Ordinary meeting of the


Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit



Friday 18 September 2015
Commencing at 1.00pm
Ruma Mārama

Level 2A, Civic House

110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson


Membership: Nelson City Councillor Ruth Copeland, Mr Derek Shaw, Tasman District Councillors Barry Dowler and Michael Higgins


Representatives: M Hippolite (Iwi Representative) and P Wilson (Industry Customers Representative)

Guidelines for councillors attending the meeting, who are not members of the Committee, as set out in Standing Orders:

·      All councillors, whether or not they are members of the Committee, may attend Committee meetings (SO 2.12.2)

·      At the discretion of the Chair, councillors who are not Committee members may speak, or ask questions about a matter.

·      Only Committee members may vote on any matter before the Committee (SO 3.14.1)

It is good practice for both Committee members and non-Committee members to declare any interests in items on the agenda.  They should withdraw from the table for discussion and voting on any of these items.


Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit

18 September 2015



Page No.


1.       Appointment of Chairperson


THAT ______________ be appointed Chairperson of the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit for the remainder of the 2013-2016 triennium.

2.       Apologies

3.       Confirmation of Order of Business

4.       Interests

4.1       Updates to the Interests Register

4.2       Identify any conflicts of interest in the agenda

5.       Memorandum of Understanding                           4 - 10

Document number R4859

6.       Confirmation of Minutes

6.1       19 June 2015                                                                11 - 15

Document number M1293


THAT the minutes of the meeting of the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit, held on 19 June 2015, be confirmed as a true and correct record.  

 7.      General Manager’s Report                              16 - 56

Document number R4817


THAT the report General Manager's Report (R4817) and its attachments (A1422904, A1423020) be received.






Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit

18 September 2015




Memorandum of Understanding



1.1       The new Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit Memorandum of Understanding is attached for the Business Unit’s information.

1.2       The Memorandum of Understanding reflects the August 2014 changes to the Local Government Act in terms of joint committees, and was approved by each council in September 2015.






Attachment 1:    A1408609 - NRSBU Memorandum of Understanding









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 trail and peals 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 Instrument 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   



Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit

18 September 2015




General Manager's Report



1.       Purpose of Report

1.1       To outline NRSBU operational activities over the last few months.


2.       Recommendation

THAT the report General Manager's Report (R4817) and its attachments (A1422904, A1423020) be received.




3.       Correspondence Received

Contributor Invoices

3.1       NRSBU received correspondence from Alliance and Nelson Pine Industries querying the accuracy of specific test results used in developing trade waste charges.  Once the matter has been fully investigated the outcome will be reported to the Joint Committee.

4.       Recent Actions

Accidental Discharge Consent Application

4.1       The application was lodged and returned on 23 July 2015 as it was considered to be incomplete.

4.2       Further work is being assessed at present and the application will be re-submitted once the amendments have been made.

          ATAD Tank Linings

4.3       The A-train tanks were brought back on-line on 29 July 2015 following the completion of remedial work.

4.4       A review of the rehabilitation work on the B and C-train tanks will carried out following an assessment of the work completed on A-train in December 2015.

4.5       The operation and maintenance contractor is in consultation with the contractor to arrange for the remedial work on B-train and C-train. The expectation is that the work on B-train will be carried out at the cost of the contractor and that the Joint Committee will pay for the lining of the C-train tanks. 

·     Biosolids Trial

4.6       The use of geobags to dewater biosolids was abandoned on 14 July 2015 following an investigation into odour concerns raised by Best Island residents.

4.7       The investigation showed that there were odours developing around the biosolids trial site.  There was a risk that under specific weather conditions odours could develop that could cause a nuisance for Best Island residents.

4.8       Over 1,500 m3 of biosolids were diverted away from Rabbit Island during this period.  A full review of the process will be completed and reported to the Joint Committee at a future date.

4.9       The unused poly purchased for the project will be used to thicken primary sludge through the gravity belt thickener.

