MINUTES OF A meeting of the Environmental Management Committee



Date:                          Wednesday 16 February 2011


Time:                          9.00am



Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street



Present:                     E McGregor (Chair)

                                    M Black

T Gilbertson

N Kirton

P Paku

L Remmerswaal

K Rose

C Scott



In Attendance:          A Newman – Chief Executive

D Lew – Group Manager Resource Management

H Codlin – Group Manager Strategic Development

P Barrett – Consents Officer

S Exeter – Consents Officer

L Hooper – Executive Assistant

K Johnson – Scientist

G Sevicke-Jones – Manager Environmental Science

B Riley – Senior Planner

K Kozyniak – Scientist, Climate and Air

E Bate - Planner



Apologies were received from Councillors von Dadelszen, Dick and Wilson.



There were no conflict of interest declarations.


3.       CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF the  Environmental Management Committee held on 10 November 2010



Minutes of the Environmental Management Committee held on Wednesday, 10 November 2010, a copy having been circulated prior to the meeting, were taken as read and confirmed.




4.       Matters Arising from Minutes of  the  Environmental Management Committee held on Wednesday 10 November 2010

There were no matters arising from the minutes.



Action Items from Environmental Management Committee Meetings



1.      That the Environmental Management Committee receives the report “Action Items from Environmental Management Committee Meetings”.





Consideration of General Business Items


D Lew - Section 36 charges

N Kirton - GMO consent applications

T Gilbertson - HB Rivers Commission minute

P Paku - Karamu Enhancement update – Ruahapia area

C Scott - Onsite Wastewater Consent Renewals

C Scott - Submission on EPA



Opoutama Wastewater Discharge Consent Appeal Mediation


Mr Lew and Mr Barrett spoke to this paper.

Two appeals on the Opoutama Wastewater consent decision were received – from Ms A Wairau / Ngai Te Rakato (appeal signed by trustee of Te Rakato Marae) and Wairoa District Council. Staff are seeking Council’s delegation to enter into mediation.

WDC appealing only monitoring conditions.

Any costs of mediation will fall into this financial year. Should the appeal(s) proceed to the Environment Court, costs will continue to be incurred in the 2011/12 financial year.




The Environmental Management Committee recommends that Council:

1.      Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted policy on significance and that Council can exercise its discretion under Sections 79(1)(a) and 82(3) of the Local Government Act 2002 and make decisions on this issue without conferring directly with the community and persons likely to be affected by or to have an interest in the decision due to the nature and significance of the issue to be considered and decided.

2.      Provides delegation to Council staff to engage in the mediation process with appellants, and to settle these appeals prior to an Environment Court hearing if this can be achieved in a manner that upholds the intent of the Hearing Panel’s decision.





Opoutama Wastewater Scheme - Collaborative Approach With Wairoa District Council


Mr Lew introduced Mr Neil Cook, of Wairoa District Council, who was invited to attend the meeting to answer queries and provide clarification on technical and cost issues for WDC.

Mr Barrett explained that part of WDC’s appeal on the Opoutama Wastewater Scheme was based on the costs of maintenance and compliance monitoring for the scheme. One option for a solution introduced through this paper, is for HBRC to contribute science staff time to carry out the sampling required under the monitoring condition.

Staff prepared this approach as a way to achieve the desired outcome for reticulated community wastewater treatment for an at risk coastal community as opposed to proceeding through Plan Change provisions.

Concerns in relation to ‘setting a precedent’ were expressed.

It was queried whether the costs for this could be recovered/covered through an HBRC targeted rate.

When queried, Mr Cook advised that the level of costs associated with the compliance monitoring were much higher than expected, and would be spread across a small number of households.

Councillors asked for clarification through further information on the reasonable proportion of costs that could be attributed to Public Good and therefore collected through the General Rate, what savings could be achieved via the ‘shared services’ and local government efficiencies approach (sub contract?), whether a targeted rate could be used by HBRC to recover the monitoring costs from the wider Wairoa community and specify how communities would ‘qualify’ for this type of HBRC assistance toward costs.


Councillor C Scott moved a motion, seconded by Councillor K Rose (pro-forma): to leave the matter to lie on the table in order for staff to provide the additional information for clarity to Council at the earliest opportunity to enable an informed decision.





1.    That the matter be left to lie on the table.






Status of Resource Consent Appeals to the Environment Court


Mr Lew answered queries related to the information contained in the paper.



1.    That the Environmental Management Committee receives the report titled “Status of Resource Consent Appeals to the Environment Court”.




The Committee adjourned for morning tea at 10.18am and reconvened at 10.35am.



Provision of Resource Consent and Other Public Domain Information on the Internet


This project is working to enable more Public access to consent and other information via the HBRC website.



