Results of Consultation and Decision-making

Deliberations and decision-making on the results of consultation was undertaken from 10-12 May 2016.

Budget Changes

Since the draft 2016/17 budgets were approved by the Council a number of changes were identified that impacted on the budget. The net effect on rates from these budget changes was an increase of $689k for the 2016/17 year.  This would have resulted in a rates increase of 3.5%. Details of these changes can be found in the Budget Changes report to the 10 May 2016 Annual Plan Hearings/Deliberations meeting which is available on the Council website.

Staff also provided a Financial Forecast report to the 10 May 2016 Annual Plan Hearings/Deliberations meeting. This report indicated that the Council was forecast to have cash savings in the 2015/16 year resulting from savings in interest expense, staff costs and capital expenditure. This included a cash saving of $1 million from a 2015/16 capital expenditure project that did not proceed. This project, University of Otago Oval Cricket lights, is shown in the 10 year Capital expenditure programme in the LTP with a budgeted cost of $2.2 million. The project was to be co–funded, with the Otago Cricket Association to provide $1.2 million in funding.

Decision-making

After approving the changes identified in the Budget Changes report and noting the content of the financial forecast, Councillors were reminded of the resolution taken at the January 2016  Annual Plan Council meeting, held on 25, 26 and 28 January 2016  regarding the rates increase for 2016/17:

"That Council is resolved not to exceed its cap of 3% for rates increases in 2016/17.  Council is aware of some possible cost increase risks between the confirmation of the draft budget and the setting of a rate.  Feedback will be sought through consultation on the additional spending decisions taken during the January Annual Plan Council meeting to assist in prioritisation decisions should they become necessary."

After discussion the Council resolved:

“That the Council reconfirms the rates cap of 3% decided at the January 2016 Annual Plan Council meeting, unless there are exceptional circumstances.”

The Council proceeded with deliberation and decision-making on that basis. The overall rates increase when deliberations started was 2.9% and once decision making was completed it had increased to 2.97%.

The results of consultation and decision-making are summarised in this section. The spreadsheet on the next page summarises the budget changes made during the meeting. The following pages summarise the results and decision-making on items included in the consultation document.  This information is presented under the seven themes used in the consultation document. This is followed by a brief summary of other decisions made at the deliberations.

 Summary of budget changes for items consulted on in the Consultation Document


Rates Funding included in draft budget and Consultation Document
$
Reduction in Expenditure for Final Annual Plan
$
Fund from Cash Saving instead of Rates
$
Rates Funding included in final Annual Plan 
$
Total Funding
$
Supporting economic development
Gigatown/Gig City 250,000 65,000 185,000 0 185,000
City marketing 300,000

300,000 300,000
Major events plan development 100,000 50,000
50,000 50,000
Energy plan delivery 100,000

100,000 100,000
Food resilience 40,000
40,000 0 40,000
Supporting arts and culture
Arts and Culture Strategy implementation 245,000
50,000 195,000 245,000
City of Literature implementation 50,000

50,000 50,000
Supporting the community
Increase to city service and project grants 100,000 40,000
60,000 60,000
Increase to small events grants 20,000

20,000 20,000
Support for community groups 90,000

90,000 90,000
Looking after the environment
Implementation of Environment Strategy 150,000
50,000 100,000 150,000
Planning for groundwater and sea level rise 100,000
100,000 0 100,000
Investigation into Ocean Beach and St Clair seawall erosion 100,000

100,000 100,000
Initial analysis coastal erosion – wider Dunedin coastline 75,000
75,000 0 75,000
Totals1,720,000155,000500,0001,065,0001,565,000

Supporting Economic Development

What was consulted on?

Extra funding totalling $790,000 was proposed in the 2016/17 year, and $750,000 in the 2017/18 year, to help the city meet the key goals of the Economic Development Strategy. 

Gig City – a total of $250,000 per year was proposed for the Gig City project in 2016/17 and 2017/18 so Dunedin can get maximum benefit from being the first New Zealand city to have a gigabyte internet connection.

