Tuesday 16 March 2021 at 10.30am





Council Meeting

16 March 2021

Northland Regional Council Agenda


Meeting to be held in the Council Chamber

36 Water Street, Whangārei

on Tuesday 16 March 2021, commencing at 10.30am


Recommendations contained in the council agenda are NOT council decisions. Please refer to council minutes for resolutions.


Item                                                                                                                                                                                   Page

1.0       Housekeeping

Key Health and Safety points to note:

·         If the fire alarm goes off – exit down the stairwell to the assembly point which is the visitor carpark.

·         Earthquakes – duck, cover and hold.

·         Visitors please make sure you have signed in at reception, and that you sign out when you leave. Please wear your name sticker.

·         The toilets are on the opposite side of the stairwell.

·         In the event of an emergency do not use the lift.

·         Please remember to scan the COVID Tracer QR code.

2.0       TAUĀKI Ā ROTO 

3.0       apologies (ngĀ whakapahĀ)  Councillor Stolwerk


5.0       Council Minutes and Action Sheet

5.1       Confirmation of Minutes - 23 February 2021                                                                                    6

5.2       Receipt of Action Sheet                                                                                                                          16

6.0       Financial Reports

6.1       Financial Report to 28 February 2021                                                                                               19

7.0       Decision Making Matters

7.1       Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party - Appointed Members' Allowances     26

7.2       Vehicle Policy                                                                                                                                              29

7.3       Debt Recovery Policy                                                                                                                               42

7.4       Appointment of Regional Harbourmaster based in Whangārei/Marsden Point                49



8.0       Operational Reports

8.1       Health and Safety Report                                                                                                                       51

8.2       Chair's Report to Council                                                                                                                        55

8.3       Chief Executive’s Report to Council                                                                                                    57

9.0       Receipt of Committee Minutes and Working Party/Group Updates

9.1       Receipt of Committee Minutes                                                                                                            87

9.2       Working Party Updates and Chairpersons' Briefings                                                                   98  

10.0    Business with the Public Excluded                                                                                                    100

10.1    Confirmation of Confidential Minutes - 23 February 2021

10.2    Human Resources Report   



ACC - Accident Compensation Corporation

ALGIM - Association of Local Government Information Management

AMA - Aquaculture Management Area

AMP - Asset Management Plan/Activity Management Plan

AP - Annual Plan

BOI - Bay of Islands

BOPRC - Bay of Plenty Regional Council

CAPEX - Capital Expenditure (budget to purchase assets)

CBEC - Community, Business and Environment Centre

CCO – Council Controlled Organisation

CCTO – Council Controlled Trading Organisation

CDEM - Civil Defence Emergency Management

CEEF – Chief Executives Environment Forum

CEG - Co-ordinating Executive Group

CEO - Chief Executive Officer

CIMS - Co-ordinated Incident Management System (emergency management structure)

CMA - Coastal Marine Area

CPCA - Community Pest Control Areas

CRI - Crown Research Institute

DHB - District Health Board 

DOC - Department of Conservation

DP – District Plan

E350 – Extension 350 programme

ECA - Environmental Curriculum Award

ECAN - Environment Canterbury

EECA - Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority

EF - Environment Fund

EMA - Employers and Manufacturers Association

EOC - Emergency Operations Centre

EPA - Environmental Protection Authority

ETS - Emissions Trading Scheme

FDE - Farm Dairy Effluent

FNDC - Far North District Council

FNHL - Far North Holdings Limited

FPP - First Past the Post

GE - Genetic Engineering

GIS - Geographic Information System

GMO - Genetically Modified Organism

HBRC - Hawke's Bay Regional Council

HEMP - Hapū Environmental Management Plan

Horizons - Brand name of Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council

HR - Human Resources

HSNO - Hazardous Substances & New Organisms Act 

HSWA - Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

IEMP - Iwi Environmental Management Plan

ILGACE - Iwi and Local Government Chief Executives Forum

IPPC - Invited Private Plan Change

IRIS - Integrated Regional Information System

KDC - Kaipara District Council 

KPI - Key Performance Indicator

LAWA – Land, Air, Water Aotearoa

LEA - Local Electoral Act 2001

LGA - Local Government Act 2002

LGNZ - Local Government New Zealand

LGOIMA - Local Government Official Information & Meetings Act 1987

LIDAR – Light detection and ranging

LTI – Long time injury

LTP - Long Term Plan

MBIE – Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

MCDEM - Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management

MFE - Ministry for the Environment

MFL – Māori Freehold Land 

MHWS - Mean High Water Springs

MMH - Marsden Maritime Holdings Limited

MNZ - Maritime New Zealand

MOH - Ministry of Health

MOT - Ministry of Transport

MPI - Ministry for Primary Industries

MSD - Ministry of Social Development

NCMC - National Crisis Management Centre

NDHB - Northland District Health Board

NES - National Environmental Standards

NFT – Northland Forward Together

NGO - Non-Governmental Organisation

NIF - Northland Intersectoral Forum

NINC - Northland Inc. Limited

NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmosphere

NORTEG - Northland Technical Advisory Group

NPS - National Policy Statement

NZCPS - New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement

NZRC - New Zealand Refining Company (Marsden Point)

NZTA - New Zealand Transport Agency

NZTE - New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

NZWWA - New Zealand Water and Wastes Association

OFI - Opportunity for Improvement\

OPEX – Operating Expenditures

OSH - Occupational Safety & Health

OTS – Office of Treaty Settlements

PCBU - Person Conducting Business or Undertaking

PGF – Provincial Growth Fund

PPE - Personal Protective Equipment

RAP - Response Action Plan

RBI - Regional Broadband Initiative

RCP - Regional Coastal Plan

RFI - Request for Information

RFP - Request for Proposal

RLTP - Regional Land Transport Plan

RMA - Resource Management Act 1991

RMG - Resource Managers Group (Regional Councils)

RMZ - Riparian Management Zone

ROI - Return on Investment

RP – Regional Plan

RPMP - Regional Pest Management Plan

RPMS - Regional Pest Management Strategy

RPS - Regional Policy Statement

RPTP – Regional Public Transport Plan

RRSAP – Regional Road Safety Action Plan

RSG – Regional Sector Group

RSHL - Regional Software Holdings Ltd

RTC - Regional Transport Committee

RTO - Regional Tourism Organisation

SIPO - Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives

SITREP - Situation Report

SOE - State of Environment (or) State Owned Enterprise

SOI – Statement of Intent

SOLGM - Society of Local Government Managers

STV - Single Transferable Vote

TAG - Technical Advisory Group

Tier 1 - Site level plan or response for an oil spill

Tier 2 - Regional level plan or response to an oil spill

Tier 3 - National level plan or response to an oil spill

TLA - Territorial Local Authority – City & District Councils

TON – Top of the North (regions)

TTMAC – Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party

TTNEAP – Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan

TMP - Treasury Management Plan

TOR - Terms of Reference

TPK - Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry of Maori Development)

TUANZ - Telecommunications Users Association of NZ

UNISA - Upper North Island Strategic Alliance

WDC - Whangarei District Council

WHHIF - Whangarei Harbour Health Improvement Fund

WRC - Waikato Regional Council

WSMP - Workplace Safety Management Practices

WWTP - Wastewater Treatment Plant





Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.1

16 March 2021



Confirmation of Minutes - 23 February 2021




Chris Taylor, Governance Support Manager

Authorised by Group Manager:

Chris Taylor, Governance Support Manager, on 09 March 2021



That the minutes of the council meeting held on 23 February 2021 be confirmed as a true and correct record.


Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Council Meeting Minutes 23 February 2021   

Council Meeting  ITEM: 5.1

16 March 2021Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 5.2

16 March 2021



Receipt of Action Sheet




Chris Taylor, Governance Support Manager

Authorised by Group Manager:

Chris Taylor, Governance Support Manager, on 09 March 2021


Executive summary/Whakārapopototanga

The purpose of this report is to enable the meeting to receive the current action sheet.



That the action sheet be received.


Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Council Action Sheet - March 2021   

Council Meeting  ITEM: 5.2

16 March 2021Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                                                             item: 6.1

16 March 2021



Financial Report to 28 February 2021




Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant


Executive Summary / Whakarāpopototanga

This report is to inform council of the year to date (YTD) financial result to February 2021.  Council has achieved a YTD surplus after transfers to and from reserves of $5.17M, which is $590K favourable to budget (January 2021: $415K favourable to budget).


Recommendation / Ngā mahi tūtohutia

That the report ‘Financial Report to 28 February 2021’ by Vincent McColl, Financial Accountant and dated 4 March 2021, be received.




Year to date revenue is $43.76M, which is $10.70M or 32.4% above budget.



Year to date expenditure is $31.71M, which is $1.41M or 4.6% above budget. 

Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 6.1

16 March 2021

Salary Variances

Across council there is a $642K favourable salaries variance (YTD January 2021 $614K favourable variance) predominantly due to the time to complete recruitment of positions identified in the LTP and AP or restored via the Covid-19 Reinstatement Reserve.  Some of these have associated external funding.


Transfers to reserves

For the year to date there has been a net transfer to reserves of $8.71M compared to a budgeted net transfer from reserves of $1.79M.  This is predominantly due to:

Ÿ $3.39M more than budgeted transfers to externally managed fund reserves representing higher reinvestment of gains than budgeted.

Ÿ $904K of more than budgeted Infrastructure Investment Gains have been transferred into the equalisation reserve to provide for future enterprise system costs.

Ÿ $2.77M more than budgeted transfers into the flood infrastructure reserves predominantly relating to the unbudgeted PGF funding received to accelerate the flood scheme works.

Ÿ $554K lower than budgeted transfers from equalisation reserve for general funding.  This funding was not taken as it was replaced by the additional dividend income.

Ÿ $535K lower than budgeted transfers from the Covid-19 reinstatement reserve as projects, works, and positions are not occurring as soon as planned.  Any savings in these projects will be added back to the reinstatement reserve schedule when the value of them is known.

Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditure of $2.08M is below the YTD budget of $2.60M due to the timing of capital projects expenditure compared to as budgeted.  This is predominantly in the area of targeted rate funded flood works and is expected to be caught up later in the financial year.

Covid-19 Reinstatement Reserve initiatives

Twenty three initiatives have a funding commitment from the Covid-19 Reinstatement Reserve totalling $1.52M.  This leaves $184K unallocated at the end of February 2021.  The committed initiatives are as follows:

Projects removed from the 20/21 Annual Plan


Tangata Whenua capability


Modelling of aquifers


Enviroschools staff and seminars


Pest plant prevention work stream


Biodiversity FIF dune lake position


Biosecurity marine position


Economic policy advisor


Kaiarahi Mahere Māori technical advisor


Northland Inc. business case assessment


Campaigns & engagement coordinator role


Building reconfiguration (capital works)


Biodiversity contractors


Planning & Policy BAU - for LTP contract work


Offsite storage of consent files (building reconfiguration)


Internal Audit BAU


Total AP projects reinstated





New projects approved by council


BOI harbour modelling


ReCoCo obligations


Otiria-Moerewa Flood Modelling and Pre-feasibility Study


NRC Water Allocation Tool


Climate change advisor


Storage facility security fence (capital works)


Enterprise system advance


Fan worm eradication


Total new projects


Grand total



Work Programmes, Salaries and Projects removed from, or reduced in, the 2020/21 Annual Plan to remedy the deficit arising from the impact of COVID‐19. Listed in no particular order.

Description of Programme Position or Project

 Estimated Amount/Value

Approved/Removed/No decision

Tangata whenua capability and capacity



Modelling highly allocated aquifers



Enviroschools staff and seminars



Off‐site storage of consent files



Pest plant prevention



Project costs associated with Northern Wairoa and lakes projects (Biodiversity contractors)


Approved at $30,000.

Conferences and training



S17a reviews


No decision

Long Term Plan costs



Communications – casual staff and promotions



WNW Catchment Group


No decision

Lab testing costs


No decision

Citizen panels


No decision

Backup staff



FIF Dune Lake Position



Biosecurity Marine Position



FIF Wairoa position


No decision

Junior hydrology officer

$69,000 Operational Exp.
$4,700 Capital Exp.

