Official Information Act Requests

The Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) allows individuals, groups and organisations to request information held by local government agencies. The purpose of the act is to increase the availability of official information to residents to promote accountability and enable more effective participation in local government.

We receive around 10 requests a month and must respond to each request “as soon as practical” and no more than 20 working days after receiving the request. Our current average response time is 7.5 working days.

All requests and responses that are received are recorded in a working register which is saved in our Electronic Document Management System, once a request has been answered we then make it publicly available. We would recommend having a read through the questions below as you may find your question has already been answered. If you can’t see it, you can submit a request by sending an email to [email protected] and referencing the LGOIMA, alternatively you can send a letter to PO Box 444, Masterton. 

Previous Requests

Planning and Building

William Donald Drive
I am representing the residents of William Donald Drive, Masterton regarding the proposed access for the retirement lifestyle village subdivision in our street. We would like to advise that all of the residents of William Donald Drive are likely to be adversely affected by the proposed development and should therefore be treated as affected parties when the Council makes its notification decision.

Can you please provide us with the following information:-

  1. A copy of any officer reports or recommendations to the Council in relation to the new road through the local purpose reserve/park
  2. A copy of the Council resolution to allow the new road through the reserve, including any record of discussions and reasons for the decision
  3. A copy of the new resource consent application for the Solway Hotel site, including any associated drawings and reports, and any further information that has been provided since the application was lodged
  4. A copy of the notification decision on the new resource consent application for the Solway Hotel site (if a notification decision has been made)
  5. A copy of the notification decision on the Solway Hotel subdivision application

A copy of the resource consent(s) that resulted in the creation of the local purpose reserve, and any associated reports or documents that explain the reasons why the reserve was created.


 

Stage 11 of the proposed subdivision is presently on hold until the Council has all of the information required to make an informed decision.

A Notification report will be written for Stage 11 once all of the information has been supplied

  • The report to the Council’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee
  • A certified extract of the resolution of the Ordinary Council Meeting
  • The decision for Stage 1 of the resource consent
  • A copy of the application for resource consent Stages 1 and 11
  • Copy of the original subdivision consent for William Donald Drive granted in 2001
  • Copy of the second subdivision consent 2002
  • Draft concept plans for Stage 2

Supporting documents:

Notice of Decision PDF, 689KB

Notice of Decision PDF, 476KB

Proposed subdivision PDF, 3MB

Council agenda recommendation PDF, 3MB

Grant of road access PDF, 404KB

Resource Consent PDF, 4MB

Resource Consent Application PDF, 3MB

Firing Ranges

My request is about firing or shooting ranges in your Council area.

Could you please let me know:

  1. How many firing ranges in your Council area have both indoor and outdoor facilities?
  2. How many solely indoor firing ranges are there in your Council area?
  3. How many solely outdoor firing ranges are there in your Council area?
  4. How often are the firing ranges inspected by Council officers and/or Police?
  5. What is your Council’s regime for assessing shooters’ and range officers’ exposure to lead at the firing ranges?
  6. Does your Council require measures at firing ranges to mitigate the effects of lead exposure? What are these measures and how are they reported by the range and enforced by the Council?
  7. What is the protocol for Council inspection of firing ranges, for example, is there a checklist or similar, used by the Council officers to assess the firing range? If so, could you please supply a copy?
  8. Could you please supply copies of all reports relating to firearms and firing ranges written by or received by the Council over the last three years.

  1. None
  2. One 
  3. None that we are aware of.
  4. Council do not inspect the indoor firing range.  We do not know about the Police.
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. There are none.
Earthquake Strengthening Costs
  • How much has been spent by the authority since 1 July 2017, (when the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 came into effect) on earthquake-related expenses – for instance seismic reports, engineering checks, building assessments, strengthening work already done etc.
  • How much does the authority anticipate it will spend in the next ten years on earthquake resilience work. Please note this is not how much has been formally approved – but how much could be spent based on estimates (can be rough).
  • How many buildings have been identified as needing money spent on them to bring them in line with the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act.
  • How many buildings are still to be assessed by the authority.

