MINUTES OF A meeting of the Regional Planning Committee



Date:                          Wednesday 5 June 2013


Time:                          1.00 pm



Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street



Present:                     T Waaka - Chairman

                                      F Wilson

N Baker

K Brown

T Hopmans

N Kirikiri

N Kirton

E McGregor

L Remmerswaal

K Rose

C Scott

R Spooner

W Wilson


In Attendance:          H Codlin, Group Manager Strategic Development

E Lambert, General Manager Operations

G Ide, Team Leader Policy

T Sharp, Strategic Policy Advisor

C Reed, Senior Planner

B Powell, Senior Land Services Advisor

B Lynch, Senior Scientist Land

S Chandler, Minute Secretary



1.      Welcome/Apologies/Notices

Mr Toro Waaka, Co-Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.  

W Wilson offered a Karakia.


-      Councillor Wilson advised he would need to depart at 3.00 pm.

-      Councillor Rose advised he would depart after Agenda Item 8.

-      Councillor McGregor advised he would leave the meeting at 3.30 pm.

-      Mr Gavin Ide, Team Leader Policy advised that Council’s decisions on Change 5 (‘Land and water management’) to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Resource Management Plan had been issued today.  He provided Committee members with a copy of Council’s decision and advised a copy had also been provided to all submitters.


-      Apologies were accepted from Councillor Gilbertson and Mr Paku.


RPC8/13    That the apologies from Councillor Gilbertson and Mr Paku be received.



2.      Conflict of Interest Declarations

There were no conflict of interest declarations.


3.      Confirmation of Minutes of the Regional Planning Committee Held on 13 February 2013



That Minutes of the Regional Planning Committee held on Wednesday, 13 February 2013, a copy having been circulated prior to the meeting, were taken as read and confirmed as a true and accurate record.



4.      Matters Arising From Minutes of the Regional Planning Committee Held on Wednesday 13 February 2013

                     There were no matters arising from the minutes.


Action Items from Previous Regional Planning Committee Meetings


Ms Codlin advised that the matter of payments to plan change hearings commissioners had been overtaken by events involving discussions directly with the appointed commissioners.

It was confirmed that the other outstanding items would be dealt with in today’s meeting.



That the Committee receives the report “Action Items from Previous Meetings”.





Call for General Business Items


1.       N Baker – resourcing for a communications strategy for Taharua

2.       Directory of members to be included in next agenda –  Cllr Dick

3.       Application for Leave – Cllr Remmerswaal

4.       Update on East Coast Rail line. – Cllr Dick

5.       T Hopmans – resourcing for communications beyond Taharua and Mohaka, for iwi representatives generally.



Appeals on Change 4


Mr Ide provided the Committee with an overview of his paper on Change 4.  The following was noted:

·          One appeal had been received from Transpower New Zealand Ltd and would be proceeding to the Environment Court.

·          The options to consider appeal negotiations was discussed.

·          Mr Ide clarified for the Committee on how the Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy (HPUDS) and Councils relationship with partner Councils would be affected by the content of Transpower’s appeal.  Mr Ide explained that the appeal largely focussed on managing reverse sensitivity and the National Grid’s operations, not challenging cornerstones of HPUDS such as the preferred settlement pattern and identified Greenfield growth areas.

·          Updates on discussions to resolve Transpower’s appeal to be provided to Council in ‘Looking Forward’ updates.

·          Mr Ide confirmed that planners at both Napier City and Hastings District Councils were being kept informed of Transpower’s appeal discussions.  Mr Ide explained that the city and district councils have the option of joining the appeal proceedings as an ’interested’ party if they choose to.

·          Following a question on who should attend mediation and who had delegated authority to sign off any agreement reached it was confirmed that the person signing any agreement ought to have been involved in proceedings and be familiar with the evidence.  This could either be the Group Manager, Strategic Development or the Council’s legal representative in those proceedings.

·          A slight alteration to the recommendations was accepted.



That the Regional Planning Committee recommends 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.      Delegates to the Group Manager Strategic Development (and any legal counsel acting as the Group Manager’s agent) the authority to sign, on behalf of Council, any mediated agreement in relation Transpower New Zealand Limited’s appeal on Change 4 to the Hawke's Bay Regional Resource Management Plan,   providing such mediated agreement as consistent with the overall content of the council’s original decision.

3.      Notes that staff will liaise with the Chair of the Change 4 Hearings Panel to establish an initial position in response to the appeal by Transpower New Zealand Limited.

4.      Notes that staff who attend Environment Court hearings must adopt a position that is supported by the evidence that the Regional Council’s experts have prepared.





Tamatea Taiwhenua Overview of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme


This item was discussed during a morning workshop session.



Update on Taharua/Mohaka Policy Development


Mr Reed, Mr Powell and Dr Lynch provided the Committee with an update. The Committee noted the encouraging improvements in Taharua water quality resulting from recent actions by landowners. However, recognising the complexities catchment management, the Committee also expressed some frustration at the time needed to develop the policy to secure gains already made and ensure further progress to targets. It was also noted that the upper Mohaka remains degraded to an unacceptable state.

