Page 1



POINT Talking rubbish Council or private collection? p20

BRIBERY & CORRUPTION Recent cases highlight concerns p28




More funding & new plan boost lighting options p30

Four T2 leaders talk careers p36

How community events are helping build social capital p46

WOOD ENERGY FUELLING THE SOUTH Over the last three years 7 new biomass boilers have been successfully installed in Southland, with a further 5 committed to be installed in 2017. The combined environmental impact of these is a 6,830 tonnes per annum reduction in carbon emissions, equivalent to emissions from 2,530 cars. Another 7 new and converted biomass systems are in the pipeline that will remove a further 19,400 tCO2 per annum, equivalent to emissions from 7,190 cars.

A drive to improve the air in Southland has seen businesses and councils switch from coal to renewable fuel sources and is delivering health, financial and environmental benefits to the community. Venture Southland, the economic development agency for Invercargill City, Southland District and Gore District councils, partnered with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to deliver the Wood Energy South Project. Its purpose is to lower energy-related carbon emissions in Southland, improve air quality and demonstrate the cost and life cycle benefits of wood-chip and wood-pellet fuelled boilers utilising local waste wood. A sustainable regional market Wood Energy South’s goal has been to establish a regional cluster of wood energy users in commercial and industrial applications to reduce emissions, to utilise an abundant waste wood resource and to promote an efficient renewable energy source. Southland harvests one million tonnes of logs annually, and in the process produces 200,000 tonnes of wood waste. This is forecasted to increase to 600,000 tonnes per annum over the next 30 years, enough to heat 65 Olympic sized swimming pools per year. This successful project has demonstrated: • Organisations using wood energy can save 40 – 60% fuel costs compared to LPG, while benefitting from reduced emissions and improved air quality • Sustainable regional markets are possible. Southland businesses considering switching from fossil to wood fuels can be confident that there is security of supply through to 2050

“One of the advantages of using wood chips for boilers was that it used wood that would otherwise be waste. If wood boilers can be widely adopted in Southland, despite the large amounts of coal available, it means it could work anywhere in New Zealand.” - EECA project director Bill Brander. Collaboration for innovation Industry leaders from the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand (BANZ), boiler suppliers, wood fuel suppliers, forestry owners, and heat plant consultants have come together with customers to achieve economic and environmental outcomes in the South. “One of the most valuable components of this project has been the partnership between Venture Southland and EECA,” - Venture Southland Project Coordinator Cathy Jordan. “This combined with the knowledge sharing and support of the Bioenergy Association and industry is an incredibly progressive and positive approach. This provides a great model as New Zealand works towards meeting its Paris targets.” Venture Southland is now working with BANZ and other regional councils to share the knowledge gained from this project and to offer support to see the expansion of the Wood Energy South model in other regions. BANZ Executive Officer Brian Cox says “Wood Energy South have not just successfully sold the concept, they’ve proved ongoing fuel supply in the region and highlighted long term financial and environmental gains. We now need to see the same work undertaken all over New Zealand.”

• Forestry owners and sawmills benefit from diversifying their businesses and deriving value from waste.

Splash Palace Facility Maintenance Supervisor, Stephen Cook and Aquatic Services Manager, Peter Thompson

Strong Public Sector leadership from the Local and Regional councils and Ministry of Education in Southland has paid off by delivering financial, environmental and health and safety benefits. Nine Southland schools are benefiting from using local waste wood. Southland School Property Advisor Gavin McKenzie says “We can expect to see two or three Southland schools converting annually as they individually reassess heat options and follow Ministry of Education guidelines.” Benefits include • Lower whole of life costs in fuel, boiler management and supervision • Huge reduction in ash volumes – and what is produced can be used in schools gardens • A clean, safe working environment for staff • Fully automated system. Wood chip levels are monitored by camera and staff are able to monitor and adjust temperatures with a flick of a switch. Splash Palace is one of the council owned facilities that have adopted wood energy. It features an eight-lane 50 metre swimming pool with spa facilities plus

pools for tots and learners. Splash Palace is owned by Invercargill City Council (ICC), which is committed to protecting the local environment and promoting regional development. By 2011, maintenance costs for the pools old lignite coal boilers were becoming prohibitive, prompting the ICC to think about alternatives that were both efficient and not too expensive. Coal was certainly seen as the cheapest fuel, but management was aware that wood chips are becoming the fuel of choice. Better still, wood chips could be sourced locally. “Replacement of the boilers was a logical option for us and changing to wood chip fuel provides sustainability of fuel source and helps support a developing local industry” ICC building asset manager Paul Horner said. Then there is that extra degree of heat that is keeping the pool’s customers happy. That was a result of the new system being so highly efficient. “The warmer pool is possible because we have slightly more capacity and better control over the heat output,” Horner said. “The old boilers were going flat out to keep the temperature up. Now we can do it with ease.” Full Case studies are available on

Clearing the Air Businesses, schools and councils are keenly aware of the health benefits that come from the switch to a clean renewable fuel source. The low greenhouse gas emitting and efficient wood fuelled boilers are attracting a lot of positive attention as they are helping to improve air quality. Particulates produced by burning coal are small and can be breathed in; they’re about 10 micrometres across. That’s about the tenth of the thickness of a single human hair. The smaller the particle the deeper they can embed in the lungs. The number of New Zealanders who die from inhaling particulates

a year is four times the number killed on our roads. Many more New Zealanders develop debilitating respiratory conditions. Environment Southland is reviewing the particulate matter standards in the Invercargill and Gore air sheds. Stage one, covering domestic particulate emissions is completed and stage two, covering industrial emissions is at the scoping stage. “Every step industry takes towards cleaning up the air contributes to the overall health and wellbeing of the community. Businesses who have adopted low particulate emitting technologies, such as Splash Palace and McCallums Dry Cleaners, provide an excellent example for others to follow.” - Environment Southland air quality scientist Owen West


Event for asset managers, policy specialists, consultants and engineers. This symposium will present the results of the Wood Energy South project and provide the opportunity for decision makers and technical specialists to gain knowledge of the sector and opportunities for adopting wood energy.



9:00-10:30am Registrations, Welcome and Project Overview

1:30-3:00pm What can other regions learn from Southland? This session will focus on key learnings and Government national policy on process heat.

SESSION 2 11:00-12:30pm This session will provide an insight into the challenges and opportunities of adopting wood energy. Hear first-hand from a range of businesses and organisations that are involved in the wood energy sector, what it has meant for them or their reasons for considering wood energy in a region where lignite is so cheap.

SESSION 4 3:30-4:30pm Site visits to nearby wood chip user Splash Palace where attendees will get an opportunity to see the system operating and logistics of the fuel delivery.

Register your place at

SPECIFIER PRACTICE COURSE Invercargill, June 2017 Technical course for professionals, including consultants and engineers, delivering wood energy projects. The course will draw on the expertise of industry players and utilised a number of key resources such as the consultant specifier paper and other BANZ Technical guides. The course aims to engage participants via discussion and practical case studies that concentrate on the key components of evaluating biomass energy systems. The course would also be suitable for staff or organisations that are considering wood energy plants. Improve your knowledge and technical training while earning CPD points.

Register your place at




6 Editor’s Letter 8 In Brief 16 Around the Councils 18 Products & Services 19 Events 53 LGNZ

48 Elizabeth Hughes: Local Government 101 50 Sarah Macky: On Legal Issues 51 Peter Silcock: From Civil Contractors New Zealand 52 Lawrence Yule: From LGNZ

20 T IPPING POINT Talking rubbish: Council or private collection? 28 B RIBERY AND CORRUPTION Recent cases highlight concerns 30 S HEDDING NEW LIGHT More funding & new plan boost lighting options 36 B USTING OUT THE MOVES Four T2 leaders talk careers 40 H EALTH & SAFETY Greater Wellington Regional Council’s switch to automated field-based technology 42 P OST-ELECTION TRAUMA How newly-elected mayors and CEs can build common ground 44 WATER NEW ZEALAND SURVEY Nationwide research will help councils better understand customers’ attitudes to water 46 T ECHNICAL BRIEFINGS A tale of two cities: local government, community events and social capital building. By Joany Grima, WelTec 47 TECHNICAL BRIEFINGS Better business case: efficient decision making. By Chris Purchas, Tonkin + Taylor

ON THE COVER. Tipping point: Talking


rubbish: Council or private collection? See page p20.

24 Innovations in solid waste management









PUBLISHER Contrafed Publishing Co. Ltd, Suite 2.1, 93 Dominion Rd, Mount Eden, Auckland 1024 PO Box 112 357, Penrose, Auckland 1642 Phone: 09 636 5715, Fax: 09 636 5716 GENERAL MANAGER Kevin Lawrence DDI: 09 636 5710 Mobile: 021 512 800

Watertight processes Getting people to address in the pages of this magazine the issue of corruption in local government has eaten up a fair amount of my time this month. It’s been like trying to pin down water. Several organisations, or individuals, that we approached for comment wouldn’t address it at all in public. At the other extreme, another person wanted to rail against council corruption (I had no problem with the idea that they would put pen to paper on this). But they then accused me of being pernickety when I insisted on accuracy and explanations. (I have a huge problem with publishing incorrect or unsubstantiated facts on such an important topic). So my thanks to the Office of the Auditor-General for responding to my request for comment and for providing in their article links to further resources and some practical suggestions on how councils can protect themselves against fraudulent or corrupt behaviour. (See their article on page 28 of this issue.) Councils have responsibility for significant projects. When Treasury’s National Infrastructure Unit did its sums last year, it estimated in its Ten-year Capital Intentions Plan 2016 that some $51.1 billion worth of projects could be on councils’ books through to 2025. That included some $20.3 billion worth of transport projects, $19.5 billion worth of water-related projects, and $8.2 billion worth of social projects. So it is more than beholden on councils

to have watertight processes in place. It also makes a huge amount of sense for the local government sector as a whole to front up to any possible perceptions of corruption within its ranks as fully and fast as possible. Councils, of all organisations, know how much perceptions matter. LGNZ’s 2014 survey of public perceptions of local government showed there’s vast room for improvement. A score of 29 out of 100 isn’t good by anyone’s measure. LGNZ is re-running the survey this year. It hopes to use the results to inform work with the second intake of councils taking part in the Local Government Excellence Programme. This programme rates individual councils on a nine-point scale from AAA down to C. That’s a good step towards helping restore public confidence in councils. Another one might simply be to start giving the potential for fraudulent, or corrupt, practices the same priority that we now give to health and safety concerns in the workplace. It was only a year ago that the new workplace health and safety legislation came into force. But there has been a remarkable change in emphasis as a consequence. Shouldn’t we be affording the possibility of fraud and corruption the same priority?

Ruth Le Pla, editor,

EDITOR Ruth Le Pla Mobile: 021 266 3978 SALES CONSULTANT Charles Fairbairn DDI: 09 636 5724 Mobile: 021 411 890 CONTRIBUTORS Godfrey Bridger, Joany Grima, Elizabeth Hughes, Bryan King, Sarah Macky, Patricia Moore, John Pfahlert, Chris Purchas, Andrea Reeves, Peter Silcock, Duncan Wilson, Lawrence Yule ADMINISTRATION/SUBSCRIPTIONS DDI: 09 636 5715 PRODUCTION Design: Jonathan Whittaker Printing: PMP MAXUM CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOME Please contact the editor before sending them in. Articles in Local Government Magazine are copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher. DISCLAIMER Local Government Magazine is an independent publication owned and produced by Contrafed Publishing. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of any of its shareholding organisations.

@nzlgmagazine ISSN 0028-8403

6 l


How do you keep NZ’s busiest CBD open for business while excavating some of its busiest thoroughfares? How do you trench under a major intersection without relocating the mass of services that cross it? Whether it’s on the ground or under it, every step of your urban infrastructure project needs a smart, well defined plan. Beyond creative engineering, your design needs to minimise disruption and keep the city moving. There are services to locate and relocate, vibrations to monitor, businesses to support, traffic to keep moving and people to keep safe. Construction in a constrained urban environment is not for the inexperienced. With Auckland’s City Rail Link Enabling Works at the top of our CV, maintaining your business as usual is our business as usual. Talk to us about your urban infrastructure project. BUILDING CIVIL ELECTRICAL FABRICATION MAINTENANCE MARINE MECHANICAL PIPELINES RAIL TUNNELLING


Loss of innocence? The Serious Fraud Office is looking into a deal variously reported as being worth $7 million to $10 million for a wastewater plant at Franz Josef awarded by Westland District Council to a firm owned by a cake decorator. Council has also put a stop to a second contract to the owner of the same firm – this time for a $450,000 upgrade to water treatment plants at Kumara and Whataroa. According to Newshub reporter Simon Shepherd the Westland District Council says it hasn’t paid out any money and nothing is missing from the books. “However, a new committee has been set up to examine all contracts that have been signed off in the last three years.” The news follows hard on the heels of the sentencing in the Auckland High Court of former Auckland Transport senior manager Murray Noone and Projenz MD Stephen Borlase after they were found guilty of bribery and corruption. They were sentenced in February this year to five years and five years six months in jail respectively. Six other Auckland Transport employees also left the organisation while their roles were being investigated. The Murray Noone / Stephen Borlase case was the country’s single largest incident of bribery to date. The transactions, which added up to over $1 million and included international holidays, expensive lunches and electronics, were spread across seven years. The NZ Herald reported the investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption cost ratepayers $2.5 million for legal and forensic accounting work plus thousands of hours of staff time. Just three years ago Dunedin City Council uncovered fraud totalling more than $1.5 million. It centred on the council receiving no proceeds from the sale of 152 of its fleet vehicles. The incidents dated back more than a decade.

The string of cases is prompting calls for better processes and greater scrutiny of local government employees. Left unaddressed, the growing list of cases will only fuel public concerns about the local government sector as a whole. Larry Mitchell is a long-standing local government finance and policy analyst. He notes that in the recent sentencing of the council roading manager and his private contractor counterpart to long terms of imprisonment for corruption, Justice Fitzgerald observed: “This isn’t shoplifting, this isn’t misappropriation. This is offending that goes to the heart of New Zealand’s public service and its ethic.” Larry adds that New Zealand had long scored highly in international measures of public accountability and transparency, being largely considered free from graft and corruption. “The judge’s observations now firmly puts an end to any notion that we can safely assume that corruption is not present in our council affairs,” he says. Dunedin City Council’s Sue Bidrose was the incoming CE who uncovered the discrepancy involving council’s CitiFleet vehicles. She has for years spoken publicly about the need for front-footing the issue. In an interview with Local Government Magazine back in 2015 she said councils should first look at both cultural and leadership initiatives designed to clarify what is and isn’t okay. Second, she stressed the importance of enshrining checks and balances into council processes. “The cultural stuff includes everything from how officers should handle any gifts they may be offered and (former) perks such as cheap entry to council swimming pools or discounts at art gallery shops,” she said. “And there are much clearer rules, for example, about when someone can or cannot take a council vehicle home.” The checks and balances, she said, “tighten up items such as council’s contracts and interests registers, declarations of interest, and the formal processes around separation of duties and cash handling”.

