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International Relations Committee

 

 

OPEN MINUTES

 

 

 

Minutes of a meeting of International Relations Committee held in the Council Chambers, 15 Forth Street, Invercargill on Thursday, 4 June 2015 at 2pm.

 

present

 

Chairperson

Bruce Ford

 

Members

Mei Ling Au

 

 

Irene Barnes

 

 

Elizabeth Clark

 

 

Everill Cocker

 

 

Ngarita  Dixon

 

 

Paul Duffy

 

 

Robbie Grove

 

 

Jan Lowrey

 

 

Gwen Neave

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE

 

Group Manager Policy and Community Rex Capil, Communications and Governance Manager Louise Pagan, Venture Southland Community Development Planner Julie Russell and Committee Advisor Debbie Webster.

 


International Relations Committee

04 June 2015

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1          Apologies

 

Apologies received from Irene Barnes and Everill Cocker.

 

Moved Member Clark, seconded Member Neave and resolved:

That the International Relations Committee accept the apologies.

 

2          Leave of absence

 

A leave of absence was requested by Gwen Neave until the end of August 2015.

 

Moved Member Clark, seconded Member Lowrey and resolved:

That the International Relations Committee accept the leave of absence.

 

3          Conflict of Interest

 

            There were no conflicts of interest declared.

 

4          Public Forum

There was no Public Forum.

 

5          Extraordinary/Urgent Items

 

Moved Member Dixon, seconded Member Lowrey and resolved:

That the International Relations Committee consider the following items as a matter of urgent business, subject to Section 46A of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

Item 1: Powerpoint on Sister Cities New Zealand Conference from Gwen Neave

Item 2: Verbal update from Cr Duffy on his visit to Winton, Australia for ANZAC Day and Cinque Terre relationship.

 

6          Confirmation of Minutes

 

Moved Member Dixon, seconded Member Neave  and resolved:

That the International Relations Committee confirms the minutes dated 26 February 2015, as a true and correct record.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reports for Resolution

 

7.1

Report from Cr Ford on Sister Cities Conference, Wellington 10 - 11 April 2015

Record No:         R/15/5/8538

 

Cr Ford spoke to his report sharing highlights of the Sister Cities New Zealand Conference held in Wellington from the 10th to the 11th of April 2015.   He noted on the 9th April the workshop held at Government House for Mayors and Chair persons, stating there was very good presentations and round table discussions followed by photographs with the Governor General, Sir Gerry Matapere and social networking opportunities. 

 

 

Moved Chairperson Ford, seconded Member Clark  and resolved:

That the International Relations Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Report from Cr Ford on Sister Cities Conference, Wellington 10 - 11 April 2015” dated 14 May 2015.

b)         Determines that this matter or decision be recognised  not as significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

c)         Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.

 

 

7.2

Report from Mei Ling Au on Sister Cities Conference Wellington 10 -11 April 2015

Record No:         R/15/5/8949

 

Ms Au’s report highlighted the two day Sister Cities New Zealand Conference and included the points on the cultural exchanges, the engagement of groups and on local government involvement.

 

 

Moved Member Neave, seconded Member Lowrey  and resolved:

That the International Relations Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Report from Mei Ling Au on Sister Cities Conference Wellington 10 -11 April 2015” dated 20 May 2015.

b)         Determines that this matter or decision be recognised as not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

c)         Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.

 

 

 

7.3

 

 

Financial Report to International Relations Committee for the period ended 30 April 2015

Record No:         R/15/5/9005

 

Cr Ford spoke to the Financial report noting the commentary with the explanations on the variances to date.  Membership fees/subscriptions were over budget as a result of two years subscriptions being paid in the current financial year, unbudgeted flowers/gifts were in relation to purchase of Southland books for presents as well as various gift vouchers, miscellaneous grants were over budget due to the payment of the Youth Ambassador grant as well as the ANZAC essay competition, mileage and travel claims were over budget due to the number of meetings paid in the current financial year, budgets were prepared based on 4 meetings per annum and general project costs were in relation to engagement of a translator for the visit from the Chinese contingency in late 2014.  Based on the actual costs to date the business unit would be in deficit at year end.  Funding of the deficit would be from the International Relations Committee reserve.

 

Mrs Pagan noted that if the Committee were to continue with the additional section for  multimedia in the ANZAC Essay Competition the budget would need to be amended in the new financial year to accommodate the two prizes.

 

 

Moved Member Lowrey, seconded Cr Duffy  and resolved:

That the International Relations Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Report to International Relations Committee for the period ended 30 April 2015” dated 04 June 2015.

