Meeting of the Environmental Management Committee



Date:                 Wednesday 16 November 2011

Time:                (after Asset Management & Biosecurity Committee)


Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street





Item       Subject                                                                                                                  Page


1.         Welcome/Notices/Apologies 

2.         Conflict of Interest Declarations  

3.         Confirmation of Minutes of the Environmental Management Committee held on 12 October 2011

4.         Matters Arising from Minutes of the  Environmental Management Committee held on 12 October 2011

5.         Call for General Business Items

6.         Action Items from Previous Environmental Mangement Committee Meetings

Decision Items

7.         Proposed Change 4 "Managing the Built Environment"

Information or Performance Monitoring

8.         General Business  




Environmental Management Committee  

Wednesday 16 November 2011

SUBJECT: Action Items from Previous Environmental Mangement Committee Meetings        



1.      Attachment 1 lists items raised at previous meetings that require actions or follow-ups. All action items indicate who is responsible for each action, when it is expected to be completed and a brief status comment. Once the items have been completed and reported to Council they will be removed from the list.


Decision Making Process

2.      Council is required to make a decision in accordance with Part 6 Sub-Part 1, of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act). Staff have assessed the requirements contained within this section of the Act in relation to this item and have concluded that as this report is for information only and no decision is required in terms of the Local Government Act’s provisions, the decision making procedures set out in the Act do not apply.



1.      That the Environmental Management Committee receives the report.





Graham Sevicke-Jones

Manager Enviromental Science


Helen Codlin

Group Manager

Strategic Development




Action items




Action items

Attachment 1


Actions from Environmental Management Meetings


The following is a list of items raised at Environmental Committee meetings that require actions or follow-ups. All action items indicate who is responsible for each action, when it is expected to be completed and a brief status comment for each action. Once the items have been completed and reported back to the Committee they will be removed from the list.


12 October 2011


Agenda Item


Person Responsible

Due Date

Status Comment


Update On Taharua Strategy Feedback And Project Review at February 2012 meeting






Follow up with HDC re Rule 18b of the Air Quality Plan



Following discussion with HDC, confusion regarding Rule 18b has been clarified



Workshop to be planned for discussions around Plan Change Process For Heretaunga Zone - Integrated Catchment Management






General Business – Waikoau Stream Update

C Leckie





10 August 2011

Agenda Item


Person Responsible

Due Date

Status Comment


Draft Growth and Infrastructure RPS Change




An update on this plan change is on the agenda, proposing adoption of plan change for notification at an EMC meeting to follow the AMB meeting in November



Draft Wastewater Plan Change

This item was left to lie on the table. Councillors wanted more detailed information about what the options and the costs of those options might be before giving any indication of the direction they want staff to pursue.



No further work has taken place with respect to the draft change for strategic management of onsite wastewater.  Will review policy team workloads following notification of RPS Growth and Infrastructure plan change and receipt of submissions. Report of April EMC






Environmental Management Committee  

Wednesday 16 November 2011

SUBJECT: Proposed Change 4 "Managing the Built Environment"        


Reason for Report

1.      This paper presents a final draft plan change and associated section 32 evaluation summary report for adoption. The plan change (‘Change 4’) proposes amendments to the Regional Resource Management Plan, particularly the Regional Policy Statement parts of the RRMP.  Change 4 relates to the ‘built environment’ and contains provisions for sustainable urban growth and integrated use and development of infrastructure. Preparation of Change 4 was a specific action required for implementation of the Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy (HPUDS).  Change 4 also includes a limited number of provisions that are relevant to those parts of the region outside the ‘Heretaunga Plains sub-region.’


2.      A draft RPS Change was presented to the Committee in August 2011.  The Council endorsed that draft change and wider community engagement was subsequently undertaken by staff.  After receiving an update report from staff in October, the Council agreed to defer adoption of a RPS Change for public notification.  The deferral was to allow additional time for:

2.1.   Stakeholder feedback could ‘fit’ timing to finalise a plan change and present a ‘Final Draft Change’ to the Committee.  15 written responses were received on the draft;

2.2.   Follow-up actions as a result of the HPUDS Implementation Committee (ie: specific legal advice on implications of defining and/or mapping urban limits in the RPS); and

2.3.   A broader legal review of the draft change by Simpson Grierson solicitors.

3.      Since the update in October, staff have:

3.1.   improved the draft change by incorporating comments and recommendations arising from the legal review by Simpson Grierson;

3.2.   incorporated feedback having merit and relevance from key stakeholders and wider public;

3.3.   clarified provisions for defining future greenfield growth areas and urban limits for the Heretaunga Plains sub-region, and incorporated a new policy for review and revision of such areas;

3.4.   finalised a s32 evaluation summary report, particularly accommodating any revisions arising from feedback and legal review.

4.      Meanwhile, Hastings District Council has virtually completed work assessing intensification to complement RPS Change’s provisions that relate to urban intensification, greenfield growth in limited circumstances, limited rural lifestyle developments, and provision of appropriate infrastructural services.

