Sustainability Audit Subcommittee



Unconfirmed minutes of an ordinary meeting of the Sustainability Audit Subcommittee held in the Otaru Room, Civic Centre, The Octagon, Dunedin on Monday 15 August 2016, commencing at 3.00 pm





Janet Stephenson


Deputy Chairperson




David Benson-Pope

Jinty MacTavish


Gael Ferguson

Brett Tomkins







Simon Pickford (General Manager Community Services), Maria Ioannou (Corporate Policy Manager), Ros MacGill (Manager Environment Health and Animal Services), Neil McLeod (Building Services Manager), Adrian Blair (Group Manager Customer and Regulatory Services), Kevin Mechen (Liquor Licensing Coordinator).


Governance Support Officer      Arlene Goss




1       Public Forum

There was no Public Forum.   


2       Apologies

Moved that the Sustainability Audit Subcommittee (Member Janet Stephenson/Cr Jinty MacTavish):


Receive apologies from Mayor Dave Cull and Group Manager Community and Planning, Nicola Pinfold.


Motion carried


3       Confirmation of agenda



Moved (Cr Jinty MacTavish/Member Brett Tomkins) that the Committee


Confirms the agenda without addition or alteration


Motion carried (SA/2016/005)



4       Declarations of interest

Members were reminded of the need to stand aside from decision-making when a conflict arose between their role as an elected representative and any private or other external interest they might have.

5       Confirmation of Minutes

5.1    Sustainability Audit Subcommittee meeting - 11 July 2016


Moved (Cr Jinty MacTavish/Cr David Benson-Pope) that the Subcommittee


Confirms the minutes of the Sustainability Audit Subcommittee meeting held on 11 July 2016, as a correct record.


 Motion carried (SA/2016/006)

     Part B Reports

6       Sustainability within Building Services Activity



Neil McLeod (Building Services Manager) and Adrian Blair (Group Manager Customer and Regulatory Services) came to the table.


Members of the subcommittee asked questions about the building consent process. The Building Services Unit operates under the Building Act and other legislation and its ability to deal with insulation is constrained by the requirements of the act. The Building Act does not allow Councils to require ceiling insulation to be installed during alterations to existing buildings. Neil McLeod would like to see the Building Act modified to enable Councils to require insulation to existing buildings if the owner was doing major alterations. The trigger for requiring this will need to be carefully considered. 


Council has appointed an eco-advisor to advise property owners on how they can improve their buildings.


The chairperson asked about the imminent introduction of a minimum standard of insulation. Date of the introduction of this is unknown, but it will be staged in.


Discussion was held on inconsistencies between the Building Act/Code and older legislation, in particular the Home Improvement Regulations 1947, which have been reissued recently.


The subcommittee asked if there was potential to improve the Building Act to introduce more sustainable principles. This would require a major policy change on behalf of central government.


It was suggested that there is opportunity in building services not currently tapped, such as providing incentives to insulate. Economic benefits can be achieved by focussing on housing quality. In addition to housing, the quality of commercial spaces is also important.


Council needs to think about the sustainable building framework it works under. It's about flexibility, resilience and adaptability over time. This is linked to Council's economic development strategy and energy strategy.


Gael Ferguson suggested a motion that council looks at service delivery around sustainable building systems for commercial and non-commercial buildings.

Discussion was held on this.


Some changes to improve building sustainability are included in the draft 2GP and the energy plan. New councillors who take office after the election may have portfolios. The committee agreed that one councillor could be responsible for a housing portfolio.


Cr MacTavish put two motions as noted in b) and c) below. They were seconded by Brett Tomkins and carried.



Moved (Cr Jinty MacTavish/Member Brett Tomkins) that the Subcommittee:


a)    Notes the Building Services Unit Sustainability Report.

b)    Recommends that staff investigate the relationship between the Housing Improvement Regulations Act 1947, the Building Code and any other related legislation, and report back on whether all regulatory opportunities to improve the standard of housing in Dunedin are being fully embraced.

c)     Recommends that the incoming Council consider opportunities to strengthen the focus on sustainability of outcomes around building and housing, across the city.

Motion carried (SA/2016/007)




7       Sustainability within Regulatory Services


Ros MacGill (Manager Environment Health and Animal Services) and Kevin Mechen (Liquor Licensing Coordinator) joined Adrian Blair at the committee table.


Ros MacGill summarised the work of the environmental health staff. They receive complaints about the state of rentals and investigate these. The role of the eco design adviser would be to give advice on things like ventilation. Animal services deals mainly with dogs.


Kevin Mechen explained Council's alcohol licencing functions. Generally the costs of regulatory activity are covered by enforcement, although there is also a component of public good, funded by the ratepayer.


Cr David Benson-Pope left the meeting at 4.19pm.


Council has currently putting out a tender for electric fleet vehicles and this project is ongoing. Discussion moved to the subject of the motorbikes used by parking officers. Cr MacTavish moved the resolution b) below.


The committee noted the need for better connections between council staff to provide a high level overview and fill operational gaps. Council has just hired an energy plan coordinator and a food resilience coordinator to bring together people working in these areas.



Moved (Cr Jinty MacTavish/Member Gael Ferguson) that the Subcommittee:


a)     Notes the Regulatory Services Sustainability Report.

b)     Recommends that staff investigate alternative, more sustainable modes of transport for Parking Services officers.

Motion carried (SA/2016/008)


8       Copy of Council Report on DCC Emissions measurement, management and reduction - For Information Only



Maria Ioannou (Corporate Policy Manager) said Council's risk manager is looking at the risks around Council's carbon footprint. This work will bring more attention to this issue. Staff have been asked to keep looking into contractor emissions. This raises a question about what opportunities are available in the short-term to allow Council to offset its carbon emissions. Questions were asked about whether the sludge at the Tahuna wastewater plant was being burnt to create electricity. Staff offered to look into this and report back.



9       Sustainability Audit Subcommittee review - survey results



The survey responses were discussed and this lead to debate on the purpose of the subcommittee. Some more staff training in the area of sustainability would be of benefit. Once the sustainability indicators are published, then staff can start making changes.


Staff suffered from a lack of clarity about the role of the subcommittee. Members need to look at what can be done in the next triennium to clarify the role.



10     Progress update on Subcommittee resolutions



The subcommittee considered the report. Maria Ioannou updated members on the current work on sustainability indicators and other matters that are outstanding.


The chairperson said it was satisfying knowing that almost everything the subcommittee has made a resolution on has been actioned, or is underway.





The meeting concluded at 5.05 pm.