Palmerston North City Council

 

Minutes of the Committee of Council Meeting Part I Public, held as an audio visual meeting on 08 May 2020, commencing

 

Friday 8 May 2020 – 9.00am

Monday 11 May 2020 – 9.00am and 3.30pm

 

8 May 2020, 9am

Members

Present:

Councillor Tangi Utikere (in the Chair) and Councillors Brent Barrett, Susan Baty, Rachel Bowen, Zulfiqar Butt, Vaughan Dennison, Renee Dingwall, Lew Findlay QSM, Patrick Handcock ONZM, Leonie Hapeta, Lorna Johnson, Billy Meehan, Karen Naylor, Bruno Petrenas and Aleisha Rutherford.

Apologies:

The Mayor (Grant Smith) (on Council business).

 

11 May 2020, 9am

Members

Present:

The Mayor (Grant Smith) (in the Chair) and Councillors Tangi Utikere, Brent Barrett, Susan Baty, Rachel Bowen, Zulfiqar Butt, Vaughan Dennison, Renee Dingwall, Lew Findlay QSM, Patrick Handcock ONZM, Leonie Hapeta, Lorna Johnson, Billy Meehan, Karen Naylor, Bruno Petrenas and Aleisha Rutherford.

 

11 May 2020, 3.30pm

Members

Present:

The Mayor (Grant Smith) (in the Chair) and Councillors Brent Barrett, Susan Baty, Rachel Bowen, Zulfiqar Butt, Vaughan Dennison, Renee Dingwall, Lew Findlay QSM, Patrick Handcock ONZM, Leonie Hapeta, Lorna Johnson, Billy Meehan, Karen Naylor, Bruno Petrenas, Aleisha Rutherford and Tangi Utikere.

 

 

4-20

Apologies

 

Moved Tangi Utikere, seconded Vaughan Dennison.

The COMMITTEE RESOLVED

1.   That the Committee receive the apologies.

 

Clause 4-20 above was carried 15 votes to 0, the voting being as follows:

For:

Councillors Brent Barrett, Susan Baty, Rachel Bowen, Zulfiqar Butt, Vaughan Dennison, Renee Dingwall, Lew Findlay QSM, Patrick Handcock ONZM, Leonie Hapeta, Lorna Johnson, Billy Meehan, Karen Naylor, Bruno Petrenas, Aleisha Rutherford and Tangi Utikere.

 

 

 

5-20

Confirmation of Minutes

 

Moved Tangi Utikere, seconded Zulfiqar Butt.

The COMMITTEE RESOLVED

1.   That the minutes of the Committee of Council meeting of 4 March 2020 Part I Public be confirmed as a true and correct record.

 

Clause 5-20 above was carried 15 votes to 0, the voting being as follows:

For:

Councillors Brent Barrett, Susan Baty, Rachel Bowen, Zulfiqar Butt, Vaughan Dennison, Renee Dingwall, Lew Findlay QSM, Patrick Handcock ONZM, Leonie Hapeta, Lorna Johnson, Billy Meehan, Karen Naylor, Bruno Petrenas, Aleisha Rutherford and Tangi Utikere.

 

6-20

Submissions to Annual Budget 20-21

 

The Committee considered submissions on the Annual Budget 2020-21 together with supporting oral statements including additional tabled material. 

The following persons appeared before the Committee and made oral statements in support of their submissions and replied to questions from Elected Members.

9.00am Friday 8 May 2020

 

Dale O’Reilly (1):

Dale O’Reilly spoke to her submission and made the following comments:

 

·         Unhappy that an unbudgeted, substantially larger dog pound is included in the draft Annual Budget, when the proposed Bunnythorpe Community Centre is too small will not meet the need of the growing population of Bunnythorpe.

·         PNCC did not consult with the Bunnythorpe Community Centre Association Members on the proposed plans and did not share relevant information with the Association’s Members or the community.

·         PNCC tends to treat Bunnythorpe as part of the city, however Bunnythorpe is a rural community and it needs are different.

·         Bunnythorpe’s close geographical location to Feilding and Palmerston North has allowed councils to ignore its needs in the past. It has no community centre and often infrastructure funding is diverted or deferred.  This has meant children have to cross busy roads to get to school, the Bunnythorpe to Palmerston North cycle pathway never progressed and a proper-sized, fit for purpose plan for a community centre is not included in the Annual Budget.

·         The Association rejects the reasons given by Council and other funding agencies to not fund the building of a larger centre.

