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MOTORHOME FRIENDLY TOWNS Sharing the benefits of tourism with NZ’s regions

QUEENSTOWN LAKES DISTRICT COUNCIL Waste planning for a booming tourist town p16

A DRIVING FORCE Singapore’s next-generation electronic road pricing system p22

WELLINGTON REGION Integrated planning on the cards? p26

HEY, BIG SPENDERS Qualifications for procurement specialists? p38

Connected thinking

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4 Editor’s Letter 6 In Brief 11 Around the Councils 12 Products & Services 47 LGNZ

COLUMNISTS 44 Frana Divich: On Legal Issues 45 Peter Silcock: From Civil Contractors New Zealand 46 Dave Cull: From LGNZ


22 42

16 Q UEENSTOWN LAKES DISTRICT COUNCIL Waste planning for a booming tourist town 22 A DRIVING FORCE Singapore’s next-generation electronic road pricing system 26 W ELLINGTON REGION Integrated land transport, land use and infrastructure planning on the cards? 29 FREEDOM CAMPING Good Practice Guide to be released

30 R EPRESENTATION REVIEWS First steps for councils. Introducing a three-part series of articles 31 T HE CENTRAL / LOCAL GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS GROUP Six months into a new collaboration 32 S TATSQUAKE Get ready to work with new statistical boundaries 34 T HE REG COLLABORATIVE PROJECT Five years on: A quiet revolution across the country’s transport sector 36 D RINKING WATER OVERHAUL IMMINENT Call to ensure safety and compliance now 38 H EY, BIG SPENDERS Qualifications for procurement specialists?

SPECIAL FEATURES 40 Smart solutions: Tourism growth 42 Smart solutions: Water modelling

ON THE COVER: MOTORHOME FRIENDLY TOWNS. Sharing the benefits of tourism with NZ’s regions Photo courtesy of NZMCA member Shellie Evans. MARCH 2018 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, EDITOR Ruth Le Pla Mobile: 021.266.3978

Keep on keeping on Welcome to the latest issue of NZ Local Government Magazine. It’s interesting to see, as the year hots up, that certain themes are emerging in local government conversations. First, there’s the seemingly endless need to balance the huge complexities in the sector with the simple stuff. We keep coming across examples of how councils are aligning some of the legislative requirements demanded of them with simple ways to keep focused on what needs to be done. Queenstown Lakes District Council’s use of the Better Business Case (BBC) approach is a great case in point. In their joint presentation at the WasteMINZ conference in Hamilton, Morrison Low’s Alice Grace and Queentown Lakes’ Deborah Lind stepped delegates through the ways the council is using BBC processes to identify decisionpoints and keep things simple. So much so that councillors can be presented with one-page summary documents on which they can base huge decisions affecting the lives of the people in their communities. Importantly, these summaries are underpinned by significant amounts of detail but the summaries themselves can be clear and simple.

We know BBC processes are increasingly being used by other local authorities and in central government agencies too. Anything that corrals unwieldy masses of data into meaningful bite-sized chunks gets a tick from me. Second, the often-problematic relationship between local and central government continues to exercise minds. This month we run a piece on the Central / Local Government Partnership Group which was set up six months ago to work on this interface. Third, it’s interesting to track the involvement of Maori in local government. In his column this month, LGNZ president Dave Cull signals a shared desire to see tangata whenua play a greater strategic role in the sector through the Te Maruata collective of Maori working in governance roles within local government and their communities. Again, any such initiatives can only contribute to our common good. Meanwhile, keep on simplifying, partnering and working collectively for a better local government sector. We’ll all benefit.

Ruth Le Pla, editor,

SALES CONSULTANT Charles Fairbairn DDI: 09 636 5724 Mobile: 021 411 890 ADMINISTRATION/SUBSCRIPTIONS DDI: 09 636 5715 PRODUCTION Design: Jonathan Whittaker Printing: PMP MAXUM CONTRIBUTORS Gavin Beattie, Caroline Boot, Dave Cull, Hugh Dickey, Frana Divich, Andrew McKillop, Patricia Moore, John Pfahlert, Peter Silcock GENERAL MANAGER David Penny DDI: 09 636 5710 Mobile: 021.190.4078 EDITORIAL MANAGER Alan Titchall DDI: 09 636 5712 Mobile: 027.405.0338 CONTRIBUTIONS WELCOME Please contact the editor before sending them in. Articles in Local Government Magazine are copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher. DISCLAIMER Local Government Magazine is an independent publication owned and produced by Contrafed Publishing. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of any of its shareholding organisations.



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

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ISSN 0028-8403


PUBLISHING CO. LTD THE VOICE OF NEW ZEALAND INDUSTRY THE CITY OF VANCOUVER Count down to zero waste by 2040 p24 THE COST OF GROWTH Interim growth charges, anyone? p28




JUST ADD MAURI Water-sensitive design meets tikanga Maori p30




HOW HAWERA GOT A NEW HEART Inside the town centre upgrade p32

VOL 54 • NOVEMBER 2017 • $8.95

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW About NZTA’S procurement manual update p35

THE SWISS WAY Why New Zealand needs more, yes more, councils p16





Regional Software Holdings’ collaboration model p12


Councils’ urgent need for new recipes p16

CITYCARE WATER A contractor’s view p28 LOVE FESTIVALS HATE WASTE Lessons on litter p30 AGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES Six councils’ solutions p33 URBAN HOUSING Harrison Grierson: New thinking on water & wastewater infrastructure p38

ORGANIC WASTE COLLECTIONS Tonkin + Taylor: Successes and failures in the UK & Australia p40

FRAUGHT & FRENCH If you think local government is tough here – try France p44

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AUCKLAND’S CITY RAIL LINK Connectus update on the twin-tunnel underground rail link p22

TECHNICAL BRIEFINGS Auckland’s Central Interceptor p42

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Story without an end Pike River goes from ‘must’ to ‘maybe’






A Motorbike racing background Talking with Metso boss Chris Gray about business


What lovely bones A review of Winstone Aggregates’ Belmont Quarry

Ideal for recycling

Hyundai excavator hard at work in Transmission Gully.


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water MAY 2015 | ISSUE 189


Volume 15 - No 1 | February - March 2018 | $8.95


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2017 Conference Highlights

Purchase of a Sandvik QJ241 jaw crusher makes economic sense for Campbell Infrastructure

Backflow Veteran – Graeme Mills Water Storage – reservoir building The River Room – water energy

INSIDE: Full cover PPE regulations – is this PC gone wrong? A milestone for contracting – SH1 reopened for Christmas A history of foamed bitumen – a contractor's perspective Fulton Hogan HEB – health & safety innovation recognised


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

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

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

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


GoShift goes with Promapp GoShift says it will deploy cloud-based Promapp business process management software to support the delivery of a single quality management system (QMS). GoShift is a partnership between New Zealand central and local government to improve performance, consistency and service

delivery across the building consent system. The GoShift programme aims to deliver a common vision, goals, management framework and quality management for building consent processes across all participating councils in the country. At present, more than 20 councils have signed up to the initiative.


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Promapp will support the provision of GoShift’s centrally held QMS by providing the capability to standardise policy and procedures and enable individual councils to share resources and expert knowledge. Participating councils will be given a Promapp login so they can contribute ideas and recommendations on an ongoing basis.


WELLINGTON Ph: 04 499 9824

Melinda Dickey Andrew Green Linda O'Reilly John Young Matthew Allan

Andrew Cameron

LGNZ Conference Keep your eye out for information on LGNZ’s 2018 Local Government New Zealand conference, to be hosted in Christchurch in the auditorium and historical buildings in and around Christ's College. The conference runs from 4.15 pm Sunday July 15 to 1.00 pm Tuesday July 17. The LGNZ annual general meeting will be held at midday on Sunday July 15. The conference programme and registration details will be available soon.

Call for innovative ideas Entries for the 2018 Stormwater Innovations Showcase are now open. Water New Zealand’s conference organising committee invites applications to present at the Innovations Showcase 2018 to be held at the Water New Zealand Stormwater Conference between May 23 and 25 in Queenstown. This is an opportunity to pitch an innovation to the conference audience and panel of judges. The pitch will be no more than five minutes long. The votes will be cast for the best in each category: • Best Overall Innovation; • Best New Process; and • Best for Value. The event is open to suppliers, research companies, academia, industry, businesses, contractors, consultancies and individuals. Requirements • The entry must involve a technology, product, service or process aimed at solving a problem related to our country’s stormwater challenges. • At least one presenter must be available to attend the showcase, being held at the Water New Zealand Stormwater Conference in Queenstown on May 23. • Entries / entrants must be prepared to provide documentation to validate any claims that are made concerning the intellectual property underlying their business plans, including any claims concerning the licensing of third-party IP. • The call for innovations will close at 5pm on Friday April 13. Email if you have any queries. Or submit your innovation at:

Australasian Fleet Safety Awards 2018 open for entries Road safety charity Brake is inviting entries for its fourth annual Australasian Fleet Safety Awards. Entries must be in by Friday June 15. The winners will be announced on Thursday October 11 at a reception in Auckland. The awards, which are free to enter, recognise the achievements of organisations and individuals working in the field of road risk management. They will be offered in the following categories: Company Driver Safety; Fleet Safety Product; Safe Vehicles; Road Risk Manager of the Year; and Outstanding Commitment to Road Safety. This year there are also two new award categories: the Road Safety in the Community Award, for organisations that have worked with their community to improve road safety for all road users; and the Sustainable Journeys Award, for organisations that have reduced risk and fuel emissions by introducing sustainable travel measures. For more information email or go to

EcoForum call for abstracts This is the first call for abstracts for papers to be presented at the EcoForum conference and exhibition to be held at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, Darling Harbour, from October 2 to 4. Abstracts should be on topic, based on the conference themes, demonstrate the value of the material to the audience and submitted no later than Wednesday April 18. EcoForum is a broad-based environmental conference and exhibition that focuses on contaminated land assessment, management and remediation. The conference is based around four formal streams: • Evaluation – investigation & risk assessment • Remediation & rehabilitation – the clean-up and management of industrial, mining and other sites • Communication & governance – stakeholder management, advocacy, collecting and disseminating information, ethics • Extreme – war zones and conflicts, major accidents and extreme climates. For detailed guidelines and an abstract template email:

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IN BRIEF Get ready for 2018

ON THE MOVE New Plymouth District Council engineer Paula Wright’s last two jobs had 76 degrees of separation. Paula joined the council late last year after working across the world – including the frozen wastes of Canada (-33 degrees Celsius) to the scorching deserts of Australia (+43 Celsius). Originally from Opunake, she’s now the manager for infrastructure projects such as the Waitara stormwater scheme. Plan A senior consultants Heather Murray and Kerrie McEwen have taken on more of the company’s day-to-day management responsibilities. Alongside developing winning bids for clients, Heather Murray takes on the role of operations manager, and Kerrie McEwen the role of general manager.

Phil Parkes is the new chief operating officer at WorkSafe. He has been part of the agency’s senior management Phil Parkes. team for over three years and has a background in regulatory and operational management roles both here and in the UK. Craig Marriott has also been appointed as acting general manager for the High Hazards and Energy Safety group. He will be in this role until June, based in New Plymouth but travelling nationally.   Craig has more than 25 years’ experience managing safety in high hazard industries, and experience across process and occupational safety disciplines, in technical and managerial roles and has developed safety cases for some of the world’s most hazardous processes.  Mark Pizey left the agency last month to take up a role in the private sector.

Spark Digital chief executive Jolie Hodson has painted a picture of dramatic tech changes in our country over the next 12 years. Jolie, who was speaking at the international Digital Nations summit in Auckland recently, said when 5G arrives in a few years’ time, the potential of what can be done using wireless and mobile technology will be staggering. “On the roads we’ll see driverless cars and trucks move with mathematical precision – hopefully alleviating traffic, jams and accidents. And eventually governments will reduce the number of fuel-driven cars, promoting only electric cars.” Jolie said 3D printers will be used to create bigger and bigger projects – “possibly even your house”. “Wireless technology advances will allow remote surgery and AI will allow remote assisted diagnosis. The world will become a global economy using digital currency, removing traditional commercial borders.  And any language barriers will be solved by technology”.



