Page 1

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

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

STREET LIGHTING Spotlight on innovation p38


A SEISMIC SHIFT IN DESIGN Safety, resilience and value: Beca & Christchurch City Council p41

Smile on the Dial

New skills strategy aims to make councils employers of choice p16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

Register your place at

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

Register your place at




6 Editor’s Letter 8 In Brief 14 Around the Councils 47 LGNZ

16 S MILE ON THE DIAL New skills strategy aims to make councils employers of choice 22 ACCESS ALL AREAS? Eric Pyle calls for a coordinated approach to managing access to the outdoors 24 WASTED OPPORTUNITIES WelTec’s new study on minimising waste at festivals 29 P LAN AHEAD Changes to the Building Consent Authority Accreditation Scheme 30 R AVEEN JADURAM One man’s view of the water industry: the chief executive of Auckland CCO Watercare 34 H OROWHENUA DISTRICT COUNCIL Co-design shaves LIM report delivery times to just half a day on average 41 T ECHNICAL BRIEFINGS A seismic shift in design – embedding safety, resilience and value into postearthquake designs. Beca and Christchurch City Council




44 Linda O’Reilly: On Legal Issues 45 M alcolm Abernethy: From Civil Contractors New Zealand 46 Lawrence Yule: From LGNZ


SPECIAL FEATURES 36 Innovations in water modelling 38 Innovations in street lighting

ON THE COVER. Smile on the dial: New skills strategy aims to make councils employers of choice. See page p16. MARCH 2017 LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAGAZINE




PUBLISHER Contrafed Publishing Co. Ltd, Suite 2.1, 93 Dominion Rd, Mount Eden, Auckland 1024 PO Box 112 357, Penrose, Auckland 1642 Phone: 09 636 5715, Fax: 09 636 5716

Micro-localism and the bigger picture The other day I was at a garden party for a 96-year old family friend. It was a wonderful affair, harking back to past decades, with posh frocks and gazebos and croquet on the lawn. It was a perfect and, I understand, last party before our friend moves into a retirement home after something like 70 years in her home. As I was helping pass around the club sandwiches and cup cakes, someone asked me what I do for a living. When I said I write about local government, there was a tiny pop of indignation. What, I was asked, did I think was the biggest problem that council needed to sort out? I started mentally scanning my options for a reply. How can councils help provide housing that young people can afford? How can they guarantee the water is safe to drink? How to keep rates down while service expectations go up? How... No. It was the leaves on Franklin Road [Auckland Council take note]. Apparently, they haven’t been swept up from one year to the next. Other people seemed to think this did, indeed, rank amongst the biggest problems for council to resolve. And pronto, please. And so, yet again, I was reminded of the importance of micro-localism. What happens in my street, my neighbourhood, my part of town is highly relevant. I’m not disputing that. I like my street to be clean, safe and free from graffiti too. I wouldn’t want to be slipping over on years’ worth of stockpiled leaves either.

But I also want to know everyone else’s street gets the same treatment. And ditto for the provision to everyone of safe drinking water, good roads, affordable housing, smart street lighting, abundant libraries, balanced regulations on dog controls, numerous play areas, fast delivery of LIM reports, great festivals, environmentally-sound waste removal or minimisation... you get my drift. And I know that if you add up all those demands, and many many more, something’s got to give. The budgets don’t cover everyone’s expectations. Watercare CEO Raveen Jaduram makes a good point when he says it’s useless for him to try to get people to see his organisation as separate from Auckland Council. To most people they’re one and the same. So it’s in his interest to make sure the ratepayers of Auckland think highly of the council. And that, by extension, means all council organisations will remain tarred by the poorest reputation of the worst council until local government gets better at really, fully explaining what it does. I’m not saying what it does is perfect. Just that it has some good stories worth telling. And that’s still not happening. I’m tempted to run a cover story on the leaves of Franklin Road, anyway. Auckland Council: you have been warned.

Ruth Le Pla, editor,

GENERAL MANAGER Kevin Lawrence DDI: 09 636 5710 Mobile: 021 512 800 EDITOR Ruth Le Pla Mobile: 021 266 3978 SALES CONSULTANT Charles Fairbairn DDI: 09 636 5724 Mobile: 021 411 890 CONTRIBUTORS Malcolm Abernethy, Joany Grima, Gavin Hutchison, Ian Macbeth, John Moore, Patricia Moore, Leanne Nicholas, Linda O’Reilly, Iain Partington, Eric Pyle, Lawrence Yule ADMINISTRATION/SUBSCRIPTIONS DDI: 09 636 5715 PRODUCTION Design: Jonathan Whittaker Printing: PMP MAXUM CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOME Please contact the editor before sending them in. Articles in Local Government Magazine are copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher. DISCLAIMER Local Government Magazine is an independent publication owned and produced by Contrafed Publishing. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of any of its shareholding organisations.

@nzlgmagazine ISSN 0028-8403

6 l


Waterview Connection, Auckland

Before your new roading project can connect communities, you need a contractor who can make a few connections of its own. Already experienced in large scale civil infrastructure, McConnell Dowell has a growing track record in delivering effective, efficient and safe roading projects such as the Waterview Connection in Auckland and the Russley Rd Upgrade in Christchurch. We combine regional and international experience, design and construction, a knowledge of complex and multidiscipline urban engineering, and a collaborative team approach to reduce cost and risk, add value, promote sustainability and deliver safe and predictable work and travel environments, both during and after construction. For smart, safe and efficient delivery of your roading project, talk to us first. BUILDING CIVIL ELECTRICAL FABRICATION MAINTENANCE MARINE MECHANICAL PIPELINES RAIL TUNNELLING


The water debate – a personal view At the 2016 Water New Zealand conference LGNZ CE Malcolm Alexander talked personally about ‘scary issues’ facing the water sector in this country. Writer Alan Titchall, who attended the conference, says that before launching into his presentation Malcolm made it very clear that he was talking personally and not as CE of LGNZ. Malcolm added that some of the ideas he was to talk about were to be presented to the association’s national council at the end of last year as part of its future strategy. “I will do my best to give you my take on the position, but whether to say that is also the view of the national council – that remains to be seen,” he said. Malcolm said the future framework for water infrastructure is not simply an engineering, economics or environmental question. “At its heart, it’s also a political question. This is because communities and their elective representatives, whether they be local or central, are going to make the decisions that matter and which will frame the regime going forward.” That process is political and that’s why the water debate is difficult, he added. Politically, water responsibility looks “untidy”, he said. “For example, water quality sits with the Ministry for the Environment, while the national infrastructure sits with Treasury. The issues of risk and resilience sit with the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and with Treasury and with the Department of Internal Affairs. Network mandatory competition policy sits with MBIE. And our sector deals with infrastructure, and the regional councils deal with quality and allocation. “Intertwining all those processes and institutions are processes such as the Land and Water Forum, which has been going for several years. It has been considering water quality issues with little, at least to my mind, discussion of how quality rules connect to infrastructure, investment and affordability. The forum’s leadership position is very complicated and fragmented. Things could be better. A policy debate of the magnitude of water needs to be far more ramped up than it is at present.” He said that, in his personal view, ultimately the fairest way to allocate water between competing users and fully-allocated catchments will probably be through the provision of some form of pricing mechanism. Malcolm hastened to add that this is about ‘allocation’ and not water ‘ownership’, which are different things. “I subscribe to the view, and I think just about everyone does, that no one owns the water. It’s about who gets to use it. But, if anyone does own the water, then it’s the Crown on behalf of the people of New Zealand.” On the subject of moving forward, Malcolm told conference delegates that he intended to advise the LGNZ national council that the organisation needs to collaborate with all arms of central government interests and stakeholders. “[We need to do that] in a manner that meets the immediate needs and demands of different New Zealanders. But what we should not do is

8 l

Malcolm Alexander

continue to accept the present silent approach to policy development. It will not work: it will end in tears. “So the whole water debate and infrastructure quality allocation needs to be joined up and integrated in one place. Decisions and actions in another need to be understood and costed and a plan made going forward about how we are going to meet those costs.” He said LGNZ had already done a lot of work around three waters infrastructure and the cost of regulatory framework. “We have reached a clear view with our members on what we consider the best route forward.” In summary, he said, it goes like this: 1. Water infrastructure is owned by communities. Communities and their elected representatives must make decisions concerning that infrastructure – provided they are accountable for those outcomes. 2. The focus should be on operational excellence, ensuring that the right procedures are in place and that there is sufficient capital to renew and extend networks to meet the required standards. 3. The introduction of private capital to any network is for the present owners to determine, not central government. The country needs to focus on operational excellence not wasteful ideological debates about competing ownership models. 4. It is appropriate that a lean regulatory framework to govern operational excellence of networks be formalised to ensure that those networks continue to deliver for their community. In this regard, he said LGNZ believes the co-regulation model now operating in the gas industry is appropriate. “As someone who has had experience in most of the network industries in the regulatory frameworks, I am personally satisfied that the co-regulatory model would provide an appropriate level of assurance to local and central government.”

By the numbers

Hastings to Wellington?

There are 89,004 local governments in the United States. [Source: The US Census Bureau]

Hastings District mayor Lawrence Yule’s plan to seek the National Party nomination for the Tukituki electorate could cost ratepayers some $90,000 to $100,000 in by-election costs. The figures come from council’s democratic support manager Jackie Evans who emailed the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union in response to its request for information which was made “under the LGOIMA, if necessary”. The union warns of a possible “double whammy” if sitting councillors then contest the Hastings mayoralty which could trigger a second by-election to fill their seat. According to Jackie, although she hadn’t yet done detailed costings, this estimate was based on an electorate of just over 52,000 people and the costs associated with the recent local election. Meanwhile, in a think-piece in Hawke’s Bay Today, former Labour Party president Mike Williams says he’d counsel Lawrence against such a move. He cites numerous examples of MPs moving to local government with success (John Carter and Stevie Chadwick spring to mind) but says there are few good examples of traffic flowing in the opposite direction.

There are around 560 local government bodies in Australia accountable to a range of metropolitan, regional, rural and indigenous communities. Of these, 539 are regional / rural. There are about 6600 elected councillors in Australia with an average of just under 10 councillors per council. [Source: Australian Local Government Association] There are 418 principal authorities in the UK: 27 county councils, 55 unitary authorities, 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan boroughs, 201 districts, 32 Scottish unitary authorities, 22 Welsh unitary authorities, 11 Northern Ireland districts, the Corporation of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly. This list does not include parish and town councils, the lowest tier of local government with limited powers. [Source: Wikipedia] In New Zealand there are 78 local, regional and unitary councils. Together they have a total of about 1600 elected members. [Source: LGNZ]

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

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

❙ Non-member inspections increased by 240%.

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




IN BRIEF DATES FOR YOUR DIARY MARCH 2 Building Consent Authority Accreditation Scheme Webinar. 4 – 12 Parks Week. 6 – 8 SOLGM Emerging Leaders Development Programme. Hotel Coachman, Palmerston North 7 Working Successfully with the Media – Webinar. 8 Political Decision Making. LGNZ Christchurch City Council 8 The LGExecutiveLeaders Programme. TBA, Wellington 13 – 17 Australasian Management Challenge – NZ leg. Silverstream Retreat, Upper Hutt 14 Political Decision Making. LGNZ Dunedin City Council 15 LGAcceleratedLeadership Programme. Southland Otago Region 15 2017 New Zealand CFO Summit & Awards. SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland 15 – 16 3rd International Street Lighting and Smart Controls Conference. Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre 15 – 16 Water New Zealand Modelling and Digital Water Groups’ Symposium. Heritage Hotel, Auckland 16 A Practical Guide to Public Consultation. LGNZ LGNZ Offices, Lambton Quay, Wellington 16 – 17 Land Development Engineering Forum. Mercure Hotel, Wellington 21 – 22 2017 Safety 360. Ellerslie Events Centre, Auckland 22 – 23 RIMS Forum. Waipuna Hotel & Conference Centre, Auckland 27 – 28 Civic Assurance Strategic Finance Forum 2017. Grand Millennium Auckland, Auckland 28 Presentation Skills. LGNZ Offices, Lambton Quay, Wellington 29 Green Property Summit 2017: Future Cities, Post-2020. Grand Millennium, Auckland APRIL 5 Media Training for Modern Leaders. LGNZ Palmerston North City Council, Palmerston North 11 Media Training for Modern Leaders. LGNZ Matamata-Piako District Council 12 2017 SOLGM Annual Gala Dinner. Langham Hotel, Auckland

10 l

12 Chief Executives Forum. Langham Hotel, Auckland 12 SOLGM Executive Leaders Masterclass. Langham Hotel, Auckland 28 SOLGM Community Facilities Event. Christchurch MAY 3 – 5 Water New Zealand’s Stormwater Conference 2017. Pullman Hotel, Auckland 4 2017 NZ CEO Summit. Langham Hotel, Auckland 11 – 12 Professional Administrators Forum. Grand Millennium Auckland, Auckland 17 – 18 Green Pavlova: NZRA’s Parks and Open Spaces Conference + Playspaces. Westpac Stadium, Wellington 22 – 23 ALGIM Autumn Conference: GIS and Information Management Records. James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Wellington JUNE 8 – 9 Workforce Forum. TBA, Wellington 14 – 15 2017 CIO Summit. SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland 20 – 21 Resource Management & Environmental Law Reform Conference. TBA, Wellington 22 – 24 IPWEA NZ 2017 Conference. Dunedin Centre, Dunedin JULY 17 – 18 Governance Professionals and Committee Advisors Forum. TBA, Auckland 23 – 25 LGNZ Conference and EXCELLENCE Awards. SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland AUGUST 9 – 11 NZRA JAWS (Just Add Water) Conference. Rydges, Christchurch 14 – 15 Community Plan Forum. TBA, Wellington SEPTEMBER 4 – 5 NZRA’s Outdoors Forum. TBA, Wellington bit/ly/NZRA_OutdoorsForum

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

PRODUCTS & SERVICES EROAD max alert EROAD has launched Max Speed Alert. The system notifies transport operators of any excessive speeding by their drivers. EROAD customers can set the speed that triggers an alert for different assets. Notifications can be set to allow higher or lower maximum speed limits on different vehicle types. The email notifications include location, date, vehicle and driver details. Excessive speed events are also noted on an Over Speed Dashboard in Driver Insight reports.

