Meeting of the Regional Planning Committee



Date:                 Wednesday 19 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 5 September 2012

4.         Matters Arising from Minutes of the  Regional Planning Committee held on 5 September 2012

5.         Action Items from Previous Regional Planning Committee Meetings                          3

            Call for General Business Items

Decision Items

6.         Regional Policy Statement - Change 5

Information or Performance Monitoring

7.         General Business  




Regional Planning Committee  

Wednesday 19 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 Council 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 19 September 2012

SUBJECT: Regional Policy Statement - Change 5        


Reason for Report

1.      This paper presents a revised draft version of Change 5 and associated section 32 evaluation summary report to the Regional Planning Committee and for the Committee to consider recommending it to Council for adoption and public notification as a ‘proposed’ Change in October.


2.      Change 5 is a bundle of amendments to the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) parts of the Regional Resource Management Plan (RRMP) and relates to ‘land use and freshwater management.’  Change 5 incorporates relevant elements of the Hawke’s Bay Land and Water Strategy to set the regional context for values associated with the region’s freshwater resources.

3.      A draft RPS Change was presented to Council in July 2012 following several workshops with committee members.  Public feedback was invited during July/August on a draft version of Change 5.  An overview of the public feedback was presented to a workshop and Committee meeting on 5 September.  At that meeting, the Committee provided staff with direction on what further revisions ought to be made to Change 5 and brought back to the Committee at this meeting for consideration.

4.      Like its earlier draft form, Change 5 is effectively a ‘bundle’ of amendments covering a focussed range of themes.  Primarily, it will insert new policies into the RPS, plus amend a number of the RPS’s existing provisions relating to management of the region’s freshwater resources.  It does not insert or amend any rules in the RRMP or Regional Coastal Environment Plan.

5.      In Hawke’s Bay, the issues and pressures on land and water resources vary throughout the region. Consequently, urgency for clarity around water allocation and to maintain or improve water quality also varies across catchments. These catchment differences have influenced the Council’s decision to prioritise catchments where the issues and pressures are most pressing.  Accordingly, the Council has already prioritised its regional plan change work programmes to catchments based on known and foreseeable pressures and drivers for enhanced freshwater management and regulation.

6.      The Council has several catchment-based regional plan changes currently in preparation, namely Tukituki and Mohaka, with Greater Heretaunga/Ahuriri[1] now underway. The Council had previously agreed to prepare a Change to the RPS which would provide a ‘bigger picture’ overview for these individual catchment-based plan changes.

7.      Change 5 does not start with a blank canvas – the existing RPS already contains provisions relating to matters such as surface and ground water quality, surface and groundwater quantity and matters of significance to iwi/hapu.

8.      The Committee has previously given careful consideration to the potential scope of this particular RPS Change.  There are four principal reasons for Change 5’s preparation:

8.1.   amendments are required as an action arising from Hawke's Bay Land and Water Management Strategy (LAWMS);

8.2.   to fulfil legal requirements to implement, in a timely manner, relevant provisions of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM);

8.3.   to provide an ‘overview’ of regional and sub-regional values for land and water management in Hawke's Bay and to identify priorities in those catchments where significant conflicting value-sets exist; and

8.4.   the Regional Council’s own initiatives to continually improve its plans regarding water resources in the region.



Change 5 is not intended to comprehensively implement the NPSFM, that will largely be done through a series of changes to regional plans - as distinct from a RPS change.  The Council’s NPSFM Implementation Programme will assist in highlighting the other work streams identified to fully implement the NPSFM.

Key features of Change 5

10.    Change 5 will provide enhanced guidance and direction to decision-makers about how future integrated land use and water management decisions will be made.  To do this, Change 5:

10.1.       proposes clearer guidance and direction regarding how conflicting values and uses of fresh water resources will be managed

10.2.       states an overall objective for how land use and water will be managed (OBJ LW1)

10.3.       outlines what catchment-based regional plan changes will need to consider (POL LW1)

10.4.       in relation to the Heretaunga / Ahuriri, Mohaka and Tukituki catchment areas, proposes primary values and uses that are to be given more emphasis than secondary values and uses (POL LW2)

10.5.       outlines the broad approach to be taken in relating to managing leaching of nitrogen, faecal coliform bacteria and phosphorus from the use of production land (POL LW3)

10.6.       indicates a range of non-regulatory methods that would be used to achieve improved management of land use and fresh water in Hawke's Bay (POL LW4)

10.7.       proposes a clearer policy regarding land-based disposal of wastewater, solid waste and other waste products (POL 47A)

Outstanding fresh water bodies

11.    At the workshop and Committee meeting held on 5 September, the Committee discussed at length the issue of Change 5 addressing the assessment, identification and management of ‘outstanding fresh water bodies.’  Since that meeting, staff have reassessed this matter and circulated a memo to Committee members outlining three options which were:

11.1.       Option A - retain provisions as in Draft RPS Change 5 (ie: POL LW1 which includes specifying criteria used to assess outstanding-ness of fresh water bodies in the HB region; plus listing the resulting water bodies that are ‘outstanding’ as warranting the water quality of those water bodies to be protected); or

11.2.       Option B - revising Change 5 by removing the list of outstanding water bodies (ie: POL LW1.2), but retain provisions specifying criteria to be used to assess and identify outstanding water bodies in separate process(es); or

11.3.       Option C - revising Change 5 by removing POL LW1, plus the associated criteria in Appendix 1 entirely.  OBJ LW1.1 would still be retained as setting out the RPS’s sights on a key part of the overall management objective, but the actual ‘doing’ (ie: assessment, identification and management response) of things to protect water quality of outstanding water bodies in the region would follow later as a separate project.