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Just add water IPWEA NZ vice president Myles Lind calls for a public water Investor Confidence Rating. A public water Investor Confidence Rating (ICR) would signal our sector’s confidence in our ability to continuously improve, adapt and deliver high-quality infrastructure services to our customers through better delivery options. It also opens the valve for us to bathe in the benefits of a national infrastructure pipeline. The new Labour-led government has brought a fresh focus on our natural resources and the infrastructure needs of our communities. Embracing this new challenge and moving away from outdated approaches to funding and delivery of infrastructure Myles Lind

will be key to our shared success. Clear signals exist that we need to get better at procurement and use of alternate funding models – rates and council balance sheets can only take us so far. Treasury has socialised the benefits of a national infrastructure pipeline to help facilitate improved infrastructure delivery. To make the pipeline successful and deliver benefits to the whole country, there will need to be a coordinated, multi-agency approach. The pipeline will have to deliver wellplanned projects with realistic lead times. It will be critical that projects and programmes coming out of the pipeline have passed through a robust quality assessment. The pipeline will have to provide confidence to investors (such as ratepayers and other potential private partners) that we are planning to deliver the right things at the right times. The ICR system developed by Treasury helps to lift an infrastructure company’s asset management practices. Specifically, it is an outcome-focused system that identifies gaps in infrastructure planning and delivery practices that may otherwise make them less



attractive to investors. The ICR then targets systematic improvement. Central government agencies, including NZTA, and those responsible for education and housing, are already benefiting from the ICR system. The opportunity exists for local government to leverage the ICR for its water services. A water ICR is a natural next step for our sector by reinforcing the link between infrastructure planning and investment benefit as it relates to our customers. However, let us be more ambitious. Let us publish our water services ICR scores. Let us measure our management of infrastructure against the central government infrastructure agencies. By responding positively to enable a national infrastructure pipeline, our sector demonstrates our willingness to collaborate and bring leadership to addressing our country’s infrastructure challenges. To continue to encourage and build investor confidence in New Zealand’s infrastructure, the local government sector needs to add water.


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Jeremy Rifkin – The Third Industrial Revolution. Christchurch City Council Function Room, Christchurch

6 – 7

Contract Management. TBA, Wellington

7 – 8

2018 NZ Land Treatment Collective Annual Conference. Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Rotorua


Jeremy Rifkin – The Third Industrial Revolution. Govett Quilliam, Taranaki


Audit and Risk Committee – Best Practice Forum. TBA, Hamilton

17 – 19 IrrigationNZ’s 2018 Conference. TBA, Alexandra 30 7th Annual EA/PA in the Public Sector. May Wharewaka, Wellington – 1 MAY 4

Audit and Risk Committee – Best Practice Forum. TBA, Christchurch

14 – 15 2018 Modelling Group Symposium. Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch

9 – 10 CLEANNZ. ASB Showgrounds, Auckland

19 – 20 New Zealand Building Industry Regulation and Compliance Conference. Crowne Plaza, Auckland

9 – 11 WIOG Conference 2018. Convention Centre, Palmerston North


DX 2018 – Driving Digital Transformation. SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland

21 – 22 Road Infrastructure Management Forum. Palmerston North Convention Centre, Palmerston North 21 – 23 NZPI Annual Conference: Breaking New Ground. ASB Arena, Tauranga 26 – 27 Civic Financial Services Strategic Finance Forum. Chateau on the Park, Christchurch 26 – 27 2018 Business Intelligence Summit (BI). Grand Millennium, Auckland

14 – 15 ALGIM Autumn Conference GIS and IRM. James Cook Grand Chancellor, Wellington 18

Community Services and Facilities Forum. The Hub - Toitu Poneke, Wellington


Audit and Risk Committee – Best Practice Forum. TBA, Palmerston North

22 – 23 Clever Buying Procurement Training. Auckland Airport, Auckland 23 – 25 Stormwater 2018. Millennium Copthorne, Queenstown JUNE

APRIL 9 – 11 Industrial Waters Conference 2018. Waipuna Hotel, Auckland 10 – 11 Clever Buying Procurement Training. Christchurch Airport, Christchurch 12

PricewaterhouseCoopers Chief Executives Forum. Cordis, Auckland


Executive Leaders Masterclass. Cordis, Auckland


2018 Gala Dinner and The Marketplace. Cordis, Auckland

7 – 8

Future Workforce Forum. TBA, Auckland

14 – 15 Project Management. Caccia Birch House, Palmerston North 21 – 22 IPWEA NZ 2018 Conference. Energy Events Centre, Rotorua JULY 5 – 6 Governance Professionals and Committee Advisors Forum. TBA, Wellington 15 – 17 LGNZ Conference & EXCELLENCE Awards 2018. Christ's College, Christchurch

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

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Around the councils WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL has picked Telensa to deploy its PLANet intelligent street lighting system. The project is due for completion in June this year. The wireless solution aims to help save money by connecting and managing LED streetlights and provides a low-cost platform for smart city applications. Telensa’s low

NEW PLYMOUTH DISTRICT COUNCIL has released a video encouraging residents to use water more sustainably. The Wai Warrior video shows what happens between rain falling on the mountain and

WAIKATO DISTRICT COUNCIL is talking with people from the Raglan and Port Waikato communities about the effects of coastal erosion and climate change as part of its upcoming District Plan. The council is asking about shoreline changes in the past 50 to 100 years; coastal erosion or flooding events that have affected properties or nearby areas; people or groups (such as long-term residents and local historians) who may have useful information, photos or observations of erosion or flooding; and early descriptions or old maps of the local coastline. Raglan and Port Waikato both have areas

power wide area (LPWA) wireless networks are attached to existing light poles. PLANet is an end-to-end intelligent street lighting system. It consists of wireless nodes connecting individual lights, a dedicated wireless network owned by the city, and a central management application. The system pays for itself in reduced

energy and maintenance costs, improves quality of service through automatic fault reporting, and uses streetlight poles for supporting hubs for smart city sensors. There are already more than one million lights connected on the PLANet streetlight system throughout the world.

the treated water reaching the district’s homes and businesses. NPDC operates four public water supplies: Okato, Oakura, Inglewood and New Plymouth (which services the city, Bell Block, Waitara,

Tikorangi, Urenui and Uruti). The council’s $10 million annual spend on water services covers 650 kilometres of water pipes and 18 reservoir tanks. The video is on NPDC’s Facebook page.

Port Waikato beach erosion.

of coastal land at risk of coastal erosion and inundation. Public open days in Raglan and Port Waikato were held in mid-December to gather information. Further open days are being held early this year to discuss the results

of assessments and discuss options for managing the hazard risk areas identified. Council says the open days also include strategies that will help communities adapt to the uncertainties around the effects of climate change.

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Orbica tests satellite technology to pinpoint underground assets Christchurch geospatial technology company Orbica is spearheading an initiative in which satellites orbiting more than 20,000 kilometres above the earth’s surface are trying to locate and record what lies beneath. Orbica and partner Reveal Infrastructure are trialling a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS), to see if it can pinpoint underground assets that have been dug up in urban environments ‒ such as waterpipes ‒ with a margin of error less than 0.5 metres, and down to 0.1 metres or even better. The New Zealand and Australian governments are funding the tests. If successful, traditional surveying of those assets could potentially be supplemented with mobile devices. SBAS could enable organisations that manage underground assets to accurately record their location without paying for costly

survey grade equipment unless millimetre accuracy is required. Orbica has partnered with Enable Networks and Christchurch City Council and will test SBAS on exposed underground assets in the second phase of the project, commencing in March. That’s when SBAS’s suitability for recording the location of exposed underground assets will become clearer. SBAS works by augmenting standalone Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals with additional corrections received from a GEO satellite to improve positioning. On top of that, Precise Point Positioning uses satellite orbit and clock data to provide even more accurate coordinates. Orbica location data specialist Andy Holt headed up the initial field trials in December last year in partnership with Reveal Infrastructure.

Orbica location data specialist Andy Holt trials SBAS equipment.


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Free annual analysis of analytics trends The International Institute for Analytics (IIA) has published its latest report on international trends in analytics. The 2018 report, which is available at no charge, says the value of artificial intelligence (AI) has been proven across a wide range of uses including language processing, image and video analysis, and predictive analytics. But it concludes that the big issue facing organisations looking to use AI to get ahead will be the lack of skills available to turn visions into reality. The report is based on the views of over 200 leading analytics practitioners, executives and

inconsistently assigned to various different roles tied to analytics. IIA predicts that confusion will increase in 2018 as to what role this title describes and encompasses. This will make it increasingly important for those seeking to hire data scientists to judge a person’s analytics capabilities based on skills proven in past work over reported job titles or project descriptions alone. The IIA is an independent research and advisory firm that helps organisations improve business performance using the power of analytics. To order a free copy of the 2018 Analytics Predictions and Priorities report, go to:

Free e-book addresses concerns about smart cities

From waste to building blocks Byfusion has developed a technology to turn waste plastic into building blocks suitable for house building. The company, which has offices in Dunedin, New York and Los Angeles, is currently working on its second-generation prototype and says it is happy with the standard of the new blocks. Byfusion has been in negotiations with BRANZ concerning testing. It is understood these talks may be completed soon. The company says that by utilising waste plastic as a building material, a local authority could extend the life of its landfill tips ‒ a move which would dovetail well with council waste minimisation plans.  

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thought leaders. IIA produces the report every year. The report also notes that analytical software and the cloud will become fully intertwined with almost every commercial vendor or open source project moving to support the cloud. This will give companies more freedom to mix and match to find the right balance for their particular needs. Discovery and innovation will be helped by cloud cost structures that make experimenting with different approaches highly affordable. Finally, the report notes that the job title “data scientist” has been widely adopted and

Digital community engagement liveability and accessibility – the company Bang the Table has smart city, it seems, comes at a high Public Engagement released a free e-book: Public cost to its citizens.” with the Smart City Engagement with the Smart City. She says sensor-laden The book includes four articles by environments can trigger anxieties global engagement academics and around privacy and control, “where consultants, and nine summaries geo-social data and real-time of recent research that explore analytics seem to displace citizen key issues including data-driven engagement”. participation, citizen exclusion and “And, with technology surveilling resilient smart city planning. the urban landscape, governments are In her introduction to the book, editor Sally increasingly working with the private sector, Hussey notes that smart cities are often seen producing knotty questions around transparency to be a solution to increasing urbanisation. But, and control, particularly where priorities may she says, the “blind belief that technology makes differ. With the pace of change, too, social things better” often fails to address how it will infrastructure seems out of step with digital affect citizens and communities. infrastructure.” More recently, this has been offset by cynicism Sally calls for a sustained, positive discourse about the close data-monitoring of citizens. around public engagement with the smart city. “With intense forms of surveillance purporting You can download the free e-book from to offer better services – improved safety, Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

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

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Waste planning for a booming tourist town

Alice Grace and Deborah Lind outlined the challenges, options and decision-making processes behind a bold new scheme to tackle Queenstown’s waste concerns. They were speaking at the WasteMINZ Annual Conference in Hamilton.


hen it comes to waste planning, councils must strike a balance between what customers want, what is both practical and affordable, and the needs for waste diversion as stipulated by the Waste Minimisation Act. Morrison Low senior consultant Alice Grace told delegates at the WasteMINZ Annual Conference in Hamilton that, in some councils, some of the best waste initiatives have been delayed or rejected due to lack of clarity on the benefits of the approach proposed. In other cases, decision-makers have not been presented with the full range of options available and have been left to figure out why the preferred choice had been made.

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Queenstown Lakes District Council, she says, has taken a structured approach in its decision-making.

Queenstown’s challenges The booming tourism destination of Queenstown faces an unusual set of challenges. (See graph 1.) Over the next 40 years, its current residential population of 38,000 is expected to nearly double to 75,000. At the same time, the number of visitors outstrips residents by a ratio of about two to one. By 2058 the number of tourists and visitors to the region is also predicted to almost double from 79,000 to 139,000. And while Queenstown tourist numbers used to peak in

the summer and winter seasons – with quieter “shoulder” seasons in between – visitor numbers now remain high throughout the year. Evidence of this is seen in council’s need to hike the frequency of its litter bin collections along the popular waterfront. Last year, bins were overflowing long before the traditional busy December season. The district is struggling to keep up with demand for accommodation and there’s an expectation that the council will not only make the right decisions but make them fast. With a growing population and a booming construction sector, Queenstown’s waste volumes are expected to nearly double over the next 10 years from 37,000 tonnes per year to 73,000 tonnes per year. (See graph 2.)

Forms of measurement All of this means that the commonly-used way of assessing the need for waste management systems in the community

does not stack up. The large proportion of transient members of the population skews figures, which are usually worked out by dividing the number of tonnes of waste generated by the number of people living in the district. By that count, Queenstown’s people look pretty wasteful.

Waste composition Similarly, there are some anomalies in the composition of Queenstown landfills. (See graph 3.) There’s a higher portion of glass going to landfill in Queenstown than in other parts of the country, for example. Research puts glass-to-landfill volumes at 77 tonnes/ week, which represents 11.8 percent of the total. Alice notes Queenstown “has an issue with glass recycling and getting glass of a quality that is affordable to transport for end-processing in Auckland”. Alice adds that volumes to landfill of both timber






A booming touristtown town A booming tourist

(123 tonnes/week or 18.9 percent of the total) and rubble (99 tonnes/week or 15.3 percent) are “probably slightly elevated” compared to other parts of the country due to the large amount of construction activity in Queenstown at the moment. The volume of organic material to landfill (104 tonnes/ week or 16 percent) appears lower than in other parts of the country (typically around 30 percent nationally). However, if the glass, timber and rubble volumes weren’t so high, the volumes would be similar to those in other parts of the country. Also, while timber and rubble volumes are linked to the construction activity, organics will continue to be a steady waste stream that needs to be managed long term.

