Planning & Regulatory Working Party

Wednesday 8 December 2021 at 9.30am





Planning & Regulatory Working Party

8 December 2021

Planning & Regulatory Working Party Agenda


Meeting to be held via Zoom video and teleconferencing

on Wednesday 8 December 2021, commencing at 9.30am


Please note: working parties and working groups carry NO formal decision-making delegations from council. The purpose of the working party/group is to carry out preparatory work and discussions prior to taking matters to the full council for formal consideration and decision-making. Working party/group meetings are open to the public to attend (unless there are specific grounds under LGOIMA for the public to be excluded).


MEMBERSHIP OF THE Planning & Regulatory Working Party

Cr Joce Yeoman (Chair)

Cr Amy Macdonald

Cr Colin Kitchen

Cr Justin Blaikie

Cr Penny Smart (ex officio)

Juliane Chetham

Mira Norris

Rowan Tautari

William Sullivan




Item                                                                                                                      Page


2.0      Ngā Whakapahā | apologies   

3.0      Ngā Whakapuakanga | declarations of interest

4.0      Reports

4.1      Record of Actions                                                                    3

4.2      Planning and Policy Work Programme                                7

4.3      Regulatory Services Work Report                                      10

4.4      Proposed Regional Plan - Appeals Update                       17

4.5      Marine Farms Bonds Update                                              20

4.6      Wetland mapping update                                                   23

4.7      Review of the Regional Policy Statement for Northland                                                                                                 24


Planning & Regulatory Working Party                                                               item: 4.1

8 December 2021



Record of Actions


Rachael King, Planning and Policy Administrator

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Pou Tiaki Taiao – Group Manager Environmental Services, on 30 November 2021


Whakarāpopototanga | Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to present the Record of Actions of the last meeting held on 25 August 2021 for review by the meeting.


Ngā tapirihanga | Attachments

Attachment 1: Minutes of Meeting - 25 August 2021   

Planning & Regulatory Working Party  ITEM: 4.1

8 December 2021Attachment 1

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Planning & Regulatory Working Party                                                               item: 4.2

8 December 2021




Planning and Policy Work Programme


Alison Newell, Policy Specialist

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Pou Tiaki Taiao – Group Manager Environmental Services, on 29 November 2021


Executive Summary | Whakarāpopototanga

The following table sets out the work programme for the Planning and Policy team[1] for the next three years.  It only includes work relevant to the Planning & Regulatory Working Party’s ToR.




Coastal occupation charging

TTMAC have advised that COC is of great interest, and they wish to be involved in development of any COC policy.  At their meeting on 12 August TTMAC agreed to the Māori Technical Advisory Group and staff co-designing a draft discussion document which will then presented to TTMAC for endorsement for Council’s consideration.

December 2021 (TTMAC endorsed draft discussion document presented to council).

Northland to Auckland corridor plan

The project has stalled a bit as key staff within the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (who were leading the project) have moved on.

A workshop (with key staff from relevant organisations) is scheduled for 14 December to advance the project.

Councils GIS team is having a first go at putting together relevant geographic layers into a viewer.  The idea being that this will inform ‘no-go’ and ‘go-slow’ areas for urban development (e.g. outstanding natural landscapes and flood hazard areas.


Wetland mapping

Refer separate agenda item

Refer separate agenda item

Freshwater plan change

The Tangata Whenua Water Advisory Group (TWWAG) met with TTMAC on 17 November and gave their first presentation outlining the work they have done to date and a high-level overview.  The korero covered the relationship between TTMAC and TWWAG, the role of TWWAG, and the need for robust engagement with hapū and iwi on the proposed freshwater plan change.

The Primary Sector Liaison Group meet on 16 November. There was discussion on the initial feedback from the group on the ‘Freshwater challenges / opportunities / issues in Northland for the primary sector’. NRC provided an outline on draft visions/values/objectives for the freshwater plan change for initial discussion, with the group to provide further feedback for the next meeting. NRC staff are continuing to develop the draft outline of the freshwater plan change to provide a basis for consultation, to be completed in early 2022.    


