Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board Meeting
Monday, 9 December 2019
Totara North Hall
4 Totara School Road
Chairperson Belinda Ward - Chairperson
Member Lane Ayr
Member Manuela Gmuer-Hornell
Member Bruce Mills
Member Frank Owen
Member Manuwai Wells
Cr Kelly Stratford
Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board Meeting Agenda
9 December 2019
9 December 2019
File Number: A2690618
Author: Nina Gobie, Team Leader - Facilities Operations
Authoriser: Andy Finch, General Manager - Infrastructure and Asset Management
Purpose of the Report
To approve Focus Paihia installing a fitness station, consisting of 10 exercise pieces in Lucy Elizabeth Williams Scenic Reserve, Paihia. Once built, the fitness station will be gifted to Council after an agreed timeframe that ensures Council is satisfied the construction has been carried out in a manner that does not cause unreasonable liability to the ratepayer and can be removed / and / or replaced once it does start to become a liability.
· Focus Paihia have requested Council to approve the installation of fitness equipment in Lucy Williams Reserve, Paihia.
· The fitness equipment will be supplied and funded by Focus Paihia using part of the 2019/20 Paihia targeted rate.
· The installation will need approval by Council as the Regulatory Authority.
· Once built, the exercise station will be gifted to Council after a time that Council is satisfied the construction has been carried out in a manner that does not cause unreasonable liability to the ratepayer.
· An agreement to be established that captures roles and responsibilities and what should happen when the equipment becomes a liability to the ratepayer, needing to be removed and / or replaced.
That the Bay of Islands–Whangaroa Community Board:
a) Approve the installation of the fitness station consisting of 10 exercise pieces in Lucy Elizabeth Williams Scenic Reserve, Paihia subject to the following:
i) Construction / installation be carried out by Focus Paihia at its own cost
ii) That all engineering costs are met by Focus Paihia
iii) That an archaeological assessment is carried out by Focus Paihia at its own expense, if required
iv) That an agreement is signed by Far North District Council and Focus Paihia prior to the stations installation concerning future roles and responsibilities including repairs, upgrades, replacements and / or removal requirements
b) Receives the completed fitness station as a gift only when Council is satisfied that construction has been carried out in a manner that does not cause unreasonable liability to the Ratepayer.
Far North District Council recognises the role that Focus Paihia has in contributing to the development of its local community stretching from Watea and Haruru Falls through to Waitangi and Paihia. Far North District Council has agreed to work with Focus Paihia to establish and implement Community Improvement programmes as per an Agreement signed in April 2019 (as attached)
It is noted in this Agreement that “any assets created using funding provided by Council through the targeted rate will not automatically transfer to Council unless approval is sought and approval given.
The fitness station was submitted as part of the 2018/19 programme of works / initiatives as an attachment to the 2018/19 agreement with a formal request to approval this project submitted in September 2019.
2) Discussion and Options
Council has received an offer from Focus Paihia to install ten pieces of exercise equipment on the Lucy Elizabeth Williams Scenic Reserve, 152 - 154 Marsden Road, Paihia.
The site was gifted to Council by Mr Williams as a place to relax and enjoy the view.
In 2013, the reserve was gazetted as a Scenic Reserve and in 2014, the Lucy Elizabeth Reserve Management Plan (as attached) was prepared as per the Reserves Act 1977. Both plans reflect the intention that Lucy Elizabeth Williams Scenic Reserve be a place to relax and enjoy the view out towards the Bay of Islands.
The Reserves Act s19(3)(c) states: to the extent compatible with the principle or primary purposes of the retention and preservation of the natural or scenic values, open portions of the reserve may be developed for amenities and facilities where these are necessary to enable the public to obtain benefit and enjoyment of the reserve.
The Reserve Planner has reviewed the proposal and noted that “The activity does not fit perfectly within the purpose of the reserve or the plan for it. However, both of these guiding documents also do not fit the reserve. The reserve is gazetted a scenic reserve meaning that it should have qualities of scenic interest, beauty or natural features that it should be preserved in perpetuity for the public interest. Its scenic value lies in the land and view of the Bay of Islands on the other side of the road and the view is not limited to this property but is the (beautiful) general view available from many places in Paihia (including the beach itself across the road).
The location of the exercise equipment will be at the back of the reserve and will not impact those who wish to use the site to view the Bay of Islands.
Aerial of Lucy Williams Reserve, Paihia
The plan for the reserve, which provides for activities not usually allowed in scenic reserves, outlines the intention for the reserve to be a family destination and a place to relax. It intends this through a pathway for bike riding and pedestrians as well as a structured play area and green space.
The proposed exercise equipment is consistent with the plan as the equipment and path are located in the general area/children’s play space. This is the appropriate location for any structures as it preserves the view of the Bay of Islands and is the furthest away from traffic.
Photographic image of the exercise equipment proposed
The play area is unlikely to be developed with a playground structure as originally suggested by the concept plan and policy 3 (page 7) as there is a suitable children’s playground developed by Rotary 190 metres away via a footpath and zebra crossing and visible from the reserve. The existing playground is not popular enough to warrant a second one in the immediate vicinity.
By establishing exercise equipment, Council is providing different playground structures which provides for a diversity of recreation spaces and users in Paihia. This will mean that the play space in the reserve will have higher usage as it will not be completing with the reserve along the beach but complimenting it by providing a new activity along the reserve network.