Approximately $384,150 has been spent, please note this figure includes some works that incorporated earthquake strengthening as a part of larger projects.

Future spend will depend on decisions on options (e.g. demolition versus further quake resilience improvements). Broad estimate is between  $2 million and $28 million.

Seven buildings have been identified as requiring expenditure to meet requirements of the amended Act.

None.

Town Hall/Civic Centre Reports

What reports have been commissioned and/or received by Council, in relation to the Masterton Town Hall / Civic Centre proposals?

When will any reports be released publicly?

What are the fundings of these reports?


In reference to your request for information under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, you can find the Market Demand and Financial Analysis report provided to Council as part of Civic Centre research on our website: https://mstn.govt.nz/update-town-hall-consultation/

As outlined in this update to our community, Council has also done some work on initial costings to inform decisions around what to do with the existing buildings and potential for a new civic centre or events space. There is still a small amount of work to do on gathering this information together before it can be shared publicly. However, we hope to share this information before the end of the month.

A formal consultation process is planned to start post the local elections in October.

Building Consent Processing Targets

Under the OIA  can I please request all reports and advice to the CEO and council on the performance of the building consents team. Most specifically I am seeking information around the building consents team meeting its targets in processing consents on time.


In terms of building consents our goal is to deliver a timely service and one of our performance measures is about ensuring consents are processed within statutory timeframes. More detailed information on this measure can be found in our 2018-28 Long Term Plan (pg. 117-118) https://mstn.govt.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/4.-Our-Work-in-Detail.pdf

Here is a link to the 2017/18 annual report (pg. 77 to 80)  https://mstn.govt.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Annual-Report-2017-18_Website-45-97.pdf . We are currently working on our 2018-19 annual report, which is scheduled to go to the Inaugural council meeting in October for adoption.

We have also attached the following documents:

  1. The last non-financial report to the Audit & Risk Committee meeting on 21 August 2019. Update reports also go to the Strategic Planning and Policy Committee meetings, these are available on our website https://mstn.govt.nz/council/meetings-and-agendas/
  2. Excerpts from reports to Council’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee, which provide an overview of the IANZ audit of BCA (PDF, 86KB)

Finance and Rates

Advertising Expenditure
Please provide the total amount of spending on advertising in the past five financial years, by year, including financial year 2018/19 to date.

For each year, please break this down into how much of each annual spend was used in each of the following categories:

  1. Facebook and Facebook-owned properties (Instagram, WhatsApp)
  2. Social media influencers
  3. Other social media (e.g. Snapchat)
  4. Search engine marketing (broken down by which search engine was used e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo! etc)
  5. Other online advertising
  6. Television
  7. Radio, including podcasts
  8. Outdoor (e.g. billboards, buses)

Advertising Spreadsheet showing workings (XLS, 573KB)

Remuneration and Rating
I request the following information for the 2016/17 and 17/18 Financial Years:

  1. Average residential costs:
  2. The average residential costs of rates and other Council charges:

Average residential costs = (X + Y)/Z

Please ensure that the figures used (X, Y, and Z) are disclosed in the response.

Where:

X is the total of all rates (general and targeted) charged by the Council to residential rating units;

Y is the total amount of user charges or levies applicable to residential rating units (for example charges relating to metered water, infrastructure contributions, refuse collection, fire protection etc.); and

Z is the number of residential rating units (however defined by the Council) within the Council’s district or city. If the Council does not have a classification for residential, please use the closest definition (such as urban).

Please do not include Council charges that are not part of the rates demand (for example retail sales of Council rubbish bags).

Please exclude any amounts that are collected on behalf of a Regional Council.

  1. A list of the types of rates, user charges and levies used to calculate each of the figures above.
  2. Average residential costs (Regional Councils):

The average residential costs of rates and other Council charges collected by the Council on behalf of a Regional Council:

Average residential costs = (X + Y)/Z

Please interpret X, Y, and Z as per (a). Please only include sums collected by the Council on behalf of a Regional Council.

If the Council collects rates on behalf of more than one Regional Council, please disclose the average residential costs collected on behalf of each Regional Council separately.

