MINUTES OF An extraordinary meeting of the Regional Council



Date:                          Wednesday 22 April 2020

Time:                          9.05am


Online by Zoom Invitation


Present:                     R Graham - Chairman

R Barker

W Foley

C Foss

N Kirton

C Lambert

M McIlroy (Māori Committee Co-chair)

H Ormsby

M Paku (Māori Committee Co-chair)

A Tapine (RPC Representative)

J van Beek

M Williams



In Attendance:          J Palmer – Chief Executive

J Ellerm – Group Manager Corporate Services

I Maxwell – Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management

E Lambert – Group Manager External Relations

J Lawrence – Group Manager Office of the CE & Chair

L Hooper – Principal Advisor Governance

P Munro – Te Pou Whakarae



1.      Karakia /Welcome/ Apologies/Notices

Councillor Hinewai Ormsby led the group in offering a karakia before the Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


2.      Conflict of Interest Declarations

Michelle McIlroy and Michael Paku, as Māori Committee Co-chairs, declared their interest in item 6 Māori Committee Members’ Remuneration.

There were no further conflicts of interest declared.


3.      Confirmation of Minutes of the Regional Council Meeting Held on 15 April 2020



Minutes of the Extraordinary Regional Council Meeting held on Wednesday, 15 April 2020, a copy having been circulated prior to the meeting, were taken as read and confirmed as a true and correct record.

van Beek/Foss




Call for Minor Items Not on the Agenda


There were no minor items for discussion.



Cancellation of Consultation for the Remission of Penalties on Rates Policy (Fixed Term)


Jessica Ellerm introduced the item, which was taken as read, explaining that a broader set of rates remission policies will be brought to Council as part of the Annual Plan considerations.



That Hawke’s Bay Regional Council:

1.      Receives and considers the “Cancellation of consultation for the Remission of Penalties on Rates Policy (Fixed Term)” staff report

2.      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 or persons likely to have an interest in the decision.

3.      Cancels the consultation on the one-time Remission of Penalties on Rates Policy (Fixed Term) and associated Statement of Proposal for consultation while it considers the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the drought and Bovine TB and the resulting changes to the 2020-21 Annual Plan.

Barker/van Beek




Māori Committee Members’ Remuneration


James Palmer introduced the item, outlining the process undertaken in putting the options for the remuneration of Māori Committee members and Co-chairs to the meeting today and noting this is a decision for Council. Through discussion is was determined that consultation with the Co-chairs and members will be undertaken and the related matters re-presented to a future Council meeting once that has taken place.



That the item is withdrawn.





May 2020 Meetings


The item was taken as read.



That Hawke’s Bay Regional Council:

1.      Receives and considers the “May 2020 Meetings” staff report.

2.      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 or persons likely to an interest in the decision.

3.      Suspends delegations to the Corporate & Strategic and Environment & Integrated Catchments committees and the Finance, Audit & Risk Sub-committee

4.      Meets virtually as a full Council in lieu of the Corporate & Strategic, Environment & Integrated Catchments and Finance, Audit & Risk committees until 20 May 2020, or such time as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

5.      Confirms the May 2020 meetings schedule as proposed, being:

5.1.      1 May 2020 Clifton to Tangoio Coastal Hazards Strategy Joint Committee meeting to proceed as previously scheduled, by virtual means

5.2.      6 May 2020 Māori Committee meeting to proceed as previously scheduled, by virtual means

5.3.      13 May 2020 Extraordinary Regional Council meeting in lieu of Finance, Audit & Risk Sub-committee (FARS), by virtual means

5.4.      20 May 2020 additional Extraordinary Regional Council meeting (including confirmation of 13 May decisions normally made by FARS), by virtual means

5.5.      27 May 2020 Regional Council meeting to proceed as previously scheduled.





CE’s Verbal Report on the HBRC Operational Response to Covid-19


James Palmer advised that the CDEM Group centre is running a single shift, 10 hours per day 7 days a week, currently with the welfare response having levelled out to an average of 300 calls per day, majority being referrals to other agencies, and delivery of around 50 food parcels daily.

·    Drought situation has not improved, irrigation bans on Ngaruroro, Tukituki and Tutaekuri has been lifted but are likely to go back on ban shortly, the outlook for the pastoral sector for a dry winter drought, and monitoring low Esk River flows as potential to impact on Pan Pac’s pulp operation.

·    HBRC Level 3 plan is being finalised today for implementation next week, including continuing to work from home if possible  and protocols and processes around physical distancing, hygiene and other Covid-19 measures. The building will remain closed to the public.

·    Working with HB councils to design an economic recovery plan.

·    HBRC reforecast financials and third quarter organisational performance reports are being compiled for presentation to Council in May.

·    In response to a query, Iain Maxwell advised staff are currently working 7 days to keep hydrological networks working at 100% capacity, and carrying out manual gauging at Red Bridge. Liz Lambert further advised that staff contacted consent holders directly, by telephone, to advise lifting low flow bans at several sites.

·    In response to a query, James Palmer advised that Local Government is a significant player in the economic recovery of the region in partnership with Central Government and key stakeholders including tangata whenua. HB Leaders Forum (meeting every second day currently) working with others to develop a regional Covid-19 economic recovery plan using the Matariki framework. Individual TAs have developed their own specific immediate economic development response plans. Regional council economic recovery plan looking at near, medium and long term interventions will be made public once agreed by Council.



That the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council receives and notes the “CE’s Verbal Report on the HBRC Operational Response to COVID-19”.





