Notice is hereby given that an Ordinary Meeting of Southland District Council will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

9am

Council Chamber
15 Forth Street
Invercargill

 

Council Agenda

OPEN

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Mayor

Mayor Gary Tong

 

Deputy Mayor

Ebel Kremer

 

Councillors

Don Byars

 

 

John Douglas

 

 

Paul Duffy

 

 

Bruce Ford

 

 

Darren Frazer

 

 

George Harpur

 

 

Julie Keast

 

 

Christine Menzies

 

 

Karyn Owen

 

 

Margie Ruddenklau

 

 

Rob Scott

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE

 

Chief Executive

Steve Ruru

Committee Advisor

Fiona Dunlop

 

 

Contact Telephone: 0800 732 732

Postal Address: PO Box 903, Invercargill 9840

Email: emailsdc@southlanddc.govt.nz

Website: www.southlanddc.govt.nz

 

Full agendas are available on Council’s Website

www.southlanddc.govt.nz

 

 


 


Council

22 April 2020

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ITEM                                                                                                                                                                                  PAGE

Procedural

1             Apologies                                                                                                                                                                5

2             Leave of absence                                                                                                                                                5

3             Conflict of Interest                                                                                                                                             5

4             Public Forum                                                                                                                                                         5

5             Extraordinary/Urgent Items                                                                                                                        5

6             Confirmation of Council Minutes                                                                                                             5

Reports - Policy and Strategy

Nil

Reports - Operational Matters

8.1         Dog Registration Fees for 2020/2021                                                                                                     7

8.2         Draft Annual Plan 2020/2021                                                                                                                    17

8.3         Great South - Draft Statement of Intent 2020-2021                                                                    35

8.4         Great South - 2019/20 six monthly report - to 31 December 2019                                      47

8.5         Management Report                                                                                                                                     83

8.6         Southland Museum and Art Gallery - Governance Structure Options                            97

Reports - Governance

9.1         Southland Museum and Art Gallery - Interim Annual Report                                            173

9.2         Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust Board Inc. - Draft Statement of Intent to Year Ending 30 June 2021                                                                                                                                    199

9.3         Electoral Officer Report on the 2019 Triennial Elections                                                       215   

Public Excluded

Nil


Council

22 April 2020

 

1             Apologies

 

At the close of the agenda no apologies had been received.

 

2             Leave of absence

 

At the close of the agenda no requests for leave of absence had been received.

 

3             Conflict of Interest

 

Councillors are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision-making when a conflict arises between their role as a councillor and any private or other external interest they might have.

 

4             Public Forum

 

Notification to speak is required by 5pm at least two days before the meeting. Further information is available on www.southlanddc.govt.nz or phoning 0800 732 732.

 

5             Extraordinary/Urgent Items

To consider, and if thought fit, to pass a resolution to permit the Council to consider any further items which do not appear on the Agenda of this meeting and/or the meeting to be held with the public excluded.

Such resolution is required to be made pursuant to Section 46A(7) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, and the Chairperson must advise:

(i)        The reason why the item was not on the Agenda, and

(ii)       The reason why the discussion of this item cannot be delayed until a subsequent meeting.

Section 46A(7A) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:

“Where an item is not on the agenda for a meeting,-

(a)       that item may be discussed at that meeting if-

(i)         that item is a minor matter relating to the general business of the local authority; and

(ii)       the presiding member explains at the beginning of the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public, that the item will be discussed at the meeting; but

(b)       no resolution, decision or recommendation may be made in respect of that item except to refer that item to a subsequent meeting of the local authority for further discussion.”

 

6             Confirmation of Council Minutes

6.1             Meeting minutes of Council, 4 March 2020

6.2             Meeting minutes of Emergency Council, 24 March 2020


Council

22 April 2020

 

Dog Registration Fees for 2020/2021

Record No:             R/19/12/29532

Author:                      Michael Sarfaiti, Environmental Health Manager

Approved by:         Fran  Mikulicic, Group Manager Environmental Services

 

  Decision                                       Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

 

Purpose

1        To set the dog control fees for the 2020/2021 year.

 

Executive Summary

2        Council’s dog control fees must be prescribed by resolution.  It is proposed to increase the working dog fee by $6 to $36, and the non-working dog fee by $10 to $100.

3        To enable the continuation of Council’s ability to rehome all unclaimed impounded dogs, staff recommend that Council authorises free fees with respect to Council’s authorised rehoming providers, for the first year of the dog’s registration.

 

Recommendation

That Council:

a)            Receives the report titled “Dog Registration Fees for 2020/2021” dated 17 April 2020.

 

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)           Agrees to set the dog control fees in Attachment A for the 2020/2021 registration year.

 

e)            Agrees to publicly notify the fees during the weeks starting 1 June 2020 and 15 June 2020.

 

 

Background

4        The Dog Control Act 1996 requires territorial authorities to set dog control fees. Council currently has approximately 12,000 registered dogs within its District.

5        The dog control service operates a register of dogs, investigates complaints about dogs, monitors the District, and promotes responsible dog ownership. 

6        The dog control business unit is staffed by a manager, one full-time and part-time dog control officer, a part-time ranger, and a customer services officer.  Support services are provided by a contractor (Armourguard) and via a shared service with Invercargill City Council.

7        Council has a combined dog pound with Invercargill City Council.  Council has a licence to occupy the pound with an exclusive licence to use five of the 28 kennels. 

 

Issues

Increase in fees

8        The dog control business unit retains its reserve, as required by the Dog Control Act. This reserve has prevented the need to raise fees over the last five years, but the reserve has been utilised, and so it is necessary to raise fees to fund the business unit.  If fees are not raised, the business unit will make an estimated loss of $150K next year.

9        A breakdown of income from the proposed fees is as follows:

10      No. of dogs

11       Proposed fee (incl. GST)

Income   (incl. GST)

12      Working

13      5,700

14      36

15      205,200

16      Non-working dogs

17     

18     

19     

20      P  - No discounts

21      36

22      100

23      3,600

24      P1 - Neutered

25      0

26      90

27      0

28      P2 - Fenced/controlled

29      461

30      80

31      36,880

32      P3 -  Responsible(microchipped)

33      83

34      70

35      5,810

36      P12 - Neutered and fenced/controlled

37      118

38      70

39      8,260

40      P13 - Neutered and responsible (microchipped)

41      23

42      60

43      1,380

44      P23 - Fenced/controlled and responsible(microchipped)

45      2,496

46      50

47      124,800

48      P123 - Neutered and fenced/controlled and responsible(microchipped)

49      3,075

50      40

51      123,000

52      Infringement fines

53     

54     

55      20,000

56      Late fees (estimated)

57     

58     

59      11,500

60      TOTAL INCOME

61     

62     

63      540,430 (incl)

469,939 (excl.)

11            The estimated income to fund the business unit next financial year is $490,000 (excl. GST); and so a loss may still be incurred.

12      Going forward, staff believe that small incremental increases to dog registration fees will be likely most years in order to sufficiently fund the dog control service.

Rehoming providers

13      Council’ s current fees provide as follows:

Registration fee for a dog that is required to be registered with SDC, that has been impounded by SDC, and released to a SDC authorised rehoming provider (initial registration only)

 

Free

14      It is proposed to add:

A dog received by a SDC authorised rehoming provider for the purpose of rehoming, that is either from the Southland District, or to be rehomed in the Southland District (initial registration only)

 

Free

15      Reasons for this added provision:

a)   There is limited funding for rehoming providers.

b)   Costs for their activity include sustenance fees while in their care for the first seven days, and veterinary fees for dogs that require specialist care.

c)   Council would be required to pay sustenance and veterinary fees if the dogs were in Council’s pound, and so Council does not have to pay such costs when in the care of the rehoming agency. 

d)   The alternative would be paying more for euthanasia fees.

e)   The Council’s rehoming arrangements with Furever Homes have had a significant positive animal welfare effect. Over the last several years Council has had a near 100% rehoming success rate of dogs, with the few dogs that are not considered suitable for rehoming being euthanised by a vet. This is not only a great result for dog welfare, but also morale benefits for Council’s animal control staff that infrequently have to deliver dogs to be euthanised.

 

Factors to Consider

Legal and Statutory Requirements

16      Section 37 of the Dog Control Act 1996, is concerned with fee setting, and is attached to this report in Attachment B. 

17      Council is legally required to set the fees by resolution and to subsequently publicly notify these fees.

Community Views

18      The views of the community are not required to be sought, either under the Dog Control Act 1996, or in accordance with Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. 

Costs and Funding

19      The dog control service is funded mainly from registration fees, and also from infringements, and fees and charges.  Council has resolved that dog control is to be fully funded by fees and charges. 

Policy Implications

20      This report is consistent with Council’s Policy on Dogs 2015.  In particular clause 5.2 provides that:

As recognition of responsible dog ownership and to encourage neutering and fenced containment, Council will set fees for non-working dogs that may take into account the following factors:

·   whether there is fencing or a fenced enclosure sufficient to contain the dog on the premises

·   whether the dog is neutered or spayed

·   whether there has been a written warning, barking abatement notice, seizure or infringement under the Dog Control Act 1996 within the previous two years relating to any dog owned by the person applying for the registration

·   whether the dog has been microchipped

·   a fee for late registration.

21      Clause 5.3 of the policy also provides that:

The Dog Control Act 1996 requires that all money received from dog registration fees or other charges levied are to be applied for dog control purposes. The intention of Council is that dog control in the District is on a user pay basis of fees and charges will be set at a level to give effect to that intention.

Analysis of Options

Option 1 – Do not increase fees – status quo.

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        dog owners would appreciate the status quo

·        the business unit is estimated to lose $150,000 next financial year

 

Option 2 – That Council sets the dog control fees in Attachment A for the 2020/2021 registration year, with any amendments as it sees fit.

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        enables the business unit to be adequately funded

·        some adverse reaction from District dog owners

 

Assessment of Significance

22      This review is considered to be not significant in accordance with Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. 

Recommended Option

23      Option 2, so that the dog control activity can continue to be sufficiently funded by dog registration fees. 

Next Steps

24      Council’s decision will be publicly notified and also on Council’s website. The fees will come into effect on 1 July 2020. 

 

 

Attachments

a             Dog Control Registration Fee Schedule for 2020/21

b             Section 37 of the Dog Control Act

c             Fees comparison with other Councils    

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

DOG CONTROL FEE SCHEDULE - EFFECTIVE 1 JULY 2020

 

(All fees GST inclusive)

 

 

 

 

 

Registration - Dog (non-working)

 

$100.00

Discounts

 

 

(a)     The dog is spayed or neutered

 

-$10.00

(b)     The dog is in a fenced or controlled property

 

-$20.00

(c)     Responsible owner (according to Council’s criteria) and microchipped dog

 

-$30.00

Registration fee inclusive of (a), (b) and (c)

 

$40.00

Registration - Working Dog

 

$36.00

Late Registration - All Dogs

 

50%

Registration fee for a dog that is required to be registered with SDC, that has been impounded by SDC, and released to a SDC authorised rehoming provider (initial registration only)

 

Free

A dog received by a SDC authorised rehoming provider for the purpose of rehoming, that is either from the Southland District, or to be rehomed in the Southland District (initial registration only)

 

Free

 

Dog Control Fees

 

 

(a)

Dog hearing lodgement fee

 

$100.00

(b)

Multiple dog licence application fee

 

$50.00

(c)

Sale of collars

 

$9.00

 

(d)

Withdrawal of infringement fee, per infringement

 

$30.00

 

Microchipping

 

 

(a)

Microchipping of a dog registered by SDC

 

Free

(b)

Commercial breeders that require more than four pups to be microchipped per registration year

 

$30.00 per dog,

for the fifth and

subsequent dog

Dog Impounding Fees

 

 

(a)

Impounding of dogs

 

$150.00

(b)

Sustenance of impounded dog per day or part thereof

 

$20.00

(c)

Euthanasia

 

$40.00

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

Section 37 Dog Control Act 1996

Territorial authority to set fees

(1)        The dog control fees payable to a territorial authority shall be those reasonable fees prescribed by resolution of that authority for the registration and control of dogs under this Act.

(2)     Any resolution made under subsection (1) may—

(a)        fix fees for neutered dogs that are lower than the fee for dogs that have not been neutered:

(b)        fix fees for working dogs that are lower than the fee for any other dog, and may limit the number of working dogs owned by any person which qualify for lower fees under this section:

(c)        fix different fees for the various classes of working dogs:

(d)        fix fees for dogs under a specified age (not exceeding 12 months) that are lower than the fee that would otherwise be payable for those dogs:

(e)        fix, for any dog that is registered by any person who demonstrates to the satisfaction of any dog control officer that that person has a specified level of competency in terms of responsible dog ownership, a fee that is lower than the fee that would otherwise be payable for that dog:

(f)        fix by way of penalty, subject to subsection (3), an additional fee, for the registration on or after the first day of the second month of the registration year or such later date as the authority may fix, of any dog that was required to be registered on the first day of that registration year:

(g)        fix a fee for the issue of a replacement registration label or disc for any dog.

(3)        Any additional fee by way of penalty fixed under subsection (2)(f) shall not exceed 50% of the fee that would have been payable if the dog had been registered on the first day of the registration year.

(4)        In prescribing fees under this section, the territorial authority shall have regard to the relative costs of the registration and control of dogs in the various categories described in paragraphs (a) to (e) of subsection (2), and such other matters as the territorial authority considers relevant.

(5)        Where any 2 or more territorial authorities have formed a joint standing or joint special committee in accordance with section 7, the resolution of that committee under subsection (1) may fix different fees in respect of dogs kept in the different districts, having regard to the costs of registration and dog control in the districts concerned.

(6)        The territorial authority shall, at least once during the month preceding the start of every registration year, publicly notify in a newspaper circulating in its district the dog control fees fixed for the registration year.