5.      At the time of writing this paper, the HPUDS Implementation Committee was scheduled to meet on Monday 14 November 2011.  That Committee will receive a briefing from staff on the advice received from Simpson Grierson regarding definition and mapping urban limits in the RPS etc.  Copies of Change 4 (as set out in Attachment 2) will be circulated to members of the Implementation Committee.



Feedback on draft change

6.      A draft Change was released for informal public comment in October.  A range of matters were raised – some clearly linked to the draft change, while others remarked on unrelated themes and council activities.

7.      The Final Draft Change (Attachment 2) incorporates amendments arising from feedback that staff considered to have merit and thereby improve the quality and content of Change 4.  Not all public feedback was accommodated.  Key themes arising which have been accommodated included:

7.1.   General support for content and direction in Change 4;

7.2.   Greater recognition of reverse sensitivity impacts of urban development on rural activities and strategic infrastructure;

7.3.   Clarification of the greenfield areas for ‘future’ development above and beyond those areas already identified/zoned in district plans for urban development; and

7.4.   Clarification of methods to be used to implement policies.

8.      Some of the themes not incorporated into Change 4 include:

8.1.   Managing urban development on the Ruataniwha Plains in a similar manner to that within the Heretaunga Plains sub-region;

8.2.   Identifying outstanding natural features and landscapes for protection from urban development; and

8.3.   Detailed provisions relating specifically to electricity transmission and renewable electricity generation.

Key features of Change 4

9.      Like its earlier draft form, the Change 4 is effectively a ‘bundle’ of amendments covering a variety of themes.  Primarily, it will insert policies into the RPS.  It does not insert or amend any rules in the RRMP.  Policies relevant to the Heretaunga Plains sub-region only include:

9.1.   definition of urban limits for growth to 2045, but does not map those urban limits;

9.2.   emphasising that future urban development must avoid compromising versatile land and must maintain compact, yet well-designed, urban form;

9.3.   prescribing average density targets for residential developments;

9.4.   identifying areas where future residential greenfield growth is appropriate;

9.5.   highlighting areas where future greenfield growth is inappropriate (for one reason another);

9.6.   reinforcing Napier and Hastings cities as commercial and business cores, but enables provision of business land up to 2045 where appropriate;

9.7.   limiting creation of additional lifestyle allotments and lifestyle developments in rural areas.

10.    Policies applicable to the entire Hawke's Bay region include those which:

10.1.       emphasise the need for any development to be integrated with provision of suitable infrastructure and services;

10.2.       manage effects of activities on key essential infrastructure and utility services;

10.3.       identify a range of matters that decision-makers should take into account when considering any type of development proposal.

11.    Change 4 does not map ‘urban limits’ in the RPS, however, there is a map of appropriate residential greenfield growth areas within the Heretaunga Plains sub-region (Appendix B).  These greenfield growth areas are the same as those identified in HPUDS.  Legal advice confirms that this approach is not unlawful, in fact many other RPSs have defined and mapped urban limits and areas suitable for greenfield development. 

12.    Being a change to the RPS, territorial authorities will have to give effect to the amended RPS through their respective district plans.  They will also have to have regard to the amended RPS when considering resource consent applications and the like.

Timing of effect of rules (s86B, RMA)

13.    Change 4 proposes amendments to the RPS only.  The proposal does not include any amendments to existing rules or introduction of new rules.  Consequently, s86B of RMA is not relevant so the Council does not need to contemplate when rules will have legal effect.

14.    For the avoidance of doubt, from the time it is notified, the objective and policies in Change 4 will be something that decision-makers may take into account (eg: when assessing resource consent applications, or say, a district council considering a rezoning request to change a district plan).  However, any consideration would need to be mindful that Change 4 still needs to run its course through the submissions > hearing > decisions > appeal process in Schedule 1 of the RMA.

Options considered and Section 32 of RMA

15.    In preparing a plan change, local authorities have a duty under s32 of the RMA to evaluate a number of matters:

(3)     An evaluation must examine —

(a)    the extent to which each objective is the most appropriate way to achieve the purpose of this Act; and

(b)    whether, having regard to their efficiency and effectiveness, the policies, rules, or other methods are the most appropriate for achieving the objectives.

(3A)  This subsection applies to a rule that imposes a greater prohibition or restriction on an activity to which a national environmental standard applies than any prohibition or restriction in the standard. The evaluation of such a rule must examine whether the prohibition or restriction it imposes is justified in the circumstances of the region or district.

(4)     For the purposes of the examinations referred to in subsections (3) and (3A), an evaluation must take into account —

(a)    the benefits and costs of policies, rules, or other methods; and

(b)    the risk of acting or not acting if there is uncertain or insufficient information about the subject matter of the policies, rules, or other methods.

16.    The RMA also requires that a report be prepared that summarises the evaluation and gives reasons for that evaluation.  That report must be made available for public inspection at the same time as the change is publicly notified (under s32(6)).

17.    Staff engaged Opus International Consultants to prepare the s32 report.  Opus had previously prepared initial drafting of Change 4 earlier this year.  The s32 evaluation summary report is set out in Attachment 1 (under separate cover).  That report is not a comprehensive record of all evaluation, Council discussions, stakeholder discussions and assessments undertaken in the course of preparing HPUDS and Change 4.  It should be noted that the report is not part of the plan change itself.

