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Making a


Wellington launches country’s first above-ground emergency water network p18


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We’re aiming to have Community Water Stations ope 22 M ANA WHAKAHONO A ROHEat least 22 water st YS a large earthquake. By mid-2018, Bay of Plenty Regional Council shares Porirua, an located throughout Hutt City, Wellington, its learnings from the country’s first 4 Editor’s Letter Some sites extract groundwater, anda other YS iwi authority Mana Whakahono Rohe sites use 5 In Brief The above-ground network will be the main source o invitation 11 Products & Services damaged pipes. 25 N EW FOUNDATION 30+ DAYS 14 Events The case for reforming the Resource 47 LGNZ Management Act to provide a stronger direction in recognising Maori law 40+ DAYS Proposed water 28 G OING DIGITALstation sites COLUMNISTS New Plymouth District Council’s new all-digital district plan 40+ DAYS 43 Elizabeth Hughes: 31 D IGITALLY-CONNECTED INFRASTRUCTURE Local Government 101 Kumar Parakala on why GHD has just 44 Linda O’Reilly: On Legal Issues 70+ DAYS launched a new digital business 45 Peter Silcock: From Civil Contractors 33 IPWEA NZ New Zealand Signalling a collaborative stance atPostgate the Park 46 100+ Dave DAYS Cull: From LGNZ recent RIMS Forum Takapuwahia 35 P RIORITIES PLEASE Stream REPORTS ParkAuditor-General challenges OfficeLinden of the Tawa councilsTawa to consider how well they erate Fire Station which of their assets are 18 M AKING A SPLASH understand Wellington launches the country’s most important reat, and distribute water. Emergency water bladders Takapu Stream first above-ground emergency water Glenside Reserve r collection points across Wellington’s four cities. network Korokoro Stream






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37 Smart solutions: Planning Khandallah 41 S mart solutions: Geographic information Huntleigh Park systems Aro Valley Park

ON THE COVER. MAKING A SPLASH: Wellington launches country’s first above-ground emergency water network. See page 18.

Water collection points

Fitzgerald Place Hanson Street Karori Berhampore





Cheviot Road Lowry Bay Williams Park Days Bay


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More of the same, please One of the pleasures of my job is to trawl for examples of new thinking, projects or case studies that, in some way, move the local government sector forward. While some are launched with great fanfare, many are tucked away in siloed pockets of councils – in a planning department, among a council’s iwi relationship managers or with engineering specialists. So, I’m especially pleased to be able to share some such examples in this issue. Work by Wellington Water and infrastructure specialists Cardno to launch our country’s first above-ground emergency water network is a case in point. So too, is Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s response to the country’s first iwi authority Mana Whakahono a Rohe invitation. New Plymouth District Council, too, has been breaking new ground by developing and launching the country’s first digital-only eplan: a bold step on from the hybrid paper / online versions used by other councils. All are thought-provoking examples of groundbreaking local government responses to new challenges and situations. Importantly, while each example is interesting in its own right, the most pleasing aspect is the willingness of each council to share its learning with others. Some councils are looking at doing this through formal mechanisms via a central government agency. Others are simply making it

very clear that they will happily share what they have learnt directly with other local authorities or indirectly, of course, via media such as ourselves. Ultimately, this willingness to share learnings will make or break the sector. The days are long gone when each local authority could hope to operate in isolation. A recently-released report by the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) makes the point that change is not a choice. The Through the Looking Glass report outlines findings from a study tour to England, Scotland and Wales at the end of last year. The situation there is, of course, very different to our own. Nevertheless, the report’s findings carry huge resonance for local authorities in our own country. “The question to be answered is whether New Zealand councils will work with their communities to lead this change,” it says, “or wait for government to impose change upon them.” I know which option local authorities would prefer. And it’s a fair bet that ground-breaking new initiatives, shared widely and generously throughout the sector, would go a long way to helping make this happen. So, more of the same, please. And keep sharing those stories with us.

Ruth Le Pla, editor,

EDITOR Ruth Le Pla Mobile: 021.266.3978 SALES CONSULTANT Charles Fairbairn DDI: 09 636 5724 Mobile: 021 411 890 ADMINISTRATION/SUBSCRIPTIONS DDI: 09 636 5715 PRODUCTION Design: Jonathan Whittaker CONTRIBUTORS Dave Cull, Elizabeth Hughes, Patricia Moore, Linda O’Reilly, Jacinta Ruru, Peter Silcock, Anaru Vercoe GENERAL MANAGER David Penny DDI: 09 636 5710 Mobile: 021.190.4078 EDITORIAL MANAGER Alan Titchall DDI: 09 636 5712 Mobile: 027.405.0338 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.



Contractor, Quarry & Mining and Water New Zealand magazines @nzlgmagazine

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Tips for tourism

A recent guide by destination and local government specialists David Hammond and Lyn Cheyne identifies seven key performance indicators (KPIs) that all council and Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) relationships should have in place. The report, RTOs and Councils: Asking the right questions 2018, also provides recommendations on how to structure an RTO board, who should be on it and how they could be funded. The guide’s seven core KPIs are: • Increase domestic visitor nights spent in commercial accommodation; • Increase international visitor nights spent in commercial accommodation;

• Increase visits to attractions and activities; the newly-released guide will help all parties • Increase visitor expenditure per person per focus on the right issues and not knee-jerk into day; short-term thinking. • Increase average length of visitor stay; “RTOs and councils are critical in the current • Increase the social media profile of the and future success of tourism in New Zealand,” destination; and he says. “Are we getting the best value out of • Measure the visitor perception of the area. those relationships? David and Lyn add that these should be “This document is a guide for discussion, developed considering each region’s relevance, not a blueprint. Every situation is different. But strength and maturity within the tourism we have put a stake in the ground for common sector. They can page also be supplemented themes which arise across the country. In the quarter horizontalwith 64x180mm additional measures agreed between the RTO end, we want the conversations between RTOs and the council. and councils to be more informed.” David notes that councils involved in tourism •D  ownload the full report from: can often be unrealistic in their expectations of funding and governance structures. He hopes visitor-industry-management

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Irrigation report finds room for improvement A recent report by the Office of the AuditorGeneral (OAG) makes four recommendations to help councils improve the quality of information recorded from water meters and how they use this information. This is the first of seven audits by the OAG that will look at how public organisations manage water. The report, Monitoring how water is used for irrigation, looks at how freshwater used for irrigation is tracked and measured. It focuses on five regional councils and one unitary council. Together, these six councils monitor about 90 percent of the country’s freshwater used for irrigation. The councils examined are: Northland Regional Council; Hawke’s Bay Regional Council; Otago Regional Council; Marlborough District Council; Bay of Plenty Regional Council; and Environment Canterbury. The four recommendations are: • the Ministry for the Environment review the part of the Resource Management (Measurement

and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010 that allows for manual data collection and annual data provision, and work with councils that have oversight of water metering, to ensure that people and organisations holding water permits regularly submit accurate data using automated processes; • councils continue to work with people and organisations holding water permits and

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intermediary data service providers to improve the timeliness and completeness of water-use data received; • the Ministry for the Environment, councils that manage freshwater resources, and other interested groups work together to use water-use data to encourage compliance with water permits and the limits they impose, to enable effective and efficient use of freshwater resources; and

Have you considered taking an entrepreneurial approach to solving your civic, local government or smart city challenges? We offer councils, network utilities, district health boards and other local authorities a way to apply the lean business and agile approaches to policy making, economic development and service delivery.

• the Ministry for the Environment evaluates the benefits of water metering to understand how it has changed the way people and organisations holding water permits have used what they have been allocated. Commenting on its findings, the OAG said water meters had now been installed for almost all of the largest water takes. It noted the six councils are starting to use water meter information to educate permit holders about how they can use freshwater more efficiently and to show how much water is used. “However, the quality of data collected can be poor, there can be issues with data that is collected manually, and there is scope for more co-ordination between councils.” The OAG said councils need to work closely with permit holders to improve the reliability of water meter data. “Good data collection and usage about water used for irrigation should lead to positive changes in behaviour, such as more effective and efficient use of freshwater and more water conserved.” • For more information go to:

Learning from Britain: Through the Looking Glass The Society of Local Government Through the Looking Glass Managers (SOLGM) has released a report on its findings from a study tour in October / November last year through England, Scotland and Wales. SOLGM’s Through the Looking Glass report examines how councils and communities in Britain are tackling change after eight years of compounding financial constraints. It also addresses lessons for our own country. In a recent email, SOLGM noted that while local government in this country has no burning platform like austerity, we do have a smouldering platform of infrastructure deficits, a housing crisis, freshwater and drinking water quality issues, and a need for greater resilience in response to climate change and natural disasters. “Many local government leaders and commentators say the current models of funding and service delivery are

unsustainable,” it said. “Change is not a choice. The question to be answered is whether New Zealand councils will work with their communities to lead this change or wait for government to impose change upon them.” The study tour team comprised: Phil Wilson (governance director, Auckland Council and president, SOLGM), Susan Edwards (community development manager, Tasman District), Steve Ruru (CE, Southland District), Karen Thomas (CE, SOLGM) and Richard Mabon (principal advisor, SOLGM). This latest report follows on from a 2016 SOLGM publication Austerity: Creating service resilience. That asked how UK councils were delivering services with dramatically less funding and how relevant practices could be applied in this country. • Access the Through the Looking Glass report from:

What SOLGM saw and learned in England, Scotland and Wales

Alice entering the Looking-Glass. Illustration by Sir John Tenniel.

NZ Society of Local Government Managers’ Study Tour to the United Kingdom – October/November 2017

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Future Workforce Forum. Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland


Strategic Asset Management for Building and Property Portfolios. TBA, Wellington.

28 – 31 IECA More Blue Less Brown and Lots of Green Conference. Chateau on the Park, Christchurch SEPTEMBER 9 – 11 ALGIM Spring Conference. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland

14 – 15 Project Management. Caccia Birch House, Palmerston North

10 – 11 2018 Simpson Grierson SOLGM Annual Summit. TBA, Queenstown

20 – 21 NZ Construction & Civil Industries Summit. Ellerslie Events Centre, Auckland

19 – 21 Water New Zealand Conference & Expo. Claudelands, Hamilton

20 – 22 IPWEA NZ 2018 Conference. Energy Events Centre, Rotorua


21 – 22 Climate Change and Local Government Forum. Mac’s Function Centre, Wellington


25 – 26 Intelligent Towns, Networks & Assets. Grand Millennium, Auckland 26 – 27 Contract Management – Wellington. TBA, Wellington JULY 5 – 6

Governance Professionals and Committee Advisors Forum. Rydges Hotel, Wellington

15 – 17 LGNZ Conference & EXCELLENCE Awards 2018. Christ’s College, Christchurch AUGUST 1 – 2

2018 EDS Conference. Grand Millennium Hotel, Auckland

13 – 14 Community Plan Forum. Novotel Rotorua Lakeside, Rotorua 16 – 17 Building Nations Symposium. ANZ Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland 19 – 23 Waves. TBA, Rotorua

LG Executive Leaders 2018 Programme – Application Deadline.