(7)        Failure by the territorial authority to give the public notice required by subsection (6), or the occurrence of any error or misdescription in such public notice, shall not affect the liability of any person to comply with this Act or to pay any fee that is prescribed by the territorial authority under subsection (1).

(8)        No increase in the dog control fees for any year shall come into effect other than at the commencement of that year.”


Council

22 April 2020

 

Fees Comparison (Simplified)

 

WORKING

NON WORKING

 

 

Standard

Neutering discount

Good history discount

Fencing discount

Southland (proposed)

$36

$100

- $10

-$30

-$20

Invercargill

$35

$100

- $15

-$30

 

Gore

$25

+$30 for poor history

$120

- $10

-$30

-$20

Clutha

$40

$50 (rural non-working)

 

 

 

 

 

$40 (rural working)

 

 

 

 

 

$70 urban (working and non-working)

 

 

 

 

 

$50 responsible

 

 

 

Central Otago

$12

$55

 

 

 

Dunedin

$52

$27 (2nd and subsequent)

$106

- $10

- $46

 

Queenstown

$70

$155

-$40

-$40

-$40

 

 

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

Draft Annual Plan 2020/2021

Record No:             R/20/3/8196

Author:                      Shannon Oliver, Planning and Reporting Analyst

Approved by:         Rex Capil, Group Manager Community and Futures

 

  Decision                                       Recommendation                                 Information

 

 

 

Purpose

1        The purpose of this report is for Council to endorse the progression of work on the Annual Plan 2020/2021, on the basis of a 2.65% proposed rates increase and advise of any necessary amendments required prior to completion of the full document for adoption on 23 June 2020. 

Executive Summary

2        Every three years, Council adopts a ten year plan which is referred to as the ‘Long Term Plan (LTP)’. In the intervening years, an Annual Plan is developed to address any variances from the LTP, confirm service levels and budgets for the year and set rates. This is also a requirement under the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA). Year three of Council’s LTP 2018-2028 serves as the base for the Annual Plan 2020/2021. 

3        On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Covid-19 as a global pandemic. On Monday 23 March the New Zealand alert level was raised to level 3 and it was declared that the alert level would rise to level 4 by 11.59pm on Wednesday 25 March.  This meant that the nation went into lockdown for at least four weeks with only essential services running and the majority of New Zealanders staying inside their houses to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

4        As a result of the pandemic there will be widespread impacts within our communities, including but not limited to, an increase in unemployment and widespread economic and social disruption anticipated for some time.  On this basis, measures have been taken in this Annual Plan to reduce the rates increase to our ratepayers, without compromising the services that Council delivers to the community. Council has an important role in helping to lead the response and economic recovery from the pandemic and in that sense it is seen as important that Council with the delivery of its services albeit that some of the immediate priorities will change and that it will need to manage a number of new risks. 

5        As part of these measures, Council reserves have been used to reduce the rates increase, which has resulted in a proposed rates increase of 2.65%. 

6        The draft Annual Plan 2020/2021 budgets are broadly consistent with what was projected for the 2020/2021 year in the LTP 2018-2028. The majority of changes relate to capital works projects for roading, sewerage and water renewals. These projects were already included in the LTP 2018-2028 and budgeted within the work programme. 

7        At its meeting on 30 January 2020, Council formally considered the need for consultation on the 2020/2021 Annual Plan.  Council confirmed there was no community consultation required for the Annual Plan 2020/2021 as there were no significant variances to the LTP 2018-2028. This was in accordance with the Significance and Engagement Policy that was adopted in June 2018 through the LTP process.

8        A copy of the draft Annual Plan 2020/2021 key financial statements are included as attachment A.  Please note these are subject to change as staff undertake the final review and finalisation of the Annual Plan document.

9        The Annual Plan 2020/2021 is scheduled for adoption by Council in June 2020.

 

Recommendation

That Council:

a)        Receives the report titled “Draft Annual Plan 2020/2021” dated 17 April 2020.

 

b)        Determines that this matter or decision be recognised 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.

 

d)        Endorses that the draft Annual Plan 2020/2021 budgets have been prepared based on reasonable judgement and assumptions and that it considers the projected financial results, including the projected operating deficit for 2020/2021, to be financially prudent given its financial position.

 

e)        Endorses the proposal to progress work on the Annual Plan on the basis of a 2.65% proposed rates increase, noting that while it differs from year three of the LTP, it does not constitute a significant or material change. 

 

f)         Endorses the revised project plan dates as follows:

 

ANNUAL PLAN KEY TASK

START

END

RESPONSIBILITY

APRIL 2020

 

 

 

Council meeting on 22 April 2020 - where we have got to now and endorsement to continue including revised key milestone dates

22-Apr-20

22-Apr-20

Project team

Distribute copy of "Annual Plan Information" document to key stakeholders, those on mailing list via email, Facebook and website

30-Apr-20

30-Apr-20

Communications

Compile whole draft Annual Plan document using agreed guidance

22-Apr-20

10-May-20

Project team

MAY 2020

 

 

 

ELT review of full draft Annual Plan

10-May-20

10-May-20

 ELT

Design graphics version of draft Annual Plan

20-May-20

2-Jun-20

Communications

JUNE 2020

 

 

 

Final checks of designed document

10-Jun-20

12-Jun-20

Project team

Council and Finance and Assurance Committee reports due (note intention to strike rates report also due)

15-Jun-20

15-Jun-20

Project team

Finance and Assurance meeting to recommend adoption of Annual Plan (designed version)

22-Jun-20

22-Jun-20

Project team

Council meeting - Adoption Annual Plan (designed version)

23-Jun-20

23-Jun-20

Project team

Arrange print of final Annual Plan (printers)

23-Jun-20

23-Jun-20

Communications

Add the Annual Plan document to the SDC website

24-Jun-20

24-Jun-20

Communications

Finalise fees and charges booklet, print and deliver on 30 June

24-Jun-20

30-Jun-20

Finance

 

g)        Endorses the reduction of the Te Anau Airport rate from $128 (incl GST) to $67.69 (incl GST) subject to the agreement of the Fiordland Community Board.  Noting this reduction is being done by extending the airport loan by one year and deferring the 2020/21 airport loan repayment and by funding the interest charge by adding it to the airport loan balance to be repaid over the life of the loan. 

 

h)      Recognises that resolution ‘g’ above, will be inconsistent with Council’s Revenue and Financing policy because it is funding an operational cost from a loan and that it would be appropriate for Council to consider recording this as an inconsistent decision made in accordance with section 80 of the Local Government Act 2002 should it confirm this decision in setting the rates for the 2020-21 financial year.

 

i)       Notes that this alternative funding is proposed in response to the potential financial impact of Covid-19 on affordability of rates particularly in the Fiordland rating area and that a review of the Revenue and Financing policy will be undertaken as part of its 2021-31 Long Term Plan but at this stage there are no plans to alter the policy to generally allow the funding of operational costs from loans.

 

Background

10      Once every three years, Southland District Council is required to adopt a Long Term Plan (LTP), and in the intervening years an Annual Plan. These plans set out the service levels and budgets for the coming year as well as being used to set rates.

11      Year three of the Council’s LTP 2018-2028 serves as the base for the Annual Plan 2020/2021. The Annual Plan 2020/2021 is broadly consistent with what was projected for the 2020/2021 year in the LTP 2018-2028.

12      All councils are required by legislation to prepare and adopt an Annual Plan for each financial year before the start of the new financial year. The Annual Plan is not audited.


 

13      The purpose of an Annual Plan is to:

•      contribute to the accountability of the local authority to the community

•      detail the proposed annual budgets and Funding Impact Statement

•      identify any variation from the financial statements and Funding Impact Statement included in the Long Term Plan (LTP) in respect of the year

•      provide integrated decision-making and co-ordination of the resources of the local authority.

14      As part of developing the Annual Plan, community boards and water supply subcommittees were provided the opportunity at their direction-setting meetings to highlight any planned changes for the 2020/2021 financial year from what was budgeted for year three of the Long Term Plan 2018-2028. Hall committees and Council staff were also asked to advise of any changes to fees and charges for the 2020/2021 year.

15      On 17 December 2019, Council informally discussed a number of key matters associated with the 2020/2021 Annual Plan, including:

•      proposed fees and charges

•      grants and donations

•      planned capital projects for 2020/2021

•      roading rate model

•      impact on the overall and specific rates for 2020/2021

•      key financial matters, including loans, reserves, forestry dividend, SIESA

•      and local services contracts review.

16      At its meeting on 30 January 2020, Council formally considered the need for consultation on the 2020/2021 Annual Plan. Council confirmed there was no community consultation required for the Annual Plan 2020/2021 as there were no significant variances to the LTP 2018-2028. This was in accordance with the Significance and Engagement Policy that was adopted in June 2018 through the LTP process.

17      From January to March 2020 management reviewed the 2020/2021 budgets in conjunction with forecasted results for 2019/2020 as well as incorporated known additional costs (predominantly associated with the lease of the two Don Street offices, following seismic results of Council’s Forth Street premises).  A review of the capital work programme for 2020/2021 was also undertaken by activity managers.

18      Subsequently, on 24 March 2020, staff informally briefed Council on the issues associated with the current global pandemic, the approaches being taken to respond to the event and its potential impact on the draft 2020/2021 Annual Plan.

Issues

19      The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has led to a high level of uncertainty and risk particularly in regard to its potential economic, social and cultural impacts.  This is on top of environmental legislation changes such as land and water plans, RMA reforms, increased building control costs and new three waters regulation.  The issue of affordability of rates within communities means that it is important to try and minimise any proposed rates increase given the current circumstances, while ensuring that Council continues to provide an appropriate level of service to its communities and manage the increased risks that it faces as an organisation such as reductions in other revenue streams and increased costs in providing support during the response and subsequent recovery phases.

20      The Annual Plan 2020/2021 includes budgets based on best available information at early March 2020.  Included in this is planned 2019/20 capital projects that have been forecast to be completed or undertaken in 2020/21.  This information was compiled prior to the declaration of the alert level 4 nationwide lockdown.  The lockdown will impact on the final operational and/or capital work budgets.  Time constraints will not enable Council to evaluate and quantify these changes for this Annual Plan and may result in a higher level of capital works being carried forward to 2020/2021 outside the 2020/2021 Annual Plan.  Overall, however this is not expected to have a significant effect on rates that would have been required as part of the 2020/21 Annual Plan as generally capital projects are funded from long term loans, the repayment of which occurs in the year following drawdown.

Cashflow forecasts and funding

21      Council is forecast to be in overdraft by 30 June 2020 ($3.5 million) increasing to $3.9 million by 30 June 2021.  Interest on the overdraft has been allowed for in the budgets at 3.65% consistent with the 2018-2028 LTP assumptions, however this may vary depending on the cashflows of Council throughout the year and the actual interest rates incurred. 

22      Council is also forecast to be drawing down external debt in 2020/2021 of approximately $20 million.  Interest on the term debt has been allowed for in the budgets at 3.65% and drawn down in full on 1 January 2021 consistent with the 2018-2028 LTP assumptions. Obviously, this may also vary depending on the actual cashflows of Council throughout the year and the actual interest rate incurred, particularly on external debt.

23      Council has a district operations reserve which is made up of any unused operational funds offset by operational deficits and costs associated with specific projects.  This reserve is forecast to be approximately $1 million overdrawn at 30 June 2020 and planned to increase further into deficit in 2020/2021.  At this stage repayment has not been incorporated. It will, however, need to be considered as part of Council’s Long Term Plan when the actual results of operations and planned projects for 2019/20 will be known.

Utilising reserves to offset rate increases

24      The proposed rate increase for 2020/2021 has been reduced by using $1.7 million of roading reserves as well as an additional $0.4 million of the forestry reserve. This is a one-off approach to assist in addressing the potential impact of rates increases on our ratepayers given the effect that the pandemic will have on the economy. This approach may result in a higher rates increase in 2021/2022 and beyond.   

Building control

25      The building control activity exists to manage the risks from development, construction, weather tight home issues and earthquakes. Council has to balance the need for additional resources to ensure that it can meet the required service levels against the flow-on impact that this will have on the level of user fees charged for services. A number of assumptions have been made around the building control activity in developing the 2020/2021 Annual Plan.

26      Increase in fees - the building control department is funded 80% from fees and charges and 20% from rates. Fees and charges are the main funding source for this activity reflecting the direct benefit to those who use the service. Fees and charges are proposed to be increased in 2020/2021 by 7.5% in order to cover the proposed increased costs for this activity.  This increase is most significant in relation to consents for new dwellings.  A 7.5% increase equates to $245 for a new dwelling less than 300 square metres, or $295 for a new dwelling larger than 300 square metres.  Council’s fees in this area are generally lower than neighbouring councils. There is a risk that if the fees and charges are not increased, the increased costs budgeted for will need to be covered from rates and/or reserves.

27      Additional costs - Council was audited by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) in February 2019 and was advised that IANZ was not satisfied that Council’s Code Compliance Certificate processing times and that processes were to the level that they needed to be. Council has taken a number of steps to improve its performance in this area and ensure we meet the required standards. It is important that Council be able to maintain the appropriate standards moving forward to ensure that it can retain accreditation as a Building Consent Authority (BCA).  As a result staff have made an allowance for additional resourcing in the Annual Plan 2020/2021. There has been an increase in costs of $0.9 million between the year three of the LTP and the Annual Plan 2020/2021 which includes staffing and contractor costs. 

