Kaipara Moana Remediation

Joint Committee
Monday 22 March 2021 at 09:30am

 

 

AGENDA
RĀRANGI TAKE

 

 


Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee

22 March 2021

Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee Agenda

 

Meeting to be held at the Puatahi Marae

on Monday 22 March 2021, commencing at 09:30am

 

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

 

NGĀ MANA WHAKAHAERE

(MEMBERSHIP OF THE Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee)

 

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua Tame Te Rangi

NRC Chair Penny Smart

NRC Councillor Amy Macdonald

Auckland Council Councillor Daniel Newman

Ngā Maunga Whakahī o Kaipara, Cherie Povey

Auckland Council, Rodney Local Board Chair Phelan Pirrie

Auckland Council Greg Sayers

Ngā Maunga Whakahī o Kaipara, Jane Sherard

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua Virginia Warriner

Te Uri o Hau Malcolm Welsh

Te Uri o Hau Willie Wright

NRC Councillor Joce Yeoman

 

 

KARAKIA / WHAKATAU

 

RĪMITI (ITEM)                                                                                                                                                                Page

1.0       Housekeeping

2.0       NGĀ WHAKAPAHĀ (apologies)   

3.0       NGA WHAKAPUAKANGA (declarations of interest)

4.0       Whakāe Ngā Miniti (Confirmation of Minutes)

4.1       Confirmation of Minutes - Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee meeting 22 February 2021                                                                                                                                                                           3

5.0       Ngā Rīmiti (Items)

5.1       Landowner Grants through Sediment Reduction Plans                                                                7

5.2       Fonterra Tiaki Partnership: Revised Project Proposal                                                                  30

5.3       Proposed Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy                                                         38

5.4       Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme Interim Communications Actions                      76   

   


Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee                                                                                                          item: 4.1

22 March 2021

 

TITLE:

Confirmation of Minutes - Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee meeting 22 February 2021

ID:

A1423183

From:

Leah Porter, PA/Administrator Environmental Services

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Group Manager - Environmental Services, on 11 March 2021

 

Recommendation

That the minutes of the Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee meeting held on 22 February 2021 be confirmed as a true and correct record.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee meeting minutes - 22 February 2021   


Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee  ITEM: 4.1

22 March 2021Attachment 1

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Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee                                                                                                          item: 5.1

22 March 2021

 

TITLE:

Landowner Grants through Sediment Reduction Plans

ID:

A1423057

From:

John Hutton, Auckland Council Management Representative; Duncan Kervell, Kaipara Moana Land Management Specialist and Alan Wilcox, Kaipara Uri Management Representative

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Group Manager - Environmental Services, on 15 March 2021

 

He Rāpopoto hautū / Executive summary

The primary investment objective of the KMR Programme is to help restore the mauri of Kaipara Moana through a material reduction in erosion from land and streams.  To achieve this, targeted grants funding to incentivise and support landowners to undertake remediation work ‘at pace and scale’ is required.  Opportunities for marae, hapū and community groups also need to be provided to work collectively with landowners, including for land in multiple ownership, to undertake remediation projects.

Grants funding requires human resource to engage with landowners to agree and audit funding contracts, alongside funding criteria, technical guidance, communications, and accounting and back-office support.

Currently neither Auckland Council nor Northland Regional Council have sufficient staff capacity to support the KMR Programme to run a landowner grants scheme of this scale.  Some capacity could be provided by the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group (IKHMG), but this would only partly meet needs and be in the short term.  While Kaipara Uri are creating an Environmental Unit, this is not yet established, and its focus and capacity is yet to be confirmed.

It is proposed, as an interim step over the next 12-18 months, that the KMR Programme provide grants through ‘Sediment Reduction Plans’ (Attachment 1).  Sediment Reduction Plans would be agreed with landowners and later integrated into Farm Environment Plans (FEPs) when the KMR Programme has the advisory capacity and supporting digital tools available.  Support provided through Sediment Reduction Plans is proposed to be available for individual landowners, for landowners who wish to work collectively, or through engagement with hapū, marae and community groups.

Direction is sought for KMR Programme staff to prepare project plans, staffing and budget estimates for consideration under the KMR Programme Year 2 Work Plan to deliver a grants programme.  Immediate approval of $30,000 is also proposed, drawing from the Year 1 Work Plan ‘Catchment Group Project Support’ budget, to assist with workforce design, draft job descriptions (and/or contractor requirements), and prepare project budget estimates for consideration.

Funding criteria for KMR grants funding to landowners have been developed for approval (Attachment 2).  The criteria focus on fencing and riparian and wetland planting.  If approved, the criteria will be used also by Fonterra to underpin funding provided under the revised Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project proposal, alongside any other KMR-supported remediation projects.  Engagement is proposed to be undertaken with experienced Kaipara Moana landowners and agricultural sector bodies to test the workability of the criteria at an on-farm level.  Viable changes that arise will be brought back for approval.

 

 

 

Ngā tūtohu / Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Landowner Grants through Sediment Reduction Plans’ by John Hutton, Auckland Council Management Representative; Duncan Kervell, Kaipara Moana Land Management Specialist and Alan Wilcox, Kaipara Uri Management Representative and dated 11 March 2021, be received.

2.         That the interim approach of producing Sediment Reduction Plans to identify where to allocate remediation grant funding, as described in Attachment 1 to the agenda report, is approved.

3.         That developing KMR Programme capacity to provide funding to Kaipara Moana catchment landowners through Sediment Reduction Plans, described in Attachment 1 to the agenda report, is supported in principle.

