Highlights from today's Council meeting 14/3/13
date: 14 March 2013
Council and NZTA have decided to award Go Bus the contract to provide the city bus services for the next six years. Bus fares will stay the same but there will be some changes to the routes and times. The service will cater for off-peak shoppers and operate between 7.45am and 4.30pm.
The buses will be smaller (33 seats) with more comfortable seating and a low-floor that will suit SuperGold cardholders. The new contract is for the city public bus service and starts on 2 September 2013. It does not include school runs as that is a separate contract.
The cost of the service will be $217,776 per year. NZTA pays half the cost of the service.
Peter Higgs - Group Manager Engineering and Works and Deputy Chief Executive - has been appointed temporary Group Controller of the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group. Peter has attended the Controllers Course and acted as Group Controller during the 2007 earthquake which was deemed to have been well managed. John Clarke remains as back-up to this position. The Group Controller leads and coordinates all resources necessary to respond to an event when a state of emergency is declared. It is a voluntary role.
Peter replaces Jon Davies who has resigned as Group Controller. Jon served as Group Controller for 16 years. Council will now begin an internal and external recruitment process for a permanent replacement.
Electoral officer for 2013 elections
The process of appointing the Electoral Officer for the 2013 elections has been reviewed. Concern was raised at the last Council meeting about voting papers being mailed to Auckland.
Council have decided to stay with Independent Electoral Services to manage the 2013 local body elections. It would be both difficult to cancel the current contract and be inappropriate for elected officials to be involved in management of the elections.
Council will cancel Poverty Bay Hockey Association’s debt of $22,634. The debt was for the processing cost of their resource consent application to establish an artificial hockey turf complex at Churchill Park. The hockey association have tried to build a hockey turf on various sites in consultation with Council. A resource consent for was applied for on the basis that hockey had an agreement in principle to lease the Churchill Park site. Decisions by funders and other interested groups have impacted on the availability of the site. The hockey association was then forced to pursue alternative options. Cancelling this debt because of these unique circumstances goes someway to alleviating some of the costs associated with the Churchill Park option that hockey face. Consent fees in this case were unusually high, because an independent commissioner needed to be engaged to avoid conflict of interest. Council owned Churchill Park and acted as the regulatory authority.
Council have decided to approve the private plan change that changes the zoning of land west of the Gisborne Airport from Rural Production land to Rural Industrial A. There will also be new Aviation Commercial Zone. Private plan change 7 includes an infrastructure plan for development of the area including construction of extensive flood mitigation works. The Aviation Commercial Zone is intended for aviation-related activities, including a possible flight training school.
The establishment of the flight school will still require a separate resource consent. The decision was made after considering recommendations from a special hearing panel that met on 27 February 2013. The Council decision will become final unless any of the parties involved in the hearing appeals the Council's decision to the Environment Court.