Meeting of the Regional Planning Committee



Date:                 Wednesday 5 September 2012

Time:                1.00pm


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 Regional Planning Committee held on 11 July 2012

4.         Matters Arising from Minutes of the  Regional Planning Committee held on 11 July 2012

5.         Action Items from Previous Regional Planning Committee Meetings

Decision Items

6.         Taharua Catchment Strategy

Information or Performance Monitoring

7.         Call for General Business Items

8.         Greater Heretaunga / Ahuriri Land and Water Plan Change

9.         Tukituki Choices Update

10.       Regional Policy Statement - Change 5 Update

11.       General Business  




Regional Planning Committee  

Wednesday 05 September 2012

SUBJECT: Action Items from Previous Regional Planning 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 Regional Planning Committee receives the report “Action Items from Previous Meetings”.





Liz Lambert

Group Manager

 External Relations


Andrew Newman

Chief Executive




Action  Items




Action  Items

Attachment 1


Actions from Regional Planning Committee Meetings


7 July 2012


Agenda Item


Person Responsible

Due Date

Status Comment


Matters Arising

Write letter regarding legislation not being introduced to House this year



Update at meeting










Regional Planning Committee  

Wednesday 05 September 2012

SUBJECT: Taharua Catchment Strategy


Reason for Report

1.      This report presents a proposed management package and actions for the Taharua catchment developed by the main landowners and DairyNZ with assistance of regional council staff.

2.      It would be useful, at this stage of development, for the Committee to indicate whether the proposal is supported in principle.


3.      A management package for the Taharua catchment will be a key component of a Mohaka catchment plan change as agreed by Council in February 2012.

4.      Over recent months Council staff have been working intensively with Taharua landowners to develop this proposal prior to the busy time of the season (from calving through to December) when availability of dairy owners will be very limited.

5.      The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) requires the Council to introduce a framework for the “clawback” of excessive nitrogen loss from intensive land use in the Taharua catchment to restore and maintain freshwater management objectives by meeting time-bound targets. The Council’s preference since 2009 has been to work collaboratively with the Taharua Stakeholder Group on a framework that: “…incorporates an effects-based regulatory framework along with an adaptive management approach” (Council resolution, September 2009). This initiative pre-dated the 2011 NPS-FM coming into effect.

Context – restoring the upper Mohaka River

6.      Public feedback received on the Taharua and Upper Mohaka Draft Strategy last July-August emphasised that restoring and maintaining natural character, ecosystem health and biodiversity of the upper Mohaka River should be paramount. Council staff have translated that overall objective to a target Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen concentration of around 0.3 mg/L needing to be achieved (as well as maintaining other aspects of water quality within limits).

7.      To achieve the above, the total load of nitrogen leaving the Taharua catchment needs to be reduced to approximately 161 tonnes/yr. At present the measured load leaving the catchment is about 225 tonnes/yr. This is likely to reflect land use activity around 5 years ago due to groundwater lag times. Staff are confident the load from current catchment land uses is considerably lower due to voluntary reductions in dairy nitrogen losses over recent years (estimated from 50 kg/ha/yr down to 35 kg/ha/yr). Although nitrogen trends in the Taharua River are not yet displaying clear improvement, the reason is most likely due to groundwater lag times.

8.      To meet a target catchment load of 161 tonnes/yr our best estimate is that Taharua dairy farmers may need to make further reductions in nitrogen loss from 35 kg/ha/yr to 28 kg/ha/year (if all other land uses remain at current leaching rates).

9.      There are a number of elements with imprecise knowledge (for example: groundwater flows and lag times, nitrogen attenuation between root zone and river, etc). With this uncertainty it is therefore appropriate to apply an adaptive management approach, which sets initial expectations for landowner progress and avoids overreliance on possibly imprecise, final “magic numbers”). This would still drive ongoing planning-doing-evaluating/learning-adjustment cycles to improve on-farm management based on newly acquired information and knowledge. An effective monitoring and investigation programme is a key component.

The Landowner Proposal

10.    This proposal should be considered against the catchment outcomes (objectives) agreed by the Taharua Stakeholder Group (TSG) as the main working party for a sustainable catchment. These are: healthy rivers; economically strong businesses; collective responsibility; and “fair and equitable” solutions.

