Community Outlook: 07-12-22

It has been a very busy period for our new Council/Community Board members as the local elections delayed various meetings and now there is much to catch up on.

Having watched some of the Council meetings and attended the local Community Board meetings I must say that there is a much more positive mood and increased energy around the table.  A good sign for our new Council/Community Board, let’s hope it continues well into the next three years.

Lots to cover in this post, so I’ll cut some things a little short (if anyone wants a little more detail let me know).

Tuatapere Te Waewae Community Board Meeting

6th December 2022, Waiau Town and Country Club at 6pm

All members in attendance with a number of Council support staff.

The minutes of the previous meeting were not confirmed as there were some minor issues (typos) that needed to be corrected first.  These will be confirmed at the next meeting.

Public Forum + Community Partnership Funding

The public forum was used to allow those who have applied for Community Partnership Funding to outline their applications directly to the community board.  A brief summary of these are listed below:

  • Orepuki Promotions Charitable Trust

    Request for $550 to assist with website development and installation.  There will be around 5 commercial/hospitality based businesses in Orepuki who will benefit along with promoting the area and what it holds for visitors.

  • Dr. Elder Book Project Steering Committee

    Request for $24,000 to the Dr. Elder Book Project Steering Committee to assist with publication costs.  This will include mostly printing and artwork.  The book was described as a history book centred around a Country GP (Dr. Elder) with a ‘then and now’ theme.

  • Tuatapere Community Workers Support Trust

    Request for $2,000 to the Tuatapere Community Workers Support Trust to assist with the costs for the community Christmas lunch.  The Community worker stated that if the request was declined the Christmas lunch would be cancelled.  There is currently no criteria for turning up.  Originally the lunch was aimed at the elderly with few family or friends, however newer members of the community have also been attending to get to know others.

  • Tuatapere Senior Citizens

    Request for $1,396 to the Tuatapere Senior Citizens to purchase new tables.  The poor state of the current tables was outlined along with the expected use of new tables (cards, afternoon tea etc.).

  • Hauroko Valley Primary School

    Request for $15,000 to Hauroko Valley Primary School to assist with the costs of installing an artificial turf.  Details of the turf installation, colour and usage was outlined.  It was proposed that the netball court area, once turfed, could be used to hold more community oriented events such as cricket/hockey in addition to the school needs.

  • Central and Western Murihiku Southland Archive

    Request for $2,910 to Central and Western Murihiku Southland archive to assist with the costs of establishing an online archive. An overview of what has been developed so far and its historic significance was presented along with detail of how the archive has already been used locally, nationally and internationally.  Details of the equipment required and its use was provided.

All presentations were well received.

The decisions to support or reject the applications were made a little later in the meeting.  I will leave the actual outcomes for the Community Board to communicate.

It needs to be noted that the total funds requested for Community Partnership Funding was $45,856 and the total funding available for the full year (these applications were for the first half of the year) is $20,582.  As a result applications could not be fully funded.

Some other discussions during the meeting touched on rate reduction and it was identified that Community Partnership Funding, if eliminated next year, would see a reduction of around $34 in Community Board rates (full rate unit).  This will be considered at a later meeting.

It is great to hear that we have members on the board who have listened to the community at election time and are looking at meaningful ways to reduce the rates that the community pays

The total funds allocated to applicants at the meeting was $13,546 (unconfirmed) which is 66% of the total available for the year.  So there will be around $7,036 available in the fund for the second part of the year.

Terms of reference and delegations to community boards

The details of the terms of reference and delegation were included in the agenda and council staff gave a general overview.

Some important general points included in the terms of reference are provided below:

The roles of boards outlined in the terms of reference include:

  • representing and advocating for the interests of the community
  • maintaining an overview of services provided by Council within the community
  • preparing an annual submission to Council for expenditure within the community
  • promoting and monitoring community wellbeing
  • developing relationships and communicating with community organisations, groups, residents and businesses
  • advocating by making submissions and outlining community priorities
  • providing recommendations about local activities and monitoring whether local services meet community needs
  • making recommendations and providing input and advice on environmental management and spatial planning.

The delegations proposed to be given to boards include:

  • developing local strategies and outcomes
  • reviewing community board plans
  • making decisions on locally funded assets and services
  • approving specific unbudgeted expenditure
  • approving leases and licences and preferred allocations of leases and licences, where the rental is more than $10,000
  • making community assistance decisions such as granting funds from the community partnership fund.

The report was accepted by the Community Board.

More detail can be found in the agenda for the meeting.

Direction-setting for Annual Plan 2023/2024

Details of the rates that need to be collected to fund the Community Board for the next rating period were outlined in this section of the agenda.

The report outlines that the proposed rates needed to fund the Community Board would increase from $163,037 in 2022/2023 to $172,585 in 2023/2024 (GST inclusive).  This equates to an increase in the urban charge from $337.55 to $354.75 per unit (Tuatapere ratepayers), increase in the semi-urban charge from $168.78 to $177.37 per unit (Orepuki ratepayers) and increase in the rural charge from $84.39 to $88.69 per unit (everyone else).

So the full rate unit increase is proposed to be $17.20 for next year – this represents an increase of 5.1%. Note that this is only for the portion of rates that goes to the Community Board – not the entire rates to be paid.  Details of rate changes for general rates, roading, water, rubbish collection etc. will come out from Council in due course.

Council staff indicated that there were some decreases and some increases in the funding requirements, highlighting that the main reasons for increases were due to interest rate rises on loans (from 2% to above 4%) and general rises in costs associated with things like mowing due to the rise in fuel prices etc.