  1. Rating units
    • The total number of rating units within the Council’s district or city.
    • The total number of residential rating units (however defined by the council) within the Council’s district or city. If the Council does not have a definition for residential, please use the closest definition (such as urban, lifestyle, or similar).
    • For each Regional Council that your authority falls under, please separately disclose the number of rating units and residential rating units in each region.

Please disclose the number of rating units and residential rating units as the number of separately used or inhabited parts (SUIP).

 

I request the following information for the 2017/18 Financial Year:

  1. Staff Numbers
    • The FTE number of staff employed by the Council (excluding any staff employed by council-controlled organisations) as at 30 June 2018.
    • The FTE number of staff employed by the Council (including any staff employed by council-controlled organisations) as at 30 June 2018.
    • The total number of any severance payments made to staff (including payments to staff employed by council-controlled organisations). Please only include payments that are made above and beyond any payment that is required to be made under an employment agreement.
    • The total dollar value of any severance payments made to staff (including payments to staff employed by council-controlled organisations). Please only include payments that are made above and beyond any payment that is required to be made under an employment agreement.
    • The total number of staff dismissed due to poor performance.
    • The total number of staff (including those employed by council-controlled organisations) receiving remuneration in excess of $100,000.
    • The total number of staff (including those employed by council-controlled organisations) receiving remuneration in excess of $200,000.

 

  1. Contractor Numbers
    • The total value of payments made by the Council (or any council-controlled organisations) to any company or individual contracted by the Council to provide a service.
    • The FTE number of contractors (i.e. individual positions) the payments in (a) equate.
    • The total number of contractors (i.e. individual positions) receiving payments totalling in excess of $100,000.
    • The total number of contractors (i.e. individual positions) receiving payments totalling in excess of $200,000.

 

  1. CEO Remuneration
    • The total remuneration paid to the Council’s Chief Executive.
    • The total remuneration paid to the CEO of each council-controlled organisation. Please disclose the name of the CEO, the name of the relevant council-controlled organisation, and the annual remuneration the CEO received.

 

Please ensure that each remuneration figure includes any KiwiSaver contributions, mileage payments, and any other benefits. Please also break down the total remuneration figure into each of these components (base salary, mileage payments, KiwiSaver contributions, communications allowances, and any other benefits).

If the Council (or any CCO) had a change of CEO during the financial year, please disclose the CEO remuneration as an annualised figure, i.e. the amount the incoming (or interim) CEO would have received should they have remained in the role for the full year. Please disclose any severance payments made to the outgoing CEO separately

7. Elected Official Remuneration

  • The total remuneration paid to the Council’s Mayor during the 2017/18 Financial Year.
  • The total remuneration paid to the Council’s Deputy Mayor during the 2017/18 Financial Year.
  • The sum of annual remuneration paid the Councillors (excluding the Mayor and Deputy Mayor) in the 2017/18 Financial Year.
  • The total number of Councillors (excluding the Mayor and Deputy Mayor).

 

Please ensure that each remuneration figure includes any non-salary benefits, i.e. please disclose the total of each position’s base salary, hearing fees, mileage payments, communications allowances and any other non-salary benefits.

Please include any remuneration paid to elected officials who hold specific portfolios, and any remuneration paid to elected officials for sitting on various committees or subcommittees, or for attending hearings.

If the Council had a change of an elected official during the financial year, please disclose the remuneration as an annualised figure, i.e. the amount the elected official would have received should they have remained in the role for the full year. Please disclose any severance payments made to the outgoing elected official separately.

  1. Audit and Risk Oversight
    • The number of members on the Council’s Audit and Risk Committee (or equivalent).
    • The number of elected officials on the Committee.
    • The number of independent members on the Committee.
    • The number of lawyers (with a current practising certificate) on the Committee.
    • The number of chartered accountants (with a current practising certificate) on the Committee.
    • Whether the chair of the Council’s Audit and Risk Committee is an independent member.
    • Whether the Council has an election year protocol requiring Council staff to act in a politically neutral or impartial manner. If so, please provide the wording of the provision(s).
    • Whether the Council has a code of conduct (above and beyond an election year protocol) requiring Council staff to act in a political neutral or impartial manner. If so, please provide the wording of the provision(s).