28      New fees and charges – the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment undertook an audit of Council’s Territorial Authority (TA) functions in 2019 and made some recommendations around the work required to be undertaken and the associated fees that could be charged.  Staff are proposing to include the following five new fees and charges (including GST) associated with these TA functions in the 2020/2021 Annual Plan:

Swimming pool inspection

$165.00

Annual renewal of Building Warrant of Fitness

$111.00

Inspection of Building Warrant of Fitness

$350.00

Amendment fee

$400.00

Discretionary exemption fee

$342.00

29      It is anticipated that these fees will generate approximately $150,000-$200,000 of revenue per annum which can cover the cost of the additional resource required to undertake this work.  A separate report will be brought to Council in due course, which will explore the issues and staff propose addressing these more fully.

 

Changes from year three of the LTP 2018-2028

30      The majority of the changes between what was forecasted in the 2020/2021 year in the LTP 2018-2028 from what has been included in the draft Annual Plan 2020/2021 relate to capital works projects. Key changes include:

•    the addition/deferral of $4.1 million of water capital projects (Lumsden/Balfour, Manapouri, Riverton, Te Anau)

•    the addition/deferral of $12.5 million of wastewater capital projects (Ohai, Riversdale, Riverton, Stewart Island, Te Anau) noting that Te Anau represents $11.3 million of this increase (of which $2 million is funded from a government grant)

•    refurbishment/fit out of the Don Street office ($0.9 million)

•    Council’s 2020/2021 contribution to the Pyramid Bridge replacement ($0.3 million)

•    $1 million emergency roading works as a result of the February 2020 floods

•    $1.5 million of bridge renewals.

31      Additionally, there are a number of changes to operational costs from what was forecast in the LTP 2018-2028 for 2020/2021.  Key operational changes include:

•    increased water maintenance costs ($0.3 million)

•    increased rubbish and recycling costs, including Emission Trading Scheme ($0.3 million)

•    lease of two Don Street offices and associated costs ($0.4 million)

•    $1.8 million Milford Opportunities Project costs (fully funded by government grants)

•    additional contractors required to assist with building regulation activities ($0.5 million), partially offset by increased revenue 

•    increase employee related costs ($1.9 million)

•    loss of revenue from Venture Southland ($0.3 million)

•    reduction in internal loan repayments ($0.3 million)

•    increase in external loan repayments ($0.1 million).

32      Where appropriate loan funding is used to fund capital expenditure with the following reserve transfers being utilised to reduce the impact on the 2020/2021 rates increase:

•    transfer from the forestry reserve to reduce rates ($0.4 million)

•    utilisation of the roading reserve to reduce the roading rate ($1.7 million).

Te Anau Airport Manapouri rate

33      As part of the response to Covid-19, the government has shut the borders to New Zealand for overseas visitors and mandated a one month lockdown.  The impact of this has seen the tourism market and those associated with provision of goods and services to the tourism market particularly affected.

34      Councillor Kremer has noted the impact of the loss of tourism on the Fiordland Basin as a result of this event and also the recent flooding.  In response to this he has asked Council staff to look at the possibility of reducing the airport rate for the coming year with the potential of also extending this reduction as part of discussions around Councils 2021-31 Long Term Plan.

35      The Te-Anau Airport Manapouri rate is set at $128 incl GST per rating unit per year, projected to raise $361,471 in 2020/21.  47% of the rate relates to the repayment of interest and principal on the airport loan.  53% relates to the annual operation of the airport and funds transferred to the airport reserve to fund future capital projects.

36      It is important to note, as previously indicated that the annual operations of the airport, may be affected by Covid-19, both in terms of potential reductions in income as well as some expenditure.  The current estimates are based on the best information known in early March 2020. 

37      Council’s Revenue and Financing Policy outlines in section 2.3 that operating expenditure should be met from funding sources such as rates, reserves, user fees and charges.  Capital expenditure can also be met from loans. Although Council’s policy indicates these preferred funding sources, where Council makes a significantly inconsistent decision it can as a result of section 80 of the Local Government Act 2002, clearly identify as part of the decision the inconsistency, the reasons why and the intention or not to amend the policy to accommodate the decision.

38      Options, including advantages and disadvantages are noted below

Option

Advantages

Disadvantages

Make the rate zero, by utilising the airport reserve to fund costs for the year

Attempts to recognise and mitigate the effect of Covid-19 on the affordability of rates.

In line with Council’s revenue and financing policy

Gives the maximum amount of financial benefit to ratepayers for the year

The reserve funds used will not be available for the future capital programme.

The current ratepayer base are not contributing to the annual cost of the service.

Reduce the airport rate by effectively taking a mortgage holiday.  This means that no annual loan repayment would be made, by adding one year to the loan.  Additionally the annual interest charge could be added to the airport loan balance, to be repaid over the loan term.

Attempts to partially recognise and mitigate the effect of Covid-19 on the affordability of rates.

Gives a partial financial benefit to ratepayers for the year.

Still recognises that the majority of operational costs (excl interest) should be met from the current ratepayer base.

The current ratepayer base are not contributing to the full cost of the service.

Inconsistent with Council’s Revenue and Financing Policy

39      Discussions with Councillor Kremer, indicate a preference, subject to Fiordland Community Board agreement, in recognising that a level of operational costs should be met from current ratepayers, although the addition of a mortgage holiday will result in interest being added to the loan balance repaid over the term of the loan.

 

Updated project plan

40      The following table shows the updated project plan

ANNUAL PLAN KEY TASK

START

END

RESPONSIBILITY

APRIL 2020

 

 

 

Council meeting on 22 April 2020 - where we have got to now and endorsement to continue including revised key milestone dates

22-Apr-20

22-Apr-20

Project team

Distribute copy of "Annual Plan Information" document to key stakeholders, those on mailing list via email, Facebook and website

30-Apr-20

30-Apr-20

Communications

Compile whole draft Annual Plan document using agreed guidance

22-Apr-20

10-May-20

Project team

MAY 2020

 

 

 

ELT review of full draft Annual Plan

10-May-20

10-May-20

 ELT

Design graphics version of draft Annual Plan

20-May-20

2-Jun-20

Communications

JUNE 2020

 

 

 

Final checks of designed document

10-Jun-20

12-Jun-20

Project team

Council and Finance and Assurance Committee reports due (note intention to strike rates report also due)

15-Jun-20

15-Jun-20

Project team

Finance and Assurance meeting to recommend adoption of Annual Plan (designed version)

22-Jun-20

22-Jun-20

Project team

Council meeting - Adoption Annual Plan (designed version)

23-Jun-20

23-Jun-20

Project team

Arrange print of final Annual Plan (printers)

23-Jun-20

23-Jun-20

Communications

Add the Annual Plan document to the SDC website

24-Jun-20

24-Jun-20

Communications

Finalise fees and charges booklet, print and deliver on 30 June

24-Jun-20

30-Jun-20

Finance

Engagement with the public/feedback opportunities

41      Local authorities need to consult with the public during the Annual Plan process if the Annual Plan includes significant or material differences from the content of the LTP for the financial year to which the proposed Annual Plan relates (see section 95A).

42      The Local Government Act (2002) provides guidance on the types of differences and variations that will require consultation. This includes:

•    significant or material variations or departures from the financial statements or funding impact statement

•    significant new spending proposals; and

•    a decision to delay or not proceed with a significant project.

43      At the Council meeting on 30 January 2020, the Annual Plan 2020/2021 variations were assessed and it was agreed that there are no significant variations that would result in a need for formal consultation.  It was also agreed to provide information to the public in an Annual Plan information document.  This update document was scheduled for release in March 2020 but due to the impacts of Covid-19 has been delayed until late April, early May 2020. 

44      A proposed project plan was approved by Council in January 2020, however this has been revised in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, and presented to Council above (para 37) for endorsement.

45      Stakeholders and the public are encouraged to provide feedback on the Annual Plan information document which will be available online on Facebook and Council’s website. Feedback can also be provided in person via live streaming of public forum in Council committee meetings or via Council’s engagement platform - www.makeitstick.nz  

Wellbeings

46      The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has led to a high level of uncertainty and risk around cost to the economy, and wider social and cultural impacts.   It is unknown at this stage what the long term impacts on the district’s wellbeing will be. The Annual Plan relates to the next financial year 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Economic

47      As a result of the Covid-19 shutdown it is predicted that a number of businesses will close permanently and there could be an economic recession. It is also likely that the unemployment rate can be expected to remain elevated for a significant period of time. 

48      Some economists estimate that unemployment will increase from the current 4% to somewhere between 15% and 30%. That is an additional 300,000 to 720,000 people left jobless across the country. Many of these will be from small businesses operating in regional New Zealand (www.medium.com). 

Social

49      The flow on effects of Covid-19 are currently unknown.  It is suggested however that there will be an increase in mental health issues (including higher rates of suicide), more heart attacks, strokes and general health issues brought about by stress and/or heightened impoverishment (BNZ Markets outlook 2020).

50      There could also be long-term health problems (including reduced life expectancy for some) as a consequence of the pressure (both financial and physical/mental) being faced now. 

51      Post lockdown people may continue to use new technology such as video conferencing to stay in contact and to strengthen social ties.

52      The move to strengthen Council’s community-led development will be particularly important throughout this period, as communities seek to find their own way forward in a new environment, and new opportunities in light of the challenges now faced.

Cultural

53      Many different cultural practices cannot occur during the current lockdown period as they involve larger groups of people.  For example tangi (Maori funeral rituals).  It is expected that all cultural practices will recommence and be a particular focus for communities after being isolated during the lockdown period.  

Environmental

54      Some of the environmental legislation changes and reforms may be delayed as a result of Covid-19.  For example national policy standards changes, 3 water regulations and Resource Management Act (RMA) reforms. 

Factors to Consider

Legal and Statutory Requirements

55      The Annual Plan is a statutory requirement under the Local Government Act 2002 (section 95).

56      All local authorities are required by legislation to prepare and adopt an Annual Plan before the commencement of the financial year to which it relates (1 July 2020).

Community Views

57      Local authorities need to consult with the public during the Annual Plan process only if the Annual Plan includes significant or material differences from the content of the LTP for the financial year to which the proposed Annual Plan relates.

58      As Council is not consulting on the Annual Plan 2020/2021, stakeholders, groups and individuals are encouraged to provide feedback through Council’s social media sites including Facebook, Council website or www.makeitstick.nz. There is also opportunity to provide feedback to Council through public forum at any Council or Committee of Council meeting by live streaming during Covid-19 lockdown, or in person at a Council meeting once the lockdown is lifted.

59      Council’s nine community boards were involved in the direction setting for the Annual Plan 2020/2021 and provided input into the project work plan for their areas and the fees and charges for the local assets. This feedback has been included in the Annual Plan 2020/2021.

Costs and Funding

60      There are various costs incurred in compiling the Annual Plan including staff costs and budgets. These are included in Council’s annual budgets and funded accordingly.

61      The specific financial implications of the changes made to the final Annual Plan are outlined in the financial considerations section below.

Policy Implications

62      The changes set out in the Annual Plan are consistent with Council’s current Financial Strategy, Infrastructure Strategy and policies, including the Revenue and Financing Policy except for the potential adding of the interest on the Te Anau Airport Loan to the Te Anau Airport Loan.

63      No policies have been amended as part of the Annual Plan development process.

Financial considerations

64      The financial implications of the proposed Annual Plan 2020/2021 are noted below:  

Rating impact

•    the proposed rate increase for 2020/2021 is 2.65%, compared to 3.27% in the LTP 2018-2028. 

•    this reduction in proposed rates has been achieved by using roading and forestry reserves to offset increased costs in 2020/2021.  This is a one-off approach to assist in addressing the potential impact of rates increases on our ratepayers given the effect that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on the economy and is not sustainable in future years.

Impact on financial reports

•    the consolidated impacts of the changes are shown in the draft forecast statement of comprehensive income and statement of financial position included in Attachment A of this report. Please note these may be subject to change as staff undertake the final review and finalisation of the Annual Plan document.

•    in comparing the draft Annual Plan 2020/2021 forecast deficit to year three of the LTP 2018-2028, the deficit has increased $1.6 million, from $3.1 million to $4.7 million. 

o   increased revenue ($6.7 million) is forecast from NZTA $1.8 million and grants and subsidies ($4.7 million).  The grants expected to be received are for the Te Anau Wastewater project $2 million, Milford Opportunities Project $1.8 million, SIESA $0.5 million and Stewart Island Jetties $0.4 million. 

o   this revenue is offset by increased costs, being employee associated costs ($2.3 million) and other Council expenditure ($5.8 million).  Increased employee related costs are as a result of the need to continue to meet ongoing service and legislative requirements and as a result of some functions and associated positions being transferred from Venture Southland.  Other Council expenditure includes costs relating to the Milford Opportunities Project, SIESA wind energy project and building regulation area ($2.8 million), flood damage reinstatement works ($1 million), office lease ($0.3 million), and Council’s contribution to Pyramid Bridge ($0.3 million). 

•    the prospective statement of financial position in the draft Annual Plan incorporates 30 June 2019 actual balances (as opening balances) as well as changes resulting from revised forecasts for 2019/2020.

o   the main variance from year three of the LTP 2018-2028, is the increase in property, plant and equipment and external debt which is due to the increase in planned capital works including the Te Anau Wastewater project.

Compliance with financial strategy

The draft Annual Plan is in compliance with the key financial indicators outlined in the financial strategy, being specifically:

•    rates increases to be no more than Local Government Cost Index (LGCI) + 2.0%. For 2020/2021 in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, the LGCI was budgeted at 2.2%, resulting in a limit of 4.2%. The revised LGCI forecast for June 2021 based on BERL forecasts at September 2019 remains at 2.2%.  The draft rates increase proposed is 2.65%

•    total debt not to exceed 100% of total annual revenue. Council anticipates it will require
$20 million of long term external debt in the 2020/2021 year (to be repaid over 30 years).  Additionally
, Council is forecast to be in overdraft at 30 June 2021 of $3.9 million.

