Planning and Regulatory Working Party

29 April 2020

Planning & Regulatory Working Party Meeting Notes


Meeting held via Zoom video and teleconferencing

on Wednesday 29 April 2020, commencing at 9.30am



Present | Tuhinga:                         Cr Joce Yeoman            (Chair)

                                                               Cr Amy Macdonald

                                                               Cr Colin Kitchen

                                                               Cr Justin Blaikie

                                                               Cr Penny Smart             (Ex-Officio)

                                                               Mira Norris                     Te Parawhau Hapū Authority Charitable Trust

                                                               Rowan Tautari               Te Whakapiko Hapū

In Attendance | I Tae Mai:          GM – Strategy, Governance & Engagement

                                                               GM – Regulatory Services

                                                               Strategy, Policy & Planning Manager

                                                               Compliance Monitoring Manager

                                                               Natural Resources Policy Manager

                                                               Policy Specialist – Water

                                                               Kaiawhina Kaupapa Māori

                                                               Strategy, Planning & Policy Administrator (minutes)


The Chair opened the meeting at 9.35am with a mihi.



Juliane Chetham, Malcolm Nicolson



It was advised that members should make any declarations item-by-item as the meeting progressed.


3.0          REPORTS | NGĀ RIPOATA

3.1       Receipt of Meeting Notes

Ÿ  Taken as read


3.2       Planning & Policy Work Programme

Presented by:  Ben Lee - Strategy, Policy & Planning Manager

Ÿ  Main area of focus is Regional Plan finalisation

Ÿ  Hearings on appeals were due to start April, but start date now unsure due to COVID-19

Ÿ  Other main focus is Freshwater Quality Plan change and rolling out obligations

Ÿ  NES Air Quality standards deadline has been extended to 31 July

Ÿ  RMA amendments are due to head to their second reading

Agreed Action:

Ÿ  Briefing on NES Air Quality Standards to be provided to the June meeting


3.3       Unconsented Grids

Presented by:  Michael Day - Natural Resources Policy Manager

Ÿ  The number of grids is not so much an issue as the fact that as no-one takes ownership for them - there is no control over the way they are used, allowing for contamination of water and spread of marine pests

Ÿ  Consented grids have conditions which state what you can and can’t do on the grid

Ÿ  Previously communities have been offered the option to take ownership and have them consented – this approach has not been successful to date

Ÿ  A lot of the grids are historic, which pre-date the coastal plan (ie. 40 – 50 years old)

Ÿ  Have so far taken a more lenient approach to allowing unconsented grids to remain in some areas where there are limited boat facilities

Ÿ  Now attempting to reduce / eliminate unconsented grids, which can be removed if deemed to be abandoned

Ÿ  No set timeframe – currently addressing those which are more problematic

Ÿ  Marine Biosecurity team are looking at a policy being introduced (not necessarily RMA) to allow phasing out of unconsented grids in order to address the issues that they are creating within the marine environment

Ÿ  Council is only able to deal with environmental incidents with the information provided, which is sometimes inadequate to identify offenders

Agreed Action:

Ÿ  Provide status on Marine Biosecurity team progress to next WP meeting


3.4       Plan change to implement the water quality planning requirements in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Manager 2017

Presented by:  Ben Tait - Policy Specialist (Water)

Ÿ  Initial stages of the project are underway - NIWA and Land & Water Science have been commissioned to provide modelling to allow an understanding of baseline water quality

Ÿ  Developing a model to make predictions about future water quality – expected to be delivered in June / July

Ÿ  Due to COVID-19 it is now unclear what the new NPS will look like and the timing of the release

Ÿ  Met with MTAG on 16 April to discuss way forward liaising with tangata whenua and other key stakeholders – strawman being developed and will be presented to next MTAG meeting for discussion

Ÿ  Understanding sediment transport is extremely difficult – traditionally deal with long term medians and averages