4.         That developing KMR Programme capacity to engage with hapū, marae and community groups to organise and work with landowners to undertake remediation works, including on land in multiple ownership, is supported in principle.

5.         That the ‘KMR Programme Remediation Funding Criteria’ in Attachment 2 to the agenda report is approved.

6.         Note that the ‘KMR Programme Remediation Funding Criteria’ in Attachment 2 to the agenda report will be tested with landowners and stakeholders and approval to amend will be sought if changes are proposed.

7.         That KMR Programme staff prepare project plans and budget estimates to provide landowner grant funding, including through engagement with hapū, marae and community groups, for consideration under the KMR Programme Year 2 Work Plan, and that $30,000 is allocated from the Year 1 Work Plan ‘Catchment Group Project Support’ project budget to assist with this.

 

Horopaki / Context

Under the Kaipara Moana Remediation (KMR) Programme’s Year 1 work plan (FY2020-21) budget has been approved for four projects that directly support remediation actions on the ground:

a) NRC Grants Funding

b) Waiotū Catchment Care Group

c) Waterway Wetland Remediation – Forest Bridge Trust

d) Fonterra Tiaki Partnership (revised proposal to be approved).

These projects draw largely on existing council systems and staff, and the capacity of third parties to deliver.

To meet KMR Programme objectives of remediation ‘at pace and scale’, a significant level of funding needs to be provided to landowners in the Kaipara Moana catchment to undertake remediation works.  This is particularly so for dry-stock landowners if the revised Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project is approved (see Agenda report ‘Fonterra Tiaki Partnership: Revised Project Proposal).

There is also a need to engage with and provide opportunities for marae, hapū and community groups to work with landowners, including land in multiple ownership, to undertake remediation projects.

Tātari me ngā tūtohu / Analysis and advice

Current capacity of KMR Programme Partners to deliver grants

Presently neither Auckland Council nor Northland Regional Council has staff capacity to support the KMR Programme to run a grants funding scheme of this scale. 

While Interim Management Team members are meeting with Kaipara Uri representatives to discuss the proposed Kaipara Uri Environmental Unit, it is too early to know exactly what the focus of this Unit will be and what capacity it may have to support this type of programme.  It is however hoped these discussions will progress in tandem and can inform the final delivery model. 

IKHMG has confirmed that they can contribute some capacity immediately (funded by MPI through a contract with the IKHMG via Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust’s Environs Holdings), but this is time-bound to the end of October 2021, so would only partly meet needs and only in the short term. 

Given the current lack of capacity, this means a grants scheme cannot be set up this financial year and new capacity needs to be budgeted for and built, to support delivery in year 2.

Key requirements to implement grant funding

There are complexities to grants funding.  Human resource is required to engage with landowners to  agree and audit funding contracts.  Clear funding criteria and technical guidance is required to prioritise and structure work.  Appropriately branded communications to encourage landowners to take up grants is needed.  Processing, accounting and back-office systems are also necessary.

The cost of running a grants programme needs to be carefully managed to ensure on-ground outcomes are achieved with low overheads.

Interdependencies within the KMR Programme

Key KMR Programme strategies are currently being completed, including the Engagement Strategy (see Agenda Report ‘Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme Proposed Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy’), and the Workforce and Nursery strategies.  Findings and recommendations from the strategies should help refine the design of a grants programme.

Completion of work on branding and communications material will also assist. Promotion of a grants programme will rely on effective communications.

Building capacity to deliver grants also needs to be undertaken in parallel to establishing the KMR Programme’s Operational Unit.

Recruitment of staff to service a grants programme, even if on fixed-term contracts, requires confidence that employment will be provided after 31 June 2021.  That in turn requires certainty of budget under the KMR Programme Year 2 Work Plan as well as certainty of Crown grant funding.

The balance of Crown funding for the KMR Programme from Year 2 is conditional on Auckland Council and Northland Regional Council committing to co-fund the programme through their respective Long-Term Plans, alongside confirmation the total contribution from councils and other contributions (landowners, industry association, philanthropic) will match the Crown’s funding.  Councils’ Long-Term Plan processes will be concluded in June.

Although the risk of councils not confirming co-funding is assessed as low, it is still a risk that needs to be considered when making recruitment commitments.

Direction sought from KMR Joint Committee

Support in principle by the KMR Joint Committee to develop capacity for a grants programme is sought.  If provided, this will mandate the KMR Programme’s Interim Management Team to engage with KMR Programme Partners, and undertake work on required workforce design, job descriptions and recruitment processes, and to make arrangements with contractors as and if required.

Budget of $1,000,000 in the Year 1 Work Plan has been set aside for ‘Catchment Group Project Support’.  It is proposed budget of $30,000 is approved immediately to contract assistance to complete workforce design, draft job descriptions (and/or contractor requirements), and prepare budget estimates for a grants programme team.  This work will help project plan development for the Year 2 Work Plan.

Resourcing options

As noted, development of grants applications and processing requires human resources.  Three options are possible which need to be considered further by the KMR Programme team, including in discussion with KMR Programme Partners:

a)    a team of 5 to 6 advisors plus a team manager could be directly employed under the KMR Programme to engage with landowners (including hapū, marae and community groups), draw up funding plans, and undertake back-office work required to administer grants payments.

b)    a smaller team of policy and processing staff directly employed under the KMR Programme as back office support, with KMR-approved advisors contracted from third parties to undertake engagement work with landowners.

c)    a combination of both options could be implemented initially, as systems and processes are yet to be perfected, and as some advisors might best be managed directly through the KMR Programme in the first instance.