What’s all the noise about open plan offices? GridAKL, an Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) initiative, has recently found a way to reduce noise in its open plan offices. The innovation hub has installed four Orangebox Air3 accoustic pods of varying sizes to create quiet meeting or collaboration spaces, or focused workspaces. Noise is the number one annoyance for 62 percent of office workers today, according to a recent Berkeley University, California study. However, the solution to improving productivity by 10-15 percent in noisy open plan workspaces is as easy as ABC, according to a leading UK acoustics expert, Colin Rawlings, MIoA (Member of the Institute of Acoustics). Local strategic workplace solutions company, Haworth by Europlan, in conjunction with Orangebox UK, recently brought Colin to New Zealand to deliver seminars on the ABCs (Absorb, Block, Cover) of acoustic treatments for open-plan workspaces. “The average office needs to have a balance of A – absorbing materials

8 l

that are non-sound reflecting, B which is blocking – in most open plan offices that means desk screens between banks of desks, and C which is cover or sound-masking,” says Rawlings. He says the patented acoustic pods are moveable, cost-effective and highly noise-absorbent. They can also cater for sprinklers, air-conditioning and fire safety systems.

Joint project trains future building control officers For Rochelle Andrew and Joshua Borger, their professional network and work alongside Palmerston North City Council’s building experienced building officers at council. scholarship scheme offers them a gateway Rochelle Andrew is a single mum of four. to an exciting industry. They’re students at She is proud to be challenging the gender the Universal College of Learning based in imbalance in the building industry. Palmerston North and the scholarship scheme “The building sector is a very male is a joint initiative between the institute of dominated industry. I’m happy as a woman to technology and the council. be contributing to the workforce and gaining Palmerston North City Council customer that knowledge. The men I work alongside are service general manager Peter Eathorne says incredibly supportive and encouraging. ” the aim for council is to train future building Joshua Borger is also incredibly thankful control officers. for the opportunity. “Encouraging our young people to get into the “Our cadetships really provide us with that industry will help arrest the growing shortage industry knowledge first hand. It is great to of building inspectors nationwide. It’s important learn about your prospective career from the Rochelle Andrew and Joshua Borger. we nurture the young talent in Palmerston North inside. We’re getting a real world experience and the Manawatu District to accommodate our you wouldn’t typically get in a classroom.” future needs.” Rochelle is studying towards an NZ Diploma of Architectural Under the scheme, the student cadets receive 30 hours paid on the job Technology and Joshua is completing the NZ Diploma in Construction training a week while they complete their studies. They’re able to grow (Quantity Surveying).

Council management performance survey Applications to take part in the 2017 Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program survey will open shortly. If you’d like more details of timing please email SOLGM’s sister organisation, Local Government Professionals Australia NSW, runs the programme with PwC, Sydney. New Zealand councils have taken part in the survey for the past two years (30 of them did so last time). SOLGM has emailed snippets from the latest survey results. • All New Zealand councils that participated in the survey have an asset management system. This compares to 74 percent in New South Wales (NSW) and 88 percent in Western Australia (WA). • 20 percent of our councils regularly formally report on the state of their assets compared to only eight percent in NSW and none in WA. • New Zealand councils have a slightly higher percentage of Gen Y

employees (28 percent) compared to WA (26 percent) and NSW (22 percent). • However retaining them was an issue with the median turnover rate for Gen Y staff being 30 percent compared with an overall turnover rate for all staff of 16.9 percent. The overall turnover rate in New Zealand is high compared with NSW (10.9 percent) but similar to WA (16.2 percent). • Women made up 58 percent of the overall New Zealand workforce compared to 49 percent in WA and 40 percent in NSW. • In participating councils on this side of the Tasman, 28 percent of chief executives were women while only six percent of participating WA councils had female CEs. • Our council finance staff are better educated with 59 percent holding at least a bachelor’s degree compared to 37 percent in NSW and 38 percent in WA.

we see through the complex


Dispute resolution Judicial Review Enforcement LGOIMA request advice SEE HOW >

2016 New Zealand Law Awards Finalist Litigation and Dispute Resolution Specialist Law Firm of the Year

• LIM content advice • Regulatory advice under R.M.A, Building Act, Local Government Act

Call : 09 972 9422




IN BRIEF Amalgamation debate shows one size does not fit all Highly-emotive talk of amalgamation in the Wellington region has now boiled down to a draft proposal from the Local Government Commission to change the structure of councils in the Wairarapa. If the suggestion gets the go-ahead, a new council – to be called the Wairarapa District Council – will replace the existing three district councils: South Wairarapa District Council, Carterton District Council and Masterton District Council. There’s still quite a way to go before then but so far the three incumbent mayors (Viv Napier, John Booth and Lyn Patterson) are signalling they are in favour of the move – even though there will only be room for one mayor under the reorganisation. Under the proposed new set-up, there would be a mayor, 12 councillors and 21 elected community board members. The mayor would be elected by voters across the Wairarapa district and councillors would be elected by voters in seven wards, including two rural wards.

At the community board level, members would represent five boards: Featherston, Martinborough, Greytown, Carterton and Masterton. The Local Government Commission has made it clear that, at least in its first term, the new council would be required to have a Rural Standing Committee and a Maori Standing Committee. This aims to promote council representation for rural communities, and marae, hapu and iwi respectively. The Commission is calling for submissions on the draft proposal. Its staff will be available at public information stands in the Wairarapa over the first two weekends in April. Commission chair Sir Wira Gardiner says all submissions would be considered and there would be an opportunity for submitters to present their views in person at public hearings in late May. Any decision to move to a final proposal would be made once the Commission had

heard and considered submissions on the draft proposal. According to the Commission, the new Wairarapa District Council would be a territorial authority. The Wairarapa would remain part of the Wellington region with the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) continuing its current roles and responsibilities. There would be a new Wairarapa Committee of the GWRC to strengthen Wairarapa input into regional council issues affecting the district. For at least five years, the new council would be required to maintain area offices in Martinborough, Carterton and Masterton. Staff would continue to be located in the area offices to ensure people can access council services across the district. The principal public office, an address for service, for the new council would be Masterton. Submissions close on May 3. Copies of the draft proposal are available at The Commission’s timeline shows that it would be early 2018, at the soonest, before


ASBESTOS CONTAMINATION TESTING At Hill Laboratories, we have developed asbestos contamination testing that is fast, effective and accurate. We offer the following asbestos analyses: Asbestos Identification in Bulk Materials, Asbestos Identification in Soils and Asbestos Fibre Counting. Hill Laboratories is 100% New Zealand owned and operated, with laboratories in both the North and South Islands. Put us to the test!


0508 HILL LAB (44 555 22)

10 l

Recognition for Hynds founders a transition body could be formed to steer the new combined council. And that is contingent on no poll being called for on any final proposal. The transition body would include representatives of the three current Wairarapa councils. Depending on these earlier events, a new council could be elected any time between October 2018 to October 2019. Meanwhile across the Tasman, the New South Wales government is pushing ahead with planned city council mergers but says it will abandon pending amalgamations in regional areas. All currently-merged councils across the state will retain their status quo. Premier Gladys Berejuklian has said local government reform is an important tool in plans to increase housing supply, improve planning and provide infrastructure to local communities. She says she accepts the idea that “a one size fits all� model does not always apply outside Sydney.

Leonie and John Hynds are among the 2017 laureates to be inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame. This honour recognises their contribution to the economic and social development of New Zealand through manufacturing, engineering and infrastructure. In addition to their contribution to business, John and Leonie have contributed significantly to the community and continue to do so through the Hynds Foundation. John and Leonie established a manufacturing

John and Leonie Hynds.

operation in their backyard in Takanini, Auckland in 1973. The Hynds Group now comprises six business units in New Zealand and Australia employing over 700 people. The group remains family-owned.

Infrastructure demand helps drive job growth A new Infometrics Regional Perspectives report estimates nearly 85,000 new jobs could be created in Auckland in the next four years. Job growth is also tipped to exceed two percent per year in Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and Otago. Population growth in New Zealand is at a 40-year high, and there are plenty of current and projected projects on residential

subdivisions, roading, water and wastewater networks, and other infrastructure. Nationwide employment in heavy and civil engineering could lift by 4450 jobs over the next two years. Auckland will contribute around 1900 of those new jobs, with other significant contributions coming from Hamilton, Rotorua (subject to the Rotorua Eastern Arterial project going ahead), Manawatu-Wanganui, Porirua, Wellington City and Queenstown-Lakes.




IN BRIEF DATES FOR YOUR DIARY APRIL 5 Media Training for Modern Leaders. LGNZ Palmerston North City Council, Palmerston North 11 Media Training for Modern Leaders. LGNZ Matamata-Piako District Council 12 Chief Executives Forum. Langham Hotel, Auckland 12 SOLGM Executive Leaders Masterclass. Langham Hotel, Auckland 12 2017 SOLGM Annual Gala Dinner. Langham Hotel, Auckland 28 SOLGM Community Facilities Event. Sudima Hotel, Christchurch MAY 3 – 5 Water New Zealand’s Stormwater Conference 2017. Pullman Hotel, Auckland 4 2017 NZ CEO Summit. Langham Hotel, Auckland 11 – 12 Professional Administrators Forum. Grand Millennium Auckland, Auckland 17 – 18 Green Pavlova: NZRA’s Parks and Open Spaces Conference + Playspaces. Westpac Stadium, Wellington 22 – 23 ALGIM Autumn Conference: GIS and Information Management Records. James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Wellington JUNE 8 – 9 Workforce Forum. TBA, Wellington 14 – 15 2017 CIO Summit. SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland 20 – 21 Resource Management & Environmental Law Reform Conference. TBA, Wellington 22 – 24 IPWEA NZ 2017 Conference. Dunedin Centre, Dunedin

JULY 17 – 18 Governance Professionals and Committee Advisors Forum. TBA, Auckland 23 – 25 LGNZ Conference and EXCELLENCE Awards. SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland AUGUST 7 Risk 2017. TBA, Auckland 9 – 11 NZRA JAWS (Just Add Water) Conference. Rydges, Christchurch 14 – 15 Community Plan Forum. Amora Hotel, Wellington SEPTEMBER 4 – 5 NZRA’s Outdoors Forum. TBA, Wellington bit/ly/NZRA_OutdoorsForum 17 – 19 ALGIM Spring Conference: Web & Digital and Customer Experience. Dunedin Events Centre, Dunedin 17 – 22 Water New Zealand’s 59th Annual Conference and Expo. Claudelands, Hamilton 28 – 29 2017 SOLGM Annual Summit. TBA, Rotorua OCTOBER 9 – 10 SOLGM’s Funding & Rating Forum. Cliftons Wellington, Majestic Centre, Wellington NOVEMBER 6 – 9 WasteMINZ 29th Annual Conference. Claudelands, Hamilton 8 – 10 NZRA National Conference. New Plymouth 13 – 14 Communication and Engagement Forum. TBA, Queenstown 13 – 15 ALGIM Annual Conference (includes infrastructure technical stream). Rotorua Energy Events Centre

Would you like us to include your event in this calendar? Please email details to

12 l

News from LGNZ LGNZ launches Water 2050 to develop a cohesive water policy: The Water 2050 initiative aims to develop a framework for water that integrates multiple aspects of water management including freshwater quality and quantity, standards, rights and allocation. It will also look at land use, three waters infrastructure, cost and affordability, and funding. The policy will recognise that the allocation of iwi rights and interests in freshwater remains a live issue for the Crown. The first major step in Water 2050 will be a Freshwater Symposium to be held in Wellington at the end of May. Survey shows depth of tourism infrastructure needs: New research involving 47 councils reveals there are over 680 mixed-use infrastructure projects with a value of around $1.38 billion that are in development in one form or another. LGNZ president Lawrence Yule says it is well beyond the resources of local communities to fund these projects, which include the development and ongoing operation of toilets, wastewater systems, car parks, access roads and wifi. He says a new funding mechanism is needed to help councils invest for ongoing tourism growth. GST from international visitors alone rose to $1.5 billion in the year to March 2016, up from $950 million in the 2015 year. Despite the growing need to invest in tourism-related infrastructure, local government does not receive a single dollar of that GST take. Lawrence says co-funding, with contributions from central government, councils and the industry, in a way that allows for maintenance and operational costs, is required. New group to focus on big issues: LGNZ has appointed a new policy advisory group to look at issues relating to the economic, environmental, social, and cultural wellbeing of New Zealand and its communities. These will include policy around water, climate change and housing.

LGNZ reforms its governance and strategy advisory group: The committee now comprises: • Lawrence Yule, president, LGNZ and mayor, Hastings District Council (chair) • Dave Cull, vice president, LGNZ and mayor, Dunedin City Council • Wayne Guppy, mayor, Upper Hutt City Council • Aaron Hawkins, councillor, Dunedin City Council • Bonita Bigham, councillor, South Taranaki District Council • David Ayers, mayor, Waimakariri District Council • David MacLeod, chair, Taranaki Regional Council • Hon David Caygill, councillor, Environment Canterbury • Diane Calvert, councillor, Wellington City Council • Greg Innes, councillor, Whangarei District Council • Kelvin Clout, deputy mayor, Tauranga City Council • Monique Davidson, group manager, Horowhenua District Council • Phil Wilson, governance director, Auckland Council • Pippa Coom, local board chair, Auckland Council • Tania McInnes, deputy mayor, Far North District Council • Steve Chadwick, mayor, Rotorua Lakes District Council. The committee provides advice on the overall strategic direction of LGNZ and best practice approaches to local government governance, performance, funding and procedure. Among other emerging issues this work will entail overseeing the LGNZ election manifesto ahead of this year’s general election, looking ahead to the 2019 local elections and boosting engagement in local government and advancing the Local Government Risk Agency.

> > To read the full releases on these articles go to our website. Search: Press releases




IN BRIEF ON THE MOVE Nedine Thatcher Swann becomes chief executive of Gisborne District Council taking over from outgoing CE Judy Campbell. Nedine has been with the council for eight years as part of the leadership team and as group manager planning and development. She was responsible for strategic planning, planning and performance, community recreation and customer service. Barbara McKerrow resigns as chief executive of New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) to take on the role of chief operating officer at Wellington City Council. She has been NPDC’s CE for the past nine years and has held a range of other management roles there over the past 31 years. Barbara McKerrow NPDC is developing a transitional plan to appoint an acting CE and then recruit a long-term replacement. Barbara, who grew up in New Plymouth, started her career in the libraries, moving through a variety of roles including district librarian, the first Puke Ariki manager, then community services manager and general manager customer services. She is in her third term as president of the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM).

Greg Woodham is appointed as the council’s interim CE. Greg had been sustainability manager of Hohepa Hawke’s Bay for four years until August 2016. Genevieve Cox rejoins Simpson Grierson as a senior associate in the construction team. She has expertise in PPP and infrastructure projects, consultancy services agreements, commercial contracts, and regulatory and governance issues relevant to government agencies. She previously worked for the Genevieve Cox law firm as a project consultant. Genevieve spent over six years at UK construction law firm Masons. In New Zealand, she has also held in-house legal roles at NIWA and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. Former Queenstown Lakes District mayor Vanessa van Uden joins the board of the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union. Chair John Bishop says she proved in her time at Queenstown that fiscal prudence is possible in the local government sector – “even for regions experiencing considerable growth”.

Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes programme’s Adrienne Young-Cooper is appointed chair in lakes management and restoration to New Plymouth District Council’s David Hamilton is leaving his role after 15 Audit and Risk Committee. Adrienne years. The University of Waikato professor is a chartered fellow of the Institute has been instrumental in key projects of Directors. She is currently a including the Ohau Diversion wall, which board member of the NZ Transport resulted in improvements to Lake Rotoiti’s Agency, chair of Housing New Zealand water quality, a lakes predictive modelling Corporation, and a director of HLC programme and alum dosing. (Hobsonville Land Company) and Wairaka Land Company. David’s role was funded by Bay of Plenty Regional Council. He leaves Committee chair Richard Handley says her appointment reflects the to take up a role as deputy director of the Australian Rivers Institute at maturing of risk management in New Zealand and the seriousness that Brisbane’s Griffith University. the council places on it. Pictured: Bay of Plenty Regional Council chair Doug Leeder (left) Pictured: Audit and Risk Committee chair Richard quarter page horizontal 64x180mm with David Hamilton. Handley (left) and Adrienne Young-Cooper. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chief executive Andrew Newman resigns. He had been with the regional council for 10 years – including three as chief executive of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company, the council’s investment arm.

Mike Tottman, a senior civil engineer and international expert in transportation, has been appointed to the newly-created role of team leader – civil and survey at Harrison Grierson’s Christchurch office.

Mike Tottman

Partners: Sarah Macky, Frana Divich, Paul Robertson, Shyrelle Mitchell, Kelly Parker. Consultant: Susan Thodey. Phone: (09) 3030100. Fax: (09) 3677009. Level 13, PwC Tower, 188 Quay Street, Auckland, 1010.

14 l

Level 6 Diploma in Infrastructure Asset Management relaunched New Zealand’s leading qualification for infrastructure asset managers has been extensively reviewed and updated, and will open for enrolment through Industry Training Organisation Connexis shortly. The brand new Level 6 NZ Diploma in Infrastructure Asset Management is an adaptation of the National Diploma in Infrastructure Asset Management. It has been developed in partnership with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) and other industry technical experts. The NZ Diploma is the industry benchmark for professional asset management recognition and is fully aligned to the 5th edition of the International Infrastructure Management Manual (2015). Connexis says that with an increasing focus on value for money and longevity of infrastructure, there is a growing need for local government and other owners of public assets to address the issue of long-term service delivery. The New Zealand Diploma in Infrastructure Asset Management

recognises the skills required to contribute to an asset management plan in a team environment. Content of the new qualification has been updated to ensure it covers the broad range of skills required by asset managers. These include: • Applying the essential components of good asset management practice; • Preparing, implementing and reviewing an infrastructure asset management plan; • Developing an infrastructure risk management plan; • Developing asset lifecycle management; and • Completing an optimisation process to enhance outcomes. The diploma is relevant to a diverse range of public infrastructure assets including roads and bridges, water supply and wastewater systems, solid waste facilities, parks and recreation facilities, and infrastructure buildings. Similarly to the National Diploma before it, the New Zealand Diploma combines theoretical knowledge with practical applied skills, and is achieved entirely on-the-job.


EXTENDED SERVICE COVERAGE A FREE PLATINUM 4 YEAR EXTENDED SERVICE COVERAGE (ESC) IS YOURS WHEN YOU PURCHASE A CAT STANDBY GENERATOR* Now when you purchase a diesel generator set (excluding those models that meet the Tier 4 final emission standards) or a gas generator set (300kW and below) sold into standby applications, you’ll receive a FREE Platinum 4 Year ESC with no deductible. Run the generator up to 500 hours/year? It still qualifies as a standby. You may extend the ESC up to 10 years for an additional charge. Cat units are also eligible for the Platinum Plus Coverage.

*Conditions Apply

Gough Cat Power Systems | 16 Branston Street, Hornby, Christchurch, New Zealand | 0800 CAT POWER |





News from the councils


Auckland mayor Phil Goff joins with the chair of Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust Russell Kemp and the chair of the Rodney Local Board Beth Houlbrooke to sign the first formal relationship agreement between mana whenua iwi or hapu and AUCKLAND COUNCIL since the unification of Tamaki Makaurau in 2010. The rohe of Te Uri o Hau includes Dargaville, Maungaturoto, Mangawhai, Wellsford and the Kaipara Harbour. The relationship agreement follows the Te Uri o Hau Deed of Settlement enacted in 2002. That Treaty of Waitangi settlement redress recognised the importance of Te Uri o Hau establishing protocols with government departments and third parties. Pictured: Auckland mayor Phil Goff, Rodney Local Board chair Beth Houlbrooke, Te Uri o Hau chief executive Deborah Harding and chair Russell Kemp at the signing of the Auckland Council Te Uri o Hau Relationship Agreement at Te Arai Point.

WHANGANUI DISTRICT COUNCIL gears up to sell its GasNet pipeline infrastructure in Papamoa to Australian company First Gas for an, as yet, undisclosed sum. The councils owns GasNet via its trading organisation Whanganui District Council Holding. The sale is still subject to final approval from the Commerce Commission. The council originally bought GasNet to provide gas network infrastructure to new Green Ad.pdf 1 21/03/2017 10:57:04 AM subdivisions in Pavlova Papamoa.

HUTT CITY COUNCIL agrees in principle to pay employees the living wage. Chief executive Tony Stallinger has until the start of July to report back on how this may work in practice. AUCKLAND COUNCIL looks at major cuts to functions including water services, waste, communications and investment attraction. Mayor Phil Goff says there may be some staff cuts although areas such as building consents may need more people. WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL acquires the Forest of Tane in Tawa. The land will be added to Wellington’s Outer Town belt and used for recreation and green space. The Outer Belt provides protected green space and stretches from the south coast to Kapiti Island. CLUTHA DISTRICT COUNCIL gets the green light from the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) for work to strengthen the Hina Hina Bridge, making it suitable for heavy vehicles again. The NZTA has just approved a budget of $1.13 million for the project. NZTA will fund 59 percent of this with council picking up the remainder. Located in the Catlins, the Hina Hina Bridge has deteriorated over a number of years and has had severe weight restrictions in place for safety reasons. Locally, the bridge is considered to be a critical link to Jack’s Bay. Once the strengthening is completed, the bridge will be re-opened to vehicles weighing up to 44 tonnes. Tenders for the work were due to close on March 27.

Timber Design Awards 2017. Judges praise designers Isthmus Group for thinking differently and applying timber for infrastructure projects. The curved wall conceals major pond outlet structures. Isthmus engaged extensively with local iwi for the design based on Maori eelgathering baskets. The Kopupaka Reserve project is a collaboration between AUCKLAND COUNCIL, the Massey Local Board and Isthmus Group. Students from three Northland schools get together in Whangarei to gain hands-on knowledge of controlling pest rats and mice as part of Project Rodent. The project runs under the umbrella of the Enviroschools Programme, which is funded in the area by NORTHLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL. The new rodent training follows similar Northland-led Enviroschools programmes Project Possum and Project Mustelid. This latest project targets the two most common rats in New Zealand (Norway and ship), and the common house mouse. Project Rodent training comes just as council starts public consultation on how pests are managed through council’s Northland Regional Pest and Marine Pathway Management Plan. Pictured: Project Rodent participants Keegan Imms and Blake Weenink (Tauraroa Area School) set rat traps in Whangarei with regional council biosecurity staff member Pete Graham and councillor Paul Dimery.

A timber crib wall in West Auckland’s Kopupaka Reserve wins the Exterior Innovation and Infrastructure Award at the NZ Wood Resene






Full of opportuni�es to network, exchange ideas and learn about what's happening for parks and open spaces recrea�on professionals in New Zealand. The event promotes and encourages best prac�ce by presen�ng and showcasing developments from within and outside the industry. 17-19 May 2017 Westpac Stadium, Wellington



Register now at nzrecrea�


Helping you shape the future of parks and open spaces



16 l



RAVEEN JADURAM: WATERCARE CEO One man’s view of the water industry p30

HOROWHENUA DISTRICT COUNCIL Co-design shaves LIM report delivery times p34


Safety, resilience and value: Beca & Christchurch City Council p41

VOL 54 • MARCH 2017 • $8.95

Smile on the Dial

VOL 54 • FEBRUARY 2017 • $8.95

The year ahead


New skills strategy aims to make councils employers of choice p16





STREET LIGHTING Spotlight on innovation p38






fresh faces of local government

August November

Meet the mayors p14 20/02/17 2:48 PM

KAIKOURA TRANSPORT NETWORK Modelling tool helps quickly identify options after the Kaikoura earthquake p26



Water assets project could save councils millions of dollars p30

Discovery Marine and the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme p40

LG FEB 1702.indd 1



LG March 1703.indd 1

BREAKING NEW GROUND Three ICT projects: the what, why and how p21

Four councils’ groundbreaking collaboration p20



M A RC H 2 0 1 7

12/12/16 6:59 PM

OUT ON A LIM Managing natural hazards p28

RISING SEAS The future of foreshore management p30

LG DEC 1612 V2.indd 1

17/11/16 6:28 PM

water MAY 2015 | ISSUE 189



Volume 14 - No 1| February-March 2017 | $8.95



A balance of value and performance

Hitachi ZW-5 wheel loaders hit NZ

Meeting customer needs

A new Hyundai R145CR-9 excavator shows off its versatility at Atlas Concrete

Quarries old and new contributing to concrete

Working together for women – Fulton Hogan steps up Stretching bottlenecks – Auckland’s southern motorway Slip lessons in Northland – a tricky repair underway Killing us softly with H&S – a veteran’s personal view

Waterproofing road surfaces

Wellington – the resilience question The Water Debate – Malcolm Alexander

Silica mining in focus


Maximising technology use

Latest research into improved pavement maintenance INCORPORATING

Aggregate News

20/02/17 2:34 PM


Cover__Upfront.indd 1

How to handle anti-council aggro p24

20/01/17 2:41 PM

NZLG_Perspectives_1701 v1.indd 1




Q&M __1702.indd 1

Persistence brings rewards Bathurst Resources becomes our coal king

20/01/17 10:46 AM

Water March - April 2017 v3.indd 1

10/03/17 2:03 PM




NZ Local Government Ruth Le Pla Email Phone +64 21 266 3978

NZ Local Government Charles Fairbairn Email Phone +64 9 636 5724 Mob +64 21 411 890

Contractor, Q&M, EnergyNZ and Water Alan Titchall Email Phone +64 9 636 5712

Contractor, Q&M and EnergyNZ Charles Fairbairn Email Phone +64 9 636 5724 Mob +64 21 411 890


New land use change tool An online tool has been launched to help landowners in the Lake Rotorua catchment understand the potential economic gains from converting all or parts of their property to pine or manuka. Toitu Te Waonui, a Maori forestry initiative group comprising Interpine Innovation, Tuia Group and iwi leaders, has developed dNITRO with funding from Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Ministry for the Environment as part of the Low Nitrogen Land Use Fund. The fund assists landowners with reducing nitrogen discharged on to their land and entering Lake Rotorua. The dNITRO Land Use Change Tool is now live at

New anti-corrosion coating remediates aging infrastructure

Lone worker safety app British-owned Restrata group has introduced SecureLocate Protect to the New Zealand market following its overseas launch last year. The product is a mobile app-based solution combining tracking and duress alerting technology with 24/7 monitoring and emergency response from the firm’s incident management centre. Restrata says the solution can help organisations meet their health and safety obligations for staff who may be working alone or in potentially highrisk environments. The solution requires no purchase of additional hardware. Users simply download the app to their own mobile phone.

Ground engineering company Mainmark has introduced ENCAP6, a solution for revitalising, sealing, protecting and structurally reinforcing aging assets. ENCAP6 was recently used to remediate a large concrete culvert under State Highway 58 near Murphy’s Road, Wellington, which had suffered from structural defects and pipe joint displacement due to its age. ENCAP6 is a new, patented microfibre-infused vinyl ester-based polymer coating solution for utility structural repair and rehabilitation. It features chemical and abrasion resistance and provides long-term structural performance. Mainmark says the easy-to-spray solution bonds to concrete and steel surfaces in varying thicknesses to deliver site-specific engineered outcomes. The large concrete culvert under State Highway 58 in Wellington had suffered from structural defects and pipe joint displacement. A natural waterfall located four metres behind the culvert presented a major challenge as thousands of litres of water per minute continuously flowed through the culvert. Mainmark was able to divert the flow of water to enable the application of ENCAP6 to add life to this infrastructure for another 10 years. The project took less than two weeks to complete without the requirement for lane closures and continual traffic management procedures, saving thousands of dollars compared to alternate solutions. According to Mainmark, ENCAP6 features a high degree of hydrolytic stability compared to other polymer solutions, guaranteeing a longer service life when in contact with moisture, water or chemicals. It is suitable for use on bridges, manholes, lift stations, pipes, tanks and drains, and many other infrastructure assets.

Create success by rewarding performance. At Strategic Pay we understand Local Government and your unique issues. Talk to us about:

+ Organisational Structure and Design + Remuneration and Reward + Performance Management Helping Councils succeed through the performance of people 02012 SP LG strip ad-out.indd 1

18 l

Auckland ph 09 303 4045

Wellington ph 04 473 2313

Dunedin ph 03 479 0637 7/07/15 4:52 pm








1. Glenn Snelgrove (Management Challenge chief facilitator) & Darren Williamson (JLT). 2. Teams from Rotorua Lakes Council, Whanganui District Council, Tauranga City Council, Christchurch City Council. Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Whakatane District Council, Taupo District Council & West Coast Regional Council. 3. The team from Western Bay of Plenty District Council. 7


4. Glenn Cooper & Jamie Dale (both from Whakatane District Council) 5. People’s choice award winners day one: Whanganui District Council, Tauranga City Council & Whakatane District Council. 6. Teams from Masterton District Council, Waikato District Council, Wellington City Council, New Plymouth District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council & Hastings District Council. 7. Tara Jamieson & Crispian Franklin (both from Wellington City Council). 8.Dion McCall & Carolyn Bennett-Ouellet (both from Western Bay of Plenty District Council). 9. People’s choice winners day two: Teams from Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Masterton District Council and Hastings District Council & their mentors.








POINT Talking rubbish Council or private collection?

20 l

Many councils have reached a tipping point at which they must take a long hard look at both the economic and environmental costs of how they structure their rubbish collections. Duncan Wilson explains.


n the minds of many, a council’s job is to deal with the three ‘Rs’ – roads, rates and rubbish. Or at least that is how it used to be. Yet, for one of those ‘Rs’ – rubbish – councils’ place as the natural custodian is now under threat. A quick history lesson will help shed some light on what is happening. Up until the mid-1990s the council refuse collectors reliably picked up everyone’s rubbish. Then came the era of contracting out and, with it, a greater awareness of the cost of the rubbish collection for councils. The smart move for a majority of councils was to adopt ‘user pays’ bag services. (The Ministry for the Environment’s Territorial Authority [TA] Infrastructure Survey [2014] indicated that in 2013, 56 percent of TAs had a user pays or part user pays rubbish collection service, although this was down from 63 percent in 2011.) Householders could buy official rubbish bags or stickers, so they only paid when they put their rubbish out. User pays seemed a winner. It removed the cost from rates (or subsidised it), encouraged people to waste less and recycle more, was fair because those who wasted more paid their share, and was generally simple to administer. Then came the wheelie bin. Wheelie bins are convenient, easy to store and move around, keep out dogs and pests, contain the smell and, best of all for householders, you can fit a lot in them. Private operators were quick to see the advantages of wheeled bins and to offer wheeled bin-based collections to households that wanted a higher level of service than the council bag collection. And they caught on. Many householders reason that if they are paying for a service, why not pay a little more and get something better? And so, for the past 15 years or so these private services have been steadily (and increasingly) gaining a bigger and bigger share of the market – particularly in areas where councils offer user pays bag services. The chart “Council rubbish collection

market share by service type” shows the market share by weight of council services based on the type of rubbish collection offered. (Data is supplied by Waste Not Consulting 2016. Data is from 35 councils with available market share data.) The key point here is that for councils which have user pays services, their market share is, on average, less than half. And the averages disguise some situations where market share is as low as 10 percent by weight. It is also worth noting that market share by the number of households using the service is usually higher for bag services, as households with wheeled bins put out more rubbish than those that use bags. What is more, this is not a static situation. Many councils are seeing their market share decline year on year. The chart “Council market share is on the decline” shows market share data from eight councils with user pays bag collections.