15 – 16 Electoral Officers Pre-Election Training. TBA, Wellington 24 – 26 NZRA Recreation Conference. TBA, Auckland 29 – 30 Funding and Rating Forum. TBA, Auckland 31 – 2 Nov

Local Authority Property Association – Annual Conference 2018. Ascot Park Hotel, Invercargill


NZ Transport Agency & NZIHT 19th Annual Conference. Marlborough Convention Centre, Blenheim

12 – 13 Communication and Engagement Forum. TBA, Wellington 15 – 16 Contract Management – Wellington. TBA, Wellington 19 – 21 ALGIM Annual Conference. Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Rotorua

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

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Save the date

Coming up LGNZ is gearing up for its big annual conference. This year’s get-together is themed “Future-proofing for a prosperous and vibrant New Zealand”. It promises a strong focus on leadership and addressing the big challenges and opportunities facing our country and communities. Addresses will include “Creating resilient, sustainable and liveable places: Place-making for resilient communities” by Place Partners director Kylie Legge. LGNZ president Dave Cull and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw will conduct a session “Leading our response to climate

change: Adapting to the changing environment”. LGNZ will also announce the winners of its annual EXCELLENCE Awards at a gala dinner. NZ Local Government Magazine will carry extensive coverage of the winning awards entries in its August issue, which will be published early and delivered to conference delegates on the morning following the awards evening. The conference, to be held at Christ’s College, Christchurch, will run from July 15 to 17. • For more information go to:

The Institute of Public Works Australasia (IPWEA) and Strategic Lighting Partners (SLP) have just released details of their next International Street Lighting + Smart Controls Conference. It will be held at Sydney’s International Convention Centre from April 2-4, 2019. The conference will showcase advances in street lighting deployments in Australia and New Zealand, and address next steps needed to accelerate the roll-out of large-scale street lighting and smart controls. IPWEA says that while the previous conference, held in Brisbane in 2017, homed in on LED street lighting, this 2019 conference will shift the focus to the integration of smart controls. It says both countries are in the early decisionmaking stages of planning for smart and connected cities. • To register your interest, go to:

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ON THE MOVE Fiona McTavish is to become chief executive of Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana. Currently the council’s general manager strategy and science, she takes up her new role at the end of this month. Fiona replaces Mary-Anne Macleod, who indicated to council at the beginning of March that she would not be reapplying for the position after seven years in the role. Regional Council chair Doug Leeder said Mary-Anne had developed and implemented major policy and science advances, complex financing and accountability structures, and had made a significant contribution to local government at a national level. She also led the organisation through several major crises, including the Rena grounding and the Edgecumbe floods. Kelvin French has been appointed as chief executive officer for Waikato Local Authority Shared Services (WLASS). Kelvin has held senior finance and tax roles in the Waikato region including with AgResearch and PwC. WLASS was established in 2005. It is owned by 12 councils – Waikato Regional, Hamilton City, and the district councils of Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Otorohanga, Rotorua, South Waikato, Taupo, ThamesCoromandel, Waikato, Waipa and Waitomo. Mark Laing has been appointed chief financial officer at Auckland Transport (AT) taking over from Richard Morris who left in April. Mark joins AT from Spark where he has worked in a variety of senior finance roles, both at corporate and business unit levels. Prior to that he was at Telecom. Mark starts with AT in mid-July. In the meantime, David Bardsley is acting CFO. David Hammond is now an associate director of Sheffield North Island, focusing on recruiting CEs and senior managers, and specialising in the public and local government-related sectors. David is well known to many in the sector for his former role as CE at Thames-Coromandel District Council and, since then, his work as a private consultant to local government. At Sheffield, he is working across a wide range of aspects including recruitment,

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Fiona McTavish

Mark Laing

David Hammond

Roger McRae

personal confidential advice, CE performance appraisal support, mentoring of senior managers and CEs, culture change and reorganisation. He says he’s still available for leading workshops, and public speaking on topics including community leadership structures, tourism destination management and freedom camping. A new charitable trust, Construction Health & Safety NZ (CHASNZ), has been developed to provide leadership of health and safety in the construction industry. CHASNZ will supersede the existing Construction Safety Council and take over ownership of ConstructSafe, the safety competency assessment programme, subject to the approval of the Construction Industry Council (the current owner of ConstructSafe).  The CHASNZ board comprises senior industry leaders from across all construction sectors and will be led by an independent chair, Roger McRae, formerly MD of McConnell Dowell.  Other members and the sectors they represent include: • Civil and infrastructure contractors – Steve Killeen (CE, Downer NZ);

• Commercial building contractors – Rick Herd (CE, Naylor Love); • Residential building contractors – Nigel Smith (MD, Milestone Homes); • Small and medium-sized contractors – Graham Burke (chair, Specialist Trade Contractors Federation); • Government – Nicole Rosie (CE, WorkSafe NZ); • Unions – Richard Wagstaff (president, NZCTU); • Public sector client – Shane Ellison (CE, Auckland Transport); • Private sector client – Susan Huria (director, Ngai Tahu Property); • Consultants – Darryl-Lee Wendelborn (MD, Beca NZ); and • Independent – Francois Barton (executive director, Business Leaders’ H&S Forum). CHASNZ will work in partnership with the government, regulators and unions to deliver a unified plan to create consistency and simplification of industry standards, systems, measurement and expectations across the construction industry. Jon Harper-Slade, previously GM of the Construction Safety Council, has been appointed as acting chief executive of CHASNZ.


Hamilton and Waikato get ‘warm white’ LED street lighting Waikato District Council and Hamilton City Council are rolling out a 'warm white' LED light specially designed by Philips. They are the first local authorities in the country to do so. Over 15,000 new street luminaires have been custom-made by Philips for the specific conditions in Hamilton and the Waikato. Half of them are already in place and the rest will be installed by the end of the year. While numerous districts throughout the country have replaced older HID lights with LEDs, Hamilton and Waikato are the first to specify a 3000 Kelvin luminaire which provides an atmospheric form of ‘warm white’ lighting. This is a less harsh, and more welcoming, light compared to the more common 4000 Kelvin LEDs which produce a cooler blue-white light similar to daylight. The $7.2 million project is being funded by the NZ Transport Agency with contributions from Waikato District and Hamilton City Councils. It is being managed by the Infrastructure and Waikato Alliances, a strategic partnership between the councils and Downer, with Cory’s supplying some 16,000 Philips ‘Road Grace’ luminaires.

Over 9300 existing lights will be upgraded on the two council’s P category residential roads and more than 5700 along higher-volume V category roads. The new LEDs fit into existing street light poles and infrastructure, are more energy efficient and require less maintenance, with Hamilton expecting to save over $250,000 in reduced power and maintenance costs in the first year, and almost $550,000 in 2019/20.    For this project, Philips also developed a new form of streamlined, 100 percent-recyclable cardboard packaging to ship the 16,000 units, which will save the councils an estimated $40,000 in disposal fees. A luminaire’s output can be adjusted manually on individual poles without an expensive Control Management System. A narrow band amber light is being developed for light-sensitive zones such as the Hamilton Observatory, which was once outside the city’s limits but is now much closer to lit residential areas. Philips is also currently designing customised walkway lighting which minimises light spill into neighbouring houses from adjacent poles.

New insights from Treasury’s Insights tool Treasury’s Insights tool has been updated and expanded with new content on population change and migration for territorial authority areas. Insights contains a range of online data analysis tools and provides detailed information about the country’s population in an interactive way. The page now includes two new tools: Population Directions and Population Explorer. These provide information on changes in the population of New Zealand and its territorial authorities over recent years: how many people have been born and died, where people have moved to and from, who has left and who has arrived. The data for Insights comes from Statistics NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI), and brings together information about all sources of population change in one place for the first time. Insights is available at:

First Invent Alphameter Before LED installation.

After LED installation.

Installing LED lighting.

Design and project engineering company JIPL is installing its first Invent Alphameter in the country. Being installed this month at a major Auckland council organisation, the Invent Alphameter is used worldwide for direct aeration control and process monitoring. The Alphameter allows a quantitative approach to aeration system control by providing real-time measurement of process oxygen demand and parameters affecting oxygen. JIPL specialises in providing turnkey water and wastewater technology installations. It introduced the Alphameter into the Australian market last year.





Datacom launches Antenno app The ability to report issues, submit ideas and send feedback to council has now gone live in Datacom’s Antenno app for local government community engagement. People in the community can now notify councils immediately if they discover graffiti, potholes, dumped rubbish or other issues. Datacom says that reporting issues through the app achieves real two-way community engagement for councils.

Mark Matijevic.


Mapping and Visualisation

Data Management

Field Mobility Monitoring


Understand locations and relationships with maps and visual representations

Collect, organise and maintain accurate locations and details about assets and resources

Manage and enable a mobile workforce to collect and assess information in the field

Discover, quantify, and predict trends and patterns to improve outcomes

Track, manage, and monitor assets and resources in real time

Design and Planning

Decision Support

Constituent Engagement

Sharing & Colloration

Evaluate alternative solutions and create optimal designs

Gain situational awareness and enable informationdriven decision making

Communicate and collaborate with citizens and external communities of interest

Empower everyone to easily discover, use, make, and share geographic information Copyright Š 2018 Esri. All rights reserved. 163094 G87601

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New service to help reconcile differing seismic assessments The recent move builds out the Antenno community engagement app which already sends alerts and notifications for places and topics that individuals care about such as home, work or school. It is free for people in the community to use and is already in use by a number of councils in New Zealand and Australia. South Waikato District Council and Taupo District Council in this country, and Shire of Manjimup in Australia, are using the new issue reporting feature now. Marlborough District Council and Kapiti Coast District Council will go live with issue reporting soon. Datacom’s director local government Mark Matijevic says the Antenno app is believed to be a first of its kind in the local government space. Antenno is free for people in the community and is available in the App Store for Apple and in Google Play for Android.

Engineering New Zealand has launched a service to help engineers overcome the challenges of widely differing seismic assessments. Chief executive Susan Freeman-Greene says seismic assessments require significant professional judgement. “This means different engineers can produce differing assessments of the same building. But it’s important they are in the same ballpark.” She says that if there are significantly different seismic assessments for the same building, Engineering New Zealand first recommends those engineers work together to agree on an outcome. Engineering New

Zealand’s new programme can help if engineers can’t reach resolution themselves. The programme provides independent, expert facilitation that helps engineers agree on a narrower assessment rating. To be eligible, engineers must have already attempted to resolve the differing assessments together. They must also have attempted to agree on the key elements behind the disagreement. More details about the programme, what it costs and how to apply at

Tell us about your products & services If you have recently launched a new product or service please email editor Ruth Le Pla for next steps on sharing your story with the people who make the buying decisions in local government. All articles published at the discretion of the editor.

50 TOWNS ON A WIN! Kaikohe, Oamaru and Hokitika have brought to 50 the number of towns in the NZMCA’s Motorhome Friendly town network, which is providing a healthy boost to tourism spending in the regions. As Motorhome Friendly, the destinations offer a warm welcome to Motorhome Tourists with an appropriate freedom camping bylaw and a suitable level of facilities. In return, the NZMCA encourages its 80,000-plus members to stop, stay and spend in the Motorhome Friendly towns by promoting local attractions and events – all at no cost to the towns involved. It’s a win/win for all 50 towns involved. To find out how becoming Motorhome Friendly can benefit your community, call Gillian Rutherford today.

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AT THE ALGIM AUTUMN CONFERENCE Geographic information systems, and information and records management were hotly debated at ALGIM’s recent conference in Wellington.

1. Hollie Cleaver (BlockBit Solutions), Mike Manson (ALGIM) & Reeanjou Ram (BlockBit Solutions). 2. Kerri Siatiras (Siatiras Consulting), Andy Fenton (Desktop Imaging), Andrea McIntosh (Whangarei District Council) & Stephen Beighton (Desktop Imaging). 3. Desmond Marshall (Wellington City Council) with Demos Gougoulas (EzeScan). 4. At the Crown Records Management expo stand. 5. Julio Medeiros (New Plymouth District Council) with Hamish Murray and Karen Barton (both from Magiq Software).


6. Nigel Paxton (Objective Corporation), Andrew Wilson (Environment Southland) & Daryl Marshall (Objective Corporation). 7. Vanessa Brown (Crown Records Management). 8. Toni Satherley & Catherine Otto (both from Waikato District Council) with Maria Wilson (Redman Solutions). 9. Denise Thompson (Environment Canterbury) & Joy Kopa (Tararua District Council). 10. Adrian Humphris (Wellington City Council) & Liam Maher (Porirua City Council). 11. At the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) expo stand. 12. Suzanne Butler (Waitaki District Council), Claudia Gawler (Waipa District Council) & Catherine Turner (Waitomo District Council).



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The following awards were celebrated at the

ALGIM Autumn Conference

awards evening in Wellington recently. IRM Professional Development Award – Sarah Botur, Northland Regional Council. GIS Professional Development Award – Andrew Wilson, Environment Southland. IRM Professional of the Year – Violet Christison, Tararua District Council. GIS Professional of the Year – Gail Yearbury-Murphy, Northland Regional Council. IRM Project of the Year – ‘The Mother of all Migrations’ by Ashburton District Council. GIS Project of the Year – ‘An Enhanced Picture of Water Allocation in Northland’ by Northland Regional Council.

