Meeting of the Environment and Services Committee


Date:                 Wednesday 19 June 2019

Time:                11.00am


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 Environment and Services Committee meeting held on 10 April 2019

4.         Follow-ups from Previous Environment & Services Committee Meetings                   3

5.         Call for Minor Items of Business Not on the Agenda                                                    9

Decision Items

6.         Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa - Call to Declare Climate and Ecological Emergency 11

7.         Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - A Regional Response                          17

8.         Flaxmere Solar Farm                                                                                                   35

Information or Performance Monitoring

9.         National Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report                                        39

10.       Update on Farm Environment Management Plans                                                    43

11.       Update on Central Government Policy Announcements                                            51

12.       Sustainable Homes Update                                                                                        67

13.       Waitangi Horseshoe Wetland Update                                                                         71

14.       Landscape Scale Ecological Restoration on the Mahia Peninsula                            77

15.       Catchment Management and Erosion Control Scheme update                                 83

16.       Erosion Control Grants Policy Refinement                                                               109

17.       June 2019 Hotspots Update                                                                                     111

18.       Discussion of Minor Items Not on the Agenda                                                         115

Decision Items (Public Excluded)

19.       Potential Acquisition of Land at Lake Whatuma                                                       117

20.       Forest Harvest Procurement, Tūtira and Tangoio Forests                                       119



Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

SUBJECT: Follow-ups from Previous Environment & Services Committee Meetings


Reason for Report

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

Decision Making Process

2.      Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the report “Follow-up Items from Previous Environment & Services Committee Meetings”.


Authored by:

Annelie Roets

Governance Administration Assistant


Approved by:

James Palmer

Chief Executive





Follow-ups for June 2019 E&S mtg




Follow-ups for June 2019 E&S mtg

Attachment 1


Follow-ups for June 2019 E&S mtg

Attachment 1



Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Call for Minor Items of Business Not on the Agenda


Reason for Report

1.      Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Standing order 9.13 allows

A meeting may discuss an item that is not on the agenda only if it is a minor matter relating to the general business of the meeting and the Chairperson explains at the beginning of the public part of the meeting that the item will be discussed. However, the meeting may not make a resolution, decision or recommendation about the item, except to refer it to a subsequent meeting for further discussion.

Please note that nothing in this standing order removes the requirement to meet the provisions of Part 6, LGA 2002 with regard to consultation and decision making.


That the Environment and Services Committee accepts the following “Minor Items of Business Not on the Agenda” for discussion as Item 18.



Raised by








Leeanne Hooper


James Palmer




Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa - Call to Declare Climate and Ecological Emergency


Reason for Report

1.      This item provides the Committee with the Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa letter (attached) calling for the declaration of climate and ecological emergency, to which Bruce Bisset will speak at the meeting.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa - Call to Declare Climate and Ecological Emergency


Authored by:

Leeanne Hooper

Principal Advisor Governance


Approved by:

James Palmer

Chief Executive





Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa Letter




Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa Letter

Attachment 1


13 June 2019                                                                 BY EMAIL

FROM: Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa

TO: Tom Belford, Chair, Environment and Services Committee, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Cc: Rex Graham, Chairperson, HBRC

James Palmer, CEO, HBRC


RE: Climate and Ecological Emergency in Aotearoa New Zealand


Dear Tom,

Thank you for the opportunity to present to your committee on the need to declare a climate and ecological emergency in our region.

In doing so we are heartened by the interest in this matter shown both by yourself and council’s chairman, Rex Graham who, according to recent reports, has indicated council is likely to support such a declaration.

However as you are aware, it is one thing make a statement, another entirely to take action toward enabling it. And while we note that, for example, council has already committed to making Hawke’s Bay carbon neutral by 2040, we would urge you to do everything possible to exceed that target as soon as practicable in order to help avert the looming double-catastrophe of uncontrolled climate change and ecologic collapse.

In support of this plea we detail (below) various matters we trust you can direct attention to, together with recent data from a range of studies outlining the precarious state of the planet’s biosphere, and a list of actions we hope you will pursue with vigour.



In view of the fact that global greenhouse gas concentrations, global average temperature and global average sea level are all rising sharply, it is crystal clear our world is in a desperate and rapidly deteriorating situation unparalleled in human history.

We are therefore demanding that the government tell the truth about the scale of climate change in all climate change projection reports and guidance documents, declare a climate change and ecological emergency and invest in the research and infrastructure required to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with the utmost urgency.

