7 February 2020
From the meeting – Operations and Monitoring Committee
On Wednesday 5 February, Rotorua Lakes Council’s Operations and Monitoring Committee met for the first time this year and heard from Infrastructure Group Manager, Stavros Michael, about a high level stocktake of the inner city’s parking system for the period between May 2019 and December 2019.
This follows the phased replacement of the obsolete old meter heads with modern “pay by plate” equipment and the introduction of new regulations and enforcement practices. Mr Michael spoke about pertinent information extracted from the new equipment as well as about key observations and feedback from the business sector and the community at large and highlighted some of the upcoming changes in response to those observations.
Key changes to note include:
- Additional on-meter instructions/guidance
- Ongoing user education campaign
- Introduction of a mobile app for parking
- Implementation of an amnesty process for people who have received a $40 (for non-payment) fine for the first time and are currently disputing it on the grounds of ambiguity. This process is expected to be complete by end of March.
- Setting of parameters for parking wardens to issue warning tickets rather than fines for first time infringements for the $40 non-payment fine. This process will be monitored and reviewed in due time.
- A reduced parking rate of .50c per hour or a maximum of $4 a day around existing select core CBD periphery streets aimed at relieving parking cost pressures on CBD workers.
- More solutions for lower cost long term parking options – Hinemaru Street and Kuirau Park areas
- Improvements to Pukuatua St parking building
- The monitoring and application of parking demand management in areas where occupancy is exceeding 90% as per Councils Parking Policy.
Mr Michael explains that while overall the new parking system is being well used, feedback from some users highlighted room for targeted improvement around user information and guidance.
He noted that the CBD is served by some 3,500 public car parks and some 4,200 private parks. For a city the size of Rotorua this parking capacity is generous.
“The data collected from the technology that is integrated into the parking system shows around 6000 vehicles use our core CBD every day. Occupancy rates are between 75-95% at peak times with 65-75% during off peak times. This indicates that parking space availability is reliable. Data from 2019 shows that of the 6000 vehicles using the system each day, around 500 of them are new visitors to the city. This indicator points to good access and no barriers to visiting the CBD.
“This information is consistent with previous data collected and indicates a well-used system,” he says.
The monitoring metrics highlight that 40-50,000 parking transactions take place each month. Since the system became fully operational in May 2019 it’s recorded around 300,000 transactions, 70% of which have used a credit or debit card. Recorded system process faults remain low and are declining at 0.2% of all transactions. Since May around 16,000 infringements have been issued for various offences. 70% of infringement notices have been paid on time and 12% have been waived by council and its agents for varying reasons. 2,400 notices remain unpaid and are in various stages of assessment or court proceedings. These include notices for expired warrants of fitness or vehicle registrations for which the council acts as the crown’s enforcement agent.
Mr Michael said “While these unpaid notices are only a small percentage of the total transactions since May, it demonstrates that in some cases there is room for further improvement around user education and overall experience with the new system.”
At the meeting he outlined the changes being made to the system following customer feedback (detailed above).
You can watch Mr Michael’s full presentation and the following discussion HERE.
At the meeting Council’s Chief Financial Officer, Thomas Collé, updated elected members on the organisation’s financial status over the past six months to the end of December 2019.
Mr Collé explained the organisation is currently tracking around 2% behind budget but expense pressures around electricity and staffing were being mitigated and offset by strong revenues. Mr Collé highlighted the organisation has now entered into a fixed electricity pricing agreement which will show some stabilisation in this area.
With the organisation actively working to ensure pressures are offset by end of year, Mr Collé said the forecast for the year anticipates the operating result will be on budget, capital expenditure is forecast to result $9m less than planned and borrowing should also result $9m less than planned.
Watch the full presentation HERE.
Elected members were also presented with the organisations non-financial performance over the six months to the end of December 2019.
Council’s Corporate Planning and Governance Manager, Oonagh Hopkins, provided the committee with background information on the performance management framework.
She explained the performance management framework is developed as part of the Long-term Plan (LTP) and that the current LTP took effect on 1 July 2018. The framework tracks the performance of services that council has agreed with its community to deliver. Within that framework there are a series of mandatory measures or activities that the organisation has to use to describe some of the activities that council undertakes such as roading, water supply, storm water and sewerage activities. Within these activities, the measures are mandatory and consistent across councils nationally. All other services of council can be described and grouped together in the framework by however the council chooses.
Ms Hopkins explained that Rotorua Lakes Council decided to group all activities into ten different activity plans – Arts & Culture, Community Leadership, Planning and Regulatory, District Development, Sports Recreations & Environment, Roads & Footpaths, Sewerage & Sewage, Stormwater & Land Drainage, Waste Management, and Water Supplies.
Out of these groups, emerges the performance management framework with 62 measures in total.
Performance measures are reported to the Operations and Monitoring Committee three times per year. Results from the last quarter are incorporated into the overall performance reporting included in the Annual Plan.
Ms Hopkins explained that in this report, Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 results had been grouped together. Of the 62 measures, 49 had been measured and were included in the report to the committee and 13 are still to be measured. Of those that had been measured, 32 (65%) were on track with 10 (20%) needing attention and 7 (14%) likely not to be met due to various reasons including data sets being unavailable or legislation changing. The results reported are slightly behind the same period last financial year where 77% were on track to meeting the year-end targets.
See the full presentation and the following discussion HERE.
The public session of the meeting was concluded with the Operational Report for July to December 2019. Here, group managers Manahautu Maori Gina Rangi, Strategy Group Manager Jean-Paul Gaston, Infrastructure Group Manager Stavros Michael, and Business Support Group Manager Thomas Collé, overviewed their groups’ reports and responded to questions from elected members.
If you’d like to watch the full meeting you can see it via the livestream HERE.
The full agenda from the meeting is also available via this LINK.