No decision

National wells database



Freshwater accounting system


No decision

Māori engagement, Environmental awards extension and Intern


No decision

Coastal water quality consultants



Reg Services lab testing costs



Reg Services mobile device purchases


No decision

Maritime teams overtime budget



NIWA Kingfish legal fees


No decision

Economic Policy Advisor Position



Environmental Science Reporting Officer Position


No decision

Kaiarahi Mahere Māori ‐ Māori technical advisor position

$101,000 Operational Exp. $82,784
$4,700 Capital Exp.

Approved. Reduced to $82,784.

Northland Māori representation on national committee 'Te Maruata'



Data asset management



Campaigns and engagement coordinator position

$40,000 Operational Exp.
$4,700 Capital Exp.


Technology upgrades


No decision

Far north poplar and willow nursery manager position


No decision

Eastern Bays Hill country staff



Painting of Water Street building, vehicle costs


Approved.  Redirected this to Union East fencing @ $65,000

Internal Audit



IT Consultants and other Corporate Excellent BAU


Approved. $10,000 approved for LTP contract work.

Water Street Reception and Ground Floor Meeting Rooms Renovation and fit out:

$105,663 Capital Exp.


OTHER ADJUSTMENTS MADE TO 2020/21 Annual Plan to remedy the deficit arising from the impact of COVID‐19.



Utilisation of Community Investment Fund Capital in lieu of Investment income – as Economic Development funding



Utilisation of Community Investment Fund Capital in lieu of Investment and general income – as General funding



Utilisation of Infrastructure Investment Fund Capital in lieu of Investment and general income – as General funding



Utilisation of Equalisation reserve as General funding



Reduction in Economic Development Project Development budget


Approved at $100,000



Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga


Authorised by Group Manager


Bruce Howse, Group Manager - Corporate Excellence,


Group Manager - Corporate Excellence


09 March 2021


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 7.1

16 March 2021



Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party - Appointed Members' Allowances




Auriole Ruka, Kaiwhakahaere Hononga Māori

Authorised by Group Manager:

Ben Lee, GM - Strategy, Governance and Engagement, on 09 March 2021


Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The purpose of this report is to seek council approval for matters relating to the payment of meeting attendance by Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party (TTMAC) appointed members.  For appointed members to be eligible to claim allowances for meeting attendance, council must approve the meetings (as per the Appointed Members’ Allowances Policy[1]). 

Approval is sought for:

·    Retrospective attendance at additional meetings as recommended and endorsed by TTMAC in 2020,

·    The TTMAC monthly meeting schedule 2021 (formal meetings and marae-based workshops), and

·    Approval for the ability of the Group Manager, Strategy Governance and Engagement to convene up to three additional appointed members’ meetings. 



1.         That the report ‘Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party - Appointed Members' Allowances’ by Auriole Ruka, Kaiwhakahaere Hononga Māori and dated 10 February 2021, be received.

2.         That council approves the following meetings, for the purposes of enabling payment of Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party (TTMAC) appointed members in accordance with council’s Appointed Members’ Allowances Policy:

a.      Three meetings for appointed members, held via Zoom, to discuss and provide advice and input on the issue of Māori constituencies (20 July 2020, 20 August 2020 and 3 December 2020),

b.     One meeting for two appointees sitting on the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group Selection Panel (23 October and 26 November 2020), and

c.      Two meetings of the TTMAC Economic Development Sub-Group in March and April 2021.

3.         That council approval is given for the Group Manager, Strategy, Governance and Engagement to approve up to three additional meetings for 2021 for Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party (TTMAC) appointed members to respond to TTMAC’s strategic programme, for the purposes of enabling payment of TTMAC appointed members in accordance with council’s Appointed Members’ Allowance Policy.









Council approves the recommendations

Compliance with the Appointed Members’ Allowance Policy.

The views of Māori are taken into account for council’s decision making on significant matters.

Raised expectations to meet will add more time pressure on appointed members.


Council does not approve the recommendations

No financial implications to consider.

Appointed members are unable to participate due to the financial disadvantage and their time is not valued for the contribution they make to inform council.


The staff’s recommended option is Option 1 – council approves the recommendations.


1.         Environmental impact

This decision will have no impact on the ability of council to protectively respond to the impacts of any environmental risks or hazards within the region.

2.         Community views

Being a policy that is currently being enacted, the community views, and any associated impact on the community, are likely to be immaterial

3.         Māori impact statement

Māori have been engaged to take into account the particular impacts of this policy and the recommendations supports their capacity to provide a view on council decision-making, particularly through TTMAC.

4.         Financial implications

The additional meetings for 2020, meeting schedule for 2021 and the three additional meetings will be covered within the existing operational budgets as outlined below:

·    Due to Covid-19, three of the regional marae-based workshops were unable to proceed and use of Zoom meetings in 2020 resulted in a budgetary underspend for non-elected members’ payments and mileage for attendance at TTMAC meetings. 

·    Operational budgets factor monthly TTMAC meetings at 100% attendance at $170 per non-elected member and an average estimate of mileage claimed for the scheduled meetings per calendar year.

·    The additional meetings (outside TTMAC monthly meetings) are estimated to cost approximately $2111.90 for eight members to attend with an average mileage rate included per meeting. 

·    Currently, there is adequate budget surplus to cover the estimated costs of three additional meetings due to the fact that 100% attendance is not achieved at TTMAC meetings.  Staff are also cognisant of the costs and time savings that can be accommodated through Zoom so continue to facilitate this option as required.

5.         Implementation issues



6.         Significance and engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, this decision is considered to be of low significance when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy because it is an administrative policy matter.

7.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

 The recommendations are consistent with the policy and legislative requirements of council.


One of the key functions of TTMAC, as defined in its terms of reference, is to ensure the views of Māori are taken into account in the exercise of council’s functions, and to provide advice to council on topics referred to it by council.

The Appointed Members’ Allowances Policy is to ensure that appointed members are paid fairly for their time participating on TTMAC and providing advice to council. It seeks to ensure that members are not financially disadvantaged and that any financial impact doesn’t act as a disincentive to participation.  Council is, therefore, asked to approve the 2021 meeting schedule and the additional meetings for which tacit approval was given and formal resolution is now sought, for compliance with the Appointed Members’ Allowances Policy.

Additionally, council’s approval is sought for the Group Manager, Strategy, Governance and Engagement to approve up to three additional meetings for 2021 for appointed members to respond to TTMAC’s strategic programme and significant issues that require a more timely response than the next formal meeting. 

In 2020, council sought appointed tāngata whenua members’ feedback on strategic issues which resulted in the ability to make informed decisions about significant matters such as Māori representation, Mana o te Wai, implementation of national policy statements and economic development for Northland | Te Taitokerau.

Providing advice on these issues required additional meetings by appointed members to continue detailed discussions.  This ability to pro-actively respond to council requests for feedback and input from a tangata whenua perspective, without needing to return to council for meeting approval, would improve the ability of TTMAC appointed members to provide considered advice within required timeframes and can be accommodated within the existing budget.


Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 7.2

16 March 2021



Vehicle Policy




Bruce Howse, Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Authorised by Group Manager:

Bruce Howse, Group Manager - Corporate Excellence, on 08 March 2021


Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

Council has an outdated and flawed vehicle policy that was approved by council in 2012.  The vehicle policy should be a management policy and should remain the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer as this is an operational matter.  It is recommended that council delegate authority to the Chief Executive Officer to rescind the vehicle policy and confirm that the Chief Executive Officer has authority to draft, approve and implement a revised vehicle policy.




1.         That the report ‘Vehicle Policy ’ by Bruce Howse, Group Manager - Corporate Excellence and dated 17 February 2021, be received.

2.         That council delegates authority to the Chief Executive Officer to rescind the vehicle policy that was adopted in June 2012.

3.         That council confirms that the Chief Executive Officer has authority to draft, approve and implement a revised vehicle policy.









Delegate authority to the Chief Executive Officer to rescind the vehicle policy and confirm that the Chief Executive Officer has authority to draft, approve and implement a revised vehicle policy.

The Chief Executive Officer can draft, approve and implement a modern vehicle policy and address the flaws identified in the current policy.

There may be a perception of lack of governance oversight, however the vehicle policy is an operational matter that best resides with management as opposed to governance.


Require the Chief Executive Officer to revise the vehicle policy and bring this back to council for governance approval.

Governance oversight of the vehicle policy is maintained, and a modern vehicle policy is drafted addressing the flaws identified in the current policy.

This is essentially making a management responsibility a governance responsibility and is inefficient and reduces the ability of the Chief Executive Officer to make management decisions within the constraint of a governance approved policy.


Maintain the current policy.


Maintain the current policy.


The staff’s recommended option is Option 1.


1.         Environmental Impact

The current vehicle policy could be improved with regard to environmental considerations and any revised policy will need to ensure improved environmental considerations of council’s vehicles.

2.         Community views

Being an administrative policy matter the community views, and any associated impact on the community, are likely to be immaterial

3.         Māori impact statement

There are no known Māori impacts.

4.         Financial implications

There are no financial implications as any revised vehicle policy will need to reflect current and future budgets.

5.         Implementation issues



6.         Significance and engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, this decision is considered to be of low significance when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy because it is an administrative policy matter.

7.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

 Revising the vehicle policy will ensure the policy is up to date and fit for purpose.  This will also ensure that any risks associated with the current policy can be addressed during policy revision.


In June 2012 council adopted a revised vehicle policy (attached).

It is recommended that council delegates authority to the Chief Executive Office to rescind the current vehicle policy. 

The reasons for this include:

·    The policy is outdated and needs revising in several areas.

·    The policy is a conglomerate of policies and procedures which detracts from its purpose.

·    The policy contains remuneration and employment related matters, for example the private use of vehicles provided under an employment agreement.  Remuneration related matters, including staff salary negotiations, should remain the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer to manage in the exercise of his statutory responsibility to ensure the effective and efficient management of the activities of the council and in accordance with the approved salary budget.


The vehicle policy should be a management policy and should remain the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer.  It is recommended that council confirms that the Chief Executive Officer has the authority to draft, approve and implement a revised vehicle policy.


Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Council Vehicle Policy   

Council Meeting  ITEM: 7.2

16 March 2021Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 7.3

16 March 2021



Debt Recovery Policy




Bruce Howse, Group Manager - Corporate Excellence

Authorised by Group Manager:

Bruce Howse, Group Manager - Corporate Excellence, on 08 March 2021


Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

It is proposed that a Debt Recovery policy is adopted to formally outline council’s approach to debt recovery.

This policy had been drafted to provide an equitable and transparent set of principles for council staff and customers, when debt is owed to council.

The objective of this policy is to ensure that debts are collected legally, promptly, and consistently.

The proposed policy and debt recovery process have been legally reviewed by Simpson Grierson.  All the recommendations received from Simpson Grierson have been incorporated into the Proposed Debt Recovery Policy attached as Attachment 1.



1.         That the report ‘Debt Recovery Policy’ by Bruce Howse, Group Manager - Corporate Excellence and dated 24 February 2021, be received.

2.         That council adopt the attached Debt Recovery Policy pertaining to Item 6.3 in the 16 March 2021 council agenda.

3.         That council delegates the write-off of outstanding accounts receivable as follows:

a.         Less than $1,000 – CEO, Group Managers and Managers

b.        Between $1,000 and $5,000 – CEO and Group Managers

c.         Greater than $5,000 – CEO (with the write-off to be reported to the next council meeting)









Adopt the policy

Clarity on council’s approach to debt recovery. 



Do not adopt the policy


Lack of clarity on council’s approach to debt recovery. 


Delegate the write-off of outstanding accounts receivable as recommended

Consistent with legal advice that councillors should approve the policy and officers apply it.  The policy also states that ‘Debts will only be written off when all reasonable attempts to recover outstanding amounts

have been made (by both the council and external recovery agencies)’, which means officers will need to attempt to recover debts prior to applying any write-off.


