LGOIMA Request Details

Date Received:19/12/2023
Date Responded:31/01/2024
Organisation:NZ Taxpayers Union
Requested Information:Information for 2022/23 financial year
Response:
  1.  Average residential rates    

• The average residential costs of rates and other Council charges, where average residential costs = (X + Y) / Z.  Please ensure that the figures used (X, Y, and Z) are disclosed in the response, where:   

o X is the total of all rates (general and targeted) charged by the Council to residential rating units;   

o Y is the total amount of user charges or levies applicable to residential rating units (for example charges relating to metered water, infrastructure contributions, refuse collection, fire protection etc.); and   

o Z is the number of residential rating units (however defined by the Council) within the Council’s district or city. If the Council does not have a classification for residential, please use the closest definition (such as urban).   

o Please do not include Council charges that are not part of the rates demand (for example retail sales of Council rubbish bags).   

• If possible, the median residential rates payment by residential units.  

Please include all residential rates in this calculation, regardless of location, as we are aiming to compare residential rating units (i.e. non-income producing) to non-residential (commercial/rural, income-producing).    

X + Y = $23077293.54      Z = 5943       Average residential = $ 3883.11  

  2.       Average non-residential rates    

• The average non-residential costs of rates and other Council charges, where average non-residential costs = (X + Y) / Z.  Please ensure that the figures used (X, Y, and Z) are disclosed in the response, where:   

o X is the total of all rates (general and targeted) charged by the Council to rating units except those defined as residential*;   

o Y is the total amount of user charges or levies applicable to rating units except those defined as residential* (for example, charges related to metered water, infrastructure contributions, refuse collection, fire protection etc); and    

o Z is the number of rating units except those defined as residential* (however defined by the Council) within the Council’s district or city. If the Council does not have a classification for non-residential, please use the closest definition (such as commercial).   

X + Y = $25562480.05     Z = 8665     Average Non Residential = $ 2950.08 

o Please do not include Council charges that are not part of the rates demand (for example, retail sales of Council rubbish bags).   

• If possible, the median non-residential rates payment for the council.  

*Please ensure that this definition matches that used to calculate average residential rates so that the respective X values of both requests add up to total rates income for the 2022/2023 Financial Year.      

3. Personnel  

• The total number of staff dismissed due to poor performance.  None 

• If applicable, the FTE number of staff employed by council-controlled organisations.   

Total 6.07*  * Note Shared Services CCOs not included 

• If applicable, the total FTE number of staff employed by the council, excluding council-controlled organisations. 159.98 

• The total number of staff (non-FTE, including casual staff) 43 

• The total number of staff including those employed by council-controlled organisations receiving remuneration in excess of $100,000.  32 not including CCOs 

CCOs Total 1* 

• The total number of staff including those employed by council-controlled organisations receiving remuneration in excess of $200,000.  8 not including CCOs 

  CCOs Total 0*  

3.1. Management 

• The FTE number of managers employed. 35.44 

o The Taxpayer’s Union defines a manager as: any staff member who is responsible for a team of staff, or who has an employee/employees reporting to them and organises them to achieve their departments or organisation’s specified goal. The Chief Executive team is included in this definition.  

• The ratio of management to total staff numbers.   3.80 

• The average and median salary of a manager.  Average $126,279 Median $105,144 

3.2. Communications   

• The FTE number of communications & marketing staff employed.  5 

• The average and median salary of communications & marketing staff. Information withheld due to privacy (section 7(2)(a) protect the privacy of natural persons) due to the small number of employees in the group. 

3.3. Consultants & contractors  

• Total expenditure on consultants and contractors. Please ensure that this includes CAPEX and OPEX spending. $4,342,841 

Consultants $1,601,008 

Contracted staff $111,157 

PNCC $2,175,534 

RDC $455,142 

• Total number of consultants and contractors paid. Please note that this refers to companies/entities, rather than total employees. 54 

3.4. Core services  

• The FTE number of staff employed to work on the delivery and/or maintenance of local infrastructure. 57.83 

o The Taxpayer’s Union defines Infrastructure FTE as hours worked by staff who are directly responsible for maintaining council assets and services, including physical involvement in environmental services, stormwater, roading, water supply, wastewater, and solid waste management.  

• The FTE number of staff employed to provide regulatory functions. 22.13 

o The Taxpayer’s Union defines Regulatory FTE as hours worked by staff who are directly responsible for upkeeping and enforcing council functions and income, including parking, democracy services, rates collection, building and planning consents, and health licensing.  

• The FTE number of staff employed in customer-facing roles. 159.98 

o The Taxpayer’s Union defines Customer Service FTE as hours worked by staff who are directly responsible for communicating and providing aid for members of the public, such as at libraries, pools, art galleries, venues and events and customer services, whether in person or by phone.   

4.  Audit and Risk Oversight 

• How many members are on the Council’s Audit and Risk Committee (or equivalent)? Seven

• Of those members, how many are elected and how many are independent of the council? Six are elected, and one is an independent member. 

• Is the Chair of the Committee an independent member? No, our independent member is the Deputy Chair of the Committee. 

• Does the Council have a lawyer (with a current practising certificate) on the Committee? No. The independent member on the Committee has a law degree and legal background, but not a current practising certificate. 

• Does the Council have an accountant (with a current practising certificate or a full member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand) on the Committee? Yes. The Chair of the Committee is registered with Chartered Accounts New Zealand. 

• Does the Council have a code of conduct requiring political neutrality from Council staff? We have a policy for Council staff that addresses this area called the “Employees Expressing an Opinion About Council Policy”. It does not require staff to be politically neutral, however it prohibits the use of Council mediums or assets (Council’s social media, staff emails, facilities etc) for this purpose. Where staff wish to express an opinion that differs from the stated opinion of the Council, they are obligated to inform their manager and must qualify any such statements as being personal in nature (ergo not representative of the Council’s view). 

  5. Payments to third parties 

• The total payments made by the Council (or any council-controlled organisation) to any Chamber of Commerce, including GST.  $518 (no information from CCO) 

• The total payments made by the Council (or any council-controlled organisation) to Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), including GST.  $24,569 (no information from CCO) 

• The total payments made by the Council (or any council-controlled organisation) to the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM), including GST.  TAITUARA - NZSOLGM $50,368 (no information from CCO) 

6. Debt 

Net debt (total for the council) as a percent of rates income   

Total debt - $93,838,000 

Rates income - $43,158,000 

Debt/Rates % - 217%  

The dollar amount of debt per rating unit  

Rating units – 5943 

Total debt - $93,838,000 

Debt per unit - $15,790 

The dollar amount of interest paid per rating unit 

Rating units – 5943 

Interest paid - $3,443,000 

Interest per unit - $579 

Status:Complete