 

Annette Nixon and Rev Susan Blaikie - Presbyterian New Church (28):

Annette Nixon and Rev Susan Blaikie spoke to the Presbyterian New Church submission and made the following comments:

 

·         They welcomed the opportunity to engage with Council and updated Councillors on the community work being done by the Presbyterian New Church. The Presbyterian New Church was formed by the merging of St David’s and St Marks Parishes.

·         The Church continues to meet with council planners to explore the opportunities that exist with the vacant Awapuni land.

·         During the Covid-19 lockdown the Church has been operating a free food delivery service for the vulnerable and elderly in the community.

·         The Church has been encouraging information technology take-up and has been running a training service to support people to learn new technology. The service relies on donated devices; tablets are especially useful as they can access the internet by mobile hot-spots.  A lot of people are taking up this offer.

·         The Presbyterian New Church would like to be involved in the City Council’s recovery plan.

·         In terms of the rate increase, the Church would like to see a smaller rate increase then the proposed 4% but council services that focus on people’s wellbeing should be retained.

·         There are no plans yet for the building at St David’s, the Church’s focus is on the needs of the community at the moment. 

 

Beth Tolley – Extinction Rebellion Manawatū (29):

Beth Tolley spoke to the Extinction Rebellion Manawatū submission and made the following comments:

 

·         Really liked Council’s strategic goal of eco-city and actions to reduce carbon footprint, the signed climate change MOU with Horizons Regional Council, established climate change portfolio and Environmental Sustainability Committee.

·         The Annual Budget lacks urgency in regard to mitigating climate change. The Budget needs to be more ambitious in regard to climate change because CO2 emissions continue to increase.

·         Disagreed with the term ‘sustainable growth’ as growth is not sustainable, we can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet. Concerned with the balance between economic growth and protecting the environment.

·          The Covid 19 lockdown offers hope that we can change our behaviour to improve the environment. Climate change is an environmental emergency that we need to address now.

·         Actions we would like Council to consider:

·         Remove the term ‘sustainable growth’ from 10 Year Plan/ Council plans and what you mean by it.

·         Investigate alternatives to growth based economy. For example the donut economic model requires meeting peoples’ basic needs within the limits of the economy. The model requires economies to operate between an outer limit of destroying the planet and the inner limit of causing suffering to people.

·         Be more ambitious with the reducing carbon dioxide goal – for example 0% net carbon emission by 2025

·         Encourage more Iwi input into climate change issues.

·         Empower people to want to live sustainable by telling the truth about the climate emergency. Authorities overseas use environmental dashboards to show the daily level of pollution in river, drinking water being used etc.

·         Enable or support interest free loans for households to install solar panels and rainwater collection tanks on existing houses and make it a requirement for new builds.

·         Encourage the reuse, and repair of goods.

·         Council should start collecting food waste.

·         Proposed Council project should outline whether they reduce carbon emissions, increase environment sustainability or biodiversity and help the poorest in the city.

·         Look at local currency to encourage money to stay in the local economy.

·         In regard to helping the poorest people in the city, we believe the Council should be careful with a rate increase. Council could encourage community gardens, and use resources we already have rather than create new ones.

 

Karen Adams (34):

Karen Adams spoke to her submission and made the following comments:

 

·         To reflect the effects of Covid-19, Council expenditure should be transparent, necessary and the budget should be rewritten depending on needs and wants.

·         She thanked the officers on the Council helpdesk for answering her queries promptly or connecting her through to the right person to assist her.

·         The overflowing rubbish bins at He Aha Kotahi had been collected, however there needs to be more rubbish bins there, or the coffee carts located there should provide their own bins to take away the rubbish they create.

·         The footpath on College St needs to be repaired from Cook street to Maxwell Line as it is uneven, lifting and cracked. It’s a real danger for the elderly.

·         Council should re-prioritise its expenditure and focus on its core business but with an environmental lens. for example, rubbish should be collected in an environmentally friendly way, diverting more recyclables from landfill and reducing the city’s carbon emissions.

·         Money could be saved by having more regionally focussed waste collection services.  She would like to see a regional incinerator built to stop waste going to landfill. The incinerator could be run on the electricity it produced.

·         Should make rain water collection mandatory on all new builds. Council could reduce development costs if developers include elements to their designs that produce less strain on the infrastructure

·         Have a minimum permeable area for all subdivisions (including in-fill housing), to enable effective ground water run-off and to reduce the threat of flooding.

·         Ensuring the quality of construction and ongoing maintenance needs of Council’s capital projects. The poor quality of work at He Ara Kotahi  meant there were cracks in the pathway leading to Ahimate Park one week after it was completed. Council needs to have better oversight of the design of these projects and the materials used.

