Other Issues

There are a number of other issues covered in the Consultation Document that your input is welcomed on.

Economic Development: The Future

Council activities (e.g. roading, sewer, water supply, district planning) make a substantial contribution to the district’s economic development. A strong economy is critical to our district’s future and an integral part of our vision – Economy – A thriving and innovative economy where opportunities abound.

The Council works in partnership with Aoraki Development Business and Tourism (ADBT), who act as the Council’s economic development arm and deliver economic development support and other services.

The Council is keen to maintain, or even increase, the standard of living through stimulating and supporting sustainable economic growth over the long term. To help achieve this, an Economic Development Strategy (EDS) has been developed by the Council in consultation with the directors of ADBT. The strategy includes the following objectives:

  • A strong, sustainable economy growing each year by 3.5%
  • Creation of greater than 300 high quality jobs per year in areas of agriculture,manufacturing, transport, food technology and service industries such as medical and education that positively anchor workers and their families
  • Collaboration across all sectors in Timaru District demonstrating new ways of working together, new ideas to pursue, and potential for cost-sharing of solutions
  • A measurable positive shift in public perception regarding living in Timaru District

Council have adopted the strategy with the intention of working with ADBT to determine how we can achieve it and who is responsible for what. This will include reviewing the service provided and ensuring it is targeted correctly in line with the EDS objectives.

We are interested in your views and welcome feedback on the strategy.

Timaru District Economic Development Strategy

Earthquake Shake-up

We’ve all been shaken up by the enduring impact of the Canterbury earthquakes. The impact on New Zealand will remain for years to come.

As a result of recommendations from the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission and a comprehensive review, government has introduced new legislation to change the system for managing earthquake-prone buildings. The Bill is expected to become law in 2015.

The legislation aims to strike a better balance between protecting us from the impact of earthquakes and managing the costs of strengthening or removing earthquake-prone buildings. While the final law is yet to be confirmed, currently it will require:

  • Seismic assessments within 5 years – TDC will be required to conduct a seismic assessment of all non-residential buildings and all multi-unit, multi-storey residential buildings in the Timaru District within five years of changes to the new legislation taking effect. Buildings below the minimum standard (34% of the earthquake design strength expected of a new building) will be classified as earthquake-prone. Certain buildings will be prioritised first for assessment and strengthening.
  • Building Strengthening or Demolishing – For all identified earthquake-prone buildings, they will need to be strengthened, or demolished. This will have to happen within 15 years of the new legislation taking effect, following the TDC assessment. Some exemptions or extensions to timeframes may apply.
  • Public register – a publicly accessible register of earthquake-prone buildings will be set up.

There is likely to be a transition period before the law takes effect.

The impact on TDC will likely be threefold. Firstly, as a building regulator, TDC will be required to carry out assessments under the Act and enforce the outcomes of these (i.e. the strengthening or demolishing of
earthquake-prone buildings).

Secondly, as a building owner, TDC will be required to assess its own buildings and make decisions as to what it will do – whether buildings at risk will be strengthened and to what level or demolished.

Thirdly, as a community leader, TDC will need to provide leadership on addressing the impact of the law, including how best to ensure the safety of our communities and limit its impact where possible on affected groups.

The cost of this is as yet unknown, but is potentially significant. Some funding has been included in the LTP for the assessment of the Council‘s own buildings.

No money is currently included in the LTP for potential strengthening work or the additional work that may be generated as a result of any changes to Council’s regulatory role from the new legislation.

Managing Earthquake Prone Buildings - Legislative Review

TDC Joint submission - Coming soon

Infrastructure Strategy

Changes to the law now require Councils to prepare a 30 year Infrastructure Strategy (IS). We’ve talked about what infrastructure is earlier in this document. The Infrastructure Strategy focuses on core Council services – roading, water supply, sewerage and stormwater and looks beyond the ten years of the Long Term Plan.

The Infrastructure Strategy highlights how we plan to manage these core assets over the next 3 decades, taking into account issues that may significantly impact on Council operations, future demand for Council services and the likely direction of legislation and policies.

The Infrastructure Strategy indicates Council’s provisions for renewing assets that will need replacement over the next 30 years, responding to changes in demand, complying with legislation, and dealing with risks such as natural hazards. This section summarises some of the key findings of the strategy and key projects planned.

TDC Infrastructure Strategy

If you are interested in other supporting information as referenced in the consultation document, please contact us.