Verbal Update on the Regional Business Partners Covid-19 Collaborative Response


Joanne Lawrence introduced the item and Jenny Brown, local manager of the Regional Business Partners programme, who provided an overview of the programme of support available to businesses in response to Covid-19, highlighting:

·    Three weeks prior to lockdown, $4M assistance made available to Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)  affected by Covid-19 to cover business advice on business continuity, cashflow and finance, human resources and health through the Regional Business Partners programme

·    over 5 weeks to date HB has run free webinars groups of 10-20 people, for 522 participants do date, worked with 250 businesses and issued 99 vouchers to work 1 to 1 with experts,

·    Regional Business Partner staff are calling 4-6 businesses each day, providing practical advice and contacts for further assistance

·    Collaborative links to various hub agencies, business associations, retail associations, lawyers, accountants, MBIE, MSD, Ngati Kahungunu, industry and sector organisations like HB Tourism, Chamber of Commerce and Business Hawke’s Bay

·    MBIE announced further $25M to be released to SMEs so awaiting parameters around what that funding is for and how to best get that out to businesses

·    Gathering significant amounts of data and HBRC finance team is assisting with collating that for reporting to Central Government and Business Hawke’s Bay as input to the economic recovery plan

Charles Lambert joined the meeting at 9.55am

·    Potential Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) labour shortage in the HB primary sector next season and sector is investigating solutions

·    Regional leaders forum insuring key regional industries are incorporated into the economic recovery plans through strong regional collaboration



Councillors’ Verbal Covid-19 Situation Updates


·    Martin Williams – data to understand financial impacts is vital to the response and economic recovery, Transport workshop on Monday was very worthwhile particularly around getting more for less and road corridors for the business sector.

·    Mike Paku – ongoing iwi welfare response to ensure people are coping with isolation; concerns about unemployment and how to recover when competing with more skilled or professional people applying for positions normally filled by unskilled labour; acknowledges CDEM working well with the iwi hubs.

·    Craig Foss – tourism worth $700M per year to the regional economy - in March 2019 international tourism was $13.5M and domestic worth $43M while in April 2020 total under $3M. HB Tourism has developed a plan to attract more NZers to come to HB as part of the economic recovery plan.

·    Hinewai Ormsby – thank you to Jerf for mahi collecting and distributing excess produce to local marae and Taiwhenua; tourism businesses appear to be over the initial shock but still hurting; HB Tourism board meeting every second week and working hard on promotion and marketing HB with strong messages.

·    Apiata Tapine – good ongoing communication and support efforts in Wairoa.

·    Charles Lambert – whanau ora hubs are working well, however sad to see businesses failing; mindful that hospital is retaining beds for potential Covid-19 patients in case there’s another wave of infections; orchards in Nuhaka starting to harvest kiwifruit and apples.

·    Neil Kirton – the 3 Rs set for Hohepa are reimagine, reset and recover for developing a strategy that reflects the new world we’re living in.

·    Michelle McIlroy – the Wairoa Affco plant is operating 6 days per week at reduced capacity; Tatau Tatau setting up a firewood supply initiative in collaboration with the kahui in forestry; Wairoa Collective continues to operate with more vulnerable whanau being identified; advises there is funding available to charitable trusts suffering the impacts of Covid-19.

·    Jerf van Beek – Darren Davies presentation to Transport workshop worthwhile for all councillors to review; suggests scaling jobs when large numbers of unemployed to identify most disadvantaged; 50+ tonnes of excess produce distributed into the community and investigating ways to extend that support over longer term; sector working with Central Government agencies and MPs around seasonal labour issues.

·    Will Foley – no cases of Covid-19 in CHB; had some rain early April but zero in the mid-range forecast; big win locally was Silver Fern Farms operating over the Easter weekend; pastural farming and horticulture are key to success for the region’s economic recovery.

·    Rick Barker – considers NZ in better situation than anticipated; CD structure has worked extremely well with partner organisations providing welfare assistance; Community-Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) will continue to operate for next two weeks before deciding where to next, and considering how to carry out sentinel (random) testing; challenge to have a regional response with a strengthened Matariki as key element; hope to keep learnings and gains in cooperation, interoperability and doing things differently; HBRIC discussing how it can add value to support the region’s economic recovery.

·    Rex Graham – thanks to all councillors and regional council staff for significant contributions to the Covid-19 response.



Annual Plan Update


Jessica Ellerm introduced the item, which re-presents some of the information that councillors have considered in workshops so that the public are informed about what Council is and will be considering in relation to the 2020-21 Annual Plan, noting that public consultation is likely to be required due to material changes to revenue assumptions, and options will be discussed in a further workshop next week.



That Hawke’s Bay Regional Council receives and notes the “Annual Plan Update” staff report.





22 April 2020 Update on Significant Organisational Activities


The item was taken as read, with queries and discussions covering:

·    Wairoa Horticulture Project business case was developed in partnership with Tatau Tatau o te Wairoa, Ngati Pahauwera, HBRC and WDC and will be circulated to councillors for their information. A PGF application is under development.

·    Tangata whenua submitters had a zoom hui to discuss proposed consent conditions for the WDC wastewater consent application and have submitted their comments.



That the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council receives and notes the 22 April 2020 Update on Significant Organisational Activities.





Discussion of Minor Matters not on the Agenda


There were no minor items for discussion.


Councillor Hinewai Ormsby led the group in offering a karakia to close the meeting.




There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 10.56am on Wednesday, 22 April 2020.


Signed as a true and correct record.




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