12.    Following staff discussions with MfE officials and revisiting an opinion from a well-respected resource management barrister[2] on this matter, staff recommend that the process for developing the criteria and identifying the regionally outstanding fresh water bodies in Hawke's Bay should be done properly at a regional level in a collaborative process (ie: Option C).

13.    In short, this would mean:

13.1.       removing from Change 5 policies and criteria relating to outstanding water bodies.

13.2.       undertaking a separate RPS change process to identify outstanding freshwater bodies. (NB, this has already been noted in the NPSFM Implementation Programme presented to the Corporate and Strategic Committee on Wednesday 12 September).

14.    The version of Change 5 attached to this report (Attachment 1) is based on Option C.

Effect of RPS Change

15.    For the avoidance of doubt, from the time it is notified, the objectives and policies in Change 5 will be matters that decision-makers[3] may take into account (eg: when assessing resource consent applications).  However, any consideration would need to be mindful that Change 5 still needs to run its course through the submissions > hearing > decisions > appeal process in Schedule 1 of the RMA.

16.    Change 5 does not include any amendments to existing rules or introduction of new rules.  Consequently, s86B of RMA is irrelevant so the Council does not need to contemplate when rules will have legal effect.

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

Options considered and Section 32 of RMA

18.    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.

19.    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) RMA).

20.    Staff have prepared a s32 evaluation summary report which is set out in Attachment 2.  That report summarises the evaluation undertaken, Council discussions, stakeholder discussions and assessments undertaken in the course of preparing Change 5 and preceding documents such as LAWMS.  The summary report is not part of the plan change itself, but a ‘companion’ document.

21.    Council needs to consider whether it should adopt the ‘Section 32 Evaluation Summary Report’ (Attachment 2) and make it publicly available at the same time as Change 5 is publicly notified.

Next steps

22.    Assuming Council agrees to adopt Change 5 and publicly notifies on or about October 3rd, the RMA’s formal submission, hearing and decision-making process will follow.

23.    Figure 1 identifies indicative dates for Change 5’s key milestones. Timeframes in Figure 1 are 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.

24.    This RPS Change is not intended to comprehensively implement the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.  That will largely be done though a series of changes to regional plans – as distinct from a RPS Change.


Figure 1: Indicative dates of key milestones for Change 5


Milestone / Event


19 Sept

Regional Planning Committee meeting to consider final draft Change 5 and s32 report

26 Sept

Regional Council meeting to adopt Change 5 and associated s32 summary report

Wed 3 Oct

Change 5 publicly notified, submissions invited

Mon 5 Nov

Submission period deadline (20 working days)


Staff summarise submissions lodged (if submissions are clear and issues raised not too complex)

5 Dec

Submission Summary notified and further submissions invited

20 Dec

Further submission period deadline (10 working days)


Jan / Feb / Mar

Staff drafting reports and recommendations on submitters’ requests

mid March

Staff reports on submissions published and distributed

Apr – May

Hearings by Panel, deliberations and decision-making

22 May

Council meeting (if required to adopt Hearing Panel’s recommendations)

31 May

Decisions on submissions issued


Period for lodging appeals to Environment Court

July onwards

Resolution of appeals (if any)


25.    Hearings could be held as early as April 2013.  For the avoidance of doubt, any submissions on Change 5 will be heard in the first instance by a panel appointed by the Council – not the Environment Court or via the Environmental Protection Agency.  The Regional Planning Committee’s responsibilities include recommending to Council the membership of hearing panels to hear and decide upon submissions on proposed Changes to plans and policy statements.  The Panel members must be appropriately trained and eligible (accredited) commissioners, which may include members of the Regional Planning Committee.


Financial and Resource Implications

26.    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.

 Decision Making Process

27.    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:

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

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

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

27.4.       The persons affected by this decision are all those persons with an interest in the region’s management of natural and physical resources under the RMA, but nevertheless, they will have opportunities to make submissions when Change 5 is publicly notified.

27.5.       Options that have been considered are detailed in the attached section 32 evaluation summary report (Attachment 2).

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

27.7.       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 5 following a decision by Council to publicly notify it.




That the Regional Planning Committee:

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 5 following a decision by Council to publicly notify it.

2.    Adopts Change 5 to the Regional Resource Management Plan (Attachment 1) for public notification in early October 2012.

3.    Adopts the “Section 32 Evaluation Summary: Change 5 – Land use and freshwater management” (Attachment 2) and make it available for public inspection.




Gavin Ide

Team Leader Policy


Helen Codlin

Group Manager

Strategic Development




RPS Change 5


Under Separate Cover


RPS Change 5 S32 Summary Report


Under Separate Cover



Regional Planning Committee  

Wednesday 19 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


















[1]  Heretaunga includes Karamu, Clive, Ngaruroro, Tukituki River catchments, Ahuriri Estuary and the Heretaunga Plains aquifer.

[2]  Mr Philip Milne reaffirms earlier advice from staff that the directive within the NPSFM is limited to the protection of the water quality of outstanding fresh water bodies.

[3]  Decision-makers include councils preparing and reviewing regional and district plans, consent authorities making decisions on resource consent applications etc.