11.    Building on the TSG objectives, the clear preference of the main landowners is for an approach that:

11.1. supports ongoing landowner improvements to meet targets;

11.2. motivates individual and collective responsibility;

11.3. is adaptive to deal with uncertainties;

11.4. addresses phosphorus (P), sediment, faecal bacteria (E.coli) and riparian integrity, not just nitrogen (N); and

11.5. uses regulation as a “backstop” if landowners do not perform adequately, while incentivizing good performance (“sticks” and “carrots”).

12.    To achieve the above, a “nested” statutory and non-statutory approach is proposed:

  a plan change to the regional plan

  a catchment management plan (CMP), and

  an Eco-n partnership (as a key nitrogen mitigation tool of the CMP).

Attachment 1 provides a concept diagram of how these components would fit as a coherent, complementary package. No single component would be successful as a stand-alone item.

Taharua Stakeholder Group feedback

13.    The landowner proposal was discussed by the TSG on 1 August.  There is clear support for the approach in principle, recognising that the detail needs to be developed. Iwi representatives highlighted the importance of: effective reporting arrangements to tangata whenua; plan “legislation” not adversely affecting tangata whenua right of governance; and the need to address issues across the whole Mohaka catchment. DOC and Fish and Game emphasise the need for the fuller CMP document to be developed (see suggested additions in Attachment 2).

Plan Change

14.    The statutory plan change is suggested to provide overarching direction for catchment management by:

14.1. setting objectives, in-river nitrogen targets (15 years maximum) and other limits;

14.2. setting a target total nitrogen load from catchment land uses (10 years maximum);

14.3. establishing a 2-tier, “backstop” regulatory approach that incentivizes good performance and addresses poor performance by:

14.3.1. permitting farming activity, subject to implementation of the CMP as part of a catchment management “club” (see below); or

14.3.2. requiring a consent for whole-of-farm management if landowners opt out of the CMP or are expelled by the “club” for poor performance;

14.4. retaining areas of native vegetation; and

14.5. requiring a comprehensive, 5 year effectiveness review of the Taharua framework.


Catchment Management Plan

15.    The CMP is suggested to be a “living”, Council-agreed, plan for ongoing landowner action to sustainably manage nitrogen, phosphorus, soil and erosion, riparian [and wetland areas] and faecal bacteria (E.coli). As a non-statutory document, the CMP would provide necessary adjustment flexibility to assist adaptive management.

16.    Actions initially agreed with main landowners are set out in Attachment 2. A number of these good practices are already being implemented. This initial agreement would be developed as a more comprehensive, informative CMP document.

17.    The CMP would establish an initial goal for dairy farmers of reducing nitrogen leaching losses to 28 kg/ha/yr. This reduction will be achieved through Eco-n application (see below) and/or other nitrogen loss mitigations selected by landowners and agreed within the CMP. The CMP reviews will need to consider how any further N loss reduction to meet the target catchment load will be achieved, once the science is available to inform this.

18.    A CMP “club” would be formed for collaborative action and biannual/annual peer performance review and reporting. This would include dairy farmers, other significant pastoral landowners and the regional council, supported by input from DairyNZ, Ravensdown, Lincoln University and other experts. The “carrot” for landowners of “club” membership would be farming and associated diffuse N discharges being permitted activities, plus ongoing assistance from experts for development and implementation of mitigation options. The “stick” would be the prospect of ejection from the “club” for poor performance (to be clearly defined by the “club”) and a requirement for whole-of-farm consent to ensure good management.

19.    Detailed terms of participation, performance expectations, procedures for ejecting a poor performer and monitoring/auditing, reporting and review procedures still need to be worked through.

Eco-N Partnership - Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

20.    Nitrification inhibitors are a proven tool for reducing nitrogen leaching.  They keep nitrogen in the soil by slowing down bacterial conversion of ammonium to soluble nitrate. This can also have economic benefit by increasing pasture growth. Eco-n is one such product branded and marketed by Ravensdown Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd.

21.    Lincoln University advise that  appropriately timed applications, targeted at critical source areas, could reduce average nitrogen loss from Taharua dairy farms by 20% (i.e. from 35 kg/ha/yr to 28 kg/ha/yr). This alone is potentially enough to achieve the target catchment load. Trials on Taupo pumice soil averaged a 27% reduction in nitrogen leached on the Eco-n application area.