Free hazard perception webinar for fleet managers

Get smart Organisations can gain huge advantages by switching their focus from big data to look instead at smart data. Datamine consultant Tony Mitchell told Research Association New Zealand (RANZ) members recently that smart data enables organisations to make more effective decisions and have better engagement with their target market. He says the difference between big data and smart data is the sophistication of data use. “In the retail world, big data is used to answer questions like: How many items did we sell? How many will we sell? What do customers think about us? “Big data becomes smart data when it goes to the next level to help answer: Who will buy what at a certain time and place? What else might they like? How do we influence what happens?” Such thinking can equally well be applied to public sector organisations such as councils. Tony said some of the biggest challenges for organisations wanting to turn big data into smart data were: 1. Getting access to the data; 2. Sharing and visualisation (you need a “black belt” expert on your team); 3. Approval to work outside strict IT rules; 4. Fear about whether or not it will be the right thing to do; 5. Having too much data; and 6. Issues around data quality. Tony said insurance companies, banks, airlines and some retailers are turning big data into smart data well while many fast moving consumer goods suppliers were missing a huge opportunity to engage in a direct relationship with their consumers.

Ross Creek Reservoir work starting

Road safety charity Brake is running a free webinar for fleet Dunedin City Council says physical work on the $6.6 million Ross Creek and road safety professionals on the importance of hazard Reservoir refurbishment project has started and is expected to take a year. perception. The contract for the project has been awarded to Downer New Zealand Tackling hazard awareness and perception among fleet with work overseen by Opus International Consultants and the council. drivers will explore hazard perception among drivers, quarter page horizontal 64x180mm The main reason for the project is dam safety. Once the physical work is the challenges for fleet managers, and best practice finished, the reservoir will be left for a year, then filled and commissioned. methodologies for addressing the issue. The webinar is on By refurbishing Ross Creek, and then building a pumping station and Tuesday March 14. Attendance is free. pipeline between the reservoir and the Mount Grand Water Treatment To register to attend, book online at Plant, council aims to be able to provide a reliable source of water if the Or email Deep Creek and Deep Stream systems are out of action.

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





Christchurch faces new emergency

A new report on the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) proves timely as emergency management crews scramble yet again in Christchurch. Co-ordinated responses to emergencies are sadly topical as the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) releases its latest report on CERA just before extensive fires break out in the Port Hills area of Christchurch. The OAG’s report, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority: Assessing its effectiveness and efficiency, says CERA did well early on in the recovery following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. In its five years of existence before being disestablished in April 2016, CERA spent $4 billion on a wide range of programmes and projects. But the report concludes that CERA “found it challenging” to maintain its early momentum. “Its role became less clear as it took on more responsibility for delivering more projects and programmes. CERA did not engage the community well, and struggled to demonstrate its effectiveness and value for money because it had inadequate performance measures and information. It also took a long time for CERA to set up effective systems and controls. CERA’s management controls and performance information needed improvement right up to the time of its disestablishment.” Writing before the fires broke out in the Christchurch region in February, the OAG notes that “in light of the November 2016 earthquakes in Kaikoura and the surrounding region, these lessons are particularly pertinent”. The OAG says the State Services Commission needs to consider the

Last line of defence Not-for-profit organisation the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) has been roadshowing new research on compliance monitoring and enforcement of environmental law. EDS says the research raises important questions about enforcement of environmental legislation in New Zealand: how is it being done and how well? It also looks at the legal basis for compliance monitoring and enforcement in environmental law, the approaches of the agencies in charge, and the practice and outcomes on the ground. Presented by Marie Brown, the Last line of defence research was funded by the New Zealand Law Foundation, Foundation Footprint and the Ministry for the Environment. EDS says compliance monitoring and enforcement of environmental law is the last line of defence for the protection of the public interest in a healthy environment.

12 l

most appropriate organisational type of any future recovery agency. It also recommends the commission assesses the benefits and costs of each organisational type, the situations in which they should be used, and how long a recovery agency should remain in place. It adds that the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management and the State Services Commission need to prepare a response plan that will enable a future recovery agency to be established quickly and effectively. “They need to update the plan regularly and include criteria for when an agency would be established. The response plan needs to include service-level agreements to prepare for the quick establishment of core corporate services.” More specifically, the report outlines lessons to consider in future recovery efforts. These are bunched into two groupings. Governance, organisational structure and functions: “The governance arrangements for CERA did not change to adapt to its changing functions and the different phases of the recovery. At times, CERA became a catch-all agency, which meant its role became less clear as the recovery progressed into the reconstruction phase. Any recovery agency needs to adapt to changing circumstances.” Managing operations and reporting performance: “The recovery environment is uncertain, so agencies need to be flexible and able to link their activities to the desired outcome. There is also pressure to get things done, which means there is a risk the agency will not take the necessary time to establish effective systems, staffing, and processes and adapt them to the different phases of recovery. Good performance reporting will help the agency adapt to the different phases of the recovery and will help build and maintain the trust of the community.” To read the full report including more detailed recommendations, go to

>> To read about more reports and findings by the Office of the Auditor-General go to our website. Search: OAG

“If environmental laws and policies are not complied with and go unenforced, statutory aspirations do not eventuate. Robust and effective enforcement of environmental law is challenging and a myriad of political, economic and social barriers exist. “In New Zealand, the responsibility is shared amongst a wide range of agencies with differing mandates, each operationalising this important function in distinctive ways.”

ON THE MOVE Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) confirms its chief executive Brett O’Riley will step down from his role at the start of September this year. O’Riley, who has been CE since May 2012, is looking to transition into governance roles. ATEED is an Auckland CCO. Brett is Brett O’Riley already a director of several organisations including Liquidstrip and Manaiakalani Education Trust. He’s expected to take on more directorships in the technology and education sectors. David Hogg is now general manager, water for New Zealand at engineering and consulting firm MWH, which is now part of Stantec. In the past few years he has managed the Rimutaka flood protection project for the Department of Corrections, the Kilbirnie catchment modelling scoping study and the Wellington cross-harbour pipeline feasibility study.

David Hogg

Pascal Felix, Michael Bushby and Greg Evans join WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s asset and network performance team working across New Zealand and Australia. Pascal is the new intelligent transport executive, following the recent promotion of Scott Benjamin to the role of technical director, intelligent transport systems. For the past seven years Pascal has been executive director at Main Roads Western Australia.

Michael Bushby joins the firm in a consulting capacity. He is the former executive general manager for asset and infrastructure services at Leighton and Ventia. Michael is also chair of New Zealand company EROAD. Greg Evans is the new technical director. He is the former executive director for asset maintenance with NSW Roads and Maritime Services.  Sarah Scott becomes a partner in Simpson Grierson’s Christchurch office, heading the South Island-based local government and environment group. She specialises in resource management and environmental law, advising public and private clients on district and regional planning processes, earthquake recovery matters, development and Sarah Scott infrastructure projects, and resource management litigation. Jo-Anne Knight becomes a partner in Simpson Grierson’s Auckland commercial litigation group. She has represented construction parties and local authorities in well over 100 mediations and judicial settlement conferences, and has over 20 years’ experience in negotiating and advising on construction contracts, and all forms of construction dispute litigation.

Jo-Anne Knight


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

*Conditions Apply

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





News from the councils NORTHLAND’S FOUR COUNCILS welcome a $33.8 million government investment that will give more Northlanders access to ultra-fast broadband. Communications Minister Simon Bridges recently said 21 Northland communities will receive ultra-fast broadband fibre under the Simon Bridges rural broadband initiative 2 (RBI2). The move means 53.5 percent of Northlanders will have access to ultra-fast broadband by the end of 2023. Far North mayor John Carter says it is great that nine Far North communities will get ultrafast broadband, but 2023 is not soon enough. AUCKLAND mayor Phil Goff says he’s disappointed at the government’s decision to rule out a regional fuel tax despite Auckland’s worsening traffic congestion. He says the tax would have helped close the current $400 million a year gap in transport funding. He says that putting the burden of resolving the transport

funding deficit onto ratepayers would result in a rates increase of about 16 percent next year. He adds he doesn’t intend to do that. Meanwhile, the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance welcomes the government’s decision saying Aucklanders already pay more than enough to the council. CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL puts on hold its Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub community celebration due to the Port Hills fires. The event was to mark the imminent development of the internationalstandard athletics track at the sports hub. While the fires do not affect the project, the celebration is being postponed to a date that is more suitable for the community. First signs of construction on the development are set to begin in March as planned, with work on the athletics track itself scheduled for April. NELSON CITY COUNCIL joins forces with the Nelson SPCA to offer subsidised neutering and micro-chipping for menacing dogs. The Department of Internal Affairs is subsidising the

scheme as part of a national strategy to reduce the risk and harm of dog attacks. Cost is often one of the main barriers to owners of high-risk dogs registering and neutering their pets. Eligible dogs will be neutered and micro-chipped at a nominated vet clinic for $25. Dogs can be classed as menacing if they are seen as, or are reported to be, posing a threat to people, stock, poultry, domestic animals or wildlife. There are also five breeds of dogs automatically classed as menacing: the Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Perro De Presa Canario and the Pit Bull Type. NORTHLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL urges Northlanders to take care with ever-dwindling groundwater supplies as the region’s drought continues, despite much-welcome recent rain in many places. Groundwater levels, in small coastal aquifers in particular, are getting very low. The Minister of Primary Industries officially classified the impact of Northland’s drought as a mediumscale adverse event under the primary sector recovery policy.

ALGIM Autumn Conference

GIS & Information Records Management 22-23 May, Wellington Networking International Speakers Professional Development

Strategy Case Studies Collaborating

The premier event for Local Government GIS & IRM professionals, register online today! Plus plan in you diaries now for our other two amazing 2017 events: ALGIM Spring Conference Web & Digital and Customer Experience 17-19 September, Dunedin

ALGIM Annual Conference Includes Infrastructure technical stream 13-15 November, Rotorua

ALGIM - Creating a World-class Local Government ICT Sector

14 l


UPPER HUTT CITY COUNCIL and Upper Hutt Community Youth Trust are working together on Spearhead Leaders, a youth leadership programme. The new initiative aims to help develop the leadership skills and potential of the city’s youth. The council is also contributing funding alongside the Ministry of Youth Development. The four-month programme begins in March and consists of a two-day adventure boot camp, leadership mentoring, and the opportunity to run a youth leadership forum during Youth Week in June. The Spearhead Leaders programme is for people aged 12 to 24. INVERCARGILL CITY COUNCIL is reportedly struggling with increased numbers of people dumping cars. At least six cars have been dumped in Southland since Christmas. Many have been left near beaches or on environmental reserves. If the owners of the cars cannot be found, council must pay the removal costs. The four councils in Southland are pushing for a fair go on power pricing. GORE DISTRICT COUNCIL, SOUTHLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL, ENVIRONMENT SOUTHLAND and INVERCARGILL CITY COUNCIL have joined together to encourage people to make submissions on the Electricity Authority’s review of transmission pricing methodology. They argue that the current way electricity

transmission prices are spread across New Zealand isn’t fair or equal. They say that much of New Zealand’s electricity is generated in the south and their region is subsidising the transmission costs of people living in other parts of the country. They point out that consumers in Southland pay the same rates for electricity transmission that consumers further north pay. “People living throughout most of the South Island and parts of the central and lower North Island have subsidised grid upgrades in Auckland, but we don’t get to enjoy any of the benefits of them. “It seems pretty unfair, especially when we pay more for things like roading and diesel because of where we live.”

BAY OF PLENTY REGIONAL COUNCIL staff found used nappies, a lamp shade, a double bed base and an old TV among other trash in the Mangakakahi Stream after a member of the public made them aware of the rubbish via council’s pollution hotline. A trailer was required to haul over 200 kilograms of waste from the stream to the waste management landfill. Council staff spent three hours clearing and disposing of the rubbish and are urging people to take ownership for their own waste.

WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL launches a safety initiative on a well-used walkway from the university into the CBD. Focusing on the Boyd Wilson Field to the Terrace Walkway, council will be installing a CCTV camera at the top of the stairs to connect with the existing CCTV system operated out of Victoria University. The council is looking at a number of other smaller projects aiming to open up the area, making it more visible and safer. These include increasing the frequency of maintenance of the area and an increased number of clean-ups to remove rubbish. The additional camera will be monitored through the CCTV hub based at the police station. CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL says 100 years after the statue’s original unveiling, conservation efforts are underway to repair and reinstate the white marble figure of Captain Robert Falcon Scott onto its original stone base. Unveiled in February 1917, the 2.5 tonne statue was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake. The statue was sculpted by Captain Scott’s widow Kathleen Scott. It is expected to be back on its plinth in time for the opening of the Antarctic season in September this year.

The 1917 unveiling of the Scott statue.

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




Photo from The Weekly Press, from Canterbury Museum’s Bishop Collection.

Rainwater stored naturally in underground aquifers provides important supply for many people along Northland’s east coast around Kaikohe and the Far North’s Aupouri Peninsula.


