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Council meeting highlights

12 December 2012

Highlights from today's Council meeting

Council Meeting Agenda

For the full December Council agenda take a look here

For the confirmed minutes of the November Council meeting take a look here


Community Board Plans

The Council has now received and adopted all the Community Board Plans. This is a partnership approach to the
governance of the District, known as Community Governance framework.

The Community Board Plans are a key tool to help Council do this. It sets out our priorities for the year in your area, and we will work closely with the Council to ensure your needs are represented.

To read all the Community Board Plans take a look here


Positive Ageing Strategy

Our Positive Ageing Strategyhas now been reviewed and updated to show what our Council is currently doing to support positive ageing in the Thames-Coromandel, and also provide an action plan for a clear course of action going forward.

November 2011 the Council adopted its Positive Ageing Strategy with the goals of providing for a district where older people are:

  • supported to age positively
  • encouraged to participate
  • valued and acknowledged for their contribution to society.

The Positive Ageing Strategy set out four objective area('strategies') that the Council would focus its efforts on promoting. These are:

  • Ageing in place: building a district where older people are able to live positively
  • Inclusive approaches: empowering the community and supporting partnerships that promote positive ageing
  • Recreation and leisure opportunities: participation of older people in a range of recreation and leisure opportunities
  • Community participation: promoting older people's participation in the community.
  • Notes the implementation of new actions (i.e. not already undertaken) that cannot be absorbed within existing resourcing and work programmes would be subject to budget and prioritisation decisions as part of annual plan and ten year plan processes, the first opportunity being the 2013/2014 Annual Plan.


Cemeteries and Public Conveniences Funding Structure Review

With Community Boards now having more governance over certain activities, Council staff was seeking a determination from Council on whether it wanted the governance and  funding of cemeteries and public conveniences be delegated to each individual Community Board, for their individual geographic areas.

Council decided that these activities should be governed at an individual Board level while funding will remain with the district for the next two years.

A new structure for funding for cemeteries and public conveniences will be implemented in the 2015/2025 Ten Year Plan Process.

Chief Executive David Hammond suggested he would like Council staff do some policy work to investigate whether there could be user charges for some public conveniences. These would be in areas on the Coromandel  with a high number of  international visitors.

Mayor Glenn Leach agreed that with the development of the Great Coromandel Walks and Hauraki Rail Trail there could be opportunities to fund and charge for public conveniences that helped support economic development within our region.


Unitary Authority

An  investigation into the  viability, costs and benefits of a unitary authority structure (the regional council and district council functions in one organisation) has been given the go ahead by Council.

For some time now, there has been much discussion within the district and the region on options for local government reform. At its meeting on 7 November 2012, a petition signed by a thousand Thames-Coromandel residents was presented asking the Council to "take all actions required to reformulate TCDC as a unitary authority".

A press release was then issued making the Thames-Coromandel District Council position on region-wide amalgamation clear

Parliament is also currently reforming the law which is prompting groups and communities to actively engage in reorganisation processes. The Local Government Amendment Bill has had its second reading and it is anticipated that legislation will be passed before Christmas.

Councillor Wyn Hoadley spoke about her strong support for a unitary authority having gone through two restructures on Auckland's North Shore and then the Auckland Super City.

Find out more about our approach.


Iwi engagement in District Plan Review

 

Council has agreed to authorise $20,000 for 8 iwi authorities to assist with written comments on the Draft District Plan.

The 8 iwi authorities are Ngati Maru, Ngati Whanaunga, Ngati Paoa, Te Patukirikiri, Ngati Hei, Ngati Porou Ki Hauraki, Ngati Pukenga ki Waiau Inc and Ngati Tamatera.

On 21 November 2012 the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and senior staff met with representatives of the 8 iwi authorities on the Coromandel Peninsula recognised by the Crown in Treaty of
Waitangi negotiations. 