22.    If fully agreed with Ravensdown (planned for later this year) the MOU will establish a long-term, voluntary partnership (up to 10 years) between landowners, Ravensdown and the regional council, for application, monitoring and effectiveness review of Eco-n. Ravensdown would contribute $200,000+ to real-time monitoring of nitrogen concentrations and flows in the Taharua River and contract Lincoln University soil scientists to assist. To justify their investment Ravensdown seek involvement of all 3 dairy farms for assessment purposes, but new owners of Taharua Farm are not yet in a position to discuss management. Even if terms are not agreed, Eco-n can still form a key action for reducing nitrogen leaching and two dairy landowners are prepared to invest substantially in its use. The applications of Eco-N are planned to start next autumn (2013) and will result in N leaching reductions over that winter period. The effects of this will take up to 5 years to be seen in stream.

23.    It is important that Eco-n is not treated as a “silver bullet”.  Other complementary actions would be investigated as part of the broader CMP.

MfE Clean-Up Fund

24.    MfE are considering a $330,000 contribution of matched funding to the Taharua programme and CMP actions over the next 2 years. Indications are that it is being positively received. $52,000 will assist a catchment riparian planting and fencing programme (with $26,000 from landowners and $26,000 from the HBRC Regional Landcare Scheme).  $277,000 of MfE money will assist Eco-n application on all 3 dairy farms, with all remaining money coming from the landowners. MfE are looking for confirmation from the Committee that these actions are supported as integral parts of the Taharua catchment proposal.

Ongoing Work – Agreeing Landowner Responsibilities

25.    Much progress has been made, with the principal landowners committing to actions that address the issues in the catchment. They have also begun the work of formalising these in a catchment management plan and working out the relationship between this and the regional plan change. It is important that the catchment proposal (when fully developed) provides sufficient confidence that, while achieving a variety of outcomes, the target catchment N load will be met. The main landowners have identified an area of further work to be done to address future development issues in the catchment and enable refinement of possible solutions to achieve catchment N loads. Further landowner negotiations relate to planned land-use change on the largest property as unviable forestry reaches the end of its rotation and is cleared. The landowner group have asked for a more detailed plan from the manager of the largest property. The purpose of this is to consider the impact of land-use alternatives for parts of that property on overall catchment management towards the N target. This plan would give more clarity around realistic future options for the property, what this might “cost” in terms of N loading to the catchment, and if there is any room for further negotiation between landowners to accommodate this.

26.    There are two main approaches to addressing landowner responsibilities to achieve a target catchment N load:

26.1. HBRC’s plan change sets the overall catchment target for N load and in-stream concentration. With targets and limits set, landowners would then collectively work achieving the target; or alternatively

26.2. If landowners cannot resolve enough of the remaining issues to give confidence that their proposal will meet the catchment target, Council would likely be in a situation where the plan change would not only set the overall catchment limits and loads, but also have to make decisions on how that N load would be allocated across the catchment (i.e. how the overall responsibility for meeting the target is allocated). Council could seek to impose individual nutrient allocation limits. In the meantime, there are some legal issues that staff have sought advice on regarding implications on landowners of possible N allocation scenarios.

27.    Agreeing a “fair and equitable” approach to landowner responsibilities is a complex issue with significant implications for landowners. In essence, the allocation issue equates to “who should pay to fix the problem and what is reasonable to expect them to pay?” The question applies not only to landowners that invest in mitigations, but also those who may forego some future potential to intensify in order to assist the collective goal of restoring the health of the rivers.

28.    The TSG’s preferred option would be a negotiated outcome between landowners. Staff remain hopeful that landowners can collaboratively reach an agreement, which is likely to have wider benefits for the future of the catchment and all concerned. However, the negotiation process requires a few more steps before the outcome will be fully known. Further economic analysis of landowner options by an independent expert is proposed. This is to identify whether the development aspirations of the largest catchment landowner can be accommodated in a way that keeps nitrogen reductions achievable for dairy operations while also meeting the target catchment load.  Outcomes of this process are likely to be known in early 2013, which fits with preparation of a Mohaka catchment plan change timeframes. TSG representatives are supportive of further discussions rather than opting at this time to impose a quick, but confrontational outcome.