There may be potential for secondment or other arrangements with Kaipara Uri entities (including current IKHMG staff) and with agricultural sector bodies, noting the proposed Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project will likely be seeking to recruit land-advisor services at broadly the same time.

Sediment Reduction Plans – an interim approach toward FEPs

KMR Programme staff have developed an interim approach to deliver funding support based on ‘Sediment Reduction Plans’ (Attachment 1).  These plans would be agreed with landowners over the next 12-18 months, up until the KMR Programme has secured a preferred digital platform for FEPs, and when land advisor capacity is in place to fully undertake FEP work.

Support for this approach is sought, acknowledging that further process design is required, including a detailed budget and project planning for consideration as part of the Year 2 Work Plan.

In most instances Sediment Reduction Plans would identify 3 years of remediation actions to receive funding, thus providing landowners confidence on implementation timeframes and support.  Sediment Reduction Plans can be agreed with individual landowners, developed collectively across a number of landowners, or through working with marae, hapū, and community groups.

Sediment Reduction Plans can also be retrofitted into full FEPs, and effectively become part of the land management journey for landowners, noting FEPs are both a plan that identifies remediation works to be undertaken, and a journal of works completed.

A standard 50-50 contributions approach is proposed for most remediation work.  A 50-50 approach is required for the majority of remediation work if the KMR Programme is to ensure the Crown contribution is matched by council and other contributions.  It also largely fits with current council grants funding that Kaipara Moana catchment landowners are familiar with.  Some exceptions are envisaged to the 50-50 approach, but criteria for this require further development.

Funding Criteria

KMR Programme staff, with input from IKHMG and Fonterra staff, have developed criteria for funding sediment reduction works, focussing on fencing and riparian planting.  Attachment 1 sets out the criteria, including detailed rational.

Approval is sought for the criteria.  If approved, the criteria will provide structure to incentivisation packages within the KMR Programme, and enable funding to target the key mitigations for sediment control and provide a consistent engagement approach with landowners.

It is important that criteria are consistent across projects funded by the KMR Programme, both to provide equity and fairness for landowners, and to avoid muddle and debate.  If approved, the criteria will therefore underpin landowner support provided through the proposed Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project, as well as other implementation projects supported through the KMR.

The criteria draw on years of staff experience managing grants schemes and appreciating that clarity for landowners about what is ‘in’ and what is ‘out’ is essential. Further testing of the criteria is nevertheless advised, for example by discussion with Kaipara Uri representatives, experienced farmers already actively participating in remediation projects, and other agricultural sector organisations.

The criteria at this stage do not cover space-planting of exotics, such a poplars to stabilise highly erodible land, or afforestation projects in either native or exotics to achieve the same.  Further work is required on a forestry strategy to better detail and cost these actions.

Approval to amend the criteria will be sought if changes are proposed.

A shorter and ‘user-friendly’ criteria document can be developed for engagement and communications purposes with landowners.

Considerations

1.    Aromātai whāinga haumi mō te oranga / Wellbeing Investment objectives and assessment

Providing financial support to landowners in the Kaipara Moana catchment to undertake work on their properties that reduces sediment loss is fundamental for the KMR Programme to meet Tiaki taiao (Natural Capital) and Ōhanga (Physical & Financial Capital) investment objectives.

How funding is provided is also important, and the approach proposed for resource to engage with hapū, marae and community groups to organise and work with landowners to undertake remediation works, including on land in multiple ownership, will help deliver Manaaki Tangata (Human Capital) and Tātai Hononga (Social Capital) investment objectives.

2.    Ngā ritenga take pūtea / Financial implications

Budget of $30,000 is sought to assist with workforce design, draft job descriptions (and/or contractor requirements), and to prepare project budget estimates for consideration under the KMR Programme Year 2 Work Plan, and is available under the Year 1 Work Plan budget for ‘Catchment Group Project Support’ ($1,000,000).

3.    Ngā tūraru me ngā mauru / Significance, risk and mitigation

The decisions sought in this report are a key step for the KMR Programme to develop much-needed capacity to provide grants funding to Kaipara Moana landowners.  The currently lack of capacity risks the KMR Programme under-delivering investment objectives.  Equally, undertaking a poorly-planned grants programme, where actions are not prioritised and grants are delivered in an inconsistent manner, risks the reputation of the KMR Programme with the Crown, KMR partners, landowners, and the wider community.

4.    Significance and Engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, the decisions arising from this report are considered to be of low significance when assessed against Northland Regional Council’s significance and engagement policy.  This does not mean that this matter is not of significance to tangata whenua and/or individual communities, but that the joint committee is able to make these decisions without undertaking further consultation or engagement.[1]

5.    Ngā whāinga mō āmuri / Next steps

If supported, the KMR Programme’s Interim Management Team will engage with KMR Programme Partners on a preferred approach to build programme capacity, and undertake work required on workforce design, job descriptions and recruitment processes.  This will inform project planning for the Year 2 Work Plan for a grants funding scheme through ‘Sediment Reduction Plans’ as a step towards funding based on full FEPs.