 

Note:

Councillor Lew Findlay declared a conflict of interest in the above submission and withdrew from discussion.

 

Jo Erkens (4):

Jo Erkens chose not to address the Committee and instead provided a verbal report to be presented. The Democracy and Governance Manager read his verbal submission to the Committee and the following comments were made:

 •   Concerned about the ability of many, particularly elderly to pay.

•    Feels lack of understanding from Councillors and CEO of what some residents are struggling with.

•    Requests a 0% rates increase.

•    Requests reschedule of priorities to wastewater treatment plant, wastewater systems, stormwater, water.

•    Understands that Council costs will decrease as a result of COVID-19.

 

The meeting adjourned at 10.00am.

 

9am Monday 11 May 2020

 

Jean Hera, Women’s Health Collective (5):

 

Jean Hera spoke on behalf of the Women’s Health Collective’s submission and made the following comments:

 

·         Women’s Health Collective advocates for women and most vulnerable people, Covid-19 will affect funding for these people.

·         Thanked PNCC for their continued support and assistance. 

·         Ongoing support for community groups is needed.  Post Covid-19, the funding pool for community groups will be smaller, need to consider backup plan for support.

 

Russell Hallam (16):

 

Russell Hallam spoke to his submission and made the following comments:

 

·         The city’s footpaths need to be widened and should be better maintained to encourage people to walk.  

·         Footpaths should be for pedestrians only, Council should be encouraging people to walk by making sure cyclists stay off the footpaths. Cyclists should ride on the roads/ cycleways as bikes on footpaths can be dangerous.

·         Council should build more cycleways to alleviate the need for people to cycle on footpaths.

·         Concerned with both the speed of the bike on footpaths and the volume of cyclists using footpaths.

·         More people have been using the cycleways during the lockdown. Council should create dedicated spaces for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to ensure the safety of all users and to encourage people to walk and bike.

·         Speed Limit Concern on College St. between Victoria Ave and Albert St.  It is a busy, narrow road and he would like to see the speed limit lowered to reduce the high density of traffic. He was informed by council officers that because the road is an arterial route, speed bumps are not allowed.

·         Mr Hallam was informed that the Council is in the middle of a multi-stage speed limit review, so it would be possible to review the speed limit during this review.

 

Stewart Harrex, Environment Network Manawatū (17):

 

Stewart Harrex spoke on behalf of the Environment Network Manawatū submission and made the following comments:

 

·         Would like to see Council support the creation of a re-generative economy to build the resilience in the city.

·         Have drafted a post Covid-19 discussion paper which includes immediate actions for waste minimisation and biodiversity enhancement and there are opportunities for co-funding in the waste minimisation fund and predator free 2050 funds. 

·         Environment Network Manawatū has been working on the following initiatives:

·         Working with Enviro Hub Aotearoa to create a central city hub for the Environment sector

·         Creating a city-wide register of businesses working in regenerative actions

·         Developing a register for locally grown food initiatives

·         Creating a city wide planting and weed control programme

 

·         The City wide plan around food availability includes all food, not just foodbanks. We’re aiming to reduce food waste and are working with existing groups for example churches and Just Zilch to assist them in their work and help them with any problems they face.

·         Would like Council assistance to co-ordinate volunteer groups for pest control.

·         It would be great if more council officers had sustainability/climate change qualifications to deliver on the Council’s eco city plan.

·         Would like to see more public discussions around the effects of climate change on everyday life.  We need to increase public understanding and knowledge in the wider community, in order to improve public engagement.

 

Emma Ochei and Kim Penny, Palmerston North Community Services Council (38):

 

Emma Ochei and Kim Penny spoke on behalf of the Palmerston North Community Services Council submission, they made the following comments:

 

  • Supports the continued contracted funding of $60,000 for administration and $5,000 for furniture for Handcock House.  Palmerston North Community Services appreciates its close relationship with Council .
  • Council funding allows for a reception service at Hancock Community House which provides a point of contact for tenants and clients and Council support officers. It has opened up the possibilities for further shared services in the future.  Provides structure to look at benefits for all users of Handcock House.
  • Due to Covid-19 demand for social services will increase,  unsure when or what services will be required, but know there is a need for continued support of the community sector. Council support is vital financially and for championing the work of the community sector.
  • The reception service has the potential to expand and take on more administrative responsibilities to allow social services to focus on their clients. There is also an opportunity for further shared services in the future.
  • Elements of the work done during the lockdown can continue. The collaboration between organisations was fantastic and the urgency of assisting those in need should continue. The sector is looking forward to seeing their clients face to face and will be once government guidelines are released.
  • Believe the $5000 furniture grant is in addition to the $60,000 grant in the proposed Annual Budget.  The $5000 furniture allowance was agreed by Council in December 2018 as an annual payment.