The Ministry for Environment has issued several reports which are used by Regional Councils such as yours to evaluate climate change hazards, vulnerability and risks, to make climate change adaptation plans and to design long-term flood defences. These documents include the 2018 Climate Change Projections for New Zealand report and the 2017 Coastal hazards and climate change: Guidance for local government report.

The MfE reports focus on “middle of the road” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections and make no mention of either the widely-acknowledged conservatism of IPCC projections or the increasingly likely probability that climate change will be much more severe and rapid than the IPCC projections suggest.

On the contrary, the Climate Change Projections report misleadingly describes an “unprecedented level of detail and robustness in the information provided”.

By using the current MfE guidance, New Zealand will remain unprepared for the impacts of climate change, local government agencies such as yours will make poor decisions about and misallocate resources for climate change adaptation and New Zealanders will be unaware of the scale of transformation required to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

An important 2018 study on the Understatement of Existential Climate Risk1 explains that the IPCC Assessment Reports (AR) play a large part in the public framing of the climate narrative. The study recognises the critical, indispensable work of the IPCC but goes on to show how their consensus-building process has led to “least drama”, lowest-common-denominator outcomes, which overlook critical issues.

The IPCC reports have underplayed high-end possibilities and failed to assess risks in a balanced manner. The failure to fully account for potential future changes to permafrost (frozen carbon stores on land and under the seabed) and other carbon cycle feedbacks is just one example.

The study cites previous work by Dr Barrie Pittock, a former leader of the Climate Impact Group in CSIRO: “until now many scientists may have consciously or unconsciously downplayed the more extreme possibilities at the high end of the uncertainty range, in an attempt to appear moderate and ‘responsible’ (that is, to avoid scaring people)”.

The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) report2 on climate change issued in 2017 explains how global climate models tend to underestimate both the magnitude of global mean warming in response to higher CO2 levels as well as its amplification at high latitudes. Three case studies presented in this report illustrate the limitations of current scientific understanding in capturing the full range of self-reinforcing cycles that operate within the Earth system.

The evidence for faster-than-expected climate change grows by the day. The appended summaries of the following six studies published in the last few months show:

• 30th April 2019: Rapid collapse of arctic permafrost with the potential to double the climate feedback associated with permafrost thawing (Current models of greenhouse gas release and climate assume that permafrost thaws gradually from the surface downwards)

• 29th April 2019: Identification of yet another possible feedback loop not accounted for in any future climate change projections: As the oceans warm, marine microbial life could start to pump even more carbon dioxide into the air.

• 29th April 2019: Melting of part of the Antarctic Ross Ice shelf happening 10 times faster than expected

• 22nd April 2019: Faster than expected melting of Greenland Ice shelf; changes in glacier melt rates are happening sooner and faster than anticipated by models

• 13th April 2019: Bering Sea ice melting much faster than expected.

• 3rd April 2019: Arctic permafrost nitrous oxide emissions up to 12-times higher than previously thought; thawing Arctic permafrost is a huge source. N2O is a very powerful Greenhouse Gas, with a Global Warming Potential about 300 times that of CO2

• 5th December 2018: Rising emissions, declining air pollution and natural climate cycles will combine over the next 20 years to make climate change faster and more furious than anticipated.

The MfE’s exclusive and incautious reliance on IPCC model results is at best imprudent. If the Ministry continues down this path there is a high probability that New Zealanders will have to bear the consequences of a policy failure of epic proportions. Climate change planning and adaptation in New Zealand and around the world is increasingly being undertaken using the Dynamic Adaptation Planning Pathways (DAPP) approach, or other approaches which accommodate the Deep Uncertainty3 associated with future climate change.

The DAPP framework allows planners and decision-makers to consider a wide range of possible climate change pathways and to develop urban development and infrastructure plans and policy options that could be implemented under each pathway. This means that the downside of including the increasingly likely severe climate change scenarios in climate change adaptation planning is limited and the upside (in terms of better preparedness) is huge.

But some local authorities are reluctant to consider climate change scenarios which fall outside of IPCC (and hence MfE) projections. This reluctance presumably stems from concerns over scaring their local ratepayers and/or concerns that their approach will lack credibility and fail to attract buy-in from local stakeholders if they deviate from so called “best practice”, i.e. use of MfE guidance.

In short, local authorities are likely to take the “least drama” approach unless the MfE includes the severe climate change scenario in their adaptation planning guidance.