Smile on the Dial

16 l

New skills strategy aims to make councils employers of choice

What would it take to create careers so satisfying that it’s hard to leave local government? Or to get the brightest and best people queuing around the block to join? Bit by bit, a bold new strategy is taking shape to do just that, writes Ruth Le Pla. Plus, we’ve canvassed nine more ideas on what else could be done.


hen back in 2015 LGNZ released its 29 / 100 scorecard for local government’s reputation, it was only putting a number on what most people in the sector have lived and breathed for years. For many people outside the sector, working for council is not considered sexy. It’s not seen as meaningful. Or even careerenhancing. Some private sector employers still harbour the belief that if they take on a long-time council employee, they’ll inherit the challenge of undoing years of rigid rules-based behaviour. Little wonder, then, that attracting and holding on to the sharpest, brightest staff can be problematic for some councils. For other local authorities, the problem is the mirror image of all this. As the largest, and often most stable, workplace in some parts of the country, some councils battle with how to stop staff stagnating for years in comfortable silos. Pockets of jobs-for-life attitudes remain. Yet the sector needs great people like never before. Decades ago, councils may have been able to focus on rates, roads and rubbish. Now they’re expected to juggle a much more unwieldy workload. At the governance level, LGNZ’s to-do list includes everything from looking at new funding models, to developing a shared national response to regional development and figuring out what climate change may mean for councils. All of this, and much more besides, eventually trickles down into new policies, processes and work streams for staff to untangle, implement and maintain. If it’s any consolation, we share this problem of poor perception with councils in many other parts of the world. Bob O’Neill is the US-based immediate past executive director of the International City / County Management Association (ICMA). On a recent visit to New Zealand he told Local Government Magazine that many people’s first idea of local government is that it’s an “inefficient, ineffective, slow, bureaucratic environment”. Their second perception, he says, is that “it’s politically charged so it’s hard to get things done”. Across the Tasman, LG Professionals Australia CE Lauren Oakey adds that many non-council people think a local government culture “is not the right fit, particularly for the next generation”. Over in the UK, Solace’s Jo Miller managed to slip into her inaugural speech as president a caution that the local government sector “mustn’t lose, as we go through our delayering and reconstructing, the ability for talent to rise through the ranks of our own workforce”.




MANAGEMENT Bob concedes any negative perceptions about local authorities carry a grain of truth. But, he argues, they are “substantially overblown”. “If you interview people who are in the public service, many of them are terribly excited about the work they do and the impact they have for individuals and communities.” SOLGM CE Karen Thomas remembers talking with some Auckland Council staff about their jobs. It was not long after she had taken up her role at SOLGM and the council staff had solid professional qualifications that would have stood them in good stead in private sector jobs. “They’d taken what they thought at the time were temporary assignments into one of those [pre-merger] councils in Auckland and there they were 10 years later,” she says. “They’d had a really negative view of what working for a council would be like until they actually started. Then they realised it was a fabulous work environment that looks really different on the inside to what it does from the outside.”

SO FAR: SO GOOD For several years now, SOLGM has been slowly piecing together a series of initiatives that are building towards something akin to a sector-wide skills strategy. Karen says it’s been an organic process fuelled by a desire to keep forward momentum rather than wait to come out with a “nice, neat comprehensive programme”. “But in saying that, we have got an overarching structure in mind and we’re filling it up bit by bit.” SOLGM had already had a recruitment and retention strategy for a number of years, following on from an earlier piece of research it had commissioned from Deloitte. According to Karen, however, much of that work focused on attracting good talent rather than holding on to it. Work has gathered considerable speed more recently. The LGLeadership Pathways initiative forms a three-tier series of programmes aimed at officers at different stages of their careers. (And requires a keen eye for squashing capital letters together in strange places.)

EMERGING LEADER: Nicola Chrisp Nicola Chrisp shot out of university armed with a degree in marketing and strategic management and determined to forge a career in fast moving consumer goods. Five years later she’s manager communications and engagement at Waikato Regional Council and is firmly wedded to public sector work. Last year she was named SOLGM’s inaugural Emerging Leader of the Year. What had you expected before you joined the sector and how different has it been in practice? Two things were surprising. The perception that local government is slow to change and behind the times comes from the corporate world. It’s not true in reality. There’s also an appetite to change, be competitive, do well, be effective and digital-first. That’s a pretty awesome environment to work in. But definitely my perception wasn’t like that to begin with.

18 l

According to Natalie Stevens, SOLGM’s manager learning and development:

LGExecutiveLeaders programme (for senior leaders) • Was launched as a pilot with the Northland Regional Council senior leadership team and then sector-wide in Wellington Nov 2016; • Is underpinned by neuroscience and its contribution to leadership; and • Participants focus on making a contribution to local government using a ‘systems’ approach involving work on a special project that bridges the central and local government sectors.

LGAcceleratedLeadership programme (for mid-tier managers) • Was launched July 2015; • Is delivered on a regional basis to encourage ‘joined-up thinking, collaboration and increased opportunities for sharing of best practice’; and • Has had around 200 participants to date. More regional rollouts are planned for 2017 including significant support for the programme in Northland.

A programme for emerging leaders •T  his will be launched with a pilot in Palmerston North this month. A good measure of the organic growth and acceptance of the mid-tier accelerated leadership programme lies in the list of councils that have run their tier three or four managers through it. As Karen and Natalie tell it, the programme has so far been taken up by councils in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region; a group from Otago / Southland; then Manawatu / Whanganui / Taranaki; an inhouse group all from South Waikato District Council; and the four Northland councils. (See box story Northern initiative.)

How easy is it to move up in the sector? Do you have a sense of clear pathways for career progression? I’ve already changed. After a year I went from managing a team of 12 to now managing a team of 38. So I’ve had a massive opportunity given to me. On paper, I look like the young inexperienced candidate that’s not a seasoned local government pro. But they’ve taken me on and given me the opportunity for career progression. It depends on the leadership of the organisation and I get the sense that this organisation, in particular, wants to change, move fast and try new things. From here, I don’t know. I’m keen to develop. I want to move into general operations. There are lots of leadership programmes – SOLGM in particular

Nicola Chrisp: Strong induction programmes are important.


IN AUSTRALIA LG Professionals Australia CE Lauren Oakey says the closest thing at the moment to a national skills strategy is enshrined in the document Future-proofing Local Government: National Workforce Strategy 2013 – 2020. Published in April 2013, its strategies and actions include: improving workforce planning and development; promoting local government as a place-based employer of choice (when people live and work in the same area); retaining and attracting a diverse workforce; creating a contemporary workplace; investing in skills; and improving productivity and leveraging technology. In any case, over there, local government is a responsibility of state government and this includes implementation of any workforce strategies – whether formally through government or through relevant state local government industry bodies.

INDIVIDUAL COUNCILS Whether a sector-wide skills strategy exists or not, individual councils must ultimately manage their own need for talent. In New Zealand, Natalie Stevens says there are pockets of excellence in the sector and “quite a variation from outstanding to adequate”. She says she’s seen some outstanding capability frameworks from Wellington City Council, Rotorua Lakes District, Auckland Council and South Taranaki District Council. (The latter has been a finalist in the IBM / Kenexa Best Workplaces Survey for seven years in a row and for many years has been renowned for having the highest staff engagement scores in local government.) Bob O’Neill points out it’s not an “either / or” piece of logic. Any overall countrywide strategy needs to work within distinct labour markets.

has great ones. So there are lots of opportunities to step away from your chosen field. I guess the barriers are that people love working in local government and they don’t leave. What more could the sector do to help people develop their careers? One really big thing would be strong induction programmes. I don’t think we do this very well. It’s a massive mind shift. The sector is complex and political. I’ve just recruited a bunch of people who are going through this at the moment. It’s hard to get your head around how the machine works. The second thing that’s really important is ensuring that people in the same job can connect with other people in the same job in other councils. There’s so much potential to share information, support and [ideas] on what you’re doing with collaborative projects and people get a lot of satisfaction from doing that. In terms of getting people to stay in local government, creating the space to be creative is really important. We get so bogged down in

A comprehensive project in the Far North has four councils joining forces to run a coordinated training programme for all their tier three and four managers. Dave Tams, GM corporate excellence at Northland Regional Council (NRC), is coordinating the programme after first Dave Tams. initiating the idea at his own council. With a background in corporate organisational development and change in the UK, he could see the potential for existing managers to boost their skills and leadership maturity. “In one regard, people are like any other asset that you’ve got,” he says. “You either invest in the asset or you’re destroying value.” He says efforts to date at his council had not been joined up. “We had no idea of a single leadership brand. We had no idea of what good looks like. We’d send people on a course here and there. It was all hit and miss. It wasn’t against a strategy.” Dave homed in on SOLGM’s LGAcceleratedLeadership programme. Spotting a wider opportunity, NRC CE Malcolm Nicolson asked the CEs of the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara district councils if they’d be interested in joining forces. The end result is that every single tier three or four manager from all four councils will get the chance to do the programme. Each cohort of 20 to 25 people is a deliberate mix of managers from all four councils – helping to forge relationships throughout the region. The first cohort completed its five-month series of modules in November last year. Another is underway and concurrent programmes will follow. Dave says staff working for managers in the first cohort say they've noticed a difference. “They say their manager is more open to discussion and more facilitative, as opposed to directive. “From the managers’ perspective, a couple of them are saying they can now see different ways of doing things – more of a coaching type of style – and they’ve now got the tools and a bit of confidence to do that. “We’re trying to tap into all the talent we’ve got.”

business as usual and things that keep the wheels turning that we need to prioritise space in our jobs to think creatively and problem-solve. There are so many improvements that we can make but the funnel is too narrow. We can’t find space to do that. Some councils say they have staff who seem to like working in a comfortable silo without wanting to risk any change or progress their career. What could the sector do to help both the councils and individuals with that? That’s a hard question. You need to develop a culture where change is constant. To keep up, keep adding value and evolving, people have to accept change is not scary and that it’s continuous. Organisations have to support people to move into that mindset. You need to take people on a journey into the co-design of strategies, thinking and direction. Then set the expectation that ‘we created this together – now you’re either on or off the bus’.







So what more could either the sector as a whole, or individual local authorities, be doing? Bob O’Neill says there are lots of proven strategies – some of which, admittedly, are hard to do, particularly in challenging fiscal environments.


In the US, he says, the ICMA has created chapters at selected universities to engage with students who may be predisposed to consider a career in public service. ICMA ensures practitioners work with students during their time at college to help them understand more about possible career opportunities. Karen Thomas, while agreeing that this is a good idea, notes that there are specific local government degrees in the US at both undergraduate and graduate levels. This means that relevant students are clustered in reachable groups. In contrast, in New Zealand, there’s no one specific degree in the subject here, and relevant papers and courses are taught at numerous universities scattered throughout the country. “Having said that, SOLGM provides an annual prize for the top paper, as judged by the lecturer, of a local government course at Victoria University, School of Government,” she says. “We’ve done that for a long time. So we certainly recognise the importance of a link to what’s going on in the universities.”

2. INTERNSHIPS Karen sees more potential in internships, saying she has spoken with a number of CEs about this with a view to SOLGM maybe coordinating a programme on their behalf. Some of the larger councils in university towns are already running their own schemes.

MID-TIER LEADER: Ros MacGill Dunedin City Council manager compliance solutions Ros MacGill has racked up 16 years’ experience in local government since she switched from her first career as a registered nurse. She completed an LGAcceleratedLeadership programme in the middle of last year. The programme pulled together tier three and four managers from across the region including councils Ros MacGill. in Oamaru, Balclutha, Central Otago and Invercargill. Why did you do the programme? I was moving into a new role. So I wanted to look at some new skills that I could develop. I also wanted to look at how people function in teams.

20 l

3. MENTORING Karen laughs when I mention Bob’s next “good idea” of using structured mentorship programmes to ensure local government newbies have good experiences in their first few roles in the sector. “Were you listening at our meeting last week?” she says. SOLGM had just held what Karen calls “an exploratory meeting with a former CE” about that topic. “Again,” says Karen, “that’s another stream of work that we’re working on. Now that we’ve got those formal programmes up and running, we’re starting to look at structured mentoring as well.” In SOLGM’s case, however, any structured mentoring may focus more on the needs of new chief executives and is likely to fit into the existing leadership pathways programme.

4. FAST TRACK Bob also suggests local authorities deliberately look for ways to provide some people with the opportunity to accelerate their careers. “Invest in them and their own learning and professional development.”

5. MORE MARKET INTEL It would be handy to have more information on who moves where, why and when. In Australia there’s been a stream of conversations about what they call “inter-sectoral employee movement”. This looks at what sectors local government attracts employees from, what sectors it lose employees to, and who those employees are.

6. REWARD HIGH PERFORMERS APPROPRIATELY Building on some of his earlier ideas, Bob O’Neill says research shows high performers are motivated by three main things. “They want to work on the most interesting and important things in your organisation. They want you to invest in them

How many people report to you? Two senior officers and a total of 35 staff. There’s quite a diverse range of people. There’s environmental health and alcohol licensing in one area. And parking services and alcohol services in the other. There’s quite a range of different personalities too. What did you gain from the programme? Sitting down and hearing other people’s perspectives was a big benefit. They may not necessarily have been working in the same areas as me but the issues were very similar. It was also good to hear about how they are trying to get people on board, moving people forward and trying to build up some strategic approach to the way they work. It was good to talk about general issues such as getting people to focus and work as a team rather than as individuals. Have you stayed in touch with people since then? We endeavoured to meet up but people were busy or got pulled away on something else... It was always for genuine reasons. So it’s fallen over.

so they become more valuable to themselves and to you. And they want recognition.” This last one is the tricky bit. Steer clear of the gratuitous plaque on the wall or a certificate concocted by the HR department. Recognition from a mentor, a national society or some alumni group that they really value carries much greater kudos for these people.

7. MEASURE CEs’ PERFORMANCE Sitting at the back of Karen’s mind are also a series of ideas around how a greater emphasis on service delivery, client expectations and performance measurement could help refocus the sector. At this stage, her thoughts are a personal opinion only and haven’t been formally proposed or considered. “It’s the sort of stuff that the Productivity Commission was talking about in one of their reports last year. They recommended that all CEs [for both local and central government] have it as a performance expectation in their annual requirements.”