 

  1. Payments to third parties
    • The total payments made by the Council (or any council-controlled organisation) to any Chamber of Commerce.
    • The total payments made by the Council (or any council-controlled organisation) to Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).
    • The total payments made by the Council (or any council-controlled organisation) to the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM).

In the 2017/18 financial year there were no staff dismissed (for any reason).

The Council’s Annual Report disclosure in Note 19 meets the accounting standards for disclosure of information relating to employee remuneration, however we confirm that of the eleven staff who earned over $100,000, two of those earned over $200,000.

Supporting Documents:

Staff Conduct Policy (PDF, 307KB)

LGOIMA Taxpayers Union (PDF, 186KB)

Expectations of Integrity and Conduct (PDF, 779KB)

Staff Protocols for Local Body Elections (PDF, 358KB)

Ratepayers Reports TOP (PDF, 66KB) and BOTTOM (PDF, 76KB)

 

Environmental Health

Dog Attacks
I’m after statistics and details on the dog attacks that occurred during 2018 in your respective districts.

  1. I would like the total number of dog attacks on each: people/pets/stock, accompanied with specific details of each event, such as when the incidents occurred, what happened, the extent of injury, whether medical attention was required, and whether prosecutions followed.
  2. How much money was spent on prosecuting the owners of dogs that attacked during 2018, and which incidents did these relate to?
  3. How many dogs were deemed menacing by deed that year, and what incidents did they relate to?
  4. How many dogs were euthanised as a result of an attack.

All dog attack information contained in Dog Attack Spreadsheet (XLS, 16KB)

Dog Registrations

We are seeking information relating to the management of dogs by Council, dog registration and fees.   Specifically, could you please provide, with respect to each of the financial years (2013-2014) ,(2014-2015), (2015 -2016), (2016- 2017), (2017- 2018), the following information:

  1. How many dogs have been registered (including multiple owner registrations).
  2. How many applications have been made for a responsible dog owner licence.
  3. The total revenue which has been collected from dog registration and/or responsible owner licences.
  4. The number of fines and infringement notices issued to owners.
  5. The total dollar value for the fines and infringement notices issued.
  6. The amount actually collected from owners in relation to fines and infringement notices
  7. The total number of dogs that have been re-homed.
  8. The total number of dogs that have been brought into Council control and destroyed/ euthanised.
  9. The total spend by Council from dog registrations on systems and processes necessary to on run dog control.
  10. Any documents (including meeting minutes and communications) showing how decisions are made with respect to how dog registration fees are allocated and spent.
  11. The total amount spent in each of the specified years on animal management/control.
  12. If there is surplus funds from revenue collected from dog registrations, where that money is accounted for in the financial accounts, and how much in each of the financial years set out above.

Main response document (PDF, 86KB)

Dogs Fees (PDF, 167KB)

2015 Fees Council Paper (PDF, 802KB)

2014 Council Paper (PDF, 93KB)

2015 Council Paper (PDF, 115KB)

2016 Council Paper (PDF, 61KB)

2017 Council Paper (PDF, 133KB)

2018 Council Paper (PDF, 91KB)

Environmental Health Officers

1  How many EHOs does your local authority currently employ ?

2  When it employs EHOs does your local authority use the list of suitable qualifications on the Ministry of Health’s website to ensure EHO candidates are qualified?   YES/NO

3  For EHO appointments are the Regulations referred to in your local authority’s:

(a) recruitment policies?  YES/NO  

(b) job descriptions?        YES/        NO

4  Are the Regulations fit for purpose? YES/NO

5 Could the Regulations be improved on from your perspective? If yes, in what ways?


  1. 3 plus a cadette EHO 
  2. Yes
  3. a. No policy for recruitment b. Yes
  4. Yes
  5. They are suitable
Car Registration Infringements

Would you be able to provide me what data you have readily available on the number of  infringements notices or tickets that your parking wardens (or other staff) have issued to vehicles each year for not having a current vehicle licence (also called ‘rego’)?