Way Forward

29.    If the Committee supports the Taharua proposal in principle, staff will continue to develop it with landowners and the wider TSG, as an integral part of a  whole of Mohaka catchment plan change (as agreed by Council earlier this year). Staff anticipate that the plan change could be ready for Council approval for notification by mid 2013. This 6 month extension of the previous timeframe is, in part, due to intensive Taharua landowner negotiations for a collaborative catchment solution.

Financial and Resource Implications

30.    Progressing the Taharua strategy through to this stage, plus further preparation of a plan change, has been provided for in Project 192. No additional funding for external expenditure is being requested.

Decision Making Process

31.    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:

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

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

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

31.4. The persons affected by this decision are all persons with an interest in the region’s natural and physical resources and, in particular, persons with an economic, cultural, social and environmental interest in the future of the Mohaka catchment.

31.5. Options that have been considered include: (a) policy approaches of (i) regulation, (ii) non-regulation or (iii) combined regulation and incentivized non-regulation; and (b) the “toolbox” to actions to sustainably management nitrogen, phosphorus, soils, faecal bacteria and riparian areas potentially appropriate for a Taharua-specific catchment management plan.

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

31.7. 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.



1.    That the Regional Planning Committee recommends that Council:

1.1.    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.

1.2.    Supports in principle the proposal as outlined in paragraphs 12 to 23 of the report, subject to any feedback and discussion arising at the Committee meeting.

1.3.    Supports the MfE Clean-up Fund application, outlined in paragraph 24, as an integral part of the Taharua catchment proposal.

1.4.    Supports the ongoing work of landowners and staff, through to early 2013, to seek a collaborative approach to reach the target catchment load.

1.5.    Notes the development of a Mohaka catchment plan change will involve revised timeframes that could see a plan change ready for Council approval by mid 2013 for notification.







Chris Reed

Senior Planner


Brendan Powell

Land Management Officer Intensive Land Use


Helen Codlin

Group Manager

Strategic Development





Taharua Proposal & Taharua Catchment Management Plan




Taharua Proposal & Taharua Catchment Management Plan

Attachment 1


Taharua proposal


Taharua Proposal & Taharua Catchment Management Plan

Attachment 1



Catchment Management Plan (Agreed Actions)

Nitrogen (N) Management

ü Apply less than 200kgN/ha/yr

ü Apply less than 50 kgN/ha/yr application

ü Avoid high risk leaching times May-end July

ü Strategic use of Eco-N (see draft Memorandum of Understanding MOU)

ü Continue to investigate further management opportunities for reducing N leaching











The first three points above are industry accepted best practices relating to N fertilizer use. These achieve cost effective use of fertilizer N inputs while minimizing N losses from this source. While this represents current farm practice in this catchment, current practice is an improvement on past practice.

Use of Eco-N in the future (2013) is detailed in the MOU. This will target the highest risk areas for N leaching loss, to aim for a leaching reduction of 20% across the dairy area.

Part of the Eco-n MOU sets up an ongoing partnership and dialogue with farmers, Lincoln University, Ravensdown and HBRC to look for opportunities to further reduce N losses from land. An underlying philosophy of continuous improvement, assisted by access to latest research information, increases potential benefits.

N is lost mainly in the nitrate form, down through the soil profile at times when drainage is occurring and in areas where the nutrient is present in excess of plant requirements. This mechanism of loss is called leaching.

Phosphorus (P) Management

ü Maintain soil test P levels within the optimum range. No applications of P fertilizer when Olsen P levels are above 45

ü Avoid P fertilizer application at times of the year when there is a high risk of overland flow (typically June to October)

ü Effluent pond storage / low rate application

ü Stream fencing to exclude stock from all water-bodies in the catchment.

ü Buffer strips for filtering sediment and nutrients. Relates to fencing and cropping












P losses from land mainly occur in overland flow events. As P is strongly attached to soil, P is lost whenever soil is lost (erosion). Losses of soluble P can also occur when soil P levels (Olsen P) are excessively high. Reducing excessively high Olsen P levels on farms is an economic benefit on-farm as well as an environmental gain.