Lack of governance oversight.  However, this can be addressed through the normal CEO to Councillor communications.


Do not delegate the write-off of outstanding accounts receivable as recommended

Governance make decisions on any write-off of debt exceeding $5,000 as per current delegations.

Inconsistent with legal advice.


The staff’s recommended options are options 1 and 3.


1.         Environmental impact


2.         Community views

Community views on this matter are unknown, however being an administrative matter, this is likely to not have a significant impact on the community.  If anything, a debt recovery policy should provide greater clarity to the community as to council’s approach to debt recovery.

3.         Māori impact statement

Māori impacts are unknown.  However, being an administrative matter, this is unlikely to have a significant impact on Māori.

4.         Financial implications

The policy has no financial implications.

5.         Implementation issues



6.         Significance and engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, this decision is considered to be of low significance when assessed against council’s Significance and Engagement Policy because it is an administrative matter.

7.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

 There are no policy, legislative or risk matters associated with the adoption of the debt recovery policy or the recommended changes to delegations.  If anything, these changes should strengthen to reduce council’s risk as the policy provides officers guidance on how to apply debt recovery and the delegation changes are being made based on legal advice.



The council requires significant levels of income to provide an extensive range of services to the community and it receives this income from various parties including ratepayers, residents, and businesses.

This income is received through different methods such as rates, user charges, consent fees, licence fees, statutory charges, grants, and subsidies.  To assist in delivering services effectively and efficiently, council needs to receive this income in a timely manner to meet the costs of providing these services.

It is proposed that council adopts a Debt Recovery Policy to apply when debt is owed to council communicating a clear set of formal principles to council staff and customers ensuring council debt is collected legally, promptly, and consistently.

The proposed Debt Recovery Policy for council approval is presented in Attachment 1.


Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Debt Recovery Policy   

Council Meeting  ITEM: 7.3

16 March 2021Attachment 1

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 7.4

16 March 2021



Appointment of Regional Harbourmaster based in Whangārei/Marsden Point




Jim Lyle, Regional Harbourmaster

Authorised by Group Manager:

Tony Phipps, Group Manager - Customer Services - Community Resilience, on 09 March 2021


Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

The Northland Regional Council has responsibility pursuant to the Maritime Transport Act for ensuring maritime safety in its region, including the appointment of harbourmasters.

The Deputy Harbourmaster has recently resigned leaving only the Regional Harbourmaster.  There is a need to have two harbourmasters to cover the 24 hour, 7 days a week capability to perform harbourmaster duties especially those relating to the commercial port operations at Marsden Point.

As an interim measure and trial arrangement, the Regional Harbourmaster recommends appointing Bruce Goodchild, a suitably qualified and experienced Master Mariner presently employed by Northport as Business and Environmental Sustainability Manager, as a Harbourmaster for the Northland Region.  Mr Goodchild will carry out both roles under the proposed arrangement which will be managed through a contract with Northport.



1.         That the report ‘Appointment of Regional Harbourmaster based in Whangārei/Marsden Point’ by Jim Lyle, Regional Harbourmaster and dated 23 February 2021, be received.

2.         That council appoint Bruce Goodchild as Harbourmaster pursuant to section 33D of the Maritime Transport Act 1994.








Do not appoint a Deputy Harbourmaster.

Reduced salary cost due to having only one Harbourmaster.

No cover when Regional Harbourmaster on leave or otherwise not available.


Recruit new Deputy Harbourmaster

Present system and has precedence.  An NRC employee.

Hard to recruit, difficult to keep.  Length of time to recruit and train.


Trial Commercial Deputy Harbourmaster

On site and familiar with safety systems.  Can be trialled.

New process.  Not a direct NRC employee.


The staff’s recommended option is option 3.


1.         Environmental impact

This appointment of a Harbourmaster will maintain the environmental protection provided by the harbourmaster services.

2.         Community views

The community expect the council to fulfil its maritime safety responsibilities.

3.         Financial implications

The trial can be achieved under the present budget.  Longer term an additional employee will be required.  This can be achieved once the cost of a contract harbourmaster has completed its trial.  There are no opportunities for savings, if anything a shortfall, that can be managed by adjusting other charges.

This trial was not planned for in the LTP.

4.         Implementation issues

This will be trialled for 3 months, and if successful can be extended.  If there are problems that cannot be resolved, then there is always the option of reverting to option 2.

The advantage is current levels of service will continue uninterrupted.

5.         Significance and engagement

Low significance.

6.         Policy, risk management and legislative compliance

This option is provided for under section 33D of the Maritime Transport Act 1994.  The proposal enables the continued performance of harbourmaster duties as required to maintain NZ Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code compliant safety management systems.



Options considered were to recruit direct for an additional Deputy Harbourmaster.  This has historically been a problem, both in recruiting a suitably qualified person, meeting their wage expectations, and then keeping them.  In the last five years we have had three Deputy Harbourmasters. Training takes significant cost and resources which is lost if they leave in the short term.

We considered other options to both fill the requirements of the commercial port, whilst also filling some resource shortfalls within the maritime team.  A new position had been created at Northport focusing on environmental, risk and safety employing an experienced Master Mariner.  Northport has offered an arrangement covering the commercial port related aspects of the Deputy Harbourmaster position.

Bruce Goodchild holds this position.  Mr Goodchild is a suitably qualified and experienced Master Mariner with good knowledge and experience with the development and operation of the Whangārei port and harbour marine safety management systems.  The Harbourmaster has been working closely with Mr Goodchild over the last year on safety systems at the port.


Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 8.1

16 March 2021



Health and Safety Report




Kelcie Mills, Health and Safety Advisor

Authorised by Group Manager:

Judith Graham, Corporate Excellence P/A, on 09 March 2021


Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

This report is to inform the council of the activity in health and safety for the month of February 2021.  An overview/summary of the activities include:

·        Risk and procedure reviews continue to take place and moves into a business as usual activity.

·        The number of reported incident and hazard related events both decreased in February.

·        The trainings completed were wader and water safety, and mental health 101.

·        The wellbeing group coordinated the Dr Tom talk, the Aotearoa bike challenge, and are now looking into healthy heart monitoring for staff.

·        The Health and Safety Committee and representative members are assigning themselves to actions for the SafePlus and local government surveys to deliver the improvements.



That the report ‘Health and Safety Report’ by Kelcie Mills, Health and Safety Advisor and dated 25 February 2021, be received.



1.         Health and safety performance

Table 1: Health and safety performance lead and lag indicators

*based on calendar year

2.         Risk management

The current top five risks are:

1.         Driving motor vehicles

2.         Extended work hours/stress

3.         Dealing with aggressive people

4.         Working with contractors

5.         Slips, trips and falls

Note: There has been no movement in the top 5 risks this month.


Risk updates

·        A deep dive has not been completed for working with contractors, as this area has a procedure in place and monthly training sessions are held for staff that want/need updates on how to follow it.

·        External advice is being sought on traffic management. This includes help to revise the traffic management plan (TMP) to include new scenarios and reflect the legislation updates.  Once completed, we will reintroduce it to staff.

·        Driver training and situational safety training is set to take place throughout March and April.

·        Procedure reviews are currently taking place in several areas including Drones (RPAS), kayaks and chainsaws.

·        Use of drones (RPAS) has been identified as a new risk in the health and safety risk register.  Although it is a pre-existing and well-regulated activity, it had never been identified in the risk register.

3.         Incidents and hazards

Figure 1: Number of hazard and injury related events for previous 12 months

Figure 1 shows a continuing decrease in both incident and hazards related in February.  The encouragement of reporting is reinforced at all health and safety related meetings, and members encourage teams to report at team meetings.  Using the mobile survey tool for risk assessments onsite will hopefully encourage further reporting of hazards (described in section 4).

Events reported

Figure 2: Top 10 issues for previous 12 months

Events of interest

·        An E-road unit came off the windshield and flew towards the driver while they were turning.  It was stopped by its cord which prevented it hitting the driver.  The units prove to be a dangerous distraction risk while driving as this could lead to serious accidents if a driver swerves or brakes heavily in response.  The investigation is currently underway.  There is a delay while waiting for the new fleet coordinator to help identify alternate methods for securing the units to the dashboard or windshields.

·        A proactive near miss was reported as a worker did not enter a dangerous situation to respond to an incident.  They were meant to investigate a property where a resident is known to have a firearm and be a potential drug user.  The worker didn’t attend the incident, called 105, and had a police escort to the site.  The visit proved non-threatening but the caution of the worker and not attending was the right decision with the information they had at the time.



4.         Health and safety strategy work programme


·        The Health and Safety Policy review continues to take place.

·        Members of the Health and Safety Committee and representatives are assigning themselves to improvements identified in the SafePlus assessment and Equip Local Government survey.

·        Areas of focus are risk management, worker involvement in procedure reviews, emergency preparedness, resourcing for health and safety representatives, training and wellbeing promotion.

Communication and engagement

·        The councillors received a briefing/induction to health and safety and risk assessments.


·        The wellbeing group coordinated the Dr Tom talk, and the Aotearoa bike challenge.

·        The wellbeing group is also looking into a health heart programme and mobile health apps looking at core heart health statistics to encourage self-awareness.

 Injury, illness and hazards

·        The H&S team are looking into alternative PPE shirts for outdoor work which are more UVA/UVB protective.

Learning and development

·        Training requirements for roles is continuing to be identified with managers.  There are four managers left to complete the task.

·        Trainings that were completed in February are wader and water safety, and mental health 101.

Continuous improvement

·        The mobile/online tool for completing risk assessments is complete and now being tested by the health and safety representatives and various field staff.  This will reduce the paper needed for risk assessments and be completed onsite.


5.         Legislation updates



Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 8.2

16 March 2021



Chair's Report to Council




Penny Smart, Chair

Authorised by Group Manager:

Penny Smart, Chair, on 09 March 2021


Purpose of Report

This report is to receive information from the Chair on meetings/events attended, and correspondence sent for the month of February 2021.



That the report ‘Chair's Report to Council’ by Penny Smart, Chair and dated 26 February 2021, be received.



Meetings/events attended

During this period, I attended the following meetings/events/functions:

·        Meetings attended with the council’s CEO, Malcolm Nicolson:

o   Meeting of Northland Mayors, Chair, and CEOs with Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta.

o   Meeting with Hon James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change.  Councillors Amy Macdonald and Jack Craw attended.

o   Attended reception on board HMNZS Otago for Waitangi Day.

o   Catch up meeting with Dr Emily Henderson, MP for Whangārei.

o   Regional Sector Group meeting.

·        Regular Mayors and Chair catch up meetings.

·        Regional Sector Group representative on the New Zealand Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Research Centre – Agriculture Stakeholder Group.

·        L W Nelson Trust board meeting.



During February 2021 I sent out the following correspondence:


Addressed To



Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Minister of Local Government

Māori constituencies and water poverty


Hon James Shaw

Minister of Climate Change

Climate change


Zane Williams

Tū i te ora Scholarship 2020


Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Minister of Local Government

Meeting with Northland Regional Council


Pita Tipene

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hine

Confirmation of appointment as Co-Chair of Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party


Georgina Connelly

Te Uri O Hau

Confirmation of appointment as proxy Co-Chair of Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party


Lynette Wharerau

Te Whakaminenga O Te Hikutu Hapu-Whanau

Confirmation of appointment as representative for Te Whakaminenga O Te Hikutu Hapu-Whanau onto Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party


Hoki Tua

Te Rūnanga O Whāingaroa

Confirmation of appointment as representative for Te Rūnganga O Whāingaroa onto Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party


Anameara Kake

Te Waiāriki, Ngāti Takapari, Ngāti Korora

Confirmation of appointment as representative for Te Waiāriki, Ngāti Takapari, Ngāti Korora onto Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party


Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 8.3

16 March 2021



Chief Executive’s Report to Council




Malcolm Nicolson, Chief Executive Officer

Authorised by Group Manager:

Malcolm Nicolson, Chief Executive Officer, on 09 March 2021



That the report ‘Chief Executive’s Report to Council’ by Malcolm Nicolson, Chief Executive Officer and dated 28 February 2021, be received.


