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LGOIA Request - correspondence with Sarin Investments Limited on Lower Hutt hotel

Daniel Twaddle made this Official Information request to Hutt City Council

This request has an unknown status. We're waiting for Daniel Twaddle to read recent responses and update the status.

From: Daniel Twaddle

Dear Hutt City Council,

I seek, pursuant to section 10 of the Local Government Official Information Act 1987, the following:

- Correspondence, in any form, between Sarin Investments and Hutt City Council, on matters that relate to progress on and likely completion date of the four star hotel under construction in southern High Street, Lower Hutt.

Please treat Sarin Investments as including any agents, representatives, contractors or sub-contractos of Sarin Investments as Sarin Investments for the purposes of this request.

I understand that fulfilling this request may be time consuming and potentially costly. I am happy to discuss ways in which I could refine or otherwise limit my request to avoid undue time and cost for the Council.

Kind Regards,

Daniel Twaddle

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Hutt City Council

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From: Hutt City Council - Acknowledgements
Hutt City Council


Attachment DOC 19 94487 Acknowledgement Letter OIR Daniel Twaddle Correspondence with Sarin Investments Limited on Lower Hutt Hotel CLEAN.pdf
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Dear Sir/Madam

 

Attached is an acknowledgement of your recent Official Information
Request.

 

Kind regards

Corporate Information 

Hutt City Council

 

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council


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Daniel

Your request has been forwarded to me.  Our records staff advise approx.
4,500 records relating to Sarin/Hotel are held on file, not allowing for
any agents, representatives, contractors or sub-contractors.  Assuming
only 2 mins per record to search/review that equates to 150 hours of time
required.

 

The first hour is free and thereafter $38 per half hour or part thereof. 
That would equate to a cost of $11,324 in time alone.

Can you please advise if you want to proceed or whether you want to refine
your enquiry.

Regards

Gary

 

Gary Craig
Divisional Manager, City Growth

Hutt City Council, 30 Laings Road, Private Bag 31912, Lower Hutt 5040, New
Zealand
T 04 570 6920, M 027 278 9473,  W [1]www.huttcity.govt.nz

         [2][IMG]

 

 

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this e-mail message may be legally
privileged or confidential. The information is intended only for the
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message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use,
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From: Contact
Sent: Friday, 26 July 2019 7:55 AM
To: Corporate Records
Subject: FW: Official Information request - LGOIA Request - correspondence
with Sarin Investments Limited on Lower Hutt hotel [#45DEBI]

 

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From: Daniel Twaddle

Dear Gary Craig,

Thank you for your response to my request under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. I would like to take up your offer to refine my request further. It is likely to be more constructive to do this through a telephone conversation. I have left a voice message with my contact details, please call me at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Twaddle

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council


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Sorry I missed you. Will call Monday morning.
Cheers

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Gary Craig
Divisional Manager, City Growth

Hutt City Council, 30 Laings Road, Private Bag 31912, Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand
T 04 570 6920, M 027 278 9473, W www.huttcity.govt.nz<http://www.huttcity.govt.nz>

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IMPORTANT: The information contained in this e-mail message may be legally privileged or confidential. The information is intended only for the recipient named in the e-mail message. If the reader of this e-mail message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use, copying or distribution of this e-mail message is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail message in error, please notify the sender immediately. Thank you.

-------- Original message

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From: Daniel Twaddle

Dear Gary Craig,

Thank you for your phone call this morning. I'm keen to work with you to refine this request. As discussed, I would appreciate it if you could filter the results to only include those with "stop", "cease" or "delay" to see if this makes the number of results more manageable. We can then discuss next steps.

Thanks again for your assistance with this.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Twaddle

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council

Daniel
Our records team have run the searches requested. I have also asked them to run with USAR instead of Sarin as USAR is the legal entity in contract with Council; and also limited to as from 1 May 2015 as the contractual arrangement was entered into in May 2015.

The results as to numbers of records are:
Using the search criteria On or after 1/5/2015
Sarin + Cease + 3
Sarin + Stop = 178
Sarin + Delay = 283
Total 464 records @ 2mins per record = 928 mins or 15.5 hrs

Using the search Criteria On or After 1/5/2015
USAR + Stop = 202
USAR + Cease = 55
USAR + Delay = 407
Total 664 records @ 2mins per record = 1,328 mins or 22 hours

Daniel - this has reduced the search a little but still involves significant time - 37.5 hours
The first hour is free and thereafter $38 per half hour or part thereof.
That would equate to a cost of $2,774 in time alone.

Please advise if you want to proceed, in which case Council will require payment up front, or whether you want to refine
your enquiry further.

Regards
Gary

Gary Craig
Divisional Manager, City Growth

Hutt City Council, 30 Laings Road, Private Bag 31912, Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand
T 04 570 6920, M 027 278 9473, W www.huttcity.govt.nz, F www.facebook.com/huttcitycouncil

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this e-mail message may be legally privileged or confidential. The information is intended only for the recipient named in the e-mail message. If the reader of this e-mail message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use, copying or distribution of this e-mail message is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail message in error, please notify the sender immediately. Thank you.

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From: Daniel Twaddle

Dear Gary Craig,

Thank you for your assistance in refining this request. I obviously would still want to refine the results as the charge is quite high. Would you be prepared to filter the above results to those since 1 January 2019, and see what that does to the volume / amount I would have to pay?

I also wonder whether the Council would consider waiving or partially waiving its charges for this request on the basis that release of this information is in the broader public interest. I note that Hutt City Council updated its status on facebook on 6 August at 4:29pm to the following:

“Given there’s been a lot of interest in what’s happening with The Sebel Hotel project in High Street, we wanted to provide this further update. As noted previously there have been some technical issues with the build which has slowed down completion. The developer is meeting regularly with the Chief Executive providing updates on the project and, as recently as this week, has reiterated his commitment to completing the hotel and meeting his contractual obligations.