1. All the winners except Sarah Botur. L to R: Leonie Robinson, Andrew Wilson, Gail Yearbury-Murphy, Violet Christison and Janelle Palmer. 2. Andrew Wilson, Environment Southland and Mike Manson, ALGIM chief executive. 3. Demos Gougoulas, EzeScan (sponsor) and Leonie Robinson, Ashburton District Council. 4. Mike Manson, ALGIM chief executive and Janelle Palmer, Northland Regional Council. 5. Jason Gannon, Power Business Services (sponsor) and Violet Christison, Tararua District Council.


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

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ISOVIST ePlanning Specialists NZ Planning Institute Best Practice and Supreme Award Winner 2018 /





Resource Consents





Making a

SPLASH Wellington launches country’s first above-ground emergency water network

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If the ‘big one’ had hit the capital a year ago, many Wellingtonians would have been without a water supply for 100 days or more. The situation is now very different. A partnership between infrastructure specialists Cardno and council-owned utility Wellington Water has turned the traditional supply approach on its head. If, and when, disaster strikes, every resident will be able to access 20 litres of emergency water, every day.


n the early hours of November 14, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake centred in Kaikoura hit Wellington. The shake highlighted the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, and woke up many teams in central and local government to the need for a rapid response to support recovery of the capital’s economy and communities. A ‘city without water for 100 days’ may alarm many residents and it’s great fodder for headlines. But for council operators it is anything but fresh news. Knowing the scale of the problem, and driving the work to secure funding and the capability to do something about it, hasn’t been an easy road. Mark Kinvig is Wellington Water’s group manager network strategy and planning. He says the group’s technical leadership, and its model of regional management, have been important in pinpointing the specific issues, and highlighting the vulnerability of the bulk water supply network. The longer it takes to restore critical infrastructure, the greater the impact on the community and the local economy. Porirua and Wellington rely solely on long pipes that cross active fault-lines and a long-term disruption could see businesses leave the region and not return. “Wellington’s drinking water network is made up of more than 2000 kilometres of buried pipes – and around 1400 kilometres are considered vulnerable,” says Mark. “Around 30 percent of our 149 water reservoirs are also considered vulnerable. “If the full strength of the Kaikoura quake had hit the Wellington fault-line, the impact on our services would have been significant. “The work we’ve done over the past three years with our suppliers and consultants has put us in a really good position to understand the movement of the Wellington Fault, and the impact that it would have on drinking water supply.” The country’s first above-ground emergency water network goes operational later this month. At its heart will lie a network of more 300 water collection sites across Wellington. Water will be transported to these sites, and stored in “bladders” ensuring that, in an emergency, no-one has to go more than 1000 metres to collect their water. “At the heart of our resilience work,” says Mark, “is our level of service resilience – providing 20 litres of emergency water for every person, every day, within 1000 metres of every home.” Wellington Water’s operational plan, Community Infrastructure Resilience, rests on providing that level of service from day eight onwards. “We’ve shared that vision with our shareholders and our

A 5000-litre drum bladder provides water to a community tap stand.

client councils over the past three years,” says Mark. “And they have bought into that aspiration. We’ve also re-set our expectations around how long households will need to look after themselves. “Based on the work we’ve done, we know that households need to look after themselves for at least seven days. “It will take us at least that time to start operating the emergency water network. Our clear household resilience advice is that every person needs 20 litres of water, for every day, for at least seven days. The traditional storage amount of three litres a day just doesn’t cut it in Wellington.” Wellington Water has worked with infrastructure specialists Cardno to generate a recommended water supply resilience programme that is seen as industry-leading in its approach. The strategic response to Wellington’s water supply challenge





is captured in the “Towards 80-30-80” strategy. It demonstrates a number of recommendations to build resilience, and a longterm programme of investment options to reduce the number of days it takes to restore water to parts of the region. The objective is to provide 80 percent of Wellington Water’s customers, within 30 days of a major earthquake, with at least 80 percent of their water needs. Cardno’s technical director of infrastructure strategy Antony Cameron says it was only days after the Kaikoura earthquake that the community aspects of 80-30-80 strategy were stepped towards action. “The focus was providing the community with alternatives to the network as a low-cost and quick solution to ensure residents would be able to access local sources of water.” Work streams in 80-30-80 focus on factors such as complexity, cost, timeframe to deliver and value for money. Antony says this helped focus resources on projects that were likely to deliver the most resilience benefit in the final programme. “The flexibility was proven in the speed that we were able to meet central government’s call to accelerate investment in water resilience initiatives at the end of 2016. “The solid regional model and clear storytelling was an important part of securing funding in Budget 2017.” Delivering the multiple strands of Community Infrastructure Resilience is programme manager Andy Brown. The work is co-funded through $6 million of central government funding, with Upper Hutt, Hutt City, Porirua and Wellington City councils matching the contribution with an additional $6 million together. “With $12 million in funding, and just 12 months to do it, our team have worked with a challenging programme,” says Andy. “The water sources need to be confirmed as viable, water treatment processes designed and established – but not for routine use. This is a big deviation from standard water treatment processes.

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“Right now we’re in the thick of collaborating with Wellington’s emergency management sector to finalise the ‘how’ of the distribution network. Like everything about this programme, it is designed to be flexible. We can all be very proud of what’s been achieved for the people of Wellington within such a short time.”

Searching for emergency water Investigation into alternative water sources included assessment of all freshwater surface bodies. Although this investigation identified 11 surface water locations, it found huge gaps in the region for reliable emergency water sources. Cardno found a solution by identifying the potential for groundwater aquifers within the fractured basement rocks of the region that could provide a sustainable withdrawal rate of one litre per second or greater. This is the minimal requirement to supply the population of the area. Cardno was engaged to fast-track water resilience initiatives from the 80-30-80 strategy, which included the drilling of emergency groundwater bores.

Community Infrastructure Resilience Programme The Community Infrastructure Resilience Programme is delivering 22 low-cost modular water treatment stations, a comprehensive water distribution network and an integrated emergency plan. Antony Cameron says the key to unlocking water supply resilience is making resilience simple and communicating clearly. “To me, resilience is about asking what my friends or family would consider reasonable in the circumstances. “We knew we would have a big problem on our hands but we needed some real data to get a good understanding of the scale of this problem.” Cardno turned to the use of cellular analytics to understand how people move in and around the region. This data proved invaluable to the resilience team who quickly worked out there

could be more than 100,000 people trying to walk out of Wellington City’s CBD alone. It also helped confirm that the lack of transport across the region would effectively create 17 miniature islands until these transport routes were restored. This information was a key foundation informing the community-centric approach. “The data told us we can’t be there, and even if we could, the response may be patchy,” says Antony. “We recognised we needed to empower communities with local, resilient water services and water supply is provided within 17 emergency response islands, while also planning for a utility-led response”.

Community Water Stations The Community Water Station is a containerised treatment station that treats water taken from local water sources. By mid-2018 there will be 22 of these stations strategically located around the Wellington region. These water stations are an innovative and cost-effective solution. They supplement reservoir storage, ensuring each community has enough water to survive and to maintain hygiene. The stations also store the bulk of the water treatment and distribution equipment that each community will need to extract, treat and distribute the water to residents.

Distributing water to communities At each of the 22 community water stations there will be at least one 20,000 litre bladder. This is filled with water that has been through water treatment processes in the community water station – after it has been extracted from an emergency groundwater bore or taken from a stream or river. Potable water from the 20,000-litre bladders is, in turn, used to fill hundreds of 1000-litre transportable bladders – the vehicles carrying these bladders are the ‘pipes’ in the emergency water network. Water collection points – with 5000-litre bladders – will be available at schools, parks, roadsides and community emergency hubs. The 5000 litre bladders are filled up with the water transported to them by the 1000-litre transportable bladders. Utes, trailers and all available transport options will become the ‘pipes’ while the existing network is unusable. The distribution network has been modelled within each of the ‘islands’, to ensure everyone can access potable water no more than 1000 metres from their home.

Providing potable water A complex water treatment system is housed within each water station container. At the surface water sites, the system is slightly larger than what is required at the groundwater bore sites. The water treatment system involves processing the extracted water through a disposable filter, a carbon filter, micro-filter, ultraviolet treatment as well as chlorination. LG





Bay of Plenty Regional Council

First Mana


a Rohe

In June 2017, Bay of Plenty Regional Council was the first local authority in the country to receive an iwi authority Mana Whakahono a Rohe invitation. Council’s Maori policy team leader Anaru Vercoe details steps taken and learnings to date.


n April 2017 the National Government released a suite of changes to the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Among those changes was a significant provision to enhance the participation of Maori in council decisionmaking enshrined in the legislation as Mana Whakahono a Rohe (MWR) or Iwi Participation Agreements. Completion of these arrangements is mandatory should a local authority or regional council receive an invitation from an iwi authority. Prior to the amendments, councils had the discretion to achieve what is now prescribed under legislation. MWR represents government’s intention to raise the profile of Maori participation in decision-making and to hold councils to account. The purpose of a Mana Whakahono a Rohe is (section 58M): • to provide a mechanism for iwi authorities and local authorities to discuss, agree and record ways in which tangata whenua may, through their iwi authorities, participate in resource management and decision-making processes under this Act; and • to assist local authorities to comply with their statutory duties under this Act, including through the implementation

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of sections 6(e), 7(a) and 8. This article focuses on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s involvement with the MWR invitation from an iwi authority. The intention is not to promote the approach taken by council but to highlight matters that can only be drawn from experience.

The invitation In June 2017, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council was the first council in the country to receive an iwi authority Mana Whakahono a Rohe invitation. Notwithstanding the ink was still drying on the amendments to the RMA, it was a steep learning curve for council officers to, first, understand the intention of the MWR provisions, and second to inform council of the impact it would have on responding to Maori. Internal draft guidelines were drawn up setting out the “must do’s” and the “options” as prescribed under the various sections of the Act. These, along with supporting reports, were presented to council which generated a lot of discussion. This was to be expected given that the changes to the RMA only crystallised in the form of a bill in March 2017, a short period before it was passed in law. This, consequently, did not

give council the time to adequately understand the MWR provisions. Council had at its disposal the resources to be able to support and attend to the invitation, unlike the iwi, who do not have a suite of specialists to draw on. Resourcing iwi to be an equal partner in the process has been identified as a challenge, but necessary to ensure the success of the MWR. The iwi involved, however, consider MWR as highly significant, warranting their attention to enable their aspirations for their land, associated waterways and their people. Under section 58O (3) & (4), an initial hui must be arranged within 60 days from receipt of the invitation. Since June 2017 there have been four hui focused on understanding what the iwi authority wants to be included in its MWR, who will be involved, the timeframes for completion, the phases or milestones with the timeframe, and how this will be implemented. It has taken longer to scope out the parameters of the MWR by both parties under the mantle of the “initial hui” or phase one. In March 2018 the initiating iwi authority indicated that two other iwi would join in the MWR. This takes the experience into new territory where multiple parties will have specific expectations. The aim here will be to ensure that iwi have a collective kaupapa that captures those interests under a single umbrella, whilst maintaining good relationships throughout

the process. Completing a multi-party agreement will provide a useful template for the future. Our observations of the process this far have been positive. There is a willingness shown by iwi to be practical and open, but at the same time ready to debate and contest matters with council. For council this has represented a paradigm shift where decision-making is on equal footing, and that the usual discretionary powers it exercises have been tempered by the provisions of the MWR. There are levels of understanding, and views on what the legislation purports to enable. The Ministry for the Environment’s recent release of the guidelines on MWR has answered many questions and provided confidence to council staff that they were on the right track. However, all parties remain on a steep learning curve particularly on the extent and scope of the arrangement. The test will come when the specific details pertaining to participation have been identified: in particular those matters that are not mandatory which include (section 58R (4)): • How a local authority is to consult or notify iwi on resource consent matters; • Circumstances in which an iwi authority may be given limited notification as an affected party; • Any arrangement relating to other functions, duties, or powers under [the RMA]; • If there are two or more iwi authorities, how they will work




PLANNING collectively together to participate with local authorities; and • Whether an iwi authority has delegated to a group or person a role to participate in particular processes under the RMA.