8. FOCUS LESS ON THE RULES In the future, the most attractive workplaces will focus more on an organisation’s values and mission rather than rules, says Bob. “Often local governments for a variety of different reasons – some statutory, some by labour agreements – have become very rules-based organisations. That’s just not the nature of how many people want to work today.” His logic runs that values-based organisations can have fewer rules as people are bound around the values and mission and are likely to behave accordingly. This all sounds good in theory and it’s true that the private sector in general is more rules-based than the private or notfor-profit sectors. But, as Karen points out, New Zealand

That’s not to say it hasn’t been beneficial because if I went to one of their organisations I know there’s a door there already open for me to have a chat with someone. That’s just the realities of everyone being busy and the consequence of geography? Yes. For our area I think it is. If you ran the same course in Wellington or one of those other cities I think you’d find it would work better. Did you take away any specific tools or techniques from the course? There are a lot of tools that you can use to build on things such as assessing a team and how it is tracking – whether people are functioning as a team or as individuals. It also looks at how people deal with commitment or trust conflict within the team – which is quite telling... whether they’re a functioning or dysfunctional team. I would encourage people to get other management [ie, managers from your own council] to do the course as well because then you’re all singing the same song if you’re looking at trying to make changes.

local government is already a lot less rules-driven than its counterpart in the US. “By way of context, both ICMA and SOLGM have codes of ethics. The ICMA code is volumes and volumes of rules while ours is a set of six principles.” She adds that SOLGM has recently developed a training programme providing examples or scenarios as to how officers might apply those principles in different situations they may come across.

9. WORK WITH MEANING Perhaps the single biggest leap forward may come from emphasising the ‘meaning’ behind what local authorities do. Bob suggests redesigning work streams and providing opportunities for people to have a broader view of the real impact of their work. “Sometimes when we do job descriptions and organisational charts in the public sector we tend to beat the meaning out of the work by narrowing the job,” he says. “So people really don’t see the impact that they can have. “I hate to generalise, but that’s particularly important for millennials. They want to make an impact early and know they are making a difference otherwise they’re going to leave and go find other places to do that.” He adds that’s also true of many baby boomers who may have already notched up experience in the private sector and be looking for a chance to give back to their communities. “We have to spend more time talking about why public service is a great career calling and the opportunities to make a difference. When you look at surveys, at least in the developed countries, ‘meaning’ is the new currency. “People under 30 and over 50, in particular, want to make a difference. They want to do something that’s meaningful in their life. And if we structure the work correctly, there’s no better place to do it than in the public service.” LG

What more could the sector as a whole do to attract more great people or hold on to them for longer? Big question. Dunedin City Council is moving in that direction at the moment. We are looking at delivery to customers in the community; staff development; and our quality of service. But underpinning all of that is that we really need to be empowering staff. Mentorships, chapters at universities, sponsorships... Would they work? Dunedin City Council launched a scheme at the end of last year encouraging people to become mentors and mentees. They’re doing this with the university. It’s in its infancy at the moment. They’re just getting people on board. They’re asking council officers to mentor people at Otago University? Yes. They’re also saying it could work internally as well. You’d want to make sure people had the right skills to be a mentor. Our HR department is driving the project.





Access All Areas?

Tramping on Stewart Island.

Being able to enjoy the great outdoors lies at the heart of the New Zealand story, says Eric Pyle. He calls for a coordinated and strategic approach to managing and developing access to the outdoors.


magine Queenstown without access to its spectacular outdoors. It is not an image any of us can easily conjure up, nor is it a happy one. Few places in New Zealand offer quite as many magical spots, from dramatic gorges and mountain peaks to mesmerising lakes and national parks. Access to outdoor destinations around the country is deeply important to us. It is also one of the pillars of our tourism industry. Addressing New Zealand’s most pressing local tourism infrastructure needs, a recent report prepared by key players in that sector including Air New Zealand, went some way – though not far enough – towards acknowledging the importance of outdoor access for tourism. People travel great distances to access the fantastic outdoors we New Zealanders have on our doorstep, and proper management of our outdoor access infrastructure is essential to balance the economic benefits of tourism with our cherished wilderness experiences. Currently, ease of access to

22 l

our natural heritage is being impacted as a consequence of the growth in international and domestic visitor numbers. Local communities are feeling the strain. Take Queenstown. Each year, close to three million people are drawn to the town and its surroundings. When you consider that the Queenstown Lakes District has an estimated resident population of 34,700, as of June 2016, you begin to get a sense of the logistical challenges involved in hosting such large numbers of visitors. Some areas where previously few people ventured are now teeming with visitors. Sudden, large and unpredictable increases in tourist numbers can occur at certain locations. Recently, Tourism Wanaka posted a photo on its website of a sunrise taken from Roys Peak. There has since been a significant increase in use of the walkway, resulting in camping and parking issues. Tourism is important and contributes to economic growth.

Many small towns around the country rely on tourism for their prosperity. Imagine the economy of towns in central Otago without the Otago Central Rail Trail. But, as tourist numbers grow, we need to proactively manage the impact it has on local communities and the environment. Otherwise, we risk losing access to our greatest natural treasures. The pressure on some communities has led to closure of tracks across private land that landholders have previously voluntarily allowed people to use. In the Queenstown area, access across private land to Mount Alfred at the head of Lake Wakatipu was recently closed by a landowner due to concerns about the number of people accessing the track. Some councils around New Zealand have taken similar steps as a result of tourism pressure. For example, South Waikato District Council has prohibited swimming at the popular Blue Spring, on Te Waihou Walkway, due to the environmental impact of increased visitor numbers. Fortunately, some have acted to address these issues. The New Zealand Cycle Trails initiative, for example, is the first coordinated approach in decades to securing access and creating trails. But this is just the first step. What’s needed is a coordinated and holistic approach towards managing access to the outdoors. We need to be much more proactive in our management and planning, so that access isn’t further compromised now and in the future. This more coordinated and holistic approach needs to

involve looking at access to outdoor areas administered by councils, other government agencies and across private land – not just land managed by the Department of Conservation. We also need to think through how we can more actively influence visitor choices. For example, we know social media and website articles can influence where people want to go in the outdoors, so agencies with a role in promoting tourism, and walking and cycling options can form part of the solution by promoting responsible behaviour in the outdoors and raising awareness of less-used trails to relieve pressure on those places that are struggling to cope. On the other hand, we need to be careful this approach does not impact important wilderness experiences. Access underpins the tourism industry, whether it relates to the creation of new trails, informing tourists where they can access the outdoors, or influencing their choices. With rapidly increasing tourist numbers now is the time for a coordinated and strategic approach to managing and developing access to the outdoors. LG •E  ric Pyle is chief executive of the New Zealand Walking Access Commission.

a breath of fresh air For environmental laboratory testing

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

General Chemistry heavy metals & traCe elements


hydroCarbon Contaminants

pestiCide & pop residues


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





Campsite at the Luminate festival.

With no compliance-based motivation influencing festival organisers to implement waste minimising practices, few festivals are attempting to minimise their environmental impacts. WelTec’s Joany Grima and Leanne Nicholas share the findings of their recent pilot study.


estivals implementing waste minimisation practices do so without impetus from their respective local authority (LA). While there is scope to improve present waste minimisation practices at festivals in New Zealand, LAs are taking steps towards providing leadership and guidance for festival organisers, with the opportunity to embed waste minimisation compliance into permits already required for festivals. These are the top-line findings from our recent pilot study which sought to answer three questions relating to waste minimisation and festivals: What are the LA guidelines informing waste minimisation practices at New Zealand festivals? What waste minimisation practices do festival organisers implement at festivals? And, how do waste minimisation practices at New Zealand festivals compare to LA guidelines? Festivals in New Zealand contribute socially, economically, culturally and environmentally to communities across the country, with LAs a significant stakeholder. While there are some aspects of festivals that are subject to LA regulation, at present this does not apply to waste minimisation. With no compliance-based motivation influencing festival organisers to implement waste minimising practices, few festivals are attempting to minimise their environmental impacts.

24 l

Earlier research by a variety of other authors has shown that festival-generated waste is one of the most prominent environmental impacts that festivals have, and waste management is a considerable expense for festival organisers. A range of terms are among the contemporary vernacular associated with festivals, sustainability, and waste. “Green” events and festivals have a sustainability policy and / or implement sustainable management practices. “Leave no trace” is an ethical approach to minimising the environmental impact of outdoor activities being adopted by some festivals. “Zerowaste” festivals aim to divert waste generated onsite from landfill, achieved by both minimising waste brought onto the site to begin with, and maximising recycling. Waste minimisation practices at New Zealand festivals are driven by the festivals themselves. Local authority guidance in regards to waste minimisation at festivals varies considerably. The Greener Events Guide is a national guideline produced by the Ministry for the Environment. However no legislation specific to events exists. LAs play a key role in influencing waste minimisation at festivals that can be facilitated via existing mechanisms connected to compliance. In New Zealand and elsewhere, event organisers must engage


Wasted opportunities

with LAs to apply for consent to undertake various festivalrelated activities, such as the sale of alcohol, exceeding noise limits, and road closures. While LAs in New Zealand are becoming increasingly involved with events, the introduction of waste minimisation practices for events has not been widely promoted. For the purpose of our study, waste is defined as items discarded on the festival site and destined for landfill.

Methodology The study focused on the role of LAs and festival organisers in achieving waste minimisation at green-field and street festivals, as well as the festival audience experience of waste minimisation practices. Festivals participating in this study were either green-field or street festivals. Green-field festivals take place on land which is undeveloped, therefore requiring all facilities to be brought in. Green-field festival venues are under the control of a single event organiser, have an income stream and require LA consent to operate. While street festivals do not generate an income from ticketing, they take control of a streetscape, require LA consent to occur, and attract sponsorship and funding. In order to test the methodology, a pilot study was undertaken over a six-week period during February and March 2016. Tickets were purchased to attend ticketed festivals, and festival organisers informed about the study as a courtesy. Event organisers were also invited to share their waste minimisation plans for the festival. For the purpose of this study, we refer to festivals and LAs generically. Data collection occurred in three parts. Firstly, content analysis was undertaken to determine existing LA guidelines, and general information available for festival organisers that related to festival planning, particularly waste minimisation. A search of festival-related permits was also conducted to ascertain any connection between activities requiring LA consent and waste minimisation. Local government websites were searched for any references or documentation pertaining to festival waste minimisation.

Secondly, festival waste minimisation plans acquired from festival organisers were compared with any relevant LA guidelines. Finally, waste minimisation practices at participating festivals were observed from an audience perspective. These observations were then compared to both LA guidelines and festival waste minimisation plans, if they were shared with the study.

FINDINGS Local authorities & festivals The six festivals included in this study varied in size, programme and target audience, and took place across three LAs in the North Island. All three LAs host many council-supported events and festivals. Each LA requires festival organisers to apply for permits relating to the sale of food and alcohol, road closures, temporary structures and use of public spaces. Site, traffic and risk management plans may be required to support various applications for permits. A relationship between waste minimisation plans and permits does not presently exist.

Local authority 1 Local authority 1 produced four publicly-available documents relating to waste minimisation and / or festival planning. Three additional documents were also shared. These documents are identified in Table 1. LA1’s website includes information and advice on organising an event, without any reference to waste.

Local authority 2 Local authority 2 produced three publicly-available documents relating to waste minimisation and / or festival planning. Two additional documents in draft form were also shared by LA2. These documents are identified in Table 2. LA2’s website also included basic information on organising an event, without any reference to waste.

Local authority 3 Local authority 3 produced one publicly-available document relating to waste minimisation and shared one other document. These documents are identified in Table 3. LA3’s website

Table 1 Waste minimisation and festival planning documents from LA1 Relates to festival waste minimisation



Document overview

Regional waste management and minimisation plan


Under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 councils are required to develop a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP), to be reviewed periodically.


Regional waste education strategy


Builds on the WMMP, providing a framework for delivering collaborative education initiatives.


Event checklist


A planning checklist to assist organisers of events. Includes rubbish disposal and waste management.


Planning guide and sheets


A resource for organising community events.


Minimising waste at your event (under revision)


Provides guidance and tips on waste minimisation.


Zero waste events: what you need to know (under revision)


An information sheet highlighting the rationale of aiming for zero waste events.


How to make sure your event’s not rubbish (draft)


Supersedes Minimising waste at your event and Zero waste events: what you need to know documents. Provides a framework on how to minimise event waste and achieve zero waste goals.






Table 2 Waste minimisation and festival planning documents from LA2 Document


Overview of the document

Regional waste management and minimisation plan

Related to festival waste minimisation


Refer to Table 1. LA2 uses the same plan as LA1.


Regional waste education strategy


Refer to Table 1. LA2 uses the same strategy as LA1.


Event application form


Application form to obtain required consents for events on council reserves and properties. Requires a description of waste collection


arrangements. Event waste permit application form (draft)


Covers planning of waste streams. Refers to the Event waste minimisation strategy for events guidelines, also a draft document, however not shared.


Environment and sustainability implementation plan (draft)


Refers to sustainability reporting mechanisms.


Table 3 Waste minimisation and festival planning documents from LA3 Related to festival waste minimisation



Overview of the document

Waste management and minimisation plan


As per the regional waste management and minimisation plan, LA1.


Event waste minimisation and management (draft)


Outlines minimum requirements for waste minimisation at events. Makes reference to the Ministry for the Environment’s Greener Events Guide (2010).


included event planning information, including the offer of a ‘case management’ service, whereby LA staff liaise with event organisers. Reference is made on the website to a waste management plan being required by the LA where events have a high waste content, or are being staged in an environmentallysensitive area.

FINDINGS: FESTIVALS Food and wine festival The food and wine festival took place within LA1. The venue was urban parkland close to the central business district. Contact made with the festival organiser prior to the event indicated there was no waste minimisation plan. Attendance at the festival observed that all audience-generated waste was disposed of in general bins. This mainly consisted of food waste, and disposable food and beverage packaging. Some measures to minimise waste had been taken, namely through the provision of reusable plastic cups for wine, provided free with ticket, and for beer, which was an additional purchase.