“When complete the hotel will be an asset to the city, complementing the Lower Hutt Events Centre. Increasing Lower Hutt’s capacity to host events and conferences will boost the vibrancy of the CBD and play a part in driving our local economy. We are looking forward to the hotel opening and seeing the benefits it will bring to the city in terms of job creation and also the positive flow-on effects on the accommodation, hospitality, retail and service sectors.”

I agree with Council's description. I also believe that completing this Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 request is an opportunity for Council to transparently show its citizens that its public statements on this issue have been true, and a waiver of charges is therefore appropriate (rather than sending me broke).

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Twaddle

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council

Daniel
I will get our records people to run the date filter as suggested and let's see what we are looking at then.
Cheers
Gary

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council

Daniel
Further refining the search has identified the following number of relevant records:
On or after 1/1/2019 Sarin + Cease = 1; Sarin + Stop = 51; Sarin + Delay = 70; Total 122
On or after 1/1/2019 USAR + Cease = 1; USAR + Stop = 40; USAR + Delay + 19; Total 60

Council will not waive its charges for this information. However I suspect that the USAR records may be a subset of the count of Sarin records so can limit the information to the 122 records identified
Which means a charge calculated as follows:
122 records x 2 minutes per record = 244 minutes or 4.06 hours
First hour free.
3 hours at $38 per half hour or part = $228.00

In accordance with clause 13(4) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, Hutt City Council requires that these charges are to be paid in advance of your receipt of the information. Please let me know if you wish to proceed on this basis.

Otherwise pursuant to section 18 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 you have the right to make a written complaint to the Ombudsman in accordance with section 27(3) of the Act if you are not satisfied with our response regarding the charge of $228.00 for responding to this request.

Regards
Gary

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From: Daniel Twaddle

Dear Gary Craig,

Thanks for this. I guess that is probably as good as it is going to get, so will go with it. But I will give you a call later today to discuss before confirming that i want this to proceed.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Twaddle

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council

And I am happy to discuss how this may be further filtered to reduce the time requirement.
Cheers
Gary

Gary Craig
Divisional Manager, City Growth

Hutt City Council, 30 Laings Road, Private Bag 31912, Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand
T 04 570 6920, M 027 278 9473, W www.huttcity.govt.nz, F www.facebook.com/huttcitycouncil

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this e-mail message may be legally privileged or confidential. The information is intended only for the recipient named in the e-mail message. If the reader of this e-mail message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use, copying or distribution of this e-mail message is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail message in error, please notify the sender immediately. Thank you.

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council

Daniel
As per our phone conversation yesterday we have received a similar request to yours. As many of the same documents will be involved the search and review time can be shared meaning we can reduce our estimate of time taken.
Search and review of 122 documents @ 1.5 minutes record = 183 minutes or 3 hours
First hour free.
2 hours at $38 per half hour or part = $152.00.

In accordance with clause 13(4) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, Hutt City Council requires that these charges are to be paid in advance of your receipt of the information. Please let me know if you wish to proceed on this basis.

Otherwise pursuant to section 18 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 you have the right to make a written complaint to the Ombudsman in accordance with section 27(3) of the Act if you are not satisfied with our response regarding the charge of $152.00 for responding to this request.

Regards
Gary

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From: Daniel Twaddle

Dear Gary Craig,

Thanks for this. I appreciate your effort to identify a way to reduce the costs of this.

Can I check that this would be the same 122 documents that you identified in your email to me of 12 August (i.e. the scope hasn't changed)? If so, I am happy to proceed with this and will contact you once you have replied to arrange payment details.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Twaddle

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council

Daniel
Yes that is correct.
Cheers
Gary

Gary Craig
Divisional Manager, City Growth

Hutt City Council, 30 Laings Road, Private Bag 31912, Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand
T 04 570 6920, M 027 278 9473, W www.huttcity.govt.nz, F www.facebook.com/huttcitycouncil

IMPORTANT: The information contained in this e-mail message may be legally privileged or confidential. The information is intended only for the recipient named in the e-mail message. If the reader of this e-mail message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any use, copying or distribution of this e-mail message is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail message in error, please notify the sender immediately. Thank you.

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From: Daniel Twaddle

Dear Gary Craig,

That's great news. As discussed I am happy for the request to proceed and will make payment as soon as payment details are supplied.

I would prefer that any documents released be done so in electronic format, insofar as that is possible/convenient for Council.

Also, if possible, I would appreciate any updates, for instance around timing of the completion of this request, either formally or informally.

Thanks again for your help and patience in refining this request.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Twaddle

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From: Daniel Twaddle

Dear Gary Craig,

I'm just checking back with you about how to make the payment for this request. I am keen to do this ASAP, as you noted that you require payment before work on the request can begin.

I'm not keen for this request to be held up due to Council not providing an avenue through which payment can be made. I have tried to find a way at the Council website, but it didn't seem to have anything. The closest is the "making payments" page (http://www.huttcity.govt.nz/Get-in-touch...), but OIA charges don't seem to be covered.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Twaddle

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council

Daniel
Work has commenced on your enquiry - and I am seeking information on how to pay.
Cheers
Gary

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From: Gary Craig
Hutt City Council

Daniel
I am writing to advise that we will waive any charge in relation to this request. The fact that you refined your request and given the public interest in the matter have led us to this conclusion.
Regards
Gary

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From: Daniel Twaddle

Dear Gary Craig,

Thanks for all of your help refining this request and the decision to waive fees in light of the public interest benefits involved. I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Many thanks,

Daniel Twaddle

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