The “don’t frighten the horses” approach has been successful for all the wrong reasons: Three of the four highest annual increases in CO2 emissions have occurred in the past four years4 as endemic complacency over the climate crisis prevails.

In reality an unprecedented transformation of almost every aspect of our daily lives is urgently required to ensure the continued survival of our species and the millions of other species we share this planet with.

Many New Zealanders will be only be ready to accept this if they are shown the true consequences of climate change in their own back yards. Local, regional and national planning, engineering and science research studies and the MfE climate change website are a key mechanism for achieving this, but only if they include a realistic assessment of climate change severity, not just the conservative IPCC scenarios and modelling.



We urge you to recognise your role and to courageously grasp the opportunity in front of you by:

1. Requesting that the MfE issues a climate change planning and adaptation guidance note which explains the limitations of the IPCC climate change projections relied upon in MfE documents published to date and provides a strong recommendation on the need for consideration of more severe climate change scenarios to all end users

2. Requesting that the MfE creates a structure for NZ climate science advice which moves away from the flawed “least drama” approach taken by the IPCC and many scientists to date and advocates a precautionary risk management approach. This approach should recognise the severity of climate change (near term collapse of our civilisation and mass extinction) in the consequence side of the risk equation.

3. Requesting that the MfE updates its climate change website with information on the potential for and consequences of severe, abrupt climate change for each region of NZ

4. Formally declaring a climate and ecological emergency in Hawke’s Bay

5. Requesting central government provide regional councils with statutory powers to prevent or severely limit and adequately mitigate any further increases in short- and long-lived greenhouse gas emissions and to fast-track initiatives to draw-down atmospheric carbon dioxide

6. In particular re 5.), advocating for amendment of the Resource Management Act to include ghg emissions as a consideration for consents granted under the Act. 



Bruce Bisset


On behalf of Heretaunga Hawke’s Bay branch

Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa

Personal Contact: (06) 873.4025



1 See discussion in Spratt and Dunlop (2018)


3 See Vincent et al. (2019)



Attachments: Summary of some recent studies showing faster than expected climate change


Attachments: Summary of some recent studies showing faster than expected climate change

(enumerated as Date / Source / Key findings / Links)

30/04/19 / Nature journal / Current models assume permafrost thaws gradually from the surface downwards. But models are ignoring the main problem: sudden collapse of thawing soils in the Arctic might double the warming from greenhouse gases released from tundra.

29/04/19 / Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences / The world's oceans soak up about a quarter of the carbon dioxide that humans pump into the air each year -- a powerful brake on the greenhouse effect. Warming will cause faster recycling of carbon in many areas, and that means less carbon will reach the deep ocean and get stored there. -04/eiac-aow042419.php

29/04/2019 / Nature Geoscience / World's largest ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than expected

22/04/2019 / Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA / Faster than expected melting of Greenland Ice shelf: changes in glacier melt rates are happening sooner and faster than anticipated by models

13/4/19 / Interview with physical oceanographer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks / Record low sea ice in Bering Sea ”The projections were saying we would've hit situations similar to what we saw last year, but not for another 40 or 50 years," Set Danielson, a physical oceanographer at the University of Alaska Fairbank said. Other studies (see links) have shown that loss of arctic sea ice is associated with cascading tipping points and the potential for runway climate change.

Tipping points: ent/2019/04/arctic-climate-change-feedbackloops-cost-trillions/

3/04/2019 / Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Journal / Nitrous oxide emissions from the rapidly warming North up to 12-times higher than previously thought, since thawing Arctic permafrost is a huge source. N2O is a very powerful Greenhouse Gas, with a Global Warming Potential about 300 times that of CO2 (lifetime in atmosphere of 114 years).

Also see


5/12/2018 / / IPCC special report underplays another alarming fact: global warming is accelerating. Three trends — rising emissions, declining air pollution and natural climate cycles — will combine over the next 20 years to make climate change faster and more furious than anticipated



Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - A Regional Response


Reason for Report

1.      This report focusses on the regional response to climate change and provides the Council an opportunity to enhance its role as the regional leader with respect to climate change, now and into the future, in light of increasing evidence of the pace and scale of climate change and growing community concern.

2.      A stocktake identifies those current Council activities which contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. It includes projects the Council is leading for the regional community, as well as its corporate response to provide climate change leadership by example.