Clause 3(1)(d) of the Resource Management Act 1991 requires the Council to consult "The tanagata whenua of the area who may be so affected, through iwi authorities ..." whilst preparing a proposed district plan.

Deputy Mayor Peter French said there would need to be accountability of the reports from each iwi to ensure they were up to a standard that will assist Council and not "tokenism". He said assisting iwi to help provide report specific to issues that affect them in the Draft District Plan would be a good positive step to engage iwi at a minimum cost.

Chief Executive David Hammond said iwi are recognised in the RMA and the legislation in the District Plan is different to the Ten Year Plan and Annual Plan so this would not open the floodgates to further financial assistance to iwi in other consultation processes.

Mayor Leach asked the Council to remember that the Hauraki Collective will be one of the biggest landowners on the Coromandel once its Treaty Settlement is reached in the not too distant future. "It is important for Council to develop positive relationships with tangata whenua through iwi authorities".

Councillor Wyn Hoadley abstained from voting. Councillors Brljevich and Connors voted against.

Find out more about the District Plan Review project 


Rates Revaluation

The general revaluation of the district, for the purposes of rating valuations, is carried out every three years. The last general revaluation was completed in 2009.

Quotable Value Ltd (QV) gave a presentation on the latest valuation for the Thames-Coromandel District completed in November.

The process used by QV for calculating the new values is called mas-appraisal. Through this process, QV has considered all relevant property sales that have occurred in the district
since the last revaluation. Particular attention has been paid to sales between January and July 2012 with the majority of these properties being inspected.

QV told Council there may be cases where it may not have not got it right and appeals can be lodged until 18 January 2013.

The District overall is worth $14.3billion, which is  a 3.4% decrease from the last assessment. The average house price is $472,000. The average CV for commercial is $878,195 while the average CV for the industrial sector is $689,258

An initial revaluation audit file was forwarded to the Office of the Valuer-General on 26 October. Again, appeals can be lodged until 18 January 2013.

To find out more about the rates revaluation take a look here.


Coromandel Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

An upgrade of the Coromandel Wastewater Treatment Plant has been approved.

This will be done using Floating Treatment Media Technology owned by Water Clean Technologies.

The Coromandel WWTP is located on the eastern side of Hauraki Road and has been located at 520 Hauraki Road, for approximately 30 years. To ensure it complies with Waikato Regional Council consent it now needs an upgrade from 1 July 2013.

Wastewater treatment is also coming under increasing scrutiny and pressure to improve water quality of the receiving water.

Affordability is also a major issue, particularly for smaller schemes and with this in mind Council staff have recommended  Floating Treatment Media.

Floating Treatment Media uses various natural and artificial media to provide a fixed habitat for a diverse bacterial culture which metabolises the contaminants in wastewater.

The upgrade will be done over three years and come out of the Ten Year Plan Budget. The first stage which will Include installation and a 12-month maintenance plan and inlet improvements costing $663,000 will be done during 2012/2013.

Flood protection works, includes reforming, re-sealing and re-configuring the ponds costing $1,110,012 will be done during 2013/2014.

The final stage for further installation work and upgrades will cost $1,583,383 and be completed during 2014/2015.


Buffalo Beach Wall

Funding of $170,000 has been approved to complete a geotextile wall at the Buffalo Beach Rock Wall Extension project.

This project called the Buffalo Beach Rock Wall Extension was first discussed by the Mercury Bay Community Board during 2008/9 in response to concerns by the community board and members of the Mercury Bay community to the ongoing coastal erosion issues which are exacerbated in this area of the beach front by the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) wall.

This area of the beach has been subject to significant erosion over a number of years. Initially it was envisaged that the NZTA rock wall would be extended but after discussions with Jim Dahm and other parties it was agreed that a geotextile bag wall
was a suitable option to retain this area of beach front from the end of the NZTA wall to north of the toilet block. The length of the geotextile wall was originally proposed at 70m and finally designed as a 90m wall.

The project will be renamed the Whitianga Geotextile Bag Wall project.