Catchment-specific water quantity limits

Possible plan change(s). Catchment-specific limits to replace regional ‘default’ limits for priority water bodies.  Contingent on outcome of technical work in priority catchments. 

TBC (if at all)

Proposed Regional Plan appeals

Refer separate agenda item

Refer separate agenda item

District plan changes and consents

Staff lodged a submission on a publicly notified application to the Kaipara District Council for subdivision consent at Devich Rd, Mangawhai. The submission on the application (lodged under delegated authority) sought requirements to provide appropriate rainwater capture and on-site storage to provide for drinking water and firefighting supply given reticulated water is not available.

Mediation on Plan Change 78 is set down for 30 November – 1 December.

Staff are preparing a submission on notified resource consent for sand mining at Pakiri to be lodged by 10th December.


Treaty settlement process

Supporting Treaty settlements as there are implications for council’s activities. 

Currently involved in the Kaipara Moana settlement process.


TOAT Beach Board (90 Mile Beach)

Beach management plan now operative.  Focus is now on implementation. Main implementation action for NRC is a plan change to the Regional Plan.

Advice to board – ongoing

Beach management plan change 2022

Regional Plan guidance material

A workshop with key Māori RMA practitioners and kaitiaki was held on 12 November and draft recommendations for improving process for tangata whenua engagement in consents processing are being prepared with MTAG for TTMAC consideration. 


Additional sites of significance to tangata whenua – plan change

Possible plan change.  Likely to be progressed in tandem with other water related plan change(s).

Notify with Plan Change on Freshwater

Mana Whakahono o Rohe (MWR)

Planning team are assisting Māori Relationships team with roll-out of joint hapū MWR and development of implementation plans as required. 


RPS – five-year review

Refer separate agenda item

Refer separate agenda item

Te Mana o Te Wai

Council has budgeted $250k / yr (starting 22/23) to support tangata whenua involvement in freshwater management.  A paper will be going to the December council meeting seeking that $150k of next years $250k is brought forward to this year to provide funding for the Tangata Whenua Water Advisory Group to undertake work for the freshwater plan change (e.g. understanding what Te Mana o te Wai means for Taitokerau).  

Paper to Dec council meeting


Regional Biodiversity Strategy

Once gazetted the NPS Indigenous Biodiversity will likely lead to council developing a regional strategy focused on indigenous biodiversity. Anticipated release of an Exposure Draft and gazettal has been delayed, perhaps until early 2022, but timeframes are uncertain.

2021 – 2023

NRC input into national proposals

Council has lodged a submission on the government discussion document on Emissions Reduction – feedback on a draft submission was sought from TTMAC non-elected members before being approved by council and lodged on 17 November 2021.

The Environment Select Committee has released its report on the exposure draft of the Natural and Built Environment Bill (and submissions lodged on the Bill). The committee made 37 recommendations on the substance of the Bill and areas for investigation by government. Government has indicated the Bill is to be introduced to parliament in early 2022 and will follow the standard legislative process (including three readings in the House and a standard select committee process) and be passed before the end of the current Parliamentary term. This process will provide further opportunities for input. The Select Committee report is here:

Council staff continue to engage with MfE (and DIA) in particular regarding RMA and LG reform and development of national guidance.

The Minister of Conservation has announced the gazettal of Te Pewhairangi/Bay of Islands Marine Mammal Sanctuary which comes into effect on 15 December 2021. DoC included provisions within the regulations that address the concerns raised by NRC.


Section 17A Review

Council undertakes reviews of its functions to ensure it’s being implemented in the most effective way.  The reviews are a requirement of Section 17A, Local Government Act 2002.  The review of the planning and policy service was completed in August 2021.  The key recommendations were:

·    Potentially there could be efficiencies gained by working with the three District Councils in Northland as all have policy and planning expertise. But changes in responsibilities, delivery and funding are likely to come as part of the RMA and LGA reforms currently underway.

·    A re-alignment of the team within council may help increase capacity to deliver on strategic priorities. (This has been largely addressed with the recent restructure).