Some of the actions above (eg. significant amounts of riparian fencing and decreasing soil P levels in areas where they were too high) have already been carried out in this catchment, and have resulted in a significant decrease in P levels in-stream. The combined actions related to P management in this plan are expected to effectively manage in-stream P levels.

Winter Cropping

ü Not located adjacent to the Taharua

ü Maintain a minimum 5m buffer zone* around small streams and ephemeral streams within crop paddocks









Winter cropping is a practice that deserves specific focus. It has higher N leaching rates than other areas of the farm. Depending on management, it can also contribute high sediment, P, and bacterial inputs to streams. The practices above will reduce direct nutrient, sediment, and bacterial losses to water, while the Eco-N use described elsewhere will reduce N losses.

*A buffer zone is an area of exclusion around a water-body. It may not be permanently fenced but may be a grassed area within a crop paddock that becomes an ephemeral stream in winter, and is temporarily fenced when a crop is grazed. The term buffer zone is also used for areas around streams that don’t have effluent spread on them or don’t have fertilizer applied.

Erosion Management

ü Related to phosphorus management

ü Riparian stock exclusion (above) reduces stream-bank erosion

ü Maintain existing erosion control structures on Taharua farm, Country Spirit and Poronui

ü Retain existing native vegetation in gullies and other plantings around gully erosion sites











In the initial development of this catchment the sensitive nature of the pumice land was recognized, particularly in relation to its susceptibility to erosion. The catchment board of the day was involved in making recommendations on how development should proceed, which areas should be protected, and what constituted appropriate management to avoid erosion, so that the land would remain in place for farming to continue sustainably. It is important to note that these measures have largely been successful in preventing erosion and that the understanding of these issues and appropriate management is maintained through changes in land ownership, as others come into the catchment.

Effluent Management

ü Already covered by consent and inspection by HBRC and Fonterra

ü Effluent storage on all farms. When soil conditions are not suitable for effluent application, irrigation can be deferred until soil moisture conditions are suitable for nutrients to be held by soils

ü Consent conditions cover application depths and maximum N application rates/year

ü Effectively manages N, P, and bacterial losses from this source













This section records current best industry practice already adopted by farmers in this catchment to comply with their existing consent conditions and provide assurance that farm dairy effluent systems are well operated. The effluent systems in place in this catchment are at the top end of the range of systems that are in place nationally.


Areas for further development

Landowners have indicated the need for further details to be worked out and added to this plan next year. These details would include conditions of membership to the landowner catchment group, conditions such as open sharing of information.

Feedback has also been received from the wider stakeholder group. Some of the points raised were issues of clarification that have been addressed by the added “Explanation/Intent” paragraphs.

Feedback from DOC and Fish and Game representatives also raised questions about how livestock management and critical source areas for nutrient loss (e.g. stock crossings) would be specifically addressed in this plan.

Another issue raised was how future new entrants, or land purchasers would be alerted to this catchment management structure, before making purchase decisions.





















Regional Planning Committee  

Wednesday 05 September 2012

SUBJECT: Greater Heretaunga / Ahuriri Land and Water Plan Change        



Reason For Report

1.      This report provides an update on progress of the Greater Heretaunga / Ahuriri Land and Water Plan Change (“the Plan Change”).

Strategic Regional Context

2.      In the 2009-2019 and 2012-2022 Long Term Plans, Council committed to preparing a Heretaunga Plan Change to review minimum flows and water allocation and to set water quality limits. To avoid confusion regarding what region this encompasses and what the plan change covers, it will be referred to as the Greater Heretaunga / Ahuriri Land and Water Plan Change. The area to be covered in the plan change is the four catchments of Ngaruroro, Karamu, Ahuriri and Tutaekuri.  This area is shown in Attachment 1.

3.      The Hawke’s Bay Land and Water Management Strategy (LWMS) released in November 2011 outlines the strategic direction for the management of land and water in the region.

3.1.      One of the LWMS policies to be embedded in the RPS is that “land and water management is tailored and prioritised to address the key values and pressures of each catchment” [Policy 1.5].