8.3.1   Highlights

Reported Koi Carp Sighting at Lake Taharoa

On 2 February 2021, a report of a suspected koi carp sighting at Lake Taharoa was lodged with the Department of Conservation.  A koi carp incursion into these lakes of national and international importance would result in severe ecological damage, ruin recreational activities affecting revenue from tourism and negatively impact on Māori cultural values.  If koi were to become established eradication in these lakes would be extremely difficult. 

Council biosecurity staff were notified on 3 February and proceeded to initiate a response in collaboration with key stakeholders.  After consultation, Northland Regional Council was selected to lead the response with close support from other stakeholders.

Key stakeholders in the response are:

Ÿ Department of Conservation (powers under the Conservation Act and Freshwater Fisheries Act)

Ÿ Northland Regional Council (powers under the Northland Regional Pest Management Plan and the Biosecurity Act)

Ÿ Kaipara District Council (administrator­ of Taharoa Domain)

Ÿ Te Roroa (affected iwi)

Ÿ Te Kuihi (affected hapū).

After a media release on 15 February ( and an intensive surveillance operation utilising netting and aerial drone surveying of Lake Taharoa began on 17 February. 

The response involves up to 15 staff onsite daily from Fish and Game, the Department of Conservation, Te Roroa and council.  To date no further reports of koi have been received, and no koi have been detected. Recent eDNA sampling has returned a negative result which, whilst encouraging, cannot be considered conclusive.  The response will be reviewed at the end of February. 


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Koi surveillance netting underway at Lake Taharoa (23 February 2021)

8.3.2   CEO’s Office

Current Legal Proceedings




Consent decision appeal

APP.041365.01.01. Replacement consents for, and new consents for, an expansion of Doug’s Ōpua Boat Yard in Walls Bay, Ōpua. Consents granted by council in 2020.

No further update.


Consent decision appeal

APP.039650.01.01. Early replacement of consents, and new consents, for an upgrade of facilities at Doug’s Ōpua Boat Yard in Walls Bay, Ōpua. Consents declined by council in 2018.

No further update.

Consent decision appeal

Replacement discharge consents for East Coast Bays Wastewater Treatment Plant (Taipā)

Joint memo and draft consent order resolving appeals has been provided to the Court for its consideration.  Awaiting Court decision on draft consent order.

Economics - REL

Instructed council lawyers to continue pursuing the bankruptcy proceedings against both defendants and worked on necessary documentation.  

Continue to work with lawyers. 

Regional plan appeals

Various appeals to Environment Court on the council decisions on the Proposed Regional Plan. 

Two appeals to the High Court, both challenging Environment Court decision on the application of the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater in the coastal marine area.

Environment Court – appeals at various stages.  The appeals are packaged into a range of topics.

High Court – appeals have only just been lodged (early March).

Māori Land Court appeal – Poroti Springs

A claim by Whatitiri Māori Reserves Trustees and the New Zealand Māori Council regarding customary title of the water of the Poroti Springs and damages against the Northland Regional Council in respect to its management of the water.

Council has lodged notice of intention to participate and an initial statement of defence.  Awaiting Court direction.

8.3.3   Corporate Excellence

Cyber Security

In February, a targeted email phishing attack was directed at several Northern Transport Alliance (NTA) email addresses with some accounts being affected.  For our council, the attack was mostly defended through the recent deployment of Multi Factor Authentication (MFA).  Although our journey through implementation was not without its challenges, it is good to see its effectiveness and payback in these early stages.

The attack in question was designed to take the user to a legitimate looking website where they were prompted to enter their O365 credentials.  The credentials are then subsequently used to launch another attack to the newly compromised user’s contacts with a fresh email - something which wouldn't have been possible with Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) in place.

On Tuesday 2 March, NRC was the target of a zero-day exploit (HAFNIUM) on our internal email exchange server, with the vulnerability exploited before Microsoft had released a patch on Wednesday 3 March.  Our security software detected the attack and alerted the security operations centre. They were able to contain and isolate the server in 12 minutes.

Disruption was limited to the delivery of internal notifications from some systems.  The recovery of the service along with full forensic analysis of the attack is ongoing.

RSHL Growth – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

BoPRC have been actively involved in the work on IRIS NextGen.  At their request, RSHL management were meeting to give them an update on Regional Software Holdings Ltd and IRIS NextGen.

BoPRC made it clear that they are very interested in what we are doing and totally committed to the collaborative and industry best practice approaches that we have been a developing.

BoPRC have written to RSHL confirming their intention to join Regional Software Holdings Ltd as a shareholder and to implement IRIS NextGen.  This is a very encouraging endorsement of our strategy and reflects well on the IRIS NextGen RFP Project activities.

Fraud Declaration

I am not aware of any fraud nor am I investigating any incidence or suspected incidence of fraud at this time.

Council Property Update

Ÿ Sale of an industrial area property has gone unconditional.

Ÿ Kaipara Service Centre below ground works are completed and the erection of the superstructure is underway.  Project running one day ahead and on budget.

Ÿ Demolition of a CBD property is occurring in March.

8.3.4   Regulatory Services

Consents in Process

During February 2021, a total of 39 Decisions were issued.  These decisions comprised:

Ÿ Moorings


Ÿ Coastal Permits


Ÿ Coastal Discharge Permits


Ÿ Air Discharge Permits


Ÿ Land Discharge Permits


Ÿ Water Discharge Permits


Ÿ Land Use Consents


Ÿ Water Permits


Ÿ Bore Consents


The processing timeframes for the February 2021 consents ranged from:

Ÿ 86 to 6 calendar days, with the median time being 59 days;

Ÿ 27 to 3 working days, with the median time being 20 days.

Thirty-seven applications were received in February 2021.

Of the 113 applications in progress at the end of February 2021:

Ÿ Fifty-one were received more than 12 months ago (most awaiting further information from the applicant);

Ÿ Eight were received between six and 12 months ago (most awaiting further information from the applicant);

Ÿ Fifty-four less than six months.

Appointment of Hearing Commissioners

No commissioners were appointed in February 2021.

Consents Decisions and Progress on Notified Applications in Process, Objections and Appeals

The current level of notified application processing activities at the end of February 2021 is (by number):

Ÿ Applications Publicly/Limited Notified During Previous Month


Ÿ Progress on Applications Previously Notified


Ÿ Hearings and Decisions


Ÿ Appeals/Objections



The results of compliance monitoring for the period 1 - 28 February 2021 (and year-to-date figures) are summarised in the following table and discussed below.



Full compliance

Low risk non-compliance

Moderate non-compliance

Significant non-compliance

Not exercised during period

Air Discharge







Bore Consent







Coastal Discharge







Coastal Permit







Land Discharge







Land Use Consent







Water Discharge







Water Permit







Water Take





















Year to date















The majority of consents monitored during the reporting period related to coastal discharges (treated municipal sewage and other industrial discharges), marinas (water quality sampling) and coastal structures. 

Water, Waste, Air and Land Use (WWALU) Compliance Monitoring

Ÿ Water Use

The rain received mid-February in the region took some pressure off the majority of water supplies in Northland.  Chloride and water levels in coastal communities continue to be monitored closely, with results showing little decline in levels and quality when compared with last year.  Queries continue to be received by staff from the public regarding water use after they have seen irrigation occurring and want to check the legality of the activity.

Ÿ Wastewater

Staff made the most of the dry weather periods during this summer to assess the effectiveness of onsite wastewater treatment systems as they were likely to be experiencing peak loading. 

Ÿ Earthworks and Forestry

Ongoing dust complaints were received from neighbours who reside next to large development sites and dusty roads.  The rain that fell during the month was too infrequent to alleviate dust generation for long.

The newly renamed Northland Forestry Environmental Working Group met.  No major issues were highlighted and a field trip to a forest is being planned for the next group meeting.  The Earthworks and Harvesting Guidelines have been updated and passed to the group for final peer review.

Ÿ Contaminated Land Management

Seven incidents involving the discharge of hazardous substances and ten enquiries regarding contaminated land were received and responded to.  One site was added to the Selected Land Use Register (SLR) and 222kg of hazardous waste was disposed of.

The monthly amnesty collection day in February yielded significantly less waste than previous events.

Environmental Incidents

There were no environmental incidents reported in February which resulted in a significant environmental impact.


Abatement Notices, Infringement Notices and Formal Warnings

The following enforcement actions were taken during the period:

Nature of Offence

Infringement Notice

Abatement Notice


No. Offences

No. Notices

No. Offences

No. Notices

No. Offences

No. Notices

Earthworks/land use







Illegal activity in CMA







Illegal use of lakebed or riverbed







Other water discharge







Stormwater discharge














*An infringement notice and an abatement notice may be issued for the same offence.  This means that in the above table, Column 5 (Total No. Offences) is not necessarily the sum of Column 1 (Infringement Notice No. Offences) + Column 3 (Abatement Notice No. Offences).

Other Enforcement

Ÿ Sand dune removal – Tokerau Beach

Sentencing proceeded on 2 February 2020, with the defendant being required to undertake community work (300 hours) preferably on the local Marae.  An enforcement order was also granted for $5,968.58 for the costs of remedial work and weed control.

Ÿ Timber treatment plant

Charges were filed in the Whangārei District Court on 12 March 2020 against a company and an individual for discharges from a timber treatment processing plant.  An agreement was reached between parties to withdraw the prosecution charges and apply for an enforcement order to address the discharge issues at the site.  The Court granted and issued a slightly amended enforcement order on the 9 February 2021.

Ÿ Earthworks without erosion and sediment controls – Tōtara North

Charges were laid in the Kaitāia District Court on 20 July 2020 against an individual for earthworks undertaken without controls, and work within a watercourse and the riparian management zone.  There are six charges against the individual.  A sentencing indication hearing was undertaken on 8 December 2020.  The defendant advised the Court on 2 February 2021 that he did not accept the sentence indication.  The council has been directed to file statements of evidence by 12 March 2021 and the case has been adjourned to the nominal date of 27 April 2021.

·   Open burning on industrial/trade property – Whangārei

Charges were laid in the Whangārei District Court on 27 November 2020 against an individual for open burning on industrial/trade premises, the burnt items also included prohibited items.  There are two charges against the individual.  The first court date was 20 January 2021 - the case has been adjourned until 31 March 2021 to allow time for disclosure to be provided and considered.


All routine water quality and ecological monitoring programmes were undertaken, including:

Ÿ Weekly recreational bathing sampling at more than 60 sites.

Ÿ Monthly sampling runs (coastal and freshwater water quality, periphyton and cyanobacteria).

Ÿ Quarterly lakes monitoring.


Ÿ Electronic data collection forms are operational for recreational swimming, periphyton, sedimentation, groundwater, river and coastal water quality programmes. Electronic meter calibration forms have replaced the paper forms. Hydrology forms will now be developed.

Ÿ Development of the new environmental data portal for the NRC website is well underway. The testing phase started late February 2021 and the data will be brought online over two phases

Ÿ Phase 1: rainfall, water level, water quality, drought and coastal, wind and wave data. 

Ÿ Phase 2: biological data for periphyton, fish, macroinvertebrates and cyanobacteria.

Ÿ The data team is delivering large numbers of data requests to external consultants and providing ongoing assistance to the Science Team during the network review.



Ÿ Rainfall on 14 and 15 February provided the bulk of the rainfall for February 2021, with averages of 97mm in the Far North, 79mm in the Whangārei District and 41mm in the Kaipara District during this event. Broadly speaking, for February 2021, the top half of the region received above typical February rainfall, while Dargaville, Ruawai, Paparoa, Maungaturoto were drier than typical for the month.