Craft beer festival The craft beer festival took place within LA2. The venue was a private farm within walking distance of the nearest town. Contact made with the festival organiser prior to the event indicated there was no waste minimisation plan. Attendance at the festival observed that all audience-generated waste was disposed of in general bins. This mainly consisted of food waste, and disposable food and beverage packaging. Measures were taken to minimise waste through providing a reusable beer tasting glass, free with ticket. Reusable pint-sized beer glasses were also available for purchase.

26 l

International music festival The international music festival occupied urban parkland within LA3. A large number of attendees camped within walking distance of the festival site. Festival organisers did not share their waste minimisation plan, however indicated an objective to achieve zero waste. Attendance at the festival observed a sophisticated zero waste system staffed by a large team. Permanent bins on festival grounds were covered. Audience-generated waste mainly consisted of food waste, and disposable food and beverage packaging. Zero waste stations featured three types of bins for compost, recycling and landfill. Plastic reusable coffee and beer cups were available for purchase. Detailed information about the zero waste commitment of the festival was included in the festival programme. Unstaffed recycling stations were also extended to the festival campground areas.

Local music festival The local music festival took place on a private farm within LA2, with all attendees camping on site. Festival organisers did not respond to correspondence from the researchers. Communication between festival organisers and ticket holders asked attendees to take their rubbish home, thus relying on the audience to divert waste from landfill using household recycling. Attendance at the festival found that while much waste was taken off-site by attendees, a large amount of mostly glass and bottles, and food vendor-related waste was placed in rubbish bins located around the stage. There were no bins for audience use elsewhere on the site. A week after the festival, organisers

posted images on social media of glass bottles left on site that had been separated for recycling.

Suburban street festival

City street festival The free city street festival took place in the central business district of LA1. The festival promoted its sustainability efforts ahead of the event, emphasising a focus on recycling. Fourteen recycling stations were in operation, with each station featuring four bins: compost, glass, recyclable (paper / plastics) and landfill. Some stations were staffed while others were not. Bilingual signage (English, Te Reo Maori) clearly illustrated the types of waste suited to each bin.

Wash station at the Luminate festival.


Living together in a challenging world

Light + Controls




EV charger


Email: Website:





The free suburban street festival took place across much of an inner-city suburb within LA1, and promoted its zero waste aspirations. There were 13 zero waste stations in place. Each staffed station featured four bins: compost, glass, recyclable (paper / plastics) and landfill. Bilingual signage (English, Te Reo Maori) illustrated the types of waste suited to each bin. Permanent street bins were covered, however this did not deter attendees from disposing of waste on top of the covers. Supplementing the stations were unsupervised bins accepting general waste for landfill. Audience-generated waste mainly consisted of food waste, and disposable food and beverage packaging.

WASTE MANAGEMENT Table 4 Waste minimisation practices observed at six festivals LA


Staffed recycling stations

Reusable cups

Covered permanent bins

Waste minimisation promotion



Urban parkland




Private farm





Urban parkland





Private farm



Suburban Street





Closed street


City Street





Closed street




Years staged


Food & Wine



Craft Beer



International Music


Local Music

Permanent street bins were covered. However, like the suburban street festival, this did not deter attendees from disposing of waste on top of the covers. Supplementing the recycling stations were unsupervised bins accepting general waste for landfill. Audience-generated waste mainly consisted of food waste, and disposable food and beverage packaging. Table 4 summarises the waste minimisation practices from the audience perspective of the festivals in this study.

The role of government Given that waste minimisation is a responsibility of LAs under the Waste Minimisation Act (2008), it was expected that guidelines for festival organisers regarding waste minimisation would be publicly available. This was only the case for LA1 (refer Table 1). Festival organisers did not share any waste minimisation plans with us so it was not possible to analyse differences in waste minimisation practices between festival operations and LA guidance. Waste minimisation planning documents produced by LAs were broad in their approach, reflecting waste minimisation as a whole. A positive finding was the level of regional collaboration between LAs on broader waste minimisation strategies, which has potential to ensure that future event waste minimisation guidance developed is consistent across LAs in regional groupings. All three LAs shared drafts of documents specific to waste minimisation at events. These draft documents demonstrate a willingness of the LAs to provide the event sector with leadership in regards to waste minimisation. As each LA requires festival organisers to apply for permits relating to various aspects of event operations, an opportunity exists to embed waste minimisation into existing compliance mechanisms.

Festivals and waste minimisation It could be suggested that given the capacity of each festival organiser to coordinate their respective event, each should have expertise within their team to develop and implement a waste minimisation plan. It was perhaps unrealistic, however, to expect that festival organisers would share waste minimisation plans ahead of their events. The majority of the festivals attended as part of this study implemented at least one of the following four waste minimisation measures: 1. Reusable cups 2. Staffed recycling stations

28 l

3. Covering permanent bins 4. Promotion of waste minimisation initiatives. Reusable cups are traditionally a festival souvenir associated with wine and beer events, rather than a conscious effort on the part of the organisers to minimise waste. Where reusable cups are purchased, these can also generate income for the festival. Half the festivals made reusable cups available: food and wine, craft beer and international music festivals. Only the international music festival actively promoted reusable cups as a way of minimising audience waste, while doubling as a conservation project fundraiser. Staffed recycling stations were in operation at half the festivals: international music, suburban street and city street. Recycling stations involved segregated bins monitored by staff. Audience members were advised on where waste should be placed in order to minimise contamination. Despite the large number of recycling stations and human resources required to staff them, the international music festival and suburban street festival appeared to manage the stations well, with staff consistently available. The city street festival was unable to maintain the level of staff required for its duration, with many stations left unstaffed. Covering permanent bins at festival sites was carried out by the same three festivals operating recycling stations. While it was clear that the bins were not in operation, a large quantity of waste was placed on top of the bins at the two street festivals. These bins were often within close proximity of recycling stations. Waste minimisation initiatives were promoted by the same three festivals with recycling stations and covered permanent bins. This included on-site signage, information in festival programmes, and news articles available in online media before and during the festivals. It is notable that of the six festivals studied, those with the largest audiences and sites to manage made a greater effort to minimise waste than festival counterparts with smaller audiences and sites. LG • Joany Grima is a senior lecturer in event management at Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec). • Leanne Nicholas is a senior lecturer in hospitality management at the same organisation.


Plan ahead

A building control official inspecting building work.

Watch out for changes to the Building Consent Authority Accreditation Scheme.


he Building Consent Authority (BCA) Accreditation Scheme is being updated as part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE’s) ongoing work to ensure regulation of the building system contributes effectively to New Zealand’s wellbeing and economic growth. This is because the role that BCAs play is essential in delivering consent processing on behalf of government. The accreditation scheme, which has been in place for more than eight years, sets out the policies, procedures and systems a BCA must have and implement to perform their role. MBIE has reviewed the scheme, gathering and responding to feedback from BCAs, International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) and other stakeholders, and considering the current compliance of BCAs with accreditation requirements. It found opportunities for improvements to the scheme that are being implemented this year. The changes being made as a result of the review include: • setting out a clear purpose and set of objectives for the scheme, ensuring all stakeholders are on the same page about its intent; • listing the matters about which a BCA must notify MBIE and IANZ, allowing better support for BCAs facing changes that could affect their operation; • requiring BCAs to use the MBIE National BCA competency assessment system (NCAS), improving consistency in the assessment process and providing a more flexible workforce; • listing the technical qualifications a Building Control

Official (BCO) doing a technical job must have (or be studying towards) for this important role; and • moving to a fee-for-service regime for accreditation assessments, eliminating unfair cross-subsidisation and driving performance improvement in meeting accreditation requirements. MBIE has also developed regulatory guidance on the accreditation process, and minimum standards and criteria for meeting accreditation requirements. Changes to the Building (Accreditation of Building Consent Authorities) Regulations 2006 have now been published on the website and the regulatory guidance published on the website. Both come into effect on July 1 this year, giving BCAs time to prepare. The requirement for BCAs to use the NCAS will come into effect later, after MBIE has reviewed and consulted BCAs. BCAs and councils should start planning now for the coming changes. They should do a self-assessment of their compliance with accreditation requirements using the checklists in the guidance. They should also start enrolling their BCOs who do a technical job in an appropriate technical qualification. MBIE will be available to support those BCAs that might need assistance during the implementation phase, and expects to hear from them and their management teams. It will work closely with all BCAs and IANZ on the implementation of the changes and to support the scheme’s ongoing success. LG





Raveen Jaduram One man’s view of the water industry The chief executive of Auckland CCO Watercare signals his thinking on a wide range of issues and challenges for both his organisation and the water sector as a whole. Here are some redacted highlights from Raveen Jaduram’s speech at the Water New Zealand annual conference.



Raveen says trust is the most important issue that the water sector has faced for a very long time “and we’re not doing much about it”. He says the sector must carry the blame for any lack of trust and the most important legacy everyone working in the sector can leave behind is to help improve communities’ trust in water. When Watercare surveyed a group of customers, just over 40 percent of respondents agreed, or strongly agreed, that they trust the organisation. “That’s not a good figure,” says Raveen. “It should be ‘do you trust the water you drink?’ ‘Yes’. ‘Do you trust the people who supply you with the water?’ ‘Yes’. That’s the vision. That’s where we want to be.”

Raveen notes that it is in his interest to make sure the ratepayers of Auckland think highly of Auckland Council. “It doesn’t pay for me to say we’re different: we’re Watercare. Because for our customers, we’re the same thing. All the campaigns about how we are a separate company, but owned by council, are not going to work. That effort is wasted.”

30 l

EXTERNAL EVENTS Raveen notes that incidents beyond Watercare’s control can reduce trust in his organisation. Watercare’s new vision statement is that it aims ‘to be trusted by communities for exceptional performance every day’.

Raveen Jaduram: Trust is the most important legacy anyone can leave behind. MARCH 2017 LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAGAZINE



WATER This wording is deliberately broad, he says. “It doesn’t talk about water. It doesn’t talk about Auckland. It doesn’t talk about price. It just says ‘communities’: not even ‘customers’.”

MONOPOLIES Monopolies need to be customer-centric, says Raveen. He recounts how one of his directors asked why Watercare should become “extremely customer centric” when its customers have no choice. “My answer? That’s exactly why we are going to do it: because trust is being lost.” He says a recent survey asked what one service people could not do without for a whole day. Most people said wifi or the internet. “Yet very few of our customers could have a day without water.” He says Watercare’s service is so reliable that people don’t know what it means to be without water for 24 hours. “The whole process is counter-intuitive, if you think about it. The better the service we provide, the cheaper the service we provide, the more people turn around and say we’re not doing a great job.”

BEING TAKEN FOR GRANTED “We think that all the good work we are doing will, by itself, be how we are judged,” says Raveen. He notes that water services are highly valued in third-world communities where the alternative for many people may have been to collect water from a stream four kilometres away. “They will value you… But in an urban environment that doesn’t work.” He says the water sector needs to get its communities and customers to understand the service it is providing.

THE COST OF WATER “Customers don’t know the price of what it is that we supply, let alone the value of it,” says Raveen, who again argues that it is up to organisations such as his to get such messages across. Water suppliers also carry responsibility to clearly message that water continues to be free. “We charge people for collecting, treating, storing and transporting water. Otherwise, in New Zealand it is free.”

IDENTIFYING CUSTOMERS Watercare has recast its definition of a customer. “A year ago we would have said we have two types of customers: mums and dads, and industry. Now if you speak to Watercare staff, they will tell you we have lots of customers.” Raveen goes on to explain that the traditional, and logical, definition of a ‘customer’ was a person who paid Watercare directly for its services. He has expanded that definition to include everyone who receives water from the organisation, whether they are landlords or tenants in properties. “So when they ring us up and say, ‘I’ve got a problem with my water pressure or I’ve got a sewer overflow in my back yard’, we don’t ask them ‘are you the bill payer’.” This is a sharp contrast to the practices of many

32 l

telecommunications firms, for instance, that will first ask if they are speaking with the person who pays an invoice. “If you’re not, they don’t talk to you. We don’t do that. We say we will come and fix the problem.” This means that Watercare includes in its definition of its customers, not only consumers but also a raft of other people who may be involved in a property such as developers, agents, surveyors, engineers and lawyers.

ENGAGEMENT “We have to be an inclusive organisation: we have to engage. We haven’t done that in the past. We’ve come from an environment where we tell people, rather than we ask. But the world is changing: people google, they find pollutants in the water, in the receiving waters… and so they are concerned. We need to engage and then we need to educate.”

CULTURAL CHANGE Raveen calls for a cultural change within the water industry, arguing that organisations need to collaborate more. “We don’t have to do the traditional Kiwi thing that we will reinvent everything from zero base.”

EFFICIENCY He calls for more efficiency throughout the sector. Speaking about Watercare, he says internal processes need to be totally revamped. “We have process for the sake of a process. The starting point in Watercare right now is… if we don’t have to be involved, we shouldn’t be. If the touchpoints in the process are multiple, we have to question ourselves… Why can’t it be a one-point contact?”

DISBANDING THE CALL CENTRE Raveen says when customers call Watercare, they want to have a conversation with an informed member of staff, not feel as though they are answering a Q&A form being read out from a computer. “If someone rings and wants to talk about their bill, who are the best people to talk about that? The people in the billing team. If someone rings and says their meter’s not working or the pressure’s not right, who are the best people to talk to them? The people who know what a water meter looks like. “So we’ve got rid of our call centre and put people back into teams where they work with, and understand, specialists in those areas.”

BIDDING FOR WORK Over the next 10 years, Watercare plans to spend $400$500 million per annum on capital projects. Feedback from consultants and contractors is that they are spending a lot of money bidding for such work. In response, Watercare is engaging with them to see how it can reduce the cost of bidding. “We’ve been an arrogant client. And that’s not unique to Watercare. All large organisations at some point will say

they are an arrogant client because you get to a point where you believe you are the master and others are subservient.”

alignment between what the organisation thinks they want and what is available out there.”