If approved, the ‘KMR Programme Remediation Funding Criteria’ in Attachment 2 will also be used by Fonterra to underpin funding provided under the revised Fonterra Tiaki Partnership, and by other projects funded through the KMR Programme.  Engagement will be undertaken with Kaipara Uri representatives, experienced Kaipara Moana landowners and agricultural sector bodies, to test the workability of the criteria at an on-farm level.  Viable changes that arise from this engagement will be brought back for approval.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Landowner grants through Sediment Reduction Plans

Attachment 2: KMR Programme Remediation Funding Criteria   


Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee  ITEM: 5.1

22 March 2021Attachment 1

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Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee  ITEM: 5.1

22 March 2021Attachment 2

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Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee                                                                                                          item: 5.2

22 March 2021

 

TITLE:

Fonterra Tiaki Partnership: Revised Project Proposal

ID:

A1422958

From:

John Hutton, Auckland Council Management Representative; Duncan Kervell, Kaipara Moana Land Management Specialist and Adam Schellhammer, Senior Healthy Waters Specialist

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Group Manager - Environmental Services, on 15 March 2021

 

He Rāpopoto hautū / Executive summary

Approval is sought for the Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project to proceed on a revised 20-month timeframe to December 2022 and a total budget of $2.91 million.  The proposed revised budget comprises a financial contribution by the Kaipara Moana Remediation (KMR) Programme of $1.56 million ($1,455,000 of Crown grant funding; $105,000 of council contributions), plus land-owner contributions for remediation work undertaken on properties of $900,000 and an estimated $450,000 in-kind contribution by Fonterra toward the completion of Fonterra Tiaki FEPs.  This means Crown grant funding will be matched by a combination of council and third-party contributions.

Project outcomes include the completion of 150 new Fonterra Tiaki Farm Environment Plans (Tiaki FEPs), and delivery of $1.8 million of remediation work targeted to sediment reduction and undertaken on Fonterra supplier farms.

The Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project is one of four KMR Year 1 projects provisionally approved on 16 November 2020 and requiring further refinement and decision-making before final budget approval. 

The original project proposal identified a timeframe for project completion to December 2021 and budget of $1.54 million (comprising $880,000 of Crown grant funding, $60,000 of council contributions, and $600,000 from landowner contributions).

Further engagement with Fonterra has resulted in the revised approach seeking approval here.  This approach aligns better with the agricultural year, allows time for the development of 150 new Fonterra Tiaki FEPs, plus development by Fonterra of necessary wrap-around services for fund provision to landowners to undertake remediation work.  Fonterra has processes and structures that can be modified to meet KMR requirements and up-scaled relatively quickly to speed completion of FEPs and targeted remediation works, and is in a unique position as an agricultural sector organisation to do this.

The Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project is designed as a pilot for a long-term contractual partnership between the KMR Programme and Fonterra across the Kaipara Moana catchment.  Fonterra is keen to test a partnership approach as they see alignment between their objective of sustainable dairy farming and KMR Programme objectives of reducing sediment loss from land to harbour.  Further engagement between Fonterra and the KMR Programme is anticipated through the life of the project, including at both staff and governance levels.

Remediation actions will be guided by Tiaki FEPs, with an anticipated mix of fencing and planting of riparian buffer zones, wetland restoration aided by fencing, and consideration of alternative land uses for highly erodible land.  KMR Programme staff have developed minimum criteria for funding on-farm works and these will be used by Fonterra Sustainable Dairy Advisors (refer ‘Landowner Grants through Sediment Reduction Plans’ report in this Agenda).

If budget is approved, a contract between Fonterra and the Northland Regional Council (acting on behalf of the KMR Programme) will be signed that delivers the project, and ensures fiscal, health and safety and investment objectives from the Kaipara Moana Remediation MOU are managed.

Fonterra understands and appreciates the importance of the investment objectives of the KMR Programme to Kaipara Uri.  These investment objectives include Tātai Hononga (Social Capital) and Manaaki Tangata (Human Capital), which look to improve Kaipara Uri and local skills and capacity, and empower Kaipara Uri and local community participation.  Fonterra is open to engaging directly with Kaipara Uri entities to develop relationships and opportunities, including in areas of employment and service provision.

While key work outputs under the proposed Fonterra Tiaki Partnership (and resulting contract) will remain for its duration, engagement will enable the introduction of criteria developed after consideration of the KMR Programme’s Nursery, Workforce, Mātauranga Māori and other strategies.

Recommendation(s)

1.              That the report ‘Fonterra Tiaki Partnership: Revised Project Proposal’ by John Hutton, Auckland Council Management Representative; Duncan Kervell, Kaipara Moana Land Management Specialist and Adam Schellhammer, Senior Healthy Waters Specialist and dated 11 March 2021, be received.

2.              That budget of $2,910,000 be approved for the Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project under the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme’s Year 1 Annual Work Plan, with the project to run for 20 months from May 2021 to December 2022.

3.              Approve additional Crown and Council grant contributions towards the Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project, under the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme’s Year 1 Annual Work Plan, on the basis that $575,000 of Crown grant funding and $45,000 of Council grant funding, for the FEP Accounting Framework - Fresh Water Management Tool (K2020-013) is reallocated to the Fonterra Tiaki Partnerships project, and that these quantum’s for the FEP Accounting Framework - Fresh Water Management Tool will be budgeted for in the Year 2 Annual Work Plan.

4.              Note that a contract for services between Fonterra and the Northland Regional Council (acting on behalf of the KMR Programme) will be entered into, including provisions that cater to the requirements of the KMR Programme’s deed of funding with the Ministry for the Environment.

5.              Note that Fonterra staff have committed to work with Kaipara Uri and KMR Programme staff to find ways to achieve Manaaki Tangata (Human Capital) and Tātai Hononga (Social Capital) objectives of KMR Programme, once the programme’s strategy development phase is completed.