·    It is recommended that Council investigate potential efficiencies, savings, and benefits of having in-house legal counsel due to the significant costs incurred in recent years both in the planning and policy, and regulatory areas.   It is also recommended that shared legal counsel across the four Northland councils should be considered.

No decision has been made yet on how to action the last recommendation. An update will be provided to the next Planning & Regulatory Working Party meeting

Next Planning & Regulatory Working Party meeting.



Ngā mahi tūtohutia | Recommended Actions

Nil – presented for information purposes only


Planning & Regulatory Working Party                                                               item: 4.3

8 December 2021



Regulatory Services Work Report


Tess Dacre, Compliance Monitoring Manager

Authorised by Group Manager:

Colin Dall, Pou Whakaritenga - Group Manager Regulatory Services, on 30 November 2021


Whakarāpopototanga | Executive Summary

Over the period 1 August 2021 to 29 November 2021 there were 2,171 compliance activities undertaken. Of these, 31 (1%) were assessed as significantly non-compliant. Twenty-two of the significant non-compliances were for FDE discharges and the remaining were for coastal discharges (4); land discharges (3) and water discharges (2).

The 2021/22 year-to-date rate of significant non-compliance is 1.6%. A summary of consent compliance by consent type is shown in Figure 1 below.  A summary of NES-PF compliance by subpart is shown in Figure 2 below.

Figure 1:  RMA consent compliance 1 July 2021 – 29 November 2021

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Figure 2:  NES – PF compliance 1 July 2021 – 29 November 2021

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A total of 375 environmental incidents were recorded from 1 August to 29 November 2021. The most frequent incident type was burning and smoke nuisance, which accounted for 118 (31%) of the incidents, followed by “other water incident” (37), earthworks/vegetation clearance (32), spraydrift (27) and sewage (25). A comparison of the number of incidents for the month of November is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3:  Incidents in November 2021 compared to average November last 10 years

Compliance staff issued 53 infringement notices and 91 abatement notices in relation to non-compliant activities from 1 August to 29 November 2021.

There was court action in relation to the following enforcement matters:

1.     Earthworks without erosion and sediment controls – Totara North; Not guilty pleas have been entered. The hearing has been scheduled for 17 and 18 January 2022.

2.     Dumping of trade and industrial waste – Kaitaia; The NRC made an ex parte application to the Environment Court for interim enforcement orders which were issued on 6 November 2020. NRC continues to check compliance with the court orders and is currently waiting on the peer review of the remediation plan which was provided by the recipient of the orders.

3.     Burning on industrial/trade property – Whangārei; Charges were laid in the Whangārei District Court on 27 November 2020 against an individual. The September 2021 hearing did not proceed due to lockdown. The court will arrange judicial telephone conference in early December 2021 to discuss a new date.

4.     Farm dairy effluent – Kaitaia; Charges were laid in relation to a discharge of farm wastewater on dates between 31 August and 8 September 2020. The hearing has been adjourned due to illness of the defendant.

5.     Asbestos removal from CMA – Whangārei; The NRC has applied for an enforcement order for the recovery of costs incurred by the NRC in the removal of asbestos from a boatshed.


Ngā mahi tūtohutia | Recommended actions

Nil – presented for information purposes only


Ngā tapirihanga | Attachment

Attachment 1: WWTP Update - as at November 2021  


Planning & Regulatory Working Party  ITEM: 4.3

8 December 2021Attachment 1

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Planning & Regulatory Working Party                                                               item: 4.4

8 December 2021



Proposed Regional Plan - Appeals Update


Alison Newell, Policy Specialist

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Pou Tiaki Taiao – Group Manager Environmental Services, on 29 November 2021


Whakarāpopototanga | Executive Summary

Since the last Working Party update (25 August 2021), Environment Court hearings have been held or decisions released on:

Ÿ Topic 2 (Activities in beds of lakes and rivers) – decision released 30 September (this topic is now resolved in its entirety)

Ÿ Topic 8 (Agrichemicals) – decision released 15 October (this topic is now resolved in its entirety)

Ÿ Topic 15 (Mangroves) High Court hearing on NES-F 2020 Jurisdiction – decision released 18 November.  The High Court has overturned the Environment Court’s decision as to whether the National Environmental Standards – Freshwater (NES-F) provisions relating to “natural wetlands” apply within the Coastal Marine Area (CMA), finding that they do apply.  This decision has far-reaching implications given that there is no definition of natural wetlands within the CMA.

