 February 2024: Objective ID A4608624  

Catherine Brown – People and Capability Solutions Team Leader, Garry Christoffersen – Programme Manager (Digital), Hamish Lass – Team Leader Biosecurity, Rebecca Taylor - People and Capability Support introduced the Summer Assistants, recognising the support by Elected Members and the organisation.

The Summer Assistants presenting were:

·     Daniel Weiss - Marine Biosecurity

·     Ray Wang - Artificial Intelligence (AI) Development

·     Jack Bowick – Marine Sciences.

 

9.39 am – Cr White entered the meeting via Zoom.

Key Points – Summer Assistants:

·     Recognised and appreciated the opportunity to work for Council.

Key Points - Members:

·     Acknowledged the Assistants’ attendance and the sharing of their experiences

·     A copy of AI Development report compiled by Ray Wang to be provided to Elected Members.

Staff in Response to Questions:

·     Considered the application of AI in particular for video monitoring of river levels to have significant potential

·     AI development was a prioritised internal project, with assessment being undertaken to determine where it would have maximum value

·     AI strategy development formed part of Council’s digital plan

·     Council had employed 25 Summer Assistants in 2023/24

·     A ‘Dyson vacuum cleaner’ technology to remove marine pests in estuaries, but was minimally invasive was being developed in Northland

·     Recreational yachts would enter, with hull cleaning taking place  in remote coastal areas, which meant transfer and spread of marine pests

·     Education of the public regarding marine/freshwater pests and what to do was challenging and ongoing, with strategies being developed and refined.

 

 

5.     Reports

5.1

Chairperson's Report

 

Resolved

That the Regional Council:

1           Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.

Leeder/Winters

CARRIED

 

5.2

Assessment of Bay of Plenty Regional Council's practice in relation to the Ombudsman's "Open for Business" report on the use of workshops

Presented by: Steve Groom – Governance Manager.

Key Points:

·     Three Ombudsman expectations that differed from current practice required direction from Elected Members:

o   Livestreaming of public workshops (would impact on current Governance staff workload);

o   Policy regarding releasing of public excluded information at a later date;

o   Recording of votes for each resolution

·     Elected Members currently had the discretion to call for a division; and/or note opposition or abstentions

·     Categorising an issue as Low, Medium or High significance was determined by report writers/General Managers when assessing it against Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.

Key Points - Members:

·     Recording, then uploading public workshops to the Council website, would meet the transparency requirements of the Ombudsman’s report

·     Considered that consensus decision making encouraged open discussion and formed an integral part of Council’s decision making process

·     Noted that decisions might change as information became available and recording individual votes during a lengthy process could create confusion as views and standpoints later changed

·     Did not support the livestreaming of public workshops due to concerns it could create a restriction to the openness and easy flowing discussions currently taking place

·     Noted that further refinement of parameters for potential recording and upload to website of public workshops would be presented to a future meeting for final decision.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Council:

1           Receives the report, Assessment of Bay of Plenty Regional Council's practice in relation to the Ombudsman's "Open for Business" report on the use of workshops;

2           Notes that this paper was received by the Risk and Assurance Committee on 7 December 2023 and endorsed for consideration by Council;

3           Endorses the actions identified in section 2.2 of this paper for internal implementation; and

4           Agrees that consideration should be given to recording and upload of significant workshops and directs staff to amend the Council’s live-streaming policy to include the following text: “Where a public workshop is held on a matter of significant interest to the public or on matters that may eventually lead to a decision in a later formal meeting that is of a significant material impact to the services or operation of Council, the Chief Executive may direct that the workshop be recorded and made available on the Council’s website.”;

5           Directs staff to develop a process to consider the future release of public excluded content from meetings and workshops;

6           Acknowledges the Ombudsman’s view on this matter but considers that existing practices at Bay of Plenty Regional Council sufficiently enables public transparency on debate and decision-making processes at Council.

Winters/Scott

CARRIED

 

5.3

Regional Software Holdings Limited (RSHL) Annual Report for year ending 30 June 2023

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

Key Points:

·     Council was currently a Class A Control shareholder, rather than a Class B (IRIS) shareholder (refer pg 72 of agenda)

·     The projects undertaken by RSHL saved money for New Zealand overall and were commonly funded in partnership between local and central government.

 

Resolved

That the Regional Council:

1.     Receives the report, Regional Software Holdings Limited Annual Report for year ending 30 June 2023.

Leeder/Macmillan

CARRIED

 

6.     Public Excluded Section

Resolved

Resolution to exclude the public

1       Excludes the public from the following parts of the proceedings of this meeting as set out below:

The general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded, the reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter, and the specific grounds under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution are as follows:

Item No.

Subject of each matter to be considered

Reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter

Grounds under Section 48(1) for the passing of this resolution

When the item can be released into the public

6.1

Quayside Holdings Limited - Councillor Directors – Continued discussion

Withholding the information is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons.

48(1)(a)(i) Section 7 (2)(a)

Resolutions will be released at the conclusion of the meeting

Winters/Leeder

CARRIED

Resolutions transferred into the open section of the meeting:

6.1

Quayside Holdings Limited - Councillor Directors

         

Resolved

That the Regional Council:

1       Receives the report, Quayside Holdings Limited - Councillor Directors;

2       Approves a second three-year Term for Councillor Te Taru White to the Board of Quayside Holdings Limited;

3       Approves a third three-year term for Councillor Stuart Crosby to the Board of Quayside Holdings Limited.

Nees/Leeder

CARRIED

 

 

 

11.28 am – the meeting closed.

 

 

 

 

TO BE Confirmed                                                                             

                                                                         Chairman Doug Leeder

Chairperson, Regional Council