Resourcing An issue of concern to both the council and iwi is the ability for iwi to adequately resource their participation in preparing an MWR. Some iwi negotiators do not live in the region and travel great distances. Financial constraints will also mean that most of the iwi representatives are volunteering their time and expertise. Further, having to ensure that the technical level of understanding is present during negotiations places an additional pressure on iwi, as most of their experts are engaged in other equally important projects. Many iwi, for example, are already heavily burdened with having to engage on consent matters, planning and policy proposals, and the new Water Management Areas (WMA) under the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management 2014. This is before having time to divide their attention further to initiate an MWR and is set against other tribal matters such as economic and social development. MWR has huge potential to reduce costs in the Environment Court, consenting and planning, the sum of which would justify increasing support to implement these arrangements. As with anything new, though, it will take time to see the benefits, understand the risks, and promote confidence within council and the wider community.

There are mandatory components, optional extras, dispute resolution provisions and a responsibility on councils to review their operational processes every six years to ensure that they are commensurate with an MWR. Having to navigate through the legislation while almost immediately implementing it has been challenging. The iwi invitation came within a month and a half of the amendments passing, so constructive analysis had to be undertaken while we were engaging with the iwi. Suffice to say, that the analysis continues as we move through the negotiation process.


The experience so far

There are several things going for the regional council which gives us the confidence that an MWR with the iwi will be completed: • There is a supportive general manager, who understands the legislation, the risks and also the potential benefits. She is known and respected by the iwi which further strengthens and enhances the chances of a successful outcome. • The council has a team of Maori advisors who have legal, policy and planning backgrounds. They are supported by an in-house legal advisor who can act quickly when called upon for advice. • Council already has a very good relationship with the iwi and parties are comfortable with each other to the extent that discussions are open and honest. There is probably no other quality that can expedite shared positive outcomes than collaboration built on respect and trust. In combination with these three attributes are actions that facilitate wider understanding of MWR across the region. Bay of Plenty Regional Council recognised early on that collaborating with colleagues in district councils and in central government would lead to future opportunities to share expertise and provide support: • The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is promoting an inter-council collaborative group to provide support to staff and encourage thinking on options to improve the implementation MWR; and • It is inviting the Ministry for the Environment to attend council committees, to answer queries, clarify issues and advise on any specific matters falling out of the RMA amendments. While this experience continues, and as we become more conversant with the nuances of the legislation, perhaps the most valuable lesson we are learning is that MWR will provide clarity on how iwi would like to participate in resource management decision making. This can only lead towards closer relationships with iwi and opens up opportunities to minimise differences of opinion and produce outcomes that are supported by all parties. LG

We need to acknowledge that we are in new territory. While councils across the country may have relationship protocols, memoranda of understanding, management plans, or any other participation instruments that enhance their relationships with Maori, MWR is several levels up in terms of enhancing Maori participation in decision-making.

•B ay of Plenty Regional Council Maori policy team leader Anaru Vercoe also presented a paper on the Mana Whakahono a Rohe at the recent New Zealand Planning Institute Conference in Tauranga.

Decision Making Council committee schedules are set for the year. Using a phased approach with decision-making focused on milestones reduces the frequency to report. Ensuring that council is presented with the specific points for decision making that pertain to the agreed milestones means that key decisions can be considered together in one committee meeting. For the iwi, negotiators will need to ensure that the same package of proposals is presented to the iwi authority for their consideration within the same period for council. It becomes a challenge to synchronise timeframes where differences of opinion between iwi and council on matters to be included in the agreement arise. Council officers are currently looking at ways in which decision-making can be sufficiently streamlined to reduce delays in reaching agreed outcomes.

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New foundation Cementing in a place for Maori law in resource management Should the Resource Management Act be reformed to provide a stronger direction in recognising the importance of Maori law in resource consent decision-making? University of Otago professor of law Jacinta Ruru says that, when pitted against other components such as business, Maori law fast becomes just a nice-to-have value.


arlier this year, I had an opportunity to contribute to the New Zealand Planning Institute Conference. Based on that keynote address, I called for a new enhanced foundation for understanding holistically the rules of caring for and using land, air and water. The prospect upon us is to collectively consider how the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) could be further enhanced in practice to provide for tikanga Maori / Maori law. Local authorities need to be ready to embrace this prospect. Components of Maori law are already embedded within the RMA. Decision-makers, planners and lawyers already require an understanding of what, for example, kaitiakitanga, taonga and wahi tapu mean. But have we as a country really engaged deeply with tangata whenua to understand how these concepts sit at the heart of a Maori legal system? What does it mean to

supplant key concepts from one legal system and place them in another legal system? What further opportunities are afforded to us as a country to know better the first legal system of these lands: Maori law? The change towards broadly recognising Maori law in our state legal system is already in full swing. Statutes such as the RMA are evidence of this. Local governments will know this in practice through the generation of district and regional planning documents. Significantly, the Supreme Court, in 2012, held that tikanga Maori is also part of the common law. In that nonRMA related case, the court had to consider which law had dominance to determine where a Maori man be buried: Maori law or the common law. The Court stated: “Claims based on whakapapa [genealogy] and tikanga observed by the hapu [subtribe] of





the deceased are entitled to great weight in New Zealand law and may well prevail in a particular case”, and “Maori custom according to tikanga is therefore part of the values of the New Zealand common law”. This highest level judicial recognition ought to be one of the catalysts for the nation to catch up to this acceptance of the functional role of tikanga Maori in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand. To me, knowing our first laws – tikanga Maori – must become a foundational part of the education and practice of all those in professions who spend their careers making decisions for the use of our land, air and water. Tikanga Maori is relevant for the planners, surveyors, scientists, decision-makers and lawyers. One way to advance a more holistic consideration of the law of Aotearoa New Zealand is to depict it as a threedimensional overlapping operation. Justice Joe Williams, in particular, has provided a powerful framework for us to do just this.

Tikanga Maori must become a foundational part of the education and practice of all those in professions who spend their careers making decisions for the use of our land, air and water.

In many acclaimed addresses, his framework highlights that our law consists of: Kupe’s law, Cook’s law and Aotearoa New Zealand law. (See his address at the International Indigenous Research Conference 2016 and his article Lex Aotearoa: An Heroic Attempt to Map the Maori Dimension in Modern New Zealand Law [2013] Waikato Law Review 1.)

Kupe’s law The lands and waters of Aotearoa hold stories, traditions and laws that regulate human behaviour. These laws have sources and practices in: • Whanaungatanga (extended family, relationships, responsibilities; whakapapa (genealogy) the glue holding the Maori world together; centrality of kinship); • Mana (authority, control, influence, prestige, power leading to leadership); • Tapu (sacred, respect (complementary opposite: noa) different roles e.g. social (keeping safe) political (leadership, ceremony) and spiritual (wairua / life force); • Utu: reciprocity / obligation; • K aitiakitanga / manakitanga: (stewardship, guardianship to care for one’s own).

Cook’s law With the arrival of the Europeans and the bringing with them of a long deep history of law from England, a natural collision occurred with the first laws of the country. At the

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frontline of this collision has been: • the legal relevance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi; • the applicability of the common law doctrine of native title; and • the creation of Maori freehold land.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s law After long multiple decades of tangata whenua fighting for justice, initial breakthroughs came in the 1970s with emerging national recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi as our founding constitutional document. Fast forward to now where every day decision-makers around the country are dealing with all sorts of issues of evidence of this Treaty partnership. Aotearoa New Zealand law today is very much cognisant of the Treaty. An inherent component of this recognition must be a respectful consideration of the laws of both Treaty partners. Encouraging the uncovering of the state’s smothering of our nation’s first laws – Maori law (or in Justice William’s words, Kupe’s law) is one of our greatest opportunities to add another contribution in our collective endeavours, including at the local authority level, to find the best solutions to enable the wellbeing of our entire nation into the future.

RMA reform While the RMA contains important footholds for Maori law (including acknowledgements of kaitiakitanga, wahi tapu and taonga), experience shows that when pitted against other components in the RMA, such as business, Maori law falls fast to a simple nice-to-have value. My research into RMA court decisions within the context of cases concerning water clearly demonstrates that tangata whenua nearly always consistently lose in the courts when arguing the importance of kaitiakitanga. (J Ruru, “Indigenous Restitution in Settling Water Claims: The Developing Cultural and Commercial Redress Options in Aotearoa New Zealand” (2013) 22(2) Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal [311-352). Should the RMA be reformed to provide a stronger direction to recognising the importance of Maori law in resource consent decision-making? Since the enactment of the RMA in 1991, the legal landscape has changed dramatically with Treaty settlements (such as cooperative management of the Waikato River and agency as ancestors of Te Urewera and the Whanganui River) and policy advancements (such as the National Policy Statement for Freshwater’s recognition of Te Mana o te Wai). The RMA needs to catch up to more holistically acknowledge and support the intent of tangata whenua to know and care for lands and waters. It is timely to engage with tangata whenua to consider the possibilities (and pitfalls) for reforming the RMA with tikanga Maori as a central guiding force.

For instance, tikanga Maori is currently absent (although not specifically excluded) in the purpose section of section 5. One suggestion to advance further consideration could be to amend section 5 as follows. The proposed amendments are in red: Section 5 Purpose (1) The purpose of this Act is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. (2) In this Act, sustainable management means managing the care, use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being and for their health and safety while – (a) sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources (excluding minerals) to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations; and (b)  recognising and respecting the kawa, tikanga, and kaitiakitanga of the marae, whanau, hapu and iwi of natural and physical resources (excluding minerals); and (c) safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil and ecosystems; and (d) avoiding, remedying or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment.

Whatever the precise amendments, there ought to be an opportunity to entwine into our country’s understanding of sustainable management recognition of the important role Maori law can have in further enabling us as a country to care for and use natural resources. (See J Ruru, “Listening to Papatuanuku: a call to reform water law” (2018) Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand DOI: 10.1080/03036758.2018.1442358.) Just as in any legal system, including within the Maori legal system, inherent clashes will still be evident surrounding tensions between immediate use and development versus future conservation and protection. Such concerns exist for all peoples including tangata whenua. By explicitly adding in a respectful consideration of tangata whenua knowledge and insights into the decisionmaking of “the law relating to the use of land, air and water” (Resource Management Act 1991), we will catch up with the holistic reality of laws already evident in the lands and waters of Aotearoa New Zealand. LG • J acinta Ruru is professor of law, University of Otago and co-director of Nga Pae o te Maramatanga New Zealand’s Maori Centre of Research Excellence.


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Going digital right from the start District plans are a key planning document for communities but how do councils make them easy to use – or even get residents to have their say during plan reviews? New Plymouth District Council has broken new ground in this area and it’s so far received three awards for its efforts.

1. Liam Hodgetts, NPDC group manager strategy with Samantha O’Sullivan, planning adviser. 2. Coastal area, New Plymouth. 3. Liam Hodgetts: Developing a digital council makes a lot of sense for large organisations.



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he online revolution never ends – it just opens up more opportunities. New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) has taken the lead on moving district plans into the digital realm, and has won three awards along the way – including this year’s Nancy Northcroft Planning Practice Award from the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI). Many councils have digital district plans. However, NPDC has gone a step further by doing away entirely with a printed plan that is converted into digital by instead drafting its proposed new District Plan directly as a digital tool. “Taking that digital-only step has some big advantages,” says NPDC group manager strategy Liam Hodgetts. “The greatest is obviously ease of access. It’s quicker and easier to find the information you’re looking for when it’s searchable online rather than having to page through large files. “We’re also able to link to related information so you’re more likely to get everything you need in one visit. “Secondly, it’s been great for generating online public feedback. We’ve used it during the second stage of a threestage consultation process and we’ve been able to gather public opinions on both its content and how the e-plan itself functions.” NPDC’s e-plan focuses on the user. In a few clicks they can find information on their property anytime, anywhere. When the new District Plan has completed its formal

consultation process and is eventually live, Liam expects it will be a key tool for planners, builders and architects. Homeowners who want to explore the possibilities around their properties will be able to step through the plan’s requirements with just a few clicks of a mouse. “‘Easy’ is the key word,” says Liam. “We wanted an e-plan that’s easy to use and easy to understand – and that meant putting in a lot of work to get both the structure and the content of the tool right. “It’s about making it simpler for the public to do business with us. The more roadblocks we can remove, the better the outcome will be for our community’s development, growth and lifestyle.” He says this year’s awards are much-deserved recognition of the work that NPDC staff put in to build an online tool that enables better customer experiences and a more engaged community.