6.              That the Chief Executive of the Northland Regional Council (acting on behalf of the KMR Programme) is authorised to agree and sign a contract for services with Fonterra to give effect to the Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project.

 

Horopaki / Context

The Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project is designed to achieve early wins for environmental remediation on the ground with associated job creation outcomes, while piloting a potential long-term contractual partnership approach with Fonterra for Farm Environment Plan (FEP) delivery and implementation on dairy platforms within the Kaipara Moana catchment.

The Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project is one of four KMR Year 1 projects provisionally approved on 16 November 2020 and requiring further development and decision-making before final project and budget approval.

Engagement has taken place with Fonterra and a detailed project proposal developed, including adjustment to project timelines and budget.  Approval is now sought for this revised proposal to allow the project to commence in the 2020-2021 Financial Year – KMR Year 1 Annual Work Plan.

Tātari me ngā tūtohu / Analysis and advice

Trialling a partnership approach with Fonterra

The project is designed as a pilot to inform a potential long-term contractual partnership with Fonterra to deliver KMR Programme investment objectives with Kaipara Moana dairy farmers.

Within the Kaipara Moana catchment there are 580 dairy milking platforms, covering 23% of the land area of the catchment (or 141,000 hectares out of 602,000 hectares).  Included in this area is approximately 26,000 hectares of highly erodible land and five thousand kilometres of waterways.  The area under dairy is estimated to produce around 24% of the total sediment load entering Kaipara Moana.  Many of the waterways on dairy farms have been fenced already, but a good number have not.  Many fenced streams would benefit from riparian planting and smaller areas on many farms have potential to be restored as wetlands.  Sediment loss from highly erodible land and erosion from streambanks remains an issue for many farmers.

In the Kaipara Moana catchment almost all known milking platforms are affiliated to the Fonterra co-operative.  Landowners also have many support and run-offs blocks within the catchment – these areas can be serviced by general grant funding, separate from the proposed Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project. 

As an organisation Fonterra has processes and structures that can be up-scaled relatively quickly to speed up completion of Tiaki FEPs and aligned targeted remediation works.  Relative to other agricultural sector organisations, Fonterra is in a unique position to do this.

The Fonterra subsidiary, RD1 Limited (trading as Farm Source), have a team of Whangarei-based Sustainable Dairy Advisors who provide advice to Fonterra farmers throughout Te Taitokerau / Northland.  Farm Source are committed to sustainable farming.  The main mechanism they use to achieve this are risk-based Farm Environment Plans, called ‘Tiaki Plans’.  These plans are developed by Sustainable Dairy Advisors in conjunction with Fonterra farmers.

The Tiaki FEP platform is arguably the most up-to-date and “regulation ready” electronic farm plan tool in New Zealand and Fonterra has made a significant investment over time to develop and maintain it.  It has the potential to support the aims of the KMR programme, with digital formatting that can be modified to meet and report on national regulations, including Essential Freshwater and farms plans under the RMA.

Revised scope and funding for Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project

The original Fonterra Tiaki Partnership proposal was provisionally approved on 16 November 2020 as part of the KMR Year 1 Annual Work Plan.  Proposed budget of $1.54 million (including $600,000 from landowners, $880,000 of Crown grant contribution, and $60,000 council contribution) was described as an estimate, to be refined when a clearer indication of engagement outcomes was available.  The project proposal identified a 12-month timeframe from December 2020 to December 2021.

Further engagement with Fonterra has resulted in the revised approach set out here.

A revised timeframe of 20 months is now proposed, from May 2021 to the end of November 2022.  This aligns better with the agricultural year, provides time for Fonterra to put in place wrap-around services for fund provision to landowners to undertake remediation work and project reporting, and allows time to recruit advisors to complete 150 new Fonterra Tiaki FEPs.  Fonterra also can commit to facilitating the delivery of targeted remediation works totalling $1.8 million in this timeframe, based on a 50-50 KMR Programme and Fonterra farmer contribution.

A revised project budget of $2.91 million is therefore proposed, allocated to the following areas:

·        Administration ($150,000)

·        Advisory Services to Fonterra farmers to provide 150 new Tiaki Farm Environment Plans ($450,000 of KMR funding and $450,000 of estimated in-kind support by Fonterra)

·        Remediation Implementation delivery and support for $1,800,000 of works (with a 50-50 contribution by landowners and the KMR Programme of $900,000 each)

·        KMR Programme administration and engagement, including contract management ($60,000).

Funding sources for the project are proposed to be apportioned this way:

Total project budget

$2,910,000

Crown grant contribution

$1,455,000

Council contribution

$105,000

Third party/Land-owner contribution

$1,350,000

Note – values identified above are exclusive of GST

Administration

It is proposed up to $150,000 is provided to Fonterra to administer funds and cover project-related administration costs, including:

·        staffing costs associated with administering the project

·        contracting and engagement with Fonterra suppliers to undertake remediation works

·        resources provided to farmers and advisors (e.g., digital guides).

This equates to around 10% of the KMR Programme funding for the project and would be provided by instalments as a fixed fee to facilitate delivery of 150 FEPs and associated remediation works.  Fonterra would account for expenditure and unused money will be reimbursed to the KMR Programme.  Fonterra will absorb costs that exceed that amount, although extent to which this will be necessary is not yet known – the project allows this to be trialled.

Advisory Services to Fonterra farmers – Tiaki Farm Environment Plan Provision

$450,000 is proposed to support the development of 150 new Tiaki FEPs on Fonterra supplier farms in the Kaipara Moana catchment, at an average of $3000 per Tiaki FEP.