The term “water conservation” has been eliminated from Watercare’s vocabulary as surveys show customers believe Auckland’s high rainfall makes this unnecessary. Instead, Watercare talks about “not wasting” water – a concept that Kiwis relate to very well.

Water suppliers must speak up more about funding, says Raveen. “The average household in Auckland today spends more on phones and wifi than they do on water and wastewater. Which is more important? So why are we talking about reducing prices? We should be talking about increasing services.”

DISRUPTION Raveen warns that while the industry’s challenges centre around aging infrastructure, growth, affordability, technological advances and lack of resources, major disruption will come from customers. “Why? Because they’re exposed to all sorts of things from different providers. They can do things on their phones. If they can’t do that with us, they’ll demand it. If we are not able to do that, someone else will. And, again, we will lose more of the trust, we will lose more of that confidence.”

TALENT When organisations say they are looking for talented people, they mean they’re looking for the right people. It’s about ‘fit’. “There’s no shortage of talent. There’s a shortage of

SUSTAINABILITY Raveen says the water industry must think about “true sustainable initiatives”. He cites the example “the world over” that wastewater plants could very easily be waste recovery plants. “We have said that by 2025 our two largest wastewater treatment plants will be generating all the electricity they need. I have said we will reduce our energy demand overall by eight gigawatts over the next three years.” Raveen urges the sector to think out to 2026 and beyond and to challenge concepts of what could be recovered – “energy, phosphorus, nitrates, wastewater into drinking water, for irrigation, for farming… Talk to other industries. Build those relationships and collaborate.” LG





Full speed ahead

Horowhenua District Council uses a co-design project to shave Land Information Memorandum report delivery times to just half a day on average.


orowhenua District Council has drastically improved the efficiency of its reporting procedures by adopting a co-design approach with officers and stakeholders in its decision-making processes. The council has cut the time it takes to deliver its Land Information Memorandum (LIM) reports to stakeholders, while doubling its average LIM report output and cutting average turnaround time significantly. Horowhenua District Council now offers an online platform where potential buyers can request and pay for their LIM report. The council is required by legislation to deliver a LIM report within 10 working days but has upheld an average turnaround of their reports in half a day for the past 18 months. Nicki Brady, group manager business services for Horowhenua District Council, said that in listening to customers, council acknowledged that buying a house for whatever reason, be that as a first home or as an investment, is a significant decision to make. “For many people the provision of the LIM is a critical part of ensuring they feel confident in making that decision.”

34 l

The LIM report is used by those considering property purchase in the Horowhenua district, as it helps buyers decide whether a piece of land is worth purchasing, free from restrictions and whether the intended use of the land is feasible. Indirectly, the report also benefits residents, real estate agents and developers in the area. Horowhenua District Council held a number of meetings and workshops with community and business executives in order to determine the outcome they wanted to achieve. The new procedure allows a staff member to generate the report including automated information available, rather than a complete manual report creation. Previously, Horowhenua District Council was able to deliver on 234 LIM report requests per year on an average 10-day turnaround. In 2016, the council received and delivered on 473 orders for LIM reports with an average turnaround of half a day. “The new LIM report procedure is a remarkable outcome for our stakeholders and community. It saves time and money, and more importantly, our customer feedback has been extremely positive,” said Nicki.

CO-DESIGN Recent research conducted by the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS:IPPG) and commissioned by Civica, The Changing Landscape for Delivering Services: Co-design; Different ideas from a different voice reveals that a co-design approach helps councils and communities work together to plan council services. The approach allows local government to move from being simply a provider of services and the community from being a recipient, to working together and ensuring the most effective service impact is provided for end-users. It also helps councils decide on trade-offs and priorities between services, and enables the most efficient use of resources. Roberta Ryan, director of the UTS:IPPG and the Centre for Local Government at the University of Technology Sydney, said stakeholder engagement and involvement is critical in ensuring citizens have a say and get to support their council’s decision-making processes. “When conducting the co-design research for Civica, we were delighted to learn about Horowhenua’s project as it is a great example of rolling out cost-effective systems that are aligned with the needs of the community.” The project to improve the efficiency of the LIM report in a co-design approach, kicked off in 2013 with research and meetings between Horowhenua District Council and key stakeholders. The online platform was fully deployed in 2015 after the council thoroughly tested the payment options and system improvements. The creation of the LIM report itself is integrated with council’s Authority software and pulls available data from existing modules. “We started thinking about co-design back in 2011 in terms of evaluating our online services and whether the services we were or weren’t offering to our community were delivering what they wanted. So when the opportunity came to look at our LIM service, it was a great opportunity for us to ask the questions,” explained Nicki.

COST SAVINGS “We realised that a lot of the LIM report requests were coming from not only local residents, but those living outside the district in areas such as Wellington, Auckland and even potential overseas buyers,” said Nicki. The objective was to improve the report as well as provide further benefits to those using the council’s LIM service. One of the main benefits of using co-design was the cost of the project. According to Nicki, although the project took longer to be finalised, time and effort was spent working with the capability of the council’s existing software. The cost could have been much greater if a new system had been purchased.

“We could have spent money on a new system and delivered it within a few months. We knew our project would take longer in our approach however we wanted to have the discussion with our officers who work with the processes every day, and our stakeholders, and utilise the feedback to feed into our decisionmaking process. “During the first six months for our project we talked to people in meetings and workshops as we really wanted to understand what it was that they thought we could do better or what would assist them in the LIM service,” explained Nicki.

CIVICA’S AUTHORITY Horowhenua District Council has been using Civica’s Authority software since 2010. After defining the LIM report project, Nicki and her team took a close look at how they could leverage the software in order to extract relevant information from the system for the report. They discovered that some of the information they needed to pull into the LIM report was sitting within their Authority database and could be automated. However, up until then, the information had been extracted manually. Civica supported Horowhenua District Council to extract and consolidate the information they required in the shortest timeframe possible.

NEXT STEPS Nicki has been exploring additional opportunities to improve the council’s service delivery. The team is looking at Horowhenua District Council’s other systems to determine whether they also have information that can be pulled into the new LIM report. In addition, the council wants to understand how it could have better information going into Authority, so it can avoid using multiple systems from which to pull information. “We have also redeveloped our internal WebMap application to draw more information from Authority. While we already had two-way integration between our GeoMedia product and Authority, using parcel links and various reporting tools, we are now able to display much more information about a parcel of land while using just the WebMap product,” said Nicki. “The spatial display of Authority data is proving to be a valuable tool for staff and will become more so as staff move to mobility solutions.” In addition, another objective is to work with other councils and become involved in developing co-design projects collaboratively, to benefit multiple regions. “Our aim as a local government body should always be looking at ways to improve people’s lives,” said Nicki. “If someone is searching for information it shouldn’t be limited to what’s available within one council region. Rather, there should be a consistent approach between neighbouring councils and access to shared information to benefit our communities.” LG






Water modelling As climate change turns our weather on its head, any certainty around precipitation at a particular time of the year has gone down the drain, writes Patricia Moore. For those in the business of supplying water, managing wastewater or dealing with extreme weather-related events, this is creating challenges.


he demand for better information, faster, is growing and with that has come greater innovation in the area of water modelling, and analysis of built and natural systems across the whole water cycle. Dan Stevens, Beca business director, water, says the fundamentals of hydraulic modelling have long been established. But advances in technology and computing power have exponentially changed expectations and the ability to collect, process and analyse, and present vast amounts of data, with powerful visual tools. “The age of big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) is here,” he says, “and the water industry is striving to develop intelligent water networks which, in turn, are driving the advance of wastewater distribution modelling.” DHI Group’s Rose Jowsey highlights innovations including greater processing power through the implementation of multiple cores of central processing units (CPUs). “This enables software that can utilise graphical processing units (GPUs) allowing for a significant speed increase for engineers when running simulations,” she says. “Greater power not only allows more simulations to be run but also more detail per simulation.” Rose says improved technologies and an appetite for more robust information are also leading to an increase in the accessibility to data. “Databases are being developed with portals that allow for easy access as close to real time as possible and with a level of presentation not seen in the past.” According to Ryan Brotchie, innovation is happening across the board. Ryan is GHD service line leader – integrated water management. “The wastewater industry is moving from a one-size-fitsall regulatory or performance standard for sewerage system overflows, towards a risk-based or effects-based approach. For water suppliers, modelling technology is enabling utilities to develop real-time operational models of their water Above right: Rain garden opportunity map. Right: Remote sensing of wetland vegetation.

36 l

distribution systems. And new tools and approaches are being applied to stormwater systems to provide affordable city-scale, high-resolution, high-detail modelling and mapping.” Spatial data and analysis are increasingly being used to support and communicate decision-making, says Ryan. “This provides a repeatable, transparent way to plan at multiple scales by enabling local characteristics to be considered across large geographic areas.”

Constructed rain garden.

An example is the Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) Opportunity Maps developed for Australia’s City of Port Phillip. “The ‘hot spot’ maps provided council with optimal locations for investment in streetscape projects such as rain gardens that replaced previously ad hoc and opportunistic investment practices.” Innovative techniques are the way of smart cities. Rose Jowsey notes the combination of expanding urban landscapes and a changing climate has resulted in many communities taking a closer look at their stormwater management policies and practices. “In most cases replacing existing infrastructure is simply not feasible,” she says. “Alternative solutions – often referred to as green solutions – including rain gardens, green rooftops, rain barrels and porous pavement are being used to buffer the impacts of additional precipitation.” Modelling is becoming more integrated, says Michael Chapman, principal and team leader water resources with Harrison Grierson. “Different scientific disciplines are learning ways to ‘join the dots’. We all know natural systems are connected but we often still work within our narrow silos. New software and modelling approaches are helping us understand the linkages.” Along with new technologies, hardware advances and internet speeds, other factors are driving innovations in water modelling. Rose says these include policies such as the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management which calls for a better spatial understanding of water quality in catchments. So how does this impact on local government? Dan notes an increasing number of ‘engineer modellers’ in local authorities and consultant teams. “We’re seeing the evolution of a new generation of more tech-savvy system managers and operators, and as a result modelling is starting to migrate from the planning domain into the real-time operational environment.” He suggests there may also be new players in the market as some significant software companies that have not traditionally been in the modelling space explore ways to create a single

source of data that integrates modelling and geographic information system (GIS) databases and meets a range of needs. “It will be interesting to see what develops in the next five to 10 years and what level of integration is actually possible.” According to Ryan, innovations in modelling and analysis of natural and built water systems present an opportunity to improve operational efficiencies, optimise investment and enhance strategic planning processes. “But, to leverage these opportunities people will need to keep up to date with the latest technologies and invest sufficiently in their spatial data and data management systems. These changes can also have implications on how planning and investment decisions are made.” And, says Michael, authorities must be clear on what they expect from models and what they want to achieve. “They need to be realistic about costs and ensure models are built properly and are fit for purpose. Because models are there to be used, not once but many times, keep it simple. Start with one or two issues. In this way they achieve their purpose.” He cites the movement within the building industry towards creating flexible modular systems. “Keep things simple, then build in complexity as, and when, required, to understand the different components of a natural system. “Regardless of the sector, a systems thinking approach drives innovation. Once people see linkages between systems, especially within the natural world, this will lead to advancement in modelling to assist us to understand them. “From this we can make informed decisions and develop smarter solutions to ensure we keep moving towards a truly liveable environment that can regenerate and remain healthy.” LG • Patricia Moore is a freelance writer.

>> For related articles go to our website. Search: Water modelling






Street Lighting

With urban areas across the globe striving to become smarter, street lighting – and the infrastructure that supports it – is under increasing scrutiny from local bodies concerned with cutting costs, conserving energy and providing an environment that’s more attractive to residents. Many also face the prospect of replacing old and inefficient lighting systems. Patricia Moore reports.


nnovations are changing the way urban areas are lit. The most significant of these changes, says Techlight’s Kevin Brookbank, is the evolution of light-emitting diodes or LEDs. “Innovation [in street lighting] starts with the whole idea of using LEDs instead of discharge lamps. We’ve been looking at LEDs for probably 20 years now, but it’s only in the past five or so things have really taken off. It’s at the stage now where LED is the logical way to go.” The advantages of LED street lighting have been well documented. They come on almost immediately and have a longer lifetime than high-pressure sodium meaning greater energy efficiency and economy. They have better colour and

38 l

visibility. They can be trimmed as required. They can be solar or wind powered. And – a plus in these windy, shaky islands – they can withstand shock and vibration. The technology continues to evolve with ongoing development in both production efficiencies in existing LEDs and the introduction of new, larger LEDs with more power or lumens per luminaire. Jeff Richardson, Betacom product manager, says this is leading to innovation in higher-end applications such as sports lighting, Cat V applications and boost lighting for tunnels. “Most local authorities will have started replacing the lowerend Cat P type luminaires and these latest innovations will

provide local authorities with the opportunity to replace all lighting from streets to stadiums, with LED that reduces energy and maintenance costs.” To those in local government involved in choosing lighting systems, it may seem innovation continues to flourish, but Kevin says this is not necessarily the case. “We’re seeing not so much innovation, as different ways of manufacturing an LED light. The improvements we’re seeing now are smaller than they were a year ago which were smaller than two years ago. They may be about using less power to do the same job or just new luminaire casing, but if they cost more they’re not going to go forward. “That’s why it’s important for decision makers in local bodies – or the consultants they hire – to really understand what’s going to last and be cost-effective. Lack of research when buying is a fundamental problem.” The savings through implementation of LED lighting are eyewatering. Los Angeles, where 150,000 LED streetlights have been installed, estimates a saving of US$8 million annually. New York, which aims to be fully switched over to LED street

lighting this year, is looking to save over US$14 million. And, on a road near you, in a move initiated by NZTA, highpressure sodium lights, some 370,000 across the country, are being switched to LED with estimated savings of around $10 million in annual operational costs. In addition, by integrating with data-gathering sensors, innovative new-generation LEDs are providing opportunities for councils to generate extra revenue and attain smart city status. As Jeff Richardson says, “along with IoT [the internet of things], the space traditionally used for lighting within the city can now be used for a wide range of applications”. The aim is connecting people with their environments, he says. “A single pole and light system, such as Shuffle, can also provide options such as wifi, video surveillance, emergency signalling, chargers for electric vehicles, and speaker systems.” Indeed, street lighting is no longer just about the lights. In today’s cityscapes, lighting is both functional and decorative – and is appearing in a diverse range of environments. Projects handled by lighting specialists ECC have largely been in the area of urban beautification, particularly shared spaces – pedestrian,






Six-metre pou or entrance post.