A concerted push Going digital isn’t new for New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) with the District Plan being only the latest product in its Digital Council programme. For the past two years NPDC has won SOLGM awards for its digital work. In 2018 it was the Better Policy and Regulation Category for the digital District Plan. In 2017 it won the same category (then called the Innovation in Policy or Regulatory Development Award) for a review of waahi tapu and archaeological sites that resulted in a comprehensive online map to which hapu and iwi could add their information. Residents are also able to buy LIMs online rather than needing to go into a council office. In 2016, NPDC went fully digital for all council meetings. Instead of receiving agenda papers in hard-copy, elected members were given iPads on which they could read and annotate their agendas – a move that saved the printing of half a million A4 sheets of paper every year. “Developing a digital council makes a lot of sense for large organisations,” says NPDC group manager strategy Liam Hodgetts. “Yes, we’re saving money by not going through so much paper but we’re also more efficient with our services to customers. “It also feeds really well into our push for Zero Waste. Sharpening up one side of our business through developing our digital processes means that we can also walk the talk in another area by showing how a big organisation can cut their waste volume.”





Awards won • The New Zealand Planning Institute’s (NZPI) Nancy Northcroft Planning Practice Award 2018. • NZPI’s Best Practice for District Planning Award 2018. • SOLGM’s Better Regulatory and Policy Award 2018. • Runner-up for Association of Local Government Information Management: 2018 GIS Project of the Year Award.

Barrett Lagoon houses 2017.

What’s in the plan? District plans guide how councils manage a variety of activities in their community. For NPDC’s digital District Plan, there are four key areas of change: • Keeping the central city and local business centres thriving. NPDC is seeking to combat ‘commercial spread’ by designating centres of retail and commerce, which will in turn attract more activities and strengthen their attraction to shoppers and visitors. Inner-city housing opportunities will also grow as homeowners are attracted to the increased vibrancy of these areas. • Providing enough housing for about 1000 more people per year. The housing would be of various types for different needs as the district’s community ages. Also, some business areas would be rezoned for housing while some rural land would be earmarked for future urban growth. • Providing enough land in the right locations for industry. This is to keep industry near necessary services, such as key roads, and to reduce the risk of activities clashing with the expectations of nearby residents. • Managing coastline activities so that natural values aren’t affected and risks (such as from storm surges and erosion) are minimised. Three key towns have been





identified for further work on how to manage the risks from coastal flooding, with this work including plans around the development of housing and buildings. “It’s about planning for the future and making sure our community is in a strong and healthy place in the coming decades,” says Liam. “The more that we get people involved in the shaping of the plan and understanding how we intend to respond to the challenges our community faces, the better the long-term result will be for our district.”

What’s next? In its award citation, NZPI said e-planning is a statutory requirement for all councils to move towards and NPDC’s e-plan created significant opportunities for other councils to benefit and leverage from. “We’ve had interest in this work from across the country and Australia,” says Liam. “We’re looking forward to continuing to work with other councils, central government and our technology provider, Isovist, to develop and refine the e-plan tool.” LG • View the e-plan at:


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The rise of digitallyconnected infrastructure GHD steps up its focus Kumar Parakala was in this country recently to launch GHD’s new digital business. He told Ruth Le Pla that when it comes to fending off cyberattacks there’s no sweet spot for local authorities and it would be naive think our country’s services and infrastructure are any less vulnerable to attack than those of any other country.


umar Parakala’s home is in Sydney but he tells me he’s most likely to be found on a plane. He’s global digital leader for professional services firm GHD. The firm’s expertise spans the global market sectors of water, energy and resources, environment, transportation, property and buildings. It has just launched a digital business. In New Zealand recently to promote the new digital arm of its services, Kumar tells me the firm already has 500 specialists around the world who focus on digital technologies. By now overtly grouping such expertise together, GHD is signaling its understanding that high-performing infrastructure will increasingly be digitally connected. GHD’s recent move acknowledges that digital capabilities are no longer niche disciplines. It means the firm can plug in the technological smarts needed to help clients design, deliver and operate infrastructure assets in a digitally-connected world. For local authorities working across sectors as varied as water, transport and the environment, digitally-connected infrastructure holds the promise of lower costs, faster feedback loops and greater transparency. It can also bring higher risk of cyberattacks and unwanted incursions. Local Government Magazine asked Kumar about the pros and cons of operating in a disrupted, digital environment. The following is a redacted version of the conversation. Local Government Magazine: What kinds of challenges are local authorities facing in this disrupted, digital space? Kumar Parakala: Citizens are expecting a lot more transparency from local authorities around how rates are used to provide services, for example. Data analytics can help with this, as it can with better information on how to manage costs such as water usage. Local authorities want to understand how they can use existing data to provide better client or customer service.

Kumar Parakala.





We are in discussions with local authorities and CCOs that have stakes in various businesses such as ports. A number of these organisations are looking at how they position themselves in a digital era to be more transparent and secure for their clients. They are also looking at how they can protect their assets from cybercrime and cyberattacks. One in three New Zealanders has been impacted by cybercrime. The Computer Emergency Response Team for New Zealand (CERT NZ) recently reported cybercrime affected 76 percent of local councils just last year. So this is a huge issue. Cybercrime just doesn’t simply mean virus attacks: it can also entail fraudulent credentials and data hacking. The local councils we’ve spoken to tend to be focusing on this. LG: Presumably, a lot of cybercrime is underreported or unreported in the general media? Kumar: It is not only under-reported, it goes unnoticed for a long time and that is the biggest issue. Critical infrastructure attacks have increased by seven times in the past two years. Because many local councils are still using legacy systems, they focus on detecting cybercrimes. Prevention becomes a lot more difficult. LG: You’re saying there has been a sevenfold increase in attacks in New Zealand? Kumar: No, in the Asia / Pacific region which includes New Zealand. LG: In this country, what kind of council-owned assets are we talking about here? Water reservoirs? Water management plants? What? Kumar: There are no specific reported incidents yet but if you look at the region – and there is no reason to believe New Zealand will be any different – the attacks have been on water companies, water plants, energy companies, defence organisations and facilities, and, of course, on banks and other organisations. In relation to local councils, anything considered as critical infrastructure is likely to be vulnerable and [therefore] attacked. LG: What would motivate someone to attack a local authority’s assets? Kumar: There are often multiple reasons. The first is it could be state sponsored: a rogue nation using a thirdparty agency to attack critical infrastructure to disrupt the services of another nation. That is very common nowadays. It is basically to disrupt the peace and tranquility of another nation. The second is to create doubt among citizens about existing models of governance, political systems and governments. Thirdly, data breaches and cyberattacks are often politically motivated. As you have seen in the United States and in the UK, some of the biggest breaches have been for political gains.

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LG: Would those three reasons hold true in this country? I mean, are we naive to think people would not want to attack our local authorities and their assets? Or, are we in a sweet spot and there is, perhaps, less reason why someone should launch a cyberattack here? Kumar: I don’t see a reason why New Zealand is going to be an exception when the whole world is vulnerable to cyberattacks. The number of attacks has significantly increased around the world. New Zealand is a developed country and in the past three to four years, all developed countries have had major disruption to their public services because of cyberattacks. In a globally-connected world, there is no difference between the level of exposure New Zealand is likely to have compared to Australia, the UK or the United States. All nations are equally vulnerable to attack and they need to take measures to ensure that services to citizens are not impacted. Not only are some of these attacks very difficult to detect, but they also elude incursion, prevention and virus detection programs. You don’t even know these attacks are taking place. The biggest challenge both governments and private organisations are facing is to detect and deter so-called invisible malware attacks. LG: What kind of dollars are we talking about for local authorities to stump up to try and combat such attacks? Kumar: This is less about the financial burden. There is a greater need for local authorities to be thinking innovatively. LG: What kind of different thinking might be required? Kumar: This is a global problem and no one individual organisation will have all the solutions. We are establishing a consortium of three or four companies who are working in innovative ways to deter such attacks. We are looking at innovations in the Silicon Valley, for example, at what some of the larger security companies are doing, and at the latest detection methods coming out of military intelligence in other parts of the world. We are putting together arrangements that will allow us to monitor and detect some of the latest sophisticated attacks that could have harmful impact on critical infrastructure. Cybercrime is now driven by highly-sophisticated criminals with varying levels of motivation. As with any other crime, employees within local councils need to be vigilant and ensure they are thinking outside the box to continue to protect themselves. You can’t just sit back. Very importantly, you need to have steps to recover as fast as one can when the attacks happen: because they will happen. Cyber attacks are a global problem and New Zealand needs to be globally competitive, aware and knowledgeable to deal with the challenge of cybersecurity and risk. We are living in very different times compared to even three or four years back. LG



signals collaborative stance at RIMS Forum

IPWEA NZ president Samantha Gain updated RIMS Forum participants on the engineering association’s current activities and future plans. Collaboration, connections and training are vital, she said.


PWEA NZ president Samantha (Sam) Gain called on delegates at the recent RIMS (Roading Infrastructure Management Support) Forum to focus on sharing and collaboration. “We’re a small country and we don’t need to re-invent the wheel,” she said. “We need to be talking even more than we do already.” Held this year in Palmerston North, the RIMS Forum was a joint initiative between RIMS, Infrastructure Decision Support (IDS) and New Zealand Utilities Advisor Group (NZUAG). Sam was elected president of IPWEA NZ – the local branch of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia – in June last year. She is the first female president in the group’s 109-year history. She is the Transport Transition Programme, transition lead, at Greater Wellington Regional Council. Speaking to conference attendees, Sam noted the forum followed hard on the heels of IPWEA’s Land Development Engineering Group Forum and, held the week before that, the Local Government Infrastructure Management Forum. She said such events are a “great opportunity” for local authorities to share information with each other on their asset management policies, their approach to roading, assets tools, contractors and how they handle procurement. But she urged conference participants to also follow up

on contacts made at sector conferences and “actually do the sharing”. “Interestingly, at the Infrastructure Management Forum, LGNZ chief executive Malcolm Alexander was talking about his interactions with central government,” she said, “and even within central government there’s a lot more talk about collaboration – collaboration between departments and with local government organisations.” She said she was keen for the sector to have a voice. “The ability for us to access relevant central government departments is important and we should have more opportunity to do that.” She also called for experts from many different backgrounds to be involved at the early stage of any project. Get a multi-disciplinary team when you’re starting to plan your work: don’t just talk to the engineers. “Make sure you are involving your planners, your finance people and your lawyers: all the people who are going to help you deliver that really need to be involved at the outset so you can plan for the best result.”

Connections Sam said IPWEA NZ is trying to improve its connections with a number of entities and committees, including RIMS. “Gordon Hart, who’s been the chair of the RIMS committee Samantha Gain.





Site 6 Ohau Point.

for quite a while now, comes to our board meetings in an ex officio capacity in order that we have the linkage into the Road Efficiency Group (REG) committee,” she said. “And the NAMS (NZ Asset Management Support) committee chair Al Munro sits on our board. “Within the family we also have IDS (Infrastructure Decision Support) and while IPWEA is its owner, it is run as an arms-length organisation.” Sam also mentioned the Land Development Engineering Group (LDEG) special interest group.

Training & education Sam said IPWEA NZ is currently taking a close look at the training it offers. It aims to become more agile in responding to industry demand. New initiatives are being developed. “If you’ve got any ideas about what we should be doing, please let us know.” She added that career paths and resourcing are problems in the local government sector generally, and particularly in asset management and engineering. IPWEA NZ is working with the Tertiary Education Commission on its Engineering e2e (education to employment for engineering) programme.

The ‘Fostering our future’ initiative is looking at ways to provide different qualifications, and different pathways to qualifications, to attract, develop and train people in the sector. “At least 50 percent of public works professionals hold an uncredited qualification in infrastructure management,” she said. “IPWEA and Engineering e2e are working together to evaluate the feasibility of using micro credentials to provide recognition and pathways for the development of the unique skills required by qualified infrastructure asset managers.” Finally, Sam invited conference attendees to help answer the sector’s “big questions” and share their own experiences in a five-minute online questionnaire. This asks participants about learning and qualifications. LG •For more information go to:

>> Go to our website to read Local Government Magazine’s interview with Samantha Gain when she took up the presidency of IPWEA NZ. Search: Samantha Gain.