Ÿ  Draft NPS has two – deposited sediment and suspended sediment – based on annual medians, not episodic rainfall events such as heavy rainfall following logging of a forestry area

Ÿ  More monitoring will be required if NPS proceeds

Ÿ  Consideration needs to be given to the fact that water allocation affects quality - allocation is addressed in the Proposed Regional Plan

Ÿ  A separate piece of work is being undertaken looking at a review of allocation levels and quality

Ÿ  Discussion took place re engagement with communities and ensuring that the approach is consistent across the organisation and taking opportunities to combine engagement where possible / suitable

Ÿ  As far as is possible to ascertain, the budget to complete the project is adequate, however, due to budget constraints may be a risk it will not be enough should extra consultancy work be required

Ÿ  Timeframes may need to be pushed out to July council meeting – milestones need to be updated in the project plan

Ÿ  Following engagement, will work through with full council – WP feel that due to the significance of the NPS, it needs to be full council rather than just worked through at WP level

Ÿ  Anticipated that engagement will follow roughly the same process as PRP

Agreed Action:

Ÿ  Provide an update to each Working Party meeting


3.5       Climate Change Related Provisions within Regional Planning Documents

Presented by:  Michael Day - Natural Resources Policy Manager

Ÿ  Focuses on provisions that specifically refer to climate change in both plans

Ÿ  Important to note that the document has been future-proofed, by referring to “the latest national guidance” rather than a specific point in time

Ÿ  Discussion re liaison with district councils and implementation and capacity and capability of the organisation to address this

Ÿ  Reviewing the RPS will start next year

Ÿ  Discussion took place re hard protection structures

Agreed Action

Ÿ  Ben L to circulate wording from RPS relating to precautionary policy approach


11.29am  -  Amy Macdonald, Penny Smart, Tess Dace & Jonathan Gibbard left the meeting


3.6       New Regional Plan Implementation Plan

Presented by:  Colin Dall - GM, Regulatory Services

Ÿ  Has been tasked to set up a staff working group to set up plan

Ÿ  Little progress has been made to date due to COVID-19

Ÿ  Now that we are operating under Level 3, will be able to progress the matter

Ÿ  Draft plan will be presented to the Working Party later in the year


3.7       NRC Forestry Monitoring Programmes

Agreed Action:

Ÿ  Defer item to next meeting


3.8       Outstanding Marine Farm Bonds Protocol

Presented by:  Colin Dall - GM, Regulatory Services

Ÿ  Timing is unfortunate due to COVID-19, however, this issue has been going on for over ten years

Ÿ  It was agreed to proceed with the proposed protocol and deal with hardship issues on a case-by-case basis


3.9       Drought Update

Presented by:  Colin Dall - GM, Regulatory Services

Ÿ  Although there appears to have been a reasonable amount of rainfall this month, YTD Whangārei is still 40% below average, with the rest of the region around 45 – 50% below average

Ÿ  The area is still in drought with fluctuating rainfall patterns expected

Ÿ  Level 4 restrictions are still in place in in some areas – working with CDEM and arranging tanker deliveries to communities - 200+ deliveries since 13 March

Ÿ  Availability of stock feed is now becoming an issue – MPI working on this

Ÿ  Discussion regarding increased use of household water tanks and whether this would alleviate the issue


11.48am  -  Penny Smart re-joined the meeting


3.10    Draft Compliance Monitoring & Enforcement Strategy

Presented by: Colin Dall - GM, Regulatory Services

Ÿ  The challenge has been keeping the document short and concise

Ÿ  Costs associated with CME - where we can recover those from applicants it should be taken into account and noted in the strategy

Ÿ  Discussion took place regarding decision making and enforcement and a clear structure to move forward

Ÿ  Strategy well written and clear

Ÿ  Next steps are to take the strategy to ELT, and then on to Council for endorsement

Agreed Action:

Ÿ  Email any further comments through to Colin Dall



The meeting closed at 11.59am