SO WHAT? Councils are losing market share? So what? Well, there are a number of issues: The big one is that as these services rely on income from bag sales to pay for themselves (more or less), declining market share means declining income. While some of the costs of collection are variable (like the cost of disposal), fixed costs are quite high – the trucks still need to drive all the same streets even if they are only picking up from less than half of the households. In many areas around the country, the cost of providing a council service is approaching, or has passed, the point where it is no longer viable. Another issue of concern to many councils is that households that have big 240-litre wheeled bins, in particular, throw a lot more away. The data is very clear on this. And there is evidence to suggest that this may be undermining efforts to reduce waste and recycle more. Other issues include that, where there are a large number of private operators in




WASTE MANAGEMENT competition in the market, there can be four or five rubbish trucks going down the street on collection day; adding to noise, pollution and congestion. Finally, and potentially most critically from a strategic perspective – because there is limited control over what private waste collectors do, councils are seeing their ability to influence householders’ behaviour and achieve their waste minimisation and service level objectives eroded. The two obvious choices for councils facing this type of situation are: to walk away and leave it to the private sector, or; to move (back?) to a rates-funded collection. There are many councils in this situation, but two have agreed to share their stories and their very different responses:

2016 Council rubbish collection market share by service type

Council market share of rubbish collection over time (selected councils)

KAPITI COAST DISTRICT COUNCIL Like most councils, Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) started out as the sole rubbish bag collection provider. Service delivery was contracted out. Council did not provide a rates-funded recycling collection. In 2010 the council introduced its Solid Waste Bylaw which licensed rubbish collectors, and required them to provide recycling collection alongside rubbish collections. In 2012 there was strong competition in the rubbish collection market which saw the council’s rubbish bag market share drop. In 2013 council made the decision that it could not compete effectively and exited the rubbish bag collection market. Since that time private companies have been providing all rubbish and recycling collections to households in the district. The cost of recycling is included within the rubbish bag / bin price. In Kapiti, the bag market has continued to decline with households switching to bins. Notably there has been an increase in the number of households using smaller (80-litre or 120-litre) bins. The council reports that there have been no conclusive changes in rubbish or recycling volumes since they exited the market, and that resident satisfaction with kerbside services is high at 92 percent. Continued strong competition in the market has seen residents able to choose

22 l

from a range of service levels at rates that are competitive with many ratesfunded services. It is acknowledged, however, that the market has not yet settled, and it is unclear whether the current pricing and service offerings will continue. Balanced against these, largely positive, outcomes is that council has limited influence over service provision; and that residents still view council as responsible for rubbish and recycling collection, so when service issues do arise, it is often council that residents turn to.

TAURANGA CITY COUNCIL Tauranga City Council (TCC) introduced user pays bag collections in 1994. Following this, private operators started offering competing services.

Council’s market share declined and is now very low. However, council is able to continue to offer the service through a favourable arrangement with one of the operators. In 2000 private full recycling collections started to be offered, replacing the free private paper and cardboard collections. By 2009 all recycling collections were fully comingled (one bin for everything) with material going to a local sorting facility. In 2014 issues emerged with comingled recycling collections and the local sorting facility. There were quite high losses of glass due to breakage and contamination, and a growing risk emerged that the private sector may stop collecting glass altogether. As glass can account for around 40

to 50 percent of the weight of collected recycling, this would mean a big drop in recycling levels. The situation with recycling highlighted the lack of control that TCC has over the services that its residents receive, and prompted it to look more closely at how services are provided. The recent waste assessment report highlighted the difficulty for council to make improvements in the city’s performance under the current arrangements. Council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, adopted in August 2016, proposes looking further at options for funding of rubbish collections and extending provision to include recycling and garden and food waste collections.

WHAT NEXT? The issues faced by Kapiti and Tauranga are being faced to varying degrees by councils up and down the country. It is fair to say that the ‘right’ response will

depend a lot on local circumstances and in particular what the local council’s priorities are. For a start, councils are not necessarily without options: • Licensing of private operators and requiring them to provide certain levels of service, as Kapiti does, is a promising, if still not thoroughly tested, tool. • Moving (back) to a rates-funded model may be a challenge for some councils where there is a particular sensitivity to rates increases, but such services should work out cheaper for households on average, so there is potential for community support if that message is accepted. • Finally, there is a ‘third’ way; which is to consider partnership or hybrid options, such as joint ventures, part user charges, subsidies, franchising, or collection partnerships. However, the key for any council trying to decide what to do next is to initially forget about these options, and

instead think through very carefully what outcomes it wants. Most will want a system that delivers good recycling / recovery rates, is cost effective for ratepayers, council and householders, and makes happy residents. For a collection system to do these things this is actually mostly about how a system is designed, and not really about how it is delivered (ie, whether it is by a council contractor or a private operator). So, do the homework to decide what ideal service levels and outcomes look like in your community. Then, taking account of your unique situation, look at the options for service delivery and figure out which approach is going to have the best chance of making your ideal service levels and outcomes a reality, now and in the future. LG •D  uncan Wilson is director of Eunomia Research & Consulting (NZ).








Manco solar-powered compaction bin in Waihi.

Solid waste management Uncertainty and a risk-averse mentality are holding councils back from adopting new technologies and solutions that could revolutionise the way we manage our trash. So, will big data help pinpoint exact savings and operational efficiencies? Patricia Moore reports.


ith an estimated three million tonnes of waste ending up in New Zealand’s municipal landfills every year, Kiwis are not exactly shining stars when it comes to managing trash. We’re not alone. Regardless of the worldwide necessity to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, we’re living in a throwaway society, constantly exhorted to buy something bigger, brighter and shinier. Consumerism rules and the cracks are starting to show. Wellington’s southern landfill, for example, has just eight years’ capacity remaining. Ratepayers could have to stump

24 l

up $12 million to extend the facility or come up with smarter, more innovative solutions. On a global scale countless technologies and solutions exist within the solid waste sector, explains Paul Evans, WasteMINZ chief executive. “However, it’s fair to say that in New Zealand we have shied away from many, often due to the associated uncertainty and risk. “This is particularly evident in the local government sector, where ever-present public scrutiny can often cause councils to adopt a risk-averse, if-it-aint-broke-don’t-fix-it mentality. With

Tri-Combi low entry vehicle (LEV) which separates glass and compacts waste.

so many variables at play, who can blame them for taking a prudent approach?”

DATA Paul believes the future of innovation in the solid waste sector will be less about new ways to treat or recycle waste, and more about data – timely, accurate and complex data, driven by networks of interconnected technology with embedded sensors. “The Internet of Things and the big data it creates will allow local government to respond far more rapidly to the needs of ratepayers, as well as driving operational efficiencies and ultimately, cost saving.” Technology is allowing the sector to evolve in ways barely considered a decade ago, says Ben Calvert, product manager at Manco Environmental. “Who would have thought a bin in a public park would be solar-powered, have a compaction unit and the ability to communicate with the refuse collector or council on its current volume status? Who would have considered the idea of electric rubbish trucks?” Last year BigBelly bins around the world captured more than 424 million litres of waste and recycling, he says. “The data collected included the volume of waste for each bin, the time it took to empty the bin, and reports on when bins reached capacity – all while reducing carbon emissions

for councils and contractors. The savings are in the millions of dollars and the environmental benefits have exceeded traditional methods of collecting waste.”

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS Anthony Kirk, principal hydrogeologist with GHD, says traditional methods have long been associated with adverse environmental effects and nuisance to the public. “The evolution of management practices to mitigate or minimise these comes at a cost. Innovation in the area of assessment, compliance and management of waste is addressing these rising costs.” It’s happening across the board. Ben Calvert cites developments from hybrid low entry vehicles (LEVs), designed for collecting rubbish in urban areas, which meet the highest ergonomic standards and provide an economic, one person operation, to innovations minimising the amount of waste going to landfills. “These include aerobic food digesters in malls, glasscrushing technologies that allow the product to be recycled in concrete, and composting of food, paper and cardboard.”

DRONES, MORE DRONES The ubiquitous drone is also hovering. Ben Hutchinson, product manager at GHD, says when it comes to using drones as a tool for assessment, the technology is improving at such





Anthony Kirk

Ben Calvert

Ben Hutchinson

Paul Evans

Alice Grace

"Technology will come into play with algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning assisting in the decision-making process." a rate that it’s becoming more economically feasible to use customised drones for specific monitoring and assessment tasks. One current use is detecting and monitoring methane gas leaks in closed landfills. “The drone sensors are able to deduce the methane leak rate then focus in on the leak location.”

COLLABORATION Innovation isn’t all focused on technology. Alice Grace, senior consultant with Morrison Low, notes increased collaboration between the community and medium-to-large waste companies. “These innovative arrangements, often introduced by councils in the first instance, bring together the energy and enthusiasm of the community sector with the management and experience of the waste industry, giving customers the benefit of both worlds.” She envisages more local bodies seeking such partnerships, “particularly as they look to identify options to address district-specific waste issues for their new waste management and minimisation plans”. Anthony says local authorities carrying out waste management activities can expect to undertake a higher level of monitoring and demonstration of appropriate management. “Collection and interpretation of compliance information will require greater understanding of both waste management and environmental processes,” he says. “Whether local authorities invest in ongoing staff training to meet these demands, or outsource work to external parties,

the increased compliance burden is expected to result in increased costs.” And, as the scope of data gathering widens and the amount of data gathered increases there will be challenges in interpreting it in both a quantitative and qualitative sense, says Paul. “Once again I believe technology will come into play with algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning assisting in the decision-making process.” Some councils are already using this technology on a small scale, says Paul, but innovations, such as remote sensors that indicate when a bin is full, thereby optimising collection routes and frequencies, have been relatively expensive. “The payback, in the short term, has been a challenge. However, costs are rapidly decreasing while quality and reliability is increasing so we are close to a tipping point where it makes absolute sense for councils to embrace digitisation of waste. “It’s innovations like this that will allow a shift in business models away from the old low-risk, low-reward options, toward more sustainable long-term solutions.” And it’s sustainability as a whole that’s driving innovation in the industry, says Ben Calvert. “This means a good balance between environmental, economic and social benefits, not just a singular focus on any one sector. It’s therefore important to be realistic when looking at what the industry is trying to achieve from proven data.” LG • Patricia Moore is a freelance writer.

COMING UP In the May issue • Innovations in parks and recreation management • Innovations in stormwater management

>> 26 l For related articles go to our website. Search: Waste

Picton, New Zealand Tourism Impact Community Response Intelligent Public Toilets



As an important tourist gateway to the South Island the Picton and Marlborough region has experienced huge visitor growth in recent years. The Marlborough District Council (MDC) was keen to ensure that its public toilet facilities better matched local community and visitor expectations.

Portable Toilets • Styling is not aligned with the image demanded of a high profile tourist destination • Not adequately wheelchair accessible

Grahame Smail from MDC “Our challenge was to increase

Traditional Concrete Block • Large construction footprint can lengthen commissioning time • Aesthetic design not aligned with low impact, sustainable image

public toilet capacity in Picton given it was going to receive nearly 50 cruise ship visits during the 2016-2017 season. With an estimated 100,000 passengers coming ashore we needed to be prepared”. A key requirement was to provision public toilet facilities quickly and with a high level of flexibility to minimise disruption between cruise ship visits. Timing was important, “Passengers from these mega-vessels did not wish to be inconvenienced by construction works or inadequate public facilities”.

Prefabricated Intelligent Toilet • Prefabrication makes installation easier and faster by reducing the construction footprint on-site • Prefabricated design makes it easy to re-deploy an existing toilet unit to another site

SOLUTION – Exeloo Jupiter Toilet Intelligent plug and play technology speeds installation Contemporary design sympathetic to landscape and location environments 5-year old Jupiter twin unit being relocated alongside a new Jupiter quad unit at London Quay, Picton, New Zealand



Local Council • Relocatable building design means toilets can be re-deployed as the region develops underpinning whole of life asset management principles • Prefabricated design means fast installation in-between weekly cruise ship visits to minimise visitor disruption • Demonstrated leadership in addressing a pressing community issue and a visitor need • AA member survey sited Picton visitor toilets as among the best in New Zealand

2 3

Resident Community • Received attractive, cutting edge public amenities that aligned closely with the local environment • Benefited from improved facilities they could be proud of that better meet their needs

Visitor Community • Gained access to better located, attractive and modern public toilets • Is not inconvenienced which improves their overall visitor experience

SOURCES: The Press – record tourist numbers put pressure on towns – Jan 2016; Statistics New Zealand tsa 15 provisional year tables 1-14 – Mar 2015; Tourism New Zealand Corporate: – Oct 2016; AA Member survey – Jan 2017

Exeloo Ltd | 0800 393-566 | Auckland, New Zealand Sydney, Australia | Melbourne, Australia | San Luis Obispo, California



& corruption

Recent cases highlight concerns In the country’s largest ever bribery case, former Auckland Transport senior manager Murray Noone and Projenz MD Stephen Borlase were recently sentenced in the Auckland High Court to five years and five years six months respectively after being found guilty of bribery and corruption. We asked Assistant Auditor-General Local Government Andrea Reeves why she thought such cases were arising now, whether or not she thinks there is now more corruption in local government or is it that audit processes have improved so that such actions can now be more easily traced and challenged. This is her reply. 28 l


et’s start with the bad news. Fraud is an inevitable part of business life. If you haven’t been directly affected by it yourself, chances are you know someone who has. There have been several high-profile cases lately at both local and central government levels. Data collected by the Office of the Auditor-General for 2015/16 shows a variety of frauds detected in local authorities and council-controlled organisations ( Why does it happen? KPMG’s Mael Kaptein aptly summed it up in six words: “Wrong can sometimes be very attractive.” A 2016 KPMG report on corporate fraud found that 54 percent of frauds they looked at were facilitated by weak internal controls. However, 20 percent were committed regardless of internal controls. Mael’s words came from a presentation with a revealing title: “Why good people sometimes do bad things.” Fraudsters are clearly not “good” in the moral sense; rather, a surprising amount of fraud is committed by senior people in positions of trust.

Andrea Reeves: There is a strong link between a public entity's culture and the incidence of fraud.