Ÿ The 2020-21 summer rainfall map shows a dry summer for most of Northland. All NRC rainfall stations recorded below 100% of normal rainfall totals, the areas to the north of the Bay of Islands had 70-90% and to the south mostly around 50-70% of the expected summer rain, with most of the rain occurring in February.


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Ÿ In December 2020, NIWA predicted a wet summer ahead due to a La Nina event. NIWA recently classed this event as a non-traditional La Nina and revised the outlook to more extended dry spells over the Autumn months – more detailed information can be found in the February 2021 Hydrology Climate report available on the NRC website:

River Flows

Ÿ Most river catchments received some rain over the 14-15 February 2021 rain event and rivers responded with a moderate peak in flows but receded quickly. 

Ÿ Flows over February 2021 varied across the region from extremely low in the Mangakāhia and Mangere Rivers to above normal in the Waitangi catchment.



Ÿ Groundwater levels are below typical levels for this time of year at all stations except Aupōuri which is above normal.  Porotī and Mangawhai are particularly low (0-5th percentile for February).


Status (Feb 21)



Above Normal

> 60th



10 - 25th


Below Normal

25 - 40th


Below Normal

25 - 40th



10 - 25th


Extremely Low

0 - 5th


Extremely Low

0 - 5th

Marsden - Ruakākā

Below Normal

25 - 40th

Hydrology Projects

Ÿ Low flow gaugings were carried out at 26 locations in the Otaika catchment as part of the continuing summer low flow gauging project.

Ÿ Data processing from eight rainfall stations was checked and archived.

Ÿ Wairua at Purua flow data was quality-assured and provided to Tonkin & Taylor.  This was part of a wider data request for data to produce a flow model for water allocation in the Wairua in light of climate change.


Air quality and carbon emission

Ÿ Ambient PM10 monitoring results for January 2021 for the Robert Street, Mairtown (Whangārei) and Marsden Point stations showed compliance with the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality.

Ÿ Ambient PM2.5 monitoring results for the Robert Street station for January 2021 were within the Ambient Air Quality Guideline value.

Ÿ Council’s CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent) monthly emissions in 2019 and 2020 are presented in the graph below.  Since April 2020, council’s monthly CO2-e emissions have been lower than the corresponding 2019 emissions, with the exception of October, indicating the effect of COVID-19 restrictions.  The graph is based on currently available data and therefore figures for the last few months are subject to change.


·   A comparison of CO2-e emission between different energy types for 2019 and 2020 is given in the table below.  There is an overall decrease in council’s CO2-e emissions in 2020 compared with same period in 2019.  The significant decrease in air travel is a major contributor for the decrease in CO2-e emissions in 2020.

Energy type

CO2-e production (tonnes)

Increase tonnes (%)

Decrease tonnes (%)






14.0 (5.5)


Air travel




58.8 (64.7)





5.4 (13.1)




1.3 (24.7)






48.9 (12.2)



Ÿ An ecological survey of Waipū Estuary was carried out with kaitiaki from Patuharakeke Trust Board.  Waipū Estuary has been identified as a Significant Ecological Area (SEA) in the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland (PRP) and is a māhinga mātaitai site of cultural importance to Patuharakeke.  The survey involved an assessment of bird life, shellfish abundance, marine invertebrates and seagrass.  Council staff will now analyse the data and produce a baseline assessment of the estuary.  Kaitiaki will develop a cultural health assessment of the estuary.  The baseline assessment will help council to assess the effectiveness of the PRP at protecting and maintaining the ecological values of this SEA in future.

Ÿ Council has undertaken litter surveys at 16 popular recreational bathing beaches throughout Northland.  The average litter density per 1,000m2 was 31 items and the percentage of litter items that were plastic was 66%.  The same 16 beaches will be re-surveyed next summer to assess trends in the quantity and type of litter found over time.  All the results including a breakdown of the items found can be viewed at:

8.3.5   Environmental Services

land management

Sustainable Hill Country and Regional Priorities



Farm Environment Plans (FEPs)


Because we no longer prepare FEPs, an alternative reporting format has been approved by MPI to cover the rest of 2020-21. This deliverable will need to be renegotiated for 2021-22

Stakeholder engagement


Press releases are in development.

Land treatments

Contractor capacity development

Twenty-seven contracting companies or individuals thinking about setting up a contracting business have been invited to 3 planting workshops at the end of March. Seventeen attendants have accepted the invite to date. Additional workshops will be held with nurseries and forest managers prior to the planting season.

Poplar and Willow Nursery




The nursery now has an office/lunchroom for staff and contractors.  This is a considerable improvement on the shed used previously. 

Vehicle access to the entire site has been a problem in winter due to wet conditions.  New culverts and gravelling of access races have largely fixed this issue. 


With irrigation coming online earlier in the season, coupled with some good rainfall, the trees in the newly planted blocks are off to a great start.


Contractors are beginning the high prune in preparation for the harvest.  A preliminary audit has indicated 6,000-7,000 3m poles will be available this year - approximately 3,000-4,000 poles short of our 10,000-pole target under SHaRP.  This is due to several factors, including rushed expansion in the past resulting in poor tree establishment.  A programme of replanting coupled with a change to a ‘clear-fell’ instead of a ‘cherry-pick’ harvest regime means we will under deliver in the short term.  Following the transition, however, the nursery will achieve higher, more consistent production, coupled with better quality poles.



New office (left), and planted blocks (right)


Access races, before (left) and after gravelling (right)

Kaipara Moana Remediation Project

The Year 1 Work Programme comprises projects to meet the programme’s investment objectives, plus budget for administrative and governance functions.

Good progress has been made on many of the Year 1 projects, in particular key strategies for engagement and communications, nurseries and workforce, and in projects providing grant funding to landowners in north Kaipara and progressing grant funding through arrangements with a third party in south Kaipara.

Some delays to project start dates have taken place due mainly to limitations on staff resource and the challenge of commencing all projects at largely the same time.  External factors have also been relevant, particularly where a project involves engagement with third parties.

The KMR Joint Committee will begin considering a Year 2 Work Programme in March, with the aim of providing the Ministry for the Environment a draft work programme at the end of April, a number of the Year 1 projects will run also under the anticipated Year 2 Work Programme.  In the development of a Year 2 Work Programme, budgets and project objectives for these multi-year projects can be reassessed and adjusted as necessary.

The Whangārei urban awa project

Two fencing contractors have now been engaged with all health and safety paperwork approved and short form contracts written.  Four quotes have now been received from our contractors and the corresponding applications are due to be signed off this week – these total around 10km of fencing. We are trying to select properties that are close together and complete them in batches to minimise transport costs.  A planting contractor has been selected for the upcoming planting season too.


Te Kawa Waiora – An Iwi-led Research Project delivered by Reconnecting Northland

Ko Wairoa tangata e haere, Ko Wairoa ia e kore e haere
People of the Wairoa depart life, but the Wairoa current never leaves

Ÿ Research Objectives: 
To address questions of importance to the iwi, hapū and whānau communities of the rivers as the basis by which their contribution to increasing the health, wellbeing and mauri of the rivers may be achieved and the development of meaningful knowledge derived from mātauranga Māori which can be used to inform land management practices of the Wairoa Catchment

Ÿ Update: 
The focus for Te Kawa Waiora this quarter was to get the communications strategy on track to share the research with a wide audience and grow hapū and marae involvement. The first full day hapū training workshop and second hui wānanga were held. Progress with hui wānanga and interviews has helped socialise the project with marae and hapū.

Ÿ WAIora Mobile App: 
The partnership is working with Maanaki Whenua to develop a mobile app for a kaupapa Māori assessment tool for three hapū to simplify the involvement and empower hapū in freshwater management.  The app enables hapū to assess the condition of freshwater from a Te Ao Māori perspective.

Te Orewai Freshwater Survey Wānanga

The Te Orewai freshwater fish survey and noho marae was held at Pipiwai by the Te Orewai Land Trust.   This is an annual event supported by the Waimā Waitai Waiora partnership where a total of eight sites are surveyed for freshwater species and water quality.  Survey techniques combine māutauranga Māori with western science.  The event is an opportunity to engage and build capacity of whānau and hapū.

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Partnership hapū rangatira and rangatahi participating in learning about freshwater biodiversity from a Te Ao Māori perspective


A hapū coordinator has been recruited for the partnership


FIF Dune Lakes Project



Aquatic weed and pest fish control

A full LakeSPI survey will be undertaken in Lake Ngatu by NIWA divers during lakes ecological survey week in late March as part of EPA monitoring requirements.


Advice is being sought from NIWA, and staff are planning for further control of hornwort in the lakes at Poutō and Mt Camel in the spring of 2021.


The second grass carp operation is planned for March at Roto-otuauru (Lake Swan), Poutō.

Sediment and nutrient mitigation

A contract is in place with Fulton Hogan to undertake sediment and nutrient mitigation earthworks at Lakes Ngatu and Rotokawau in autumn 2021. 

Māori Lakes Strategy

A planning hui was held with iwi for a wānanga on the 26-29 April at Wai ora Marae in Ngataki, hosted by Ngati Kuri

Education Days

Two more dune lakes education events are planned: Kai Iwi Lakes in May and at Poutō in June.


A joint visit with Biosecurity was made to give advice to landowners who are interested in a major restoration project for parts of a farm near Pipiwai which has several wetlands and a large area of gumland, ranked as one of Northlands Top Wetlands. Gumland, which used to be common in Northland, is now identified as a Nationally Critical habitat type because of their rarity and habitat values for threatened species. Options for the project such as a CPCA and covenants are being investigated.

Progress is being made by a wider council team on development of a wetland monitoring programme led by the Biodiversity Department which fulfills the NPS Freshwater requirements.

A meeting was held with Morphum Environmental Ltd, which has been contracted by MfE to provide a national wetland mapping methodology using Northland as a test case. Machine learning is being used to identify wetlands and biodiversity staff have been asked to review the results and verify sites.


CoastCare and Biodiversity staff attended Renew School, Whangārei to give a lesson on coastal ecosystems and monitoring.  This was part of a focus on the beach environment for level three education for sustainability and level two science. It was also in preparation for field-trips in March and April when the students will undertake dune, beach and fauna surveys.

BIosecurity incursions and response

Check, Clean, Dry Programme

The Kai Iwi Lake Koi Carp incursion threat has highlighted the vulnerability of these relatively ecologically pristine catchments.  The lakes are a much-loved by Northlanders and are an increasingly popular destination, with campground and day visitor numbers commonly in excess of 1000/day over the summer season. 

The recent focus of the Check, Clean, Dry programme has been to, increase public awareness of the negative impacts of freshwater pests through:

Ÿ Increased lake side advocacy and Check, Clean, Dry collateral distribution through collaboration with Kai Iwi Lakes campground management and advocacy by staff.

Ÿ A Check, Clean, Dry advocacy stall at the Waitangi Day Festival through partnership with White Bait Connections.

Ÿ Providing businesses with Check, Clean, Dry information and collateral handouts.


Check Clean Dry Advocacy at the Waitangi Day Festival 2021

Wild animal control

Feral deer reports

Two Fallow deer incidents have been reported.  One sighting (Hikurangi area) is confirmed by trail camera.  The animal is tagged, so it either a deer farm escape or the liberation of farmed stock.  The other sighting (Whakapara area) is still to be confirmed.  The deer response contractor is following up on both incidents.

Deer farms

Council staff are establishing a working relationship with a Haruru Falls deer farmer to help engage with the wider Northland deer farming community.  This relationship is important for building trust and relationships, thereby reducing the risk of deer farm escapes.  Council’s communication team is also assisting with the development of an engagement plan targeting deer farmers and the surrounding landowners.

Kauri dieback

Kauri dieback sites

The kauri dieback team are nearing completion of the aerial survey soil sampling project, with only a small number of properties left to visit where the landowners have resisted council staff entering their land.  Biosecurity staff are working through process to get access to take the samples.  One new kauri dieback site has been identified and staff are working with the landowner to develop a kauri dieback management plan.