Ÿ Topic 16 (Livestock Exclusion) – hearing held 10 - 12 November – decision anticipated early 2022

Other Appeals or Next Steps directed by the Court

Ÿ Topic 1 (Vehicles on Beaches and Aquaculture) and Topic 15 (Mangroves)

These appeals are impacted by the High Court decision and council has to report to the Court by 17 December on next steps. 

Ÿ New Topic 17 (Outstanding Natural Landscapes (ONLs) in the CMA

The Court approved council’s request for the process to be ‘parked’ on 30 August 2021 to allow council more time to consult with tangata whenua. Staff have since drafted a proposed approach which had feedback from MTAG (generally supportive but noting the difficult position this puts hapu in given potential Treaty claim implications).   Iwi leaders (via both Iwi & Local Government Chief Executives forum (ILGACE) and Te Kahu o Taonui) and iwi and hapu representatives (via TTMAC) have also provided feedback endorsing the approach.  Council is now discussing the proposed approach with parties to the appeals prior to lodging a progress report with the Court reporting on the outcome of that consultation (22 December reporting deadline).

Ÿ Other matters

There are several other relatively minor appeal points that staff continue to work towards resolution with parties. The next reporting date on all other outstanding appeals to the Court is 17 December.

Ngā mahi tūtohutia | Recommended Actions

1.        That the Planning & Regulatory Working Party receive the report and provide initial feedback.


Tuhinga | Background

Topic 15 (Mangroves) NES-F 2020 Jurisdiction

During the hearings on appeals relating to mangroves, the question arose as to whether the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater Regulations (2020) (NES-F) had jurisdiction within the CMA in terms of “natural wetlands”.  The Environment Court held a hearing to consider this jurisdictional question on 9-10 December 2020.  The Environment Court released its decision on 10 February 2021, finding that the NES-F wetlands provisions did not apply to the CMA broadly, instead only applying to that part of the CMA upstream of any river mouth.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) and the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society (F&B) appealed that decision to the High Court.  The High Court released its decision on 18 November 2021, overturning the Environment Court’s decision, finding in favour of DoC and F&B (

In essence, the High Court decision means that any area of the CMA which ”…includes permanently or intermittently wet areas, shallow water, and land water margins that support a natural ecosystem of plants and animals that are adapted to wet conditions” (RMA definition) that is not “constructed by artificial means”, a “geothermal wetland” or “improved pasture” (NPS-FM definition) could be a natural wetland in the CMA.  The High Court decision did not address what the definition of a natural wetland in the CMA should be, although the judge noted “I am reasonably confident it does not encompass the entirety of the CMA, the seaward boundary of which is the outer limits of New Zealand’s territorial sea”.

One key question now to be determined is the definition of a ‘natural wetland’ in the CMA given that this was not a question that the High Court considered.  Given that there is no clear definition of what constitutes a natural wetland in the CMA, this decision has a significant impact on various aspects of the Proposed Regional Plan (both resolved and unresolved provisions), and staff are analysing the implications. The decision also has implications for coastal plans across Aotearoa New Zealand and other councils have already been in contact to see how they can be involved or support NRC. 

The decision also has implications for consent applicants, as the decision takes immediate effect (i.e. is operative from 18 November 3pm). This could include activities that are currently permitted no longer being so given the NES-F prevails over regional plans where the NES-F is more restrictive.  The consents team are aware of the decision.