3.2.      The LWMS identifies the Heretaunga Plains/Ngaruroro catchment as a priority catchment for Council’s immediate work programmes (along with Tukituki and Mohaka).

4.      The change to the Regional Policy Statement that is currently out for informal consultation includes management objectives for the Heretaunga catchments and is an important framework for the Plan Change.

Greater Heretaunga / Ahuriri Land and Water Plan Change

5.      The Plan Change will be an integrated approach to managing the Heretaunga, Karamu, Tutaekuri and Ahuriri catchments. It will address the following:

5.1.      Managing sustainable river levels and determining acceptable low flows

5.2.      Establishing catchment limits (water allocation, water quality)

5.3.      Considering opportunities for economic development and improved water security associated with possible water storage.

6.      Technical evidence to be prepared for the Plan Change will include:

6.1.      Surface water and groundwater hydrology – development of naturalised flows and hydrological statistics

6.2.      Instream habitat requirements

6.3.      Catchment nutrient modelling – current state and impacts of land use on water quality

6.4.      Cultural values and uses

6.5.      Instream and economic values assessment and identification of management objectives

6.6.      Setting minimum flows based on management objectives and implications for users and environmental values

6.7.      Setting of water allocation limits and implications for existing users and environmental values

6.8.      Setting of water quality limits and implications for catchment loading and land management practices

7.      Changes to the Regional Resource Management Plan will need to:

7.1.      incorporate a review of the water allocation framework (allocation limits and minimum flows)

7.2.      set water quality limits

7.3.      incorporate policy and any associated land management rules to maintain or meet water quality targets over time. 

Stakeholder Engagement Process

8.      The Plan Change process will require a considerable amount of community engagement. To manage this, Council intends to establish a stakeholder group to identify and deliberate on the key issues for freshwater management in the catchments. The key deliverables of the stakeholder group are:

8.1.1.   Vision for catchment

8.1.2.   Objectives, standards, limits and indicators for freshwater resources

8.1.3.   Where standards and limits are not agreed, evaluation of options against agreed criteria

8.1.4.   Strategy for monitoring and adaptive management

8.2.      The process will roughly follow the following schedule:

8.2.1.   Develop agreed vision statement

8.2.2.   Identify range of desired objectives, standards and indicators

8.2.3.   Develop agreed criteria for evaluating options

8.2.4.   Identify limits needed to achieve objectives and standards

8.2.5.   Identify consequences of different options (limits) and associated risks

8.2.6.   Evaluate options based on agreed criteria

8.2.7.   Identify agreed objectives, standards and limits and areas of remaining disagreement.

8.3.      The process for engagement with the stakeholder group was endorsed by the Environment and Services Committee on 15 August  2012.

8.4.      Staff will seek advice from the Te Taiwhenua O Heretaunga and Te Whanganui A Orotu members of the Council’s Maori Committee with regard to manawhenua membership on the Stakeholder Group.  It is recognised that engagement will also need to occur at the hapu/marae level as well.

8.5.      Councillors Von Dadelszen, Scott and Kirton will also be part of the Stakeholder Group and the engagement process.

Keeping the Regional Planning Committee informed

9.      It is proposed that as the stakeholder engagement progresses and technical information becomes available, staff will report back to this Committee to keep it informed of where the stakeholders are at and to brief the Committee on any scientific information that will be relevant to policy making.


10.    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 to be made, the decision making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 do not apply.




1.    That the Regional Planning Committee receives the report titled “Greater Heretaunga / Ahuriri Land and Water Plan Change” Update.








Tim Sharp

Strategic Policy Advisor


Helen Codlin

Group Manager

Strategic Development




Greater Heretaunga Map




Greater Heretaunga Map

Attachment 1



Figure 1 Greater Heretaunga Catchment


Regional Planning Committee  

Wednesday 05 September 2012

SUBJECT: Tukituki Choices Update        


Reason For Report

1.      The purpose of this report is to present the Tukituki Choices discussion document to the Committee for the Committee’s information and discussion.


2.      At the July meeting of the Regional Planning Committee, the committee considered a paper titled ‘Delivering the Tukituki Strategy’.  