Hapū Engagement

Kauri Dieback workshops are scheduled once a week from March to deliver kauri dieback education and key hygiene messages to hapū, community groups, and schools around Northland.

Kauri Dieback Track Mitigation Project

Council received $2M in December last year from the Provincial Growth Fund to upgrade walking trails around Northland to protect kauri.  The project will create new jobs, boost local economies and improve trail walking experience along the Te Araroa Trail in Northland. 

There are eight project areas on the Te Araroa Trail spanning between Kauri Mountain and Puketōtara. 

Johnson Contractors have a contract to carry out the construction of the boardwalks and have employed local kaimahi to do the work. 

Project works have commenced with construction well underway at Kauri Mountain and orders for supplies for Onekainga Track will be placed before the end of February.



Kauri dieback Track Mitigation Project areas.

Kauri Protection Fund

Council has also received $120,000 from the Kauri Protection Fund (Ministry for Primary Industries) to increase the capacity of the kauri dieback team.  The funding is being used to appoint an 18-month fixed term position focused on developing and implementing a community and stakeholder engagement plan.   This will ensure our key messages around kauri dieback are reaching all corners of Northland communities.

Kauri Ora – an iwi collaboration

The Department of Conservation have allocated $3.5M as part of the Jobs for Nature programme to four Northland iwi (Te Roroa, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Wai and Ngāti Kuri).  The funding is being used for a range of measures to undertake forest protection.  Kauri Ora will engage with other agencies and wishes to sustain a relationship with council.

Changes to the National Kauri Dieback Team

The National Kauri Dieback Team at MPI is undergoing a restructure on the back of the last election. The Government has committed $32M over 5 years to roll out a National Pest Management Plan (the strongest form of protection under the Biosecurity Act).  Council staff are meeting with the Ministry for Primary Industries and other stakeholders in March to discuss the proposals.



Kiwi Coast

Two kiwi releases were done in the month:

Ÿ Pukenui Western Hills Forest Trust:  Council staff assisted with the night capture of 14 kiwi on Motuora island for translocation into Pukenui Forest on 13 February.  Four of these kiwi were taken to Whangārei Intermediate School where a crowd of approx. 150 people gathered to meet them before they were released into the forest.

Ÿ Parua Bay:  Staff also assisted with the collaborative Backyard Kiwi Release on 14 February where five kiwi were captured off Matakohe/Limestone Island and released into the Pārua Bay area.  Around 90 people attended the whakawātea ceremony performed by Te Parawhau kaumātua in Onerahi when the kiwi arrived back on the mainland.  Around 250 people came to the Pārua Bay community hall prior to the release to hear about kiwi and their threats.



Young female kiwi ready for release in the Pārua Bay area

A picture containing person, mammal

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Western Northland HVA

The Te Toa Whenua and Maunganui Bluff Community Pest Control Areas (Te Roroa led), which have a primary focus on possum control are now well underway with the key infrastructure in place and possum control started.  Trapping for mustelids continues with the Kaitiaki Kiwi, Pūpūrangi, and Wekaweka Community Pest Control Areas.

Preliminary discussions have begun about establishing a kiwi / kōkako Community Pest Control Area at Matarāua that is close to the Department of Conservation led kōkako project in the Matarāua/Waipoua Forest.

Predator Free Whangārei 

Work completed to date includes landowner engagement, development of communication resources and council staff hosted a Predator Free Whangārei information stall at the Pārua Bay kiwi release this month.

Predator Free Bay of Islands

Staff are in the final stages of securing a significant financial grant of $4M from Predator Free 2050 Ltd for a proposed landscape scale predator eradication project in the Bay of Islands.

marine biosecurity

Hull Surveillance Programme

Out of 94 inspections made this period, there were no incidents of concern.

2020/2021 Hull Surveillance Programme Results
26/01/2021 – 23/02/2021

Total this month

Total YTD

Pathways Plan Compliance



Number of vessels surveyed this month



% Pathways Plan Compliance (all vessels) *



% Pathways Plan Compliance (recent arrivals) **



Vessels found with Marine Pests



Sabella spallanzanii (fanworm)



Styela clava (clubbed tunicate)



Undaria pinnatifida (Japanese kelp)



Eudistoma elongatum (Australian droplet tunicate)



Pyura doppelgangera (sea squirt)



*    Percentage of all vessels surveyed that complied with the acceptable level of light fouling as defined in the Marine Pathways Plan.

**  Percentage of vessels on anchor that complied with the acceptable level of light fouling as defined in the Marine Pathways Plan.

Ōpua Sabella Incursion Response

Contract divers have continued with search and destroy methods for the Mediterranean fanworm the past month in Ōpua and will shortly be wrapping up the latest round of diving.  Biosecurity staff, with colleagues at the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Cawthron Institute, expect to have the data analysed and a report outlining next steps available to present to council by the end of March.

pest plants

Wilding Conifers

Wilding pine control is currently underway at Kauri Mountain with contractors a week into drilling and filling work.  500 trees have been killed standing and another 1000 to go. The picture to the right shows the spread of wilding pines along the dunes at Kauri Mountain Beach Whangārei Heads.

Kaipara Spartina

Four staff continued control of the eradication pest plant spartina, at sites in the Kaipara Harbour, with satisfying results with no plants found at the two sites on Floodgate Road, Te Kōwhai (Rūāwai) and only three plants located at the Tikinui Wharf site, (Te Kōpuru).  The old Matakohe bridge site near Paparoa, only had 27 plants.  Staff did, however, locate and treat a new large site on Neems Road, Tinopai.


Long Term Plan Projects




The Southern Spillways project is approximately 70% completed.  Preliminary work for Allan Bell Park is underway.  Church Road Rock Stabilization work is expected to start early March.


Consent lodged with FNDC and NRC, Staff working through questions.


Progress with key landowners has been slow or stalled.  It is unlikely we will be able to complete significant works this season.


Staff are proceeding with a feasibility study and early contractor engagement. 


Staff are sensitivity modelling testing to determine best protection without requiring a storm water pump station.    Staff have visited with the affected business owners regarding a lower level of flood protection.


Work is progressing in the Pupuke Catchment


Work Streams  



Coastal erosion hazard mapping  

100% complete  

Maps being prepared for publication

Coastal erosion research 

Phase 2 underway  

Analysis underway with publication of results due mid-2021

Region-wide coastal flood mapping 

99% complete  

Final maps received and being prepared for publication

Region-wide river flood mapping  

75% complete  

Far north models complete, awaiting maps

Whangārei river flood model 


Model set up started

Public release of new coastal hazard maps 

Planning phase 

Publication of maps to NRC website expected early April 2021. NRC staff working with TA planning teams to align with district plan reviews.

Climate Change Response  

Work Streams  



NRC Climate Change Strategy 


Draft strategy, including the proposed NRC carbon neutral plan, to be presented to Climate Change Working Party in March

Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau - Adaptation Strategy 

In development 

Climate Risk Assessment 1 - Risk descriptions – draft complete and under internal review. Release planned March 2021

Climate Risk Assessment 2 - Coastal risk spatial analysis - community risk profile analysis underway

Regional Adaptation Strategy due Late 2021 

Joint Standing Committee on Climate Change Adaptation 


Inaugural meeting 12 April at NRC

Northland Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)

Continuing to receive excellent feedback from the Northland community regarding the LiDAR data set.  A final deliverable data set is expected by end of March. 


Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro nōnā te ngahere, Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga nōnā te ao

Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe Beach (TOATB) Management Plan

The beach management plan, now that it has been adopted by the Board, identifies 54 key action items that will assist in achieving the Boards vision, values outcomes and objectives for Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe beach management area.  Of these 54 action items, 18 are a priority to be completed in the short term (39% of the action items contained in the plan).

A further eight action items have been identified as a priority due to their association with a proposed regional policy statement, regional plan change, or district plan change process update.  Although these seven action items are not classified with a short-term delivery time frame, it may be more practicable for councils to fulfil their obligations in relation to these action items by completing them alongside other action items with short term delivery timeframes.

The priority focus of the TOATB 2021 workplan will be on enhancing the values of Ngā Ture Wairua/Spiritual Value and Ngā Kaiārahi/Leadership.

Te Whāriki/Responsiveness to Māori Framework

The Te Whāriki core cultural competency level one workshops are continuing to produce positive outcomes with valuable feedback provided from council staff.  This feedback helps to assist in the quality delivery of the programme.  Level two workshops will commence in June 2021 and will provide a more indepth programme focusing on our operational staff that are working directly with Māori.

“I have the beginnings of understanding, and look forward to building on this over the next few years as we learn how to work more closely with Maori in the future.”

“The deconstruction of the terms manaakitanga, kotahitanga and whanaungatanga was very important, these terms are used in the workplace every day, but not necessarily understood well or used in the correct context.”

“Understanding the pōwhiri was extremely useful. Additionally, the breakdown of the treaty, what it means and most importantly what was signed and agreed to as opposed to what was sent to the crown for signing”

Other activities that support the cultural competency of the council:

Ÿ Regular workshops facilitated by the Kaiārahi Kaupapa Māori with councillors to assist them in their knowledge and practice of tikanga/protocols and correct application of te reo Māori.

Ÿ Weekly speed te reo me ona tikanga Māori sessions facilitated by Sally Bowron with a core group of staff that are now champions for karakia, mihimihi and use of te reo Māori within council day to day operations.

Ÿ Commemoration of the Treaty of Waitangi event was an opportunity to engage with staff and celebrate the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and what it represents for our organisation.

Mātauranga Māori

The work to develop an overall approach to Mātauranga Māori is ongoing and a stock take of the projects and components of Mātauranga Māori is a priority for our team over the next quarter.

The matauranga māori monitoring fund criteria for iwi and hapū has been reviewed and is outlined below:

Ÿ Provision of a project plan/scope that outlines aspirations, objectives and outputs of the environmental monitoring being undertaken

Ÿ Endorsement of the project proposal by an iwi or hapū

Ÿ Output reports and findings are available for NRC to use

Where eligible quality applications exceed the $20,000 available, preference will be given to:

Ÿ iwi or hapū who have existing IHEMPs

Ÿ proposals that align with NRC monitoring network and/or existing work programmes

Ÿ freshwater monitoring proposals. 

Ÿ an equitable geographic distribution of funding.

A critical component to the success of this fund is to work with our environmental monitoring teams to understand the capacity of our staff to support and sustain the projects identified in collaboration with iwi and hapū partners.  Two joint monitoring projects are currently being conducted in partnership with Patuharakeke and Te Uri o Hau and others to be identified will assist our competency in these joint programmes to build capacity of hapū and iwi.

Mana Whakahono-ā-rohe

Implementation with Patuharakeke and Ngāti Rehia with our resource and consents, planning and policy team is now the focus for council.  A meeting is scheduled in March to meet and form a programme/plan with key council managers and Juliane Chetham/Nora Rameka with a review in six months to present progress and updates to TTMAC and council.  Te Hikutu/Hokianga, Te Uri o Hau and Te Parawhau have all signaled their desire and intent to have a Mana Whakahono-ā-Rohe agreement and discussions are now progressing with each of these hapū.  This also relates to the work we are doing with the Māori Technical Advisory Group and the development of a resource consent/CIA guideline for tangata whenua and applicants.

Awanui Flood Works Project

A relationship with Te Paatu iwi and representatives is progressing as there have been issues raised that they have not been consulted as mana whenua for specific earthworks in their areas.  Meetings in Kaitāia continue to address this and how we can have a working relationship over the next three years has been our focus whilst engaging a cultural monitor mandated by Te Paatu.  To provide clarity when engaging cultural monitors as consultants/contractors for earthworks and land disturbance activities undertaken by council we have reviewed and updated the operational ‘engaging a cultural monitor policy’.