Another survey from that KPMG report, based on 750 case studies, identifies people in management positions as being responsible for getting around internal controls in 27 percent of cases. As KPMG explains, “Fraudsters, by virtue of their tenure and seniority at the organisation, understand internal controls and how to circumvent them or find flaws in the internal controls and exploit them.” These are not opportunistic, spur-of-the-moment crimes. The biggest frauds are often well-planned and sophisticated. Where there’s a will, some people will do everything to find a way. The higher up the chain, the more easily they can conceal their dishonesty. Now for some good news: It is possible to catch these criminals. It is not the auditors’ job to find fraud, but we naturally take a deep interest in the issue. In 2012, our Office conducted a survey of almost 2000 people working across the public sector – both in local and central government – to help the

public sector understand more about fraud in their backyards ( The results showed that good internal controls can, and do, detect fraud in many cases, but not all. For the rest – those most sophisticated frauds – the best control you can put in place is an organisational culture where vigilance against fraud is strongly encouraged. Our results showed a strong link between a public entity’s culture and the incidence of fraud. Those that talk openly and regularly about fraud prevention and risks are more likely to keep fraud at bay. Such a culture requires: • setting the right tone at the top; • putting in place appropriate controls, including policies and procedures; • talking openly about fraud and the risk of fraud; •making sure that staff feel safe to report suspected fraud; • making sure that staff know about fraud policies and procedures – regularly telling them that fraud is not tolerated, how they can help prevent it, and how to raise their concerns; • dealing effectively with any incidents of suspected fraud; and • telling staff about incidents of fraud and how they have been dealt with. Many of you are working hard on fostering such an environment. Of course, no matter how far you’ve come, there is always more to do. I have spent many hours over the past year talking about our 2016 reflections report on governance and accountability (bit. ly/OAG_Reflections). If I may give that report one more plug… That report identified eight elements essential to good public sector governance; of those, element 3 (“Lead by setting a constructive tone”), element 7 (“Manage risks effectively”) and element 8 (“Ensure that you have good information, systems, and controls”) are highly relevant here. Risk management is an area where we need to see a lot of improvement. Public entities are usually not bad at identifying risks – but that’s only step one. Once identified, risks must then be analysed, mitigated, monitored, and communicated. As for what internal controls you need, they will vary depending on the size of your organisation, its structure, and the risks you need to manage. Your auditors will have some opinions on this! The auditors provide you with a management report that often outlines areas for improvement. It is important that these recommendations are properly considered. The final step: If your controls and vigilance detect something that makes you suspect fraud, follow up swiftly and thoroughly. Find out if your concerns are valid, and if so, ensure those involved are brought to justice. Our 2012 survey results showed only 39 percent of fraud incidents were reported to law enforcement agencies. All that work to build the right controls and culture will be undone if fraud is swept under the carpet. Bringing fraud into the open sends a message to other potential offenders: Fraud will not be tolerated in any way in your organisation. Bad news for fraudsters; great news for you and your communities. LG





Shedding new light To boldly go Recent news of more funding plus the release of a world-first strategic plan for road lighting provide councils with a huge boost to their lighting plans. Godfrey Bridger & Bryan King report.


wo critical events have recently taken place that will lighten the way for New Zealand. The most recent took place in early March when the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) announced that all qualifying upgrades to light emitting diode (LED) street lighting by councils would receive 85 percent funding by NZTA. This subsidy, which replaces the earlier 50 percent rate, is sensational news and clearly re-establishes the NZTA and Ministry of Transport as leaders in policy recognition of the benefits available from using LED public lighting. This policy is intended to accelerate the conversion of street lighting to LED by New Zealand councils – and is highly likely to achieve that goal. The second pivotal event was the release of a world-first strategic plan for road lighting. Funded by the Australian government, Roadmap: Street Lighting and Smart Controls Programme (the SLSC Roadmap) outlines the plans of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) and is freely available to all. It is a robust quantitative and qualitative analysis of all aspects of road lighting in Australia. Importantly, much of it is also relevant to New Zealand and we are unaware of any other document in the world that treats the subject so comprehensively. The SLSC Roadmap details international research and analysis of road lighting’s effects on public health, energy usage, environment and liveability improvements through smart city infrastructure. The significant benefits and disadvantages of blue-rich white lighting are covered, for example, along with the highly-misquoted American Medical Association (AMA) report. (See box story American Medical Association announcement.)

30 l

All these issues are extremely relevant to New Zealand as is the report’s coverage of new technology and innovation, infrastructure costs and benefits, and most of the information on barriers, stakeholder engagement issues and associated risks.

SAME BUT DIFFERENT New Zealand’s road lighting differs to that of Australia in many ways. A key difference is that only about one percent of New Zealand’s 370,000 road lights are mercury vapour (MV). In contrast, 39 percent of Australia’s 2.4 million road lights use the 50-year-old white-light MV technology that is soon to be replaced by LED. As a result, New Zealand has enjoyed a more efficient lighting system as MV lights need more electrical energy to provide the same amount of light. Unfortunately, New Zealand’s almost 330,000 yellow high-pressure sodium (HPS) road lights (which represent about 90 percent of the total number) deliver visual conditions that mean it takes significantly more time for humans to react to any change. Yellow sodium lighting is more efficient than white mercury vapour lighting, but it takes up to 200 milliseconds longer for humans to react than in white light. At 100 kilometres per hour this is more than an eight-metre difference in vehicle stopping distance. We’ve all seen the TV advertisements that show what a difference that can make. But now with LED so strongly supported by NZTA, we can swap the yellow lights for white, and save more than 50 percent of energy use and more than 50 percent of the maintenance costs at the same time.

American Medical Association announcement In June 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) generated considerable US and international media attention when it published its report Human and Environmental Effects of Light Emitting Diode (LED) Community Lighting. Much of the mainstream media coverage has not been accurate in reporting the AMA’s findings and recommendations. Specifically, the AMA has not made a general finding against LED street lighting. In fact, its position has been the opposite. It says that it “supports the proper conversion to communitybased light emitting diode (LED) lighting, which reduces energy consumption and decreases the use of fossil fuels”. However, the AMA report did provide a warning on the problems of LED street lighting when improperly designed and / or having higher than necessary blue light content. The key AMA recommendation is that it encourages the use of 3000K or lower lighting for outdoor installations such as roadways. “All LED lighting should be properly shielded to minimise glare and detrimental human and environmental effects, and consideration should be given to utilise the ability of LED lighting to be dimmed for off-peak time periods.” A colour temperature of 3000K or lower is generally referred to as ‘warm white’ and contains lower blue light content than light of higher colour temperatures. US Department of Energy: The US Department of Energy (DOE) is a highly credible source of impartial information on LED application and its response statement to the AMA is recommended.

Key responses have been distilled here: • Colour temperature (measured in degrees K) does not accurately provide the measure of blueness attributed to the potentially harmful aspects of lighting (the melanopic content). Light Spectral Power Distribution (SPD) provides the best scientific measure. • Using SPD, almost all street lighting has some blue light content with these potentially harmful lights including yellow HPS lighting. • The potential for harm to humans is highly dependent on the intensity of the light source and the time exposed to the light (often referred to as “dosage”). Neither of these important issues were identified in the AMA report but are of course mitigated by control systems. • The “raw” melanopic content produced by a light source is only one contributor to any ensuing environmental or health impacts actually realised. Focusing exclusively on a single measure ignores the various means of controlling or offsetting the increased melanopic content of white light sources, and particularly those that are enabled by LED technology such as improved photometric distribution or dimming capability. New Zealand and Australian standards: In New Zealand and Australia, luminaire technical specification, SA/SNZ TS 1158.6:2015 Luminaires – Performance (which carries less weight than a Standard), states that 4000K is the preferred colour temperature for road lighting. The decision to suggest 4000K was made in 2014 when this was the warmest readily-available colour temperature available at the time. This situation has now changed significantly with an increasing number of luminaires with 3000K LEDs (or less) becoming available.





Figure 1: Proportion of population dying from road injuries and interpersonal violence in 2012 (WHO).

Figure 2: AS/NZS lighting level standards as a percentage of European standards. (Source: Strategic Lighting Partners from relevant standards AS/NZS and EN).

32 l

Figure 3: Research in 2012 by Michael Jackett and William Firth showed that for each 0.5 Candela/m2 increase in lighting levels, crashes decreased by 19 percent.

FATALITIES Another vital difference between the two countries, according to the United Nation’s World Health Organisation (WHO), is that a larger proportion of New Zealanders die from road accidents than Australians (as shown in figure 1). When placed alongside the fact that between 30 and 50 percent of all such fatalities take place at night, when only about 25 to 30 percent of all travel occurs at night, it is likely that better road lighting could significantly improve our road fatality statistics. Australia and New Zealand share the same lighting design standards that recommend the minimum lighting levels for their roads. As shown in figure 2, these AS/NZS lighting levels are as low as 17 percent (for P4 roads) of the levels required in Europe for similar residential roads, with the most well-lit roads in Australia and New Zealand corresponding to 75 percent of the levels (for V1 and V3 roads) required by the standards in Europe. (Note that the very low light level category “P5” is uniquely Australian and does not apply to our country.) Would increasing the lighting levels in some places reduce night-time fatalities? New Zealand researchers Michael Jackett and William Frith answered this question in 2012 when they looked at 7944 crashes. The results (as shown in figure 3) have been quoted internationally. The two researchers showed that for each 0.5 Candela/m 2 increase in lighting levels, crashes decreased by 19 percent. These results were effectively confirmed in another much larger study in 2015. Lighting at night saves lives.

DAYTIME BENEFITS Night lighting also improves lives during the day. How can that be? In Europe, the answer is called the “humble lamp post” because it has received so little attention in the past. Now it is anything but humble. It is generally publicly-owned real estate that is “up high, powered and everywhere” so it provides the ideal foundation for smart cities and smart rural communities.

Barriers The SLSC Roadmap identifies 20 separate barriers that exist in Australia. This summary picks the “top five” of the ones that apply in New Zealand. 1. K nowledge barriers. The greater complexity of new technologies requires high levels of knowledge to reap substantial community benefits. This was generally not required in the previous traditional road lighting sector. One of IPWEA’s actions to address this is the fully-searchable web portal with curated industry news on 2. Lighting design standards have been left behind by technological progress and there is no guidance for measurement and verification of performance and safety dependent functions over an asset’s lifetime. 3. Lack of historic asset condition and performance monitoring means the status of expensive support assets is uncertain and often very poor. 4. Lack of transparent cost-reflective and service-based electricity network charging for road lighting circuits makes it difficult for councils to benefit from efficiency and innovation. 5. I nvestments needed to deliver required safety outcomes from illumination levels are not objectively or clearly defined.

Road lights can have sensors that detect flash flooding, fires, gun shots, screams, full rubbish bins and, of course, empty parking spots. Some of the sensors attached to these street lights capture important city data that can provide a variety of revenue streams for cash-strapped councils. So it has become important for councils to treat road lighting as much more than just road lighting. These humble road lights are not so humble in another most important way. They help keep people safe so it is crucial that they are maintained and repaired properly and quickly. Modern controlled lights make it easy to monitor and

CCNZ REPRESENTS NEW ZEALAND’S CIVIL and GENERAL CONTRACTING INDUSTRY We provide a forum for Councils to connect with their local contractors around issues such as procurement, health and safety, forward work planning and sustainability.

For contact details for your local CCNZ Branch go to or

Phone 0800 692 376





predict when failures are likely to occur (something LEDs do very rarely) and do not need regular and expensive manual inspections to tell the council to get the asset repaired after vandalism, for example, has taken place. The control system is fully aware and intelligent. Modern road light control systems are also important because they can turn off or dim each light individually. So, at three in the morning, instead of keeping the birds and insects awake, electricity can be saved and discomfort to ecological systems can be minimised. While it’s important that we should avoid damage to the ecological environment by controlling lights, it is the tradeoff nature of controls that is so valuable to society. Blue-rich white light is needed to keep drivers alert and safe. But that same blue-rich white light keeps humans awake when they should be asleep. If placed incorrectly these lights may cause health problems. And they light up the dark sky.

The more control systems are used to vary light levels (up and down) at every single point, the more everyone gets what they need and avoids what could harm them. In New Zealand, about 20,000 road lights (about five percent of the total) are controlled by central management systems (CMS). Most are in Auckland. In Australia, there are virtually none apart from small trials and pilot projects. In contrast, in 2016 the UK – the most advanced country in this respect – had about 36 percent of all its road lights controlled (as shown in figure 4). New Zealand is a far cry from the UK and if there is a large-scale project to replace old lights with new LED ones, it may be prudent to bear the additional first cost – as Auckland Transport has done – and to fit control systems up-front to avoid the need to expensively re-visit the thousands of street lights at another time in the future. The benefits are usually well worth the extra costs.


Figure 4: UK trends in street lighting control (Telensa)

Roadmap: Street Lighting and Smart Controls Programme is available on IPWEA’s street lighting and smart controls website portal

34 l

Taking advantage of the many features and benefits that can be delivered by future street lighting may sound like a no brainer. But, unfortunately, the SLSC Roadmap outlines many significant barriers that impede the uptake of these better solutions. Again, the situation is different in New Zealand to Australia. Almost 90 percent of Australian lights are owned by the Electricity Network companies where the new technology reduces the opportunity to sell more energybased network and maintenance services to client councils. This means it is much easier to upgrade in New Zealand, and now that NZTA is funding 85 percent of the cost of doing so it will make it even easier for New Zealand. However, in both countries there are other significant impediments (see Barriers box) that the SLSC Roadmap suggests will hamper progress unless they are adequately addressed. However, when these barriers are overcome and road lighting is modernised in an appropriate way, councils and their ratepayers will enjoy some of the best win-winwin opportunities available. The SLSC Roadmap lists 13 messages available to Australian council stakeholders of which 10 are relevant to New Zealand. New-technology street lighting provides an opportunity where changes and improvements are highly visible and economically and socially favourable for all. Councils owning street light assets have a singular opportunity to future proof the prospects for their communities through upgrading this important community infrastructure. LG •G  odfrey Bridger & Bryan King are both directors of Strategic Lighting Partners, advisers to IPWEA’s SLSC Programme. Strategic Lighting Partners is a specialist management consultancy in new technology public lighting infrastructure.

The Future of Road Safety Award Winning Australian Design Made tough for Australian & New Zealand roads DEALER ENQUIRIES WELCOME

ShoulderMaster is Australia’s first universal skid steer paver attachment designed specifically for the purposes of rehabilitating and widening the • Skid steer asphalt paving attachment shoulders of roads.

• Fits most skid steer or compact track loaders

The ShoulderMaster is an award winning attachment • Heated, with widths from that has beenadjustable recognisedscreed by the Australian Government as an innovative road .3m to 1.5m & camber controlsafety fromsolution =/-5º to assist in the reduction of fatalities and serious injuries on Australian roads.

· ABA100 Winner for New Product Innovation in the Australian Business Awards 2016 ·•Special Commendation for Innovation, Institute Remote control and video monitored for of Public Works Engineering Australasia, CIVENEX, 2015 operator safety · Queensland Government Encouragement Award, •Australian Lays asphalt gravel Roador Safety Awards 2015 ·•Finalist, Product Innovation Award Speed and efficiency means big2015, R.O.I.Earthmover and Civil Contractor Awards · Finalist, Good Design Award 2016


SAM ROSSITER-STEAD, communications and marketing manager, Masterton District Council.

KATHRYN ROSS, general manager – strategic planning and policy, Far North District Council.

Busting out the

career moves Last month we looked at how a new SOLGMled skills strategy aims to make councils employers of choice. For this month’s follow-up article we asked four tier two senior executives to tell us about their own professional development. We also asked them to share their views on how the local government sector could attract and retain great people through a more coordinated skills strategy. By Ruth Le Pla.


am Rossiter-Stead, Kathryn Ross, Julie Gardyne and John Ridd are part of a 13-person cohort of senior local government leaders taking part in a SOLGM LGExecutiveLeaders programme. They are approaching the halfway mark on a year-long programme due to finish in October this year. Their cohort of 13 tier two leaders comes from a range of district and regional councils across the country. The programme started back in October 2016, when each of the participants completed a series of online assessments. The first major component was a three-day residential introductory session held at Wallaceville House in Upper Hutt. This is being followed by a series of one-day follow-ups, masterclasses and mentoring sessions from Jenny McDonald of the Continuum Consulting Group. There are also a number of online training exercises which are completed in the participant’s own time.