 

 

 

7.4

Procedure for Receiving International Relationship Proposals

Record No:         R/15/3/4447

 

Mrs Pagan spoke to the report noting it was to provide guidance on and adopt the procedure for receiving an international relationship proposal to Southland District Council from a possible overseas partner.  A procedure had been developed for receiving an international relationship proposal to Southland District Council from a possible overseas partner. It would guide the International Relations Committee if there are any future proposals from potential overseas partners, on how to proceed, and what steps should be taken to ensure that the partnership was of benefit to Southland District.

 

Mrs Pagan commented that all international relationships would be approved by Council.  Mr Capil noted that he had asked Duan Zhao to follow up with Tai’An on what their expectations were on their relationship with the Southland District Council.  He commented that the Southland District Council could repay the visit Tai’An paid the Council last year.  Discussion followed on who might represent the Council on such a visit and when it might happen. It was noted September was a celebration month in Tai’An which might be appropriate for a visit, the date would need to go before Council at its August meeting.  Mr Capil suggested the representation would most likely be the Mayor and /or Deputy Mayor.

 

There was further discussion on whether the International Relations Committee should consider relationships with other countries.   Mr Capil noted Sister Cities New Zealand have a bank of interested international parties however there would need to be a reasoned approach to establishing any new relationships.  Looking to countries where there are commonalities to Southland such as dairy, education, sport etc.  Cr Duffy commented that any engagement needed to be fiscally sensible and of benefit to Southland.  It was agreed that turning commonalities into reciprocal benefits for both countries and districts.

 

 

 

 

Moved Member Neave, seconded Member Clark  and resolved:

That the International Relations Committee:

a)         Receives the report titled “Procedure for Receiving International Relationship Proposals” dated 26 May 2015.

b)         Determines that this matter or decision be recognised as not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

c)         Determines that it has complied with the decision making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.

d)         Provide guidance on the Procedure for Receiving International Relationship Proposals

e)         Adopt the Procedure for Receiving International Relationship Proposals

    

7.5

Powerpoint presentation on Sister Cities New Zealand Conference

 

Member G Neave provided a powerpoint presentation of her experience at the Sister Cities New Zealand Conference in Wellington.  Mrs Neave acknowledged the support of the Southland District Council in enabling her to attend the conference.

 

 

 

7.6

Verbal update from Cr Duffy on his visit to Winton, Australia for ANZAC Day and Cinque Terre relationship.

 

Cr Duffy noted that he and Cr Bailey attended the ANZAC celebrations on behalf of the Southland District Council at Winton, Queensland, Australia.  He commented the Mayor of Winton was keen to return the visit to Winton, Southland for a future ANZAC Day.  Cr Duffy commented Winton, Queensland is similar to Winton, Southland in that they were both small rural communities although with very different climates. He noted it had not rained in Winton, Queensland for over four years.  It was a town of 900 people, they have a truck museum with connections to HW Richardson’s here in Southland.  Winton, Queensland is home to the Flying Doctor Service, the beginnings of Australia’s national airline Qantas, the song Waltzing Matilda was created in Winton and dinosaur remains have been found in the area. 

Cr Duffy updated the Committee on his recent discussion with the contact for Cinque Terre in Italy.  He explained some of the background and history to the relationship the area had with the Southland District Council.  He suggested the promotion of an agricultural partnership with the Department of Conservation might be a more beneficial relationship. 

Following discussion it was agreed that a letter be written to Cinque Terre translated into Italian querying how they might like to go forward with the international relationship with the Southland District Council.  Mrs Pagan to action the letter.

Cr Duffy updated the Committee on his new role as a member of the Sister Cities New Zealand Board.  They met in May this year, Cr Duffy highlighted the following points:

·         Sister Cities New Zealand have been invited to present at the Local Government New Zealand Conference.

·         The Sister Cities awards are supported by Air New Zealand, Cr Duffy suggested the International Relations Committee might consider placing an entry.  There would be a new category of Sister Cities Schools.

·         He encouraged the Committee to consider items for the next Sister Cities New Zealand newsletter.

·         The 2016 Sister Cities Conference will be held in Nelson, celebrating 35 years of Sister Cities New Zealand.

 

 

7.7

Councillor's Report

 

Cr Ford gave a verbal update noting the following:

·         The new International Relations Committee flyers had been printed and were available at the meeting for members to take away.

·         He noted the International Relations Committee work plan that Ms McNeill completed should be considered by the Committee going forward.

·         He noted the work Committee member Robbie Grove is undertaking to raise support for the people of Nepal following the earthquake in the region and invited Robbie to give a verbal update to the Committee on his work.

Robbie gave a brief update on his trip to Nepal and the work he is currently doing to raise financial support for the region.  He acknowledged and thanked the Southland District Councils for its support of his efforts.

 

 

 

The meeting concluded at 3.12pm                 CONFIRMED AS A TRUE AND CORRECT RECORD AT A MEETING OF THE International Relations Committee HELD ON 3 JUNE 2015

 

 

 

DATE:...................................................................

 

 

 

CHAIRPERSON:...................................................