Funding support to landowners to complete FEPs was anticipated in the Kaipara Moana Remediation Indicative Business Case, provided to Ministers in October 2019.  In total $11.7 million was forecast over the 10-year life of the programme.

The strategic value to the KMR Programme of supporting landowners to complete FEPs is to incentivise and thus speed uptake and completion.  FEPs are the gateway to identifying and prioritising remediation work.  Without FEPs, the ability to undertake remediation work at pace and scale will be significantly undermined; speedy completion of FEPs across the Kaipara catchment will facilitate a greater pace of remediation works.

Fonterra advise that to date 183 of the 580 dairy milking platforms in the Kaipara Moana catchment have a completed Tiaki FEP (based on the percentage of Fonterra Farms within the Kaipara Moana catchment).  Approximately 50 new Tiaki FEPs are completed by Fonterra each year in the catchment.

Investment by the KMR Programme to support 150 new Tiaki FEPs will significantly improve the overall rate of completion for the Kaipara Moana catchment, and allow Fonterra farmers to begin implementing remediation works identified in them.

The current market price for contracted services to undertake a FEP on a dairy farm is around $6000, and around $5000-$8000 for a dry stock farm.  With a KMR Programme contribution of $3000 per FEP, it is proposed an in-kind contribution by Fonterra to the KMR Programme is estimated at $3000.  This would encompass staff costs, process development and management costs, and the cost of developing and maintaining the Tiaki FEP platform.  This approach means the KMR Programme contribution of $450,000 can be accounted for as matched by an in-kind contribution of $450,000 from Fonterra.  

Fonterra undertakes to resource the work programme to achieve the objectives set out in this report within the contract timeframe.  This will include reassigned resource within Fonterra and additional resource through new roles or local contracted resource. 

Remediation Implementation delivery and support

It is proposed a budget of $900,000 is allocated from the KMR Programme for immediate investment to implement remediation actions identified in both existing and new Tiaki FEPs.  This investment will be matched by $900,000 from land-owner contributions through cash or in-kind.   Fonterra would administer the funds and work directly with Fonterra farmers to agree work programmes.  Remediation work funded in this way will meet agreed minimum standards, which are the same standards as for the proposed [Kaipara Moana Remediation Fund].

KMR Programme support will enable Fonterra to work closely with their farmers to ensure remediation works happen at pace and scale, with a specific focus on sediment control suitable to the Kaipara Moana catchment.  This is especially relevant as a large number of dairy farms in the Kaipara are situated on class 4 and 6 land of rolling to steep slopes, which is unlike most other dairy areas in New Zealand.

KMR Programme Administration and Contract Management

Budget of $60,000 has been identified to cover KMR Programme staff costs to manage the Fonterra contract and relationship, including time for consultation, review, and assessment.  This budget would not be included in a contract with Fonterra but will be accounted for separately by the KMR Programme against total project funding as a council contribution to the project.

Other terms of funding

If budget is approved, a contract will be entered into between Fonterra and the Northland Regional Council (acting on behalf of the KMR Programme).  Terms of funding are proposed to include: 

·        No retrospective funding for work completed on farms prior to the implementation of the funding agreement.

·        Photographic evidence before and after works for quality assurance and auditing purposes.

·        All on-land work must adhere to minimum standards based on the National Environmental Standards for Fresh Water and/or the rules in the relevant Regional Plan.

·        On-land work with funding support from $0 to $40,000 per individual farmer or business unit to be based on the criteria and specification agreed between the KMR Programme and Fonterra (KMR Funding Criteria Guide), with approval based on a contract agreed at the discretion of an authorised Fonterra Sustainable Dairy Advisor.

·        Funding for individual projects greater than $40,000 to be submitted to KMR Programme staff for assessment and approval.  If exceptions from the minimum standards are sought, or significant risks are identified by staff, funding proposals are passed to a delegated group of KMR Joint Committee members for review and approval.

·        Data sharing arrangements through Fonterra’s digital platforms to meet KMR reporting requirements for MFE and other freshwater modelling and catchment management considerations.  Agreement to data sharing will be part of the prerequisites for Fonterra farmers to receive grant funding.

·        Fonterra to provide a contract management plan for approval by the KMR Programme contract manager, to cover project communications, sub-projects (including new Tiaki FEPs), health and safety, financials and registers.  (This will allow KMR Programme staff and/or an auditor to review a track progress on the funding).

Alignment of Fonterra and KMR Programme objectives

Fonterra is keen to trial a partnership with the KMR Programme as they see alignment between their objective of sustainable dairy farming and KMR Programme objectives of reducing sediment loss from land to Kaipara Moana.

The long-term commitments and vision of the dairy sector is recorded in the “Dairy Tomorrow” strategy document.[2]  A strong emphasis is placed on aligning community aspirations and environmentally sustainable dairying commitments.

Together this aligns broadly with the wellbeing framework of KMR Programme, as set out in the Kaipara Moana Remediation MOU:

a)         Tiaki taiao (Natural Capital):  Primary objective is to restore mauri to Kaipara Moana and enable it to be healthy, self-sustaining and naturally productive

b)        Ōhanga (Physical & Financial Capital): Create sustainable, resilient and optimised primary production in the Kaipara catchment and harbour

c)         Manaaki Tangata (Human Capital): Improve local skills and capability to support innovation, effective land management, and community resilience

d)        Tātai Hononga (Social Capital): Enable kotahitanga by empowering Kaipara Uri and local community participation in local solutions,

The proposed Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project will meet the Tiaki taiao (Natural Capital) and Ōhanga (Physical & Financial Capital) investment objectives by developing new Tiaki FEPs and undertaking remediation work that will reduce sediment loss.

