Local government debates remits at AGM

Published: July 8, 2019

News type: National news   

A record 21 remits were made official Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) policy at LGNZ’s Annual General Meeting today, from a total of 24 remits that were voted on. 

This year’s remits covered issues as varied as climate change, to fireworks, tourist accommodation, building defects, campgrounds, alcohol, road safety and the beauty industry.

LGNZ president Dave Cull cited the large number of remits and strong debate as a sign that the sector needs fit-for-purpose legislation in a number of areas.

“The large number of remits voted on today shows that members appreciate in LGNZ’s ability to drive positive change for our communities, who have asked for better legislation across a number of areas,” says Mr Cull.

Remits were voted on and once passed become official policy to be actioned by Local Government New Zealand.

The remits results are outlined below:

Climate change – local government representation

That LGNZ calls on the Government to include local government representation (as determined by local government) at all levels of policy development, technical risk and resilience assessment, and data acquisition on climate change response policies – with an emphasis on climate adaptation: policy; legal; planning; and financial compensation regimes.

The remit was passed with 100 per cent support of the sector.

Ban on the sale of fireworks to the general public

That LGNZ works with central government to introduce legislation to ban the sale of fireworks to the general public and end their private use.

The remit was passed with 64 per cent support of the sector.

Traffic offences – red light running

That LGNZ request the Government to bring into line camera and officer detected red light running offences with other traffic offences that incur demerit points.

The remit was passed with 87 per cent support of the sector.

Prohibit parking on grass berms

To seek an amendment to clause 6.2 of the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 to prohibit parking on urban berms.

The remit failed with 71 per cent of the sector against.

Short-term guest accommodation

That LGNZ advocates for enabling legislation that would allow councils to require all guest accommodation providers to register with the council and that provides an efficient approach to imposing punitive action on operators who don’t comply.

The remit was passed with 70 per cent support of the sector.

Nitrate in drinking water

That LGNZ recommend to the Government the funding of additional research into the effects of nitrates in drinking water on human health, and/or partner with international public health organisations to promote such research, in order to determine whether the current drinking water standard for nitrate is still appropriate for the protection of human health.

The remit was passed with 95 per cent support of the sector.

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (1987)

That LGNZ initiates a review of Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (1987) (LGOIMA) request management nationally with a view to establishing clear and descriptive reporting for and by local authorities that will create a sector-wide picture of:

  • Trends in the volume and nature of LGOIMA requests over time.
  • Trends in users.
  • The impacts of technology in terms of accessing information sought and the amount of information now held by local authorities (and able to be requested).
  • The financial and resource impacts on local authorities in managing the LGOIMA function.

That LGNZ use the data obtained to:

  • Identify opportunities to streamline or simplify LGOIMA processes.
  • Share best practice between local authorities.
  • Assess the value of a common national local government framework of practice for LGOIMA requests.
  • Identify opportunities to advocate for legislation changes on behalf of the sector (where these are indicated).

The remit was passed with 95 per cent support of the sector.

Weed control

That LGNZ encourages member councils to consider using environmentally friendly weed control methods.

The remit was passed with 93 per cent support of the sector.

Building defects claims

LGNZ calls on central government to take action as recommended by the Law Commission in its 2014 report on “Liability of Multiple Defendants” to introduce a cap on the liability of councils in New Zealand in relation to building defects claims whilst joint and several liability applies.

The remit was passed with 93 per cent support of the sector.

Social housing

That LGNZ, in conjunction with central government, urgently focus on the development and implementation of a broader range of funding and financing tools in respect of community/social housing provision, than those which currently exist in the housing needs space. These should include funding to

support the operation, upgrade and growth of council housing portfolios and, where a council chooses, access to Income Related Rents for eligible tenants.

The remit was passed with 96 per cent support of the sector.

Procurement

That LGNZ investigate the ability of the sector to collaborate in procuring open-source designs and plans for bulk infrastructure that are largely similar, with an initial approach to look at water and wastewater treatment facilities.

The remit was passed with 96 per cent support of the sector.

 Single use polystyrene

That LGNZ advocates to the Government to phase out single use polystyrene.

The remit was passed with 95 per cent support of the sector.