Night scene of Auckland City with SkyCity Tower.

cyclist and vehicle, slow speed streets – with a high emphasis on visual comfort, says client manager Owen Thomas. “This is achieved using a mixture of cool (4000K) and warm (3000K) white colour temperatures and a range of different optics, from street to wide and narrow flood chips on board (COB), to reduce glare. Using LED improves performance, reduces maintenance and provides full compatibility with the lighting control system.” Owen says while the AS/NZS 1158 Lighting Standard defines categories for pedestrian and vehicular areas there’s no specific category for shared spaces. “This means working closely with specialised electrical engineers and landscape architects to create a ‘share with care’ environment to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and other users.” Locally, one of the more innovative lighting projects, and the first of its kind in New Zealand, is the hot pink Lightpath Te Ara I Whiti, the $18 million cycleway connecting Auckland’s Upper Queen and Quay Streets, where 300 programmable LED lights create interactive displays when the cycleway is used by pedestrians or cyclists. Chris Chin, of project partner GHD, says the lighting on the cycleway is a standout feature; an elegant and sustainable lighting solution ensuring the safety and security of users and presenting an impressive sight at night. While phrases like “a revolution in lighting” are often used,

40 l

it has to be noted that the world is not converting to LED at the speed of light. Last year it was estimated that, of the world’s four billion local authority street lights, only 12 percent are LED and less than two percent are connected. Kevin Brookbank suggests New Zealand could be about a quarter of the way through the conversion process. “Not every council has been able to do it; not every council wanted to, but NZTA has provided an initiative with extra funding to speed the process.” It’s not about waiting for the next big thing, he says. “In five years’ time there will be something better than we have now. In 20 years who knows what might be around? It’s about local bodies moving with the times or missing the opportunity to make savings now.” LG • Patricia Moore is a freelance writer.



In the April issue • Innovations in waste management For related articles go to our website. Search: Lighting

TECHNICAL BRIEFINGS This paper was presented at Water New Zealand’s Annual Conference.

A SEISMIC SHIFT IN DESIGN – EMBEDDING SAFETY, RESILIENCE AND VALUE INTO POST-EARTHQUAKE DESIGNS Ian Macbeth (manager Christchurch – water, & principal – environmental), Iain Partington (technical director, project management), Gavin Hutchison (associate – civil engineer) [all Beca, Christchurch] and John Moore (planning and delivery manager, 3Waters and waste, Christchurch City Council)

ABSTRACT The post-earthquake 3-waters infrastructure rebuild in Christchurch has provided an opportunity to fully integrate safety in design (SiD) and value engineering into designs. With seismic resilience being fundamental to these designs, there is also a need to balance financial constraints imposed by insurance payments on one hand, with a focus on incorporating whole-of-life safety considerations on the other. These apparently conflicting drivers have emboldened designers to go beyond conventional conservative designs to come up with smart, cost-effective solutions. It has also required clients to be engaged in the journey, sometimes taking them outside their comfort zone. Solutions have utilised unconventional equipment and materials, pared-down structures, novel configurations and innovative repair and remediation methodologies. In some instances, resilience has moved from ‘unbreakable’ to ‘easily repairable’. Our full paper summarises some of these innovative solutions, using delivered examples from the Christchurch rebuild, as well as one built elsewhere, applying the learnings from Christchurch. It highlights the need to have the right people, from multiple disciplines, involved in projects from the outset; to challenge conventional wisdom in delivering safe, resilient, yet costeffective, infrastructure for our communities.

INTRODUCTION The Canterbury earthquake sequence has been characterised by a host of big numbers. Since the first earthquake, of 7.1-magnitude at 4:35am on September 4, 2010, centred around 40 kilometres west of Christchurch, we’ve experienced over 14,000 quakes – and counting. The most damaging 6.3-magnitude earthquake on February 22, 2011, centred only five kilometres beneath a south-eastern suburb of the city, recorded a maximum peak ground acceleration of 2.2g; one of the highest ever recorded. Something like 400,000 tonnes of liquefied sand and silt have been removed from the streets and sewerage system of Christchurch. Within the ‘Four Avenues’ of the main city centre, some 1240 buildings have so far been demolished. The central city cordon was in place, manned by army personnel, for 860 days. The Crown-designated ‘Residential Red Zone 1’ extends over some 830 hectares and more than 8000 houses. Around 100,000 houses were damaged, of which some 10,000 have required complete demolition. About 100 wastewater pumping stations have needed to be rebuilt or repaired. Of 1700 kilometres of sewers in Christchurch, more than 500 kilometres (around 30 percent) were damaged. In the order of 2000 portaloos and 40,000 chemical toilets were deployed during the earthquake sequence. Approximately 50 kilometres of water pipes were damaged. Of the city’s 175 water wells, all but 64 have

The new 800mm diameter polyethylene wastewater pressure main 128 pipe ready for installation by directional drilling in eastern Christchurch.





required repair; 22 were irreparably damaged. Vertical ground movement through tectonic uplift and differential settlement has been widespread; ranging from up to 0.5 metres uplift in the areas of the Port Hills, to one metre settlement in areas near the Avon River – highly significant in a flat city predominantly relying on gravity drainage of sewage and stormwater. Furthermore, 1021 kilometres of Christchurch’s urban sealed roads (52 percent of the total) have needed repair. Over half the city’s 225 bridges have required repair or complete rebuilds. The cost to repair the city’s horizontal infrastructure (roads, bridges and the 3-waters infrastructure of water, wastewater and stormwater) is estimated to be around $2.5 billion; approximately half of which is in repairing or replacing gravity pipe systems. Overall, it is reputed to be one of the most expensive insured natural disasters in history. Underpinning these bare facts is, of course, the most tragic: 185 people died in the February 22, 2011 earthquake. Despite all the trauma, damage and disruption, the earthquakes have provided a once-in-a-lifetime, careerdefining opportunity for the engineering community. The

42 l

chance to rebuild a city, creating a lasting legacy of a stronger, modern and world-class urban environment has provided an opportunity that many have relished. Besides locals, scores have come from around New Zealand and from all over the world to play their part. Based on the collective experience gained – of failure mechanisms, of repair strategies, of the value of multidisciplinary inputs to design, and incorporating modern materials and techniques – a number of design standards and practices have changed. The significance of the earthquakes on our design environment cannot be underestimated; at a national level, our designs can be considered those completed in the ‘pre-Christchurch’ world and those ‘post-Christchurch’. Our full paper focuses on innovative examples of 3-waters (water, wastewater and stormwater) rebuild projects from the city’s infrastructure networks. It also provides an example of a project completed in Marlborough; one of the first ‘postChristchurch’ projects to apply the learnings in creating safe, innovative and resilient infrastructure elsewhere. Most of the described projects are ones in which Beca staff have been involved. With a long and close relationship with

Construction work at the base of new wastewater terminal pump station 136 in eastern Christchurch.

Christchurch City Council (CCC), the owner of the city’s 3-waters infrastructure assets, Beca has provided design services for many of the most complex rebuild projects. This has been through either direct engagement by CCC, or by designers working alongside those from other consultants within the SCIRT alliance. Since its creation in mid-2011, the repair, rebuild and replacement of the city’s earthquake-damaged horizontal infrastructure has been the responsibility of SCIRT; the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team. Its mission is “creating resilient infrastructure that gives people security and confidence in the future of Christchurch”. The alliance comprises three asset owners: CCC, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), along with five nonowner participants: namely, contractors City Care, Downer, Fletcher Construction, Fulton Hogan and McConnell Dowell. Servicing the alliance have been four design teams of consultant engineers and CCC staff; co-located in a dedicated project team environment. Beca staff formed the core of one of the four teams; the

Red Team, designing the majority of the pump stations for the rebuild. At its peak in late 2011 – 2014, the design teams totalled around 160 staff (approximately 40 per team), although these numbers had been ramping down as design works were scheduled for completion in late 2016. By then, SCIRT will have managed more than 700 construction jobs. A key feature of the SCIRT alliance has been Early Contractor Involvement (ECI). Combining asset owners, designers and contractors in a ‘one-team’ environment has facilitated construction input into designs, whereby constructability opportunities, issues and risks are identified and taken into account. In doing so, innovation, safety and value have all been enhanced at an early stage for the designs and installations. Throughout its lifespan, one of SCIRT’s objectives has been to foster a learning and sharing culture, both within the organisation and beyond; creating a legacy of knowledge and intellectual property to be shared, not only amongst all the participants, but beyond to the wider industry. To this end, a number of technical papers have been produced on the learnings from SCIRT, such that we now have a significant body of literature and design experience that can be applied in future designs. A select range of SCIRT-derived papers, presented at technical conferences, forms part of the reference list to our full paper. One specific and critical area of infrastructure excluded from SCIRT’s remit is the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant (CWTP), owned and operated by CCC. At this site, CCC has had a standing agreement with Beca to provide professional services since mid-2008. Because of Beca’s history and intimate knowledge of the site, it was rapidly able to deploy staff to the response, recovery and rebuild process, in close collaboration with CCC staff. Experience of this process at the CWTP is referenced in our paper. Details within this paper have wider reference for territorial authorities around New Zealand, and beyond. The Local Government Act 2002 requires councils to prepare an infrastructure strategy with a minimum 30-year horizon. As noted by McFarlane (2015), a council’s strategy must outline how its assets will be managed, including providing for resilience in “identifying and managing risks related to natural hazards and by making appropriate financial provision for those risks”. He does point out, however, that it is often difficult for councils to justify resilience improvements against other projects that provide more immediate and tangible benefits. Nonetheless, research shows the massive payback of pre-emptive mitigation measures. McFarlane quotes the example of Orion, central Canterbury’s electricity network provider, which estimated the $6 million previously spent on seismic strengthening saved $30 million – $50 million in direct asset replacement costs following the Canterbury earthquakes. There is, therefore, a compelling case for incorporating resilient features into business-as-usual upgrades of infrastructure assets. LG

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





Councils, campers and tourism Practical solutions may be on the way.


iven the lateness of summer this year, it is probably an appropriate time to talk about camping. When the Freedom Camping Act was introduced in 2011 its stated purpose was “to address the adverse effects of freedom camping”. But the default position under the Act is that freedom camping is permitted in any local authority area or conservation area unless it is restricted or prohibited in accordance with a bylaw, a freedom camping notice (in a conservation area) or by any Act. The initial approach of some local authorities was to introduce bylaws that rather too enthusiastically prohibited freedom camping without proper regard to the fact that such a bylaw must not have the effect of absolutely prohibiting freedom camping, or to the necessity to sufficiently address the nuisance the bylaw would address. The spirited intervention in the making of such bylaws by the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA), including its willingness to engage in legal proceedings, has since led to a more measured and cautious approach. However, the Act has continued to cause frustration to regulators and campers alike. Central government is concerned that it may be having an adverse impact on tourism. In October last year the then Minister of Local Government, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, announced he had appointed a joint working party to “improve the effectiveness and reliability of the local bylaws system and specifically prioritising the freedom camping regime”. He reported that in the previous year 44,000 international travellers went freedom camping while in New Zealand. In addition, the NZMCA, whose members have somewhat dominated the debate over freedom camping, has a membership of 68,500. Part of the problem appears to be that tight controls over camping locations by some councils mean that freedom campers are concentrated in a limited number of locations. The Minister said: “when councils regulate

44 l

locally they need to be thinking regionally and nationally about the impact”. This is a big ask for local authorities under pressure from local communities to protect local amenities. A good insight on the issues is provided in the paper produced by Internal Affairs and the working group. The paper, Managing Freedom Camping in Public Places: National Situational Analysis, identifies six key problems with the implementation of the Act. These include a shortage of available camping areas displacing and concentrating campers in fewer areas, and increasing the rate of noncompliance with bylaws. It is also suggested the media play a role in undermining goodwill towards freedom campers, that diverse regimes and regulators create inconsistent messages to campers, and that there are gaps in the information made available to freedom campers. Added to this is the fact that overseas visitors can easily avoid infringement penalties when they leave the country. On a more technical level is the patchwork of regulatory regimes that allow for regulating camping in public places variously under the Freedom Camping Act, the Reserves Act, the Land Transport Act, the Local Government Act and the Trespass Act. As a result of the paper, Internal Affairs and the working group have established work streams that should result in some practical means to address these problems: • T he production of a guidance document for councils on freedom camping management, including both enforcement and nonregulatory measures to mitigate harm; • Creating a national dataset of all freedom camping restrictions and prohibitions throughout New Zealand; and • Working with the Responsible Camping Forum to provide consistent messaging to freedom campers. Longer term, and arising from current work streams, there will be an analysis to determine if amendments are required to the Freedom Camping Act. LG


A tale of two tenders Lowest price will seldom deliver the best project outcomes.