Analysis

Options Considered

Analysis of Options

65      There are two options to be considered in this report:

Option 1: confirm the proposed approach and revised project plan

Option 2: make amendments to the proposed approach and revised project plan


 

Option 1 – confirm the proposed approach and revised project plan

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        Council will comply with statutory requirements and timeframes

·        is consistent with the overall direction set through the LTP 2018-2028, and the expectation of stakeholders and communities

·        will enable rates to be set for the 2020/2021 financial year

·        recognises the changed environment resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

·        the utilisation of reserves to reduce rates is a short term measure.

Option 2 – make amendments to the proposed approach and revised project plan

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        provides the opportunity to reconsider the implications of amending the budgets and associated rate movements.

·        if substantial amendments are made there is a risk that Council will not comply with statutory timeframes

·        rates will not be able to set for the 2020/2021 financial year until an Annual Plan is adopted

·        will be inconsistent with the expectation of stakeholders and communities that Council works towards the adoption of an Annual Plan in an efficient and effective manner.

Assessment of Significance

66      The draft Annual Plan 2020/2021 does not contain significant variance from year three of the LTP 2018-2028. Therefore it did not meet the significance threshold in the Significance and Engagement Policy and the process for formal consultation was not undertaken.

Recommended Option

67      Staff recommend Option 1 – that Council confirms the proposed approach and revised project plan.

Next Steps

68      If resolution ‘g’ is adopted a report on the potential reduction of the Te Anau Airport rate will be prepared and presented to the Fiordland Community Board.

69      The full draft Annual Plan 2020/2021 document will be provided to the Finance and Assurance Committee for their review and formal recommendation to Council for adoption on 22 June 2020. 

70      The draft Annual Plan will be presented to Council for adoption on 23 June 2020.

71      Following Council adoption, the Annual Plan 2020/2021 will be made available on the Council’s website www.southlanddc.govt.nz.

Attachments

a             Prospective financial statements for the year ending 30 June 2021    

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

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Council

22 April 2020

 

Great South - Draft Statement of Intent 2020-2021

Record No:             R/20/3/6020

Author:                      Rex Capil, Group Manager Community and Futures

Approved by:         Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

 

  Decision                                       Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

 

Purpose

1        This report seeks Council approval for revised guidance and purchasing requirements for Great South given the changes created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Summary

2        The Southland Regional Development Agency Ltd, trading as Great South, is a limited liability company incorporated under the Companies Act 1993. It operates in accordance with its constitution and is a council controlled organisation as per the Local Government Act 2002 and as such the board is required to produce a statement of intent.

3        The process and requirements for developing the statement of intent are detailed in the Local Government Act 2002, the Southland Regional Development Agency Ltd Shareholders Agreement and the Southland Regional Development Agency Ltd Constitution.

4        Primarily, in accordance with section 64(1) of the Local Government Act 2002 every council controlled organisation must prepare and adopt a statement of intent. Section 64(2) further highlights the purpose of the statement of intent is to highlight publically the activities to be undertaken, the intentions and objectives that the activities will contribute to; provide an opportunity for shareholders to influence the direction of the council controlled organisation; and provides a basis for accountability of the directors to the shareholders for the performance of the organisation.

5        To this end Great South provided, on 28 February 2020, a draft Statement of Intent 2020-2021, which had been developed based on the expectations approved by Council in December 2019 and the Mayoral Forum letter of expectation that was finalised at the end of January 2020. 

6        The principles of the relationship between Great South and the shareholder councils remain unchanged and are highlighted in the mayoral letter of expectation which are based on the following roles and responsibilities:

·   Mayoral Forum and Joint Shareholders Committee – sets the direction and establishes the regional priority areas of focus for Great South by way of the annual letter of expectation

·   Great South Board – governs, oversees resource allocation and monitors performance of the organisation by way of an annual statement of intent

·   Great South management – plans, delivers and reports to the Great South Board by way of an annual business plan and report.

7        The letter also reinforced the importance of the success of Great South and offered insights to the direction sought by the Mayoral Forum – specifically related to the following themes, which  have remained unchanged from when Great South was first established:

·   recognising that while some time has passed since the Southland Regional Development Strategy was produced it is still the guiding document for regional development activity whether that work is undertaken by Great South or other agencies

·   regional priorities and regional actions should remain the focus of Great South

·   the focus should be on a smaller number of high priority value added initiatives that develop the Southland region rather than individual communities

·   the focus should be on promoting new investment to support development across the whole of the Southland region.

8        Since the original letter of expectation was developed, and first draft of the Great South statement of intent for 2020-2021, the COVID-19 pandemic has ‘taken hold’ with widespread public health and economic impacts around the world. It is considered appropriate that Great South should revise its proposed areas of focus and statement of intent for the 2020-2021 financial year to ensure that it can respond appropriately to the effects that the pandemic is expected to have on Southland communities.

9        It is important for Council to recognise that during the development of the original draft statement of intent and then working through the redraft process there has been positive and constructive progress made involving all parties in getting to this point.

10      It is acknowledged that this is the second year of Great South’s operation and it is reassuring that the statement of intent builds on the progress made last year and refines and refocuses the work to be completed in an ever-changing environment.

11      To this end, for continuity and establishing a strong foundation to build on going forward, it is reassuring that the vision, goals, the roles related to how it operates and contributes, values, areas of focus will remain similar. What the redraft has focussed on is with respect to the objectives and performance measures which have had to be reassessed as a result of COVID-19.

12      Council has the opportunity to reconfirm and further specify its priority areas of investment recognised in the draft statement of intent when it enters into the investment agreement with Great South for core contribution and purchase and supply of service/deliverables for the period 1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021.

 

Recommendation

That Council:

a)        Receives the report titled “Great South - Draft Statement of Intent 2020-2021” dated 17 April 2020.

 

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)        Notes the progress that has been made since the establishment of Great South and recognises the efforts of the Great South Board in working effectively alongside Council as a shareholder and purchaser of service.

 

e)        Recognises that subsequent to the preparation of the Mayoral Forum letter of expectation and the original Great South draft statement of intent, the COVID-19 pandemic event has occurred and the global impact as a result of this has had an unprecedented effect on the Southland region.

 

f)         Acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic event impact is in the response and mitigation phase and has created a volatile and fast changing environment at an international, national, regional, District and local level.

 

g)        Agrees that Great South has a role to play for the Southland region in supporting regional response, recovery, and restart phase initiatives alongside other national and regional partner organisations.

 

h)        Agrees that the Great South Statement of Intent 2020 – 2021 should reflect the changing environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

i)          Acknowledges that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic event the requirement for Great South to reprioritise and refocus its work programme to respond and this will be different to what was proposed as per the original Mayoral Forum letter of expectation and associated original Great South draft Statement of Intent.

 

j)          Agrees that the principles used to drive the draft statement of intent refocus and realignment process should recognise that Great South:

·   has an important role to play, alongside of other agencies, in providing support to Southland communities given its role as a regional development agency

·   will need to collaborate and work with a range of national, regional and District stakeholders in providing support to Southland communities

·   should realign its work programme to support the new external environment including new stakeholder needs and priorities and that this will require some reprioritisation of existing workloads and resources

·   will need to remain ‘nimble’ and flexible in its approach to ensure that it can respond quickly to changes that might occur as the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated effects on the economy and different communities unfold

·   will need to change existing and/or develop new processes and tools to support delivery of the new priorities

·   operate in a transparent and open manner, particularly in regard to the information and resources it utilises to deliver its services.

 

k)        Confirms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic event and following a review of its priorities and levels of investment in Great South for 2020 – 2021 to reallocate resource to Great South areas of focus as follows:

 

 

l)          Notes that Council will support District and local community recovery initiatives alongside other external agencies as part of Council’s community leadership function and based on the community led development approach.

 

m)       Delegates to the deputy mayor and chief executive officer authority to provide any final comments to Great South as the redrafted Statement of Intent 2020 – 2021 is finalised and subsequently negotiate and execute the investment agreement for 2020 - 2021.

 

Background

13      The Southland Regional Development Agency Ltd (SRDA) was incorporated on 29 March 2019 as a limited liability company and began its operation on 1 July 2019 using the trading name of Great South.

14      Great South is a council controlled organisation as per the Local Government Act 2002 and the board is required to produce an annual statement of intent.


 

15      At the Council meeting on 18 December 2019 Council agreed to:

·   endorse the Southland Regional Development Agency Smart Purchaser Framework approach to assist with informing the Mayoral Forum developing its letter of expectation to Great South

·   confirm the high level Southland District Council regional development activity areas of focus and associated level of investment to be incorporated in the Mayoral Forum Letter of expectation to Great South to assist with its preparation of the statement of intent, being:

core contribution                                     $500,000

regional economic development         $200,000

regional tourism development           $210,000

regional event delivery                    $  90,000

·   delegate authority to Mayor Tong to present, and amend if necessary, Council’s priority areas to the Mayoral Forum and other shareholders as part of the process of finalising the letter of expectation and investment agreements with Great South.

16      This was subsequently followed up at the Mayoral Forum and used to prepare the letter of expectation which was presented to Great South early in February 2020. It is that letter of expectation which was used by Great South to inform the preparation of the draft statement of intent that was sent to shareholding councils on 28 February 2020.

17      The 28 February 2020 draft set out the overall intentions and activities for Great South for the next financial year, and the objectives to which the activities contribute. It generally reflected the expectations that were set via the letter of expectation and built on the progress that had been made in their first year of operation. 

COVID-19 pandemic

18      The COVID-19 pandemic has created a fundamentally different environment and outlook to that which existed back in December 2019, when Council confirmed its priorities and at the start of 2020 when Great South started production of their first draft statement of intent, which led to the draft that Council received on 28 February. As a result staff are of the view that a revised draft statement of intent is required.

19      In developing and considering Southland District Council reprioritisation opportunities there has been work undertaken to assess and consider the potential impacts of COVID-19 on the Southland region and District in particular. This assessment has involved a desktop scan of information and analytics available as the pandemic unfolds and also feedback from community representatives and other agencies in the response phase. It has also involved consideration of the situation directly with Great South and other local authority staff in what has been an iterative process to ensure that there is a level of agreement between the parties involved. The Mayoral Forum has also discussed the need for a change in approach.

20      The work completed is being used by Great South to produce a revised draft statement of intent, which should be available by Friday 17 April 2020. It is intended that this revised draft will then go to the Great South Board for approval at a scheduled meeting on 21 April 2020, prior to it being formally resubmitted to shareholders.  

21      In developing the proposed new expectations staff have developed a number of principles and objectives as well as a suggested reallocation of funding and resultant new priorities.

High level principles

22      As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic event the Great South Statement of Intent 2020 – 2021 requires a refocus and realignment to ensure that it reflects the new environment. 

23      The aim is to keep the redrafted statement of intent simple and focussed on the actions that are needed in 2020-2021, recognising that there may be a need for further changes in focus depending on how the pandemic, and its flow-on effects, unfold over the next 12 months.

24      In the initial period, and over the next year in particular, it is expected that there will need to be a high level of priority placed on the provision of a range of practical business support services for local industry. A number of businesses, such as those in the tourism, hospitality and other service industries will likely need help to work out what the changed environment and economic outlook might mean for their particular business.

25      Over time there will be a gradual shift in focus from a response and mitigation phase to the recovery and restart/reactivation phases with the majority of the work required in this area expected to occur in the 2021 – 2024 period. 

26      It is proposed that the principles used to drive the refocus and realignment process proposed should recognise that Great South:

·   has an important role to play, alongside of other agencies, in providing support to Southland communities given its role as a regional development agency

·   will need to collaborate and work with a range of national, regional and District stakeholders in providing support to Southland communities

·   should realign its work programme to support the new external environment including new stakeholder needs and priorities. This will require some reprioritisation of existing workloads and resources

·   will need to remain ‘nimble’ and flexible in its approach to ensure that it can respond quickly to changes that might occur as the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated effects on the economy and different communities unfold

·   will need to change existing and/or develop new processes and tools to support delivery of the new priorities

·   operate in a transparent and open manner particularly in regard to the information and resources it utilises to deliver its services.

Areas of focus and levels of investment

27      In terms of revising the high level Southland District Council regional development activity areas of focus and associated level of investment; and to assist Great South with its preparation of the redrafted statement of intent;  as a result of the early indicators of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the following reallocation of SDC resource is suggested, being:

Statement of intent 2020 - 2021

Letter of expectation – SDC level of investment

Revised SDC level of investment as a result of COVID-19

Core contribution

$500,000

$500,000

Regional economic development

$200,000

$100,000

Business support services

$nil

$250,000

Regional tourism development

$210,000

$100,000

Regional event delivery

$ 90,000

$ 50,000

28      As part of the refocus and realignment process for the Great South Statement of Intent 2020 – 2021 the following has also been provided to Great South to provide some idea of the indicative outcomes and deliverables that will form part of the investment agreement that supports the services that Council is purchasing:

Regional economic development          $100,000

29      Inclusive of:

Economic diversification

·   priorities identified through the Southland Regional Development Strategy still remain the core focus for moving forward. These were focussed on aquaculture, tourism and then primary industry extension etc.

Employment and training

·   continue to develop and align the Youth Futures Project to the new environment

·   develop and establish job matching schemes in partnership with MSD

Business support services                      $250,000   

30      Inclusive of:

Advisory and network connection opportunities

·   expand and build on the NZTE funded Regional Business Partner Programme and other central government programmes and packages that are created and available in response to COVID-19

·   work with national, regional and local business advisory networks to establish a current/live inventory of business support packages, support agencies, advisory services available to SMEs

·   directly focus resource on aligning and linking SMEs in the Southland District area to appropriate agencies and programmes to offer targeted support

·   foster and promote business support programmes tailored to support and assist businesses in accommodation, hospitality, service sector support industries and rural communities

·   establish in conjunction with Iwi, ICC, SDC, GDC, Chamber of Commerce et al a Southland SME Business Recovery Taskforce.

