Buller District Council

Media Release – Future proofing halls and reserves

20th October, 2020

In a report prepared for Buller District Council’s Finance, Risk, and Audit Committee, Council staff provided an update on work underway in relation to some of the district’s halls and reserves.

Reserve and Halls Subcommittees were formally established at the end of April and all 11 subcommittees have held their first formal quarterly meeting.

The focus has been to get the new subcommittees established, put processes in place, and build an understanding about how Council can best support the subcommittees. As a result, Council staff are working with three of the new subcommittees to resolve some matters which need addressing.

Group Manager Community Services Rachel Townrow says: “The water supplies to the Seddonville and Karamea Reserves rely on historic agreements with other landowners. Changes of landowner and/or circumstances mean that these arrangements now need to be readdressed. In the case of Seddonville, no legal agreement for the water supply has been found.”

“To ensure ongoing water supplies to reserves, where it is necessary to rely on third party agreements the aim will be to enter into formal legal agreements that can survive changes in ownership”.

Staff are also dealing with two instances of unconsented building work on a reserve. Unconsented internal building work occurred on the Karamea Reserve prior to the new subcommittee being established. Council issued a retrospective building consent for the work in August with further work required on the building.

Unconsented plumbing at what is known as the shed at the Carters Beach Reserve was also carried out before the new subcommittee was formed. The work was picked up on a familiarisation site visit with current subcommittee members and Council staff.

Ms Townrow says it is likely that Council will be issued with a notice to fix under the Building Act 2004 for this work.

“As the halls and reserves are under Council control, and Council is effectively the landowner, liability under the Building Act sits with Council.”

Council is responding to the situation by establishing an overall operational risk register for reserves.

“This will expand on the particular areas of legal compliance relevant to reserves and halls. Individual risk registers will be developed for each reserve by the relevant subcommittee, with support from Council staff, over the next 12-months. These risk registers will focus on the operational risks for each hall and reserve”.


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