 

Noel Beavers & Steve Yanko, The Order of St John (39):

 

Noel Beavers and Steve Yanko spoke on behalf of The Order of St John submission and made the following comments:

 

·         Currently fundraising for a second Ambulance station on Willis Street to allow for better response times on the east side of city. Already have a site and can provide a minimal service during the day but it doesn’t have adequate facilities to be manned 24/7.

·          Building target is $650,000, St John did have 50% of it but some funding previously earmarked for the building had to be used for Covid-19 response. 

·         Asking for Council funding of $200,000, as St John’s needs to get two thirds of the money before national body will consider topping it up. 

·          Infrastructure and buildings are not government funded. There are ongoing discussions with government to improve national funding for St John, and for the government to fund infrastructure.

·          Territorial Authorities are starting to assist St Johns, mostly in rural communities – with gifts of land and assistance, no formula for council support and it’s not taken for granted by St John. 

·         National arm of St John provides grants and support with fund raising. 

·         St John would consider a different site if PNCC had suitable land available.  Would also consider hubs for services and have investigated co-location with other emergency services, but nothing suitable.

·         St John would like to get the project started by the end of the year as there is an urgency to get this building build.

 

Alastair Cole, Manawatū River Source to Sea (44):

 

Alastair Cole spoke on behalf of the Manawatū River Source to Sea submission and made the following comments:

 

  • Manawatū River Source to Sea is a branch of Environment Manawatū, it focuses on biodiversity along the Manawatu river catchment.
  • There are post Covid-19 co-funding opportunities to rebuild the economy into a green economy.  Mr Cole has been in discussion with PNCC, Horizons Regional Council, Ministry for Environment (MfE),  Department for Conservation (DOC) and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) about a proposed  environmental work programme for the Manawatū catchment.   He still has other Territorial Authorities to speak with.
  • Could make a pitch with Councils for funding for projects around unallocated Crown land in river corridors in region for planting and enhancement, pest and weed control, and constructing predator free areas. 
  • Know 10-year plan are happening next year and this is an opportunity to discuss the options available to improve the waterways in the Manawatū .
  • Speak to all councils in the Manawatu region, PNCC’s leadership in the environment sector has allowed Manawatū River Source to Sea to have more fruitful conversations with the other councils.
  • Opportunities to partner up for projects around predator- free zones and waste minimisation.
  • Manawatū River Source to Sea can act as conduit to get other groups involved in projects.

 

Amanda Linsley, Manawatū Chamber of Commerce (49):

 

Amanda Linsley spoke on behalf of the Manawatū Chamber of Commerce submission and made the following comments:

 

·         Manawatū Chamber of Commerce does not agree with a rate freeze as it could lead to job losses and economic downturn. Instead, Council should reprioritise spending and review the proposed rate increase. 

·         PNCC encouraged to apply for central government funding to support businesses emerging from Covid-19.

·         Council should fund projects that support local skills and talents for example the “Choose Manawatu” campaign, and look at long term environmentally sustainable projects, such as waste minimisation, environmental space, recycling, up-cycling and using resources we have in city.

·         For businesses facing severe hardship,  PNCC should consider rates relief or a rates deferral/payment option. However, this rates relief need to be passed onto commercial tenants. 

·         There are redundancies in the hospitality sector, numbers likely to increase as time goes by.

The meeting adjourned at 10.27am.

 

3.30pm, Monday 11 May 2020

 

Ben Schmidt (Co-ordinator) Manawatū Tenants Union (30):

 

Ben Schmidt spoke on behalf of the Manawatū Tenants Union submission and made the following comments:

 

·         Thanked the staff for their work during the Covid 19 response, especially the Welfare team.

·         Council needs to retain its capability to assist the community in the future, it should not make rates cuts that will restrict it future capabilities.

·         The housing crisis remains, and we need more council housing to alleviate it. The Council needs to continue to build social housing and keep it affordable for the vulnerable people in society.

·         Homelessness continues to grow in the city, and we have expanded our services to meet the additional need.

·         During the lockdown, we experienced a lull in the number of people accessing our services, this might have been because of the laws put in place to protect tenants from eviction during covid-19, however we expect this to change as the wage subsidy stops.