Regional tourism development             $100,000

31      Inclusive of:

Destination management

·   refocus resource and support to existing product and product development opportunities (as identified in the SMDS) to support industry and operator resilience, viability and long term sustainability

·   align with central government and national industry led initiatives that support a nationally coordinated and industry led domestic marketing and NZ pride in place initiative  

·   establish in conjunction with Iwi, ICC, SDC, GDC, DF, ILT et al a Southland Tourism Sector Recovery Taskforce

Regional event delivery                          $50,000

32      Inclusive of:

Sector leadership

·   support event organisers/providers to develop a coordinated and focussed destination event schedule to align with the above domestic marketing approach.

Issues

33      The refocus of priorities and support being directed into areas of need identified as a result of COVID-19 will require a good level of change for Great South.  This is not only about what is done, but also about what is not done. It will mean some areas of the ‘old’ business as usual should no longer be required and will not need to be resourced.

34      The investment agreement between Council and Great South, to be developed and signed off in June 2020, will provide clarity and confirmation with regards accountabilities and reporting requirements.

35      Great South has recognised it needs to change the language used when redrafting its statement of intent.  In particular, the language used or story being told needs to reflect the uncertainty created by COVID-19 and that the approaches that will be required through the response and mitigation phase followed by the recovery, rebuild and reactivation phases will be quite different to the aspirational language that had been used in the original draft statement of intent.

36      All parties recognise the need to support a staged approach to the response phase and that this will continue to be developed as more information becomes available and the effects are further understood over time. To this end the statement of intent needs to recognise Great South’s need to be agile and to have the ability to come back to its shareholders and confirm some variation to its approach and priorities as necessary.

37      The refocussing and reprioritisation process has supported and reconfirmed the regional development role that Great South plays. It has reinforced the difference between regional priorities which remain the focus for Great South and the District and local priorities which remain the focus for Council and communities.

38      This process has also highlighted the desire and support for Great South to continue to be involved in the national conversations relating to regional development opportunities. This is important so as to link and align the Southland regional focus with national initiatives and national programmes/schemes which will be developed and released over coming months.

39      The approach that has been followed in working through the refocussing and reprioritisation process with Great South has been based on keeping this as simple as possible for Great South so it is able to get on and deliver benefits for the region while ensuring benefits are achieved for Council and the local communities it serves.

40      Council recognises there are a number of agencies required to be involved and working together on the recovery and restart priorities for the Southland region and that local government is a key player in this space, alongside Great South and many other regional and national agencies.

41      Council has an opportunity to seek clarification and assurance from the Great South Board as part of this process in supporting the redrafting of the statement of intent and providing feedback on such. It is important that Council utilises this opportunity.

Factors to Consider

Legal and Statutory Requirements

42      There is a legislative framework that Great South is operating within as detailed in the Local Government Act 2002.

43      The Local Government Act 2002 s64 (1) specifically refers to statements of intent for council controlled organisations and that they must adopt a statement of intent in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 8. This is a change to the requirements of last year as the legislation saw Section 64 replaced on 22 October 2019, by section 23 of the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2019.

44      Schedule 8 Part 1 specifically refers to the adoption of statements of intent, Part 2 refers to the content of statements of intent: all council controlled organisations, and Part 4 refers to additional content of statements of intent of council controlled organisations that are not trading organisations.

45      The Great South Statement of Intent 2020-2021 will comply with the above.

Community Views

46      No specific community views have been sought in relation to the draft statement of intent development.

Costs and Funding

47      There are no additional unbudgeted costs or funding incurred as a result of the development of the Great South draft Statement of Intent.

Policy Implications

48      There are no identified policy implications for Council.

Analysis

Options Considered

49      Council is provided with two options to consider with regards to this report – option 1 is to support the refocussing and reprioritisation approach required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic situation or option 2 is to progress the development of the statement of intent process with limited reference to COVID-19 and proceed with considering the original draft statement of intent developed as a result of the original letter of expectation.

Analysis of Options

Option 1 – Support the refocussing and reprioritisation approach

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        supports the opportunity to continue to build the relationship with the Great South Board and management and work together in progressing the development of a statement of intent which is acceptable and appropriate for all parties

·        reflects good practice from Council in adapting the process to reflect the COVID-19 situation while at the same time utilising the legislative requirement in providing feedback to the process.

·        ensures Council receives the appropriate information to assist it in gaining the clarification required to provide Council with the assurance it needs as a category A shareholder owner of Great South

·        assists Council in supporting the next steps in the development of the investment agreement as a purchaser of service in an appropriate manner by delegation to the mayor and chief executive

·        ensures clarity and a consistency of message is conveyed to Great South so it can review the feedback and provide appropriate responses

·        allows all parties the opportunity to progress the statement of intent and investment agreement development so it is developed in a timely manner to meet statutory obligations.

·        revised statement of intent will not reflect original letter of expectation.

 

Option 2 – Progress development of statement of intent in accordance with original letter of expectation.

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        statement of intent will reflect original letter of expectation and priorities as approved by Council in December 2019.

 

·        it does not reflect the dramatically changed environment all parties are now having to deal with as a result of COVID-19

·        the priorities and work programmes will not reflect the changing needs of Southland communities required as a result of COVID-19

·        it could be seen as inappropriate for Council to ask Great South to operate by not reflecting the changed environment.

 

Assessment of Significance

50      The Great South Statement of Intent 2020 - 2021 is not considered significant in relation to Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy given that it is a statutory requirement and that the priorities will reflect community needs.

Recommended Option

51      Council is requested to consider the recommended option being Option 1 - to support the refocussing and reprioritisation approach. Council would subsequently enter into an investment agreement with Great South on receipt of the final version of the Great South Statement of Intent 2020-2021.

Next Steps

52      If the recommended option is supported and the associated recommendations are resolved by Council then staff will follow up with Great South directly. On the receipt of the final statement of intent, Council staff will proceed with developing the investment agreement with Great South and have the deputy mayor and chief executive sign it off.

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.  

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

Great South - 2019/20 six monthly report - to 31 December 2019

Record No:             R/20/3/6321

Author:                      Rex Capil, Group Manager Community and Futures

Approved by:         Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Purpose

1        To present the Great South 2019/20 six monthly report – to 31 December 2019.

 

Background

2        Great South has provided the attached 2019/20 - six monthly report – to 31 December 2019.

3        The report provides information on the performance measures and delivery of outcomes in relation to the targets identified in the Great South statement of intent 2019-2021, and also provides financial statements.

4        Southland Regional Development Agency Ltd, trading as Great South, is a limited liability company incorporated under the Companies Act 1993. It is also recognised as a council controlled organisation under the Local Government Act 2002.

5        Section 66 of the Local Government Act 2002 details a council controlled organisation is required to provide a half yearly report to its shareholders.

6        This report fulfils the obligations under the Local Government Act 2002 section 66. It was received within two months of the end of the first half of the financial year and includes the information required to be included as detailed in the statement of intent.

7        According to section 66(5) it is noted that council must publish the report on an internet site maintained by or on behalf of council within one month of receiving it and must maintain it on the site for at least seven years.

 

Recommendation

That the Council:

a)            Receives the report titled “Great South - 2019/20 six monthly report - to 31 December 2019” dated 17 April 2020.

 

b)           Notes the report fulfils the obligations under section 66 of the Local Government Act 2002.

 

 

Attachments

a             Great South - Six Monthly Report 2019-20    

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

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Council

22 April 2020

 

Management Report

Record No:             R/20/3/8036

Author:                      Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

Approved by:         Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

 

  Decision                                       Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Chief Executive

Covid-19

1.       Covid-19 has quickly escalated into a world-wide pandemic event that will have wide ranging health, economic and social consequences for communities for a number of years to come.

2.       The speed with which the event has unfolded from the original outbreak in China in late December has meant that there has been a need for business and communities to cope with a rapid level of change within very short timeframes. In this regard the tourism industry is an example of a sector that has changed dramatically ‘over-night’ as a result of the restrictions placed on international and national travel.

3.       In response to the outbreak of the pandemic central Government have declared a national state of emergency, under the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act 2002, and an Epidemic Notice, issued under the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006. Collectively, these declarations enable government to make the decisions that need to be made to control the spread of the virus and protect public health.

4.       One of the effects of the decisions that have been made is the reality that the NZ economy will move into a deep economic recession which in turn will have a number of flow on social consequences for communities. Government are and will continue to look at what support can be provided at a national level to support both the response and recovery phases of the event.

5.       From a Council perspective a number of measures have been taken to manage our initial response to the event. Staff have ‘framed’ this initial response around three main work streams being the internal organisational operations, its service delivery functions and community well-being. Within each of the work stream areas there are a number of pieces of work that have been advanced.

6.       From an organisational operations perspective it has been important to put in place new working arrangements for all staff so that they can continue to deliver Council services, albeit while taking appropriate steps to protect their health and working from home, during the national level 4 alert. In implementing the new working arrangements it has also been important that plans are put in place, in conjunction with contractors where relevant, to ensure that Council can continue to deliver essential or critical to life services such as water and wastewater in a wide range of possible outcome scenarios.

7.       While Council has been able to continue with the delivery of critical to life services during the national alert level 4 lockdown there are a range of other services that have not been able to be delivered. These include, for example, routine reserve maintenance and building consent inspection services. Once the non-essential service restrictions are lifted it will take time for staff and contractors to ‘catch-up’ with the backlog of work that has been generated in the interim. Staff will obviously look to address the highest priority works before more routine work, when they are able to recommence the delivery of such services.

8.       From a community support perspective it has been pleasing to see a number of communities ‘pulling together’ to implement locality based support mechanisms for members of their local community. Local communities coming together to put in place local solutions to the challenges they face is a key part of the community led development model that has been a strategic priority for Council in recent years.

9.       As part of the range of local community support initiatives staff would also encourage the community boards to consider using their local community partnership funds to provide financial support for local NGOs or community groups that might be delivering additional services and/or need additional financial support in the current environment. Each board received additional one-off funding from district reserves that could be used to assist with the funding of such grants.

10.     In the current environment it is also expected that there will be a number of ratepayers who may experience problems with paying rates or other Council fees and charges for different services provided. There are a wide range of alternative payment and or rates postponement options that can be put in place under existing policy settings. Hence, ratepayers are encouraged to contact rating or customer staff who are able to discuss a range of options that might work best for each individuals set of circumstances.

11.     As noted the flow-on social, health and economic effects of the pandemic are going to be very significant and last for some time. As a result it will have very significant flow on implications for Council and the work that it needs to do for and with its communities. In turn this will require a reprioritisation of existing work programmes for both the current and 2020/21 financial years. Staff will be looking to report to Council with thinking on how it might progress a review of its current work programmes.

Adverse Weather Event

12.     In early February the Southland region was affected by a significant rainfall event that led to the declaration of a regional civil defence emergency. The event began with a period of high rainfall in Milford Sound on 3 February coinciding with high tides that caused some backflow flooding and inundation in the Milford Village lower car parks and closure of SH94 Milford to Te Anau.

13.     The event subsequently intensified significantly causing widespread damage to SH94, the Hollyford Valley and a number of Department of Conservation tracks. The heavy rainfall also spread into the Southland region upper catchments, particularly affecting the Mataura River. This led to a need to evacuate parts of Gore, Mataura and Wyndham.

14.     The regional civil defence emergency was lifted on Tuesday, 18 February with a transition made to a formal recovery notice period for a month. This process was followed to allow for management of the Milford Road corridor by NZTA and was not renewed at the end of the month.

15.     To ensure that there was an appropriate structure in place to lead the recovery process a regional recovery manager was appointed with support being provided by local recovery managers in both Gore and Southland District.

16.     From a Southland District perspective the focus of the recovery effort will continue for some time with repairs to the District’s roading network of approximately $3 million being completed over the balance of the 2019/20 and into the first part of the 2020/21 financial year.

3 Waters

17.     Central government is reviewing the regulation and supply arrangements for three waters across New Zealand. The regulatory components of this work are well progressed with the decision made in December 2019, to form a new independent water regulator – called Taumata Arowai.

18.     Alongside the proposed regulatory changes, and with the input of local government and the wider water sector, work is underway to consider alternative service delivery models. The development of larger service delivery entities is seen by government and others as a way to respond to the affordability and capability challenges facing the three waters sector.

19.     To provide support for the investigatory work required the government has agreed to provide funding assistance on a case-by-case basis to local authorities that are interested in investigating alternative service delivery arrangements that address current weaknesses in the delivery of three waters services, and align with the wider objectives of the three waters review.

20.     The local authorities across Otago and Southland have been granted government funding support for a joint investigation across the two regions to consider the benefits that might come from a range of different service delivery collaboration models.

21.     The investigation will determine key principles and objectives, document the current state of water services in participating districts, and establish the most pressing issues for Otago and Southland. It will then examine various collaborative models to determine whether they could benefit Otago and Southland communities and the environment.

22.     The models to be considered include the status quo, shared contracts or services, a shared services agreement, an alliance, a “virtual” council-controlled organisation (CCO), a non-asset-owning CCO and an asset-owning CCO. Each option will be considered at the sub-regional and regional level, as well as for both regions together, through an indicative business case using the Better Business Cases methodology.

23.     Leading this investigation should allow Otago and Southland to develop and understand the water service arrangements that best meet local objectives and respond to local circumstances. Conversely, there is a risk that – without action – central government may develop a one-size-fits-all model that does not respond to these specific circumstances, leaving Otago and Southland worse off. 

Productivity Commission Report

24.     The Productivity Commission is an independent government agency which was formed in 2011, and charged with providing ‘independent’ advice on ways to improve productivity in New Zealand with the overall aim of improving community well-being. To date, five out of the 14 inquiries undertaken by the commission have focused on various aspects of local government regulation, planning and funding: Local government funding and financing (2019); Better urban planning (2017); Using land for housing (2015); Towards better local regulation (2013); and Housing affordability (2012).