Picture on page 38: Thirteen senior local government leaders on a SOLGM LGExecutiveLeaders programme facilitated by Continuum director Jenny McDonald [fifth from the right]. Passionate about the future of local government, senior leaders meet to discuss key issues and focus on personal leadership development and influence using the latest in brain-based science.

36 l

JULIE GARDYNE, general manager – strategy and community, Whakatane District Council.

How much time are you spending on attending the programme and any associated work? SAM ROSSITER-STEAD The sky’s the limit really, but to complete the programme effectively I would suggest a monthly commitment of around 10 hours is probably necessary.

JOHN RIDD, group manager business and technology, Taupo District Council.

coaching sessions and support from a small group of course members to keep me on track. JOHN RIDD I was promoted into a group manager role and wanted to refine my current skills and broaden my skills base.

What prompted you to enrol for the programme? What challenge are you seeking to address?

How, if at all, do you think your behaviour, thoughts or attitudes have changed as a result of taking part in the programme?

SAM ROSSITER-STEAD The programme is aimed at developing those managers who are considered to be ‘near-CE ready’ and each participant is required to be sponsored by their current CEO. In my own case, I had considerable experience at tier two level prior to moving into local government and am looking to fill in some gaps as I look to progress my career further in the sector. I have made professional development a priority at this stage of my career and the opportunity to learn alongside my peers from a wide variety of councils is invaluable. The SOLGM programme is based on neuroscience, which is what distinguishes it from other similar courses. KATHRYN ROSS I want to be a more effective leader, improve my emotional self-management, promote a learning culture and inspire others to grow and achieve in increasingly complex and uncertain times. JULIE GARDYNE My council and chief executive strongly support ongoing learning opportunities for staff. I’ve been involved in several SOLGM professional development opportunities, such as the Management Challenge. I’ve also previously been on a working group before taking part in the LGExecutiveLeaders programme. The programme is about leadership self-awareness and personal development. Following the first residential three-day workshop, I have a personal development plan which includes

SAM ROSSITER-STEAD One of the biggest learnings for me personally has been the sheer quality of leaders working in this sector right across the board. We have been fortunate to have a special group of people on this course and that has helped to create a very ‘safe’ environment in which to share experiences, reflections and ideas. Not only have I learned a great deal about myself, I have also learned about the different challenges which are facing others. No two councils are the same, but the process by which they can continue to develop for the benefit of the communities they serve is very similar, regardless of the individual circumstances. KATHRYN ROSS I have had the time to reflect on the art of leadership and my role and responsibilities as a leader in local government. I have appreciated the opportunity to share experience and learnings with other local government managers and as a result of the programme I have greater perspective, self awareness and confidence. I can switch between leadership styles more easily and actively try to manage my pace-setting, goal-orientated tendencies with more focus on the people. JULIE GARDYNE The brain-based science approach and 360 feedback have provided a chance for self-reflection and helped identify actions for me to take forward for the rest of the programme. JOHN RIDD The powerful thing for me was the 360 degree





feedback which made me evaluate the way I approach some things. I have made some changes, some due to the programme and mentoring, and some due to the teamwork on the residential part of the programme and mentally making the shift. The combination of all these things has forced me to take a greater leadership role rather than a doing role, being the tendency of a third-tier manager. What benefits, if any, flow through to your council as a result of you taking part in the programme? SAM ROSSITER-STEAD The ultimate aim of the programme is very straightforward: to develop high quality leaders from within the sector, so that can be taken as a given. If the programme is successful, the benefits at that level are obvious. However, the by-product is the best practice learned from the rest of the group. I have taken time out to visit several of the other participants and see how they operate within their own councils and that has been invaluable for me as an individual and to improve the way I can help my council deliver services to the Masterton community. We have even gone as far as ‘borrowing’ a specialist from another council to review one particular area of our operations and that has been a highly-successful exercise. There is no doubt in my mind that we need to ‘share’ far more, rather than work within 78 different silos. Every day around the country local government staff are facing identical problems and most of them are trying to find their own unique solution. My personal view is that this is the area where the biggest efficiency gains can be made. KATHRYN ROSS Without individuals committed to learning then the organisations they work for can’t improve. I am spending more of my time leading strategically and making things happen through others, enhancing organisational performance and improving outcomes for our communities and customers. I and my team are less likely to be distracted by short-term imperatives and as a result we are firmly focusing on the future, what it should look like and how to get there. My focus on developing talent and enhancing team performance lifts the capability of the organisation to deliver quality advice to our elected members and excellent service to our communities.

38 l

JULIE GARDYNE Aside from personal development, I have really enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on leadership in local government. We’ve heard a range of stimulating guest speakers, sharing their personal experiences and talking about the environment in which we are all working. We’ve also had the opportunity to discuss and debate issues facing the local government sector. I’m lucky to be on the programme with a great bunch of positive, supportive and very clever people. Wider than the course itself, is the chance to meet and share with other councils. For example, since the first residential workshop, we have been able to share staff time and expertise with another council participating in the programme. JOHN RIDD Our executive is fairly new with a mix of both experienced and new second tier managers. Some of the skills I have developed as a product of the programme will ensure I can begin to sit equally at the table. How, if at all, do you think such programmes address the sector’s need to attract and retain good people and provide career pathways for them? SAM ROSSITER-STEAD Retention of staff generally in local government has rarely been a problem, but the retention of aspiring leaders is more of an issue. Nobody wants to be set up to fail, whether it’s those encouraged to apply for more senior positions or those who ultimately secure them and are given minimal support to perform to their potential. An industry-specific leadership course of this quality is something the sector had been crying out for and SOLGM deserves great credit for recognising that need and addressing it. This programme will help to ensure that the cream rises to the top and maintain the interest of those considering other career options. The energy given off by our cohort in every minute of every session is a clear indication of that. KATHRYN ROSS Professional development and coaching in a network of peers and experts across councils and beyond is crucial to developing the leaders local government needs. The emphasis on working together to develop the ‘who’ of leadership is exciting and stimulating – it reenergises and provides insights you do not get working alone. Other

people’s leadership journeys inspire me and we have so much to learn from each other. JULIE GARDYNE One of the reasons I enjoy working in local government is the support council staff offer each other. These programmes help to develop, share knowledge, and support career pathways within local government. JOHN RIDD Obviously the programme offers growth skills essential to develop good leaders in the sector. It will though still be challenged with the public view on local government as a career option. That can still limit attraction and retention in a good employment market. In what other ways could the local government sector improve how it attracts and retains good people? KATHRYN ROSS We need to promote the range of careers one can have in local government better and enhance our reputation as employers of choice in the market place. We need to ensure we are identifying and nurturing talent; not just giving busy, motivated people more and more to do. I’d like to see us moving people around the business more and within the sector through staff exchanges. We also need to give our talent the time to learn from their peers and link them up with suitable coaches and mentors. JULIE GARDYNE There is such a broad range of roles and skills required in local government, and as a sector, I feel we can do better at highlighting these opportunities,

particularly with younger people who are considering career choices. Part of this is around the community understanding of what local government does, and why it plays such an important role in our communities. JOHN RIDD Local government looks after its employees well, treats us fairly and offers competitive remuneration. The challenge I see is the next couple of generations coming through as their way of working can grind with the traditional methods in local government. The working environment will need to change to deliver what those generations see as a fit for them. In local government we are a little obsessed with being seen between 8am and 5pm and productivity, certainly with older generations, seems defined by that visibility. The pace of technological and global cultural change means that local government needs to shift that thinking. It is important to begin focusing on how our organisations operate and what our values are and should be in the future, in order to retain and attract great people to the sector going forward. Great leaders have always had a reading of what the next five to 10 years will bring. It is important our sector’s leaders have a similar eye on the future and are brave in our decision making. LG

>> For related articles go to our website. Search: SOLGM






business Greater Wellington Regional Council has switched to automated field-based technology to better manage health and safety risks across multiple environments.


ew Zealand’s 78 local authorities are responsible for nearly 30,000 staff. In addition, while some services are delivered in-house, councils regularly collaborate with external contractors and volunteers. So it’s not surprising that local authorities are complex organisations when it comes to workplace health and safety. Risks can arise from their wide range of working environments – whether they are officebased, in remote farming country, or out in the bush. Last year’s legislation has put health and safety even higher on the management agenda and local authorities are more cognisant than ever of their responsibilities and accountabilities as major employers and service providers. As a result, a fresh look at how health and safety is part of the organisational culture is taking place – as the focus shifts from just monitoring and recording to proactively identifying and managing risks. Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) contracted health and safety software provider Assura in early 2015 to develop and implement an automated, field-based system tailored to the needs of its 500-plus people. The major challenge, says GWRC health and safety manager Matthew Lear, is managing the risk rather than the hazard. “The software allows us to manage risk by highlighting health and safety trends throughout the organisation and identifying risks for which we can allocate resource,” says Matthew. “For example, we can analyse the critical risk areas in which our people work and identify emerging trends. At the moment for us this is workplace driving – lots of near misses caused by third parties we can’t influence. What we can control, however, is supporting our people with driving skills training, analysing driving habits and procuring vehicles with safety features that mitigate this risk.”

“If you were dealing with only one of those environments and its associated risks, it would be less complex – but in our case we needed a system that could cater to a wide range of unique scenarios.” Assura’s managing director Hamish Howard says leadership and getting the culture right are cornerstones to good health and safety in practice, adding that councils that are “well on the way with this” are now looking for a platform to make achieving it easy for all stakeholders. “As with any organisation, the current work culture within many local authorities may still need to change,” he says. “Under the new legislation, the CEO is ultimately responsible and is where the proverbial buck stops. While

COMPLEX SET OF SCENARIOS Compared to other organisations, Matthew says local authorities really do have a different set of challenges. “In the case of GWRC we have people working in the parks, out on boats in the harbour, managing pest animals and plants, and on rivers, as well as the large number of contractors and stakeholders who help us deliver our services to the region.

40 l

Greater Wellington Regional Council staff assessing the safety of work being undertaken in the Akatarawa Forest.

elected councillors are exempt from responsibility, they need to have confidence that the CEO is running a health and safetyconscious organisation and that this is being promoted from the top down by senior management. “This means that for many councils responsibility extends to volunteers and the hundreds in the community who are involved with the many events councils run every year.”

AUTOMATION In this, automation is crucial when considering a new health and safety system, adds Hamish. “Many organisations are still using paper-based systems which leaves them open to increased risk through underreporting and lack of visibility. We are all familiar with the enduring image of paper and manila files flying out of buildings during the Canterbury earthquakes in 2011, and the resulting loss of information, systems and services. “Automation allows for consistent, quality reporting. For management this results in a complete picture of a company’s health and safety across the business.” GWRC’s Matthew Lear says the increased sharing of information is “critical”. “Our electronic automated system has made it so efficient in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness of health and safety incidents. Our incident management policy and other organisational resources also dovetail into our system, which means we have a consistent approach.”

GWRC staff will hope to eventually be able to contribute in real-time from their mobile phones or hand-held devices via an app. This means incidents, near misses and safety observations are reported and escalated without staff having to put down tools or file paperwork. “We wanted to make it as easy as possible for our people to report incidents and hazards – it shouldn’t have to be a hassle,” says Matthew. “Real-time software removes the issue of under-reporting and supports a culture of employees taking responsibility for their own health and safety. “It also allows us to show due diligence to councillors and senior management, providing a centralised overview of the organisation’s health and safety performance.” The key learning for GWRC throughout the whole process has been to ensure that all staff viewpoints are taken into consideration. “The people who work within local authorities are so diverse in the work that they do,” says Matthew. “It’s therefore important when formatting the system to involve people from all aspects of the organisation. “Our primary resource is our people. We have a significant part to play in ensuring that the appropriate measures and precautions are in place to keep them safe. Ultimately, our decisions have an impact on not only our immediate workforce, but also the wider public and the communities we serve.” LG

a breath of fresh air For environmental laboratory testing

With decades of experience and the latest technology, we provide IANZ accredited environmental testing services that set a new standard of excellence. Whether you need soil or water testing, our dedicated team will deliver fast, reliable and cost-effective results every time – with a refreshingly responsive service.

General Chemistry heavy metals & traCe elements


hydroCarbon Contaminants

pestiCide & pop residues


Contact us for laboratory services you can rely on +64 7 974 4740 |





Post-election trauma How newly-elected mayors and CEs can build common ground Good chemistry, frequent communication and helping a new mayor get to grips with the practicalities of their new role go a long way towards creating a strong working relationship between mayor and chief executive. But how much can they smooth troubled waters if a new mayor or councillor actively campaigned against the CE or their staff? Ruth Le Pla asked Brendan Duffy and Wilma Falconer.


rendan Duffy readily concedes that he knew little about many of the intricacies of working in local government before he first took office as mayor of Horowhenua back in 2004. That was despite already having been on council for nine years. And it was despite coming to the mayor’s role already well armed with a sense of the personalities, agendas and working styles of many of the people with whom he was about to engage. Transitioning from being a councillor to a mayor was like starting again, he says. “I had no understanding of the complexities,” he admits. “I said that at the time. I’d never done a CEO review. I’d never sat down with a CEO and talked strategy and direction. I’d never been responsible for looking after 10 other councillors with the different dynamics that they all had that I had to contend with. I’d never done anything around communication – how I could regularly communicate with my elected members. I had no understanding about the dynamic with the CEO in great detail.” Adding fuel to the fire, shortly after he took office, Horowhenua District Council had to appoint a new CEO. “That whole process of interviewing, of analysing and determining what we thought was right for us... it was a huge challenge,” says Brendan. His candour is welcome in an environment where the steep learning curve awaiting any new mayor is often glossed over in public. Yet, some mayoral candidates and potential councillors actively and very publicly campaign against their incumbent CE and / or council officers. In the lead-up to local body elections officers’ levels of competence, their abilities to cope with change, and their sense of urgency and priorities are called into question. Brendan says our model of democracy – with its three-yearly cycle of potential change at the governance level – challenges everyone to then find common ground. In an email to me Brendan states emphatically that he “never, ever, ever” campaigned against his CE or council staff. He also adds that he was extraordinarily lucky in his transition

42 l

Brendan Duffy

Wilma Falconer

from councillor to mayor as his organisation is relatively small. Small or not, in his 12 years as mayor of Horowhenua District Council Brendan went on to work with three CEs: Greg Boyle, David Ward and then current incumbent David Clapperton. He says that, as mayor, he tried to handle any differences of opinion or approach with each CE by finding “realistic common ground” and agreeing on boundaries understood by both parties. He doesn’t seem to have dropped much momentum since losing the mayoral race to Michael Feyen at last November’s local body elections. Among his many current roles, he’s been appointed by the Minister of Local Government as a temporary commissioner on the Local Government Commission for a year to hear the Wairarapa proposal. And he also runs workshops for councils across the country on code of conduct, elected member ethics, formal meeting engagement and partnering in standing orders presentations.

