Regulatory and Consents Committee

 

OPEN MINUTES

 

 

Minutes of a meeting of Regulatory and Consents Committee held in the Council Chamber, 15 Forth Street, Invercargill on Thursday, 26 April 2018 at 9am.

 

present

 

Chairperson

Gavin Macpherson

 

 

Mayor Gary Tong

 

Councillors

Brian Dillon

 

 

Paul Duffy

 

 

Darren Frazer

 

 

Julie Keast

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE

 

Group Manager, Environmental Services

Bruce Halligan

Team Leader Resource Management

Marcus Roy

Legal Advisor

Barry Slowley

Committee Advisor

Alyson Hamilton

 

 

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

26 April 2018

 

1             Apologies

 

An apology was received from Councillor Paterson.

 

Resolution

Moved Cr Duffy, seconded Cr Frazer  and resolved:

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee accept the apology.

 

 

2             Leave of absence

 

There were no requests for 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

 

There were no Extraordinary/Urgent items.

 

 

6             Confirmation of Minutes

 

Resolution

Moved Cr Dillon, seconded Mayor Tong  and resolved:

That the minutes of Regulatory and Consents Committee meeting held on 7 March 2018 be confirmed as a true and correct record of that meeting.

 

Reports for Resolution

 

 

7.1

Application under Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 - Mr Kevin Woolhouse

Record No: R/18/1/4/

 


 

The Chairperson, Cr McPherson welcomed those present to the Hearing introducing Committee members, Council staff and explained the order of speakers with the applicant, Mr Kevin Woolhouse and legal representative, Mr Riki Donnelly first, followed by the neighbouring property owner Mr Logan Pullar and his representative Mr Peter Moynihan.  They were also reminded of granted speaking times of 30 minutes per party.

 

Cr McPherson informed that Council endeavoured to make its hearings as relaxed and informal as possible however there were still legal requirements and protocols that must be followed.  He added the hearing procedure did not permit cross-examination however the Chair of the Committee may allow a question to be asked of the staff members present to clarify something within the recommending report, or to advise on any technical or statutory matters.

 

Group Manager Environmental Services, Mr Bruce Halligan advised the purpose of the Hearing was that an application has been received from Mr Kevin Woolhouse, via Preston Russell Law, seeking that Council exercises its powers under the Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 to require his neighbour, Mr Logan Pullar, to undertake physical works on Mr Pullar’s property in order to improve drainage on Mr Woolhouse’s property.

 

Mr Halligan explained Mr Woolhouse owns property at 102 Talbot Road, Te Anau. Mr Pullar owns the adjoining property to the west/south, with the parent property being 643 Kakapo Road.

 

The Committee was advised that Mr Woolhouse, via his solicitors Preston Russell Law, has alleged that Mr Pullar has undertaken physical actions and a lack of drainage maintenance which have led to regular extensive flooding of Mr Woolhouse’s property as water is unable to drain away to the south-west. Mr Woolhouse considers that this is having an adverse effect on his farm productivity.

 

Mr Woolhouse had sought that the Council requires immediate remedial action from Mr Pullar to address this situation, in accordance with the Council’s powers under Section 7 of the Southland Land Drainage Act 1935.

The Committee noted the Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 is a local Act which is more than 80 years old which has never been repealed.

The Committee further noted the purpose of this Act is specified as An Act to make better provision for land drainage within the Counties of Southland and Wallace”. The empowering provisions of the Local Government Act and associated transition provisions from the 1989 local government reorganisation mean that these powers under the Southland Land Drainage Act have transferred from the former Wallace County Council to the Southland District Council.

Mr Halligan tabled his staff report and spoke briefly to this, which had been previously circulated.

Mr Halligan informed it is understood that this application follows several years of dialogue between the parties over drainage issues, which has also involved Environment Southland.

Mr Halligan advised that rather than requiring immediate action from Mr Pullar as requested by Mr Woolhouse, the Council responded to Mr Woolhouse to indicate that the intended course of action was to proceed to a hearing.

Mr Halligan explained this course of action is to enable both parties to have an opportunity to present their respective perspectives on the matter.   Mr Halligan added Mr Woolhouse eventually agreed to this course of action and has paid the required hearing deposit.

Mr Halligan advised that his staff report recommendation was that Mr Pullar not be required to take action as requested by Mr Woolhouse, as based on the information he held at the time of writing the report, he was not satisfied that this action would resolve the drainage issues in the area.  Mr Halligan noted however that this recommendation was not binding on the Committee.

 

9.10am – Mr Kevin Woolhouse and his Legal Representative Mr Riki Donnelly

 

Mr Donnelly presented his opening legal submission as Legal Counsel for the Applicant. 