25.     In mid- February the Productivity Commission released a Local Government Insights report that brings together the learnings and observations that the commission has made from the above five inquiries. A copy of the report is available on the commission’s website (https://www.productivity.govt.nz/assets/Documents/c987e2b6d0/Local_Government-Insights-Report-2020_midres.pdf).

26.     The report provides a useful analysis of the range of challenges facing the local government sector and also addresses options for addressing these as we look to the future.

Climate Change Adaptation Report

27.     In late February the Deep South National Science Challenge released a report titled “Centring Culture in Public Engagement on Climate Change Adaptation: Re-shaping the Future of the NZ Tourism Sector”. A copy of the report is available on their website (https://www.deepsouthchallenge.co.nz/sites/default/files/2020-02/Centring%20Culture%20Compressed%20Report.pdf).

28.     The report looks at the ways in which the tourism industry is looking to adapt to the impacts of climate change and the threat that it creates to the future of the industry. It indicates that the tourism industry is particularly susceptible to climate related severe weather impacts, as is local government infrastructure.

29.     The risks identified in relation to local government infrastructure builds on previous work completed by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) in 2019 which found that $14 billion in local government infrastructure was at risk from sea level rise, exacerbated by climate change, and emphasises the importance of climate change adaptation work.

Rating of Maori Land

30.     In mid-March the government introduced a Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill through which it is proposing a number of amendments to the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 to promote the development of Māori freehold land and to modernise the rating legislation relating to Māori freehold land. Much of the current Maori land rating legislation stems from the 1920s. Provisions in the bill link with proposed changes to the Te Turi Whenua Act 1993, which imposes a number of restrictions on the effective utilisation and development of Maori land.

31.     The bill, which has been referred to the Māori Affairs select committee, provides:

·       local authorities with the power to write off rates arrears on any land where they cannot be recovered or, in the case of Māori land, a person has effectively inherited rates arrears from a deceased owner

·       for Māori land rating units that are entirely unused and Māori land protected by Ngā Whenua Rāhui kawenata, which are put in place under the Reserves Act 1977 or Conservation Act 1987, to be non-rateable

·       a statutory remission process to promote rates remissions for Māori freehold land under development

·       allowance for multiple rating units of Māori freehold land to be treated as one for the purposes of calculating rates if they are used as one economic unit. This will have the effect of reducing uniform charges and lower the overall rates charged, which is not dissimilar to the current contiguous rating provisions applied to general land

·       for multiple homes on a rating unit of Māori freehold land to have separate rates accounts if the owner requests, which will enable owners to access the rates rebate scheme.

Land Transport Government Policy Statement

32.     The Government released its draft Government Policy Statement on land transport 2021/22 – 2030/31 (the draft GPS 2021) for public feedback in mid-March with submissions closing on
27 April. The draft GPS and supporting information are now available online at the Ministry of Transport website
(www.transport.govt.nz/gps).

33.     The GPS helps to guide investment in land transport by providing a long term strategic view of the Government’s priorities for investment in the land transport network. The GPS 2021 builds on the strategic direction of GPS 2018.

34.     The GPS 2021 identifies five key outcomes:

·       inclusive access

·       health and safe people

·       environmental sustainability

·       resilience

·       security and economic prosperity.

35.     The four strategic priorities included in the document, which will contribute to achievement of the outcomes relate to safety, better transport options, improving freight connections, and climate change.

36.     The GPS is used to inform development of the National Land Transport Programme and Regional Land Transport Plan.

Environmental Services

Group Manager’s Update

37.     The environmental services team have been able to continue most functions from home in the lockdown situation. Where the non-essential field work has ceased, we are utilising the team members on other important and pressing matters including general backlogs. It is envisaged that the team will continue to be busy during the lockdown period even if this is extended.

Building

38.     During March 2020, the building team issued 94 building consents.  This is 21% more than was issued in March 2019.

39.     The building solutions team showed strong resilience to the changes brought about by Covid-19, rapidly scanning over 19,000 pages of documentation in the 48 hour notice period advised by Central Government. This hard work has enabled the team to continue delivering an uninterrupted service during the transition into isolation.  During this time, we were lucky to have the inspectors working from home and assisting with consent processing rather than their normal inspection work.

40.     The building team worked with designers who had submitted plans larger than an A3 size (which were unable to be scanned ‘in house’) to immediately re-submit their applications via the recently launched electronic portal named ‘Simpli’.

41.     A positive outcome of the Covid-19 lockdown has seen an 81% increase in the use of the Simpli portal by the building industry, with 52 consent applications received in March 2020 which is up from 22 consent applications in February.  The release of this portal prior to the Covid-19 isolation requirements has been an enormous benefit.

Resource Consents and Policy

42.     The resource consents team has had a slight increase in workload during the Covid-19 lockdown. They are experiencing an increase in requests for completion certificates on subdivisions and resource consent applications are still being lodged and processed.

43.     The team has experienced a reduction in staff resource available with the secondment of the team leader – Marcus Roy into the Emergency Management Southland controller/alternate controller position. To assist this we have moved one of our policy team members to assist with leadership of the team.

44.     Work on the National Planning Standards and other policy projects are still being progressed albeit at a reduced rate due to shifting resource to consents.

Environmental Health

45.     The dog control team is working hard on the software module to allow new dogs to be registered online.  It is almost ready at the time of writing to go live. A soft launch is proposed to allow public testing of the system, before the busy registration renewal run, when many new dogs are registered.  This will mean all dog registration actions can now be done online, e.g. change to dog details, renewing dog registration, new dogs.

46.     The team is working from home during lockdown. While day to day work continues, such as requests for service or licence processing, the team is making the most of the time by attending to backlogged work, and completing unfinished or parked projects that will make the service more effective. Such projects include completing the development of electronic processing systems, recording processes for business continuity, interventions to increase the percentage of dog owners that receive the responsible dog owner discount.

47.     The team is providing a reduced field service, limited to aggression/welfare related incidents generally; and environmental health notifications of a serious nature. However, routine work can continue to an extent remotely, by phone and zoom meetings.


 

Predator Free Rakiura

48.     Predator Free Rakiura has completed work on a video, Councillors can view by opening the link attached. Alongside this work, development of a new website continues.  View Predator Free Rakiura video

49.     During this period of lockdown, engagement with key stakeholders continues where appropriate via Zoom, email or phone.

50.     The development of a business case to set up a project team and feasibility assessment will be the focus once the website is finalised.

Customer Delivery

51.     When alert level 4 was triggered and we moved into a lockdown situation, the customer delivery team moved quickly to provide support and deliver services to our internal and external customers. 

52.     The business solutions team saw the greatest demand from an internal perspective as they supported Council staff to work from home.  At the time of writing, the systems are working and managing demand with all staff in the team deployed to work from home. 

53.     Our libraries team have had a dramatic change as their offices closed first.  Staff are working across the District from home managing usual processes such as processing interments, change of address requests and supporting the library 0800 number. The team are also completing more detailed library work that had been delayed for some time as there was not the time available when prioritising library programming and customer interactions.

54.     Knowledge management are working remotely but with one staff member on site at times to manage the internal mail and scanning requests.  Staff are able to compete LIM requests remotely and engage with the rest of the organisation to ensure we continue to meet the requirements of the Public Records Act 2005.

55.     Customer support have now successfully deployed the contact centre remotely and have extra support from other staff in the organisation.  Staff are also able to manage the requests received online at different times of the day and have seized on the opportunity to update, improve and streamline processes across the spectrum.  While we do see a reduced number of calls at present, customers are grateful for the service and advice at the end of the line.

Community and Futures Group

Group Manager’s Update

56.     Since the effects and impact of COVID-19 have become a reality the Community & Futures group and teams have adapted and developed their respective work programmes that incorporate as much business as usual deliverables, while reflecting some of the immediate needs to understand and respond to the COVID-19 implications. This involves consideration of impacts, analysis and assessment for Council as well as District communities.

57.     All teams are set up and working from home carrying out a mixture of business as usual tasks and tasks related specifically to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Community Leadership Team

58.     At the start of the lockdown period the team identified several operational risks to the activity.  These included issues such as Council losing links and connections with its communities and stakeholders and not being able to maintain effective lines of communication.  The team also saw a potential for risk in some communities not being in a position to support community-led development and community-led projects having to be put on hold by communities.

59.     As a way to mitigate some of these communication issues, community board facebook pages have now been set up for all nine of Council’s boards.  Prior to the outbreak there had only been one or two pages in use.  These pages are growing in popularity and are a great tool for sharing information with our communities. 

60.     The team has been utilising video conferencing technology to hold regular meetings with the staff at Emergency Management Southland and Great South.  We have also been in contact with the Department of Internal Affairs, community funders, and Immigration New Zealand/MBIE.  

61.     New work streams that the team is currently undertaking are in the areas of research around social recovery and the associated changes that will inevitably occur in our communities once the lockdown period is over and the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 are known. 

62.     In terms of our business as usual activities the team is using this time to update the community board plan documents to include updated actions (where these have been agreed by the boards) and carrying out demographic information research using recently released census data from Stats New Zealand.  Council’s communication and engagement team will also use this time to begin the graphic design work on the plans that are nearing completion. The team is also continuing to keep in touch with Council’s community board members. 

63.     The community leadership team is responsible for sending out the four standard community board reports to community boards (and sharing with the wider community through community board facebook pages).  The standard reports are the community leadership report, operational report, Council report and the chairs report (where the chair is still able to provide this).  The purpose of continuing to send out this information is to keep our communities advised of the activities happening in their area. 

64.     Stewart Island Rakiura Future Opportunities Project - some of the outcomes for this project are being reviewed in light of the COVID-19 situation. MBIE have agreed to extend the finish date for the delivery of the plan and we are currently waiting for the documentation to arrive for the extension.

65.     Milford Opportunities - the governance group and the consultants Stantec/Boffa Miskell were able to get into Fiordland the week before the February flooding. This was well timed given the need to review how the project will be delivered in the COVID-19 environment. The face to face meetings that were intended as part of the engagement plan have been affected and the team will be working through the best strategies for providing people and organisations with opportunities to be involved.

66.     Community Partnership Fund - staff continue to work alongside the nine community boards to establish criteria for the distribution of the Community Partnership Fund.  Each board will set their own criteria in line with the Guiding Principles of the fund.  The fund will commence 1 July 2020.  A report will go to Community and Strategy in May which will detail the criteria set by each of the community boards.

67.     Extension of Funding Deadlines - the closing dates for the following funds have been extended to Friday 15 May, with decisions made at the June Community and Strategy meeting.

·       Community Initiatives Fund

·       Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund

·       Creative Communities Scheme

68.     The Ohai Railway Fund, Northern Southland Development Fund and Stewart Island Visitor Levy deadlines have also been extended to Friday May, and the committees will set their meeting dates accordingly to fit the new timeframes.

69.     The Southland District Heritage Fund will be distributed along the usual timeframes (deadline 31 March, decision May) as all museums due to apply for this round submitted their applications before the 31 March deadline.

Governance and Democracy

70.     Staff are ensuring that all governance matters are in line with legislative changes following amendments to the Local Government Act 2002 and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.  This includes meeting quorums, keeping and storing minutes, availability of agendas and reports for the public.

71.     Staff are maintaining regular contact with councillors and community board members through the COVID-19 lockdown, and will continue to assist with chairs reports as required.

Strategy and Policy

72.     A project team has been established with strategy and policy, governance and democracy, business solutions and communication and engagement teams to ensure that Council meetings can be live streamed to meet Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 amendments during COVID-19

73.     Staff have refocused their work priority to undertake COVID-19 specific priority work, including analysis, understanding and impacts of legislative changes from central government as a result of COVID-19, a District wellbeing scan, re-analysis of the significant forecasting assumptions, and the principles that may determine if and/or why reprioritisation of work streams could be considered.

74.     As a result of COVID-19 the opportunity has arisen for Council’s strategy and policy team to undertake some research, analysis and assessment work in the short term.

75.     Staff will look at this from a broader whole of District perspective as well as considering this work with one eye on the corporate performance area of our business – and wearing a Long Term Plan/Annual Plan hat (including assumptions and affordability).

76.     Consideration is being given to key external stakeholders and the direction and policy related information coming from these agencies – i.e. this work will not be completed in a Council centric isolated bubble – it will be cognisant of and inclusive of others – including but not limited to Great South, Southland Chamber of Commerce, MBIE, Tourism Industry Aotearoa, Tourism NZ, Economic Development NZ, Regional Tourism NZ, LGNZ, SOLGM etc.

77.     A reviewed and revised work programme involves COVID-19 Southland District Council wellbeing scan, recovery lessons from recent previous recessions, global/national/regional economic policy implications, economic indicators analysis, employment indicators analysis plus others as things further evolve.

78.     The Annual Plan will continue to be progressed with the intention of being adopted by Council in June 2020. A detailed project plan has been resubmitted.

79.     The Speed Limits Bylaw, due for deliberation in April, will be delayed for at least two months and will be presented to Council at the next face-to-face Council meeting.

Communications and Engagement

80.     The team have been busy updating the website to run COVID-19 messaging and updates.

81.     The scheduled issue of First Edition is unable to be printed and delivered so the team are highlighting individual stories on Facebook and the website.

82.     The team have been utilising good news stories about communities supporting each other, e.g. Te Anau, Ohai-Nightcaps, and running a series called Hometown Heroes on Facebook. There have been good shares on these posts.

COVID-19 SDC Incident Management Team

83.     Council established its Incident Management Team (IMT) and it first met on 24 March, after the announcement by the Prime Minister that New Zealand was going into level 4 impact lockdown as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

84.     The IMT is focussed on the following areas:

·       organisational (internal functions – including governance, finance, IT, information management, people and capability, strategy and policy and political requirements in extraordinary times)

·       operational (external service delivery) – services and assets, customer delivery, environmental services.