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Asset information

The urgent need to prioritise As local authorities prepare their second-generation 30-year infrastructure strategies, Brent Burton challenges them to consider how well they understand which of their assets are the most important. He also calls on councils to look closely at how they prioritise gathering information on those assets.


eliable asset condition information enables financial forecast and asset management plans to better inform local authorities’ 30-year infrastructure strategies. Brent Burton is a senior performance auditor with the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG). In his presentation at the recent RIMS (Roading Infrastructure Management Support) Forum in Palmerston North, he focused on the findings captured in recent reports by the OAG. Brent acknowledged that local authorities face tough challenges around the affordability of sustainable asset infrastructure. He said the OAG had looked at five local authorities in detail to see how they were gathering, retaining and recording their information on assets. The local authorities were: Tauranga City Council (estimated population: 128,000); Napier City Council (61,100); Tararua District Council (17,550); Waimakariri District Council (57,800); and Dunedin City Council (127,00). The OAG was keen to see how these councils were prioritising their efforts to get the most necessary information of the right quality on their most important assets. The five local authorities represented a spread of those with population growth and those with more static populations. The OAG also ensured it included authorities from both metropolitan and rural provincial areas. Brent told RIMS delegates the OAG believes other local authorities will be able to resonate with the situations and environments selected. “We looked to share these experiences so other local authorities within the sector could potentially see aspects of themselves and their own environment and reflect on their internal messages.” Brent said the OAG didn’t define what assets were most important. “That is up to local authorities. However, our work was mostly informed by three waters and roading assets.”

He added that key messages from the OAG’s reports are published on its website “at a level where they can be applied to all asset types by authorities.”

Most important assets Brent said his single most important message for delegates was that local authorities need to ask themselves whether or not they can identify their most important assets, why they are important and whether they are prioritising them adequately. This is needed “urgently”, he said. Overall, the OAG found variable standards among local

Read the OAG’s reports B.29[17m]


Getting the right information to effectively manage public assets: Lessons from local authorities

Reflections from our audits: Investment and asset management

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ASSET MANAGEMENT authorities for formally identifying and understanding what their most important assets were. “In fact, they were at a lower level of maturity than we expected,� said Brent. “Some local authorities had formal methodologies and were looking to apply those to what they do and how they prioritise their work. Others only had knowledge locked in people’s heads and were grappling with how to extract that information and put it into the processes and policies that people follow day by day.�

Right information According to Brent, most local authorities have a very good understanding of the different types of asset information likely to be relevant for making important decisions. “Local authorities understand well the need for good condition information, and the methods and mixes of methods that can help them get that information,� he said. He noted that different methods bring different levels of certainty to information and, of course, have different resourcing requirements. “We categorise these into three very high-level groups: those that are related to physical inspection; those that extrapolate knowledge; and those that are estimates based on theory. “The decision on how, and where, to apply those methods and mixes of methods is for local authorities to make.� Brent acknowledged it can be “challenging� for local authorities to balance important asset decisions, certainty of

information and the methods that provide that certainty. He cited one local authority that used drones to assess bridges. “This is an example where technology can provide condition information of good quality, safely and with less traffic disruption.� He pointed out that valuers, financial reporters, insurers and auditors also need information on a local authority’s assets. “We found these needs were best identified through internal business workshopping and discussion.� However, he cautioned delegates to beware of putting too much work into gathering information that ‘might be useful one day’. “It simply isn’t realistic to gather all information at the highest quality,� he said. “There must be a clearly-understood purpose and a foreseeable intention to use that asset information to justify gathering it.� Brent said that by bringing together a series of metrics, local authorities can have meaningful conversations with their communities about how to fund reinvestment in assets or the consequences of not doing so. He challenged conference attendees working in operational areas to initiate conversations with their elected members and governors about what improvements are required for gathering robust asset information, why they are needed and how they might be achieved. LG

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WSP Opus’ instrumented bike in action as part of a study looking at Cycling Level of Service work in Auckland.

Smart solutions


With councils deep in the throes of their 2018-28 long term plans, Patricia Moore asked four specialists how planning processes are changing and how local authorities and their communities could benefit.


pare a thought for council planners confronted by issues around population growth and decline, implementing legislation, emerging technologies, and natural resources – to name a few. According to Nick Williamson, a senior planning consultant at Align, speeding up council decision-making processes could well relieve some of the pressure. “It doesn’t need to be this way,” he says. “Right now, councils are developing their 2018-2028 Long Term Plans. Within that same timeframe – by 2022 – Elon Musk plans to deliver the first cargo mission to Mars.” Nick says councils need to be a lot more entrepreneurial when it comes to planning. He suggests councils could adopt lean business and more agile approaches to service delivery. “Even complex policies and services can be developed very quickly.” He cites the Google Ventures five-day design sprint process to build prototype products or services, and then test the solutions. “The same methodology can be used by local government.”

For Jared Thomas, WSP Opus research manager, behavioural sciences, a key issue for planners is understanding how people will live and move in future communities. “This puts pressure on council planners and engineers to conceive and set standards for designing and enabling multimodal corridors in district plans, and decide how they might assess and achieve different infrastructure that provides for safe, enjoyable journeys whether we walk, roll or ride.” He says councils need better information on how people travel now, and how they would like to live and travel in future. “These insights help prepare for the needs of future generations. Ultimately, this makes it easier to deliver more aspirational and meaningful planning.” He cites the construction of He Ara Kotahi Manawatu River Bridge in Palmerston North as a good example. “Community feedback heavily influenced a design that achieves efficient walk-cycle commuter links, opens up a range of recreational opportunities, achieves traffic calming, activates the river’s edge and informs the community about place-specific tangata whenua and natural heritage.”






Jared says evolving technologies are assisting planners to achieve smarter outcomes. “An example of technology that’s been supported by forward-thinking councils and the Transport Agency, is the WSP Opus instrumented bike that’s been ridden, for diagnostic purposes, in urban and rural environments across the Greater Wellington Region, examining thousands of interactions with vehicles that share the road.” He says with riders on the network currently hitting the panic button every 22 minutes, the data accrued reveals the importance of better planning for this group. Meanwhile Isovist director Jonathan Richards adds that RMA planning is a complex area that can prove difficult to navigate. “However, the use of web-based technology is providing the opportunity for a smoother interaction with the planning system.

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“It is offering benefits such as improved accessibility to information; reduced print costs for councils; transparency of the planning process through improved public access to decision-making processes; and by reducing the number of basic enquiries council staff deal with, freeing up planning resources.” Jonathan says IsoPlan, a regional and district plan tool, enables users to search for rules relating solely to their property and specific activities on that property, such as consents for fences. “Instead of wading through hundreds of pages to find these details the information is accessible through a couple of mouse clicks.” Isovist works collaboratively with councils to develop and tweak their products, then shares those improvements with other council clients. Jonathan says recent work with New Plymouth District Council is a case in point.

Eplan on screens (Image from Isovist).

The design of the new He Ara Kotahi bridge responds to a nearby karaka grove, sacred to local iwi.Â

Members of the Arborlab team monitoring and supervising works under the drip line.


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Growing Concerns Ask David Spencer, principal consultant arborist at Arborlab, about planning issues and he cites tree rules, extreme weather and budgets. “A major concern is differing opinions on tree rules for councils and external planners, particularly around pruning and trees in new developments.”

David Spencer.

Nick Williamson, senior planning consultant at Align.

Lack of unifying agreed standards often leads to contention he says. “I believe there’s a need for central government to create a New Zealand Standard that’s adopted across the country.” David says work on a Wellington development was stopped because it was occurring under the drip-line of a heritage Norfolk pine. Council was concerned about damage to the tree’s roots. Arborlab suggested an alternative measurement system – as per UK and Australian standards – that was accepted and allowed construction to continue. To date, the tree has shown no detrimental effects. David says problems can also arise when Significant Natural Areas are not accurately identified. Similarly, problems occur when lack of experience of use of cheap GIS technology leads to areas being wrongly identified as

Jared Thomas, WSP Opus research manager, behavioural sciences.

significant. “Planners need to apply environmental context, judgement and value, when doing assessments. There’s also a need to consider maintenance when changing use of open spaces,” he says. “Areas may become very difficult or expensive to maintain. With park asset bases increasing but operations budgets remaining static or decreasing, councils can find they’re unable to maintain these assets.”

“The project aimed to provide a web-based district plan and submissions system and involved a major overhaul of the design of our products. User experience input provided by New Plymouth improved the look and feel, making the products much simpler to use.” The online platform has been recognised as a leading ePlanning tool and is the winner of a number of industry awards. But beware of treating symptoms rather than digging further into the problem, says Align’s Nick Williamson. “Throwing technology at an issue isn’t usually a fix but using technology to inform the process is critical. “The design process relies on identifying your assumptions then measuring how your prototyped solution works when tested in a real-world environment.” And, in noting there are a lot of platforms enabling councils to collect and publish data, Nick suggests adopting an ‘open by default’ approach. Councils, he suggests, could take a leaf out of the Google Maps book and ask users to update data. “Be open, honest and ask for help. It’s a great way to build trust with a community.” LG • Patricia Moore is a freelance writer.

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Smart solutions

Geographic information systems Geospatial technologies are capturing the imagination and the headlines. But what impact are they having at local authority level? Patricia Moore looks at the science of where.


rones, driverless cars and sensor-driven cities; are we living in the future? Are cash-strapped councils accessing these smart solutions to improve performance and deliver a greater return on investment to their stakeholders? For many councils, geographic information systems are already used across services ranging from waste recycling to emergency management and network operations. Scott Campbell, head of technology at Eagle Technology says local government is inherently spatial. “So location is used to connect many of the enterprise systems and databases a council maintains.” But the science of geographic information systems (GIS) has evolved. Scott says the drivers behind GIS today are powerful, easy-to-use, configurable tools, which are being put into the hands of the wider organisation. And these are often people who may not know or care what GIS is. “GIS has gone beyond simple mapping to building on mainstream technology trends like the cloud and focused

apps, combined with less traditional data sources such as sensors or drones to encompass areas like the internet of things (IoT), building information modelling (BIM), big data, machine learning and virtual reality (VR). “This may sound a bit like buzz-word bingo but GIS now harnesses these capabilities where it is increasingly being applied for mission-critical purposes. We refer to this combination of advanced technology and geospatial as the ‘science of where’.” Tony Elson, a director at Geographic Business Systems, suggests it’s not so much about the impact of new GIS technologies but, rather, whether councils are equipped to utilise trends and have the capacity to do so. He highlights three main areas where they should be taking advantage of web GIS. “Users don’t have to be GIS experts,” he notes. “Decisionmakers can look at common operational pictures of their assets, understand where and why ratepayer money is being

Scott Campbell, head of technology at Eagle Technology.

Charlotte Reed, manager: strategy and information services, Tonkin + Taylor.

Tony Elson, Geographic Business Systems.