Police, NZTA and Local Authorities all have the legal ability to issue infringements for vehicles that do not have a current licence and / or have no evidence of current Warrant of Fitness, to the best of our knowledge Police issue infringements for these offences if they stop a vehicle for another reason. 

We do not know how NZTA enforce these offenses. 

Local Authorities have the legal ability to infringe vehicles for all stationary vehicle offences including licence and WOF offences, currently Masterton District Council choose to only enforce parking related offences.  This decision may be reviewed in the future.

Shared Pound Facilities

Can I have all correspondence relating to Dog pounds between the Carterton Council and the Masterton Council staff, councillors and Mayors.

And the financial costings of a joint dog pound and a Masterton stand alone Dog pound.

Also the number of euthanised dogs in the last two years.


Thank you for your email dated 09/08/19 requesting information under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. You requested dog pound correspondence between Masterton and Carterton District Council elected members and staff, costings of a joint dog pound and a Masterton District Council dog pound, as well as the number of dogs euthanised in the last two years.

Refer to Attachment 1 for a schedule of the most recent dog pound correspondence between Masterton and Carterton District Council staff and accompanying emails. We have no correspondence from Elected Members.
In the 2018-28 Long-Term Plan, one of our 10-year priorities in the regulatory services area includes upgrading the pound facility to better meet the needs of this service. Funding of $612,600 was budgeted for Year 2. This work has been carried forward in the 2019-20 Annual Plan, with only initial scoping work for a new pound facility planned in this financial year, with a provision of $100k set aside for this work. This scoping work will support the development of more detailed costings for this project going forward.

Carterton and South Wairarapa District Council’s have also included a pound upgrade as part of their 2018-28 Long-Term Plans. Carterton District Council subsequently confirmed in their 2019-20 Annual Plan that they will continue to explore the option of a shared pound with South Wairarapa District Council, and that following previous discussions, it has been agreed that a shared pound facility for all three Councils is not a viable option. We can confirm that sixty-four dogs have been euthanised within the Masterton District in the last two years (30 in 2017-18 and 34 in 2018-19). This information can also be found in a section 10A report on our website https://mstn.govt.nz/services/animal-control/ . Under section 10 A of the Dog Control Act 1996, all Councils are required to report annually to the Department of Internal Affairs on specified dog control activities.

Email Correspondence (PDF, 1MB)

Waste Management

Waste Management and Minimisation
We are interested in the details of grants approved for the purposes of promoting or achieving waste management and minimisation as authorised under the Council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan (WMMP).

  • We request information in relation to all grants made in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years, including:
    1. the recipients;
    2. the amount;
    3. the date of approval;
    4. a list of the decision makers(s);
    5. any conflicts of interests declared during the decision making process;
    6. the date(s) of payment;
    7. the project summary;
    8. how the grant promotes or achieves waste minimisation;
    9. how the grant is in accordance with the WMMP – please refer to the strategic objectives or strategy in the WMMP the grant relates to;
    10. what follow up (post-implementation review) the Council has conducted to ensure the project was successful (or otherwise) in promoting or achieving waste minimisation (if any).
  • We request the closing balances of the fund allocated to Waste Disposal Levy revenue for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years.
  • We also request a copy of the WMMP (or URL to where it is available).

The Council received Waste levy funding as follows:

2016/17  $93,526.17

2017/18  $95,684.85

All of the funds received have been spent/allocated to offset expenditure on waste minimisation activities in the years concerned. There is no unspent fund carried forward. The Council’s expenditure on waste minimisation activities runs in excess of $1m per annual.

The Council is part of the Wellington Region’s WMMP (PDF, 2MB).

External waste minimisation funding report (PDF, 62KB)

Recycling Tonnage

Can you please send me the total tonnage of recycling collected from transfer stations in your area for the past five financial years.


Recycling tonnage (XLS, 13KB)

Waste figures (XLS, 12KB)

Transport 

Let's Get Wellington Moving

Under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, could I please have a copy of any documents received from other Councils, NZTA, Ministers offices, government agencies (including the Ministry of Transport and Treasury) or the Let’s Get Wellington Moving joint initiative, relating to the Let’s Get Wellington Moving initiative, or similar.