Community Board members queried if drawing down on reserves to pay out some loans would help to reduce the increase and as mentioned previously, reviewing the Community Partnership Funding amount for next year was raised.  Cost of halls and usage was raised as an item that needed to be looked at a little closer before decisions could be made.

Rate increases were identified as the main concern.

Community Board members requested that a decision on this report required more time so it should remain on the table until the next meeting which will be brought forward to ensure timings are met for Council to finalise the Annual Plan (i.e. before 25 Jan 2023).

It was great to see that an initiative coming out of Tuatapere has been included in the report which helps Community Boards throughout Southland to make more informed decisions.  This was the inclusion of the simple but effective detail in the table below:

Impact of rate changes

For ever extra $1,000 of rates, the 23/24 rate per unit will increase by:

Urban rate (Tuatapere) $2.36
Semi Urban (Orepuki) $1.18
Rural $0.59

So for every $1,000 increase in the Community Board total rate requirement, individuals will see an increase of $2.36 (full rating unit) on their rates notice.

To put this into perspective, two examples are provided below – note this is simplified as not all funding necessarily comes directly from community board rates:

  1. The previous Community Board approved a $20,000 unbudgeted expense to put toward a lawn mower for the Golf Course.  The consequence of this is an increase of $47.20 in individual rates (full rating unit i.e. Tuatapere).

  2. If the full amount requested for the first round (6 months) of the Community Partnership Fund ($45,856) was met (thankfully it was not), it would have required $108.22 in individual rates.

Policies and bylaws coming up for review

A number of Policies and Bylaws are required to be reviewed in the coming year.  Council is proposing to combine the consultation of these to minimise “consultation fatigue” within communities and to “provide efficiencies in cost and resources”.

The Policies and Bylaws up for review are listed below:

  • Roading Bylaw
  • Public Places Bylaw
  • Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy
  • Dangerous, Affected and Insanitary Buildings Policy
  • Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Policy
  • Smoke-Free Open Spaces Policy
  • Contract Management Policy

Council has indicated that it will publish these details widely so no doubt more information will be forthcoming on these.  If any of these impact on you, it would be timely to review them now and keep an eye out for any changes that may be coming or start to prepare a submission if you are looking to suggest changes to them.

Schedule of Meetings up to October 2025

The first meeting of 2023 was brought forward due to the requirements of the Annual Plan as previously mentioned.  This means that the next meeting of the Community Board will be held on Tuesday 17th January 2023.

There were some minor changes to be made to the proposed dates due to public holidays etc.  The finalised list of meeting dates will be posted at a later time.

Meetings will be held at 3:30pm at a suitable venue within the Community Board area (most likely the Waiau Town and Country Club, 41 King Street assuming availability).

Elected Member Appointments

A requirement of the Trust Deed of the Tuatapere Amenities Trust, is that the Tuatapere Te Waewae community board will nominate and appoint one person as a Trustee to the Tuatapere Amenities Trust for a period of three years.  Anne Horrell was nominated and accepted this appointment.

Note: Jaspreet Boparai was appointed as the Council representative on the Tuatapere Amenities Trust.

Chairperson’s report

Chair Anne Horrell presented this report – the full report is available in the Meeting agenda that can be found at the following address:

Points of interest:

  • Cameras in the Domain
  • Poisoned trees in the Domain Reserve
  • Lack of street lighting in Birch Street
  • Plunket rooms availability

Meeting Closed: 8:20pm

Additional thoughts and info

There has been quite a bit of misinformation and negative discussions around town (mostly facebook) in the last little while so I thought I’d put together some points that might enlighten the most topical discussions.

Cameras in the Domain

Cameras were put in the domain late last year however they didn’t meet the requirements of the Privacy Commission so the Council asked for them to be taken down.  This was initiated in Tuatapere and had the positive effect of triggering Council to develop a Privacy Policy of their own.

The Councils Privacy Policy can be found at the following link and it includes details of the requirements for placing Cameras in public areas for Surveillance purposes – these are based on law and the requirements of the Privacy Commission:

Note that the cameras can only be used for the stated purpose, in this case Surveillance of Vandalism (assuming this is what will be stated on the signage).  They cannot be used for other purposes with a few exceptions typically initiated by the police.

The Privacy Commission has guidelines around the use of cameras which can be found at the following link:

The installation and Policy set out by the Council will ensure that any footage is protected appropriately and will ensuring those who value their privacy can continue to use the Domain without concern.

Poisoned Trees in the Domain Reserve

What a sad state of affairs this is.  I hope those involved are apprehended and face the full force of the law.  Any information relating to the poisoning should be handed directly to the Police.

There has been quite a lot of discussions on facebook and the media – some of which is surprising and in some cases based on misinformation.  Below is a link to a short video where Community Board Chair, Anne Horrell provides informed details of what is known:

Rate Reduction

If anyone has any great ideas that may help reduce our rates, e.g. by generating income or eliminating unnecessary spending, the next Community Board meeting on 17 January, 2023 will be the latest time to make changes to the Annual Plan for the next rating period.  Get in touch with a member of the Community Board with your ideas or ask to present your ideas in the Public Forum section of the meeting.

You can email me at: to ask questions or raise issues related to this post.

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1 Response

  1. Nathalie says:

    Sure sounds like they are doing a good job. And thank you for taking the intrest and the time to write up a report on the latest, much appreciated!