Alignment Queenstown Lakes District Council uses the Better Business Case (BBC) approach for strategic planning for all its services, applying it to areas as diverse as three waters, transport and waste. So, its senior leaders expect to see strategic planning concepts presented in this format. On the other hand, the Waste Minimisation Act carries legislative requirements around how a council should write its Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP)

Projected waste waste growth Projected growth

and contains guidelines about what needs to be included in the plan. (See graph 4.) Alice says Morrison Low wanted to make sure that, in following what was required for a WMMP, it also aligned with the business case approach. “Ultimately,” she says, “they fit together pretty well.” In different ways, the process addressed a series of questions such as: Where are we now? What are the problems? What are the issues in the district? Why do we need to invest? Where do we want to be? What are our strategic objectives? What are our targets going to be? And how are we going to get there? It worked towards defining a series of options for a waste management and minimisation programme. Looking at the need to invest, for example, Alice says it was important to pinpoint the issues and group them into key areas. While nine problems and opportunities were identified (see graph 5), the three main ones were considered to be: organics to landfill; construction and demolition waste; and landfilling recycled glass. However, Alice adds that public place litter, recycling, and rubbish collections in the CBD and from multi-unit buildings, were also top of mind for council as they relate to visitors’ experiences of Queenstown.

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Landfill Landfillcomposition composition

Groups & processes Council formed a stakeholder group including councillors, staff from both Queenstown Lakes and neighbouring Central Otago District Council, community members and waste companies. When it came to setting measurements of success, a conscious decision was made to move away from kilograms per capita. Instead, recognising the impact of visitor numbers on overall data, it has been decided to track total waste and total diversion. Getting to the heart of BBC processes, an initial group of

five possible programmes was drawn up with an additional two added later. The final seven options ranged from: 1. Do the minimum to address the issues; 2. Maintain the status quo; 3. Council to do more influencing; 4. Council to provide more services; 5. Provide a full council service; 6. Focus on organics and glass; and 7. Focus on construction and demolition waste, plus glass. While initial conversations centred, logically, on the fifth option – which would have provided more services, facilities, education and enforcement – the working group started to question whether it would be possible to achieve everything that this option promised within the next six years. Programmes six and seven were added to allow council to focus on key issues. A final key decision centred on whether council should focus on how it manages disposal of organic or C&D (construction and demolition) waste. Both options would see a similar reduction in waste to landfill. The advantage of a focus on organics was that it was a waste stream that was always going to be there, even if the construction boom ended. It also aligned with council’s strategic priority to manage biosolids from its wastewater treatment plants.

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Comparing WMMP with BBC

Where are we now? The need to invest

Waste Management & Minimisation MinimisaitonPlan Plan

Better Business Case

Where are we now?

Problem, opportunity, benefits – the need to invest

Where do we want to be?

Strategic objectives, KPIs

How are we going to get there?

Preferred programme

Council was already trialling the use of a vermicomposting facility to process biosolids and divert them from landfill. This facility could also be used for the processing of other organics such as garden waste and kitchen waste. With infrastructure already under development for organics, but not currently being considered by council for C&D waste, it made sense for council to focus on organics.

Council’s perspective Deborah Lind, Queenstown Lakes District Council’s manager, strategy & performance, says council is looking for a 19 percent decrease in waste to landfill over a 10-year period by diverting organic waste. Council’s focus will remain on residential waste as that is where council has the most influence. This approach would also capture the disproportionate amount of waste generated by private residences used as Airbnb properties, rentals and baches. She adds that council appreciates that, with all the development planned in Queenstown, construction and demolition waste forms a large part of the overall waste stream. “We’re looking at seven to 10 percent growth every year for the next seven to 10 years so we’re certainly not going to ignore it.”

Organics to landfill

Public place litter & recycling

CBD & multi-unit collections

Construction & demolition waste

Strategic case – identified problems and opportunities Paper, plastic, glass to landfill

Increasing ETS costs

Capacity of facilities

Managing cleanfills

She says council is open to exploring opportunities to address C&D waste and “is not ruling anything out in the short term”. Deborah says that, importantly, the preferred programme delivers against all council KPIs and stacks up well on the organisation’s corporate risk framework which spans political, technical, environmental and legal risk.

Next steps Queenstown Lakes District Council will be seeking funding for the programme in its Long Term Plan. Meanwhile, some initial pre-consultation has already been conducted in the community to gain early feedback. And the programme has been taken to council’s executive leadership team, infrastructure committee, the mayor and full council. All have been briefed on the approach taken. The programme is scheduled to go out to full community consultation in April 2018 with a view to full adoption by June. Meanwhile, a number of the options identified are already being taken through to the next “indicative business case” stage where more meat is being put on the bones to flesh out what those options may look like. “We’re also calling it the ‘tyre kicking phase’,” says Deborah, “although, someone misheard and thought we said, ‘Thai kicking’ so we’ve started getting all these presentations with Thai kick boxers on them.

Take it further Deborah Lind says she is happy

Senior consultant Alice Grace says

to share ideas with anyone

Morrison Low supports councils

from another local authority

all around the country with the

considering doing waste

planning of their services, including

management options analysis

waste, and is experienced in the

of their own. Queenstown Lakes

development of business cases,

District Council’s manager,

both large and small, to support

strategy & performance, can be

strategic decision making.

contacted on:

Alice can be contacted on:

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Landfilling recycled glass

"Queenstown Lakes District Council is looking for a 19 percent decrease in waste to landfill over a 10-year period by diverting organic waste."

“In any case, we’re doing lots of kicking to make sure these ideas stand up as we progress through the options analysis.”

The BBC approach Deborah says the BBC approach is now being picked up across the country, both in central and local government. “Because the BBC process enables you to go from status quo, do-nothing options right the way through to aspirational, all-singing, all-dancing ones, you can be very clear about what you’ve looked at and why you’ve discarded an idea.” Deborah notes that while BBC can be used in big picture thinking, it is also very scalable. She tells an anecdote about how she and her husband used BBC analysis on their drive to work to decide whether or not to buy a new car. “Within 30 minutes of going through the five cases and doing the options analysis, by the time we pulled up to work we had decided no, we didn’t need a new car: we just needed to change the way we parked and car-shared. And we saved ourselves $20,000.” She says BBC is a way of thinking. “It’s not necessarily about big spreadsheets. You ask, what’s your problem?

What do you want to achieve? How do you get there? And what does that mean? “So, you can literally just do it in a conversation. It’s very flexible, clear and transparent. “We’ve put BBCs in front of our mayor, council and community groups. You can put ideas on a very simple A3 summary page and take people through them. “The feedback we’ve had from councillors is that they’ve found it simple to understand what we’ve done and how we’ve done it.” She notes that councillors appreciate there is a lot of detail sitting behind any summary document, but says its power lies in its simplicity and comparability. “If, for example, you had a business case for a library versus an organics facility you could start to look at the differences between them: their risk profiles, costs and benefits. LG

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A driving force Singapore’s next-generation electronic road pricing system In 2020 Singapore will launch a new satellite-based road pricing system. The change is needed to keep its 5.6 million people moving in a land area of just 720 square kilometres. Kian-Keong Chin, chief engineer of the Singapore Land Transport Authority, told delegates at the Infrastructure NZ Building Nations Symposium how the system has evolved and the key considerations behind each step of the way.


hen Singapore gained independence in 1965, it had a resident population of around 1.8 million people and some 160,000 vehicles on its roads. Fast forward to today, and the population has trebled to 5.6 million while the number of vehicles has multiplied six times to around 957,000. In a land area of just 720 square kilometres – and a current population density of 7800 people per square kilometre – the rate of growth for the number of vehicles is unsustainable. Something has got to give. That was a central message from Kian-Keong Chin, chief engineer of the Singapore Land Transport Authority. Kian-Keong stepped delegates at the Infrastructure NZ Building Nations Symposium through the country’s transition from its initial paper-based transport charging system in 1975, to its first electronic road pricing scheme introduced in 1998. Now, he says, the country is working towards rolling out a new satellite-based electronic road pricing system. Migration towards the new scheme could start as early as the end of next year. The launch is scheduled for 2020.

Background Kian-Keong recalls studying economics at school. It was, he says, all about demand and supply. “For the past 25 years or so in my working career at the Land Transport Authority of Singapore I found I was also dabbling with demand and supply,” he says. “It’s just that they don’t call it economics: they call it road pricing.” Back in the early days of independence, it didn’t take long for authorities in Singapore to recognise that lack of land would always put pressure on any transport system. Public transport – either in the form of buses or trains – would be necessary. A lack of manpower to drive the large number of buses required has led to the adoption of trains – many of them driverless – as the favoured mass public transit system. Even today, four key challenges for Singapore remain: • Increasing demand to travel due to population increases, intensive development and lifestyle changes;

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• Land constraints: 12 percent of the total land area is used for road and land transport infrastructure; • Manpower issues: there is a shortage of truck and bus drivers; and • An ageing population: 30 percent of Singapore’s population will be aged 65 or over by 2030. When it comes to private transport, authorities continue to work to reduce both demand for car ownership and demand for usage of those vehicles.

Area licensing scheme As far back as 1975, Singapore started on its journey to reduce travel demand. The first system was manual, says Kian-Keong. “In 1975, technology wasn’t very sophisticated.” The 1975 Area Licensing Scheme (ALS), as it was known, applied to defined zones within the city area. Before entering these areas, a driver of a car or taxi was required to buy an ALS paper coupon from kiosks, community stores or post offices dotted around the city and display it on their windscreen. Enforcement officers kept track of the system at entry points to the restricted zones.

Electronic road pricing In 1998, the ALS was replaced by an electronic road pricing (ERP) scheme. Thirty-six ERP overhead gantries were placed at entry points to specified pricing zones. The gantries, which are still in operation today, are equipped to detect electronic tags as vehicles pass beneath them. Payment is taken via a storedvalue smart card, while enforcement cameras record the licence plates of any vehicles attempting to travel without payment and a back-end system manages fines to ensure compliance. Kian-Keong says the ERP system answered four main needs. It: • Reduced the need for manpower; • Provided improved enforcement; • Ensured equitable pricing by charging each time a vehicle entered the designated zone – under the previous paper-based




TRANSPORT Next generation ERP system overview

Possible congestion charging schemes

Enhanced ERP capabilities

system, motorists could make multiple journeys in a day at no extra cost; and • Enabled authorities to vary charges, depending on traffic congestion levels at the time. The ERP system, which is still in use today and had expanded to 78 gantries, enables authorities to review charges every three months and during school holidays to ensure optimal use of road space and control congestion. “Larger vehicles such as lorries and buses are equipped with devices that allow us to charge them a higher rate,” says KianKeong. “Motorcycles are given a weatherproof device and they are charged at a lower rate because they occupy less space and therefore contribute to lower congestion.” Studies to correlate the speed of vehicles and the ease at which traffic flows identified a desired speed range of between 45 to 65kph on free-flowing roads, such as Singapore’s Expressways, and 20 to 30kph on other roads. Prices to travel within the zone are raised or lowered to encourage motorists to move at the desired speeds. Attempts to make payment for travel more convenient have met with mixed reactions. The ERP system initially took payment only from a stored-value smart card. Later, the system also allowed a payment to be deducted from a linked credit card or bank account. “This was based on requests from some motorists,” says Kian-Cheong, “but it wasn’t so popular because I think people were so used to using the stored-value smart card that they just

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continued to do so.” Over time, however, the ERP system has evolved for other uses. The stored-value smart card has superseded conventional paper-based ticketing processes at some car parks, for instance. Kian-Cheong says a lot of people have commented that it makes their lives much easier. “So much so that when they travel to neighbouring countries that don’t have these systems they have found themselves waiting, hoping for a [car park] barrier to open before they realise they must collect a ticket.”

Next-Generation System (ERP2) Now, almost 20 years after it was first launched, the current ERP system is nearing the end of its life and is due for a major and costly upgrade. The cost to expand the current scheme by installing new gantries is prohibitive. And even if the funding could be justified, existing underground utilities sometimes prevent installation at desired locations. Kian-Keong says the Singapore Land Transport Authority sees opportunities to harness any new, and upgraded, technology for: • Equitable congestion management; • Additional value-added services to enhance motorist’s travelling experience; and • To eliminate the need for intrusive heavy infrastructure that would mar the streetscape. The selected new system, which should be fully operational by

Kian-Keong Chin from the Singapore Land Transport Authority shared ideas with David Ungemah from engineering consultancy WSP and MC Nadine Higgins at the Infrastructure New Zealand Building Nations Symposium in Wellington.