Staff have contacted MfE officials asking for an urgent meeting to discuss MfE’s intentions.  MfE recently asked for feedback on proposed amendments to the NES-F (unfortunately not covering the issue of coastal wetlands definition) and have yet to release a revised NES-F so there may be potential opportunity for this matter to be resolved at a national level by MfE. MfE could also issue guidance to provide more certainty as to when a part of the CMA is considered a “natural wetland” although this would not remove the potential for future litigation (planning, consenting or enforcement proceedings).

If MfE does not resolve the issue quickly, then it will fall to NRC and parties to the appeals to resolve via the Environment Court appeals process, or via a declaration for example. Unfortunately, the Court has already indicated that there is no hearing time available for plan appeals until November 2022 at the earliest.  A stand alone declaration could also be sought from either the Environment Court (s.310 of the RMA) or High Court, which might allow for earlier hearing time.  Council staff have already instructed our lawyers to contact the other parties to the appeal to seek their views on a way forward.


Next Steps

Staff are undertaking an analysis of all the provisions in the Proposed Regional Plan which may be impacted by the High Court decision and are drafting advice for plan users and for council staff.

Council has 20 working days from the release of the High Court decision in which to lodge an appeal (ie. by 16 December).  This could be an appeal to the Court of Appeal, or council could choose to seek leave to go direct to the Supreme Court.  A Council workshop will be held on 7 December to consider these options and to seek confirmation from Council as to its preferred approach.

In terms of the appeals on the Proposed Regional Plan that had been ‘parked’ (e.g. mangrove and vehicles on beaches provisions) awaiting the outcome of the jurisdictional question, council has now to report back the Environment Court by 17 December on how parties propose to move forwards.


Planning & Regulatory Working Party                                                               item: 4.5

8 December 2021



Marine Farms Bonds Update


Colin Dall, Pou Whakaritenga - Group Manager Regulatory Services

Authorised by Group Manager:

Colin Dall, Pou Whakaritenga - Group Manager Regulatory Services, on 02 December 2021


Whakarāpopototanga | Executive Summary

Coastal permits for marine farms formerly under control of the former Ministry of Fisheries have required bonds for clean-up of those farms since 2010.  Most permit holders had not put in place the required bonds by mid-2012, resulting in various action by the Northland Regional Council to progress the matter.  A key outcome of that action was the creation of an industry managed fund as an alternative to bonds being put in place for each individual marine farm.

The fund is called the “Northland Oyster Farm Remediation Scheme” (the Scheme) and is managed by the Oyster Operating Company Limited.  Scheme members are required to pay an annual levy to grow the fund until it is sufficient to cover 40 to 50% of the maximum estimated clean-up and remediation costs of all farms covered by the Scheme.  The total funds held by the Scheme as of 20 October 2021 amounted to $169,977.

In order to join the Scheme a permit holder must have a marine farm that complies with the conditions of its permit.  Therefore, not all permit holders are eligible to join the Scheme and some permit holders that would be eligible have chosen not to join the Scheme.  Only some of these permit holders have put in place the required bond(s) for their farm(s).  These bonds currently amount to $139,622.

The outstanding total amount required for unbonded marine farms is estimated to be $839,724.

As more than ample time has been given to permit holders to put in place the required bonds for their marine farms, the council is about to take higher level enforcement action to rectify the situation.  The council will be seeking enforcement orders from the Environment Court against the permit holders that have the largest area of unbonded farms requiring them to lodge the outstanding bonds for their farms.

If the Court issues the orders, it is hoped that this will ‘catalyse’ the other permit holders who have unbonded marine farms to lodge the outstanding bonds for their farms.


Ngā mahi tūtohutia | Recommended Actions

1.    That this report “Marine Farms Bonds Update” by Colin Dall, Group Manager – Regulatory Services and dated 30 November 2021, be received.

2.    That a further update is provided to the next working party meeting.


Tuhinga | Background

Up until 2005, consenting of marine farms was shared between the Northland Regional Council (for newer marine farms) and the former Ministry of Fisheries (for older marine farms).  This changed when the Aquaculture Reform (Repeals and Transitional Provisions) Act 2004 (ARA) came into force on 1 January 2005.  The ARA included provisions for the transitional arrangements for the transfer of the authorisation for marine farm leases and permits from the Ministry of Fisheries to regional council control.  It also provided a process for the review of conditions of those authorisations (deemed coastal permits) including the imposition of new conditions to be added to them.