Roya Hendesi, WSP Opus geospatial team leader.





spent based on location data, and where future capital expenditure projects may be implemented. For many councils, this is not happening.” Secondly – something Tony says specialists have “been banging on about for years” – councils are finally using infield processes to collect, maintain and validate assets and events. Tony says councils have been “way too slow” to take up this capability. Finally, he says another huge innovation in GIS is the ability to render 3-D data across any device. “Coupled with this is the driver from external organisations for councils to consume, manage and display BIM data.” At Tonkin + Taylor, drone technology has become a “business-as-usual” reality for tasks such as collecting data in dangerous, remote or challenging terrain, and the collection of post-disaster information. Charlotte Reed, manager: strategy and information services, says the use of drones means staff can avoid entering such terrain and still achieve project objectives. “We’re seeing the best outcomes of drone technology when our technical specialists collaborate with technology innovators to solve clients’ challenges with more efficient and data-rich solutions. “As an example, we’ve used drones to capture highresolution multi-spectral datasets for use by our ecologists. This information has been digitally post-processed to identify attributes such as vegetation ‘health’ derived from indices or tree heights, for an assessment of environmental effects.” She says drone imagery can be turned into ‘virtual flythroughs’ or 3-D models enabling clients to picture the value of the ecosystems their decisions are affecting. GIS can also help eliminate silos within councils. Roya Hendesi, WSP Opus geospatial team leader, explains that by making available an interactive view of background information in relation to spatial representation, GIS provides a decision-making tool to pull information from different databases into one place. An important element is the identification of the physical location of each asset. “If systems are compatible, unique IDs can relate all available information which can then be represented and visualised in GIS.” Roya says interactive GIS viewers are easy to understand and user-friendly, allowing authorities to make timely decisions and implement plans more effectively. “Furthermore, live GIS data from different organisations can instantly be accessed and visualised in conjunction with other datasets,” she adds. “Historically our asset condition assessment on the field was conducted in a single environment with little or no automated relationship with other information stored in the system against those assets.” Roya says this resulted in a lot of manual work, post field data capture and the risk of inaccurate data entry. “Implementation of integrated data capture processes

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through ArcGIS has introduced cost- and time-saving benefits by minimising the risks and having a truly efficient system which points to one source of truth.” So where next for the science of where? Roya notes that increased awareness of technological advances is becoming more evident, and solutions, such as GIS viewers, are more popular. But, she concedes, there are challenges. “Funding, lack of suitable skillsets, resistance to change; but the benefits are well worth the effort and investment.” Scott Campbell agrees, suggesting that as GIS matures beyond traditional mapping and extends its application into new technology, challenges for local authorities will include governance, eg, where does GIS sit? “The current situation in many councils is that they are still in the process of fully rolling out self-service GIS and analysis but see this as a priority due to the need to support increased demand with finite resources.” For Tony, one of the biggest issues is funding. “As long as councils continue to look at price as a determining factor when implementing systems and processes, it’s always going to be a key element. The consequence is a greater cost in the long-run, because of either project failure or cost blow-out. “Councils need to be doing more to keep their good people and train them. There has to be a willingness within councils to move forward and take advantage of the new technologies.” Charlotte points out that by enabling greater and more spatial access to information already held by councils, communities can make more refined and informed decisions. “For example, the GIS team at Tonkin + Taylor believes releasing more planning information, imagery, elevation and hazard information, and transforming these from reports into a machine-readable and spatially-represented form, would enable all of us to make much greater use of the data we already have.” But she says, for non-users, fully understanding the capabilities of a geospatial system may not be easy. “The challenge to geospatial practitioners is to ignite the imaginations of elected members, technical advisors and communities so that together we can unlock this potential.” LG • Patricia Moore is a freelance writer.


In the JULY issue

SMART SOLUTIONS • Flood management • Digital tools for customer engagement


Crisis? What crisis? Local government is not as bad at handling problems after all.


have had the opportunity to work with several non-local government organisations, providing communication guidance and / or delivery in ‘crisis’ situations. Working outside the local government sector in each of these socalled crisis communication situations was revealing. It usually starts with a phone call. “Hey, we’ve got a bit of a crisis on our hands – are you free to talk?” “Sure.” (I’d be mad not to). In the past few months, these organisations have included a small family firm, a not-forprofit organisation, a medium-sized private sector company and a large institution. To all intents and purposes, each of these would be classed as a solid, highly-valued enterprise. Apart from one, the catalyst for each ‘crisis’ call was because suddenly the media was on their backs and was going to make them look bad. In each case, one of the following had occurred: • something unexpected, significant and out of the organisation’s control was about to affect the business or its customers; • something expected, significant and within the control of the organisation was going in an unexpected direction; or • some small, persistent, insignificant thing had suddenly spiraled into a large, potentiallydamaging thing. Their expectation was that, by calling me, I would either make the bad thing go away, contain the damage or turn the crisis into something good. Now technically, while all these things are possible, it is incredibly hard to do that if some fundamental things are not already in place. Surprisingly, not one of the organisations had prepared for the sorts of situations they found themselves in. That was not because they didn’t have good people or good intent but because they did not have the most basic and fundamental systems or processes in place. For the record, these are: • contact lists that can be used in a range of formats – including street addresses. This remains the main barrier to effective crisis communication and it beggars belief why

organisations do not put the effort into getting this simple thing right; • policies for communication channels (media, social media, website, email etc) including who says what and when; • a process for dealing with a significant unexpected event; • facts (never, ever under-estimate the power of facts). Another surprise was the knee-jerk overreaction to the issue at hand. Instead of focusing on dealing with the unexpected event, the bosses (usually it was the bosses) focused their energy on responding to the media. Or, worse still, they were responding to social media. In doing this, they were allowing the media, or the commentators, to dictate the agenda and their own organisation’s response to the event. When this happened, the bosses were calling this ‘the crisis’, and believed that as long as they were issuing media releases, they would fix it. (They wouldn’t.) Instead, they needed to stop, reflect, gather their facts and take control. They were forgetting that it is the response to any potentially significant, unexpected, bad or damaging event that makes it a crisis. Not the event itself. The response to such an event always requires the basics. It’s about making sure you have the right communication, at the right time, to the right people, in the right way. This can, and does, enable any organisation to ride out the storm, address misconceptions or hose down the panic. The good news from these experiences was the recognition that local government, by and large, does have the fundamentals in place. Civil Defence discipline is perhaps one of the reasons for that. Most councils do invest in good systems and processes. They have contact lists, policies, processes and facts. Most of the bosses in local government realise that nothing can be taken for granted and that any day can turn to custard in an instant. In my experience – and despite the constant angst, tension, autopsies, self-flagellation and muck-ups – local government does a bloody great job. LG





Watch this space What’s coming up and local government viewing guide.


ur pregnant Prime Minister may have impressed the Queen and Hillary Clinton, but it was the Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta who charmed the crowd at the recent SOLGM Excellence Awards. It was interesting to see a room packed with senior local government officials offer spontaneous applause to the new minister when she confirmed her already-signalled intent to return the four well-beings to the Local Government Act 2002 – even if none of the speakers on the night seemed quite able to remember all four at once. It cannot be assumed that the change of government was universally welcomed in the relatively-prosperous circles of this particular audience. But the evidence, on the part of the minister, of genuine interest in the sector played like a breath of fresh air after the passing parade of ministers keeping the seat warm in recent years. There is also scope for a more holistic approach to local government given her other portfolios as Minister of Maori Development and Associate Minister of the Environment. Like it or not, this government is focusing on local government with an interested and determined minister who appears to have the support of her Cabinet colleagues. The focus is not just on efficiency and network infrastructure. While all our recent governments may have been centrist, there is a clear distinction between the economic focus of the last government, and the renewed interest in the social, cultural and environmental climate of the present one. The Local Government (Community Wellbeing) Amendment Bill will reinstate the quadruple bottom line of the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities as a central tenet of the Local Government Act, as well as the concept of a sustainable development approach. The emphasis on core services in the Act will disappear, as will the restrictive provisions placed on development contributions for

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community infrastructure in the 2014 amendment to the Act. There is also a practical hand up for local authorities struggling to bring forward NZTA funding for critical transport without compromising the ability to collect development contributions for transport, in the form of amendments to section 200 (the double-dipping provision) of the Act. This is not to suggest that there will not be an emphasis on infrastructure as well during the term of the current government. The Three Waters Infrastructure Review is well underway. And priority is being given to regional infrastructure, urban development and growth, and affordable housing. The problems of the ‘super city’ have not been ignored either, with the surprise announcement that the government is keen to make an immediate start on two new rail projects in Auckland – not only the much-discussed CBD to Airport line, but also a line from the CBD along the North-Western motorway (seriously! Is there room?) to Westgate and then Kumeu. Nor has the less sexy side of local government been neglected. The Local Electoral Matters Bill addresses the design, trial and analysis of new voting methods for local elections so that it will be easier to trial electronic and online voting. Also of interest to local government and before Parliament now is the Privacy Bill that aims to repeal and replace the Privacy Act 1993. The world of information technology has changed out of sight in the 25 years the Bill has been in force. And while new provisions, such as the mandatory reporting of privacy breaches, will impose additional compliance costs on local government, no one can deny that today’s technology makes it more important than ever to consider such issues. Finally, here is a tip. Netflix is currently screening the second series of the excellent drama Marseille, in which a haggard Gerard Depardieu plays the recently-deposed mayor of France’s second biggest city. Check it out if you want to see just how cutthroat local politics can be. LG


Opportunities & imperatives New thinking required to navigate major challenges ahead.


ver the past six months several opportunities and imperatives have arisen for local authorities around infrastructure. Funding has been made available through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) which aims to lift productivity potential in the provinces. The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport proposes to increase investment in areas where funding also comes from local government. And there are strong messages coming out of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry about the need for investment in our drinking water infrastructure maintenance, monitoring and future development. These opportunities also come with challenges for local authorities around funding and community support. However, one of the biggest challenges will be finding contractors to do the required work. The Provincial Growth Fund and Draft GPS on Land Transport address, in part, the funding issues. However, a comprehensive strategy to move us towards transport congestion charges and a nationwide water metering and charging system are still not in sight. So, motorists will continue to jump in their cars during peak hour traffic. And in most parts of the country where water is not metered, users will leave that tap running: unless, of course, there is a water shortage when they will be bombarded with messages about saving water for a few months before we can go back to our wasteful ways. The real costs of infrastructure are nicely hidden away from sight. So, the public and ratepayers will continue to be largely unaware of the impact they personally have on the need to invest in the maintenance, renewal and development of infrastructure. In terms of community support for investment, we all need to be smarter about telling our story. We need to explain the need for, and consequences of not, investing. This includes what we are doing to reduce or minimise demand, and how the investment will improve services, build resilience and improve recovery speed. It is great to see council communications teams stepping up their game to better engage with

ratepayers and the wider community around their long-term plans (LTPs). I have seen some very innovative ways of getting the public’s attention using digital communications that enable the public to zero in on the issues of importance to them. Most of the LTPs I have seen are proposing an increase in expenditure on infrastructure over the next 10 years. That is no surprise as it reflects the growing need for infrastructure to support residential and commercial developments, cater for climate change, build more resilience into our infrastructure and replace aging infrastructure. The big question is how we will resource this planned growth in investment in construction and maintenance work. In addition to local government work, government plans to spend an additional $3 billion through the PGF and an additional $0.5 billion through the GPS on Land Transport over the next three years. I estimate we are laying plans to add $4 billion to $5 billion of work to an already busy market over the next few years. The reality is that unless we become more productive and start investing in training and developing more people, the work simply won’t get done. As long-term asset owners, local government has a big problem that needs to be addressed very quickly. So, what can you do? Here are a few suggestions: • Increase engagement with your local contractors and branch of CCNZ to discuss with them the resourcing of your planned work; • Position yourself as a preferred client, so that when there is a lot of work on, contractors choose you. Use standard documents, have user-friendly requests for tender, bring work to market on time, provide more flexibility about when work is done, and support innovation and health and safety; • Build into your maintenance and CAPEX contracts a requirement for the contractor to provide education, training and development of new and existing people; and • Support a healthy civil construction industry by providing opportunities for contractors of all types and sizes. LG





LGNZ’s Climate Change Project Rising tide of climate change prompts need to adapt.


n discussions with councils over the past 12 months, as well as at the recent Central and Local Government Forum, climate change has consistently come to the fore. This has particularly been the case when considering infrastructure and funding as well as risk and resilience, two of LGNZ’s five strategic policy priorities. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called it “the biggest challenge of our generation”, and recent extreme weather events have highlighted the urgent need for a collaborative approach between central and local government. It’s heartening to see the government’s leadership on climate change through initiatives such as the Zero Carbon Act and the Productivity Commission’s work on how New Zealand can transition to a low-emissions economy. Both initiatives recognise the need for solutions to climate change issues. LGNZ, too, is focusing not just on mitigation but also on adaptation to climate change. That is why LGNZ’s Climate Change Project has recently released the Climate Change Legal Toolkit, the first deliverable under the adaptation component of the project. The legal toolkit has been designed to support councils with their adaptation decision-making roles and responsibilities. It contains legal opinions, guidance and case study materials on three areas of local government decision-making that apply to climate change-related natural hazards: • Councils’ ability to stop or limit the provision of services infrastructure in areas affected by climate change natural hazards and potential liability consequences; • Councils’ ability to limit development in natural hazard areas; and • Councils’ obligations under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 with respect to the issue of LIMs. Including legal opinions from Simpson Grierson and guided by the LGNZ Climate Change Working Group, the toolkit tackles a range of questions. These include: what natural hazard information should be included on a LIM; whether a local authority can cease or limit the provision of flood and erosion protection works in areas