2020, sidesteps the need for a network of overhead gantries by connecting in to the global navigation satellite system (GNSS). Kian-Keong says the new system, which he calls ERP2, should be more targeted, flexible and equitable. Importantly, it can absorb additional value-added intelligent transport system (ITS) applications and services. Kian-Keong says the Land Transport Authority investigated three pricing structures: point charging; cordon charging – which is already possible with the current system; and a new alternative based on charging for distance travelled. “When we announced the start of this GNSS system, we were very careful to position it so that the motorists would be receptive to it,” says Kian-Keong. “I recall when the Minister at the time announced it, he was positioning it as a technology refresh. He took pains to say that on the day the satellite-based system comes into use the charging points will all be the same as today. “He left it open to the scheme migrating to distance-based pricing at a later date. This is important, because getting acceptance of any new scheme is really necessary.” Key features of the new system will include: • Mandatory on-board units for motorists: Motorists will be required to have working on-board units in their vehicles to connect to ERP2. Kian-Keong says that, unlike the current system where all the pricing points are fixed at particular locations where enforcement cameras can be installed, the

new system will use a variety of fixed and mobile cameras. The latter will mean motorists will not know where the enforcement points are. •A  n off-peak-hour scheme: Under this scheme, people can buy a car at a lower registration cost but are restricted to only using it during off-peak traffic periods which are normally after the evening rush hour and before the morning peak hour. “There is a clause that allows the owner or driver to use their car during peak hour,” says Kian-Keong. “But they must pay a higher daily charge and we would be using this system to track and identify their presence on the road during peak hours and post that off-peak charge.” •C  ollection of traffic information: The system collects data from each individual motorist’s on-board device. When collated, it is fed back in the form of traffic alerts and advice, enabling motorists to decide if they want to use a particular route or take an alternative one. • I nterface with traffic lights: Similarly, information on traffic flows could be used to change the timing of traffic lights. Kian-Keong says this is a possibility but it’s use has not yet been confirmed. •U  sage-based insurance: The authorities in Singapore are also talking with the insurance industry about creating tailored insurance policies based on how much, and when, a specific vehicle may be used. Again, this application is still being discussed. LG

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Wellington region Together but separate

The benefits of an integrated approach for a multi-jurisdictional metropolitan area.


he Local Government Commission has been working with local authorities in the Wellington region on ways to collectively strengthen and support effective and resilient growth. Recent studies focused on how more integrated planning could help address the key challenges facing the region. Wellington’s metropolitan area of 465,200 residents (June 2017) is administered by five territorial local authorities and one regional council. It is a highly interdependent area, with 55,000 people crossing council boundaries to work each day, and a large amount of social, economic and cultural interaction. Many key challenges – population growth, housing affordability, economic development, natural hazards resilience, land transport and infrastructure planning – require cross-boundary collaboration to get the best outcomes. Wellington’s councils have been working together using different coordination models for many years: from ad hoc

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collaborative exercises on specific issues through to a sharedservice council-controlled trading organisation. In June 2015, following consultation with communities and stakeholders, the Local Government Commission (LGC) decided not to proceed with its proposal for a single regionwide unitary council. However – in light of feedback supporting closer cooperation for some services – working with the councils, the Commission continued to explore opportunities for strengthening local government in the region. It targeted four specific functions: land transport, water services, economic development and spatial planning. To provide an overarching framework for coordinating investment and actions across local government functions, spatial planning was seen as a critical area in which crosscouncil collaboration would yield significant benefits. A spatial plan is a 20- to 30-year strategy that sets the

strategic direction for a community to form the basis for the coordination of decision-making, infrastructure, services and investment. It is a means of aligning other council plans, as well as providing a visual illustration of the intended future location, form and mix of residential, rural and business areas, along with the critical transport and infrastructure required to service those areas and any relevant environmental constraints (for example, natural hazards). The Commission engaged Boffa Miskell to provide a highlevel overview of the advantages and disadvantages that a spatial plan could have, and the challenges and opportunities involved in developing one. The study examined how councils in other multi-jurisdictional metropolitan areas, both in New Zealand and overseas, can work effectively together in preparing and implementing spatial plans. The study examined two successful New Zealand examples – the Smart Growth plan for Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty; and Future-proof for Hamilton and environs. “Getting central government support and ongoing

involvement with metro-planning frameworks appears to be a key ingredient for successful integrated outcomes,” says Robert Schofield, one of the report’s authors. “Strong local political support is also very important.” In researching the value to be drawn from a spatial plan, the Boffa Miskell study identified a range of benefits. “Individually, Wellington’s councils do excellent work in planning for urban growth within their districts,” explained Robert. “The key benefit of a single spatial plan is the unified vision that it creates for communities, business, infrastructure providers, and for central government. From this framework, councils and central government can collectively work more effectively towards achieving common aspirations.” The study also identified challenges for effective spatial planning, including the need for a forum with an agreed decision-making mandate, strong political leadership, and enduring funding and governance arrangements. Following feedback, the Commission engaged consultancies Boffa Miskell, Hill Young Cooper and NZIER to jointly




PLANNING research frameworks for providing a greater level of integrated planning in the region. This 2017 study commenced by engaging with key regional stakeholders, who collectively considered that there would be real benefit from a greater level of integrated planning in terms of reduced time and cost, and better-quality outcomes. “The message from stakeholders was not to add another layer of decision-making,” said Robert, “but, instead, to integrate a number of existing cross-council collaborative arrangements into a more cohesive framework. “While good progress can be made through existing collaborative agreements, it takes considerable time to deal with various council divisions, governance groups and decisionmaking processes. This complexity adds to the cost and the length of time required to make decisions on issues of common concern,” he continued. The study examined how other multi-jurisdictional metropolitan areas have responded to challenges similar to Wellington’s, identifying significant value in applying an integrated planning approach. “Some benefits of integrated planning are not necessarily expressed in financial terms,” commented Mike Hensen from NZIER. “It can be challenging to demonstrate that each individual council will be better off financially, as many of the benefits are qualitative and spread across the metropolitan region. “The most important benefit is the responsiveness achieved by streamlining the decision-making process.” Coordinating investment planning in urban growth and infrastructure / transport development was the main driver for working together in the four planning case studies examined for the report. Importantly, though, the other metropolitan areas did not focus solely on single issues but instead addressed all regional issues in an integrated manner, recognising their interrelatedness. Integrated planning also involves working with central

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government agencies, housing and other developers, and partners such as NZTA, KiwiRail and airport and port companies, to bring land use and transport planning and investment together. This would help to deliver regional economic growth, stronger communities and a healthy environment, now and in the future. “Effective integration directs the internal planning processes of all key partners so that planning and resource investments serve a common vision,” said Mike. The study concluded that integrated planning enables greater certainty for planning and investment, leading to improved efficiencies and lower costs for delivering on economic growth. It also noted that it would: • Provide a single overarching vision and direction for the region, and enable it to have ‘a unified and consistent voice’ when engaging with central government, national agencies and businesses; • Ensure more consistent land use planning, with all local authorities adopting a more singular, strategic approach to addressing long-term land use, infrastructure, transport and other needs; • Encourage ‘shared’ regional services, ideally to provide ‘onestop shops’ for a range of functions – for example, regulatory controls on infrastructure development; and • Improve capability and capacity, by achieving economies of scale and scope – and expanding the ‘resource pool’, especially of specialised staff. The study concluded that, while the benefits of working together are clear, this does not have to be achieved at the cost of individual councils losing their own identity and specific sense of place. In reflecting on these findings, Sir Wira Gardiner, chair of the LGC, said: “There are significant challenges in tackling land transport, and land use and infrastructure planning across the metropolitan area. But an integrated approach would ultimately enable Wellington’s leaders to deliver better outcomes for their communities.” LG



Freedom Camping Good practice guide


ollowing several summers of freedom camping pain across the country, LGNZ commissioned a Freedom Camping Good Practice Guide for the sector to learn from the good planning and case studies emerging around the country. With the number of freedom campers hovering around 60,000 annually they are making an impact, particularly in popular tourism areas. The Guide is being prepared by freedom camping expert and trouble-shooter David Hammond from Hammond Robertson. We asked David what the main findings are that are emerging from the Guide. David praises the innovation and solutions coming out of rural New Zealand councils, saying the sector needs to take note of how they are handling the issue of freedom camping. He highlights the following good practice emerging.

Central Otago District Council Mat Begg, parks and recreation manager from Central Otago District Council, has provided multiple examples of good practice for the Guide in dealing with freedom camping. The council has an excellent partnership with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for the management of areas around Lake Dunstan. LINZ and council coordinate to develop joint educational material and joint approaches to management of campers. LINZ also funds infrastructure on its land. Mat and the team have based their approach from the development of a Camping Strategy which took a broad view of camping and the various approaches the council can take before deciding on their strategy. Mat’s team also survey freedom campers every three years to develop an understanding of their needs and habits. The Freedom Camping Good Practice Guide will be released to the sector following its finalisation by David Hammond in early 2018.

South Taranaki District Council Adrienne Cook, policy officer from South Taranaki District Council, and the wider council team provide more good practice for the Guide. Their Site Assessment in 2017 – which uses a scoring system for the three reasons in the Freedom Camping Act for restricting and prohibiting freedom camping – is a seashift in the methodology. It is clear and evidence-based. Nelson City used an almost identical Site Assessment based off Adrienne’s work with some slight modification in later 2017. But Adrienne’s work remains the gold standard of the evidence basis needed for eventual bylaws. South Taranaki is also featured for the clarity of its information to freedom campers.

Selwyn District Council Marie Gordon, parks policy analyst from Selwyn District Council, is putting together the strategic picture that management of freedom camping is part of the wider ‘destination management’ function. Marie is exploring a Camping Strategy that is more like a Destination Management Plan. Selwyn is also commended for the exceptional freedom camper survey the council undertook in 2017 on which it bases its planning.

Nelson City Council Overall, the nation’s good practice in management of freedom camping is to follow the example of Nelson City Council and group manager community services Chris Ward and undertake a four-stage process of: 1. F  reedom Camping (or, Camping) Strategic Plan to establish the research basis, opportunity, options and range of regulatory and non-regulatory methods; 2. Consultation with stakeholders; 3. D  etailed Site Assessment for every site (or a hot-spot approach) able to be parked overnight by self-contained, nonself-contained and tenting; and 4. D  evelopment of the draft bylaw from these evidence bases. LG





Representation reviews


s your council fairly and effectively representing the community? In 2018, 57 councils are required to review their representation arrangements to apply at the next local authority elections in 2019. Other councils may also decide to do a review. In the first of a series of three articles, Gavin Beattie of the Local Government Commission sets out considerations and first steps in this process for strengthening local democracy. Every six years councils in New Zealand are required by law to review their representation arrangements. This is to ensure each council continues to provide fair and effective representation for individuals and communities. Representation that provides an effective voice for individuals and communities in the matters affecting them, strengthens local democracy and helps maintain confidence in local government. The representation review process can be seen as three discrete stages: developing an initial proposal; considering submissions and agreeing a final proposal; and managing the appeals and referrals processes. In this article we address the first stage relating to the initial proposal. What is a representation review? A representation review is the process for a council to review the number of councillors it has and how they are to be elected. For cities and districts, councillors can be elected ‘at large’ (across the whole area), by wards, or by a mix of the two. The review must also involve consideration of community boards. For regions, constituencies are mandatory so the review involves the number of councillors, and the number and size of the constituencies. In Auckland, in addition to decisions about wards, the review will include consideration of the number of members on local boards and how they are to be elected.

The Commission is here to help Guidance on all these matters is provided in the Local Government Commission’s Guidelines for local authorities

Which councils should be doing a review? Councils must conduct a review every six years. A review is also mandatory if Maori wards or constituencies are being introduced for the first time. This year Auckland Council will undertake its first review and Environment Canterbury must also conduct a review. Factors which may prompt other councils to consider undertaking a review this year include significant population changes impacting on communities of interest, or a change in the electoral system eg, from first past the post (FPP) to single transferable vote (STV). A city or district council may also be considering changes to governance arrangements and particularly the potential role of community boards. Councils which undertook a review for 2016 can consider minor boundary alterations this time around without carrying out a full representation review but must refer their proposal to the Commission. What do councils need to consider? Councils always need to keep in mind the principle of fair and effective representation for individuals and communities. This requires consideration of three key factors: • identification of communities of interest; • effective representation for these communities of interest; and • fair representation of electors – based on the ‘±10 percent rule’ for constituencies, wards and subdivisions of community board areas, though exceptions may be approved by the Commission. Territorial authorities, whether they have community boards or not, must also consider the need for boards in order to help achieve fair and effective representation. If a council has not conducted a fundamental review for some years, it is encouraged to begin its review with a ‘clean sheet’ rather than by simply looking at adjusting existing arrangements. This should include consideration of preliminary consultation and the canvassing of a range of possible options. Councils should also consider the use of an independent panel in the process to get some outside perspectives.

undertaking representation reviews. These can be found on its website: Commission staff are also happy to assist with individual inquiries. Please feel free to contact:

What is the timing for an initial proposal? Councils can resolve their initial proposal (and then give public notice) any time after March 1, 2018. The deadline for public notice of the proposal is September 8, 2018. LG

Donald Riezebos:; (04) 460 2202

The second and third in this series of three articles by Gavin Beattie

Gavin Beattie:; (04) 460 2204

of the Local Government Commission will be published in the July and October issues of NZ Local Government Magazine.