Regarding Manaaki Tangata (Human Capital) and Tātai Hononga (Social Capital), Fonterra can make the following in-principle commitments:

·        Work with the KMR Programme to consider how outcomes in the Workforce, Nursery and Mātauranga Māori strategies might be implemented – for example, encouraging Fonterra farmers to utilise approved nurseries (including eco-sourcing plants) and service suppliers.

·        Work with Fonterra service suppliers to identify how mana whenua may be employed and engaged in currently contracted activities.

·        Work with Kaipara Uri to identify how capability and capacity can be lifted when addressing environmental objectives.

·        Work with the KMR Programme to explore how Mātauranga Māori can be included in remediation activity.

As the directions of the Workforce, Nursery and Mātauranga Māori strategies have not be determined at this stage, further discussion will take place during the first year of the project, with outcomes implemented in the second year, or sooner if possible.

Considerations

1.         Aromātai whāinga haumi mō te oranga / Wellbeing Investment objectives and assessment

The proposed Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project will manifestly meet the Tiaki taiao (Natural Capital) and Ōhanga (Physical & Financial Capital) investment objectives of the KMR Programme.  In particular, the partnership will provide delivery of 150 Tiaki FEPs, which will accelerate the implementation of on-farm works to reduce sedimentation.  The allocation of $900,000 to be matched by Fonterra farmer contributions, will enable Fonterra to incentivise farmers who have significant erosion issues, and address those issues sooner rather than later.

Fonterra understands and appreciates the importance of the Manaaki Tangata (Human Capital) and Tātai Hononga (Social Capital) objectives of the KMR Programme to Kaipara Uri.  The Northland Sustainable Dairy Advisors team have a track record of working with local communities and hapū groups and Fonterra has expressed a willingness to work closely with Kaipara Uri to achieve local outcomes.  Fonterra is open to engaging directly with Kaipara Uri entities to develop relationships and opportunities, including employment and service provision such as plant supply.

2.         Ngā ritenga take pūtea / Financial implications

Approval of the revised Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project (K2020-006) requires an additional $575,000 of Crown grant funding and $45,000 of Council grant funding from the KMR Programme’s Year 1 Annual Work Plan.

To remain within the approved Year 1 Annual Work Plan budget of $13.028 million, it is proposed $575,000 of Crown grant funding and $45,000 of Council grant funding for the FEP Accounting Framework - Fresh Water Management Tool (K2020-013) is reallocated to the Fonterra Tiaki Partnerships project, and that these quantum’s are reallocated to the FEP Accounting Framework - Fresh Water Management Tool in the Year 2 Annual Work Plan.  This more closely reflects the timing of external contractor engagement for the Fresh Water Management Tool project and will not impede that project.  It will also result in a net-zero sum effect on overall budget for the Year 1 Annual Work Plan.

MFE has been consulted on this proposed reallocation and have indicated they are comfortable with it.

3.         Ngā tūraru me ngā mauru / Significance, risk and mitigation

The revised Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project will deliver significant outcomes for the KMR Programme.  Risk can be mitigated by clear contractual arrangements with Fonterra and ongoing communication between Fonterra and KMR Programme staff as the project proceeds.  The project is designed as a pilot, with both parties being keen to test whether a longer-term arrangement will work, so there is an expectation of good communication and issue resolution.

4.         Significance and Engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, the decisions arising from this report are considered to be of low significance when assessed against Northland Regional Council’s significance and engagement policy.  This does not mean that this matter is not of significance to tangata whenua and/or individual communities, but that the joint committee is able to make these decisions without undertaking further consultation or engagement.[3]

5.         Ngā whāinga mō āmuri / Next steps

If the project is approved, it is proposed the Chief Executive of the Northland Regional Council (acting on behalf of the KMR Programme) is authorised by the Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee to agree and sign a contract for services with Fonterra to give effect to the Fonterra Tiaki Partnership project.

At the time of writing, a draft contract has been prepared but requires further work.  Time is also required for Fonterra to arrange required resourcing and systems before engaging directly with landowners.  It is anticipated the project proper, including engagement with landowners to plan and commence remediation works, will start at the beginning of May 2021.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil


Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee                                                                                                          item: 5.3

22 March 2021

 

TITLE:

Proposed Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

ID:

A1422894

From:

Penny Pirrit, Northland Regional Council Management Representative

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Group Manager - Environmental Services, on 11 March 2021

 

He Rāpopoto hautū / Executive summary

The vision and the desired outcomes of the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme (the KMR Programme) can only be achieved with widespread understanding, knowledge, support, engagement and ownership by many people.

The purpose of an engagement strategy is to maximise the opportunities to bring all of these people and their resources alongside the KMR Programme and therefore to deepen and broaden its impact. An engagement strategy is also the first step in the process to develop an integrated and comprehensive communication strategy.  An engagement strategy, while publicly available, is designed for internal use primarily by the joint committee and operations unit.

Annette Lees, from Alternative Endings, was engaged by the KMR Programme to develop a draft engagement strategy. She has run several workshops with the joint committee to discuss what should be included in the strategy and what role the joint committee plays in engaging with partners and stakeholders. She has also conducted 24 interviews with a wide cross section of partners / stakeholders who are involved or keen to be involved in the restoration of Kaipara Moana. Information from interviews undertaken as part of the Workforce Strategy and the Nursery Strategy has also been provided to Annette.

