Shaping Our Future
Submission to ORC Long Term Plan 2021
Submission on Otago Regional Council Long Term Plan 2021-2031
Otago Regional Council Long Term Plan 2021-2031 Consultation
Otago Regional Council
Private Bag 1954, Dunedin 9054
Uploaded via https://yoursay.orc.govt.nz/ltp/survey_tools/long-term-plan-consultation
Name of Submitter: Shaping Our Future Inc.
Contact: Annabelle Numaguchi, executive@shapingour future.org.nz
Shaping Our Future wish to be heard
This is a submission on the Otago Regional Council Long Term Plan 2021-2031 and applies to the Queenstown Lakes District where Shaping Our Future currently operates.
Shaping Our Future is an independent, apolitical, non-profit organisation created in 2011 to give the people of our community an opportunity to shape their future. We work with the community to create a long-term vision and roadmap for the future as our district continues to go through rapid change, even with the recent disruption of Covid-19.
Shaping Our Future is governed by a volunteer board made up of committed members of the community, elected in rotation by the members at each AGM.
The following submission is based on information gathered from the community in a number of community forums and community task force reports, most notably:
- Shaping Our Future Wellbeing Forums 2021
- Shaping Our Future Wakatipu Freshwater Report 2021
- Shaping Our Future Climate Challenge Forum 2019
- Shaping Our Future Lake Hayes Estate/Shotover Country Community Forum 2019
- Shaping Our Future Upper Clutha Freshwater Report 2019
- Shaping Our Future Frankton Masterplan Forum 2018
- Shaping Our Future Upper Clutha Transport Report 2018
- Shaping Our Future Queenstown Transport Report 2017
- Shaping Our Future Arrowtown Community Visioning Report 2017
- Shaping Our Future Glenorchy Community Visioning Report 2016
- Shaping Our Future Upper Clutha Conservation Report 2016
- Shaping Our Future Visitor & Tourism Report 2015
- Shaping Our Future Energy Report 2014
- Shaping Our Future Economic Futures Report 2014
- Shaping Our Future Innovation Forum 2013
- Shaping Our Future Events Report 2012 and Update 2016
Shaping Our Future Community Forum and Task Force report can be found here https://www.shapingourfuture.org.nz/action/all
While some of the forums and reports are some years old, the Shaping Our Future process and long-term visioning means that the recommendations put forward by the community are enduring. Recent Wellbeing Forums have reconfirmed those long-term community visions and priorities but with a focus on economic recovery, diversity and tourism in the current Covid-19 climate. However other community priorities such as housing affordability (cost of living) climate and transport are still relevant with a general view that the Covid-19 situation has given the region a chance to reset and do things better moving forward.
Shaping Our Future Submission Recommendations:
Shaping Our Future’s key Queenstown Lakes community responses to the ORC’s Draft Long Term Plan 2021-2031 are in summary:
- Largely supports the Regional Land Transport Plan.
- Developing the integrated planning framework that enables well managed urban growth across Otago with a key to integrating public transport.
- Continue to collaborate with the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency on transport.
- Continue to provide public transport services in the Queenstown Lakes District to help manage growth.
- The ORC expedite its community collaboration in the Queenstown Lakes District by engaging Shaping Our Future to establish local issues-based forum, task forces, and reports.
Shaping Our Future is pleased to see the enhanced effort being put in by the ORC in partnering with others, including Queenstown Lakes District Council for climate change, environmental and transport, and Kai Tahu on the well beings of the region.
Shaping Our Future commends the ORC for the more collaborative approach it has taken recently and encourage the ORC to continue to develop this capability and culture into the future.
Consultation Proposal 1. Pests – plants and animals
Shaping Our Future is very much aware of the environmental, social, cultural, and economic wellbeing impacts of the ORC’s minimalist, land-owner focused approach to plant and animal pest management in the region. Option 2 represents a marginally modified under-funded pest management status quo.
The amount of funding suggested in Option 2 would not be sufficient to make the urgent changes to service levels required to protect the soils, water, property values, economic production, and general wellbeing of the region.