Please include documents that relate to the initiative as a whole, or any of the potential projects included in the initiative (mass transit from wellington city to wellington southern suburbs, either bus, bus rapid transit, light rail or trackless trams; extra Mt Victoria Tunnel; Basin Reserve Improvement; extra terrace tunnel; Te Aro tunnel and park (relocate southbound traffic from Vivian St into a tunnel under Te Aro); Ruahine St / Wellington Road widening).

Please also include in this request documents that relate to funding proposals for such projects.


Correspondence from the Regional Transport Committee including agendas and minutes can be found through accessing the GWRC website on the following link http://www.gw.govt.nz/regional-transport-committee-2/

Please note Upper Hutt City Council administer the Mayoral Forum and Wellington City Council the Chief Executives Forum. We could transfer the section of the request relating to the MF and CEF but due to the below the information is likely not to be released.

Mayoral Forum & Chief Executives Forum

Section 2 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 defines official information and specifically excludes categories of information under subsection (b)(i)-(iii) from the definition.  The documents you have requested fall into the exclusion category in subsection (b) (ii) because the Council holds the documents as an agent for the Mayoral Forum and Chief Executives Forum for the sole purpose of safe custody.  Therefore, for that reason the information you requested is withheld.

Email Mayor to Elected Members (PDF, 1MB)

LGWM email to Mayor (PDF, 1MB)

LGWM Vision (PDF, 1MB)

Letter to Phil Twyford (PDF, 201KB)

Email Mayor to CE (PDF, 748KB)

Email Phil Twyford to Mayor (PDF, 871KB)

Email from Infrastructure NZ to Mayor (PDF, 934KB)

Email from CE to MDC Staff (PDF, 247KB)

Email Mayor to Elected Members (PDF, 1MB)

Email Mayor Wellington to Mayor Masterton (PDF, 305KB)

Staff and Governance 

Chinese Travel

All trips taken by the Mayor to China in the past 5 years. Please include where the Mayor travelled to during the trip, officials the Mayor met during the trip, how long the trip was, purpose of the trip and who paid for it.

If it was Council funded, how much did it cost?


Masterton District Council can advise that The Mayor of Masterton travelled to Masterton’s Sister City Changchun, China, in May 2016 at the invitation of the Mayor of Changchun.  The Mayor met with the Mayor of Changchun, Foreign Affairs officials, business leaders, school principals and officials from education, and visited the Sculpture Park for a tree planting ceremony to commemorate our twenty-year relationship. The Mayor of Masterton was in Changchun for four days for official business.

The trip was self-funded by the Mayor of Masterton with Council contributing $680.00 for gifts to the hosts.

Councillor Hooker

1) details of any expenses claimed by Cr. Jonathan Hooker back to 1st October 2016

2) details of any grants or invoices paid to Cr. Hooker back to 1st October 2016 or to any business entity he controls or is a part of. (Synergy Ltd, Balloon festival etc)

3) the number of apologies received from Cr. Hooker for non attendance to council meetings, sub committee meetings and workshops dating to the last election.


1)  In Councillor Hooker’s capacity as Councillor (over and above his honorarium) in June 2018 MDC paid him a taxable allowance of $225 for six hours of travel time plus $188.34 in mileage and $41.50 reimbursement for a train trip.

2) October 2016 to August 2019

Payments to Synergy Ltd:

$1,441.76            Hosting costs Changchun teachers  –  reimbursement for Masterton International Relations Committee costs

$214.89               Water tank fittings reimbursement – Civil Defence welfare centre fitout.

$25,874.42         EM/CD Welfare contract role (Wairarapa-wide) MDC share

$19,679.14         EM/CD Welfare contract role (Wairarapa-wide) CDC & SWDC share – paid to Synergy by MDC.  MDC reimbursed by CDC & SWDC

$ 2,839.96           Kaiwhata landslide incident – paid to Synergy by MDC.  MDC reimbursed by Carterton District Council.

Grant to Wairarapa Balloon Society – Councillor Hooker Chair up to 28th September 2017.