The council initiated a review of the conditions of the deemed coastal permits for marine farms on 15 December 2005 “to add general marine farm conditions, so that conditions on deemed coastal permits are consistent with conditions on coastal permits that have been issued under the RMA”.

The council also advised affected permit holders that:

The conditions will include provision for a mechanism by which the Council will be able to recover clean-up costs if a marine farm falls into disrepair or disuse.  The actual mechanism is yet to be decided.  Possible mechanisms are insurance, bond, fidelity fund or other.

The final decision on review hearing committee (21 April 2010) imposed the following conditions of the marine farm permits relating to financial security for clean-up of marine farms:


15       Within six months of the date of commencement of this reviewed condition, the permit holder shall enter into and thereafter maintain a bond with the regional council.  Subject to conditions 19 and 22 the bond shall be in the amount of:

i.         $6.95 per horizontal lineal metre of racks within the area approved by this permit; or alternatively,

ii.        $9,000 per developed hectare within the area approved by this permit

Alternative (a) or (b) shall be the choice of the permit holder.

The form of the bond shall be a bank or other surety acceptable to the regional council.

If a bond is provided by a bank or other surety, then it will be prepared by the regional council’s solicitor, and shall be signed and sealed by both parties.  All costs associated with the preparation and registration of the bond shall be met by the permit holder.

16       If the coastal permit is transferred in part or in whole to another party or person, the transferor permit holder shall not be entitled to the release, if sought, of any part of its bond until the transferee permit holder has a replacement bond of the same value and which is fully compliant with this permit, in place with the council.

17       The bond, inclusive of any accrued amount, will be released to the permit holder upon the expiry of this permit, provided that, prior to the expiry date of this permit, the permit holder has removed the marine farm in compliance with the conditions of this permit.

18       In the event that the marine farm has not been removed by either the expiry date of the resource permit or the expiry of the period specified in an earlier abatement notice requiring the removal of the marine farm structures, then, in the absence of any other resource permit authorising the removal where it is appropriate to release the bond, the bond will be retained by the regional council to be utilised for the removal of the structures.  In the event of the cost to the regional council of removal being less than the amount of the bond, the balance shall be released to the permit holder.

Alternative to bond

19       The requirement for a bond pursuant to conditions 15-18 (inclusive) hereof may be waived by the regional council if the permit holder is able to satisfy the regional council, either within six months of the date of commencement of this reviewed condition or at any time during the term of a bond or other surety already established under condition 15 hereof, that the permit holder has secured the risk of marine farm removal costs pursuant to an alternative arrangement on terms acceptable to the regional council.

By mid-2012, most permit holders had not put in place the required bond(s) for their marine farm(s).  Council staff met with representatives of the oyster farming industry, including Aquaculture New Zealand, to progress the matter.  The New Zealand Oyster Industry Association (NZOIA) subsequently submitted a couple of alternative proposals to individual consent bonds for council’s consideration.  The proposal agreed to by the council was then developed and put in place in 2015.


Planning & Regulatory Working Party                                                               item: 4.6

8 December 2021



Wetland mapping update


James Griffin, Policy Specialist

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Pou Tiaki Taiao – Group Manager Environmental Services, on 29 November 2021


Whakarāpopototanga / Executive summary

An action from the last working party meeting was to report back to the next WP on progress regarding the wetland mapping project.

Collaboration between the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme (KMR) and council has developed a specification to seek comprehensive wetland mapping for the KMR rohe and remaining areas of Whangarei and Kaipara districts. Council is seeking tenders for this work via the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) request for proposal (RFP) process. This RFP went live 10 November and closes 1 December and has attracted enquiries almost every day. 

The successful contractor is due to commence work around Christmas, following tender evaluation and awarding the contract. A second GETS RFP process for mapping the FNDC area wetlands is due around Easter. 