 

Mr Donnelly highlighted in his opinion three key issues for the Committee’s consideration. These being:

 

1)      Requests the Committee to exercise its powers under the Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 under section 3(a) and require Mr Pullar to remove any obstructions and repair the drain to a proper state of efficiency.

 

2)      Concern that the Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 is a relatively aged local statute dating 1935 with difficult language to understand and to interpret.

 

3)      That it is appropriate for Mr Pullar to undertake remedial work as per the recommendation from Mr Gary Morgan, Principal Land Sustainability Officer, Environment Southland. 

 

Mr Halligan informed for the members information that Mr Morgan has since retired and was not available to attend this Hearing.  Mr Halligan added that it is understood Mr Woolhouse was directed to the Southland District Council under the Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 after Environment Southland advised him it had no statutory authority to require any action from either party therefore Mr Woolhouse.

 

Questions and Clarification

 

The following questions and points of clarification were sought by the Committee.

 

Cr Duffy queried the applicant on the area of land that is currently being flooded.  Mr Woolhouse responded the area totalled about one hectare.

 

Cr Duffy further queried whether the applicant felt this was due to the blockage.   Mr Woolhouse responded it was.

 

Cr Dillon queried the applicant if the damaged novalflo was working properly whether this would suffice.   Mr Woolhouse responded that it would.

 

Mr Halligan clarified to the Committee on the map provided the boundary of the properties in question, the location of the existing drainage the fall and the location of the area requested to be reinstated.

 

Mr Donnelly and Mr Woolhouse concluded their submission at 9.45 am.

 

9.45am - Mr Logan Pullar and his representative Mr Peter Moynihan

 

Mr Moynihan and Mr Pullar addressed the Committee advising that the flooding issue to Mr Pullar’s property has occurred due to the drain having been blocked following Mr Woolhouse undertaking landscaping of his property by way of filling in the open drain and replacing with pipework.

 

Mr Moynihan added this in turn has shifted volumes of water of water away from Mr Pullar’s receiving drain and to pond in lower areas of his property.

 

Mr Moynihan explained that since Mr Woolhouse filled in the open drains, they are blocked at point (a) highlighted on the map and have zero efficiency.  Mr Pullar added the water has been shifted away from the connected drain.

 

Mr Pullar commented that Mr Woolhouse’s map of drainage is also inaccurate and does not show the full extent of the drainage system in place.

 

Questions and Clarification

 

The following questions and points of clarification were sought by the Committee.

 

Cr Duffy sought clarification on the common sub-surface drain and the relevant fall.

 

Mr Pullar advised he added a soak hole and an extra 800 metres of drain foil across the paddock to eliminate this issue.

 

Cr Duffy queried whether the original open drain worked well prior to being filled in and queried how big is the replacement pipe.  Mr Pullar responded 150ml pipes and that the issue is that it’s a huge catchment area.

 

The Committee queried the drainage map attached to the report seeking clarification on the measurements of the culvert on the boundary, the measurements relating to where the subsurface drain where it intersects the boundary and the fall relating to these areas.

 

Mr Pullar responded that he has independent persons undertake laser measurements to give an accurate fall measurement which appears not to agree with Mr Woolhouse’s measurements.

 

Cr Dillon queried whether the varying colour of the contour of the land on the map.  Mr Pullar responded that the low spots have been altered on the Woolhouse property and water will be directed to the low spots.

 

Mr Moynihan and Mr Pullar concluded their submission at 10.30 am.

The Meeting adjourned at 10.30 am and reconvened at 10.45am and all were present when the meeting reconvened.

 

10.45am - Applicant Right of Reply

 

Mr Donnelly advised there appears to be three parts to this issue:

 

1)      The original agreement between these two both parties provides relevant background on this issue for the Committee’s consideration.

 

2)      Reason for the water ponding; Mr Woolhouse and Mr Pullar have conflicting views on the reasons for this occurrence.

 

3)      How to fix this problem and the ensuing issue that has occurred.

 

Mr Donnelly commented that prior to the hearing he had been unaware of the importance of the relevant levels along the north south solid red line as shown on the plan appended to Mr Morgan’s report, being the relevant levels between Point A and the southern end of that solid red line.

 

Mr Halligan responded that this was clearly signalled as information which may assist the Committee in his staff report. Item 39.

 

In response Mr Donnelly requested the Committee provide a short time frame to obtain further information of a letter of clarification from Te Anau Earthworks on the relevant levels.

 

Mr Donnelly completed his right of reply.