In April 2017 the Wairarapa Balloon Society received an Events Fund Grant of $10,000 plus GST. Councillor Hooker resigned from the Wairarapa Balloon Society Committee on 28th September 2017.

3) Number of apologies 2016-2019 Triennium – J Hooker

Council Meetings

Committee Meetings

Workshops

4

0

10

Communications Staff

Note: These questions are copied and adapted from the select committee questions to govt agencies, and as such can re considered fair and reasonable and within the bounds of the info that your council would have to hand

  1. How many public relations and/or communications employees staff were employed* by your council for the periods**:
    1. currently;
    2. in the last financial year;
    3. in each of the previous four financial years;
  1. How many public relations and/or communications contractors or consultants or providers of comms/PR professional services were engaged by your council;
    1. broken down as per same periods in  Q1
  1. what was the total salary budget for employed staff, broken down for same periods in Q1?
  2. what was the total salary/fee/etc budget for contractors or consultants or providers of professional services
  3. How much were these staff paid broken down by salary band?
    1. broken down as per same periods in  Q1
  4. How much were contractors, consultants,  providers of professional services paid broken down by salary band?
    1. broken down as per same periods in  Q1
  5. Where contractors, consultants etc were paid by project, pls specify the total cost of such projects
    1. broken down as per same periods in  Q1
    2. Noting any projects that cost the council more than $100,000
  6. How much in total did the council spend on advertising, public relations/comms campaigns or publications in the last financial year?
    1. How does this compare to the cost of this in the previous four financial years?

 

Communications is a growing area because peoples’ desire for information, and speed they expect to get this information, is increasing. Our team’s role is to ensure our ratepayers receive information in a timely, transparent and efficient way.
As an example of increasing expectations, the number of people following Masterton District Council on social media has grown 13 per cent in the last 12 months alone; we now have almost 8,000 followers on social media. This is a significant number for a district with a population of around 25,000.

For a long time, many Councils have not been well resourced to ensure residents receive up-to-date, direct and regular information. This was certainly the case for Masterton; earlier this year we asked our ratepayers what they thought of our communication; a quarter were dissatisfied with how well they were informed about Council and its services. To help improve these results we are now bringing our resourcing up to a level which enables us to get information out to our community proactively.
Examples of how we’re doing this include introducing regular publications that are emailed direct to residents’ email inboxes, online updates on significant Council projects and, as referred to earlier, continual communication through social media.

The scope of work our communications team covers is significantly broader than communications teams in other organisations. In addition to the disciplines outlined by PRINZ, our communications team is also responsible for marketing of Council services and events, stakeholder engagement around capital projects (over and above communicating with ratepayers), developing plans for engaging the community (both in formal engagements and ‘pre-engagement’ to support policy development) and event management. Typically, media relations accounts for about 30 per cent of the communications team’s time.

Finally, it’s important to express that our communications team is committed to working in line with PRINZ’s Code of Ethics: https://www.prinz.org.nz/About/Code-of-Ethics

Full financial breakdown (XLS, 14KB)

Fix-It Requests

I was after some data under the OIA if available please.

 

  1. How many people are making “fix it requests” via mdc website versus by phone, in person, and by post (not sure if that is still applicable)?
  2. Of those standard “fix it requests” made (not classified as urgent), what is the average time frame of response to the person – wether a phone call or email back, and the average time frame of that problem being fixed?
  3. How many “fix it requests” problems are left as is for various reasons?

 

Masterton District Council can advise the following;

  1. 126 fix-it-forms were received during the period 1st July 2018 to 30 June 2019 compared to 7,051 service requests for that period. Service requests can be received via phone, face to face, email or post.
  2. The average response to the person who submitted a fix-it-form is 2.5 calendar days and the average time for the issue to be fixed was 18 calendar days. The average includes some complex requests and days counted include weekends. The majority of fix it forms are responded to within 1 day and over half the issues are resolved within a week.
  3. There is one fix-it-form that has not yet been resolved and this fix-it-form remains open from April of this year. This request has been placed into a work schedule for action.
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