MINUTES OF A meeting of the Hearings Committee



Date:                          Monday 19 September 2016

Time:                          1.00pm


Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street



Present:                     C Scott - Chairman

P Beaven

D Hewitt

D Pipe

RM Maaka

B Gregory

F Wilson


In Attendance:          E Lambert – Chief Executive

P Drury – Group Manager Corporate Services

L Hooper – Governance & Corporate Administration Manager

C Perley – Transparent Hawke’s Bay



1.       Welcome/Apologies/Notices 

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.


HC6/16       That the apologies for absence from Mssrs Mike Mohi and Marei Apatu and Councillor Rick Barker be accepted.




2.       Conflict of Interest Declarations

There were no conflict of interest declarations.


3.       Confirmation of Minutes of the Hearings Committee Meeting Held on 18 May 2016



Minutes of the Hearings Committee held on Wednesday, 18 May 2016, a copy having been circulated prior to the meeting, were taken as read and confirmed as a true and correct record.




4.       Matters Arising from Minutes of the Hearings Committee Meeting Held on 18 May 2016

There were no matters arising from the minutes.



Hearing of Submissions



That the Hearings Committee:

1.      Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted Significance and Engagement Policy, and that Council can exercise its discretion and make decisions on this issue without conferring directly with the community and persons likely to be affected by or to have an interest in the decision.

2.      Receives and considers the verbal and written submissions.




The staff advised that of the 12 submissions received, 5 wished to be heard. Apologies were received from Mr Gerard Pain, who was unable to attend. The only submitter present was Mr Chris Perley, speaking on behalf of Transparent Hawke’s Bay.

A summary of points raised by the written submissions follows.

sub #1     N Mann – not related to CCTO, rather “HBRC should be protecting our environment, not endangering it”

sub #2     T Kara – not related to CCTO, rather opposition to RWSS”

sub #3     Anonymous – not related to CCTO, rather “imperative HBRC concentrates on core function – protecting environment”

sub #4     K Moretta – not related to CCTO, rather opposition to RWSS

sub #5     K Hartland – put ServiceCo formation on hold until after elections

sub #6     K Bayliss – not related to CCTO, rather opposition to RWSS

sub #7     P Chiaroni – opposition to formation of CCTO as opposed to RWSS

sub #8     A Tully – opposed as removes accountability and transparency, park in light of Forest & Bird appeal outcome

sub #9     D Elderkamp – opposed as premature, park until all conditions precedent met and legal proceedings finalised; insufficient information on company structure provided; no prospectus so insufficient information; possible risk to HBRIC assets; need for comprehensive explanation of RWSS structure including director appointment processes, profit/loss apportionment, business plans and financial forecasts

sub #10  G Pain – opposed as another level of separation from accountability and public disclosure; put on hold and explore options other than RWSS

sub #11  Transparent Hawke’s Bay (C Perley heard) – opposed as insufficient information provided on accountability to HBRC and ratepayers; lack of clarity about the purpose of ServiceCo; added complexity and obfuscation with additional CCTO; unclear on roles and responsibilities; and unclear costs of establishment and ongoing operations

sub #12  Hawke’s Bay Federated Farmers – support with reservations, being:  critical to success of the CCTO that the purpose, strategic direction and principle responsibilities are clear and commonly understood; supporting structure underpinning the CCTO must be clear and commonly understood, including governance and internal operations; clear and transparent documentation of reporting mechanisms, liabilities, agreements and contracts via transparent and accountable processes is required; ensure the right people are sought to fill company positions; effective relationships must be established, including robust and open consultation between ServiceCo and key stakeholders where necessary.

Mr Chris Perley spoke on behalf of the Transparent Hawke’s Bay (THB) submission, stating concerns about the lack of clarity provided with the proposal for establishment of the CCO and THB’s assertion that other options should have been provided. Further, the purpose of the CCTO was not explicit in the proposal and the public should have transparent access (under LGOIMA) to information about what goes on with RWSS operations.

In answer to questions, Mr Perley was not able to clarify whether THB had sought further information on the proposal to establish ServiceCo.

Mr Perley queried why ‘arms-length’ company is required when the public expectation is that Council itself should be responsible for implementing the resource consents, including establishment of mitigation projects and community consultation groups in line with the conditions. Mr Perley was not clear, when asked, about who holds the consents and whether THB understands that Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is not the consent holder.

In addressing his point on a better way to oversee the resource consent, Mr Perley did not offer an explanation as to the difference between “giving effect” to the consent (consent holder) and monitoring performance and compliance with conditions (HBRC).

When asked the extent of the THB membership, Mr Perley replied that THB consists of 11-13 members but could not see the relevance of the question.

Transparent Hawke’s Bay is seeking Council’s re-starting and running the consultation again, including providing options for the public to consider.





Operating Company for Ruataniwha Water Limited Partnership


Staff report

Staff were asked, after hearing submissions, whether they wished to change anything in their recommendations.

In speaking to the report, and in answer to questions from the Committee, Mrs Lambert explained that there were no other options to consult on, as HBRIC Ltd investigated the options for moving forward with the RWSS and establishing a subsidiary of HBRIC through the process of setting up the Ruataniwha Water Limited Partnership, arriving at the proposal for ServiceCo to meet legal and legislative requirements in terms of company governance and day to day operational functions.

‘ServiceCo’ will be a subsidiary of HBRIC Ltd and will undertake the operational work for the Limited Partnership/ General Partner (RWM Ltd). This will be conducted via a service agreement with Ruataniwha Water Limited Partnership. It is important for this agreement to be entered into separately from HBRIC Ltd as limited partners of a Limited partnership must not take part in the management or control of the business affairs of the Limited Partnership.

The purpose of the CCTO is to provide an efficient vehicle for the operation activities that will be required to operate the Scheme, should it proceed. It is inappropriate to wait until the legal proceedings with the DoC land swap have been settled.

Staff addressed the points of accountability and transparency, pointing out that the RWSS, should it proceed, would be the responsibility of a consortium of investors of which HBRC will only be one through its investment arm, HBRIC Ltd. Accountability and transparency of HBRC’s share will be managed through its relationship with HBRIC Ltd, in particular through its Statement of Intent.

The RWSS resource consent requirements and conditions are monitored by HBRC as the regulator. ServiceCo will be, as proposed, responsible for ensuring all resource consent requirements and obligations for the scheme are implemented, including various liaison groups, management plans and mitigation works. HBRC is not the consent holder. HBRC is the regulator.

Resource Consents are public information (subject to LGOIMA) and compliance with conditions and requirements will be reported back to HBRC in two ways for the RWSS. Firstly, through HBRIC Ltd reporting to its shareholder and secondly through HBRC’s staff Compliance Monitoring reports to Council. This should satisfy any public concerns about transparency and accountability.


The Committee considered all the information of the written and oral submissions, and the staff report and responses.



The Hearings Committee recommends that Council:

1.      Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted Significance and Engagement Policy, and that Council can exercise its discretion and make decisions on this issue without conferring directly with the community and persons likely to be affected by or to have an interest in the decision.

2.      Agrees that approval is given to the Hawkes Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd. to establish a Council-controlled trading organisation for the purpose of undertaking the operational activities of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme, should it proceed, through a service agreement with RWM Ltd.





There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 1.45pm on Monday 19 September 2016.


Signed as a true and correct record.




DATE: ................................................               CHAIRMAN: ...............................................