·       community wellbeing responsibilities – community leadership, stakeholder relationships, social and economic recovery.

85.     The IMT focuses on matters directly related to the COVID-19 event and Council’s day to day work continues to be the responsibility of the activity managers and relevant group manager. The group manager highlights any issues and potential risks to Council as a result of COVID-19 to the IMT through a daily SitRep.

86.     The IMT meets daily at the moment and has focussed its efforts on ensuring lines of communication – internally and externally – are as clear as possible, essential services (as defined by central government) are delivered alongside business continuity services. This means staff are actively engaged in delivering services for the benefit of the District communities – be it the staff are working remotely.

87.     The IMT also links and aligns with other stakeholders on an as required basis – and has representation on the EMS regional group and with the emergency co-ordination centre.

Services and Assets

Group Manager’s Update

88.     The services and assets group have transitioned well into the Covid-19 lockdown period with all staff now working from home. A number of activities are considered essential services and the necessary staff, contractor and professional services resources have been identified with appropriate protocols established regarding working practices to ensure redundancy and resilience in the provision of these services.

89.     Daily communication and coordination with Council’s internal Incident Management Team is ongoing. Further, lifeline coordination with EMS has also been activated to ensure regional oversight and support is assured.

90.     The wider group continues with slight amendments to business as usual activities. The teams are using this time as an opportunity to get ahead with activity management planning in the lead up to the 2031 LTP. Further, there is also a focus on the identification and development (where possible) of capital works that may be required in the wake of the lockdown period.

Stewart Island Electrical Supply Authority (SIESA)

91.     SIESA is considered an essential service. Staff are working closely with PowerNet to ensure this service maintains resilience through the lockdown period. PowerNet have implemented their business continuity planning protocols over this time which involves the separation of critical island-based staff to ensure continuity of service provision is assured. Further, mainland-based resources have been identified if determined necessary to assist. To date, fuel supply has continued uninterrupted.

Forestry (IFS)

92.     Forestry services are not considered an essential service. As such, the maintenance of Council’s forestry portfolio has been put on hold through the Covid-19 lockdown period. It is not considered that this will have any impact on the portfolio moving forward.

Around the Mountains Cycle Trail

93.     Appropriate signage has been erected at key locations on the trail notifying potential users that the trail is effectively closed. Maintenance activities have ceased. However, monitoring and oversight is still able to be provided through the SouthRoads Roading Alliance where necessary.

Te Anau Manapouri Airport

94.     The Te Anau Manapouri Airport has been closed to larger aircraft and a NOTAM has been issued indicating that the airport will continue to operate as an unmanned aerodrome only over the Covid-19 lockdown period. Emergency Services have been notified and the (usually site based) operations manager will continue to monitor activity from home.

Property

95.     The team are operating at home to an acceptable level of success. Actions like not being able to get onsite to discuss and resolve issues with landowners/lessees etc, as well as document scanning executions are being worked around to achieve outcomes when required.

96.     The team are starting to receive communication regarding requests for commercial rental relief. This could range from reductions, to rest periods, to waiver and we need to look at each one individually. These issues are being considered on a case by case basis having regard to the provisions of the lease agreements that are in place and the particular circumstances surrounding each circumstance.

97.     The team is also receiving communication around the ongoing changing guidelines about interments that should and can happen at cemeteries.

Strategic Water and Waste

98.     Remote working is largely going well for staff despite constraints around printing, scanning etc.

99.     Daily zoom meetings with the WasteNet team are being held to ensure solid waste collections continue as critical service. At present there has been a low number of requests for service although this may increase as the lockdown period continues.

100.   The team are also supporting the team on Stewart Island and ensuring they have sufficient and appropriate resources and PPE to continue their services.

101.   Water and wastewater – have now developed a continuity plan with Downer and have identified a range of critical tasks that have been prioritised over the business as usual type tasks.

102.   SCADA availability and continuity has been identified as the most essential resource to allow staff and Downer to manage and operate our networks and treatment plants.

103.   The team have also started to review and update capital programmes to feed into the LTP/AMPs.

Project Development Team (PDT)

104.   The project delivery team are all well set up and working remotely, current contracted works were suspended and all sites were made safe before the lockdown came into force, PDT are actively talking to contractors and suppliers and planning for the ability to restart when appropriate and future works are being looked at to see what could be brought forward to accelerate work when lockdowns drop.

105.   As of 1 April the only planned works to keep progressing is the replacement of the water main at Lumsden – this is due to recent bursts and critical replacement required, we are working with Downers on how this work can be completed while remaining compliant with the level 4 lockdown.


 

Community Facilities

106.   The community facilities team are working from home except where there is a need to work with contractors in regard to essential service delivery issues.

107.   After some initial glitches with computers and internet access everyone has the ability to function in their home offices. The common thread is however that the team say they are busier due to the increase in email communication than they would be if they were working normally. They do however appreciate that they are able to catch up on all of the things that they wanted to do but were unable to because they were lost in the operations.

108.   The teams focus is writing the activity management plans, reviewing and preparing works programmes, managing existing projects in CAMMS and getting a head start on next year’s capital works programmes.

Strategic Transport

109.   The transport team is largely operating from home with roading contract managers carrying out periodic network inspection and urgent RFS assessments. The alliance maintenance contractors have a skeleton crew doing network inspections and addressing any urgent issues that arise.

110.   The team is making valuable use of the time to focus on areas such as activity management plans, forward works programmes and reviewing key documents including roading policy procedures.

111.   There are several tender documents which are also being finalised to be put out to market, these include resurfacing contract, footpath improvements and renewals to name a few. The challenge with these is to determine an appropriate tendering timeframe when considering the uncertainty with the lockdown period.

Recommendation

That the Council:

a)            Receives the report titled “Management Report” dated 8 April 2020.

 

 

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.  

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

Southland Museum and Art Gallery - Governance Structure Options

Record No:             R/19/12/28900

Author:                      Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

Approved by:         Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

 

  Decision                                       Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Purpose

1        To seek a decision from Council in relation to an Invercargill City Council proposal for it to assume responsibility for the operational management of the Invercargill museum from (Southland Museum and Art Gallery) SMAG and to make Council aware of the need for further work to be progressed to consider what might constitute the most appropriate ownership and governance structure for the Southland Museum and Art Gallery building and collection.

Executive Summary

2        At its meeting on 21 August 2019 Council considered a report addressing issues relating to a proposal to develop a regional heritage strategy and for the Invercargill City Council (ICC) to assume full responsibility for the day to day operational management of the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

3        As a result of its deliberations staff were asked to report back with an outline of the implications and process that would need to be followed if Council were to come to a view that the ownership of the Southland Museum and Art Galley assets and redevelopment of the Southland Museum and Art Galley Museum was to transfer to ICC. This report addresses both this issue and the further work that has been completed since the original report in August.

4        The report proposes that Council endorse the proposal for ICC to assume the governance and management responsibility for the Invercargill museum. It also notes that there is a need for further work to be progressed to resolve the issues relating to ownership of the museum building and the appropriate future role of the SMAG Trust.

 

Recommendation

That the Council:

a)            Receives the report titled “Southland Museum and Art Gallery - Governance Structure Options” dated 17 April 2020.

 

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)           Council endorse the proposal for the day to day management of the Invercargill museum being transferred to the Invercargill City Council and in doing so note that ultimately it is an issue for the Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust and Invercargill City Council to resolve.

 

e)            Notes that there is a question relating to ownership of the Invercargill museum building and whether it belongs to the Invercargill City Council or Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust and recommends to the Trust that it seek to resolve the ownership issue with the Invercargill City Council in a timely way.

 

f)             Notes that work needs to be progressed to address the question of the future ownership of the Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust collection.

 

g)           Notes that there is a need for further work to be progressed to better define the role of the Southland Regional Heritage Committee and the funding of the heritage activity across the Southland region and that this work is best progressed at a regional level.

 

Background

5        At its meeting on 21 August 2019 Council considered a report addressing issues relating to a proposal to develop a regional heritage strategy and for the Invercargill City Council (ICC) to assume full responsibility for the day to day operational management of the Southland Museum and Art Gallery (SMAG).

6        Council was not supportive of the proposal to proceed with the development of a regional heritage strategy, which at that time was seen as a way of resolving a number of the other questions/issues relating to the role of the regional heritage committee and other heritage structures across the region.

7        As a result of its deliberations in August 2019, Council asked that staff report back with an outline of the implications and process that would need to be followed if Council were to come to a view that the ownership of the Southland Museum and Art Galley assets and redevelopment of the Southland Museum and Art Galley Museum was to transfer to ICC. This report addresses both this issue and the further work that has been completed since the original report in August.

History of SMAG

8        The Southland Museum and Art Gallery (SMAG) Trust is, from a legal perspective, established as an independent trust under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957. As such the trustees have a statutory obligation to act in the best interests of the trust, rather than the body that appointed them, and they also carry personal responsibility and liability for the actions of the trust.

9        The SMAG constitution provides for the appointment of trustees by the following organisations:

1        Gore District Council

2        Southland District Council

3        Invercargill City Council

1        Iwi

1        Friends of the Southland Museum

1        Community representative

10      Advice that staff have received indicates that while the SMAG trust deed contemplates that Council will appoint two trustees there is no requirement for it to do so.  This also applies to the other parties identified as having the right to appoint trustees.

11      If Council, or one of the other entities with appointment rights were to make a decision not to appoint a person to a trustee vacancy then the remaining trustees are able to fill that vacancy by way of an ordinary resolution at a meeting of trustees.

12      Some years ago, the SMAG Trust entered into a management contract with the Invercargill City Council which means that the Invercargill City Council (ICC) employ the staff directly involved with the operation of the Southland museum and maintenance/custodianship of SMAG assets. This includes providing administrative and financial support services to the Trust Board. It is this arrangement that ICC are seeking to change.

Ownership of Museum Building

13      It had been thought that the SMAG Trust Board owned the pyramid building, and that ICC owned the land on which the building sits.  Recent research on this point suggests that this may be incorrect and that the building actually belongs to ICC. In this regard the SMAG Trust Board wrote to ICC on 5 August 1960 clarifying “as you Council is the owner of the building and the Board is responsible only for the internal operations of the museum”. 

14      While there is a formal lease arrangement in place between SMAG and ICC the question of ownership of the building is less than clear supporting the desirability of the ownership of the SMAG building needing to be clarified. What is clear from the lease, however, is that should the lease ever expire or be terminated for whatever reason then the buildings and any improvements shall vest in ICC.

15      If it is correct that the pyramid building is owned by ICC there is a strong argument that they should be responsible for progressing any replacement and/or upgrading of the museum building. Obviously, the nature and scale of any redevelopment should logically be done in consultation with the SMAG trust as well as the wider community if SMAG were to continue to operate the museum facility.

16      The issue of determining ownership of the museum building also does not prevent the costs of any redevelopment and operation of the museum in the future being funded from the regional heritage rate should that be considered appropriate. That is seen as being a separate question to be addressed by the regional heritage committee, under the current regional heritage structures.

Ownership / Guardianship of the SMAG collection

17      The SMAG collection has come about through the gifts and funding of the people of the Southland region.  To some degree, support for transfer of the activity of the museum to ICC is coupled with the concept of ownership of the collection being held by a regional trust as it creates a clear separation between the ownership of the collection and day to day operational management. 

18      References to the collection are to those items which the museum owns without restriction.  There are also pieces in the collection that are on loan, or have conditions that apply.

19      If the collection was to continue to be owned by a trust, there are two options:

·       The museum’s collection is owned by a new entity and the SMAG trust would be wound up; or

·       the museum’s collection is owned by SMAG Trust, operating under a modified/repurposed trust deed. In other words the trust deed would be modernised and changed to reflect the role

20      If a new entity is established by one or more of the Southland councils, the consultation requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) will apply because a new council controlled organisation would need to be established. 

21      If the SMAG Trust Deed is modified/repurposed, the consultation requirements of the LGA would not apply.  This is because it is not a change in the mode of service delivery. 

22      The responsibility for initiating and managing a process for altering the SMAG Trust Deed would need to sit with the SMAG trustees who ultimately have a responsibility to act in the best interests of the trust.

Governance Review

23      In June 2018, ICC resolved to commission an independent review of the governance arrangements best suited to the management of the SMAG property and assets.  Gryphon Consulting were engaged by ICC to undertake the review on the following basis:

The desired outcome of the proposed review is a revised governance structure that will deliver for Invercargill and the greater Southland Region an effective and fit-for-purpose ownership and governance model(s) for the:

·    Redeveloped Southland Museum

·    New Arts & Creativity for Invercargill (ACI)

·    Regional Storage and Knowledge Centre (RSKC) facility

24      Gryphon Consulting completed the review in 2019. A copy of their report is attached (Attachment A). The review recommended the disbanding of SMAG, and the creation of a new council controlled organisation. 

25      The report also gave the following strong messages:

·       the need for a regional arts, heritage and culture strategy

·       without the ongoing commitment to adequate funding and resource allocation, the ability of any structure of governance to deliver the desired outcomes will be greatly inhibited

26      The Gryphon report recommended a full analysis of the financial requirements of the entity should be undertaken.  This is not required in terms of a separate entity, but remains a valuable point. No entity (not even an activity core to Council) will be successful if its funding is insufficient.  The Gryphon review specifically reflected earlier advice from
Tim Walker & Associates that higher levels of capital and operational funding would be required to ensure SMAG was able to fulfil its purpose. 

27      The Gryphon report was completed at a time when the SMAG Board had already commissioned a strategic review by Tim Walker & Associates.