5.       Contract 3458 – Operation and Maintenance

5.1       The reticulation and treatment operations have continued as normal over the last few months.

6.       Key Performance Indicators

6.1       The outcomes of key performance indicators for the last 3 months to
31 August 2015 are outlined as follows:


7.       The compliance outcomes for the 12 months to 31 May 2015 are as follows:



Resource Consent Compliance (rolling 12 month record)


Ø Discharge to Estuary Permit

Not achieved. Two discharges of raw sewage occurred at Saxton pump station during this period.


Ø Discharge to Air Permit

100% Compliance


Ø Biosolids Disposal

100% Compliance


Ø Discharge treated 

waste water to land

100% Compliance


Odour Notifications


Ø Past three months



Ø Last 12 months





Ø Past three months



Ø Last 12 months



Speed of response for maintenance works


In past three months:

Ø Four call outs for Saxton pump station. Three were associated with blockages following installation of reconditioned pump in June.

Ø One call out related to Richmond pump station

Ø One call out related to Airport pump station.

Ø One call out related to Milliscreen.

Ø One call out related to SCADA.

Ø Two call outs related to ATAD feed pump.

Ø Three call outs for events related to power surges.


Ø Response within 30 minutes.  Achieved.

The total number of call outs has increased, however, the number of call outs continues to be within the numbers specified in the contract.

8.       Review of Action Plan Implementation –
2014 Asset Management Plan and 2015/16 Business Plan

The following table indicates the draft time lines for the individual action items:


Business Plan Action

Target Date

Completion Date



Review manuals annually.

March 2016




Consolidate all natural disaster information and review 3 yearly.

March 2016





Internal benchmarking carried out annually.

June 2016




Review risk of contributors leaving NRSBU.

June 2016




Review capacity of treatment components.

June 2016




Programme for pipe inspections.

June 2016




Annual review of contractor performance.

Dec 2016





Screen upgrade.

June 2016




Review secondary sludge separation.

Dec 2016




Construction second sludge storage tank.

June 2016




Develop sludge removal programme.

June 2016




Review effluent discharge management.

Mar 2016




Renewal of effluent discharge permit

Dec 2018




AMP Action

Target Date

Completion Date



Annual customer survey.

Mar 2016




Business Continuity Plan review.

Jun 2016




Consider benefits of succession planning and how it might be implemented with be considered once governance issues (TDC and NCC) have been resolved.

Jun 2016




Review of security required at all facilities.

Mar 2015




Monitor sludge levels in ponds and ascertain long term removal and disposal requirements.

Mar 2016




Improve reporting requirements for asset condition, performance and maintenance from maintenance contractor.

Mar 2016




Implementation of internal bench marking (using historical data) of NRSBU network, pump stations, treatment and disposal facilities.

June 2016




Develop Demand Management Policy.

June 2016




9.       Health and Safety

9.1       There have been 4 Health and Safety inductions and 168 visitors to the Bell Island site over the past three months.

9.2       No further Health and Safety incidents are outstanding.


10.     Financial

Figure 10.1 Treatment plant power use

10.1     The increase in power usage at the treatment plant result from the fact that all three ATAD trains are operational and the fact that the Aeration Basin was running at higher load to manage the pond loading. The treatment power usage is expected to drop substantially over the next few months with the onset of summer.

Figure 10.2 Pump station power use

10.2     Following the replacement of the duty pumps at the Saxton and Airport pump stations with the spare duty pumps the efficiency of the pump stations returned back to long term trends.


11.     Annual Report

11.1     The 2014/15 Annual Report is appended for the consideration of the Joint Committee.

11.2     The valuation was completed in house and peer reviewed by an independent valuation consultant.

11.3     Audit New Zealand officers performed an onsite audit of the NRSBU activities for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 during August and September 2015.


Richard Kirby

Consulting Engineer


Attachment 1:    A1422904 - Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit: Annual Report 2014/2015  

Attachment 2:    A1423020 - NRSBU Status Report September 2015