Clutha District Council

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The Latest Council News Online


Issue#33 ? Tuesday 5 March 2013










Welcome to the Clutha District Council E-Newsletter, a Council service that aims to keep ratepayers, residents and stakeholders more informed. The E-Newsletter is generally released every six weeks, following Council meetings. It is also available online at


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In this edition of Clutha District Council E-Newsletter:


Earthquake-prone policy concerns


Council is extremely concerned that proposed changes to rules governing earthquake-prone buildings are completely disproportionate to the level of risk involved, and questions whether the economic and community costs of the proposals are the best use of the community?s resources.


The proposed changes put forward by central government include shortening timeframes for earthquake-prone buildings to be assessed and strengthened, as well as greater accountabilities and costs on councils.


In a submission on the proposals adopted at last week?s Council meeting, Mayor Bryan Cadogan said his council accepted that prudent measures needed to be taken on the issue in response to the tragic events in Christchurch in 2011.


However, any changes needed to be proportionate to the risk. Clutha had been assessed as having a very low relative earthquake risk and therefore the finite amount of council?s resources and ratepayers? money would be better channelled towards improving core infrastructure and/or mitigation against the many other risks that individuals and communities face.


Mayor Cadogan pointed out that the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment?s own research had indicated that bringing timeframes for strengthening forward compared to current timeframes would have net present value benefits of $12m nationwide for costs of around $759m ? a benefit/cost ratio of 0.016.


By comparison, road safety projects are expected to have strongly positive benefit/cost ratios.


?Our council battled to secure central government funding assistance to strengthen a key strategic asset in the Clydevale Bridge, and we have already been forced to reduce spending on road safety due to central government funding constraints,? Mayor Cadogan said.


?On the other hand we are being asked to spend millions of dollars on earthquake assessments for very little benefit. It is difficult to imagine the government intends this to be a benchmark for cost-effectiveness and efficiency.?


Further information, including a copy of Council?s submission, is available on the Council website by clicking here.



Council submits against potential mail delivery cutbacks


Council has also signed off on a submission opposing NZ Post?s proposals to amend its minimum service obligations, which could potentially see mail delivery reduced to three days a week.


Council believes the proposals will be of particular concern to residents on rural delivery routes, where the daily service is about more than just mail. Other key services that help our communities function include delivery and pickup of parcels, courier items, newspapers, basic grocery items, vet supplies, and medical supplies and prescriptions.


Council believes that while mail volumes are decreasing due to the increasing use of technology, a substantial portion of our rural communities do not have, and some may never have, reasonable Broadband access. These rural New Zealanders should not be penalised with a less frequent service and the inefficiencies and higher costs of getting to a central pick up point on non-delivery days. Our farming sector has certainly raised concerns about the impact reduced delivery could have on their agribusiness operations. 


More information about the proposal is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website by clicking here. The deadline for submissions is 5pm Tuesday 12 March 2013.



Council agrees to $10,000 for commercialisation of Trail


Council has agreed to provide $10,000 to the Clutha Gold Trail Charitable Trust for the commercialisation of the trail.


Chief Executive Charles Hakkaart says that with the 73km trail between Lawrence and Roxburgh set to open, it is important to make sure the trust optimises all opportunities to gain income from trail users for ongoing operation and maintenance.


Mr Hakkaart says successful commercialisation is important so that right from the start of operating the trail, the opportunity to make an income is planned for and managed.


Council has previously agreed to set aside $10,000 a year for future maintenance of the trail.


The Trust had asked that the $10,000 for commercialisation be uplifted from the maintenance fund. However, Council felt it was important to allow the maintenance fund to build up for that purpose.


?It is expected that even with income from trail opportunities being optimised, that Council will at some point be required to contribute to the maintenance of the trail infrastructure,? Mr Hakkaart says.


In granting the $10,000 for commercialisation at their meeting last week, some councillors made it clear that any future requests for trail funding, other than budgeted maintenance, should go through an Annual Plan submission process. 



Tapanui water and sewage treatment plants open day ? 10 March


Council has recently completed major upgrades of the Tapanui water supply and the Tapanui sewage treatment system.


As such, Council, on behalf of the West Otago Community Board, will host an open day at the water treatment plant, followed by the sewage treatment plant, on Sunday 10 March as follows:


?         12.30pm to 2.30pm: visit the Tapanui water treatment plant located near the end of Whisky Gully Road. Two guided tours of approximately half an hour will take place; one starting 1pm, and the other starting 2pm.


?         3.00pm to 5.00pm: visit the Tapanui sewage treatment plant located at the intersection of Station Road and Duncan Road North. Again, two guided tours of approximately half an hour will take place; one starting 3.30pm, and the other starting 4.30pm.


Tapanui received 80% government assistance for the total $750,000 upgrade of its water supply, which was required due to legislation which requires all drinking water supplies to ?take all practicable steps? to comply with the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards 2005. The work has included a major upgrade of the treatment plant as well as the installation of a new water reservoir for Tapanui which has increased the security of the township?s supply.


The $676,000 sewage treatment upgrade was required to meet stricter consent conditions and ensure the treated sewage being discharged is of an acceptable quality. The ?Biofiltro? system uses proprietary technology originating from Chile to treat sewage effluent in a small and low-cost plant. The treatment is based on the digestion of sewage by a bioactive sawdust bed supported by a rock drainage method.


More information about the respective systems will be available on the day and Council staff will be on-site to guide people through the respective plants.


All are welcome to attend.



Youth development programme options to be explored


Council will explore the option of making agreements with, and providing funding to, suitable organisations in the community to continue delivery of its youth development programmes.


