Minutes of a meeting of the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit

Held in Ruma Mārama, Level 2A, Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson

On Friday 19 June 2015, commencing at 1.03pm


Present:               Councillors M Higgins (Chairperson), and D Dowler (Tasman District Council) , Councillor R Copeland (Nelson City Council), and Mr Derek Shaw

In Attendance:     M Hippolite (Iwi Representative), P Wilson (Industry Customers’ Representative), Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit General Manager (R Kirby), Senior Asset Engineer – Solid Waste (J Thiart), Management Accountant (A Bishop), and Administration Adviser (S McLean)



1.       Apologies

There were no apologies


2.       Confirmation of Order of Business

There was no change to the order of business.

3.       Interests

Matt Hippolite advised he had an interest in consenting discharges referred to in the General Manager’s Report.

There were no updates to the Interests Register, and no other interests with items on the agenda were declared.

4.       Public Forum

There was no public forum.

5.       Confirmation of Minutes

4.1           13 March 2015

Document number M1268, agenda pages 4 - 7 refer.

It was agreed the word ‘conflict’ would be removed in terms of an interest declared. It was noted that reference to trials and peaks would be corrected in page three of the minutes.

Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit Manager, Richard Kirby, advised that detail on the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit (NRSBU) contract with Nelson City Council for services rendered was being collated and would be presented to a future meeting.

In response to a question, it was clarified that the pump stations referred to in the last paragraph of the minutes were owned by Nelson City Council.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/001

THAT the amended minutes of the meeting of the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit, held on  13 March 2015, be confirmed as a true and correct record.

Dowler/Copeland                                                                         Carried


5.       Status Report - Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit - 19 June 2015

Document number R4405, agenda pages 8 - 9 refer.

Mr Kirby provided detail on biosolids application at Rabbit Island. He spoke about research on geobags and cost-effective options which would be presented to a future meeting.

It was suggested the Bell Island Spit Restoration project committee progress report occur annually instead of quarterly, to align with financial reporting.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/002

THAT the Bell Island Spit Restoration project committee progress report occur annually.

Shaw/Dowler                                                                              Carried

Councillor Higgins raised concerns about the absence of an official chairperson for the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit.

There was discussion on whether the chairperson needed to be independent, if a deputy chair was required, and what term a chairperson should be appointed for. It was agreed this matter would be on the agenda for the next meeting



Resolved NRSBU/2015/003

THAT the Status Report Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit 19 June 2015 (R4405) and its attachment (A1370036) be received.

Copeland/Dowler                                                                         Carried


6.       General Manager's Report

Document number R4409, agenda pages 10 - 36 refer.

Mr Kirby presented the report.

In response to comments on contributors quotas, Philip Wilson said the reduced quotas were linked to improving treatment capacity on site, reducing waste, and reducing sampling issues.

There was discussion on the charging regime for contributors and fixed costs at the treatment plant. It was noted that capacity at the plant would increase if loads continued to decline, which may impact on future capital programmes. Mr Kirby said the adjustment in load would not have a large impact and savings at this stage were still small.

There was discussion on the biosolids trial area and the identification of Koiwi areas. There was suggestion that the continued cost of the trial was too high and it should be put on hold, with data on the timber collected at harvest. It was agreed that a case was required to explain why continued monitoring was required.

Johan Thiart advised that Scion was focussed on obtaining funding from other organisations, as it felt the biosolids data had national and international importance. He suggested a key aspect was that the data was required in time for the next resource consent application.

It was agreed that if Scion could not source additional funding then NRSBU would cease contributing towards the trial.

Some concern was raised that NRSBU would not benefit from wood analysis. Alternative views were expressed about the potential benefits to be gained in environmental values.

Mr Thiart suggested the data could be extrapolated to reduce time spent waiting for results. He said the officer recommendation for $30,000 was not suggested to be allocated to any specific aspect of the trial.


Resolved NRSBU/2015/004

THAT NRSBU contribute an amount of $20,000 for the completion of the research by SCION payable on receipt of the final environmental report;

AND THAT NRSBU contribute an amount of $10,000 payable on receipt for the final harvest report.

Shaw/Copeland                                                                           Carried

Mr Kirby provided detail on a recent spill because of air in a probe pipe. He confirmed a new procedure had been established to avoid this re-occurring. Mr Thiart added that a third overflow measure was being investigated.

In response to a question, Mr Kirby agreed to ask Nelmac for more information on the increased volume of biosolids.

Mr Kirby provided a correction to the report data for overflows on page 15 of the agenda. He said the past three months contained 1 overflow, and the past 12 months contained 2 overflows.

There was discussion on the customer survey results, the comments made by Alliance and the current meat industry economy. It was suggested that further information on the industry would be beneficial for NRSBU.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/005

THAT the General Manager investigates future meat industry plans in relation to NRSBU activity, and advises the Board and shareholders of the outcome of that investigation.

Higgins/Dowler                                                                            Carried

It was agreed that the General Manager’s recommendation regarding a spare storm pump was already included in the business plan and did not require a formal decision.

In response to a question, Mr Kirby clarified that P&ID stood for Process and Instrumentation Diagram.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/006

THAT the report General Manager's Report (R4409) and its attachments (A1359066, A1346866, A1369953 and A1314700) be received.

Shaw/Dowler                                                                              Carried


7.       Financial Report

Document number R4410, agenda pages 37 - 39 refer.

Management Accountant, Andrew Bishop, presented the report.

Mr Bishop highlighted that operating expenditure was back within budget. He said the variable income would be closer to that projected by year end.

There was discussion on the high cost of electricity and any opportunities to reduce this. It was pointed out that previous research into biodigestion, as a means of reducing electricity use, had shown the risks were higher than the benefits. It was also highlighted that the electricity used was renewable.

In response to comments on the reactive and proactive maintenance overspend, Mr Bishop advised this was from work done earlier in the year, as well as work carried over from the previous year.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/007

THAT the Financial Report (R4410) and its attachment (A1370497) be received.

Dowler/Copeland                                                                         Carried




There being no further business the meeting ended at 2.56pm.


Confirmed as a correct record of proceedings:



                                                         Chairperson                                        Date