EXPECTATIONS Wilma Falconer is MD of Project Partners, has a long track record in public sector communications and is co-presenting with Brendan on mayoral / CE relationships at an upcoming SOLGM Chief Executives Forum later this month (see box story Find out more at the SOLGM Forum.) She notes that the specifics of local government can mean that even those people who come to a mayoral role loaded with

Find out more at the SOLGM Forum Brendan Duffy and Wilma Falconer are presenting a workshop at the SOLGM Chief Executives Forum on April 12 on how mayors and CEs can develop better relationships. For more information go to:

experience as an MP or minister in central government can struggle to adjust. “They arrive with a real sense of expectation about their role, how things work and the level of support that they’re used to. Suddenly that’s quite different when you come to local government. There’s not a huge machinery of parliament and ministerial services to support you.” Clearly, induction programmes can go some of the way to helping get mayoral newbies up to speed. It would be fair to say that these are being promoted and delivered in a much more focused and targeted way than in the past. Both LGNZ and SOLGM provided programmes following last year’s local body elections. LGNZ’s tools and training arm EquiP, for example, took the opportunity to also slip in programmes for existing members who may want to further upskill themselves.

NO NAMES, NO PACK-DRILL Such are the sensitivities of local government that both Wilma and Brendan are very reluctant to give examples of councils where the mayoral / CE relationship is working well – let alone those that are not. Curiously, they argue that by providing good examples, others may be conspicuous by their absence. They also note that they haven’t gained the go-ahead from councils to name them. Brendan says the “general working of the machine” means people outside council won’t get to see much of what’s going on inside it. He does eventually offer that in times of catastrophe an example of a good relationship will rise to the fore. “Where you do see it is on those occasions like Kaikoura recently. You saw Hawke’s Bay not that long ago... obviously we saw Christchurch. Those are the examples where that relationship between mayor and CE is extremely strong.” Brendan adds, “Sadly, there are a number of less than ideal relationships but that’s the model of democracy which challenges us to find common ground.” Wilma says good chemistry between a mayor and CE often underpins the best relationships. For those councils where such chemistry doesn’t exist naturally, there are a variety of ways in which CEs and mayors can consciously create strong working bonds.

TALK TALK TALK Frequent communication is high on her list of priorities. Wilma says in those relationships that are working well the mayor and CE see each other often. There’s no one ideal way to play this. “Being able to see each other almost every day is a good thing even if you’re just passing each other in the corridors,” says Wilma. “But having the ability to be available to talk and

not putting any of those process and support issues in the way is perfect – you’re part of a team. It’s like any organisation: where the governance is close to the management that’s great.” Brendan agrees this is really important and calls on both parties to be flexible to find the best way that works for them. “I’ve had three different CEs and they all had entirely different expectations about how they wanted to communicate with me, which we agreed on and respected,” he says. “I had a CE who every time they walked past the door would come in and say good day. I had another CE who would walk past a dozen times and not say a word. And it didn’t matter because we had arranged how we would have our formal communication. We have to respect that as well.” To Wilma’s mind, this is about clarifying each party’s expectations. “The way you work together is as important an expectation as the expectations around the direction of the organisation, policies and work programmes.” Things go awry, she says, when a mayor or CE starts to withdraw to fixate solely on their own role, and they don’t talk about issues in common that need to be addressed.

INDUCTION PLUS It’s also important to get the hygiene factors of support right, she says. The ideal is to create an organisation with an appropriate level of support for elected members from staff, infrastructure, administration and systems. This can be as simple as showing elected members where the printer is – “the stuff that drives people mad”. That, in turn, eliminates any underlying concern about minor irritations so the conversation is then around what really matters. This is above and beyond induction programmes, she says, which quite often tend to be an event. “It’s not until people are in their role doing their work that they realise they don’t actually know how the machinery operates or what the processes are. So it’s important that it’s not just an induction programme but there is quality support available to the mayor and all the other elected officials to support them in their role all the time.” Brendan says the hallmark of a good working relationship is “trust, trust and trust”. “Be adult, be respectful, build trust, understand boundaries and respect each other’s role.” In his view, the vast majority of councils across New Zealand have good relationships between their mayors, chairs and CEs. “But there will be occasions where it doesn’t work and when it doesn’t, it impacts significantly on that organisation – not just on the mayor and CE but on the whole management team and all staff. You can have 150 or 250 employees getting a bad vibe coming down the food chain and that’s not good for a community. “That’s why it’s so important that if things do go a bit awry that significant effort goes into getting them back on track.” LG


To read SOLGM president Barbara McKerrow’s advice on how CEs can maintain momentum during a change of mayor and councillors go to our website. Search:





Water sector to take stock of

customer perceptions A national water survey will help councils better understand customers’ attitudes, says Water New Zealand’s John Pfahlert.


ater is one of the most essential services that local authorities provide to customers every day yet it’s a service that most people don’t understand. They don’t know what it means to be without water for a day and don’t understand just how little it costs every time they pour a glass of water from their tap. Many local authorities are now recognising this is an issue that needs to be addressed. As Auckland Watercare’s CEO Raveen Jaduram explained to an audience at the Water New Zealand annual conference, monopolies need to be customer centric because customers have no choice, and when they don’t understand the service, they start to lose trust.

That’s why the term customer engagement has become a buzz phrase for many of us in the sector. But what does that mean? To ensure that our customers fully understand the great value provided for them, we first need to understand our communities’ attitudes, priorities and perceptions. A growing view in our sector is that that we need cultural change in how we engage with each other. The change requires more collaboration and focus on what we, as a sector that provides essential services, have in common. It’s with this in mind that Water New Zealand is launching a national water survey that will seek the views of a diverse cross section of New Zealanders and gather data and opinions on a number of questions around water and the

Waikato District Council Customers at the heart of business A journey to firmly embed a customer-centric philosophy in everything it does has already started to pay dividends for the Waikato District Council. There’s been a big improvement in response times and, as a result, customer satisfaction. As part of the philosophy, the council set itself a challenge to have the “most engaged community in New Zealand by 2020”. It is an ambitious target, especially on the back of findings in 2013 that the council wasn’t meeting customers’ needs in terms of response times or working quickly enough over community concerns. General manager, service delivery, Tim Harty says the first stage of the plan was to empower frontline staff so they could answer questions and customers didn’t feel they were getting the run around. To achieve this, there was a need for better information sharing between technical and frontline staff through means such as ensuring the “knowledge tree” was well updated about issues.

44 l

“We streamlined the online process and reduced the levels of bureaucracy, reducing the number of categories for service agreements from around 200 to 20.” The streamlined process also meant changing the way the council worked with contractors. “For instance, when a call comes in about a leaky toby the information will now be directed straight to our contractors for action rather than delaying the process as we had in the past by [needing to have] one of our staff turn up to inspect it first.” Other initiatives include electronic logging for requests for service. The results have been positive. Feedback is showing an increase in customer satisfaction and surveys show improved metrics around questions like how easy it is to do business with the council. Tim acknowledges this has been a big mindset change for the council but one that was needed because “without customers we don’t exist – there’s no other reason for this business”.

Get involved Water New Zealand is asking all councils to get behind the survey and help promote it through newsletters to customers, rates bills and other mechanisms. The survey will begin at the start of May and run for six weeks. Findings will be presented at the Water New Zealand Annual Conference in Hamilton in September. For more information contact John Pfahlert,

services they get. (See box story The big questions.) The survey, which will be the first comprehensive national stocktake of its kind, aims to help councils and water utilities better understand their customers and provide valuable information to help build customer relationships. LG • John Pfahlert is chief executive of Water New Zealand.

>> For related articles go to our website. Search: 3 Waters

The big questions This is what the national water survey will cover. Drinking water How important is drinking water quality to New Zealanders and how confident are they in their existing provider to deliver safe water? Fresh water quality How important is this to our communities and the level of confidence they have in their provider to protect water bodies from sewage overflow? Acceptability What is an acceptable level of wastewater overflows, wastewater treatment and land disposal of treated sewage? Water efficiency What options would customers be prepared to implement to be more efficient, including individual metering? How willing would customers be to invest more to become more efficient? Price of water We know that salaries are not keeping up with the increase in costs and this is important for people around New Zealand. Are customers aware of how their water services are charged and what they currently pay per year? What are their expectations of price changes, and how they could, or would like to, reduce their water charges? Sources of water Only a small portion of water that falls as rain can be stored in New Zealand. Do customers know where their water is sourced? What are their attitudes to land use in catchments where water is drawn?

Water infrastructure There has been significant growth in some towns and cities in New Zealand, which leads people to question whether the focus should be on maintaining the capacity and quality of existing networks, before additional investment is required to meet growing demands. What do customers think about investment in infrastructure? Customer service It is important for the water industry to understand customers’ awareness of who provides the services they receive and the time taken to fix outages. How do customers feel after they come into contact with their utility? Technology impact Technology is an important tool in providing services in line with customers’ expectations. We need to understand if this is currently being done efficiently or if consolidation is an option customers would accept, assuming the appropriate financial savings are achieved. Customer responsibilities Do customers understand their role in water service delivery by using water efficiently, correctly disposing of items to stormwater and sewer, and household maintenance? Communications What level of communication and engagement do customers wish to receive in relation to water services? What channels of communication do they expect and / or prefer? Do they know who to complain to if the need arises?




TECHNICAL BRIEFINGS This thesis was presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Studies (Communication) at Massey University.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES: LOCAL GOVERNMENT, COMMUNITY EVENTS AND SOCIAL CAPITAL BUILDING Joany Grima (a senior lecturer in event management at Wellington Institute of Technology – WelTec)

ABSTRACT This research project investigates the approaches to investment in the staging of community events, supporting strategies and availability of event management resources by two neighbouring local council authorities in the North Island of New Zealand. The perceived impacts of events on the host community and capacity of events to build social capital is also explored, primarily through data collected from interviews with council event organisers, councillors and non-council event organisers. The findings of this study indicate that both council authorities are supportive of the delivery of events by council and non-council event organisers, providing human, financial and physical capital to enable the output of events despite there being no explicit legal obligation for local government authorities to do so. Event impacts were considered to be positive in nature, falling into the areas of promotional, social and economic impacts. Social impacts were of primary interest, including community engagement and participation, celebrating community, building and fostering community spirit, giving back to the community and attracting new people to the area. For both councils, there is scope for greater strategic planning around event delivery both as individual authorities and collaboratively, including the establishment of formal monitoring and evaluation to assess the effectiveness of their events investments in meeting set objectives. There are opportunities to capture meaningful data on the impacts of events in the host communities, as well as the building and maintenance of social capital. Event organisers are primarily interested in providing a community asset through their events; motivated by how their events can enhance local wellbeing and contribute to social capital building. Understanding how and if social capital building occurs and is maintained as a result of community events can be further explored together by council and non-council event organisers.

46 l

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The objectives for this research project were: 1 To determine the investment made in community events by neighbouring councils. ie: Resources, staging of events, funding, venues, council-funded people / dedicated roles, marketing platforms, strategic planning. 2 To determine why neighbouring councils invest in community events. ie: Strategic plan, pride of place, community building and well-being, economic growth, visitor attraction, collaboration opportunities with other councils, attracting new residents. 3 To determine the impacts of events staged on the communities of the neighbouring councils. 4 To determine if council’s investments in community events contributes to building social capital. 5 To determine how neighbouring councils compare in their approach to community events. LG

>> Go to our website for the full paper. Search:

This paper was presented at the 28th annual WasteMINZ conference in Wellington.

BETTER BUSINESS CASE – EFFICIENT DECISION MAKING Chris Purchas (senior consultant, Tonkin + Taylor)

INTRODUCTION If you are involved in any type of public infrastructure development in New Zealand you have probably come across the Better Business Case framework advocated by the NZ Treasury. One of the leading proponents of this approach is the NZ Transport Agency with all programmes of work and individual projects working through the business case process. Put simply, the business case approach starts with identification of the ‘problem’ to be addressed before identifying desired benefits and then, only then, considering potential solutions. This avoids the common trap of solutions seeking a problem to solve or options being considered without a clear understanding of the benefits that will be achieved. Public infrastructure managers are using Better Business Case concepts and language for many of their investment decisions – to secure government funding and to ensure they are making the right decisions for infrastructure investments and renewal. Much of the work I am involved with involves considering options for infrastructure – waste collection, processing and / or disposal or other public infrastructure development / upgrade. The business case approach provides a useful framework for determining the best way forward and proactively planning for success. Importantly, business case practitioners apply the framework in a fit for purpose way – targeting data collection and analysis on material issues to a level of detail appropriate for the issue being examined. This is important in the context of the waste management sector

because many of the funders of waste infrastructure are looking for Better Business Case assessments of potential projects. It makes sense to talk the right language. The Better Business Case approach is structured around the proven five case model (see visual). This provides a disciplined, step-by-step approach that helps to ensure that each of the key aspects of a robust investment proposal is explicitly and systematically addressed as part of the business case development process. The framework also encourages a robust, fit for purpose assessment of a proposed project – ensuring the early assessment sets the project up for long-term success. My full paper outlines the business case framework and comments on how this applies to our waste world. At the simplest level the Better Business Case process involves: 1. Defining a problem or opportunity and potential benefits; 2. Identifying options for achieving the desired benefits; 3. Evaluation of the identified options to increasing levels of detail; and 4. Planning for successful implementation including proactive risk management. As for any approach there is a real risk that Better Business Case is treated as a recipe rather than a way of thinking. For the waste sector projects vary in size and complexity, from multifaceted education programmes to major processing facilities or a long-term waste collection contract. This means there is no recipe. Instead, we need to focus on defining problems or opportunities, setting out desired benefits and then completing robust analysis of options to position each project or programme for success. LG

>> Go to our website for the full paper. Search:

NZ Treasury’s five case model provides an adaptable but disciplined step-by-step approach.





Seven tips How to communicate through change.


eing flexible, adaptable and able to cope with change are not so much aspirational traits for working in local government but essential if you are to survive. For those of you who are considering change in your organisation – whether new systems and processes, structural, rebranding, outsourcing or policy changes – here are some tips for ensuring that communication effectiveness is maximised.

TIP 1 Communicating for change can only be as effective as your current internal communication systems and processes allow This may seem obvious. Yet some organisations have exceedingly high expectations about how well the change process is going to land and still fail to appreciate the bigger picture. In other words, if your internal communication systems and processes are already rated poorly by staff, do not expect ‘change communication’ to achieve miracles (see Tip 2).

TIP 2 Use the information from your staff survey to find clues as to risks and opportunities for change communication In my job, I get to see lots of staff surveys. What is striking is that so many of the results across many different organisations are very similar. When focusing on local government, the summary of results is as follows. The top three things that staff are dissatisfied with are:

48 l

• Lack of connection to the vision and values of the organisation (not knowing how I contribute to the overall purpose of what we do); • Communication (either it’s not open and honest, or there’s not enough of it); and • “The leadership” (this can sometimes refer to both political and organisational). The top two things they generally rate highly are: • The people I work most closely with (‘my team’ – by far and away the highest scoring in all surveys); and • Doing my job well (within the bounds of what I know and deliver). When considered in tandem, these provide some strong clues about to how to communicate change effectively: • Create visibility for the ‘leader’ to explain why the change matters in the overall scheme of things; • Inform people about the specifics of the change, in a way that is relevant to their team and job; and • Be transparent and sustained in your communication (telling people once or twice is not enough).

TIP 3 Tap into new media for communication It used to be the smokers who knew everything that was going on because they stood together and chatted at least four times a day. These were the people who sustained the underground communication networks. Then, in the 1990s and noughties, it was the water cooler

where the concept of ‘real communication’ took place. These days, a lot of staff are now mobile, multi-tasking and hot desking, and underground communication takes place on social media. Closed Facebooks (accessible to a group), Yammer, HipChat and other places you may never have heard of, are now the smokers / water cooler groups in your organisation. Use them. Formal, hierarchical / cascading communication models are now almost as extinct as smokers.