3.      Components of Delivering the Tukituki Strategy included:

3.1.      a change to the Regional Policy Statement,

3.2.      the preparation of a discussion document for public consultation which incorporates different land and water management scenarios for the Tukituki Catchment, and including the Ruataniwha Water Storage project in the scenarios, and,

3.3.      if the decision is to proceed to the next phase with the Ruataniwha Water Storage Project (consenting), request the Minister for the Environment to call in the consent application and the plan change as a matter of national significance and for both matters to be determined by a Board of Inquiry.

4.      The Committee recommended that Council approves the above components


5.      A final copy of the Tukituki Choices document will be available at the meeting. In the meantime, a copy of the draft document has been provided to the Committee under separate cover.  The draft version is subject to change as it has been reviewed by Councillors, and members of the Tukituki Plan Change and Ruataniwha Water Storage project teams.  There are also some gaps at the time of writing pending the completion of economic reports.

6.      We will report a summary of the feedback received from the community and a draft plan change to the October Council meeting and we will also present that item to the Regional Planning Committee at its 7 November meeting.

7.      The plan change will then be presented to the Council to approve for notification at its November meeting on 28 November 2012.


8.      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 to be made, the decision making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 do not apply.








1.    That the Regional Planning Committee receives the report ‘Tukituki Choices Update’.





Helen Codlin

Group Manager Strategic Development




There are no attachments for this report.


Regional Planning Committee  

Wednesday 05 September 2012

SUBJECT: Regional Policy Statement - Change 5 Update        


Reason For Report

1.      This paper provides a broad outline of public feedback received on draft plan change (‘Change 5’) to the Regional Policy Statement parts of the Regional Resource Management Plan. A final draft plan change and associated section 32 evaluation summary report will be presented at the additional meeting scheduled for 19 September 2012 for consideration and referral to the Council meeting on 26 September. 

2.      Change 5 relates to ‘land use and freshwater management.’ It incorporates relevant elements of the Hawke’s Bay Land and Water Management Strategy to set the regional context for values associated with the region’s freshwater resources.

Feedback on draft change

3.      A draft version of Change 5 was presented to Council in July 2012 following 2-3 workshops with committee members.  The Council endorsed that draft change and it was subsequently released for informal public comment in July/August with comments closing on 24 August.  Primary purpose of this feedback opportunity was to identify:

3.1.      any key gaps in the draft proposal perceived by groups and individuals with interests in management of the region’s land and freshwater resources;

3.2.      any key issues that encounter consistently strong opposition (or equally support) that might mean reconsidering intent of the Change; and

3.3.      any matters that need improvement or amendment to provide clarity and better understanding.

4.      Thirty groups and individuals provided written feedback on Draft Change 5.  Full copies of those comments are provided under separate attachment to committee members.  A range of matters were raised – some clearly linked to the draft change, while others remarked on unrelated themes and council activities.

5.      Based on a preliminary assessment of the feedback received, staff have broadly grouped feedback themes for purposes of this paper:

Key issues to be addressed incl.
(in no particular order)

Other issues featuring in comments incl.

Issues not within scope of Change 5 incl.

· compilation of criteria for identification of ‘outstanding freshwater bodies’

· identification (ie: listing) of many additional surface waterbodies as ‘outstanding’

· broadening of purposes for ‘outstanding’ classification to more than just water quality protection

· clarification of outcomes for water quality of water bodies that are not ‘outstanding,’ but still of high importance on a regional scale

· should Objectives 21 and 22 (re. Heretaunga and Ruataniwha aquifer systems) be amended as drafted or retained unaltered.

· clarification for relevance of values not identified in POL LW3 Table 1

· more explicit references (and balance) to use of water and associated economic benefits

· definition of ‘wetland,’ particularly what it does not include

· what are the “significant values” of wetlands (referred to in OBJ 15A and POL 4A)

· is there sound justification for RPS to signal that regional plans need to regulate productive land use activities for freshwater objectives (ie: does knowledge of cause and effect relationship justify need to regulate production land uses?)

