16 March 2017
Council will be asked to adopt a proposed local policy which would restrict the sale of approved psychoactive substances to within 200m of Rotorua’s central city police station.
Members of the Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee today [Thursday 16 March] deliberated on four options developed for a Local Approved Products Policy (Harmful Psychoactive Substances) following submissions and hearings in 2014. The committee passed a recommendation, which will go to the full Council for its consideration later this month, that Council adopt the preferred option.
The preferred option – to limit sale to within 200m of the police station – was put forward by councillors following the hearings in 2015.
The committee today heard the option received support from the police because the area within 200m of the police station has high CCTV coverage and has a high presence of police and City Guardians. The proposed policy restricts opening hours to between 9.30am and 2.30pm Mondays to Fridays, excluding public and school holidays.
The proposed policy limits the number of licences for such retail outlets to a maximum of two within the Rotorua district. The new legislation pertaining to the sale of psychoactive substances does not enable councils to totally ban the sale of these products in their districts.
Anyone wanting to have an outlet would need to apply to the Ministry of Health for their retail licence and as part of that application process (which is controlled by the Ministry) would need to provide a letter from Council stating that they meet the requirements of the policy and Council consents to them being granted a retail licence.
The policy would come into effect once adopted by Council.
Following the hearing of submissions in 2015 council staff were asked to research and report back on options the committee identified.
Subsequent to this work, in August 2016 the Psychoactive Substances Regulatory Authority notified councils that it would be at least three years before any approved products would be on the market. This allowed staff more time to consider the four options and discuss these further with police.
The Psychoactive Substance Act 2013 enabled councils to develop local policies regarding the sale of approved products.
The Act aims to regulate the availability of psychoactive substances in New Zealand to protect the health of, and minimise harm to, individuals who use psychoactive substances.
These substances and products must be approved for use and pose no more than a low risk of harm to the individuals who use it. See HERE for more information.
See from p16 of the meeting agenda to view the full report and draft policy
Water Services and Waste bylaw review
The Strategy, Policy and Finance committee will recommend to the full Council that is remove a rule requiring that water use on properties in all new residential subdivisions be metered from the council’s Water Services and Trade Waste Bylaw.
Removing the rule that all new residential subdivisions in the Rotorua Urban Water Supply area be metered and subject to volumetric charges for that supply, would bring the bylaw into line with current council policy, which is to not require water metering. The rule has never been implemented.
In response to questions at today’s meeting, council’s water, waste and transport director Stavros Michael said water metering was a way to encourage water conservation and to identify changes in consumption and identify leaks.
However, he said while metering could be a consideration for Council for the future, that was currently further down the list of priorities. The focus at this time, Mr Michael said, should be on reducing stormwater infiltration into the sewerage system, reducing leaks from the public system and ensuring security of water supply.
Other changes proposed as part of a review of the bylaw were minor, related to changes in legislation, the committee was told.
The committee will recommend Council approve the proposed changes for consultation, by way of submissions and hearings. A 30 March to 1 May submissions period is proposed.
The aims of the Water Services and Trade Waste Bylaw include protecting water quality any public health and safety, protecting council water infrastructure investments and ensuring an equitable share of costs among users, as well a defining property owners’ and occupiers’ obligations.
Most of the proposed changes to the bylaw are minor changes with the key suggested change being the removal of a rule that all new residential subdivisions in the Rotorua Urban Water Supply area be metered and subject to volumetric charges for that supply. This will bring the bylaw into line with current council policy, which is to not require water metering.
See from p45 of the meeting agenda to view the full report and draft policy
Recommendations from this committee will now go to the full Council for its consideration, on 27 March 2017.
Today's Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee meeting was livestreamed. Go to THIS LINK to view the meeting.