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Central / Local Government Partnerships

A new way of working


ix months ago, a new Central / Local Government Partnerships Group was created in the Department of Internal Affairs to respond to changing needs and expectations about the Department’s role with local government. Chief executive of the department and secretary for Local Government, Colin MacDonald had observed a gap between New Zealand’s two levels of government. Central and local government have similar objectives to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders and Colin established the new group to drive closer alignment to achieve better outcomes for citizens, communities and regions. The new function is led by Helen Wyn, a deputy chief executive with sole focus on central / local government issues. Helen is supported by six senior partnerships directors, who work across central government and between central and local government to bring focus and momentum on the key issues for both levels of government. So what has the Central / Local Government Partnerships Group been up to since its establishment six months ago? One of its early goals was to visit all 78 councils in the first year of its operation. While visits are still underway, so far they have highlighted the need for the Central / Local Government Partnerships Group to broker access to central government agencies on behalf of local government on specific issues.

Helen Wyn: Visits to councils are proving to be an important opportunity to hear directly from local government leaders.

Helen says the visits have been welcomed and are proving to be an important opportunity to hear directly from local government leaders on the critical issues facing their communities. “The direct contact with councils has provided insights and knowledge that help us provide useful advice and support to the Minister of Local Government and to local government and central government colleagues.” The Central / Local Government Partnerships Group has been hearing from councils about how they are grappling with key issues such as: • Pressures on funding services and infrastructure; • Managing growth pressures for some (for example, housing and transport) and low population growth for others; • Dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters and climate change mitigation; and • Addressing drinking water quality and managing natural resources. The Central / Local Government Partnerships Group also works closely with other central government agencies, sometimes to help them partner and engage with local government, or to inject a local government perspective. Many government agencies need to work with local government and engaging with 78 separate authorities can be a major challenge for them. The group can help connect government agencies to local authorities through its brokerage role. Working in partnership with local government enables the expertise of both levels of government to be applied to issues such as drinking water quality, and some of the issues facing high-growth councils. The Central / Local Government Partnerships Group is working with a wide range of local government agencies, including peak bodies such as LGNZ and SOLGM. It is also seeking to codify this way of working within central government. The Central / Local Government Partnerships Group’s success is heavily dependent on nurturing strong and trusting relationships with local government and across central government. The group says partnerships are the basis for a new way of working, where the strengths of both levels of government are drawn on and bespoke solutions developed. This partnership approach will help tackle some of the most complex and important issues that face New Zealanders. LG • For  further information








S t at s q u a k e People working in local government will need to familiarise themselves with new statistical boundaries, says Hugh Dickey. But they should benefit from access to more census data on which to base their decisions.


now align closely with current urban land use. Some urban centres no longer include a chunk of rural land surrounding them, as was previously the case. Nor do they include satellite towns or suburbs that are physically separated from the main centre. Examples are Hibiscus Coast (Auckland), Hikurangi (Whangarei),

Clive and Haumoana (Hastings), Ashhurst (Palmerston North) and Kaiapoi (Christchurch). This has had the effect of reducing the number of people living in urban centres of more than 1000 people by 2.4 percentage points. As a result, New Zealand’s population is now 83.8 percent urban as at the 2013 census, but using


asked with undertaking the first major review of our country’s statistical boundaries since 1991, the Stats NZ Geography Review Team has been at the epicentre of work that has reshaped geographical borders. The team’s recent review of our country’s statistical boundaries has seen urban centres redefined so their limits

Map of Waipa showing a cross-section of the new geographies divided into statistical areas one and two.

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The net result of changes Urban area

the new 2018 boundaries. The review was completed in advance of the upcoming national census in March this year. The cities and towns most affected by these changes are those that previously had overly-generous urban area boundaries drawn around them. These include Hastings-Havelock North, Hamilton, Blenheim, Hawera, Greymouth and Gore, all of which have shed more than 15 percent of their population when measured by the new criteria. The biggest percentage drop is in Pukekohe (-22.6 percent) as the nearby town of Tuakau is excluded from the urban area. In terms of numbers, the biggest drop is the exclusion of nearly 43,000 people from Auckland with Hibiscus Coast classified as a separate urban area and a further 43,000 from other fringe areas of the city. (See table ‘The net result of changes’.) One change that will please many smaller communities is the addition of dozens of rural settlements that have from under 100 to over 500 people and will now be recognised in official census data. On a wider scale, all territorial authorities have been subdivided in a new way. Gone are the 2004 Area Units and in their place are 2253 SA2s (Statistical Area 2), giving a more detailed breakdown. A full range of census data will be published for these SA2s, which average about 2300 people each, though they have a higher number of inhabitants in urban centres and a smaller number in rural areas. The SA2s are, in turn, divided into 29,889 SA1s, which have an average population of 142. Some are made of single meshblocks, while others are a combination of two or more smaller meshblocks, but the size is sufficient that quite a lot of census data will be made available for them, but not at the detailed level of SA2s. People working in local government will need to familiarise themselves with the new SA2 boundaries, which in places are quite different from the Area Unit

Population (2013) using new 2018 boundaries

Population change on 2013 boundaries

% change

New rank

Change on old boundaries







Wellington (1)






Christchurch (2)


















Dunedin (3)






Palmerston Nth






Nelson (4)












Rotorua (5)






Hastings (6)






New Plymouth


















Hibiscus Coast






Paraparaumu (7)






















































Whakatane (8)






Queenstown (9)






























Te Awamutu (10)


















Combined urban areas: (1) + Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua; (2) + Lyttleton, Prebbleton; (3) + Mosgiel; (4) + Richmond; (5) + Ngongataha; (6) + Havelock North; (7) (Formerly Kapiti urban area) + Waikanae, Paekakariki; (8) + Ohope; (9) + Arthurs Point, Lake Hayes, Arrowtown; (10) + Kihikihi. Note: the author has chosen to combine some neighbouring urban areas where they have common or very close boundaries.

boundaries they are used to. However, they will be pleased at the greater range of census data that will be available at the new smaller SA1 level. One of the original aims of the review of statistical boundaries was to separate out National Parks, forest parks and other large reserves that have no inhabitants. However, due to factors such as the need to subdivide many rural meshblocks and the fact that many parks cross district boundaries, this was not done. Following the completion of the next census, further reviews of meshblock

boundaries will be made and those with a geographer’s desire to see differing land use areas treated separately will, hopefully, be satisfied. LG • For more information about the changes email:

Hugh Dickey’s recently-published book, The growth of New Zealand towns, provides a snapshot of the development of 64 towns and cities from their beginnings.






collaborative project Five years on The Road Efficiency Group has been leading a quiet revolution across the country’s transport sector since its establishment in 2013. Andrew McKillop provides an update.


stablished to implement the government’s Road Maintenance Task Force recommendations, the Road Efficiency Group (REG) is a collaborative project between Local Government NZ (LGNZ) and the NZ Transport Agency. LGNZ chief executive Malcolm Alexander says the partnership between local government and the NZ Transport Agency has “really energised collaboration” between the sector and the agency to build capability and develop best-practice systems with the sector that are customer focused. REG is enabling local government to have increased confidence in transportrelated investment decision-making and the adoption of new business models. This is something to keep front of mind as each council and the NZ Transport Agency prepare for the next set of long-

term plans and regional land transport programmes. REG was established as the implementation authority to create and embed a new national investment and activity management framework for roads based on the One Network Road Classification (ONRC), to support collaboration, the sharing of best practice and new business models. The national consistency the ONRC has created, now means that comparisons can be made on the performance of roads based on their classification irrespective of who owns them (eg, local authorities, NZTA, DOC). Jim Harland, the chair of REG (and NZTA’s director of regional relationships, southern) agrees that the REG programme is a true partnership between the NZ Transport Agency and local government staff.

Based on a co-design / co-delivery model, REG has delivered a number of innovative tools and systems which increase a council’s ability to better understand the performance of its transport network, appreciate what best practice may look like and, in the longer term, guide more effective decisionmaking based on robust evidence. In his closing address to the Annual NZTA / NZIHT Roading Conference late last year, Jim said there is high variability in service and costs across the national road network. But he added that the new customer-focused system being promoted by REG is enabling local government to have increased confidence in investment decision-making. “And with that comes improved performance in maintenance, and more consistent levels of service across the country,” he said.

Who’s who The Road Efficiency Group (REG) is supported by a governance group: • Jim Harland (chair), NZ Transport Agency • Malcolm Alexander, Local Government NZ • Craig Thew, Hastings District Council • Jim Palmer, Waimakariri District Council • Tony McCartney, Auckland Transport



• Howard Cattermole, NZ Transport Agency • Kevin Reid, NZ Transport Agency

Malcolm Alexander, CE, LGNZ.

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Jim Harland, chair of REG.

The ONRC is the critical foundation which differentiates the transport network using a classification system that allows customer levels of service to be front and centre in investment decision-making. The ONRC will help transport decision-makers move away from managing roads based on technical asset classification and adopt an approach based on managing and providing for customer outcomes. This new approach will enable richer discussions with communities and representatives and ensure we are investing in the right things at the right time for current and future users. The transport system is used by customers every day. They don’t necessarily know who is responsible for managing the network and they certainly don’t drive down the road thinking “I’m on a regional distributor road at the

moment”. But they do expect consistent levels of service including getting to their destination safely. As transport decision-makers, our role is to enable this and make prudent investment decisions with our customers at the front of mind. REG is leading discussions about the journey of people and freight, about connecting communities, and unlocking local and regional economic development opportunities. “With the cost of managing and operating the transport system going up it is important that we learn from the past and ensure that we have the right evidence to assist our decision making,” says Malcolm. The right evidence should be based on quality data. Over the past 12 months REG has produced a number of tools that fill the gap across the sector. These include reporting on the quality of each

council’s transport-related data used for decision-making, and also allowing each council to compare the performance of its network by classification with like councils, regionally and nationally. Jim, in his address to the NZTA / NZIHT, asked participants to confirm whether they have a good appreciation of the true challenges on their networkbased quality information. They might be investing in the wrong area without knowing it because their data is weak. Malcolm agrees with this, noting that with good data and good comparative information, including customer values (such as safety, reliance, resilience and smooth travel) councils can start having conversations about why they need to do something and whether it is the right thing to do. It is important to invest in the right roads at the right time and deliver on what customers need now and in the future. If you have agreed levels of customer service linked to hard data, you’re starting to have good conversations and investment priorities. Looking forward, Malcolm and Jim agree that the REG journey is not finished yet. REG has found that the more it understands about the sector, and successfully develops new tools, the greater the opportunity to promote best practice delivery across the sector, enabling more effective service delivery and providing better outcomes for customers using the transport system. REG is prioritising its resources and areas of focus to ensure that it also delivers value for money. Projects REG has planned for 2018 include further development of the sector’s capability, expanding the value and use of the ONRC, performance measures and reporting. REG is also looking to encourage more young people to get involved in the transport sector, increasing the understanding of the value of transport assets, and taking a fresh approach to how transport maintenance contracts are planned for, tendered and let. LG • Andrew McKillop is programme manager, Road Efficiency Group, NZTA.