By June 2023 the desk top wetland mapping should essentially be complete, bar sites where field checks are needed. It should be practical to incorporate these checks into operational programme over a timeframe that enables council to meet the deadline for wetland mapping set in the NPS-FM for August 2030. 

An item on mapping is due to the December TTMAC meeting seeking feedback on how best to approach communication and consultation on the broad range of mapping projects council undertakes.  Staff intend specifically flagging the wetland mapping project as an example to seek feedback on.  Staff will present specific advice around the wetland mapping project to the next working party meeting. 

Note: On 18 November a High Court decision found that the National Environmental Standard for Freshwater (NES-F) standards apply to natural wetlands in the coastal marine area (CMA).   The main objective of this mapping project, is to meet the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) requirement for regional council to map wetlands inland of the CMA. No amendment to the current mapping project is proposed, while further clarification is sought around how to identify the extent of the CMA is a wetland.  It should also be noted that council has mapped saltmarsh and mangrove habitat throughout Northland to an extent that exceeds any other region.


Ngā mahi tūtohutia | Recommended Actions

1.        That the report ‘Wetland mapping update’ by James Griffin, Policy Specialist – Environmental Services and dated 8 December 2021, be received.

2.        That a further update be provided to the next working party.


Planning & Regulatory Working Party                                                               item: 4.7

8 December 2021



Review of the Regional Policy Statement for Northland


Ingrid Kuindersma, Policy Planner

Authorised by Group Manager:

Jonathan Gibbard, Pou Tiaki Taiao – Group Manager Environmental Services, on 29 November 2021


Whakarāpopototanga | Executive Summary

At the meeting on 19 October 2021, Council approved the undertaking of the five-yearly review of the Regional Policy Statement with the following resolution:

That council proceed with the preparation of the five-year review of the Regional Policy Statement, in accordance with s 35 of the Resource Management Act 1991, and

a)     That it be a desktop-based level of analysis.

b)     Input is sought from Māori Technical Advisory Group (MTAG) on behalf of TTMAC.

c)     Provide funding for a Māori practitioner/consultant to prepare a report on behalf of TTMAC, overseen by MTAG and that MTAG select the consultant (within council procurement procedures).

d)     TTMAC non-elected members be invited to nominate three members to sit alongside councillors during council workshops on the RPS review. 

e)     Include key stake holders.

f)      That a draft of the review be provided for public feedback, and

g)     That the Planning & Regulatory Working Party oversee the five-year review of the RPS.

The proposed process for undertaking the review is set out on the following page:

The proposed method for preparing the draft report involves answering the following five questions:

1.     Have we done what we said we’d do? - That is, have we implemented all the policies and methods in the RPS?

2.     Have we achieved what we said we’d achieve? - That is, have the policies and methods implemented resulted in the RPS’s objectives being met?

3.     How do we know if our actions led to the outcomes observed? - Or, can we demonstrate that any achievement of the RPS’s objectives is attributable to the methods in the RPS?

4.     Have we achieved the outcomes at reasonable cost? - Or was the (relative) cost of implementing the RPS’s methods the lowest for the (relative) benefit gained?

5.     Are we focused on the right issues? - That is, are the RPS’s policies still appropriate (5 years on) and, has anything changed in relation to the RPS’s stated resource management issues?

These questions could be asked with regard to each chapter of the RPS e.g. water, biodiversity, tangata whenua values, etc.

We propose a collaborative process where council staff would work together with the MTAG consultant to prepare a report addressing these questions and the recommendations be presented together in the draft report. 

Should any recommendations not be endorsed by both staff and consultants, these recommendations would be presented separately for consideration by the Planning & Regulatory Working Party.


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Ngā mahi tūtohutia | Recommended Actions

1.        That the Planning & Regulatory Working Party endorse the process for proceeding with the review of the RPS.



[1] Only includes activities within the Planning & Regulatory Working Party’s areas of interest.  For example, it does not include transport or climate change planning (which Planning and Policy staff are assisting with).