Previously these services were delivered by Enterprise Clutha who employed Youth Development Coordinator Daniel Maze.


Enterprise Clutha received $42,000 in council funding a year to deliver these services, with the remaining $40,000 provided by charitable organisations and central government.


As part of last year?s restructuring of how District Development services would be provided in the district, it was proposed that Council would take over the employment of a Youth Development Coordinator who would continue to deliver the youth programmes.


Unfortunately Mr Maze had since resigned from the position to take up new employment. This meant that Council had to decide if it was best placed to employ a new coordinator and provide the training, mentoring and support for a new person in that role.


It was also likely that Council would have to increase its current contribution to the Youth Coordinator position from $42,000 to $62,000 due to the expectation that alternative funding sources would continue to decline.


After a lengthy debate at last week?s meeting, Council decided it would explore the option of making agreements with, and providing funding of up to $25,000 a year, to suitable organisations in the community to deliver youth programmes.


The general consensus amongst councillors was that while the youth development programmes had undoubtedly been hugely successful, they were not necessarily a core function of local government and there was concern at the increasing costs involved for ratepayers.


Most councillors felt it was unfair for central government to expect local authorities to keep picking up the tab for non-core services, while at the same time providing less assistance in core areas such as roading.


Council is still committed to providing youth development programmes in the district. However, it is also mindful of the fact that Council itself is not best placed to deliver these programmes in the most effective and efficient way.



Balclutha streetscape update


Council has selected three different design consultants to provide proposals for the Balclutha main street upgrade - MWH/LA4 Partnership, Baxter/SouthRoads Traffic Design Group Partnership, and Boffa Miskell.


The consultants will now put together concept designs and estimates for the upgrade.


A working party made up of members of the Balclutha Traffic Management Study Reference Group, plus several main street retailers, will then help to select concept designs before putting them out to the wider public for consultation.


Council has chosen three design consultants so that a range of options can be presented for consultation with the public. At this stage, we expect the concept designs will be released for public consultation around the middle of the year.


Through last year?s Long Term Plan process, Council set a total budget of $2.6 million for the project including $400,000 for the undergrounding of power lines in the main CBD area and $550,000 worth of footpath upgrades.


Exactly what the rest of the upgrade will include will depend on the proposals received. But it could potentially include redesign of road layouts, new street furniture and plantings to enhance the area.



Youth Council chosen for 2013


The 2013 Youth Council is up and running, with plenty of new faces and a new Chairperson elected at the inaugural meeting on 18 February.


Workplace representative Kelsey Harrison, a marketing consultant at the Clutha Leader, was elected Chairperson, while South Otago High School head boy Richard Blair was elected Deputy Chair.


Kelsey is one of 10 new representatives on this year?s Youth Council, along with Zoe Hancox (Blue Mountain College), Nikeisha Clarke and Tyler Ford (Catlins Area School), Leaha Dickey (Lawrence Area School), Hayley Smith (SOHS), Olivia Adam (Tokomairiro High School), Kate Morrison (workplace representative, Fonterra Stirling), and two Telford representatives to be confirmed.


They join returning members Garth Devereux (BMC), Holly Wilson (LAS), Richard Blair (SOHS), Samantha Allan (THS), and councillors Ron Davis and Ken Payne.


The Youth Council is designed to encourage youth to be involved in their community, local government, and provide a voice and direction on things in our district that affect young people.



Resident satisfaction increases for footpaths, pools


Investment in upgrading footpaths and swimming pools appears to be paying off according to the results of the latest Clutha District Council Resident Survey.


The Resident Survey 2012 was conducted via phone over two and a half weeks in November last year. A total of 605 randomly selected residents took part and were asked about their satisfaction with various Council services.


Resident satisfaction for most services was fairly stable compared to previous years.


However, there were large increases in ratings for footpaths (41% in 2011 to 63% in 2012) and swimming pools (43% in 2011 to 66% in 2012).


This seems to reflect the community?s recognition of the considerable efforts and expenditure in these areas over the past 12 months, with the completion of swimming pool upgrades at Balclutha and Milton, and the continuation of Council?s programme to upgrade footpaths around the district.


Resident satisfaction for Council?s wheelie bin service dropped from 95% in 2011 to 79% in 2012. This drop was anticipated due to the introduction of the new kerbside recycling service in April last year seeing the frequency of collection for refuse decrease from weekly to fortnightly.


However, while it would appear to be a reduction in service, the new kerbside collection service is as much about trying to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill as it is encouraging recycling.


Resident satisfaction rose slightly for most other Council services, with library services and information and service centres (97%) receiving the highest ratings.


Council wishes to thank all those who took part in the survey which provides valuable feedback in terms of providing a tool to help Council decision-making.


The Resident Survey 2012 report can be viewed online at 



District Inspector departing after 31 years


Many readers will have encountered our District Inspector Ray Applegarth over the years.


It is with regret we advise that Ray has resigned to take up an environmental health and building position at Central Otago District Council.


This is a good move for him personally as it will allow him to live full-time at his new house in Clyde. However, it ends a 31-year career with Council and its predecessors and his skills, expertise, and experience will certainly be missed.


Ray finishes on 8 March and we wish him all the very best for the future.



Upcoming Council Meetings


West Otago Community Board

Wed 13 March


Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board

Wed 13 March


Youth Council

Mon 18 March


Standing Committees

Thu 28 March



Thu 11 April




Don?t forget to check out the Events page on the district website for a comprehensive list of upcoming community events.



Clutha District Council

1 Rosebank Terrace

Po Box 25,Balclutha 9240

(03) 419 0200 or 0800 801 350





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