Biosecurity and Biodiversity Working Party

29 January 2020

Biosecurity and Biodiversity Working Party Minutes


Meeting held in the Kaipara Room

36 Water Street, Whangārei

on Wednesday 29 January 2020, commencing at 13:30




Chairperson, NRC Councillor Jack Craw

Councillor Justin Blaikie

Councillor Marty Robinson

Councillor Rick Stolwerk

Ex Officio Penny Smart


In Attendance:

Full Meeting

CEO Northern Regional Council

Group Manager - Environmental Services

Biodiversity Manager

Biosecurity Manager

Biosecurity Manager – Partnerships

Biosecurity Manager – Incursions & Response

Biosecurity Manager – Weeds & Freshwater

Biosecurity Manager – Marine

PA Environmental Services

Part Meeting

Policy Specialist

Coast Care Co-ordinator


The meeting commenced at 13:30.

Apologies (Item 1.0)

Acknowledgement that TTMAC is yet to meet and appoint members to this Working Party.

Working Party Terms of Reference (Item 2.0)

Bruce provided overview of the Terms of Reference, noting opportunity in future to review these. Question regarding members of the public interacting with meeting – confirmation that this is at the Chair’s discretion.

Work Programme Highlights (Item 3.0)

Biodiversity highlights presented by Biodiversity Manager

·         Additional questions and conversations regarding:

o   Compliance issues and if we’re able to issue notices

o   Wetlands mapping project

Biosecurity highlights presented by Biosecurity Manager

·         Additional questions and conversations regarding:

o   Monitoring of pest indices with CPCAs

o   Number of volunteers involved

Work Programme Overview, Gaps and Issues (Item 4.0)

Biodiversity Programme overview, gaps and issues presented by Biodiversity Manager and Coast Care Co-ordinator

·         Additional questions and conversations regarding:

o   Time spent on compliance issues

o   Mapping information to Regional Plan

o   What impacts loss of wetland quality?

o   Is it possible to get carbon outputs and credits for wetlands?

o   Is there a record of extinctions and eradications in wetlands?

o   Can a report be generated on monitoring gaps for Biosecurity?

o   Lack of terrestrial ecosystems monitoring

o   Staff resourcing levels insufficient, possibility of using student researchers

o   Need for Regional Biodiversity Strategy – good start made by Biodiversity Manager

Biosecurity Programme overview, gaps and issues

·         Partnerships presented by Biosecurity Manager – Partnerships . Additional questions and conversations regarding:

o   Land areas of High Value Areas

o   Funding for PF2050

o   Funding partnerships and allocations

·         Weeds and Freshwater presented by Biosecurity Manager – Weeds & Freshwater. Additional questions and conversations regarding:

o   Roadside operations – who is responsible for what

o   Quarry truck regulations

o   Inability to use mapping from other councils

o   Vectors for pest fish spread

o   Control measures for pest fish

o   Updating compliance to cover more weeds

·         Marine presented by Biosecurity Manager – Marine. Additional questions and conversations regarding:

o   What happens when pest is found on hulls

o   Effectiveness of checking 50% of vessels

o   Request for a small information pack regarding successes

o   Possibility of a Council dive team or sharing a dive team with other Councils, use of underwater drones

o   Larger vessels being checked

·         Incursions & Response presented by Biosecurity Manager – Incursions & Response. Additional questions and conversations regarding:

o   Kauri Rescue a good option to advocate

o   Any work being done on kauri resistance and replanting?

o   Numbers on deer farms?

o   Tagging deer for locating/tracking?

o   Are deer farms increasing?

o   Hobby farms with small number of deer need better monitoring

o   How much enforcement is our responsibility?

o   Funding and staffing for pig and goat control

National Issues (Item 5.0)

Overview presented by Group Manager - Environmental Services on current national issues.

Items for next Working Party meeting (Item 6.0)

·         Want opinions of what everyone is wanting from this group

o   Critical issues in the following 3 months

o   Strategic issues

o   Areas of concern eg threatened values

·         Biosecurity Operational Plan and Annual Report – needs more emphasis on outcomes rather than outputs and activities

·         Gaps in our programme – what could work; test council thinking

·         What are our strategic priorities for the next 3 years?

·         Total funding – do we have enough? What can the community afford?

·         Moving from outputs to outcomes – how do we demonstrate this?

·         Extend meeting to 3 hour duration





The meeting concluded at 16:30.