8.3.6   STRATEGY, Governance And Engagement


Resource Management System Reforms

The Government has announced high-level direction on reform of the resource management system based on the findings of the review by an independent Review Panel led by Hon Tony Randerson, QC released in June last year.  The reform includes replacement of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) with three new acts: 

Ÿ the Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) to provide for land use and environmental regulation (this would be the primary replacement for the RMA);

Ÿ the Strategic Planning Act (SPA) to integrate with other legislation relevant to development and require long-term regional spatial strategies; and

Ÿ the Managed Retreat and Climate Change Adaptation Act (CAA) to support New Zealand’s response to the effects of climate change.

Key features of the NBA are likely to be:

Ÿ reference to the concept of Te Mana o te Taiao (the mana of the environment) and give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Ÿ include a list of ‘outcomes’ and stronger government direction for the natural environment, built environment, Tikanga Māori, historic heritage, natural hazards and climate change (replacing matters of national importance in Part 2 RMA)

Ÿ include a ‘national planning framework’ (to set out matters of national significance and to provide consistency) - essentially a combination of government policy direction in national policy statements, standards and regulations and environmental ‘bottom-lines’

Ÿ natural and built environment plans - combined regional and district planning documents (including the CMA) that give effect to national direction / standards are to replace the 100+ district and regional plans and regional policy statements with 14 combined plans – with a changed role for councils in developing and approving these plans

Ÿ an improved nationally consistent monitoring and reporting system.

Key features of the SPA are likely to be:

Ÿ integration with the NBA, CAA and other key legislation relevant to development (such as the Local Government Act, Climate Change Response Act and Land Transport Act)

Ÿ a requirement for statutory long-term (30 years) ‘multi-agency’ regional spatial strategies - combined plans under the NBA are to be consistent with regional spatial strategies and NBA ‘outcomes’ are to be provided for in regional spatial strategies

Ÿ spatial strategies are to be prepared at the regional scale by joint committees comprising representatives of central government, regional councils, territorial authorities and mana whenua (to be independently chaired and agreed by consensus).

Key features of the CAA have yet to be confirmed, as recommendations for the CAA are one of the least developed areas in the report of the review panel, but drivers for this new act are identified as:

Ÿ a lack of national direction and guidance from central government for managing the effects of climate change

Ÿ difficulties addressing contentious issues in local planning and the ability to plan for managed retreat

Ÿ lack of clarity on the roles and responsibilities of central and local government for adaptation

Ÿ particular issues in relation to risks for Maori

Ÿ the need for an ‘all of system’ approach given the links across the three proposed pieces of law (and especially spatial planning required under the SPA and National Adaptation Plans developed under the Climate Change Response Act 2002).

The government has signalled an ‘exposure draft’ of the Natural and Built Environment Bill will be referred to a special select committee mid-late 2021.  The Strategic Planning and Climate Change Adaptation Bills are intended to be introduced to Parliament by late 2021 and all three Bills are anticipated to be enacted by the end of 2022.

The reform is the most significant review of the resource management system since the advent of the RMA in 1991.  Staff will continue to track the reform and report to council as details emerge.


Proposed Regional Plan

Since the last update provided to council, staff have been working with parties to refine matters which are set down for hearing, in particular with the Minister of Conservation in regard to the water quality standards they seek (Topic 5: water quality) which is scheduled for hearing on 4-7 May.

Ngāti Manuhiri Kaitiaki Trust has sought to join the appeals on Topic 14: fishing controls (marine protected areas) in support of Te Uri o Hikihiki.  The parties to the appeals have indicated the number of their expert witnesses they intend to call (now a total of 55-57 expert witnesses) and the Court has allocated a third week for the hearing (12-23 July and 2-6 August) and appointed Judge Harvey (Māori Land Court) to sit alongside Judge Smith.  Given the extremely large number of experts that will be called, discussions are ongoing with the Court as to how best to manage the case.

Agreement has been reached and documents requesting a consent order have been signed by all parties in relation to Regionally Significant Infrastructure and lodged with the Court. 

Work has also begun on mapping of Outstanding Natural Landscapes in the coastal marine area as directed by the Court, with a draft methodology having been agreed by the landscape experts involved and submitted to all parties and the Court for agreement.

Negotiations on other unresolved matters are ongoing including in relation to Vehicles on Beaches and Aquaculture.

Forest and Bird Protection Society of NZ has lodged an appeal to the High Court against the Environment Court’s decision relating to the interpretation that the National Environmental Standard for Freshwater) Regulations 2020 does not apply in the coastal marine area (except in limited circumstances).  The appeal was only lodged on the day of writing of this report, so staff have yet to work through the implications of this.  However, it will likely to mean many of the other Environment Court appeal ‘topics’ will be put on hold until the High Court makes a decision.

National Policy Statement-Freshwater Management (NPS-FM)

The visit by Chief Freshwater Commissioner, Professor Peter Skelton is likely to be in early April at Northland Regional Council (pending Covid restrictions).  He will meet with councillors and council staff to discuss the new Freshwater Hearings Panel and associated freshwater planning process.  A briefing on this upcoming visit was provided to Council on Tuesday 23 February.


Investment and Growth Reserve – Projects Report



Future developments/ reporting

Extension 350

Quarter 2 report and third quarter invoice received.


Te Hononga

Project completion report received.


Manea Footprints of Kupe


Awaiting project completion report (due February).

Other Work Undertaken

Ÿ Joint economic development initiative – advertisement for the role of director of Northland Inc. opened and closed; work with lawyers on term sheet for shareholder agreeement.

Ÿ Ngāwhā Innovation and Education Centre – Northland Inc. confirmed that the additional support they were seeking on top of the lease arrangement was no longer required.

Ÿ Oruku Landing Conference and Event Centre – staff are preparing information to bring back to council to help inform their decision to fund. 

Ÿ Provided economic data for a variety of council related documents including LTP consultation material, regional transport plans and civil defence and emergency management plan, and to support the proposed regional plan.


Highlights:  A Tsunami Alert on 11 February and some heavy rain on 15 February contributed to increased visits to the website this month.  Posts about marine pests and koi carp sighting contributed to an increased reach on our Facebook page this month.

Most popular content on Facebook:  A post asking the public to help us monitor the spread of the Australian droplet tunicate (Eudistom elongatum) around Northland’s coast.  The post reached 31,083 people and engaged with 611 people on our page, including the post being shared 154 times.

*Engaged – number of people who ‘reacted’, commented or shared the post

Key Performance Indicators












# Visits to the NRC website






E-payments made






# subscription customers (cumulative)






SOCIAL MEDIA (cumulative)






# Twitter followers






# NRC Facebook fans






# NRC Overall Facebook Reach






# NRC Engaged Daily Users






# CDEM Facebook fans






# CDEM Overall Facebook Reach






# CDEM Engaged Daily Users






# Instagram followers






Nov – increased in reach due to increase in post volume and extremely popular post on toxic seas slugs


Ngā Tupuranga o Te Taitokerau

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, Ngā Tupuranga o Te Taitokerau was again postponed from February to 24-30 April.  The week-long intensive programme - in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Development and the Untouched World Foundation - is aimed at developing future leaders in sustainability for senior secondary and post school youth. 

Ngā Tupuranga o Te Taitokerau will still be held Te Tii Marae in Waitangi and the Hon. Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister of Youth Development, will be visiting.

Enviroschools communities facilitated

During February, Enviroschools Facilitators held 64 specific interactions with school and early childhood communities.


Emergency Services Promotion

Over summer we ran a multi-channelled campaign to promote the lifesaving work of our emergency services.   The campaign included radio and print advertising primarily focused on Surf Lifesaving Northern Region (SLSNR) and our emergency services partnerships.  On social media we supported this advertising by running a small social campaign for SLSNR, where we directed the public to the NRC website, providing them with the times and locations when lifeguards would be on duty in Northland.

Over the campaign period we saw a 29% increase in page views on our ‘Supporting our emergency services’ page vs the same period the previous year.  We also had 97 page views on the new ‘Lifeguards on duty’ page.

Northland Regional Council Tū i te ora Scholarships

Eight $3,000 scholarships are being offered to support students studying or training in areas aligned to work council does in the environmental, economic or community resilience fields.  Scholarship entries closed on 14 February and 91 complete applications were received.  Judging is currently underway to decide on the eight recipients and a media release will be issued once this decision has been made.

North Kaipara A&P Show (Paparoa)

Biosecurity pest animals, and weeds were represented at the Paparoa Show on 6 February.  The show was very busy this year and seems to be expanding.  A significant number of pest animal enquiries were received.

Northland Home and Lifestyle Show

The Transport team attended this three day event (12-14 February) with messages on City Link, Bus Link services, Beecard and the Total Mobility scheme.  It was the first time council has attended this event and the team were very positive about the levels of engagement and number of enquries received.

Northern Wairoa A&P Show (Arapohue)

Chair Penny Smart represented council at this event on 13 February with information on pest animals and weeds, and general enquiries.

North Hokianga A&P Show (Broadwood)

Staff were prepped to attend this show on 20 February, which was cancelled due to Level 2 COVID-19 restrictions.



LGOIMA requests
received 2019/20

LGOIMA requests
received 2020/21








































LGOIMA requests not responded to within 20 working days*



8.3.7   Customer Service – Community Resilience


Regional Transport Committee

A Regional Transport Committee was held on Wednesday 10 February 2021.  At the meeting, the following papers were presented:-

Ÿ Northland Regional Land Transport Plan 2018 – 2021 Funding Uptake Report;

Ÿ Northland Rail Upgrade – KiwRail Update;

Ÿ Northland Road Safety Update;

Ÿ Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Update;

Ÿ Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-2027 and Regional Public Transport Plan 2021-2031: Progress Report.

Draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-2027 and Draft Regional Public Transport Plan 2021-2031

At their meeting on 10 February, the Regional Transport Committee (RTC) approved the proposed changes to the “Strategic Front End” of the Draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-2027 (RLTP) and the Draft Regional Public Transport Plan 2021-2031 (RPTP) and approved their release for public consultation. 

On 9 December 2020, the RTC held a “Project Prioritisation” workshop.  This entailed prioritising all State Highway Improvement, Road to Zero Programme and Local Road Improvement projects listed in the RLTP.  At this workshop the RTC members agreed the prioritised ranking of these projects. However, following the workshop, a number of significant changes were made to the State Highway Improvement and Road to Zero Programme projects which nessitated further prioritisation workshops having to be held to agree to the requested changes.  

The RTC formally approved the inclusion of the amended prioritised lists of State Highway Improvement, Road to Zero Programme and Local Road Improvement projects for inclusion in the RLTP for release for public consulation.

The Draft Regional Land Transport Plan 2021-2027 and the Draft Regional Public Transport Plan 2021-2031 were released for consultation on Wednesday 24 February 2021 with submissions closing on 26 March 2021.  During this period, a number of drop in “have your say” sessions have been scheduled, as listed below:






Monday 8 March

9.00 - 11.00am

NRC Council Chambers
36 Water Street, Whangārei


Monday 8 March

3.00 - 5.00pm

Town Hall
42 Hokianga Road, Dargaville


Tuesday 9 March

10.00am - 12.00pm

War Memorial Hall
13 State Highway 12, Opononi


Tuesday 9 March

3.00 - 5.00pm

FNDC Council Chambers
Memorial Avenue, Kaikohe


Thursday 11 March

11.30am - 1.30pm

Domain Hall
73 Moir Street, Mangawhai


Friday 12 March

10.00am - 12.00pm

Main Hall
Te Ahu Centre, Kaitāia


Friday 12 March

3.00 -5.00pm

Kingston House
123 Hone Heke Road, Kerikeri

Passenger Transport Administration

*BusLink figures are reported one month in arrears, due to the required information being unavailable at the time of the agenda deadline.