TIP 4 Face to face is best Notwithstanding Tip 3, face to face is always best. When communicating the big picture, staff want the CE to deliver it. When communicating the impact of change on the team and themselves, they want their immediate supervisor to deliver it.

TIP 5 Make responsiveness a priority Firstly, involve staff and teams as much as possible in the development of the change so they can provide input and insight, and add value. This is particularly important for organisational changes involving technology, processes and policies.

Secondly, provide an open channel that is given prominence in your communication. Do this even though the channel may be used for repeat, dumb, self-interested, irrelevant and untimely questions.

TIP 6 Start communicating long before change occurs In many cases, communication is still considered to be something that gets bolted on once the change process is about to be launched. This is called the “Oh, we’d better talk to the comms team so they can do some posters” syndrome and is doomed to fail. It pays to involve your communication professional at the outset of the change thinking.

TIP 7 Sow’s ear, silk purse… No matter how brilliant the communication, it alone cannot make a bad process, or a dumb change, a good one. LG

>> For more articles by this writer go to our website. Search: Elizabeth Hughes

CAMPERS GET THE MESSAGE The NZMCA’s drive to raise the bar on the Certified Self-Containment Standard (CSC) is receiving widespread support. 31 more commercial companies have sought CSC through the NZMCA network in the past year and the number of inspections undertaken has increased significantly in January 2017 compared to January 2016: ❙ Member inspections 797 (up from 718 12 months previously); ❙ Commercial inspections were up by 300%; and

“Those figures are showing us that the message is getting through,” says NZMCA CEO Bruce Lochore. “Clearly, more people are understanding that a CSC vehicle is essential if you want to be able to enjoy Freedom Camping in New Zealand – and are actively seeking such vehicles. “Over the next few years, I believe that Freedom Camping will become only available to CSC vehicles – unless a Council chooses to designate a specific area for non-CSC vehicles.”

❙ Non-member inspections increased by 240%.

New Zealand Motor Caravan Association | P 09 298 5466 | |





Duty to warn of concerns? Fleetwood Apartments claim raises questions.


he decision of Andrews Property Services Limited v Body Corporate 160361 & Ors [2016] NZCA 644 was an appeal of a High Court decision. The case concerned a second generation claim for a leaky 40-unit apartment building in central Auckland called Fleetwood Apartments. In the High Court, the apartment owners’ claim arose out of defective remediation work undertaken by the builder, Andrews Property Services Limited (APS), and overseen by architectural consultants, Babbage Consulting Limited (Babbage) and the Auckland Council (council). The remediation involved an overclad using new exterior cladding, Eterpan, over the existing steel framing and underlying cladding. The High Court found that the overclad remedial solution had been designed inadequately. It also found that the overclad system had been installed incorrectly in that no clearance holes for the screw fixings had been used when fixing the cladding resulting in cracking of the Eterpan and moisture ingress. In the High Court, the apartment owners succeeded against APS, Babbage and the council. APS appealed the High Court decision. The grounds of the appeal relevant to the matters of interest for the purposes of this article were as follows: 1.  Did APS have an obligation to the apartment owners to be satisfied that a proper survey had been undertaken by Babbage before commencing the overclad work? 2. Did APS fail to comply with a contractual obligation concerning the method of fixing the Eterpan sheets? The High Court had found APS liable to the apartment owners for not ensuring Babbage had undertaken a proper survey of the underlying structure to which the overclad was to be fixed. The Court of Appeal overturned the High Court’s finding. It took into account that APS

50 l

was a contractor which was the recipient of instructions by, and approvals from, Babbage in its capacity as architect and specialist engineer. The court found the relationship between Babbage and APS was “legally subservient”. The Court of Appeal held APS to not have sufficient power or ability to exercise the necessary control over Babbage to ensure a proper survey was done. Fundamentally, the issue came down to whether APS owed the apartment owners a duty to warn them about Babbage’s performance. The Court of Appeal recognised that in some circumstances a contractor could have an obligation to warn but on the facts of this case it was not reasonable to find APS owed such a duty. Accordingly, APS was not liable to the apartment owners for the consequences of a proper survey not having been carried out by Babbage. In relation to the High Court’s finding that APS was liable to the apartment owners for failing to use clearance holes when affixing the Eterpan sheets, the Court of Appeal endorsed the High Court’s finding. Accordingly, APS was found liable for the consequent cracking and moisture ingress caused by the method of fixing the cladding sheets. The Court of Appeal’s decision is notable for the finding of no liability on the part of APS for not ensuring Babbage had undertaken a proper survey. While the legal responsibilities of those involved in construction will always be dictated by the facts of each individual case, this decision could potentially extend to apply to circumstances where, for example, a labour-only builder completes non-standard building work defectively having been directed to do so by a supervising architect, engineer or building product manufacturer. Builder not liable? True or false? A bit of both. LG


ConstructSafe Giving us powerful information.


o you want to ensure that the people working on your sites have entry-level health and safety knowledge? If they don’t, would it be useful for them to know about the gaps in their knowledge so they can get the right training and development? If the answer to either or both of those questions is “yes” then a simple solution is now available – ConstructSafe testing. ConstructSafe is run by the not-for-profit industry organisation the Construction Safety Council (CSC). Unlike many other, some quite dubious, schemes out there this is not training for the sake of it. It is simply an assessment of an individual’s entry-level construction industry health and safety knowledge. Many schemes that councils have specified in the past require people to undertake training (without knowing if it is needed or not) or to subscribe to a particular system (even though the contractor may have a perfectly good system already in place). ConstructSafe tests an individual’s knowledge. There is no hiding in the back of a training room, hoping that you won’t be asked a question or simply nodding when someone asks you if you understand. The test, which is based on a freelyavailable competency framework developed by the CSC, uses visual and audio assistance which makes it accessible for people with low levels of literacy. Candidates touch and / or click the screen to choose from a multiple choice list. Each test includes 50 questions drawn from a large question bank. Over 5000 people have now been tested and the average time to take the test is 38 minutes. Using mobile test centres, the interactive internet-based testing (overseen by test supervisors) has meant that many workers have been tested on-site. It is not however a breeze. A score of 85 percent is required to pass and to date about three quarters of people achieve that. If people don’t pass they get feedback and another chance to re-sit within one month at no cost from the CSC. In fact, a standard part of the test, whether

you pass or fail, is that the system provides feedback on areas of weakness and strength. So, even those who pass get some great information about where they can improve. Contractors are already seeing the benefits of the system, saying that it is enabling them to better target their training budgets and customise individuals’ training requirements. The other major benefit is that the test is faster and easier to deliver on-site so there is less downtime involved with people travelling to centralised training centres. Strengths and weaknesses can also be analysed at a national or region-by-region level and with the right approvals the system can also provide overviews of groups of people: such as companies. ConstructSafe is already generating some powerful information. For example, the testing is showing that there is confusion about some signage. We can pick that up because we can look at the pass or fail rate on particular questions. The industry can then take action to review the signs or provide more information to people on-site. The CSC makes no apology about the pass rate. The industry is serious about improving health and safety. What we now need is the strong support and endorsement of clients such as councils. Many civil contractors are already moving to ConstructSafe because it has been adopted as a requirement by NZTA. ConstructSafe has quickly become the civil construction standard and councils need to update their processes to adopt it or accept it as meeting their requirements. By passing the ConstructSafe assessment workers prove that they have the base level of health and safety knowledge. It provides evidence to everyone that the individual knows how to protect their own and their workmates’ health and safety. More importantly, it empowers us all by providing information to help us better manage our health and safety. For further information go to LG





Looking forward Key areas for local government for 2017 and beyond.


e are now six months on from the 2016 local elections and the intervening months have been very productive for everyone in local government. There has been no exception for Local Government New Zealand and in the time since October there has been a lot of work done to “re-set” the strategy, governance and business plan for the next three years and beyond. This work has included the election of a new national council, which oversees and guides the strategic direction of LGNZ, and selection of the advisory groups which advise the council on key matters. These include the governance and strategy advisory group, which will provide advice on the overall strategic direction of LGNZ and the sector, and the policy advisory group, which is charged with focusing and advising on policy matters relating to the economic, environmental, social and cultural wellbeing of New Zealand and its communities. There is more on the policy advisory group in the following pages, but the group will play an important role for the local government sector as a whole. The policy advisory group is made up of a diverse cross section of elected members and senior council staff, with representatives from metro, regional, city and district councils. It is a capable and high-calibre group of people who will work hard on the issues that matter most to our communities. There are a number of significant issues on the agenda which require new policy approaches. Ensuring there is appropriate funding for infrastructure across areas including housing, transport and tourism, a joint central and local government approach to climate change, and working to address social issues and needs in our communities including the impacts of an aging population and housing supply and quality are some key issues for the policy advisory group to address. One area we believe needs particular innovation is around water. You can read more about our goal for a coherent and connected water policy in this month’s Final Word column. But in the current setting we think there is a lack of connection between freshwater quality

52 l

and quantity, standards, rights and allocation, land use, three waters infrastructure, cost and affordability, and funding. To achieve affordable and sustainable results we need to think about water in a holistic way. Delivering excellence A key piece of work for LGNZ over the past year and a half has been the design and establishment of the Local Government Excellence Programme, further showing and growing the value local government delivers. We are now well underway with the programme and by mid-April councils will have been assessed. These councils are: Far North District Council, Gisborne District Council, Hastings District Council, Horowhenua District Council, Masterton District Council, Matamata-Piako District Council, Napier City Council, Nelson City Council, Porirua City Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Rangitikei District Council, Ruapehu District Council, South Taranaki District Council, South Waikato District Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Waikato Regional Council, Waimakariri District Council, Wairoa District Council and Whakatane District Council. The next steps will see the results of the assessments released to communities for discussion, which will happen over May, June and July. More councils will be invited to participate in the programme’s second year soon. The Local Government Excellence Programme is comprehensive, transparent and independent. It measures the performance of local authorities across a range of areas, including financial decision-making, the way we communicate and engage with the community, our governance and leadership and our service delivery and asset management. The results will provide the foundation for the ongoing lifting of performance. We think it shows real leadership and a commitment to doing the best for our communities. We congratulate all councils already involved and look forward to welcoming more this year. LG

New Policy Advisory Group to guide LGNZ work Local Government New Zealand is delighted to announce the formation of a new Policy Advisory Group (PAG) to focus on policy matters relating to the economic, environmental, social, and cultural well-being of New Zealand and its communities. The new PAG will play a key role in setting the priorities and agenda for local government policy for the next three years. The Policy Advisory Group includes 17 members made up of a balance of elected members and senior council officers, and will meet at least three times a year. There are a number of significant issues the PAG will consider and guide the local government sector on matters of importance. These include how we fund and provide infrastructure into the future including for tourism, water and housing; how we build community resilience; developing policy to help communities adapt to the effects of climate change; and balancing the growing demands for water from industry, agriculture and cities with increasing quality standards. Priorities for the PAG have been developed with consideration to national, regional and local issues, and issues impacting Metro, Rural, Provincial and Regional councils. Much of the work of the next triennium will also be informed by the shifts New Zealand faces in the next 30 years. These are outlined in the 2050 Challenge discussion document, designed to assist councils prepare for the shifts and challenges expected to impact on New Zealand and our towns, cities and regions by 2050.

< Much of the work of the next triennium will also be informed by the shifts New Zealand faces in the next 30 years, outlined in LGNZâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2050 Challenge discussion document. >

The full membership of the group is: 1. Richard Kempthorne (Chair)

LGNZ National Council Member and Mayor, Tasman District Council

2. Stuart Crosby

Councillor, LGNZ National Council Member and Bay of Plenty Regional Council

3. David Bedford

Chair, Environment Canterbury

4. Jenny Brash

Councillor, Greater Wellington Regional Council

5. Ana Coffey

Councillor, Porirua City Council

6. Meng Foon

Mayor, Gisborne District Council

7. John Forbes

Mayor, Opotiki District Council

8. Richard Hills

Councillor, Auckland Council

9. Janet Holborow

Deputy Mayor, Kapiti Coast District Council

10. Simon Markham

Manager Strategy and Engagement, Waimakariri District Council

11. Michael Meehan

Chief Executive, West Coast Regional Council

12. Jane Nees

Deputy Chair, Bay of Plenty Regional Council

13. Lan Pham

Councillor, Environment Canterbury

14. Penny Pirrit

Director Regulatory Services, Auckland Council

15. Bob Simcock

Councillor, Waikato Regional Council

16. Paula Southgate

Councillor, Hamilton City Council

17. Piri-Hira Tukapua

Councillor, Horowhenua District Council



The Final Word Water 2050 project to push for coherent and connected water policy A new approach to water policy is needed to ensure community expectations and Government standards can be better met. The Government announced in February a new package of clean water measures, including amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, a series of regional “swimmability” maps, criteria for the $100 million Freshwater Improvement Fund and national regulations to exclude stock from waterways. This was one of several water related issues, along with the release of the report into the contamination of the Havelock North drinking water supply, to cause recent debate. There are likely to be more headlines as the election year progresses and from Local Government New Zealand’s perspective the greater focus on water quality is welcomed. Water quality and quantity is a major issue for New Zealand and one that needs a more coherent, integrated policy approach. This year Local Government New Zealand will commence a major piece of policy work to develop a joined up framework for water, titled “Water 2050”, to consider freshwater quality and quantity, standards, rights and allocation, land use, three waters infrastructure, cost and affordability, and funding. Water is core business for local government and regional and territorial councils work every day to deliver better water outcomes. This work is ongoing and there is more to do, but there have been some good successes in recent decades, for example in the reduction of point source discharges. But it is worth noting that with steadily increasing demand for water from industry, agriculture and growing urban communities a new, holistic approach to water policy is now necessary.


Health and environmental quality standards, rights to access and use water, and the cost, affordability and provision of infrastructure that delivers water to users and treats wastewater and storm water are not always considered together. We have seen the pressure that land intensification can have on the quality of our waterways and increasingly we are aware that urban water infrastructure, like ageing wastewater systems and a deficit of stormwater infrastructure, is having an adverse impact on our freshwater quality in the future. Decisions made in one area fundamentally impact on whether outcomes can be achieved in the others, so water policy needs to be considered in a connected way. Developing a way forward is now becoming an urgent matter for the Government, local government and its communities, and Iwi and we look forward to collaborating on a future-focused approach.

< This year LGNZ will commence a major piece of policy work to develop a joined up framework for water, titled “Water 2050”, to consider freshwater quality and quantity, standards, rights and allocation, land use, three waters infrastructure, cost and affordability, and funding. >

Great leadership starts with determination

Make 2017 the year you determine how to make your leadership career fly. SOLGM’s LGLeadershipPathways initiative delivers a whole range of leadership development opportunities to those at all levels of Local Government:

For those looking to step into their first management role we have a new Emerging Leaders Development Programme, an intensive yet fun three day introduction to leadership development.

Our LGAcceleratedLeadership programme is a five month programme for mid-tier managers. We’ve been running it successfully over the past year in regions around the country.

Our LGExecutiveLeaders programme is a 12 month programme that uses brain based science and is for managers already in senior positions. The programme’s next cohort will start in July 2017.

Find out about these programmes – for you or your staff, and all of our other leadership development opportunities at, email or phone 04 978 1280.

NZ Local Government April 1704  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you