City Marketing – funding of $300,000 per year for two years was proposed for marketing Dunedin in Australia and New Zealand, building on the city's development as an international and domestic tourism destination.  There will also be a push to attract new businesses and new people to live in Dunedin.

Major Events Plan– $100,000 was proposed for the development of a city-wide major events plan in 2016/17 and 2017/18, for attracting events to Dunedin as part of a push to attract even more visitors.

Energy Plan Delivery– funding of $100,000 per year for 2016/17 and 2017/18 was proposed for implementing the city's Energy Plan which outlines a vision and goals for Dunedin's energy use.

Food Resilience – one-off funding of $40,000 in 2016/17 was proposed to implement an action plan for improving support for local food businesses and production, and marketing the city’s food events and cuisine. The plan will also support initiatives that help all Dunedin people have access to healthy, sustainably produced food.

Questionnaire Responses

Do you agree with the planned spend?Yes%YesNo%NoTotal
City Marketing 182 79% 49 21% 231
Energy Plan delivery 185 80% 45 20% 230
Gig City 160 71% 66 29% 226
Major Events Plan Development 176 77% 54 23% 230
Food Resilience 161 72% 62 28% 223

Council Decision

Gig City – a total of $185,000 per year has been included for the Gig City project in 2016/17 and $250,000 for 2017/18.  The proposed funding was reduced by $65,000 in the 2016/17 year. The $185,000 in 2016/17 is to be funded from cash savings.

City Marketing – funding of $300,000 per year for two years, as originally proposed.

Major Events Plan– a budget of $50,000 in the 2016/17 year and $100,000 in the 2017/18 year.  The proposal funding was reduced by $50,000 in the 2016/17 year.

Energy Plan Delivery– funding of $100,000 per year for 2016/17 and 2017/18 as originally proposed.

Food Resilience – one-off funding of $40,000 in 2016/17 as originally proposed, to be funded from cash savings.

Supporting Arts and Culture

What was consulted on?

Ara Toi Ōtepoti – Our Creative Future - Dunedin’s Art and Culture Strategy

This strategy was adopted by the Council in May 2015 and a set of initial actions were included as part of the Long Term Plan (LTP).  The Council proposed further funding of $245,000, in each of 2016/17 and 2017/18.  This would allow for continued funding for an additional Community Arts Advisor as well as a part-time business advisor.  The Community Arts Advisor will build arts and culture partnerships across the city, to improve access to arts funding and opportunities for Dunedin communities.  The business advisor will connect Dunedin's creative businesses with business services and destination marketing.

UNESCO City of Literature

The Council recommended an additional $50,000 per year for the next two years for the UNESCO City of Literature initiative, taking the total annual funding to $100,000.  This will provide funding for coordination and delivery of activities in each of 2016/17 and 2017/18 years.  This will establish a sustainable operating model for the initiative, and enable delivery of a programme of activities in Dunedin which includes participating in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and collaborating with other member cities.

Questionnaire Responses

Do you agree with the planned spend?Yes%YesNo%NoTotal
Ara Toi Otepoti - Our Creative  Future, Dunedin’s Arts and  Culture Strategy implementation 156 66% 79 34% 235
Increase to UNESCO  City of Literature implementation 160 70% 69 30% 229

Council Decision

Ara Toi Ōtepoti – Our Creative Future – Dunedin’s Art and Culture Strategy – approved as proposed, $245,000, in each of 2016/17 and 2017/18, with $50,000 to be funded from cash savings in 2016/17.

UNESCO City of Literature – approved as proposed an additional $50,000 per year for the next two years, taking total annual funding to $100,000.

Supporting the Community

What was consulted on?

Community Grants

The City Service and City Project Grants Scheme was introduced in 2015 and is an important part of Dunedin's Social Wellbeing Strategy.  These grants are focused on organisations that make a significant, sustained and enduring contribution to the wellbeing of the wider Dunedin community.

  • The amount of money available for City Service and City Project Grants was proposed to increase by $100,000 ongoing.

Small Events Grants

The funding available for small events grants was proposed to increase by $20,000 for the 2016/17 year only. The increase was proposed to meet increased demand for these grants.