Drinking water overhaul imminent Ensure safety and compliance now Major and much-needed changes to the water sector are definitely on the agenda this year. John Pfahlert urges councils to ensure they meet Drinking Water Standards and not wait to see what the government will do.


ater New Zealand staff have been travelling the country talking to water suppliers about what the future holds following the Havelock North water contamination inquiry. Judging by the reaction from councils and other water suppliers, there’s a huge thirst for information about the recommendations made by the inquiry and their implications. The response was so overwhelming that the initial 11 workshops had to be increased to 17 covering cities and towns from Whangarei to Invercargill. Nearly all sessions were booked out well before Water New Zealand’s technical manager Noel Roberts and principal advisor, water quality, Jim Graham went on the road in early February. This huge level of interest indicates just how seriously the water sector is taking inquiry findings and recommendations, and the changes they may bring to the drinking water industry. The inquiry identified a number of serious shortcomings in the way drinking water is delivered and regulated in New Zealand. Its recommendations were far-reaching and included the establishment of a new drinking water regulator and government consideration for aggregating smaller local authority drinking water suppliers. Among the recommendations was a requirement for mandatory treatment, including residual disinfection, of all public drinking water supplies in New Zealand, except in exceptional circumstances. Water New Zealand has recently welcomed the decision of the Christchurch City Council to chlorinate its drinking water, though we are still concerned that councillors remain adamant that this is a temporary solution – just until the city can reinstate its “secure bore status”. But Christchurch could find itself overtaken by events. The inquiry has also recommended that the current “secure bore status” which allows groundwater to be supplied

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Water New Zealand's Noel Roberts speaking at one of the organisation's workshops being held throughout the country in February and March this year.

without treatment, be removed from the Drinking Water Standards and that the standards themselves be reviewed. In the decade since the Drinking Water Standards were implemented there have been improvements in water quality science and there is now a greater understanding of contamination risks in drinking water sources.

These improvements have led experts to conclude that the concept of “secure bore water status” is flawed and cannot be used to guarantee that groundwater is free of microbiological contaminants. The fact is that, over the past decade, new information has considerably changed our understanding of what happens to groundwater. For instance, it was shown at Havelock North that water which was thought to have been underground for more than 20 years had in fact been mixing with surface water that was as young as 26 hours old after heavy rain. This is likely to have been the cause of the contamination of the Havelock North supply. The removal of the secure bore water status will mean that if Christchurch councillors want to avoid chlorination in the long run they will need to ensure that the water has a very low contamination risk. This means some form of treatment will need to be installed or, alternatively, a very costly engineering, maintenance and monitoring programme across the entire network will need to be implemented. This, of course, applies to every water supplier in the country that currently uses untreated groundwater. The inquiry highlighted the problem of poor levels of compliance with drinking water standards in New Zealand.

"The concept of secure bore water status is flawed." Eighteen percent of New Zealanders are supplied with water that doesn’t meet drinking water standards and has not been shown to be safe. For small supplies (100 – 500 people) this figure is 70 percent. There has been little improvement in the past 10 years. By comparison, compliance rates in England and Scotland are over 99 percent. To quote from the report: “The industry has demonstrated that it is not capable of itself improving when the standards are not met.” Some parts of the Drinking Water Standards may be in need of updating but that is not a reason for water suppliers to ignore them. Our advice to councils is to ensure that they do their best to meet those current standards. It’s important to show that, as a sector, we are capable of responding to the inquiry recommendations. We need to show we can overcome difficulties and take responsibility for ensuring our communities have safe drinking water. LG • J ohn Pfahlert is CEO of Water New Zealand.


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Hey, big spenders Should government procurement specialists be qualified? Caroline Boot says the NZQA Procurement Qualification provides an achievable and practical framework for improving procurement skills and efficiency.


s it time for our big spenders to get qualified? Well, answer me this. What is the odd one out in this list? Teachers, engineers, taxi drivers, doctors, plumbers, tender evaluators. Tender evaluators are the only people in this list that don’t require any job-specific qualifications. Yet, their responsibilities to recommend spending of millions of ratepayer dollars can make or break the financial health of councils… and, ultimately, the wellbeing of communities. Growing concerns about the effect of poor procurement capability on the costs of public sector goods and services, point the spotlight on procurement capability. There is huge potential for practical training and qualification to drive major efficiency increases – both from procurement processes themselves; and for the long-term value of goods and services purchased with our increasingly scarce public funds. Two pilot surveys launched late last year showed that 98 percent

of respondents considered that there should be a generic NZQA procurement qualification for tender evaluators. Ninety-nine percent of respondents considered that the qualification should be mandatory for at least one member of a tender evaluation team for significant or complex projects that involve public funding. More than 80 percent of the survey respondents work in large or small councils, or supply goods or services to public sector organisations (including local authorities).

Overwhelming support Survey comments showed a high level of concern about procurement practices on both sides of the procurement fence. “We see tender documents put out to the market that clearly have not been thought through,” said one supplier. “The questions are irrelevant to what will deliver value; the weightings have clearly been set with little

Call for Action The good news is that NZQA’s new practical procurement qualification is accessible and achievable for busy council procurement staff. Procurement staff can complete most of the assessment requirements on the job; and the process gives trainees solid and inexpensive expert procurement consulting support through the qualification period. Graduates of the new version of the qualification have noted “far faster, more efficient and more effective procurement processes – a direct result of the coaching we received through assessment for the qualification”.

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consideration of the potential for quality to drive more cost-effective outcomes; and the evaluation processes are far from transparent.” Interestingly, council staff agreed with this view. “We’re under pressure to get tender documents into the market in short timeframes, so we often can’t plan the procurement thoroughly,” was one response. “Add to that, there are entrenched views in our senior management that are difficult to shift. These mean we are required to follow the same standard RFT documents that our council has used for many years, for all our projects. “Even when we know the questions or weightings are not appropriate for the project we’re procuring, we can’t do anything about it.” Tender evaluators in councils often fall into two camps – those who are involved in roading procurements – which are required to follow NZTA processes and include a qualified tender evaluator for projects valued over $200,000 – and the others. Council spend outside roading is wide-ranging – from three waters, to parks and landscaping, security, facilities maintenance, IT and more. Few, if any, of the procurement staff working in those areas have been trained, let alone qualified – but the consequences are largely hidden.

The domino effect Lack of training leads to escalating costs – everywhere. When procurement

processes are not well planned, the domino effect is savage. Poorly-designed tender documents consume huge and unnecessary time commitments from harried council staff throughout the sourcing process. They’re tied up with answering supplier questions; clarifying conditions and risk allocation; putting out Notices to Tenderers; and (on occasion) extending deadlines to allow for multiple changes and clarifications. Poor RFT documents also suck up time and resource for suppliers – and in today’s busy markets, many suppliers simply don’t bother to respond to poorly-designed RFT documents. This lessens the competition in the tender box; increases the investment that suppliers have to make in their tendering processes; and ultimately drives up tender prices. Then, the evaluation period kicks in. When hastily thrown together or recycled RFT documents are used, the responses are also likely to be hastily thrown together and / or recycled. Neither the questions nor the responses are tailored to the drivers for value for money. Clarifications and negotiations multiply – and frustrate everyone involved. Without careful design and adherence by tender evaluators to defensible scoring systems, councils are vulnerable to legal challenges which can cost many times the value of the contract to defend.

Compelling evidence A recent study compared prices for similar contracts offered by suppliers to council and to private sector clients. It found that a council was being charged 20 to 30 percent more than the private sector, for similar works. When questioned by an independent



third party, the suppliers confirmed that council’s unwieldy and poorlydesigned tendering processes were the critical factor causing them to load their prices. Something needed to change. That council embarked on a concentrated procurement training programme, with several of its procurement staff achieving the NZQA qualification over

Fiona Pratt Whangarei District Council waste and drainage projects engineer Fiona Pratt graduated with a NZQA Procurement Qualification last month. Her comments: “It’s been a great learning experience – totally worthwhile. If you take time to develop the procurement plan, consider opportunities and risks and then develop the evaluation marking sheets, it makes the whole process so easy and cost effective. I believe it also makes the process much fairer and transparent for the supplier.”

the course of the next several months. Using those graduates to design and manage their procurement processes brought a rapid decrease in the time and costs for tender administration and evaluation, with greater confidence from both elected members and procurement staff that tendering decisions represented best value. A year later, it was evident that there was a marked increase in supplier satisfaction and participation in tenders, generating greater competition in the tender box. Time will tell if the increased focus on quality in tender evaluations will deliver better longterm outcomes, but already the signs are positive. LG • Caroline Boot is director at Clever Buying.





Smart solutions

Tourism growth Our country’s tourism sector is booming, but behind the selfies and the gratifying statistics, cracks are beginning to show. Patricia Moore asks how councils can best address their tourism infrastructure growing pains.


ourist numbers, expected to reach almost five million by 2023, are putting pressure on councils to fund the infrastructure projects needed to cope with the influx; they’re projects many can ill afford. But isn’t the government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund taking care of that? Part of the 2017 Budget, the fund provides up to $25 million a year for the development of tourism-related infrastructure such as car parks, freedom camping facilities, sewage and water works, and transport projects. Dan Bonifant, MD at consultants Morrison Low, says that’s good news for those regions with a burgeoning tourism industry and a small ratepayer base. He says it is welcome insofar as it acknowledges the challenges councils face in ensuring suitable infrastructure provision to support tourism. “However, with only $25 million available per year in each round – and co-funding required – it only goes so far. Coinvestment requirements remain a barrier for small councils seeking to invest in basic infrastructure.” Charlie Ives, Regional Tourism Organisations NZ CEO, says it’s a good start. “But, with increasing demand there need to be smarter solutions that bring in funding from other sources – visitor levies perhaps – that supplement government funding which is always going to be finite.”

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While Bruce Lochore, CEO of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, agrees the fund will be of assistance, he says the lack of infrastructure – the lack of preparedness for the sheer volume of tourists we’ve experienced – runs the risk of alienating communities. “However, I don’t understand why any council would want to spend money on toilets specifically for freedom campers,” he says. “Public toilets are a basic facility and there are not enough throughout the country, so any [fund] infrastructure spending should be for all tourists – every New Zealander and international visitor that’s tripping through the country. Take those irresponsible freedom campers in non-Certified-SelfContained vehicles out of the equation.”




1. Dan Bonifant, MD, Morrison Low. 2. Charlie Ives, CEO, Regional Tourism Organisations NZ. 3. Bruce Lochore, CEO, New Zealand Motor Caravan Association.

Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay, South Island.

At Hammond Robertson, specialists in local government management of tourism, David Hammond wonders just how serious we are about the tourism industry. “We had a leading tourism strategy, ‘Tourism 2025’, developed in 2014, a large part of which dealt with the infrastructure gap. Fast forward to 2016/17 and this gap was cruelly exposed by unprecedented numbers of tourists visiting here over summer. In my opinion, we are not seeing central government leadership to the extent we should, to resource and protect our largest foreign exchange earner.” Charlie Ives notes that funding is always an issue. “But this is also about developing a tourism industry that’s accepted by communities. They need to see that long-term planning and development is being done in a sustainable and sensitive way that benefits not just visitors and enhances their [own] environment and wellbeing. “I believe councils are becoming more responsive to the needs of the industry, with a number showing their enthusiasm and support and preparedness to invest in the sector, by developing infrastructure and funding marketing initiatives.” He says Bay of Plenty is one that’s doing this well. “The conversation between Tourism Bay of Plenty [the local Regional Tourism Organisation] and council, is around making a meaningful move to destination management in order to have a long-term, co-created, development plan for tourism that assists with managing growth. To this end, among other actions, they’re establishing a resident advisory group to participate in this process.”

Smart solutions such as pay-for models, which enable councils to achieve funding from tourists are offsetting ratepayer input, says David, citing the Hot Water Beach toilets in the ThamesCoromandel region. With a low ratepayer base, funding the necessary new toilets and showers was a huge challenge. Ratepayer benefit was estimated at 30 percent of the $650,000 cost; tourism needed to contribute 70 percent. The answer is controlled pay-for parking, developed and implemented by the local community board which in just two and a half years raised sufficient funds to begin the project. “The ongoing funding, from that car park and another, will be ring-fenced for future infrastructure development around the Mercury Bay tourism coast,” he says. Smart solutions can also mean sustainable; Bruce reports the NZMCA is currently working with councils and others in the industry to investigate the purchase and instalment of solarpowered rubbish bins to be placed alongside every public dump station in the country. Technologies to assist with demand management in the freedom camper sector are also emerging, says David, with Kiwicamp and Campermate two products that are making the holiday experience smarter and better for visitors. Conversations around tourism haven’t changed substantially, says Dan. “The biggest shift is the frequency. We’re seeing tourism-related stress and demand issues being raised more often across a broad range of infrastructure planning matters.” And a larger group of councils is now thinking about the impacts of tourism. “The likes of Rotorua and Queenstown have become accustomed to dealing with tourism issues but now many smaller councils are noticing the impact of tourism.” Over the past four years, NZMCA has invested more than $1 million to encourage its members, and other motorhome tourists, to get off the beaten track. Bruce explains it’s not about building tourism by sending more people to Queenstown or Auckland. “They’ll get the crowds anyway. It’s when visitors go to regions like the Far North, Eastern Bay of Plenty, the East Coast, Buller and others, that the New Zealand economy really benefits. The industry offers far too many positives to let it fail, but the future comes down to engaging with, listening to and responding to the communities’ needs.” Meanwhile, Charlie sees as positive a shift towards viewing tourism from a long-term perspective. “The more local authorities consider how they want to see the shape of tourism in their constituencies, looking forward say 15 or 20 years, the better the decision-making will be. “There needs to be a process that looks at tourism through a destination planning, development and management lens,” he says. “Involving communities in this process is crucial as it’s the communities that will give tourism the social licence to operate and support the industry by being positive advocates for their regions, and welcoming visitors.” LG • Patricia Moore is a freelance writer.