Bus Link stats for January 2021
(revenue ex GST)




Year/Date Actual

Year/Date Budgeted

City Link Passengers






CityLink Revenue 






Mid North Link Passengers






Mid North Link Revenue






Hokianga Link Passengers






Hokianga Link Revenue






Far North Link Passengers






Far North Link Revenue






Bream Bay Link Passengers






Bream Bay Link Revenue

$ 352





Hikurangi Link Passengers






Hikurangi Link Revenue






Whangārei Heads Link Passengers






Whangārei Heads Link Revenue






At its meeting of 24 February 2021, the Waka Kotahi Board agreed to continue to fund at 100% FAR fare revenue shortfalls due to the impact of COVID-19 and net increase in current public transport service costs associated with implementing COVID-19 measures until 30 June 2021.  From 1 July 2021 councils’ normal FARs will apply to public transport programmes, including extra COVID-19 costs.

Ocean Beach Holiday Service

The summer trial service that ran to Ocean Beach over the holiday period carried 38 passengers on the four days it operated in January.

COVID-19 Response

NRC staff worked with the Community Engagement Team on public transport messaging when Northland went to Level 2, and then to Level 1.  The contracted bus operators are being reminded that under Alert Level 1, the wearing of masks on public transport is mandatory and that this should be advertised and promoted on the buses.  It is, however, important to note that the responsibility to ensure a mask is worn on public transport lies with the individual and not with the operator or council.

Total Mobility


Total Clients

Monthly Actual Expend

Monthly Budgeted Expend

Monthly Variance

Year/Date Actual Expend

Year/Date Budgeted Expend

Annual Variance

Jan 2021









Road Trauma Update:

Fatalities this year

Far North





Local roads






State highways












2021 Year to Date Road Death Statistics:

·    National = 35 deaths compared to 45 in 2020

·    Northland = 5 deaths compared to 2 in 2020

Road Safety Delivery

Motorcycle Safety - Ride Forever (R4E) Rider Training Update

For the 2020/21 financial year ending June 2021, 104 riders have participated in the Ride Forever (R4E) rider training programme across Northland:

Ÿ Bronze course           35

Ÿ Silver course              37

Ÿ Gold course                32

Total riders                    104

Heavy Vehicle Operation

A Truck Education/Health Stop was held on Wednesday 24 February, which coincided with the annual Truck Driver Appreciation Week.  This took place at Uretiti with support from the Northland Freight Group partners.

Fatigue / Driver Reviver Stop

This took place on 5 February and was very well attended and supported.  Over two hundred motorists and their passengers stopped and took advantage of the refreshments and road safety resources.  Some of the supporters were very creative in interacting with the public and volunteers, which was very well received.


A picture containing sky, outdoor, road, person

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The next Stop is planned for Thursday 1 April 2021 (Easter).

Road Safety Promotion/Media:

Road safety promotion work continues supporting Police and partners with road safety promotion through various media platforms including at events.



Telephone inbound call statistic & enquiries


February  2021

(As at COB 25 February)


Call volumes via Customer Services



Conversion rate



Average wait time

6 sec


Calls answered in under 30 sec




The heightened COVID-19 status in the third week of the month is likely to have been the reason for the significant drop in calls. For most of the week volumes were at only 75% of normal levels. All Service Centres continued to operate as normal with increased protection for visitors and staff.

Satisfaction monitoring

Feedback cards, compliments and complaints

Feedback cards have been included with the tallies for compliments and complaints, as appropriate.

Compliments received


Service provided by a specific person/people

             Maritime – S Meldrum


Total compliments recorded



Complaints received


Staff or contractor behaviour/attitude

             Bus – City link (2)



Disagree with decision or process




Lack of information or communication



Issue has occurred repeatedly for me



Total complaints recorded



The compliment for our maritime officer included positive feedback from several teachers following an educational session at one of the schools.

The lack of compliments this month can be most likely attributed to a lack of reporting as staff have been exceptionally busy.

Unusually, there have been several complaints received by our compliance monitoring team. Three of these have been resolved and have been caused primarily by customer frustration that we are not able to resolve issues which are outside of our jurisdiction.  The consents complaint and the remaining monitoring complaint relate to ongoing issues and are being attended to by senior staff.



The National Emergency Management Development Group (NEMDG) met on 24 and 25 February at the Beehive in Wellington.  Victoria Harwood attended on behalf of the Northland CDEM Group. Topics covered included the review by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Policy Team of three pivotal CDEM documents including the CDEM Act 2002, National CDEM Plan and Guide 2015 and the National Disaster Resilience Strategy and the Emergency Management Sector Vision for the next ten years.

Discussion was held regarding the ongoing COVID-19 resurgence operations and the role of CDEM Groups.  More work is being done nationally to better align the border control, regional boundaries, locations with public information for future Alert Level changes.

A short debrief was held by NEMA for Group Managers regarding the operational procedures the NEMA and GNS carried out for the 11 February Tsunami Advisory event.

The challenges faced by people in rural areas and residential drinking water collecting infrastructure has been raised through the Northland Social Wellbeing Governance Group (NSWGG), nationally it has been agreed that funding options will be investigated to potentially support improvement projects for the region.


The Northland CDEM Group staff responded to the Tsunami National Advisory on 11 February at 02:41hrs.  CDEM staff were alerted through the National Warning System.

Public information was distributed through the Northland CDEM Facebook page, the National Emergency Alerting system was used to inform the public of the Tsunami Advisory.  The NRC Harbourmaster was informed, the yellow tsunami light at the Marina was activated for ashort time, the region’s CDEM coastal Community Response Groups were contacted by phone and email until the threat was cancelled at 09:17hrs the same day.  A hot debrief was carried out with CDEM staff and feedback with recommendations provided to NEMA.

The Northland COVID-19 Resurgence Action Plan for Alert Level 2 was reviewed and revised as the alert levels changed during 15-17 February.  The Group Controller liaised with the Auckland and Waikato CDEM Groups, NEMA, Northland DHB and Northland Police regarding border control and any support required.

The review of the Northland CDEM Group Plan 2016-2021 continues - a progress information report will be presented to the CDEM Joint Standing Committee in March.


Ÿ Aids to Navigation maintenance work has been ongoing, including a major refurbishment of the Fraser Rock light and work done on the Hātea River buoys.  The Pouto point light has also been replaced as well as work carried out in Rangaunu Harbour.

Ÿ The Just Add Water programme has started with a very successful two days at Springbank School educating children on maritime safety issues.  Very good feedback was received, and other schools are due to be visited soon.

Ÿ Survey work by contractors is starting in the Kerikeri River to determine seabed composition for the pile mooring replacement project.

Ÿ Nine Incidents have been logged in February, the most serious being a Harbour Warden abused by a speeding jet-skier with Police called to attend.

Ÿ Three super yachts were piloted into the Bay of Islands.

Ÿ The major extension to the Windsor Landing mooring area now has 30 new mooring applications, which if installed will fill the newly extended area.

Ÿ The New Zealand Offshore Power Boat Association has lodged an application to hold a large power boat race in Whangārei Harbour.


Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga


Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 9.1

16 March 2021



Receipt of Committee Minutes




Chris Taylor, Governance Support Manager

Authorised by Group Manager:

Chris Taylor, Governance Support Manager, on 09 March 2021



That the unconfirmed minutes of the:

·        Regional Transport Committee – 10 February 2021;

·        Extraordinary Regional Transport Committee – 19 February 2021; and

·        Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee – 22 February 2021


be received.


Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Regional Transport Committee Minutes - 10 February 2021

Attachment 2: Extraordinary Regional Transport Committee minutes - 19 February 2021

Attachment 3: Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee - 22 February 2021   

Council Meeting  ITEM: 9.1

16 March 2021Attachment 1

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Council Meeting  ITEM: 9.1

16 March 2021Attachment 2

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Council Meeting  ITEM: 9.1

16 March 2021Attachment 3

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Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                         item: 9.2

16 March 2021



Working Party Updates and Chairpersons' Briefings




Sally Bowron, Strategy, Governance and Engagement Team Admin/PA

Authorised by Group Manager:

Ben Lee, GM - Strategy, Governance and Engagement, on date 09 March 2021



That the report ‘Working Party Updates and Chairpersons' Briefings’ be received.


Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party (Co-Chairs: Clr Robinson and Pita Tipene)

The Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party met on 11 February 2021.  The topics for discussion included:

·        Appointment of Co-Chair

·        Māori Constituencies

·        Regional marae-based hui

·        Whakamānawa ā Taiao | Environmental Awards 2021 and Tū i te Ora Scholarships

·        The Clean Hull Plan

·        Hapū Manawhakahono a Rohe

·        Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe/Ninety Mile Beach Board

·        Updates from other working parties

·        Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group

Following discussion, the Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party provided advice on the following next steps:

·        For staff to develop a mechanism that reports progress on TTMAC’s six key areas of focus

·        That council approve the appointment of Pita Tipene as appointed members Co-Chair, with Georgina Connelly as proxy Co-Chair at their next council meeting

·        That a copy of council’s submission on the Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill be circulated to TTMAC appointed members

·        For staff to arrange shared transport to support the kaupapa of participating in TTMAC hui and to reduce council and members carbon footprint.

·        That Rowan Tautari be nominated to the Tū i te Ora Scholarships selection panel, and Mike Kake be nominated to the Whakamānawa ā Taiao | Environmental Awards 2021 judging panel

·        That individual appointed members provide feedback directly to council’s Biosecurity Manager and Biosecurity – Marine Manager on the Clean Hulls Plan

·        That staff engage with members from Te Parawhau Hapū Authority Charitable Trust, Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust and Te Whakaminenga O Te Hikutu Hapu-Whanau regarding signing the multi-hapū-based Mana Whakahono a Rohe

·        That staff come back to TTMAC in six months with a review of Mana Whakahono a Rohe implementation issues

·        That staff bring papers to TTMAC formal meeting on:

o   the process of appointing and replacing members on working parties that ensures good TTMAC representation on working parties

o   hazard maps

o   the relationship between TTMAC and the Tāngata Whenua Water Advisory Group

o   what is coming from central government on water reforms.


Water and Land Working Party (Chair: Cr Justin Blaikie)

The Water and Land Working Party met on Wednesday 24 February 2021. The topics for discussion included:

·        Retirement Fencing Project Update

·        Sediment Monitoring

·        Summer Weather Update

·        Water Tank Sensor Trial Update

·        Summer Swimming Site Monitoring Results

Following discussion, the Water and Land Working Party provided advice on the following next steps:

·        Contact details to be provided to the Kaipara Moana Land Management Specialist as to opportunities for the project in terms of catchment restoration groups in the Kaikohe and Hokianga Area.

·        An update on the usage of water over the Christmas/NewYear period to be provided.

·        After completion of the monitoring, a more detailed report of the full swimming site monitoring results for the 2020/2021 summer to be provided to the working party.

·        A media release to be done summarising this seasons results.



Council Meeting                                                                                                                                                        ITEM: 10.0

16 March 2021



Business with the Public Excluded


Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to recommend that the public be excluded from the proceedings of this meeting to consider the confidential matters detailed below for the reasons given.


1.              That the public be excluded from the proceedings of this meeting to consider confidential matters.

2.              That the general subject of the matters to be considered whilst the public is excluded, the reasons for passing this resolution in relation to this matter, and the specific grounds under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution, are as follows:

Item No.

Item Issue



Confirmation of Confidential Minutes - 23 February 2021

The public conduct of the proceedings would be likely to result in disclosure of information, as stated in the open section of the meeting.


Human Resources Report

The public conduct of the proceedings would be likely to result in disclosure of information, the withholding of which is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons, including that of deceased natural persons s7(2)(a).

3.              That the Independent Financial Advisors be permitted to stay during business with the public excluded.


1.    Options

Not applicable. This is an administrative procedure.

2.    Significance and Engagement

This is a procedural matter required by law. Hence when assessed against council policy is deemed to be of low significance.

3.    Policy and Legislative Compliance

The report complies with the provisions to exclude the public from the whole or any part of the proceedings of any meeting as detailed in sections 47 and 48 of the Local Government Official Information Act 1987.

4.    Other Considerations

Being a purely administrative matter; Community Views, Māori Impact Statement, Financial Implications, and Implementation Issues are not applicable.


[1] Appointed-members-allowances-policy-approved-by-council-18-april-2017-updated-june-2020.pdf (