Support for Community Groups

A budget of $90,000 per year over the next two years was proposed to provide a support service for community groups around the city.  This approach is part of the Stronger Communities pathway in the Council's Social Wellbeing Strategy and emphasises the need for local communities to be supported in local initiatives and community projects or programmes.

Questionnaire Responses

Do you agree with the planned spend?Yes%YesNo%NoTotal
Increase to City Service and  Project Grants (ongoing) 200 84% 38 16% 238
Increase to Small Events Grants 205 85% 36 15% 241
Support for community groups 191 80% 49 20% 240

Council Decision

City Service and City Project Grants Scheme – an increase in funding of $60,000 ongoing. This is a reduction from what was originally proposed.

Small Events Grants– increased by $20,000 for the 2016/17 year only, as originally proposed.

Support for Community Groups – a budget of $90,000 per year over the next two years, as originally proposed.

Looking after the Environment

What was consulted on?

Te Ao Tūroa – The Natural World: Dunedin’s Environment Strategy

Dunedin's Environment Strategy, Te Ao Tūroa – The Natural World, was adopted in June 2016.  A one-off budget of $150,000 was proposed to implement the first actions from this strategy.

Ground Water and Sea Level Rise in lower lying areas of Dunedin

High ground water levels in some areas present the city with increasing challenges as sea levels rise and there are more extreme rainfall events.  Residents in low-lying and densely populated areas are the most vulnerable.  The Council proposed a one-off budget of $100,000 in 2016/17 to accelerate ongoing work developing the plan for responding to these risks.  Work on a plan began back in 2010, and incorporates work undertaken by both central government and the Otago Regional Council.

Coastal Erosion

Funding of $100,000 was proposed in the 2016/17 budget for further investigation into the medium term protection options for Ocean Beach.  This funding will be used to develop a plan to address the coastal erosion affecting Ocean Beach including the St Clair seawall. Additional funding of $75,000 was also proposed in the 2016/17 budget to do initial analysis on other parts of the Dunedin coastline at risk from adverse erosion. Both these pieces of work will be done in consultation with the community and the Otago Regional Council with input from the Ministry for the Environment.

Questionnaire Responses

Do you agree with the planned spend?Yes%YesNo%NoTotal
Initial analysis of coastal  erosion wider Dunedin coastline 212 91% 20 9% 232
Investigative work into Ocean  Beach and St Clair seawall erosion 216 91% 22 9% 238
Planning for groundwater  and sea level rise 217 88% 29 12% 246
Te Ao Turoa (Environment Strategy) implementation 179 78% 50 22% 229

Council Decision

Te Ao Tūroa – The Natural World: Dunedin’s Environment Strategy – a one-off budget of $150,000 has been included in 2016/17 as proposed. $50,000 of this is to be funded from cash savings.

Ground Water and Sea Level Rise in lower lying areas of Dunedin – a one-off budget of $100,000 has been included in 2016/17 as proposed. This is to be funded from cash savings.

Ocean Beach and St Clair Sea Wall Erosion – $100,000 has been included in the 2016/17 budget, as proposed.

Coastal Erosion – other parts of the Dunedin Coastline – a one-off budget of $75,000 has been included in 2016/17 as proposed. This is to be funded from cash savings.

A Change in Scope – Cycleways

What was consulted on?

The Council is committed to providing safe, quality cycleways in the city. Work has been happening across Dunedin, but the South Dunedin project has proved challenging. As a result, we stopped construction in South Dunedin because the community made it clear we were not getting it right and we needed to rethink what we were doing.

We are now taking a new approach, building to a higher standard. This will cost about four times more than the previous design which means completing a shorter length of cycleway for the money available. This approach involves balancing the needs of all road users and improving the overall design and look of streets with cycleways. The changes will provide a higher quality finish and landscaping as well as ensuring signs and markings are complete and appropriate.

We will also be:

  • Asking people what they think earlier in the process and taking on board their feedback.
  • Making sure our design concepts show enough detail and information to be easily understood by those affected by the project.
  • Testing our designs with community stakeholders to make sure they are safe, practical and workable for all road users.