Local Government Act 2002

That LGNZ pursue an amendment to the Local Government Act 2002 to:

Re-number sub-sections 181 (5) and (6) to sub-sections (6) and (7);

and

Introduce a new sub-section (5) to read: For all purposes the term “any work” in subsection 4 means any works constructed before xx Month 20xx; and includes any works that were wholly or partly in existence, or work on the construction of which commenced, before xx Month 20xx.

The remit was passed with 92 per cent support of the sector.

Campground regulations

That LGNZ request the Government to amend the Camping – Ground Regulations to allow councils to approve remote camp facilities on private property, subject to any such conditions as deemed required by a council, including the condition that any approved campground is x distance away from an existing campground, unless the existing campground operator agrees to waive this condition in writing.

The remit was passed with 86 per cent support of the sector.

Living wage

Wellington City Council asks that LGNZ members consider engaging with the Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand Movement when developing policies on payment of the Living Wage.

The remit was passed with 62 per cent support of the sector.

Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act

LGNZ, on behalf of its member councils ask for a review of the effectiveness of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 in reducing alcohol harm (eg price, advertising, purchase age and availability) and fully involve local government in that review.

The remit was passed with 88 per cent support of the sector.

Greenhouse gases

Wellington City Council asks that LGNZ members collectively adopt the position that government should revise the Resource Management Act 1991 to adequately consider the impact of greenhouse gases when making decisions under that law and to ensure that the Resource Management Act 1991 is consistent with the Zero Carbon Bill.

The remit was passed with 64 per cent support of the sector.

Climate change – policy framework

That LGNZ recommends to government that they establish an independent expert group to develop a new policy framework for adapting to climate change impacts as recommended by the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group (CCATWG). This new expert group would be supported by a secretariat and stakeholder advisory group.

The remit was passed with 95 per cent support of the sector.

Road safety

  • That LGNZ acknowledges that the New Zealand Transport Agency's (NZTA's), Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM) is a comprehensive and robust document, and that NZTA ensures the CoPTTM system is regularly reviewed, refined and updated. However, in light of the recent road worker fatalities LGNZ requests NZTA, in partnership with Road Controlling Authorities (RCAs);
    1. Review afresh its Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM} to satisfy themselves that;
      • The document provides sufficient guidelines and procedures to ensure approaching traffic are given every possible opportunity to become aware of the worksite ahead and to respond appropriately and in a timely manner.
    2. Review its CoPTTM Training System to ensure;
      1. Trainers are sufficiently qualified and adequately covering the training syllabus.
      2. Site Traffic Management Supervisors (STMS's) and Traffic Controllers (TC's) are only certified when they can demonstrate competence in the application of CoPTTM.
  • A robust refresher programme is in place to ensure those in charge of Traffic Management on worksites remain current in the required competencies.
  1. Review its Site Auditing requirements to ensure the traffic management at worksites is independently audited at a sufficient frequency to ensure compliance, and that a significantly robust system is put in place to enable enforcement of compliance.
  • That LGNZ takes steps to remind its members of their duties with respect to their role as Road Controlling Authorities including;
    1. Appointing and sufficiently training and resourcing a Traffic Management Co-ordinator to ensure their obligations under the Health and Safety Work Act 2015, with respect to traffic management, are being met.
    2. Adequately resourcing and undertaking audits of road work sites to ensure compliance with CoPTTM.

The remit was passed with 96 per cent support of the sector.

Mobility scooter safety

That LGNZ requests that government investigate the introduction of strengthened rules to govern the safe use of mobility scooters, particularly in relation to speed limits and registration.

Mobility scooters - The remit was passed with 73 per cent support of the sector.

E-Scooters - The remit was passed with 49 per cent support of the sector. (Passed because of the number of abstentions.)

Museums and galleries

That central government funding be made available on an annual basis for museums and galleries operated by territorial authorities with nationally significant collections.

The remit was passed with 91 per cent support of the sector.

Resource Management Act

That the selection of all independent commissioners for Resource Management Act hearings be centralised to improve independence and enhance the quality of decisions.

The remit failed with 76 per cent of the sector against.

 Mayor decision to appoint Deputy Mayor

That LGNZ request the Government to amend S.41A of the LGA2002 to give mayors the same powers to appoint a deputy mayor as held by the Mayor of Auckland.

The remit failed with 72 per cent of the sector against.

Beauty industry

That LGNZ calls on the Government to develop and implement national guidelines, policy or regulations to achieve national consistency for the largely unregulated ‘health and beauty clinic’ industry.

The remit was passed with 84 per cent support of the sector.

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