As plant and animal pest management is intended to protect land and environmental wellbeing Shaping Our Future is of the opinion that a land value-based approach to rating for pest management is most appropriate.
Shaping Our Future recommends:
1. a. Option 1 – a spend of $4.6 million be adopted
2. b. funding option B be adopted for this work, and
3. c. that the plant and animal pest management budget be increased by 10 percent annually from 2023, once income to the ORC from the Port of Otago recovers from the impact of COVID-19.
Consultation Proposal 2. Lake Hayes rehabilitation
Lake Hayes is a waterbody of regional significance due to its iconic location between Arrowtown and Queenstown, the gateway to the district for visitors and residents alike.
A ‘value capture’ approach to rating is inappropriate for this type of work. The suggested “preferred option”, attributing 70% of the cost of rehabilitation to communities down-stream from the lake is contrary to the concept of polluter pays.
Improving the quality and wellbeing of our freshwater bodies is a basic role of the ORC and all ratepayers across the region should contribute towards this work.
Shaping Our Future forums have regularly identified a desire in the communities of the Queenstown Lakes District that those causing pollution or other environmental degradation should meet the costs of mitigation and recovery of environmental impacts. Those benefitting from environmental improvements from cleaning up after others should not have to meet those costs.
Shaping Our Future supports funding option 3, via a new uniform rate, until such time as those contributing to the degradation of the Lake Hayes catchment can be more accurately identified and the majority of the cost of future rehabilitation transferred to them accordingly.
Environment – water
(Refer to Shaping Our Future water forum and wellbeing reports)
“Pure Water, Healthy Eco-systems, Engaged Community “
Shaping our Future has held water forums for the Upper Clutha and Wakatipu catchments. These involved 1400 participants. The recommendations from the Upper Clutha Task Force report were incorporated into the Community Catchment Plan completed by WAI Wānaka in 2020. The Whakatipu task force report is at its final stage of completion.
Recommendations from the task forces included establishment of key stakeholder groups, a need for increased education, awareness accountability and transparency around standard setting and reporting of water quality and use, prioritised action plans for degraded rivers and wetlands, and the installation of fish ladders.
Water : Key submission 1.
Shaping Our Future urges the ORC to establish funding and a group of Kai Tahu, key experts, local, regional and central government, key stakeholders, and community members to follow through the recommendations contained in the Shaping our Future Upper Clutha Water Task Force Report and prepare a plan of direct community and stakeholder actions.
Water : Key submission 2.
Shaping Our Future recommend that ORC establish and implement an Upper Lakes Rohe Freshwater Management Plan that provides the guidance to deliver the community’s expected outcomes for a healthy freshwater system. Examples of outcomes are:
1. a. Wetland re-generation, protection and expansion.
2. b. Continuation of appropriate riparian planting.
3. c. Reduced contamination from urban and rural activities.
4. d. Establishment of a habitat renewal and re-stocking programme for native aquatic species (eels, bully, galaxiids).
5. e. Development of education programmes for all parties in the Whakatipu basin with delivery of this to the local schools as part of EOC curriculums and community education forums.
Water : Key submission 3.
Shaping Our Future recommends that the ORC draw up a list of degraded or threatened rivers and wetlands across the region, prioritise these for action, and identify appropriate measures and strategies to be implemented to repair the damage done and protect the waterways from future degradation.
Water : Key submission 4.
Shaping Our Future suggests that the ORC produce monthly ‘catchment newsletters’ that bring together relevant information – to include:
1. a. water quality test results against standards/targets
2. b. water takes against consented amounts
3. c. water flows against minimum targets
4. d. biological health of the waterways ie how well are they supporting aquatic life
5. e. updates on projects and programmes to monitor and improve water quality
6. f. updates on implementation of catchment management plans
7. g. encouragement of community engagement with catchment management
Water : Key submission 5.
Shaping Our future recommends that the ORC fund investigation of the provision of infrastructure for fish passage in all waterways where dams and other infrastructure may impede the diurnal and seasonal movement of fish species.
There is strong alignment between the community vision and recommendations from the Upper Clutha and Queenstown Transport Reports and the Otago Regional Council’s Strategy for sustainable, safe and inclusive transport.