·  what/how/when/by whom will “identified” values (referred to in Objectives 25 and 27) be determined

·  clarification of distinction between what RPS Change needs to include and what future regional plan changes will cover

·  more emphasis on renewable electricity generation

·  more emphasis on trout habitat and other matters of national importance in s6 RMA

·  de-classifying Ahuriri Estuary as an ‘outstanding’ ecosystem

·  primary values and secondary values should be identified for all Catchment Areas, not just Mohaka, Heretaunga and Tukituki

·  improved references to aquifers in addition to surface water catchments

·  all values are important so should all be primary values

·  greater precision of description and spatial extent of values identified in POL LW 3 Table 1

·  uncertainties in how values listed in PO LW3  Table 1 were derived

·  clarification of what is intended by “catchment-based process” referred to in POL LW3.2(c)

·   hydrocarbon exploration and extraction, mining and quarrying

·   river bed gravel management operations

·   rules for land uses

·   rules for coastal activities

·   limits for freshwater flows and levels

·   limits for various water quality parameters

·   timing and sequencing of HBRC’s work programme to fully implement NPSFM by 2030

·   matters to fully implement the 2010 NZ Coastal Policy Statement (NB: timeframes for this are already indicated in 2012-22 Long Term Plan).


6.      Given the above preliminary assessment of issues raised in comments, some re-working of Draft Change 5 is warranted and further discussions with some groups (for example, territorial authorities and Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated) is desirable to share understanding of perspectives before a final draft version of Change 5 is presented for consideration and possible Council adoption for public notification as a ‘proposed’ Change.

7.      Further to this, staff now seek guidance from the Committee on the following:

7.1.      What topics or provisions ought to be revised (if any) in response to feedback, and in light of the project’s timeframes (see ‘Next Steps’ section below)?

7.2.      What other methods or initiatives could be undertaken to address comments?

8.      In terms of point 7.2 above, staff consider there is merit in at least two alternatives:

8.1.      incorporating clear reasoning for the scope, intent and content of Change 5 in the s32 evaluation summary report that needs to be prepared and released at the same time Change 5 is publicly notified.  Such reasoning would serve to proactively provide answers to various comments seeking clarification of Change 5’s content (or equally, content that is absent); and

8.2.      advising groups and individuals who made comments, (via letter or email) about the reasons for the way Change 5 is/is not revised in light of general issues noted in their own feedback.

9.      In addition to the key issues and other issues traversed in comments, there is also a significant range of wording alterations suggested.  Assessing the implications of, and the need for, most of those suggested wording alterations is time consuming and best done once through the formal change process.  This means only material wording amendments will be accommodated now, with most wording alterations being deferred for due consideration through the formal submission phase after Change 5 is notified.

Next steps

10.    Figure 1 illustrates proposed timeframes for development and progress of this RPS Change as presented to Councillors in July.  Those timeframes in Figure 1 were based upon a very focussed project scope which is critical to the Change being delivered within timeframes necessary to inform separate, yet related, catchment-based regional plan changes.  These include regional plan changes for Mohaka and Tukituki catchments.

11.    It is still Council’s intention to publicly notify RPS Change 5 in October, so staff will make revisions to Change 5 and present a final draft version to the Regional Planning Committee now scheduled for 19 September 2012.  At that Committee meeting, staff would also present the associated s32 Evaluation Summary Report.  The Committee would then consider the revisions, plus consider whether or not to recommend Council adopt Change 5 for public notification.


Figure 1: Indicative timeframes for RPS Change 5

Financial and Resource Implications

12.    Preparation of Change 5 and progressing Change 5 through the submission and hearings phases is provided for in Project 192 (‘Strategy and Planning’).  No additional external expenditure budget is needed at this time.  Internal staff time is also already catered for within existing budgets.


13.    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 to be made, the decision making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 do not apply.



1.  That the Regional Planning Committee:

1.1    Receives the report titled ‘Regional Policy Statement Change 5 update.’

1.2    Provides direction to staff about what key issues and other issues arising from public feedback needs addressing in revisions to draft Change 5 prior to further consideration and adoption by Council as a ‘proposed’ Change for public notification.

1.3    Notes that at the new scheduled Regional Planning Committee meeting on 19               September 2012, staff will present suggested revisions to Change 5 (and               associated section 32 evaluation summary report) for the Committee’s               consideration.




Gavin Ide

Team Leader Policy


Helen Codlin

Group Manager

Strategic Development



There are no attachments for this report.


Regional Planning Committee  

Wednesday 05 September 2012

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