Katina Conomos - Choosing Futures

What’s going on in
…other than David Shearer’s resignation,
the GSCB legislation and earthquakes…
LGA reform (again)
PIF / Centre of Excellence
Development Contributions reform
RMA Reform Package (again)
Local Government Reoganisations
LGNZ / SOLGM closer working relationship
Other bits
Central Government Priorities
To return the government books to surplus;
To build a stronger more competitive economy;
To build better public services; and,
To rebuild Christchurch.
LGA Reform (again)
• [The reform] aims to squarely assist councils to reduce red
tape, and, at the same time, better enable your ratepayers
and communities to understand what you do on their behalf.
(Hon. Chris Tremain 23 July 2013)
LGA Reform (again)
Introduction of a Bill expected in October
Enacted by May 2014
Focus on Part 6: Planning, consultation and decision making
Focus on Development Contributions
The Minister has signalled…
• …. removing requirements to use the Special Consultative Procedure,
except in relation to long-term plans and new or significant changes to
bylaws. This will enable councils to consult in ways that are
appropriate to different matters and local circumstances.
• Implications… engagement strategy? Shift the focus to significant
• …. a new consultative document. Councils would use this to consult on
matters in the long-term plan, instead of publishing a full draft and a
summary of that plan.
• Implications… no requirement to publish hard copies of the draft, but
increased focus on the summary.
• … changes to accommodate new technology for communicating and
consulting with the public, and a variety of alternative ways for
hearing submissions.
• Implications… engagement strategy? Technology implications.
Expectations of the public.
The Minister has signalled…
• … giving elected members the ability to participate remotely in meetings (more
flexibility) – subject to appropriate limits, and to any local arrangements they
put in their standing orders.
• Implications… elected members might be happy! Technology implications.
Expectations of the public.
• … the ability for local boards to be available to smaller regions.
• Implications… easier for smaller unitary authority models
• Financial Limits
• Benchmarks ready to be used for the 2013/14 annual reports
• Taupo, Palmerston North, Tauranga, and Kaikoura have participated in
• NB: the financial limits and mandatory performance measures will be part of a
bigger PIF picture
Being PIF’d…
• Work towards a Performance Improvement Framework
specifically designed for local government in New Zealand
• A Centre of Excellence to bring together existing performance
improvement tools and approaches, and to develop and
deliver new ones
• Showcase best practice
• Lift performance of the sector
• Commitment to work closely with LGNZ to establish a
framework that works for local government and Centre of
Development Contributions
• To rein in council development contributions to improve
housing affordability.
(Hon. Chris Tremain & Dr. Nick Smith 15 August 2013)
Development Contributions
• Introduction of a Bill expected in October
• Enacted by May 2014
• Transition arrangements not clear… we might all be consulting
on DC Policy mid next year?
Development Contributions
• New DC purpose and principles
• Clarifying an narrowing the range of infrastructure that can be
financed by development contributions
• Improving the transparency of DC policies
• Encouraging greater private provision of infrastructure
through development agreements
• Introducing an objection process with decisions made by
independent commissioners
Development Contributions
• Definition of community infrastructure will be replaced with
something very specific, such as: halls, play equipment located
on neighbourhood reserves, public toilets.
• Remove reserves contribution (where no new dwellings
created, i.e. commercial and industrial developments)
• Policies will be required to contain a schedule that lists by
• The projects to which DC relate
• The expected cost of the project
• The proportion of the cost of each project that is being financed
from DC and proportion from other sources
Development Contributions
• OAG Discussion Paper “Using Development contributions and
financial contribution to fund local authorities'’ growth-related
assets’ released last week.
• Reviewed approach of 5 local authorities.
RMA Reform Package
• Current RMA framework:
• is slowing or blocking development when it is desperately needed
• is discouraging investors with uncertainty, bureaucracy and delays
• hinders projects of all sizes with unnecessary costs, delays and
(Hon. Amy Adams, 10 August 2013)
• The proposed reforms are designed to increase ease of use,
certainty and predictability of the system, and reduce unnecessary
duplication and cost. This needs to be done while improving
important environmental and other outcomes and safeguarding the
role of local government representing the interests of their
communities. (source: MFE website)
RMA Reform Package
I’m not quite certain. Does anyone else in the room know?
A Bill sometime in 2013?
RMA Reform Package
Improving resource management planning
National consistency and guidance
Efficient and effective resource consents
Council performance
Freshwater reforms
RMA Reform
• Alignment of all resource management plans into a
standardised national template
• The first version completed within two years of enactment, but a
staggered/transitional implementation.
• Merge all content of RPS and regional and district plans into a
single planning document
• Adjustments to Minster’s powers (not intervention per sae,
but greater provision)
• Reversal of subdivision presumption. Subdivision could be
undertaken without a resource consent unless contravened by
a plan, proposed plan or NES.
LG Reorganisation
There are four reorganisation proposals currently before the LG Commission
• Far North DC to become a Unitary Authority
• Application received
• The application affects Kaipara District and Whangarei District as well as the Far
North District (i.e. the whole of the Northland Region).
• Alternatives called for (41 received)
• Consultation being undertaken
• Hawke’s Bay
• The application affects districts of Wairoa, Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke’s
Bay as well as the parts of Rangitikei and Taupō Districts currently within Hawke’s
Bay Region.
• Alternatives called for (19 received)
• Consultation being undertaken
• NB: likely needs the threshold for UA to be lowered
LG Reorganisation
• Wairarapa and Greater Wellington
• Affects the Wellington Region including the three Wairarapa
districts and the area of Tararua District, and ManawatuWanganui Region.
• Affects the Kapiti Coast District Council; Porirua City
Council; Wellington City Council; Hutt City Council; Upper
Hutt City Council; South Wairarapa District Council;
Carterton District Council; and Masterton District Council.
• Alternatives called for (by 16 August 2013)
And speaking of reorganisation….
• Looking to work closer together, both elected members and
• Sector has been under attack
• Risk of competitions rather than collaboration
• Working group since February
• Collaborative Governance Option
• Merger Option
Currently undertaking membership consultation… please take
the opportunity to make your views known!
Midlands Branch meeting next
Wed 28 Aug in Matamata (at MPDC), at 1pm
Other bits…
• Commencing this week SOLGM is holding events around the
country on new accounting standards
• SOLGM Community Plan Conference on 18/19 September
• Kiwi Count Channels Report 2013
Kiwi Count
• Conducted by the State Services Commission
• Discusses the way in which the public engage with public services
• Whilst the internet is the more preferred channel for looking for
information about public services and for transacting with or having
dealings with public services, the rate of change towards internet
use is gradual rather than transformational and there is still heavy
use of, and preference for, other channels.
• Even if people are using online solutions, they may need multichannel availability. People are not switching to online, they are
moving to multi-channel.
Online does not necessarily provide all the answers.
Other channels may support delivery of online channels.
Better service, regardless of channel, is cheaper in the long run.
Changes to services must be made based on service demand
• http://www.ssc.govt.nz/kiwis-count-channels-report-2013
Closing Remarks (my personal view….)
• Hon Chris Tremain is genuine about repairing relationships
between Central and Local Government
• We’re not seeing a holistic reform to our legal frameworks,
but a piecemeal approach
• Local government scene is changing
• Cycle of amalgamations
• What this means…
Change is a constant companion
The LTP won’t feel any easier
Make sure you have resilience and flexibility
Strap in for the ride and be grateful for the variety and diversity
Katina Conomos
Strategic Planning Team Leader
Thames-Coromandel District Council
Tel: 07 868 0408
[email protected]

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