ICC Proposal

28      ICC are proposing to make the governance and operation of SMAG a department within council. This proposal would effectively mean that ICC would have total responsibility and oversight for managing the day to day operation of the museum facility and staff. The collection would, however, continue to be owned by either the current SMAG Trust or a new entity that might be formed to assume responsibility for this role. 

29      The ICC operational management proposal would clarify the current ‘blurred’ lines of accountability and create a more typical operational contract arrangement between SMAG and ICC.

30      As a separate but related matter, in essence, this would mean that the museum becomes an ICC facility, rather than a regional facility. ICC has budgeted $9.5 million in its current LTP towards the redevelopment of the SMAG facility. Neither this Council nor Gore District Council have made any funding commitment towards such redevelopment at this time.

31      In principle this has the potential to bring greater clarity to the current unclear governance and operational management arrangements for SMAG. It does not, however, address the issues relating to the role of other heritage structures/entities in Southland, such as the regional heritage committee or other museums/heritage entities that deliver similar services across the region.

32      If ICC were to assume operational responsibility for the Invercargill museum, currently operated by SMAG, then presumably they would lead the redevelopment of the current facility.

Issues

33      There is a need for Council to determine what position it wishes to adopt in relation to the ICC proposal for it to assume governance and management responsibility for the day to day management of the Invercargill museum activity as a core department of council. In effect this would ‘further cement’ what has been happening in the past with the museum staff being ICC employees.

34      Note that the ICC operational management proposal would not affect the underlying ownership of the heritage collection nor the question of who owns the building. These latter two issues are ones that will need to be resolved via a subsequent decision-making process.

Factors to Consider

Legal and Statutory Requirements

35      SMAG is an independent trust established under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957. The effect of the incorporation of SMAG under the act means that it is capable of doing all of the things that a body corporate can do. It does not, however, deem the SMAG board to be a separate legal entity to the trustees and nor does the act explicitly provide for a limitation of trustee liability.

36      As an independent entity the decision about whether to accept the ICC proposal to assume responsibility for the day to day management of the Invercargill museum is one for the SMAG trustees to make as are decisions about where ultimate ownership and responsibility for custodianship of the SMAG collection.

Community Views

37      As referred to above, there is no statutory requirement to consult the public (or consider community views) in relation to any changes that might be made to the purposes and powers of the SMAG Trust or the decision that the trust will need to make about acceptance or otherwise of the proposal for ICC to assume operational responsibility for the museum. These are decisions that need to be made by the SMAG trustees doing what they consider to be in the best interests of the trust itself.

38      Council is, however, able to form a view on these matters and should have regard to the range of views that might exist within its communities, as distinct from the Invercargill community, about what it might consider appropriate for the future management of the SMAG collection.

39      Given that SMAG has traditionally been seen as having a Southland regional element to its role it is reasonable to expect that the Southland District community would expect to see a structure put in place that will lead to an appropriate level of protection and custodianship of the SMAG collection.

Costs and Funding

40      SMAG operations are funded via the regional heritage rate, which is administered by the Southland Regional Heritage Committee, and the Invercargill City Council.

41      ICC have not provided information about any proposed changes in costs that might occur as a result of its proposal to assume operational responsibility for the Invercargill museum from SMAG but it is expected that this part of the proposal would be cost neutral, at least in regard to the level of funding that might be sought from the regional heritage rate.

42      If SMAG (or ICC) were to proceed with the development of a new Invercargill museum building then it can be expected that the funding being sought will increase. Council has not made any allowance for an increased contribution to SMAG, via the regional heritage rate, in the 2018 Long Term Plan.

Policy Implications

43      Council does not have any existing policy on the question of how SMAG operations should be managed.

Analysis

Options Considered

44      The options being considered are for Council to explicitly endorse the ICC operational management proposal (option 1) for it to assume the governance and management responsibility for the operational management of the Invercargill museum, remain neutral (option 2) or do nothing (option 3).

45      Under option 1 Council would endorse the ICC proposal based on the fact that it would create clarity and accountability for the operational management of the museum. Under option 2 Council would simply note that ultimately it is an issue for the SMAG trustees and ICC to determine. Under option 3 Council would not express a view one way of the other and would simply resolve to receive this report.

46      Under all three options it would be appropriate for Council to have the museum building ownership issue resolved so that there is clarity on this matter which is obviously relevant to the issue of who should take responsibility for progressing any proposed redevelopment of the facility.

Analysis of Options

Option 1 – Endorse operational management proposal

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        would provide a clear expression of this Council’s view on operational responsibility

·        creates greater clarity as to where responsibility for operational management of the museum sits and will reduce the inefficiency associated with split accountabilities

·        formalises what in many ways has been happening in practice given that the museum staff have been ICC employees.

·        Council has been provided with limited information about the proposal and its practical implications.

 

Option 2 – Remain neutral

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        acknowledges that ultimately it is a decision for SMAG trustees to make and Council does not need to become involved in that decision

·        would be easier for Council to subsequently form a different view in relation to this matter once the issues relating to the potential development of a new museum and future ownership of the collection become clear.

·        does not reflect the fact that Council makes a significant financial contribution to SMAG operating costs via the regional heritage rate

·        does not reflect that SMAG has some level of regional service delivery.

 

 

Option 3 – Do nothing

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        reflects the view that ultimately the matter is one for the SMAG trustees to determine and that they are able to do this without input from Council.

·        does not reflect the fact that Council makes a significant financial contribution to SMAG operating costs via the regional heritage rate

·        does not reflect that SMAG has some level of regional service delivery.

·        Council is not accepting that it has a level of responsibility for how funding provided via the regional heritage rate is utilised.

 

Assessment of Significance

47      This matter is not considered significant in terms of section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002. This report is predominantly providing Council with an update on proposed changes to the governance and operation of the SMAG Trust and Invercargill museum.

Recommended Option

48      It is recommended that Council adopt option 1 and endorse the ICC proposal to assume governance and management responsibility for the Invercargill museum.

Next Steps

49      Staff will communicate the Council decision to ICC and continue to monitor developments in relation to the future of the SMAG trust and clarification of who owns the building.

 

Attachments

a             Gryphon Report - SMAG Governance Options    

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

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Council

22 April 2020

 

Southland Museum and Art Gallery - Interim Annual Report

Record No:             R/20/3/5868

Author:                      Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

Approved by:         Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

 

Purpose

1        To present the Southland Museum and Art Gallery (SMAG) Interim Annual Report to 31 December 2019.

Background

2        The Invercargill City Council has supplied the attached Interim Annual Report relating to the operations of the Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust Board Inc (SMAG) for the six months ended 31 December 2019.

3        The report outlines levels of performance and delivery of outcomes in relation to the outputs and targets identified in the Statement of Intent, and also provides information on financial performance.

4        The Trust is incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957.

5        Council appoints two representatives to the Trust in terms of the Trust Deed, these being Mayor Gary Tong and Councillor Christine Menzies.

6        Under section 66 of the Local Government Act 2002 a council controlled organisation is required to provider a half yearly report to the relevant local authorities. This Interim Annual Report is provided for Council’s information in accordance with this requirement.

 

Recommendation

That the Council:

a)            Receives the report titled “Southland Museum and Art Gallery - Interim Annual Report” dated 17 April 2020.

 

 

 

 

Attachments

a             Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust Board Inc - Interim Annual Report for the six months ended 31 December 2019    

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

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Council

22 April 2020

 

Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust Board Inc. - Draft Statement of Intent to Year Ending 30 June 2021

Record No:             R/20/3/5878

Author:                      Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

Approved by:         Steve Ruru, Chief Executive

 

  Decision                                       Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

 

Purpose

1        The purpose of this report is to present the Southland Museum and Art Gallery (SMAG) Trust Board’s Draft Statement of Intent to the year ending 30 June 2021.

Executive Summary

2        The Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust (SMAG) draft statement of intent for the 2020/21 financial year has been prepared and is being circulated to the stakeholder councils for feedback prior to it being finalised by the trustees.

3        A copy of the draft statement of intent is attached as Appendix A.

4        “The purpose of the statement of intent is to:

·     state publicly the activities and intentions of this Council Controlled Organisation for the year and the objectives to which those activities will contribute

·     provide an opportunity for shareholders to influence the direction of the organisation

·     provide a basis for the accountability of the Board to their stakeholders for the performance of the organisation”.

5        The draft document has a very strong Invercargill focus with only passing reference made to the wider region.

6        It is proposed that Council provide feedback noting that the trust should include a set of financial statements in their statement of intent and also seek to clarify ownership of the museum building given recent indications that it is owned by the Invercargill City Council. 

7        Mayor Gary Tong and Councillor Christine Menzies are the Southland District Council representatives on the SMAG Trust Board.

 

Recommendation

That the Council:

a)        Receives the report titled “Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust Board Inc. - Draft Statement of Intent to Year Ending 30 June 2021” dated 17 April 2020.

 

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)        Provides comment to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust recommending that the trustees should:

·     clarify ownership of the museum building with the Invercargill City Council

·     include a set of forecast financial statements in the statement of intent for the next three financial years as required under the Local Government Act 2002.

 

e)            Provides comment on any other matters relating to the draft statement of intent that it considers appropriate.

 

Background

8        Each year the SMAG Trust Board prepare a statement of intent which covers the proposed activities and strategic objectives.

9        As Councillors will be aware the museum building was closed to the public in April 2018 as the building is potentially earthquake prone and requires extensive redevelopment, it also has insufficient storage and exhibition space.

10      Currently the governance structure is under review and so this document has been prepared with the assumption of business as usual. Any revisions required after the review will need to be made before the final version which will be completed in June 2020.

11      Sections 1.3 and 1.4 of the statement of intent outline the strategic objectives and principal activities. These are focussed on the delivery of a temporary facility in Invercargill. This will be carried out in collaboration with the Invercargill Public Art Gallery and has been assisted by additional funding of $200,000 from the Invercargill City Council. Section 2.4 outlines how SMAG activities align with the Invercargill City Council community outcomes.

12      The statement of intent as currently drafted has a very strong focus on Invercargill City with, at best, passing reference to how SMAG might contribute to the wider Southland region.

13      It also records that the Trust owns the museum building. This position is inconsistent with more recent information which suggests that the building is owned by the Invercargill City Council.

14      The statement of intent currently does not include any forecast financial statements, which is the normal expectation for such documents and is particularly important given the range of challenges facing the Trust.

Issues

15      There is a need for Council to provide comment on the draft statement of intent provided by the SMAG trustees so that these can be considered in the finalisation of such.

Factors to Consider

Legal and Statutory Requirements

16      The Local Government Act 2002 s64 (1) specifically refers to statements of intent for council controlled organisations. In particular, it requires that they must adopt a statement of intent in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 8.

17      Schedule 8 Part 1 specifically refers to the adoption of statements of intent, Part 2 refers to the content of statements of intent of council controlled organisations, and Part 4 refers to additional content of statements of intent of council controlled organisations that are not trading organisations. This includes a requirement to include financial forecasts for a three year period.

Community Views

18      No specific community views have been sought in considering the comments that Council might provide on the draft statement of intent.

Costs and Funding

19      The funds provided to SMAG are sourced from the regional heritage rate.

Policy Implications

20      There are no identified policy implications for Council.

Analysis

Options Considered

21      Council is provided with two options to consider with regards to this report. These are to provide comment (option 1) on the draft statement of intent or do nothing (option 2).


 

Analysis of Options

Option 1 – Provide comment

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        reflects good practice in that Council is utilising the legislative requirement in providing feedback to the process

·        will allow the trustees to consider whether they should modify the draft statement of intent to reflect the feedback provided by Council.

·        none identified.

 

Option 2 – Do nothing

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        trustees will go on and finalise

·        the trust will not have the advantage of receiving feedback from Council.

 

Assessment of Significance

22      Council is simply being asked to provide comment on the draft SMAG Statement of Intent as required under the Local Government Act 2002. As such it is meeting a statutory requirement and the matter is not considered significant.

Recommended Option

23      It is recommended that Council adopt option 1 and provide comment back to SMAG on their draft Statement of Intent.

Next Steps

24      Staff will forward the comments endorsed by Council.

 

Attachments

a             Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust Board Inc - Draft Statement of Intent to Year Ending 30 June 2021    

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

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Council

22 April 2020

 

Electoral Officer Report on the 2019 Triennial Elections

Record No:             R/20/2/4158

Author:                      Alyson Hamilton, Committee Advisor

Approved by:         Rex Capil, Group Manager Community and Futures

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Background

1        Attached is a report from the electoral officer into the conduct of the 2019 Triennial Elections.

Summary

2        The electoral officer appointed by Southland District Council, Dale Ofsoske of Election Services, has submitted a report that details the various electoral processes undertaken, together with election statistics for the information of Council.

3        The contract between Southland District Council (SDC) and Independent Election Services Limited (IESL) was based on the number of electors being 21,000. The final number of electors whose names appeared on the final Electoral Roll was 19,944 electors, up marginally from 19,865 electors at the 2016 election.

4        The overall election cost has risen from the contract which specified a cost for services budgeted at $135,170 (plus GST) to an actual of $138,980 (plus GST) due to an increase of costs of various election components ie Electoral Officer costs, vote processing, candidate handbooks, public notices and insurance, an additional $3,810.00 (plus GST).

5        Council is able to recover in the order of $55,314 (plus GST) 40% of the total $138,980 (plus GST) from Environment Southland, Southern District Health Board and the Mataura Licensing Trust leaving a net cost to SDC of $83,666 (plus GST).   To facilitate an equitable cost share amongst these authorities, Memorandums of Understanding were exchanged and approved by the SOLGM Electoral Subcommittee.

 

Recommendation

That Council:

a)            Receives the report titled “Electoral Officer Report on the 2019 Triennial Elections” dated 17 April 2020.

 

 

Attachments

a             2019 Triennial Elections - Eectoral Officer Report    

 


Council

22 April 2020

 

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