1.    That the Environmental Management Committee receives the report.





Review of Fish Habitat Requirements for the Tukituki and Ngaruroro Rivers


Mr Johnson provided the Committee with a presentation covering recent habitat modelling work to re-assess all habitat models in the Tukituki River catchment and a new assessment of the lower Ngaruroro River in order to provide accurate, robust, and peer reviewed information on the habitat requirements for fish species in the Tukituki and Ngaruroro rivers.



1.    That the Environmental Management Committee receives the report.





Hastings District Plan Review - Rural Issues


Ms Codlin brought the Hastings District Council Rural Discussion Document to the Committee’s attention given the key relevance of rural land use and rural activities, on sustainable management of the region’s soil and land resources and the Regional Council’s associated functions and responsibilities.

The Committee noted that many of the initiatives proposed in the discussion document had overlaps with Regional Council functions. Ms Codlin confirmed that District Councils had responsibility to control the effects of land use and Regional Councils had responsibilities to control land use for the purpose of soil conservation and water quality purposes. This could result in overlap so it is important at this stage to clearly articulate to HDC, the Regional Council’s regional strategic direction with respect to land management and to have early engagement so that roles/functions are clear, there is clarity in the planning framework and agreement can be reached on which is the appropriate institution to deliver on the various elements of the land strategy.



Councillors requested that our science information around water is presented to the Technical Reference Group so there is full information on potential implications of land use planning. There was some discussion on the scope of the comments that should be included in the submission, with the determination being made that comments should relate to positions that Council has already discussed and agreed on through its Committee/Council meetings and planning documents. The submission is to be brought back to the Council for approval.



That the Environmental Management Committee:

1.    receives the report titled ‘Hastings District Plan Review – Rural Issues.

2.    endorses involvement of Council staff in Hastings District Council’s District Plan Technical Advisory Group.

3.    provides feedback to staff on any issues that Councillors believe should be emphasised within a submission on the Hastings District Council’s ‘Rural Issues’ document, and that any final submission be endorsed by Council prior to submission.





Revised National Environmental Standards for Air Quality


Ms Riley provided the Committee with an overview of the amendments to the NES for Air Quality released by Central Government. She noted that there was no further opportunities to seek changes to the NES.

The four main points of contention with the original NES related to the cost of implementing the regulations, the appropriate deadline for compliance, the number of permitted exceedances allowed per year, the deadline for Regional Council compliance, and other measures available to encourage regional councils to meet the standards.

Key amendments are:

·        Only one permitted exceedance per year, however exceptional events such as dust storms will not be counted as exceedances

·        NES now prohibits installation and use of open fires

·        Compliance dates have been split, depending on the state of air quality in each airshed:  either September 2016 or September 2020.

It was noted that as a result of the amendments, further mediation would be required with Napier City Council with respect to its appeal to the plan change.



1.    That the Environmental Management Committee receives the report titled “Revised National Environmental Standards for Air Quality”.





Statutory Advocacy Matters


Ms Bate provided the Committee with an overview of activity that has taken place in the Statutory Advocacy project since the last meeting and responded to queries. It was noted that reverse sensitivity is an issue that should be highlighted where appropriate through the Advocacy function.





1.    That the Committee receives the Statutory Advocacy Update report.







D Lew - Section 36 charges

Councillors were provided with updated information on the section 36 charges – resulting in a general rate impact. This information will be further discussed at the Council’s workshop on 23 February and copies distributed to Councillors.

N Kirton - GMO consent applications

·        GMO applications are handled through ERMA.

T Gilbertson - HB Rivers Commission minute by G Gilbertson

·        A minute book from 1918 was gifted to Council for its Archives.

P Paku - Karamu Enhancement update – Ruahapia area

·        Works last week have been delayed, unfortunately, but is ready for winter planting.


C Scott - Onsite Wastewater Consent Renewals

·        Some anomalies in the application processing charges for onsite wastewater renewal consents have come to the attention of Councillors and sought a paper on this issue at the next meeting.

C Scott – Council was heard by the Select Committee considering submissions on the EPA via teleconference

L Remmerswaal – MfE is hosting a meeting on its National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity, Monday 21 February at NCC, 11am-1pm. Councillor Remmerswaal has more information for those interested.



Property Update



That the Council exclude the public from this section of the meeting being Agenda Item 15 Property Update with the general subject of the item to be considered while the public is excluded; the reasons for passing the resolution and the specific grounds under Section 48 (1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution being as follows:





Property Update

7(2)(b)(ii) To protect information which otherwise would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information.

The Council is specified, in the First Schedule to this Act, as a body to which the Act applies.





The meeting went into public excluded session at 12.50pm and out of public excluded session at 12.55pm



There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 12.55pm on Wednesday, 16 February 2011.


Signed as a true and correct record.



DATE: ................................................               CHAIRMAN: ...............................................