 

David Chapple, Menzshed Manawatū (11):

 

David Chapple spoke on behalf of the Menzshed Manawatū submission and made the following comments:

 

·         Menzshed is a community group which encourages the sharing of ideas, being creative, giving back to the community through community projects and supporting each other. During the lockdown we have been meeting via zoom. There have been lots of enquiries during the lockdown from men who have lost their job or are planning to retire early. 

·         He updated the Council on the plans to renovate the Menzshed building (council owned building). We have detailed plans to renovate the building both internally and to build an external addition to the building.

·         Due to the Covid-19 lockdown we now plan to split the work into two stages. Stage 1 is the interior and Stage 2 the external extension. We hope to have stage 1 completed this year and stage 2 completed by end of 2021.

·         The Council’s 10 year plan made a commitment towards this project and we would like Council to cover the cost of the resource consent, this will allow our own funding to go towards the building work.

·         Mr Chapple was informed that the Finance and Audit Committee has a fund available which grants relief for resource consent.

 

Stephen Berg and Wayne Edwards New Zealand Rugby Museum (7):

 

Stephen Berg spoke on behalf of the New Zealand Rugby Museum submission and made the following comments:

 

·         David Kirk will be the new patron of the museum following the passing of Graham Lochore.

·         Would like to receive an annual grant from the Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee to help them guarantee their annual budget.

·         In the long term, the Rugby Museum would like a long-term assured tenure and would like to stay with Te Manawa museum.

·         Due to Covid-19 the museum is currently shut and it has lost its NZRU grant for the year.

·         The museum was mostly reliant on international visitors; however, it is working with CEDA to market itself to domestic tourists.

·         The PNCC arts grant to the museum remains for the next 3 years.

 

Trevor Shailer (CEO) and Nolan King (Chair) Sport Manawatū (32):

 

Trevor Shailer (CEO) and Nolan King (Chair) spoke on behalf of the Sport Manawatū submission and made the following comments:

 

·         Sport Manawatū supports the work being done by Council, especially with the work to improve the walkway network, sports field renovations and funding around sports fields.

·         Believes that play, active recreation and sport is going to be very important in the next few weeks.

·         The planning for the fit for purpose Sports House recreation centre is continuing. Sport Manawatū is keen to keep things going during Covid-19 and want to keep the allocation for the project in the LTP. The landowner of the site is providing the land but no additional financial support. The Sports House project is reliant on a strong partnerships approach with all partners including PNCC.

·         The Sports NZ Relief fund is offering grants to regional sport organisations and clubs to support the sector. The funds available are for fixed costs. Sport Manawatu has processed 12 applications today and decisions are being made in 10 days’ time to get the money to the sector quickly.

·         Sport Manawatū is working hard to keep their sports afloat and will provide ongoing support as the wage subsidy is removed. It is important that we have a sector to rebuild.

·         Relationship with council fundamental for providing the facilities for people to use.

·         The use of facilities and how sports are going to apply the measures of level 2 is still being worked out. The message to sport clubs is to make sure the planning is done to keep people safe before we start sport again.

·         We expect the use of facilities to be around 50% (of previous use) for structured sports and slightly more than 50% for unstructured sports.

·         We are still waiting for confirmation around secondary school sports and when they will start. 

·         We have given our support to Basketball NZ and Volleyball NZ for them to re-start competitions in Manawatū.

·         Sport Manawatū continues to fund and encourage active transport programmes which are assisted by the great work being done by other groups.  Council maintaining and building cycleways and pathways is equally important.

 

Cliff Wilson (Chair) Hoffman Kiln Trust (18):

 

Mr Wilson was unable to connect to the meeting. If Mr Wilson has anything he wishes to share with the Councillors he is welcome to contact the Democracy and Governance Manager, who will pass his comments on.

 

Note:

Councillor Bruno Petrenas declared a conflict of interest in the above submission.

 

 

Moved Grant Smith, seconded Tangi Utikere.

 

The COMMITTEE RESOLVED

 

1.  That  all material be referred to the Committee of Council meeting on 20 May 2020 for its consideration in the first instance.

 

 

Clause 6-20 above was carried 16 votes to 0, the voting being as follows:

For:

The Mayor (Grant Smith) and Councillors Brent Barrett, Susan Baty, Rachel Bowen, Zulfiqar Butt, Vaughan Dennison, Renee Dingwall, Lew Findlay QSM, Patrick Handcock ONZM, Leonie Hapeta, Lorna Johnson, Billy Meehan, Karen Naylor, Bruno Petrenas, Aleisha Rutherford and Tangi Utikere.

   

The meeting finished at 4.26pm.

 

Confirmed 10 June 2020

 

 

 

 

Chairperson