18.    Council now needs to consider whether it should adopt the ‘Section 32 Evaluation Summary Report’ (Attachment 1) and make it publicly available at the same time as Change 4 is publicly notified.

Other Council initiatives relating to urban growth and integration of infrastructure

19.    Change 4 is only one action arising from HPUDS for which the Regional Council is the lead agency.  There are over 60 other actions identified for implementation of HPUDS by a range of councils and other agencies.

20.    The purpose of the RPS also limits what Change 4 can and cannot cover – even if they may be related to urban growth and infrastructure anywhere in Hawke's Bay.  Some of the things that Change 4 does not do are:

20.1.       specify rules restricting use of land, air, water or other activities commonly restricted by district plans and regional plans;

20.2.       fully action all of the Government’s National Policy Statements released to date;

20.3.       amend zoning of land in district plans, although it can give direction to areas where zoning should be changed in future to accommodate growth requirements determined in HPUDS;

20.4.       determine budget and funding requirements for the Council’s implementation of HPUDS or any infrastructure development proposals across the region;

20.5.       does not tackle each of the 60+ actions arising from HPUDS, but it will be a key action central to many other initiatives led by councils and/or other agencies.  These include things such as revisions to district plans, review of transport strategies, additional hazard research, reviews of demographic projections and census data, assessments of how and where housing can be intensified, and so on.

Next steps

21.    Assuming Council agrees to adopt Change 4 and publicly notifies it in a matter of weeks, the RMA’s formal submission, hearing and decision-making process will follow.  The submission period must be at least 20 working days.  This would mean the submission period spans the Christmas/New Year holiday period, so submissions would close early 2012.

22.    Staff would summarise any submissions received and then invite further submissions that can only be in support or opposition to those original submissions.  After further submissions close, then preparations will be made for a hearing of submissions.  Depending on number and complexity of submissions received, a hearing could be held as early as November 2012.

23.    The HPUDS Implementation Committee has previously recommended that the Regional Council appoint a panel of commissioners to hear submissions on Change 4, whereby the panel include one representative from Napier City Council and one representative from Hastings District Council, and other representatives as nominated by the Regional Council.  This would obviously differ from a typical regional plan change which would usually be heard by the Regional Council’s own Hearings Committee.  At this time, the Council could pass a resolution agreeing to appoint a panel of HPUDS-partner representatives. If Council decides to appoint a panel to hear submissions on Change 4, then that decision would take away any responsibility the Regional Planning Committee may have (once operational) to appoint a hearing panel for Change 4.

Financial and Resource Implications

24.    Preparation of Change 4 and progressing Change 4 through the submission and hearings phases is provided for in Project 192.  No additional external expenditure budget is needed at this time.  Internal staff time is also already catered for within existing budgets.

Decision Making Process

25.    Council is required to make a decision in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act).  Staff have assessed the requirements contained in Part 6 Sub Part 1 of the Act in relation to this item and have concluded the following:

25.1.       The decision does not significantly alter the service provision or affect a strategic asset.

25.2.       The use of the special consultative procedure is not prescribed by legislation.

25.3.       The decision does not fall within the definition of Council’s policy on significance.

25.4.       The persons affected by this decision are all those persons with an interest in the region’s built environments and infrastructure, but nevertheless, they will have opportunities to make submissions when Change 4 is publicly notified.

25.5.       Options that have been considered are detailed in the attached section 32 evaluation summary report.

25.6.       The decision is not inconsistent with an existing policy or plan.

25.7.       Given the nature and significance of the issue to be considered and decided, and also the persons likely to be affected by, or have an interest in the decisions made, Council can exercise its discretion and make a decision without consulting directly with the community or others having an interest in the decision because the Resource Management Act allows people to have an opportunity to submit on Change 4 following a decision by Council to publicly notify it.



That 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 because the Resource Management Act allows people to have an opportunity to submit on Change 4 following a decision by Council to publicly notify it.

2.    Adopts the “Section 32 Evaluation Summary: Change 4 – Managing the Built Environment” (Attachment 1) and make it available for public inspection.

3.    Adopts Change 4 to the Regional Resource Management Plan (Attachment 2) for public notification.

4.    Agrees that a panel of commissioners be appointed to hear submissions on Change 4 and make recommendations back to the Council, with that panel’s composition being as follows:

4.1.    One representative to be nominated by Napier City Council;

4.2.    One representative to be nominated by Hastings District Council;

4.3.    Mr Mike Mohi as iwi representative nominated by the Regional Council; and

4.4.    Councillor Scott (Panel Chair) and Councillor von Dadelszen (Panel Deputy Chair).




Gavin Ide

Team Leader Policy


Helen Codlin

Group Manager Strategic Development




Final Draft Change 4 Section 32 Report


Under Separate Cover


Final Draft Change 4 Built Environment


Under Separate Cover



Environmental Management Committee

Wednesday 16 November 2011

SUBJECT: General Business        



This document has been prepared to assist Councillors note the General Business to be discussed as determined earlier in Agenda Item 6.



Councillor / Staff