A proposed KMR Programme Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy is attached to this report. It is recommended that the joint committee adopt the strategy

Recommendation(s)

1.         That the report ‘Proposed Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy’ by Penny Pirrit, Northland Regional Council Management Representative and dated 11 March 2021, be received.

2.         That the proposed Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy, set out in Attachment A be approved.

3.         That the Chair and Deputy Chair be delegated to work with staff on any minor wording amendments arising from feedback at the joint committee meeting.

 

Tātari me ngā tūtohu /Analysis and advice

The success of the KMR Programme in making a step change in the water quality of Kaipara Moana is heavily dependent on the involvement of many. Delivery of the actions required to significantly reduce the amount of sediment reaching Kaipara Moana requires not just actions from the joint committee and the proposed operations unit but also actions from landowners, communities, iwi, hāpū, marae, crown agencies and business over many years.

The dependency on these other parties brings with it a responsibility to ensure that they are well informed on the progress of the KMR Programme and the work of the joint committee and operations unit, and to ensure that they have a voice and are listened to as they bring their knowledge and skills to the remediation work. Engaging with these parties could occur on an adhoc basis relying primarily on individual projects to work out how best to engage with the relevant parties. Such a situation however is likley to result in confused messages; duplication of engagement and some parties feeling left out, misinformed or not listened to.

 A better option is to develop an engagement strategy which provides guidance to the joint committee, the operations unit, secondees and contractors on how, when and who should engage with the various partners or sectors.

The  proposed KMR Programme Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy will provide such guidance. While it is a public document it has been developed primarily for the joint committee and operations unit. It;

a)    distils the KMR Programme’s strategic intent to enable clarity and consistency in how the KMR Programme is described.

b)    provides guidance on how and when to engage with those wishing to establish  new projects.

c)    enables more meaningful existing conversations with those already engaged in remdiation of Kaipara Moana.

d)    clarifies the roles of different participants in the delivery of the KMR Programme.

e)    informs the work of the communication strategy.

It is intended that the strategy is reviewed on an annual basis so as to reflect the progress of the KMR Programme and lessons learnt.

Considerations

1.         Aromātai whāinga haumi mō te oranga / Wellbeing Investment objectives and assessment

Achieving the four wellbeing investment objectives of the KMR Programme relies heavily on working with many parties who are either already delivering remediation actions or a keen to be involved.  To ensure that these parties feel valued, informed and part of the achievements of the KMR Programme they need to be actively engaged and listen to in a manner that works and resonates with them. The proposed Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy will be a key tool to help the joint committee and the operations unit to do that.

2.         Ngā ritenga take pūtea / Financial implications

The joint committee approved the budget for developing the engagement strategy at its meeting on the 30th October 2020.

3.         Ngāhiranga me ngāhononga/Significance and Engagement

In relation to section 79 of the Local Government Act 2002, the decision to adopt the Proposed Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy is considered to be of low significance when assessed against Northland Regional Council’s significance and engagement policy.  This does not mean that these matters are not of significance to tangata whenua and/or individual communities, but that the Joint Committee is able to make these decisions without undertaking further consultation or engagement.

4.         Ngā tūraru me ngā mauru / Risks and mitigation

A key risk to the KMR Programme is the lack of an integrated and consistent approach to keeping the KMR Programme’s partners and stakeholders informed and actively contributing to the outcomes of the Programme. The proposed Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy will be a key tool to help the joint committee and the operations unit ensure that risk is avoided.

5.         Ngā whāinga mō āmuri / Next steps

The proposed KMR Programme’s Partner and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy will inform the engagement work of the joint committee and operations unit. It provides the foundation stones for the communication strategy’s work on the identity of the KMR Programme, brand, key messages and communication channels.

The strategy once adopted should be reviewed annually to keep it relevant to the Programme’s activity and to include any lessons learnt. The operations unit would be responsible for initiating such a review with the joint committee.

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Attachment 1: Proposed Stakeholder Engagement Strategy   


Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee  ITEM: 5.3

22 March 2021Attachment 1

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Kaipara Moana Remediation Joint Committee                                                                                                          item: 5.4

22 March 2021

 

TITLE:

Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme Interim Communications Actions

ID:

A1422940

From:

Penny Pirrit, Northland Regional Council Management Representative

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Group Manager - Environmental Services, on 11 March 2021

 

Executive summary/Whakarāpopototanga

A paper written by Penny Pirrit will be tabled at the meeting on 22 March reviewing the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme Interim Communications Actions.

 

Recommendation

That the report ‘Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme Interim Communications Actions’ by Penny Pirrit, Northland Regional Council Management Representative and dated 11 March 2021, be received.

 

 

 

Attachments/Ngā tapirihanga

Nil     



[1] This joint committee operating under the Local Government Act which requires a significance and engagement policy (which identifies when matters require special consultation with tangata whenua and the community) and to have regard to that policy when making decisions.  As the administrative support for the joint committee is provided by the Northland Regional Council, it’s that councils Significant and Engagement Policy that will apply to joint committee decision making.

[2] https://www.dairytomorrow.co.nz/strategy/

[3] This joint committee operating under the Local Government Act which requires a significance and engagement policy (which identifies when matters require special consultation with tangata whenua and the community) and to have regard to that policy when making decisions.  As the administrative support for the joint committee is provided by the Northland Regional Council, it’s that councils Significant and Engagement Policy that will apply to joint committee decision making.