Smart solutions


modelling Static outputs are giving way to operational modelling that provides real-time and predictive results on which councils can base their decisions on how best to use their water resources. Patricia Moore looks at smart solutions for councils through water modelling.


couple of years ago no-one would have predicted a large developed city running out of water, says David Rooke, water supply network planning and modelling lead at GHD. “But in February we had Cape Town counting the days until the water supply was turned off. This is when you realise the significance of water.” With that comes the importance of modelling and a change in the conversation, he says. “Today’s conversations are usually linked to optimising council water sources, managing growth, water loss reduction and demand management.” As familiarity with smartphones and accessibility to the internet makes people more comfortable with technology, water modelling is getting smarter. Greg Whyte, business development leader, DHI Water and Environment, says the big change is a move into operational modelling as a smart choice. “Five years ago, councils were undertaking their planning using models as a tool and creating static outputs which, relative to the project, would become obsolete and gather dust on a shelf,” he says. “Fast forward to today and we’re using the same sorts of models. However, many of them are ‘live’ and are being used either in real-time or predictively. This also means taking an off-the-shelf project-specific model to the next level, allowing us to flex our innovative arm – something we all enjoy doing.” At Opus, Matt Balkham, water group manager – water resources, explains the availability of a wider range of tools means sector specialists are better able to assist local authorities with understanding the nature of the risks posed by watercourses, dams, coastlines and extreme weather. These tools range from hand calculations and spreadsheet approaches to 1-D and 2-D computational modelling and physical modelling. “Smart water modelling,” he says, “is providing an approach that is appropriate to the nature of the risk and the

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stage of the evaluation of risk management measures.” Meanwhile, David adds that water shortages can be linked to typical summer droughts, but events like the recent ‘Tasman Tempest’ can also result in shortages. “Restrictions were put in place to reduce consumption while the quality within the key dams improved. Water modelling can be utilised to simulate these events and develop options while also replicating the event to ensure the network is behaving as expected.” Greg says a current conversation centres on creating a solution for stormwater management in an urban environment. “This ‘active management’ may mean creating optimisation for flooding reduction or water storage. Criteria include floodgates which are opened depending on weather events and conditions. “Active management of these components ultimately optimises a system and saves money on flood damage, reduces capital investment and helps alleviate public scrutiny.” Advances in multi-core processing and cloud computing, are seeing significant impacts, particularly in wastewater and stormwater modelling for local authorities, reports Beca’s Dan Stevens, business director – water. “Simulation times have been greatly reduced, enabling complex models to be run more efficiently, and allowing longseries events to be modelled, providing more confidence across a wider range of events.” A good example is the ability to run long-term simulations to assess the frequency of sewer overflows to the environment. “The results can be used directly by local authorities to support consent applications and demonstrate the cost versus benefit for a range of capital or operational interventions.” Dan adds that the internet of things is providing the ability to affordably collect vast quantities of real-time data across the three waters networks. “Modellers and software developers are focusing a great deal of effort on developing intelligent water networks and





trying to work out how to make the most of this opportunity in a practical way,” he says. “The intelligent control of wastewater treatment plants using sophisticated ‘feed forward’ control-based or accurate real-time measurement of flows and loads in sewerage systems is an example. “Data can be fed into dynamic process models to see what impacts, if any, there would be on treatment effectiveness, energy and chemical consumption, enabling operators – or an artificial intelligence programme – to make any relevant process changes.” Smart metering is another good example, says Dan. “It’s now possible to collect real-time data for every customer with a smart meter and update the demand in the operational model in real time. “However, this huge quantity of information needs to be stored and managed and this needs to be balanced against the actual benefits and improvements in model accuracy.” David believes smart meters are the future for New Zealand. “Information is king and they offer benefits to both the customer and the water company. “A trial has already occurred where customer water meters in Waiuku are being replaced with smart meters. Ever-improving technology and reducing costs could see them fitted to all households in years to come.” Ten years ago, specialist water process engineers Lutra began using advanced process modelling (APM) to develop predictive dose control for chemicals used in water treatment. This work led to the development and commercialisation of Compass, a product providing real-time predictive control of coagulants, which is now in use in over 60 water and wastewater treatment plants worldwide – 12 in New Zealand. Jason Colton, Lutra’s chief technical officer, says Compass, and a range of other proprietary APM-based controllers in use at Wellington Water, have improved treatment plant

1. David Rooke, GHD, water supply network planning and monitoring lead. 2. Greg Whyte, DHI Water and Environment business development leader. 3. Matt Balkham, group manager, water resources, Opus. 4. Dan Stevens, Beca, business director, water. 5. Jason Colton, chief technical officer, Lutra.


performance and reduced operations costs by over $600,000 per annum. “We’re now working on combining our data management platform, Infrastructure Data, with machine learning techniques to develop a framework within which an artificial neural network can learn how a specific plant performs without being explicitly programmed to do so.” Matt notes that funding can be a perceived barrier to more sophisticated modelling approaches. But he adds that, in his experience, more complex modelling can often be undertaken without a significant additional investment. And, says Dan, it’s pleasing to see several local authorities, including Queenstown Lakes District Council, using three waters models to develop a range of strategic options as part of a wider Better Business Case process. Matt notes that it’s easy to get excited by the application of emerging technology and smart modelling solutions. “But we need to ensure that the modelling approaches adopted are proportional to the nature of the risk we’re trying to better understand and the complexity of the design of the risk management solutions. “Smart modelling solutions offer more than a technical design tool and present a great opportunity to support engagement with stakeholders and a way to ‘socialise science’.” LG • Patricia Moore is a freelance writer.



In the April issue

SMART SOLUTIONS • Waste management • Laboratory testing MARCH 2018 LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAGAZINE




Stadium Southland judgment Supreme Court clarifies the duty of care owed by councils.


n December 14, 2017 the Supreme Court released its Stadium Southland judgment. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal in part.


Background In 1999-2000 the Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust had a stadium built in Invercargill. Problems with the roof trusses were identified during construction. The trust engaged an independent structural engineer to review the design. He provided advice about how the problems could be fixed. The trust applied for a building consent for the remedial work. A letter from the engineer, setting out how the work was to be done, was attached. Invercargill City Council granted the building consent. There would be no inspections of the remedial work by the council. Instead, the consent was subject to various conditions that the trust’s engineer was to meet. They included written confirmation that the work was completed consistently with the specifications set out in the attached letter and that individual truss measurements would be provided to the council. The remedial work occurred in early 2000. The council followed up on compliance with the conditions of the consent without success. An interim code compliance certificate (CCC) was issued and the stadium opened in March 2000. The council followed up again on the conditions so that a final CCC could be issued. However, before receiving this material, the council issued a CCC for the remedial work. It was not disputed that this was negligent. In January 2001 the engineer provided further information to the council in relation to the building consent conditions. The information did not comply with the conditions. The council issued a final CCC for the stadium in April 2003. The remedial work on the trusses was not completed consistently with the engineer’s specifications and was defective. The trust sought further advice from the engineer in 2006. It was prompted by roof leaks and reports of the collapse of a stadium in Poland under snowfall.

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The engineer confirmed that the strength of the trusses, as designed, was adequate but set out a number of recommendations including that the truss welds and support fixings should be visually inspected and the precamber of the trusses measured. No inspection or measurements were undertaken. As a result of the defective remedial work, the roof collapsed under snowfall in September 2010. The trust brought proceedings against the council in negligence and negligent misstatement in relation to the remedial work. The trust was successful in the High Court. The council appealed successfully to the Court of Appeal.

Reasons The Supreme Court found unanimously that the Court of Appeal erred in distinguishing Spencer on Byron. The duty on councils under the Building Act 1991 springs from councils’ regulatory role under that Act. The distinction that the trust was a commissioning owner that the council sought to draw was not consistent with the legislative scheme. Nor was the attempt to draw a distinction between the issuing of a CCC and councils’ other functions such as granting building consents or carrying out inspections. These functions are all directed at ensuring that buildings comply with the building code. As such, the council owed the trust a duty. In addition, the claim based on the CCC should have been characterised as one in negligence (not negligent misstatement). The Supreme Court found by majority that the trust was contributorily negligent for failing to have the trusses and welds inspected and the precamber measured, as recommended by its engineer. The damages award was reduced by half. The varied results in the different courts demonstrate how finely balanced the issues were in this case and why the trust and the council proceeded with their appeals to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. In the end, both parties got something from their appeals. The trust was awarded some of its damages and the council escaped 50 percent of the damages awarded by the High Court (which amounted to approximately $7 million). LG


Call for action Time for leadership on pre-qualification.


aving a list of pre-qualified contractors that meet your requirements in terms of quality, track record, health and safety, capability and capacity is a sensible idea. It means you know who you should approach with your requests for proposals and your tender evaluation team doesn’t have to sift through the same mountain of paper over and over again. It also means contractors that regularly work for you don’t have to continually resubmit the same information with each tender. Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) has supported pre-qualification as it is a mechanism to exclude cowboys from bidding for work. It also helps reduce compliance costs through not requiring contractors to present the same information repeatedly. Over the past few years we have seen clients increasingly use pre-qualification. At the same time, we have seen a proliferation of commercially-run pre-qualification systems. Every week, there seems to be another system being offered to contractors or adopted as a requirement by a client. The quality of these systems varies significantly. They range from extensive business assessments to down and dirty online tick box systems. Some are run by multinational operators while other are developed by specific companies or local authorities. The reality is that we now have dozens of prequalification systems operating. This means that contractors working for a range of clients are having to subscribe to, and maintain, multiple systems. (One contractor told me his company maintains 12 different systems.) This is creating massive inefficiency and increasing, rather than reducing, compliance costs for contractors. These are costs which will, of course, ultimately get passed on to clients. The attraction for clients of specifying a particular pre-qualification system is that it enables them to reduce or eliminate the direct costs of managing their own system for holding information on contractors. They simply need to ask the contractor to provide evidence that they are a current subscriber to 'X' system. But do these systems really add value to the

industry? Or do they just add to the industry compliance costs and line the pockets of the scheme operators? The reality is, for some systems at least, paying your annual subscription is the way your system is kept up to date. Last year CCNZ undertook some research with Teletrac Navman on pre-qualification systems. Of the people that knew about their company pre-qualification, or contractor management, system, about 40 percent of them said they operated only one system. Twenty percent said they had two systems; 20 percent three or four systems; and 20 percent five or more systems. The survey revealed that the costs of running the systems varied. Ten percent said $100,000 plus; 20 percent said $50,000 to $100,000. If we extrapolate that out to say 30 percent of our members are investing $50,000 per year each, that amounts to $5.7 million. Taking into account that many of our large companies will be investing considerably more than $100,000 and adding in the other 70 percent of the industry, I think we would be safe to say this is costing approximately $10 million to $15 million per annum. That is a massive cost to load on to the industry. It is definitely something worth trying to reduce. While contractors understand they need to meet the requirements of clients, we need to ask the question: are the needs of our clients really that different? Most of the systems operated today are commercial and therefore it is very unlikely that they will willingly rationalise. These systems are, quite rightly, specified by clients and head contractors. The civil construction industry desperately needs our major client groups, central and local government, to take some leadership on this issue. Rationalising pre-qualification systems will be very good for the construction industry. It will save time and money, improve productivity, and reduce the level of frustration and confusion created by duplicated systems. LG





A stronger role for Te Maruata Boosting the involvement of Maori in local government.


aori elected members, and many nonMaori members, have expressed a desire to see tangata whenua play a greater strategic role in local government in New Zealand. This is an ambition Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) shares and is pleased to support through the strengthening of Te Maruata, the national collective of Maori working in governance roles within local government and their communities. New Zealand is experiencing a shift in what we can call the Maori landscape. In local government, we are seeing a greater desire from Maori to be involved and also a growing number of Maori elected members or iwi-appointed representatives. Nationally, legislative change, Treaty of Waitangi settlements and a greater political and cultural appreciation of te ao Maori have also led to a changed set of circumstances. We all know the Maori economy, currently estimated at $50 billion, is growing and is likely to become more diversified.  As more Treaty of Waitangi settlements are finalised and mature, the avenues for iwi and Maori to engage with councils will grow, based on meaningful and equitable relationships. To ensure the best outcomes are achieved in this evolving environment, councils need to ensure they are properly equipped with the skills to engage with Maori in meaningful and productive ways. By strengthening Te Maruata’s presence and capacity within the sector we aim to increase the capability of councils to do this. Some councils already have strong relationships with iwi. In 2016, Rotorua Lakes Council won an LGNZ EXCELLENCE Award for Community Engagement for its Te Arawa Partnership, a new model to support community leadership, work innovatively, and reshape the council to be more effective and responsive. The partnership was hailed by award judges as representing “a step change in council / iwi relationships which will influence the manner in which relationships develop in other parts of New Zealand”.