he issue of lowest price versus value for money is a recurring one. It got me thinking when responding to concerns from both a contractor and a council recently. During research for the query I discovered the following true story from a few years ago on Stuff with identities deleted to protect the companies and councils involved. On enquiry, and following Official Information Act requests, the procuring council admitted it placed too much weight on lowest price for the ‘Main Street’ tender, despite knowing it could be risky. Staff recognised the risk in accepting the successful bid, $500,000 below the estimated cost, but recommended it anyway. The enquiry and admission came in the leadup to the one-year anniversary of the start of construction on the project. The upgrade work had an estimated cost of $2 million with a start date of late February and required completion by August of the same year. The council dropped the successful bidder in August over performance concerns and replaced it with a company turned down for the original tender. A year after the work started it was not completed and the replacement company was to begin work on the final stages. During the investigations the council communications team provided a written response that said that with hindsight there had been too much weight placed on price. Tender evaluation documents obtained from the council indicated that staff were full of praise for the replacement contractor’s experience and track record from similar projects. The replacement contractor had bid about $1.8 million for the upgrade: nine percent below the estimated cost. However, under the evaluation method, nonprice attributes such as technical skills and track record comprised only 30 percent of the weighting with the remaining 70 percent based on price. The original contractor (the successful bidder) provided a $1.5 million bid: this being 25 percent less than the estimated cost of the project. Price then became the deciding factor in the tender process. Council staff suggested differences between the estimate and the original contractor’s bid resulted from the original

contractor expecting 50 percent lower costs for paving and pipe laying – noting at that time the “highly competitive nature of the market”. The original contractor was also a “smaller company so [had] lower overhead costs”, the report said. However, concern about the low nature of the bid was included in the report’s statement of risk. “It is considered there could be some risk due to the low tender price from the contractor in that there could be pressure on the contractor to recover costs via variations claims.” The original contractor had good references, which indicated it claimed for only a “minimal number of variations”. The successful bidder (original contractor) was paid about $540,000 for its portion of the project with the replacement contractor’s component being $1.2 million – making the total contract worth $1.74 million, a little less than the replacement contractor’s original bid. Overall the ‘Main Street’ upgrade costs went from $2.2 million to $2.84 million: an increase of $640,000. The council replied that, “with hindsight, but noting the very competitive market at the time, too much weight was placed on price. It is unlikely that such weight would be given to price for any other projects of this complexity and direct public impact. “The issue of the tender price being so far below the engineer’s estimate was considered. References were taken up and it was agreed that there was no evidence that the contractor was not capable of doing the job... it also has to be considered that at the time the contracting market was very competitive.” Competitive market or not, it is well past time to evaluate tenders only on quality rather than price as lowest price will not provide quality outcomes. Procurement policies / strategies need to constantly be reviewed to get the right outcomes. We need the right balance between getting the best value for money while delivering quality construction outcomes that provide best wholeof-life costs that deliver the required levels of service from the asset – not just the cheapest construction price. LG





Facilities need funds It’s time to get serious on tourism funding.


ourism is booming, bringing with it an estimated GST haul of $2.8 billion for the government – more than 10 percent of the forecast annual total GST take of $26.5 billion. While there are many positives of increased tourism, especially for regional economic development, the rapid change is also causing some growing pains. For the communities actually on the receiving end of an influx of travellers the burden can be heavy. As LGNZ and others including Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Federated Farmers have recently highlighted, many popular visitor destinations have a low ratepayer base, making it difficult to fund the infrastructure needed to support tourism. While central government collects GST on tourist-related goods and services that local and regional councils provide, the options available to those councils for paying for the amenities and services – toilets, carparks, access roads and other essential infrastructure – used by the growing number of tourists are limited. This summer there has been no shortage of stories about the pressure communities face as a result of rising visitor numbers – reports of issues with freedom camping have been frequent and overcrowding on popular walking tracks has been an issue, among other problems. We are starting to see more and more commentary on this as well. Federated Farmers raised concerns in January about the lack of central government investment in adequate facilities in rural areas. LGNZ believes the situation is becoming urgent and the potential risks of not acting could be significant for both local communities and the tourism industry. The time for a serious approach to achieving sustainable, high-quality facilities is upon us.

We cannot let ourselves down by not having appropriate infrastructure around the country. The recent report into tourism infrastructure needs commissioned by Air New Zealand, Auckland Airport, Christchurch Airport and Tourism Holdings further highlighted that the government now needs to step up and take action on funding solutions. A key finding of the report, Addressing New Zealand’s most pressing local tourism infrastructure needs, was that the 20 “priority councils” which have experienced significant tourism growth need an immediate investment of around $100 million. The report also calls for ongoing investment of $100-$150 million a year for the next 10 years to keep up with forecast growth. This proposal is fully supported by the local government sector. We also need to consider the challenge of providing amenities and services for visitors on a sustainable basis. Put simply, building new assets creates ongoing operational, maintenance and improvement costs which must still be funded by local ratepayers. These costs must also be considered in the funding process. There are a number of funding mechanisms and models we could use to improve the way tourism infrastructure is funded. These include something similar to the Regional Mid-Sized Tourism Facilities Fund already in operation, government contributing from existing central funding or the sharing of a portion of GST, and from industry via levies. Tourism is growing at a rapid rate and this growth is forecast to continue, so these options and others need a clear and firm decision. LG

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $82 (including GST and postage within New Zealand) and get your own copy each month for 12 issues.

That’s a saving of 20% off the cover price. NZ LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAGAZINE LG MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION MARCH 2017

CALL US NOW. 09 636 5715 or email

46 l

Fluoridation legislation needs tweaking Submissions on the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill, which was introduced to Parliament last November by Hon Peter Dunne, closed last month and in Local Government New Zealand’s view the Bill in its current form still falls short of where it needs to be. LGNZ has advocated for change to the way decisions are made about the fluoridation of water since 2014, when a remit called for the Government to amend the appropriate legislation so that the addition of fluoride to drinking water supplies is a decision made by the Director-General of Health rather than a local authority. Fluoridation issues have always been strongly divisive in communities and as a result councils have been forced to make judgements about the validity, or otherwise, of complex scientific research. In recent years, many councils have had their decisions to fluoridate water supplies challenged in court, creating unnecessary costs for ratepayers and uncertainty for the councils themselves. The Government’s decision last year to transfer decision-making about the fluoridation of drinking water supplies was welcome in part - fluoridation is an important health decision and one best made by health experts. The resulting Bill enables DHBs to make decisions and give directions on the fluoridation of local government drinking water supplies in their areas. However, under the Bill DHBs are not required to consider fluoridation. Consequently, local authorities could remain the de-facto decision-makers on the issue should the relevant DHB elect not to use the Bill’s new powers.

The legislation also is silent on who will bear the cost for fluoridation. LGNZ has made it clear to the Minister responsible, Hon Peter Dunne, and the Ministry of Health in feedback on the draft Bill that the cost of fluoridation should rest where the decisions are made. The Bill is now before Health Committee which is due to report back in June 2017. LGNZ’s recommendations for improving the Bill include: > Amend the Bill to remove obligations for DHBs and instead require the Director-General of Health to decide the issue of fluoridation of drinking water supplies. > Confirm that the costs of fluoridation will rest with the decisionmaker. > Amend the Bill to require the decision-maker to at least inform councils and communities that it is considering fluoridation and seek comments on any such proposal.

For more information, please visit

LGNZ’s submission argues that empowering the DHB is not sufficient as a DHB may decide not to consider the issue. As per the 2014 remit, LGNZ has submitted that the Director-General should consider and decide on fluoridation.



The Equip MediaView Platform EquiP provides a professional development offering that is effective in both cost and learning outcomes to build elected member capability. The use of digital learning activities is an integral part of our development suite. Launching this month is the new LGNZ-EquiP MediaView platform. This state-of-the-art, cloud-based portal will allow members to experience and be a part of cutting-edge training and information-sharing tools, delivered straight to your desktop. MediaView is a revolutionary New Zealand-owned and -designed platform, and has been tailored to enhance the services offered by EquiP thanks to our technical partners at E-Cast. Once inside the portal, you will be able to view the Events Calendar to see the current live workshop and digital webinar schedules, as well as enrol yourself or your team for the many events coming up in 2017. This calendar is also available on the LGNZ website and will link you directly to the portal to register for events. The LGNZ-EquiP MediaView platform will also deliver videos, podcasts, and documents to support further learning, and will provide cutting-edge digital modules and training courses. The key strength and value of the MediaView is the ability to bring you a range of fully interactive training materials in a single, safe and secure digital platform that can be accessed anywhere at anytime to best suit the schedules of our mobile, busy elected members.

Benefits of EquiP’s new MediaView platform 1. Avoid travel costs > Participate in your own location. 2. Convenience > Participate at a time that best suits your schedule. 3. Individual solutions > Participate in digital learning activities to suit your own development focus at your own pace. More information will be provided on our website.

The GROW webinar series EquiP is currently providing a series of eight webinar sessions to discuss and share more information referencing the GROW handbook. These webinars will build your local government knowledge via the use of sector case studies, as well as policy and subject matter experts. Topics for discussion are: > > > > > > > >

decision-making and the long-term plan; council meeting procedures; council performance; engagement and consultation; rules and regulations; the 1991 Resource Management Act; stewardship –managing your assets; and financial management and funding.

Check out our website for more details. grow-webinar-series/

District Licensing Committee training We have been talking with a number of councils, experts and agencies about what training is needed by our DLC members in 2017. While some committees have now built up some great skills since being formed under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, we recognise that others may not have had as much meeting exposure, or will be new to the committee. Therefore, our training programme will provide different, individual modules appropriate to need. We will be providing a webinar for experienced committee members, and a series of digital learning modules for those who want to start, or refresh their knowledge. Please check out our website for more details.


EquiP Procurement Review Procurement reviews are a powerful tool offered by EquiP, providing councils with real insight into their procurement processes and designed to promote and create efficiencies, ultimately reducing costs that can then be invested in other projects and initiatives. EquiP's work also extends to genuine opportunities for infrastructure savings. EquiP recently completed a review of New Plymouth District Council's professional services contract and, using a uniquely tailored contract model, enabled the council to save around $1.2 million out of a $5 million three-year contract without any drop in their level of service. EquiP used principal associate Chris Olsen to lead this review, as he has been at the forefront of infrastructure procurement since the 1990s. Mr Olsen produced a tender document for New Plymouth DC that covered the professional services required to inspect, assess, design, contract, manage and project manage their structures, roading, traffic and transportation, 3 waters, solid waste and building projects over the next three years. Mr Olsen then went onto help them select the best consultant for carrying out this work. Mr Olsen explains that a key learning he took from the experience was that "it is still possible to make significant savings in the professional services area while improving the quality of outcomes by using some of the newer types of contract models". Chris, how did you undertake this assignment? 1. Ran a workshop with key staff at New Plymouth DC to determine: > the best contract type for their circumstances; > whether an expression of interest (EOI), request for tender (RFT) or request for proposal (RFP) was the best process to pursue; and > the best tender evaluation strategy for them. 2. Provided commercial and procurement advice throughout to ensure an optimal result. 3. Together with New Plymouth DC, developed a unique contract model not used in New Zealand before. 4. Assisted with the interactive briefing to suppliers on the new model. 5. Sat as an independent on the tender evaluation panel and drafted the report recommending the preferred consultant and why.

David Langford, infrastructure manager for New Plymouth District Council, was left highly satisfied with the service that Chris Olsen provided. "[Olsen] facilitated our initial workshops really well and guided us through a number of issues that progressively honed in on what we wanted to achieve with our new contract, and then identified the possible solutions that could deliver these outcomes." "What I really like about Chris’ approach is that he doesn’t come in with a preconceived idea on what the solution is. Instead, he facilitates good, thought-provoking discussion that allows you to come to the answer yourself," Mr Langford says. In regard to the contract itself, this has got off to a promising start. As Mr Langford explains, "the rates we received from the tender process offered a significant saving compared to our previous contract. Whilst it is still early days, it looks like the contract is going to produce further savings through a gain share."

David, were there any non-financial benefits as a result of the review? 1. With the collocation of our staff with the supplier, we are getting better quality project briefs drawn up. 2. Communication surrounding issues is better facilitated with the early warning and risk reduction processes. 3. We have found opportunities to second New Plymouth DC staff into the supplier's team so that we can minimise the project cost and develop our own people at the same time.

For more information on EquiP's Procurement Review Service, please contact


The Final Word New plastics policy welcomed but further steps needed It is clear from the public sentiment around plastics that the populace is keen on further steps to remove single use plastics from the environment. In January, Minister for the Environment Hon Dr Nick Smith announced plans to ban products containing tiny plastic microbeads from sale in New Zealand, following the lead of several other countries. Microbeads, found in some cosmetic products like shaving gel and soap, were being targeted because they could not be recycled and there was clear evidence of harm to waterways, fish and shellfish. Tangible steps like this aimed at improving the environment are positive and should be applauded, but more work is needed. There are several other steps that could be taken to help make New Zealand cleaner and greener and LGNZ hopes the Government’s move on microbeads signals a new direction on this front. Along with banning products containing microbeads, and a recycling system to handle soft plastics like shopping bags, bread bags, frozen food bags and food wrap launched by the Government in 2015, LGNZ would also like to see a stronger effort to reduce the use of single use plastic bags and make it easier to recycle drink bottles and cans. To this end LGNZ has asked the Government to impose a compulsory levy on plastic shopping bags at the point of sale, and to introduce a national beverage container deposit system designed to decrease the number of containers going to landfill or not being recycled. It is clear to us that we need to do more to minimise the impact of plastic bags and bottles on our environment, and we think Kiwis are open to these sorts of initiatives. Plastic bags cause harm when they are littered or go to landfill.


While efforts to make recycling bags easier are laudable, actually deterring people from using them in the first place has been shown to be very successful overseas, with levies on plastic bags introduced in Denmark, Ireland and China leading to a dramatic reduction in plastic bag use. It has been reported that a 5p (9c) levy on plastic bags introduced in the United Kingdom, with money collected going to charities, led to an 85 per cent reduction in plastic bag use and raised £29m ($50.4m) for charity in six months. When launching the microbeads proposal Environment Minister Nick Smith told media: “Under current estimates, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish.” Removing microbeads is a good step, but as a country we should be doing much more to keep plastics out of our marine environment and landfills.

< Along with banning products containing microbeads LGNZ would also like to see a stronger effort to reduce the use of single use plastic bags and make it easier to recycle drink bottles and cans. >

Great leadership starts with determination

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

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

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

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

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

NZ Local Government March 1703  
NZ Local Government March 1703