 

The Committee agreed to adjourn the meeting at 11.20am on 26 April 2018 at the request of Mr Donnelly (Legal Advisor) on behalf of  the applicant, Mr Woolhouse, to provide the applicant with an opportunity to provide additional information from Te Anau Earthworks relating to the following point:

 

§  the relative levels of Point A and the point at the southern end of the solid red line as illustrated on the drainage plan appended to Mr Morgan’s technical report.

 

§  This information to be provided in electronic form to Mr Halligan at the Southland District Council by no later than 5pm on Wednesday 2nd May 2018.

 

The Committee further agreed that Mr Halligan would then provide this information in electronic form to Mr Pullar to provide any comment he wishes to make, with this comment to be provided no later than 5pm on Tuesday 8th May 2018.

 

Following receipt of the additional information and any further comment from Mr Pullar, the Committee to be reconvened in public excluded on Thursday 10th May 2018 at 9am to deliberate on the matter and reach its decision.

 

 

 

 

 

Resolution

Moved Cr Dillon, seconded Mayor Tong  recommendations a, with a new b (as indicated with strikethrough and underline) and resolved:

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “Application under Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 - Mr Kevin Woolhouse” dated 16 April 2018.

 

b)           Makes the decision it considers appropriate with respect to its powers under the Southland Land Drainage Act 1935, having heard all relevant information from the respective parties involved, and having received relevant technical advice from Environment Southland.

 

b)           Agrees to adjourn the hearing at 11.20am on 26 April 2018 at the request of Mr Donnelly (Legal Advisor) on behalf of  the applicant, Mr Woolhouse, to provide the applicant with an opportunity to provide additional information from Te Anau Earthworks on the relative levels of Point A and the point at the southern end of the solid red line as illustrated on the drainage plan appended to Mr Morgan’s technical report. This information to be provided in electronic form to Mr Halligan at the Southland District Council by no later than 5pm on Wednesday 2nd May 2018.

 

Mr Halligan to then provide this information in electronic form to Mr Pullar to provide any comment he wishes to make, with this comment to be provided no later than 5pm on Tuesday 8th May.

 

Following receipt of the additional information and any further comment from Mr Pullar, the Committee to be reconvened in Pubic Excluded on Thursday 10th May at 9am to deliberate on the matter and reach its decision.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 11.20am on Thursday, 26 April 2018 to reconvene on Thursday, 10 May 2018 at 9am in Council Chambers, Southland District Council, 15 Forth Street, Invercargill.

 


 

Thursday 10 May 2018.

 

The meeting reconvened on Thursday, 10 May 2018 at 9.02am and adjourned at 9.03am to reconvene at the conclusion of the 10 May 2018 Regulatory and Consents Committee meeting.

 

present

 

Chairperson

Gavin Macpherson

 

 

Mayor Gary Tong

 

Councillors

Brian Dillon

 

 

Paul Duffy

 

 

Darren Frazer

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE

 

Group Manager, Environmental Services

Bruce Halligan

Team Leader Resource Management

Marcus Roy

Senior Resource Planner - Policy

Rebecca Blyth

Publications Specialist

Chris Chilton

Committee Advisor

Alyson Hamilton

 

The meeting reconvened at 9.55am to discuss further information as requested by the meeting.

 

Public Excluded

 

 

Exclusion of the Public: Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987

 

Resolution

Moved Cr Dillon, seconded Cr Frazer  and resolved:

That the public be excluded from the following part(s) of the proceedings of this meeting.

C9.1   Application under Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 - Mr Kevin Woolhouse

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:

General subject of each matter to be considered

Reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter

Ground(s) under section 48(1) for the passing of this resolution

Application under Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 - Mr Kevin Woolhouse

s7(2)(a) - The withholding of the information is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons, including that of a deceased person.

That the public conduct of the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding exists.

 


 

That the Group Manager, Environmental Health, Team Leader, Resource Management, Senior Resource Planner – Policy, Publications Specialist and Committee Advisor, be permitted to remain at this meeting, after the public has been excluded, because of their knowledge of the item C9.1 Application under Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 - Mr Kevin Woolhouse. This knowledge, which will be of assistance in relation to the matters to be discussed, is relevant to those matters because of their knowledge on the issues discussed and meeting procedure.

 

 

The public were excluded at 9.55am.

 

 

The meeting returned to open meeting at 10.10am.

 

 

Resolutions in relation to the confidential items are recorded in the confidential section of these minutes and are not publicly available unless released here.

 

 

 

The meeting concluded at 10.10am                     CONFIRMED AS A TRUE AND CORRECT RECORD AT A MEETING OF THE Regulatory and Consents Committee HELD ON THURSDAY, 10 MAY 2018.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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