Upper Clutha and Queenstown Communities vision for Transport for the Queenstown Lakes District:
Key recommendations from the Upper Clutha and Queenstown Transport Reports were:
1. Integrated Strategic Planning – future development, creative transport solutions, efficient connectivity and allowing for mixed land use to enable residents to live, work and access recreation in their community.
2. Spatial planning that shall include clean, convenient, safe (systems approach) and accessible solutions in all plans for future urban and rural development, including mixed-use zones and densification within existing urban boundaries.
3. Development of an integrated district wide long-term transport strategy that provides for transport within and between Frankton, the Queenstown CBD, and the Whakatipu Basin’s major residential areas, as well as catering to commuters from the wider Central Otago Region, e.g. Wanaka, Cromwell, Alexandra, Glenorchy, and Kingston. The plan to include but not limited to
1. A Master Plan for the Whakatipu basin area following the principles of recommendations 1 and 2, identifying key public transport, walking and cycling corridors within and connecting to the Frankton Flats area
2. Identification, protection and development of key public transport corridors and transport hubs needed now and into the future.
3. A fundamental transformation from the use of private/rental cars and campervans to public transport and innovative forms of transport, e.g. automated shared vehicles, e-bikes, water taxis, gondolas, monorail, etc.
4. Provision of safe and efficient commuter cycling and walking corridors between key destinations and major residential areas, linking with the trails network in the Wakatipu basin.
5. Proposed Upper Clutha specific short – medium term recommendations for land transport:
1. Integrated Strategic Planning – main arterial routes, future transport needs, maintenance/upgrade planning for current network, Wanaka lakefront and CBD.
2. Public Transport – future provision for transport hubs.
3. Walking/Cycling “active transport modes”- safe and attractive tracks, including commuter trails, with infrastructure that is fit for purpose connecting our communities residential, recreational, retail and business areas.
4. Community Culture – co-ordination promotion and information available to the residents and visitors to the Upper Clutha. Long-term behavioural change.
5. Parking – long term parking strategy for the CBD, lakefront, retail and business centres.
Shaping Our Future recommends that the Council continues to enhance its collaborative and active role in the provision of public transport services to help reduce growth-induced traffic congestion and associated environmental effects in the Queenstown Lakes District.
Funding of Community Engagement and Collaboration
The Draft Long Term Plan makes positive statements about the need to do considerably more in the area of community engagement, and identification and management of contributions that the council makes to well-beings throughout the region.
“Communities that connect with, and care for, Otago’s environment, Otago’s people are included in decisions made about the environment, and feel empowered to act for the environment, through a community group, or by themselves.” (PRC LTP 2021-2031 Section 1, Page 15)
“Achieving Community Outcomes Everything ORC does and will be doing in the next years contributes to achieving the six outcomes below. This is highlighted at the start of each section of Part 3 of this document.
“It is the Council’s intention to establish a community outcome monitoring and reporting approach. During year 1 of this LTP measures based on information available to Council and indeed its partners will be considered and where appropriate included in the approach. It is hoped that over time the results of this approach will provide insight into Council’s performance and assist future decision-making about priorities and allocation of resource.” (PRC LTP 2021-2031 Section 1, Page 16)
However, the approach suggested in the Draft Long Term Plan will take too long to make the critical difference in bringing the council, its strategies, plans, and activities into line with its wellbeing responsibilities under the Local Government Act that are needed now . Shaping Our Future is positioned well to assist the council in engaging with communities, at least in the Queenstown Lakes District and potentially further afield, through the tried and proven issues forums, task force, and report process.
Shaping Our Future is eager to enhance the process of the ORC better connecting with communities. For us to be able to do so though will require funding beyond that currently provided by QLDC and the Lottery Grants.
Shaping Our Future recommends that the ORC:
1. provide funding to Shaping Our Future of $20,000 per annum for the next three years to assist the ORC in establishing effective community engagement and collaboration in the Queenstown Lakes District, and
2. enters into an MOU with Shaping Our Future for the development and delivery of independent community engagement and collaboration within the Queenstown Lakes District