The following more specific comments were noted:

·          Responding to a question on Poronui’s future land use: when eucalypt forests are removed, it was noted that deer and beef are a realistic scenario. Dairying was not their intention.

·          During questioning, concerns were expressed that while some improvements have occurred, there is still no planning mechanism to prevent changes in land use that could make water quality worse. In response staff advised that, while the scenarios in the Choices consultation being recommended by staff would probably focus on future water quality states, different mixes of regulation and other actions could be considered to achieve these states. This could include imposing degrees of land use restriction.

·          A concern was raised that a Taharua framework might overly restrict use of Maori land in multiple ownership. While a whole catchment framework would impact all landowners, the degree of impact would differ.  There is approximately 495 ha of Maori owned land within the Taharua catchment. This land is located on the eastern border and mostly remains in native bush.

·          Dr Lynch indicated that recent monitoring may be showing the first signs of a reduction in nitrate at the Twin Culverts site on the Taharua River, but more monitoring was required to confirm this.

·          Anecdotal reporting also suggests some recent improvements in Taharua water quality and the Taharua trout fishery.

·          Monitoring of native fish species was discussed, which led to the following action.

ACTION – Dr Lynch to provide copies of relevant reports referring to native fish monitoring in the Mohaka catchment to Liz Lambert.  Liz Lambert will distribute on to the Committee who have requested it.

·          An offer of possible assistance with funding for Riparian Planting was received from K Brown.

·          Funding is budgeted for the ongoing science programme. More detailed planning will determine the adequacy of the Strategic Development consultancy budget for other supporting work.

·          It was agreed that staff would keep collaborating with the catchment stakeholders and that further opportunities for land management works should be explored in parallel to the Choices consultation.

·          There are extensive Maori interests in the wider Mohaka catchment. Opportunities to strengthen existing policy engagement should be explored with mana whenua.

Councillor Wilson left the meeting at 3.00 pm.



The Regional Planning 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.         Notes the position statement of the main Taharua landowners, including their continued support for a collaborative process and the existing Taharua catchment management proposal that was agreed in principle by Council in 2012.

3          Notes the science programme being implemented to support Taharua-Mohaka policy-making and the need for this work to be given sufficient priority among Council’s programmes to avoid further delays.

4        Undertake a Taharua-Mohaka Choices consultation process and to draw up a more detailed project plan.

5          Supports continued staff collaboration with the Taharua Stakeholder Group and landowner catchment management group for ongoing improvements in management of the Taharua catchment and development of a Choices public consultation document.

6.         Instructs staff to provide the Committee with progress updates at key points in the policy-making process.




Instructs staff to draw up a detailed plan to deal with reducing pollution in the Taharua-Mohaka river catchment.


LOST 4/9

Against: Hopmans, Kirikiri, Brown, Dick, McGregor, Rose, Scott, Wilson, Baker

For: Spooner, Waaka, Kirton, Remmerswaal


3.30 pm Councillors Rose and McGregor left the meeting

The meeting broke for afternoon tea at 3.30 pm and resumed at 3.44 pm


Update On Greater Heretaunga/Ahuriri Policy Development


Mr Sharp presented an update on the process being followed for the policy development for the Greater Heretaunga/Ahuriri plan change.  The following comments were noted:

·          In response to a question on where is Ahuriri Estuary in the Regional Policy Statement Change 5 Primary Values Table?  It was advised that while this is not directly mentioned in this policy, the estuary is designated a Significant Conservation Area in the Coastal Plan and that the Greater Heretaunga/Ahuriri plan change is addressing issues specific to Ahuriri . 

·          It was advised that no alterations can be made because Plan Change 5 decisions have been made and is in appeal.

·          It would take another plan change process to amend the plan if it was found to be material for the appropriate management of the Ahuriri Estuary.

ACTION – staff to review this and report back.

·          A question was raised as to the new timing set out with a move from June 2014 to December 2016.  Mr Sharp advised that there are a number of reasons for the extended timeframe including the need for scientific investigations, particularly into the groundwater resource.



That the Regional Planning Committee receives the report.


Due to lack of quorum, no resolution was passed.




Update on the Biodiversity Strategy


Deferred to next meeting.



General Business


Communications with Iwi

·      N Baker made a request for assistance with a Communications Strategy for Mohaka/Taharua

·      Could staff attend hui and provide an update. Along with some resourcing. 8 hui approximately $1200 per hui. Numbers at each 30 – 50 per hui.

·      T Hopmans - We are mandated to be here by our iwi – would a report, in simple terms be possible that iwi representatives can talk to at a Hui.

·      Could Taharua be first?  T Waaka

Directory of RPC Members

Councillor Dick requested a “Directory of RPC Members” be provided with each agenda.

Leave of Absence

Councillor Remmerswaal requested an application for leave for 10,11,12 June meetings, she will be attending a forum in Brazil

East Coast Rail

Councillor Dick updated the Committee on the East Coast Rail Line


Late Notice congratulations to MTI on settlement of their Deed and acknowledge the work of Tania Hopmans for her input and dedication.


Karakia – Mr W Wilson.



There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 4.20 pm on Wednesday, 5 June 2013.

Signed as a true and correct record.


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