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affected by climate change natural hazards; and whether councils can prevent new development or the extension of existing development in natural hazard areas under the RMA. It is inevitable that the question of how to adequately fund infrastructure to ensure it is resilient to climate change impacts will continue to be raised. This area requires a clear understanding of communities at risk. LGNZ’s initial focus has been to identify the location and value of local government assets and infrastructure exposed to sea level rise. Interim data from approximately half of New Zealand councils show significant replacement value of $4 billion if sea levels were to rise just 1.5 metres, which is at the low end of likely projections. In addition, climate change impacts are likely to increasingly impact private property values. Although LGNZ is emphasising climate change adaptation, its work on mitigation is closely related. A stocktake has been completed, gathering information from councils on the work they are currently undertaking to contribute to emissions reduction, both within councils and wider communities. The responses from this survey will be shared with councils soon. LGNZ is also advocating for a Local Government Risk Agency (LGRA), a central agency that would pool and coordinate local government resources to better understand and lower the risk and cost of natural disasters including climate change-related hazards. The LGRA would harmonise practices, improve skills in management and financing, provide quality assurance and supply expert staff. Discussion on the LGRA continued at the Central and Local Government Forum. While the government is keen to develop mechanisms to ensure that risk is appropriately understood and managed, it remains to be decided whether the LGRA will progress as a local government agency or as part of something bigger. LGNZ’s climate change work is continuing to look at the needs of councils across the country. Over the course of 2018, we will continue to develop resources to aid with climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as collaborate with central government. LG

Housing 2030: Putting up a better framework for housing in New Zealand Late last year LGNZ launched its Housing 2030 project. Housing is a significant issue for all New Zealanders, and we need to get warm, healthy and affordable housing in place for the sake of our communities’ social and economic futures. Currently the lack of available and affordable housing is having a negative impact on local economies, discretionary household expenditure and social wellbeing.

1. Housing Supply. The focus includes addressing existing funding and financing barriers, identifying opportunities for regulatory improvements, and ensuring land supply meets housing demand;

Tackling the housing hurdle means addressing matters of supply, how social and community housing needs are met, and the importance of healthy homes. Underpinning the issue is the need for a wider range of funding and financing tools so that councils can put in place critical infrastructure like roads, three waters and amenities needed for sustainable communities.

2. Social and community housing issues. Work will address the needs of people for whom the market cannot provide, including renting as an attractive alternative to home ownership; and

Local government is a critical player in housing and has expertise in addressing the issues New Zealand faces. We are partnering with central government, iwi and stakeholders to ensure that New Zealanders are well-housed. Housing 2030 is one of four flagship projects for LGNZ and aims to enable and support the Government’s work for a regulatory and investment framework for housing that is competitive, provides affordable ownership and renting options and meets high quality standards. The Housing 2030 project has identified three pervasive issues across the country, which make up the focus areas of our work to influence policy and drive positive outcomes for New Zealanders:

3. Healthy homes. Assist the Government with development of regulations, identify best practice for improving energy efficiency and distribute good practice resources to councils. The initial phase of the project involves working with central government on policy to address communities’ housing needs. This involves working closely with the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment, Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Social Development to align efforts and initiatives. One of the first Housing 2030 initiatives is the Winter 2018 Response, which comes under the social and community housing focus area. Local government will assist MSD to identify local housing and land that could be used in the response, as well as those in the community who require assistance this winter.

< Local government is a critical player in housing and has expertise in addressing the issues New Zealand faces. We are partnering with central government, iwi and stakeholders to ensure that New Zealanders are well-housed. >



Skills Matrix Workshop Councils are multi-million dollar operations with substantial responsibilities to the communities they serve. LGNZ believes local government staff and elected members should run the councils they are entrusted to operate with the knowledge, skills and expertise of leading professionals. Help is at hand via EquiP’s new Skills Matrix Workshop. This half-day session is delivered in-house to guide elected members through a process to consider and plan their development focus to achieve local government excellence. Along the way, elected members also identify their own, and the group’s strengths to enable these to be utilised for the best community outcomes.

Here’s how it works Elected members gather to consider how they can work together to achieve their identified community outcomes. As with all elected member groups, they come from a diverse range of backgrounds but need to ensure they have the right behaviours and technical abilities around the table to perform effectively. So the first step is for them to consider the competencies required to be an effective elected member, and then examine efficient ways to achieve these. Then it’s on to finding out the ‘who knows what’ question. Elected members work through an individual self-assessment activity where they use questions to support reflection upon their own levels of skills, knowledge and understanding. This activity’s results provide information that enables individuals and councils to match strengths with projects and committees, and needs with training solutions. Equipped with this information, the next exercises support the group to build effective development plans and discuss how to make the best use of their strengths. Plans to future-proof the council’s work by building the necessary skills are also discussed. The workshop ends with a focus on the future and the start of an action plan to achieve excellence.

Workshop case study EquiP recently ran this workshop for a district council. Some of the elected members were new and, as a group, they wanted to ensure they were all ‘on the right track’. The discussions and self-assessment led to collaborative insight, and gaps in the strategic planning process were identified. The ensuing reflection and action planning identified the necessary steps required to achieve the council’s identified goals. The group can now efficiently spend their time completing these for the benefits of their ratepayers. Here are some comments from the participants about the workshop experience.

“I would say this is a must do workshop for others councils. It’s a fast way to identify gaps and strengths” “This was fun for team building. Different layers of thought was required, which was good for our council” “This was much deeper at identifying gaps than I had expected” “I would recommend this workshop, especially earlier in the term” To find our more, or to register your council for the Skills Matrix Workshop, please contact

< This half-day session is delivered in-house to guide elected members through a process to consider and plan their development focus to achieve local government excellence. >


Climate Change Series Local government is the way communities make collective decisions about the nature of the places in which they live, their neighbourhoods, cities, districts and regions. In 2018, one of its current key areas of focus is climate change, which is the biggest environmental challenge of our time. We know that it is already affecting our climate, agriculture, native ecosystems, infrastructure, health and biosecurity. If left unchecked climate change will have broad social and economic impacts and so we cannot afford to ignore what is happening in New Zealand and globally. LGNZ and EquiP are bringing a programme of events and activities to the local government sector to help them prepare and act for their communities’ best interests. Some of these offerings will be a series of webinars. Details and topics are included here. > Climate Change Leadership (now available on-demand on EquiPTV) > Climate Change Legal Toolkit (now available on-demand on EquiPTV) > 13 June / Development in Hazard Areas > 27 June / Services Affected by Climate Change > 4 July / Providing Information on a LIM

Other webinars coming up > 6 June / Health and Safety for Councils > 18 June / Building Act Enforcement > TBC / Procurement Series > TBC / Employment Series The EquiP webinar team endeavour to ensure all local government situations and eventualities can be served. Council teams can choose to watch and interact collectively, and then plan their next steps. Additionally, individuals from widespread areas can also join in from any location with internet access. And our elected members with competing commitments don’t miss out either as the video-ondemand option is available to suit. For more information, and for registrations, please check equip/training/live-webinars.

On-Demand Webinars on EquiPTV GROW Webinar Series > Decision Making and the LTP > Meeting Procedures > Financial Management and Funding > The 1991 Resource Management Act > Engagement and Fonsultation > Council Performance > Stewardship – Looking After Your Assets > Rules and Regulations Emergency Series > Managing Earthquake-Prone Buildings (free to watch) > Your Role in Emergency Management (free to watch) Rules, Regulations & Legislation > Pool Rules > Standing Orders > Council Decision-Making: Managing the Risks > Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (free to watch) > Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (free to watch) Tourism Series > Freedom Camping > Managing Tourism Pressures for Councils Partnership Series > Partnerships with Iwi > Council-Maori Participation Arrangements Finance Series > Finance for Mayors > Tips to Improve Your Audit & Risk Committee Other webinars > Social Media for Elected Members > Keeping up to Date for Your District Licencing Role > Elected Members’ FAQs > Strategy > Supporting Council Performance (free to watch) > NZTA Investment Proposal (free to watch) > Pay for Elected Members of Local Government (free to watch) To gain access to any of these webinars, email


The Final Word Infrastructure funding needed to support tourism boom New Zealand’s tourism boom shows no signs of letting up, having overtaken dairy in 2017 as our biggest export earner, and now a recent Government report has predicted that international visitor numbers will grow 37 per cent by 2024. Tourism is proving to be an economic game changer for New Zealand, however pressure on the environment and local “mixed-use” infrastructure has led to Local Government New Zealand advocating for a local tourist tax to ensure a sustainable industry. The New Zealand Tourism Forecasts 2018-2024 released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on 8 May shows total international visitor spend is expected to reach $14.8 billion in 2024, up 40 per cent from 2017. As seen over the most recent summer, infrastructure is extremely stretched in many tourist regions with provision of public toilets, car parks, rubbish facilities and basic potable and waste water infrastructure either lacking or coming at an overwhelming cost to communities. That pressure was highlighted by a tourism industry survey released in January 2018 showing 40 per cent of kiwis were worried about the impact of the tourism boom, believing that it put too much pressure on our infrastructure and environment. LGNZ has welcomed the Government’s efforts to provide funding for councils through the $100 million Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF), a grants funding scheme with co-investment from councils launched in 2017, but we know it will fall well short of what will be needed in the future to prepare for this influx. Work by Tourism Industry Aotearoa and supported by LGNZ identified a potential pipeline of 680 local and mixed-use projects, of which 501


were costed at $1.38 billion, which represents a large funding gap that is ever widening, particularly in supporting ongoing maintenance of infrastructure. LGNZ has advocated strongly on behalf of councils and ratepayers for a sustainable funding model to be established. There are a number of ways this could be achieved including through allocation of a percentage of GST, an international visitor levy or LGNZ’s preferred option, a local tourist tax. There are a range of benefits associated with a local tourist tax, the simplest option being a levy on accommodation including Airbnb. A local tourist tax would provide a direct contribution to local community funded services, allow for localised solutions and would meet the cost sharing principle between government and industry. University of Hawaii research from 2015 shows the most widely levied tourist tax in the word is the hotel room occupancy tax and Sapere research from July 2016 reveals that a local tourist tax can be simple and effective as a $4 per night bed tax in Queenstown on non-residents would raise $16 million per annum. While we need a range of options to fund our burgeoning tourism industry and the infrastructure to support it, without the option of a local tourist tax to ensure the needs of both locals and tourists are met New Zealand faces the prospect of over promising and under delivering in a sector that is increasingly critical to our economic future.


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T+T and Lutra team up for safe drinking water Tonkin + Taylor and Lutra have joined forces to offer a new end-to-end solution for water suppliers that will provide a robust and efficient risk management system for groundwater and surface water supplies. This offering is based on the leading-edge work that both organisations have performed for Hastings District Council in response to the Havelock North incident. Tonkin + Taylor – Are pioneers of integrated catchment risk management as well as having an unparalleled track record in new source developments. T+T also provide a wide range of engineering, environmental and project management services from source to tap. Lutra – Are specialist water process engineers who provide process optioneering, process design, process optimisation and commissioning services. Lutra also provide state of the art operator training systems and through their Infrastructure Data on-line compliance reporting system can support end-to-end management of water supply risk.

Our leaders Tony Cussins - Technical Director, Hydrogeology Tony is an expert in contaminant hydrogeology and human health and environmental risk assessment. This role requires him to work closely alongside clients to ensure they are empowered to make optimal decisions on sensitive, technically complex projects. Email: Tel: +64 27 705 1368 Dr Jason Colton - Principal Process Engineer Jason is an expert in water treatment design, commissioning, operation and optimisation. He has a track record of maximising the use of existing assets and providing cost effective solutions for clients. Email: Tel: +64 27 607 0302

Summary of experience: • T+T has undertaken numerous source risk assessments, led HDC’s investigations into the source of Campylobacter contamination and contributed to investigations into Lower Hutt’s Waiwhetu Aquifer contamination • Lutra provides water treatment and data management services to HDC and many other clients • The combined skills of this team cover every aspect of security of groundwater supplies, including strategies for catchment management and the option of treatment and disinfection as a barrier • We are happy to discuss implications for Councillors, Councils’ executive leadership teams, asset and water supply managers

NZ Local Government 1806  
NZ Local Government 1806