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For other councils there is more work to be done in this space. Te Maruata, as a resource for the sector, has an important role to play in the promotion of increased representation of Maori as elected or appointed members, and in providing support for councils in building stronger relationships with iwi, hapu and Maori. Te Maruata’s increased inclusivity of all Maori working in governance has grown the sector’s capacity to share knowledge and identify best practice around kaupapa Maori and its functions and allow a greater voice in LGNZ’s work. Following elections at the beginning of 2018, Te Maruata’s Roopu Whakahaere (steering group) now has the following members:  • Bonita Bigham, South Taranaki District Council (chair) (Zone Three) • Alf Filipaina, Auckland Council (Zone One) • Will Flavell, Auckland Council (Zone One) • Josh Wharehinga, Gisborne District Council (Zone Two) • Iaean Cranwell, Environment Canterbury (Zone Five) • Tipa Mahuta, Waikato Regional Council (Zone Two) • Gina Mohi, Rotorua Lakes Council (Zone Two) Te Maruata will provide advice to National Council, support councils to engage with Maori, and act as a conduit and liaison between elected Maori councillors and iwi-appointed representatives, councillors and National Council. Its aims include: • promoting increased representation of Maori as elected members of local government; • enhancing Maori participation in local government processes; • providing support for councils in building strong relationships with iwi, hapu and Maori groups; • providing Maori input on development of future policies or legislation relating to local government; and • whanaungatanga – fostering and supporting networks for Maori across the local government sector to connect, share ideas and support each other. LG

Time right for civil defence rethink It seems that every other month New Zealand is experiencing some form of extreme weather or other natural event. With climate change set to bring more potential emergencies the time is right to rethink our civil defence systems. Just last month Dunedin saw, in the space of three days, its hottest temperature on record, a massive fire fanned by 30 degree temperatures, and then a state of emergency declared to deal with flooding as a result of Storm Fehi. In a changing climate communities can expect to see more of these kinds of events in the years to come. Being able to respond in ways that limit the economic and social damage to communities when the more serious ones come is crucial. The system we have has worked well, but in the face of new challenges we need the best tools to deal with emergencies. Designing this system needs input from many quarters, including local government.

Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi is now considering the nature of the Government’s response to the report’s recommendations, and will be engaging with the local government sector before finalising his views. LGNZ has held a number of meetings with Minister Faafoi, and he will be attending a range of sector meetings which will provide the opportunity for greater discussion. The risks to communities from natural disasters vary across the country and making sure those who deliver emergency management are involved in planning how to respond makes sense.

Key recommendations:

This process took a step forward with the release last month of Better Responses to Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies, the report of the Technical Advisory Group which reviewed our civil defence systems. The report makes eight key recommendations including ensuring adequate funding for civil defence and emergency management and support for local communities experiencing an emergency.

> That Government establish a national emergency agency to provide national coordination and support in local emergencies, national control in national emergencies, and to lift CDEM performance overall;

Other recommendations, including the establishment of “fly-in teams” and a national emergency management agency to support communities, are welcomed by LGNZ, as are those calling for professional development and training for staff in emergency management roles.

> Iwi should be recognised and included in civil defence arrangements;

The models for the regionalisation of services will need further discussion. There is unlikely to be a one-size-fits-all solution that will work across the country so LGNZ will advocate for models that allow for local circumstances and needs to be reflected in solutions. Councils play an incredibly important role in civil defence but as the report noted there is room for further support, resources and improvement both nationally and locally. Councils and communities are well placed to use their local skills and knowledge to respond to emergencies, but having the resources and right national support in a timely fashion is necessary as large scale emergencies can quickly become overwhelming, especially for smaller centres.

> Mayors should retain the primary responsibility for declaring states of local emergency;

> Professional development and training for emergency management roles; > Regional civil defence groups should be supported by a national resource; > National standards and a more robust system of audit and assurance should be introduced; > CDEM Groups should take a regional approach consistent with the intent of the present CDEM statute, and be required to provide adequate funding and resourcing for effective CDEM activities; and > The majority recommended the regional or unitary council in a region should be responsible for resourcing and administration.



Media interview skills The recent flooding in Dunedin highlights need for media interview skills Recent natural events such as the flooding in Dunedin and Kaikoura earthquake are great examples of why mayors, councillors and local government staff need to be prepared to face the news media at any time with little notice. It also showed how important it is to have a clear message for the media and the skills to get it across. Most leaders new to the media game treat an interview as a Q&A with the reporter or presenter. They simply answer the question asked of them and then wait for the next one. That seems like the correct approach because it’s how we communicate in every other part of our life. But a media interview is a different ball game. You need your own message and the skills to get it across. Otherwise the reporter has all the power and you have no chance to influence what is covered in the subsequent story. It also makes you more likely to get misquoted or quoted out of context. With print media interviews and all broadcast interviews that aren’t live, only snippets will make it into the subsequent story. That’s why you need the skills to continually refer back to your points to make sure that one of those is the focus of the story. This takes practice to master because you still need to answer the questions, but then transfer back to your message without sounding like a broken record.

How do you do this? In a nutshell, you need to create the points that you want the reporter to use. You then dress these points up by using interesting language like analogies and stories. Then they become attractive to the reporter and you have a number of different ways of expressing the same point. The ability to create these points, dress them up and then get them into the story is a skill like no other. It takes practice, but once mastered is valuable to anyone in an elected position or a media spokesperson from any sector. John Key was an expert. He regularly used analogies with the All Blacks to get his points across. He would have known they were almost guaranteed to pass through all media gatekeepers and into stories.

Be as brief as humanly possible Another change in the last few years is the need to shorten your message. These days you need to create three key points that last no longer then 25 seconds combined. That’s because the average length of a media sound bite is now eight seconds, down from 15 seconds only a few years ago. Sound bites are the verbatim snippets used in radio and television news stories. In print media they are called direct quotes and appear between the speech marks. When you dress up your key points into interesting language as discussed earlier, your aim is for these to become these sound bites and quotes. If you can’t explain the points you want to make as briefly as possible, particularly for broadcast news stories, you could get into trouble. It may mean only part of your point is covered and this could totally change the context. The other possibility is that the reporter tries to paraphrase what you said. This is usually when spokespeople get misquoted. The answer is to be as brief as possible. The points outlined here show a glimpse of how to master the media interview process. I must emphasise that there is a theoretical and practical side to this. It’s no different from learning to ride a bike. You can read as many books as you like to understand how to ride, but you only learn and improve by doing it. This is exactly the same. The only way to master it is by focusing on one part of the theory before putting that into practice on camera. Then move to another area. There is no other way.

So how do I strengthen my media interview skills? EquiP is proud to introduce Pete Burdon, founder of Media Training NZ and author of ‘Media Training for Modern Leaders’. In partnership with Pete, EquiP has a developed a number of different media training solutions to fit the needs of elected members of various learning styles.

With the growth of the internet and social media, there are some changes you need to make to your preparation for media interviews.

As an introductory offer, EquiP has made available, free of charge, our ‘News Media Skills for Elected Members’ webinar, presented by Pete, on EquiPTV. Contact to gain access, and learn valuable skills in the comfort of your own home.

Firstly, the time you have to respond to media in some situations has been cut heavily. As those involved with the Kaikoura earthquake will have seen, reporters need interviews immediately because their editors and producers want stories for their website as soon as possible. They will then be spread through social media in a matter of minutes. In the old days, reporters only needed stories to be ready for tomorrow’s newspaper or tonight’s TV news.

Pete Burdon also facilitates EquiP’s Media Training for Modern Leaders workshop. For more information on this workshop, 0r to register, simply email

What’s changed in the last few years?

If you are at the centre of the issue and you don’t respond quickly, the story will read something like, “the mayor couldn’t be contacted,” or even, “the mayor refused to comment.” This is why it’s so important to know how to prepare quickly. Sometimes it even makes sense to have pre-prepared statements on possible scenarios ready to send out at a moment’s notice.


EquiP’s Council Strategy Workshop Strategy plays a key role in setting your council’s direction, building your council’s culture, helping transmit that culture through the whole organisation, and defining priorities for community outcomes. EquiP’s Council Strategy Workshop can deliver powerful results in your improvement journey, with a special focus on the delivery of customer outcomes. The value of this workshop will help you, at the governance level, to focus and prioritise around the outputs you seek to develop, as well as aid you in setting tangible goals to help drive your culture to success throughout your term in office.

EquiP Principals We’ve gathered some of the most experienced principals in the local government sector – principals who possess deep knowledge of governance and senior management delivery – to help councils shape their strategic framework.

EquiP’s process of strategic planning The journey of strategic planning starts with setting values. In an interactive session, we facilitate the construction of the values that you’d like to see around the council table.

Following this, we will help you determine how your aspirations can translate into council gains. We will also support you in defining and strengthening your relationship with your council and your community. EquiP will then work with you to turn this vision into an empowering statement of belief that builds buy-in through your council and outwards to your community. Finally, EquiP’s best-of-breed experts will enable you to build towards creating an inclusive community vision so your constituents understand where your council is going, the journey that you’re on, and in turn, raise your value to the community through a succinct and articulate document that summarises your council’s term – something your community can believe in. For more information on this Council Strategy Workshop, please email EquiP Business Solutions Manager Dr. Steven Finlay at

< We’ve gathered some of the most experienced principals in the local government sector to help councils shape their strategic framework. >


The Final Word Freedom camping talks a good step towards action – but action must follow Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis will meet with mayors from around New Zealand this month to hear first-hand from local leaders about the impacts of freedom camping. The next step needs to be action. After another busy summer season in the tourism industry freedom camping is, not for the first time, making headlines for the wrong reasons. High profile issues particularly in Queenstown and Taranaki have seen councils there take action to limit freedom camping in certain areas. In February Queenstown Lakes District Council extended earlier freedom camping bans at Lake Hayes and at the Shotover Delta to include more land in those areas. Elsewhere around New Zealand there have been issues in a range of regions. So the invitation for mayors to meet with Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis to discuss the matter and share the experiences of their regions has been welcomed. To find solutions for what is a relatively new but increasingly significant issue for many New Zealand communities will require a joint response from both central and local government. Getting together is a good step towards finding suitable solutions. Minister Davis has said he wants to better understand where the pressure points are across the country as well as what is and isn’t working under the current regime with a view to addressing these issues before next summer. He also wants to discuss how freedom camping is managed across New Zealand, including taking a broader look at the place of freedom camping in our tourism offering.


This second objective is particularly important. In the face of rising numbers – in the past 10 years, the number of international visitors doing at least some freedom camping during their stay has risen from around 30,000 to 115,000 annually – a change to the culture of freedom camping and greater education about what is acceptable and encourages a respectful and sustainable camping culture is needed. It is generally accepted that most freedom campers are well behaved and a minority are behind the anti-social behaviour that has some communities up in arms. Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult reckons about 10 per cent are giving the practice a bad name. In recent years LGNZ has advocated for a number of changes which would make it easier for local authorities to manage freedom camping, including modernising the Freedom Camping Act to allow for more effective enforcement of infringements. This could help prevent visiting campers from fleeing the country without paying their fines, and would help spread the word that freedom camping comes with certain responsibilities. But given the growing numbers and the continuing pressures on communities as a result of freedom camping, greater change is needed. Freedom camping, done respectfully and well, can be a part of New Zealand’s tourism offering and a welcome contributor to our economy. But there is work to do to get to that point. We look forward to working with the Government on solutions.

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

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

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

HANNAH BURROWS Job: Consenting Administration Officer

“I love my job because it makes a difference to people’s lives”

How SOLGM supports the local government sector in attracting and retaining quality talent. Workforce Working Party – appointed experts who collectively identify councils’ workforce needs and offer solutions.

Job board for job seekers and job advertisers – LGJobs is the only local government specific job board in New Zealand.

Workforce Reports – the next major report will define councils’ current workforce profile and recommend future actions.

Recruitment resources for councils’ use – pull-up banners, flyers and a video for career expos and councils’ career sites.

Workforce statistics – detailed statistics collected through the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program’s benchmarking survey.

Student awards – such as the presentation of the SOLGM Prize for Best Paper in Introduction to Public Policy at the Annual Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Government Prizegiving Ceremony.

Website for those considering entering local government – contains information on why local government is a great career option, the range of job roles available and what SOLGM provides in the way of career enhancement.

To find out more about LGCareers, please email or call 04 978 1280.

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