The Council sought feedback from the community regarding this change in scope.

Questionnaire Responses

Do you agree with this change in scope?Yes%YesNo%NoTotal
158 69% 72 31% 230

Council Decision

The Council made the following resolutions regarding cycleways:

"That the Council:

  1. Notes that staff are progressing as a priority matter the re-scoping of Strategic Cycle Network budget priorities, in line with the Strategic Cycle Network Plan adopted in 2011.
  2. Notes that this process will involve engagement with Spokes and other stakeholders, and take into account the priorities identified by the cycling community through the Spokes submission.
  3. Notes that the outcome of this will be reported back to Council by September 2016.
  4. Notes that remediation of the Portobello Road cycleway, and work around the Wharf Street/Roberts Street intersection are being progressed separately."

A Change in Timing – Central City Plan

What was consulted on?

The timing of two transport projects in the $37 million Central City Plan is being moved out by one year.  Planning work for both projects has already started.  The additional year will allow a longer planning period with greater public involvement.  It is important to take this extra time to do this work so that we deliver an end product which is more sustainable and has the best possible outcomes for residents. The two projects are briefly described below and the tables show the funding profiles for these projects and final decisions on these projects.

Central City and North Dunedin safety and accessibility upgrade

This project recognises the need for greater safety in these busy areas.  The project focuses on improved pedestrian safety and accessibility, as well as making high risk traffic corridors and intersections safer for all users.


2015/162016/172017/182018/192019/202020/212021/22
As planned in the LTP $100,000 $150,000 $250,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000 $0
Proposal Consulted on in 2016/17 Annual Plan $100,000 $0 $150,000 $250,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000
Final Decision: 2016/17 Annual Plan $100,000 $0 $150,000 $250,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000

Eastern freight bypass upgrade

This project is designed to keep heavy traffic away from the downtown area.  Considered a high priority by both the Council and NZTA, its aim is to improve the efficiency and attractiveness of the freight route between SH1/Andersons Bay and SH88 to Port Chalmers.


2015/162016/172017/182018/19
As planned in the LTP $150,000 $250,000 $2,100,000 $0
Proposal consulted on $150,000 $0 $250,000 $2,100,000
Final Decision: 2016/17 Annual Plan $150,000 $0 $250,000 $2,100,000

Questionnaire Responses

Do you agree with this change in timing?Yes%YesNo%NoTotal
180 88% 25 12% 205

Council Decision

That timing for both projects proceeds as proposed in the draft Annual Plan and planning in 2016/17 is funded from existing budgets.

Spending Priorities

What was consulted on?

The Council consulted on two spending priority scenarios:

a)Sometimes things change between working out our budget and finalising it in the 2016/17 Annual Plan.  If it turns out that something else needs to be included in our budget, we would have to rethink the plans we’ve made for 2016/17 because we wouldn’t be able to do everything and keep the rates increase at or below 3%. If this happens, what do you think is the most important thing for the Council to keep in the budget for 2016/17?

  • The results were:
Topics raised most frequentlyNumber of responses
Coastal erosion/sea level rise/impact of these on low lying areas 35
Environmental issues and the implementation of Te Ao Turoa 31
Economic Development 19
Maintaining and improving core services 16
Cycleways 17
City marketing and tourism 15
Community support and grants 15
Arts and culture 11
Food resilience 7
Energy plan 7
Improvements to public transport 6
Gig city 5
  • There were a number other topics raised that attracted between 1 -4 responses and are not shown here.

b)The Council’s financial strategy states that any surplus funds will be used to repay debt. If the Council was able to find some more savings before finalising this year’s budget or has a surplus at the end of the financial year, how do you think this money should be used?

Please number in order of preference 1- 3 (1 being your first priority):

  • To repay debt
  • To give residents a lower rates increase
  • To increase spending on activities or priority projects

The results were:

OptionPriority 1Priority 2Priority 3
7B. To repay debt 120 62 19
7B. To give residents a lower rates increase 38 69 79
7B. To increase spending on activities or priority projects 68 51 78

Council Decision

The Council noted the feedback received on spending priorities at the beginning of their deliberations.