The equipment does not meet policy 1 of the Management Plan and will not be made of natural materials. However, this compromise allows for more durable products that should result in a lesser financial burden on the ratepayer for maintenance. There is also the ability to colour match parts of the equipment to the natural palate of the policy.”
This activity will not prevent the other features of the plan being developed while the green open space at the front of the reserve will be retained.
Not withstanding the above comments, consultation must also occur as per the ‘Cultural Values’ section of the Management Plan and that Focus Paihia provide evidence that they support this proposal before any works commence.
An email dated 21 October 2019 from Ngati Kawa Taituha (Maori representative on Focus Paihia, member of the local hapu Ngati Rahiri Ngati Kawa and Chairman Waitangi Marae) confirmed the proposal has been in the pipeline for sometime and that Focus Paihia has held a number of public meetings including hapu where everyone was encouraged to take the opportunity to comment on the project. Consultation included notices in community newsletters, posts in Facebook and information in the Focus Paihia website resulting in very little, if any objections which reflects the support this proposal is receiving from the local community.
Ngati Kawa Taituha also noted the site was previously a motel complex and that any archaeological remains would have been damaged, if not destroyed during its construction and demolition. Ngati Kawa Taituha also believes the exercise station will have minimal impact and effect on the land and surrounding environment and that the proposal will not degrade cultural values and that it may have the opposite effect, giving the green space more use and recognition, creating more mauri (life force) in this space.
The proposed fitness equipment will require some on-going maintenance which the costs and levels of service will need to be agreed upon however, at this stage will be minimal and Council will benefit from the warranty periods as noted below.
Consideration will need to be on the fact that the reserve is situated within a Coastal Marine Environment and over time may impact the exercise pieces structural integrity. This is partly driving the requirement for an agreement that covers any significant repairs and Council’s right to replace and / or remove any items as deemed necessary.
Reason for the recommendation
The fitness station can be broadly considered as meeting the vision of the previous owner Mr Williams, the objectives of the Management Plan and Focus Paihia’s planned initiatives as per their 2018/19 Community Improvement Programme.
The proposal has already been seen by a number of the Bay of Islands – Whangaroa Community Board members who have indicated their support of the proposed fitness station.
That the proposal can proceed with the following conditions: (i) Council agrees as landowner; (ii) tangata whenua are consulted with and support the proposal; and (iii) that as part of the approval process that before any works commence an agreement is established that identifies the roles and responsibilities and expectations as noted in this report.
3) Financial Implications and Budgetary Provision
Focus Paihia will partially fund the fitness station from the 2018/19 and 2019/20 targeted rate funds as received and must be able to meet any remaining costs as needed that will cover any engineering and archaeological costs as well as the construction, installation and maintenance costs until such time as the assets are vested and Council agrees to receive this gift.
The manufacturer’s warranty is two years on all moving parts and ten years on the frames.
It is noted that the provider of the equipment states “the equipment is extremely high quality and has very few issues even over time, they would be very surprised if there were any costs to Council within five years.”
It is estimated ongoing maintenance costs will be $1000 approximately per annum after five years and that Council budgets for this as part of the 2023/24 operational budget.
1. Lucy-Elizabeth-Reserve-Managment-Plan - A2209520 ⇩
2. Community Initiative Programme CIP Agreement Focus Paihia 2019 - signed - A2724451 ⇩
Full consideration has been given to the provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 S77 in relation to decision making, in particular:
1. A Local authority must, in the course of the decision-making process,
a) Seek to identify all reasonably practicable options for the achievement of the objective of a decision; and
b) Assess the options in terms of their advantages and disadvantages; and
c) If any of the options identified under paragraph (a) involves a significant decision in relation to land or a body of water, take into account the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral land, water sites, waahi tapu, valued flora and fauna and other taonga.
2. This section is subject to Section 79 - Compliance with procedures in relation to decisions.
State the level of significance (high or low) of the issue or proposal as determined by the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy
Low as per Management Plan.
State the relevant Council policies (external or internal), legislation, and/or community outcomes (as stated in the LTP) that relate to this decision.
Reserves Act 1977.
Lucy Elizabeth Reserve Management Plan.
Focus Paihia Community Improvement Programme Agreement with Far North District Council.
State whether this issue or proposal has a District wide relevance and, if not, the ways in which the appropriate Community Board’s views have been sought.
This matter has been referred to the Community Board as ‘Reserves’ are one of the "civic amenities" referred to in the delegations of the Community Board and is noted as being one of Council’s listed activities.
State the possible implications for Māori and how Māori have been provided with an opportunity to contribute to decision making if this decision is significant and relates to land and/or any body of water.
Focus Paihia to raise the proposal with Heritage NZ given its location.
An email of support has been received confirming their support of the proposed fitness station as noted in the body of the report.
Identify persons likely to be affected by or have an interest in the matter, and how you have given consideration to their views or preferences (for example – youth, the aged and those with disabilities.
Management Plan in place – required considerable consultation at the time to have this approved.
State the financial implications and where budgetary provisions have been made to support this decision.
On-going OPEX after an agreed period that enables warranties to be met and any issues resolved.
District Facilities to apply for additional OPEX of $1000 annually to maintain the fitness station equipment after 5 years until such time as the equipment needs replacing or removal.
An agreement between Council and Focus Paihia to be signed outlining roles and responsibilities esp. concerning repairs, upgrades, replacements and / or removal.
Chief Financial Officer review.
The Chief Financial Officer has reviewed this report.