Kapiti Chamber submission on KCDC 2014/2015 Draft Annual Plan

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Posted by Liz Koh on 28 April 2014

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The Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce submits comments to Part 1 of the Draft 2014/2015 Annual Plan as follows:

Overview

The Town Centres and Connectors Project (page 17)

We are pleased to see that this project will have “comprehensive public engagement to refine current concepts and build on previous work”.

The Chamber is broadly supportive of a Town Centre for Kapiti, however work on this project should be limited to time-critical issues only until there has been resolution of the issues in the District Plan.

Building Control and Resource Consents

Earthquake strengthening (page 32)

“In 2014/15 work will involve increasing the Council’s understanding and scope of this project and developing an implementation plan”

It is imperative that this project be conducted in consultation with building owners and business owners. Consideration needs to be given to minimising the impacts on businesses with respect to time frame and cost.

Emphasis on Improvements to Resource Consents Process (page 33 and 34)

“Continuous improvement will include:

  • adopting best practice processes and updating guidance material and forms
  • provide mechanism for feedback from compliance activities into consent conditions, and
  • liaising with lower North Island Territorial Local Authorities to promote and implement best practice engineering/sustainable design and consent management”.

The Resource Consents Process has been a significant cause of frustration for those wanting to do business in Kapiti. Despite attempts by previous staff, Kapiti continues to have a reputation of being difficult to deal with in this area. Unfortunately, perception is reality, and even if service levels improve, this reputation may continue. Consideration should be given as to not only how service levels can be improved but how Kapiti’s reputation can be enhanced.

The Chamber welcomes an emphasis on continuous improvement. However, we believe the levels of service outline on page 34 should be based on aspects of service seen to be important by resource consent applicants and that these be identified and measured by way of surveys of resource consent applicants. Service levels need to be determined by what the customer wants, not by legislative requirements.

Economic Development

In his introduction on page 5, the Mayor states: “It is important we inject energy into attracting
employment, business and tourism”. Yet we note that the defined activities of the plan under the
heading of Economic Development on pages 47-49 of Part 1 provide scant information on how
this is to come about. In fact, the section on Economic Development is one of the briefest
sections in the whole plan. The Chamber would welcome opportunities to work with Council to
further develop its strategies for Economic Development.

Digital Tools (page 48)

“Council will also be working to improve Kapiti’s profile in particular through the use of digital tools.”

The Chamber supports the development of a business attraction website and online community for Kapiti and recommends that this be developed as a joint initiative between the Council and the Chamber. Specific funding should be made available for this initiative.

Supporting Social Well Being

Youth Employment (page 79)

“Work with young people, employers, schools and services to promote successful youth transitions and increased youth employment on the Kapiti Coast. This will build on the successful business stocktakes undertaken in 2013”.

The Chamber is fully supportive of the Council’s initiatives around Youth Employment and is willing to engage with Council to help implement the recommendations of the Business Stocktake. A key priority identified in the recent Forum on this topic was the development of a central hub for the collection and dissemination of information and resources. The Chamber is unable to provide resources to this project that have a financial cost, as it is run by volunteers and has limited financial resources. However, we would welcome an opportunity to further discuss options for how this project can be progressed. If there is a real commitment by Council to Youth Employment, then funds need to be made available in the Annual Plan for this purpose.

The Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce submits comments to Part 2 of the Draft 2014/2015 Annual Plan as follows:

Targeted rate for water (page 50)

Please find attached the results of a survey of Chamber members on the issue of Volumetric Charging for Water as well as the press release which outlines our views and recommendations on this subject.

Since this survey was completed, we have been approached by two property management companies (both of which are members) who are concerned about the financial burden of the charging regime on landlords, tenants and property managers. Systems and processes need to be put in place to ensure that property managers have easy access to information on water charges for individual properties and in a form that simplifies the process of collecting these charges from tenants.

The Chamber requests an opportunity to speak to Council on the points raised in this submission.

Yours faithfully,

 

Liz Koh

MSocSc, BCA, GradDipBusStuds, CA, CFP, AFA, ATCL, MInstD

Chair
Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce

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