3.      The report identifies different actions being undertaken by others in local government across New Zealand, as well as recent Budget 2019 announcements, which may generate new opportunities for this Council to lead or collaborate on into the future.


4.      HBRC is the region’s key agency tasked with ensuring the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural well-being.  It is further tasked with providing for the health and safety while sustaining the potential of natural and physical resources to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of future generations, safeguarding the life-supporting capacity of air, water, soil, and ecosystems, and avoiding, remedying, or mitigating any adverse effects of activities on the environment.

5.      Accordingly, as the agency with the greatest overall responsibility for the regional response to climate change, this Council has been active for some years in response to climate change, with responsibilities under the Resource Management Act, in particular ss6(h) and 7(i), civil defence and emergency management, flood protection management, transport and biosecurity.

6.      HBRC has commissioned a range of studies on climate adaptation and coastal hazards, supported the Carbon Neutral Hawke’s Bay Project some 12 years ago and commissioned a report by Dr Sean Weaver (2017) on a climate change resilience programme.

7.      The Council’s Strategic Plan 2017-2021 includes strategic goals such as:

7.1.      By 2025, coastal hazards are being managed to meet foreseeable climate change risks to coastal communities out to 2100

7.2.      By 2030, flood risk is being managed to meet foreseeable climate change risks out to 2100

7.3.      By 2030, Hawke’s Bay has environmentally sustainable, harvestable water identified and stored or plans to be stored if required

7.4.      By 2040, Hawke’s Bay is carbon neutral.

8.      The Weaver Report and Strategic Plan informed the development of Council’s Long Term Plan 2018-2028 (LTP), Council’s work programme for the next ten years. This LTP built on actions already being undertaken and introduced some new responses relating to climate change.



9.      In recent months, there has been a growing spotlight on climate change, including a demand from young people for more leadership in this arena, and a recognition of the need for government to address adaptation as well as mitigation.

10.    Last month (May 2019), Canterbury, Christchurch, Nelson and Kapiti Coast declared climate emergencies as a response to increasing public concern. As this paper was finalised, Auckland also made a declaration.

Stocktake Summary

11.    The draft LGNZ report Local Government Climate Change Mitigation Position Paper (2018) identifies two main ways in which local government may respond to climate change: by reducing each organisation’s own emissions and by encouraging efforts to reduce emissions within their own territory or region.  The brief stocktake of HBRC activities follows this framework for both mitigation and adaptation responses.

12.    In summary, the LTP shows that Council already holds core competencies in climate change actions and is effectively leading work on a number of fronts.  However, most often climate change mitigation or adaptation is not the only or key driver for undertaking the activity; rather co-benefits are provided.

Stocktake: Mitigation

13.    There are a range of ways in which the Council is leading in mitigating the effects of climate change. The two tables following identify responses in transportation, energy and waste management and biodiversity.

Table 1: Stocktake - Mitigation Actions; Transport



Climate Change Benefit

For the regional community

Public transport

·    Bus services provided

·    Super Gold card

Reduction in

·    Vehicle emissions

·    Fuel demand

·    Regional carbon footprint


Reduction is able to be achieved because of more choice in:

·    Transport options

·    Fuel types


·    Regional network

·    Promotion

·    iWay


·    Promotion


·    App under development


·    Napier-Wairoa rail line reinstatement

As a regional leader, by example


·    E-vehicles

·    E-bikes


·    Promotion of cycling

·    Promotion of public transport


Table 2: Stocktake - Mitigation Actions; Energy, Waste & Biodiversity


·    Ethical Investment Policy – no fossil fuels

·    Reduce, re-use, recycle initiatives

·    Emission reporting ( building energy use: under development for air travel, waste, vehicle fleet)



Climate Change Benefit

For the regional community


·    Right tree, right place (under development)

Carbon sequestration


·    Wetland enhancement

·    Riparian planting

·    Erosion control planting


·    Clean heat, sustainable homes

Reduction in

·    Energy used

·    Materials used

·    Corporate carbon footprint


Reduction is able to be achieved because of:

·    More efficient resource use

·    Less waste

·    Alternative practices e.g. more skype meetings

As a regional leader, by example


·    Lighting, heating, materials, skype in meeting rooms & various other operational initiatives



14.    As an advocate, this Council has recently supported:

14.1.    Development of a Zero Carbon Bill

14.2.    A clear, coherent and coordinated national policy on climate change mitigation and adaptation

14.3.    A Climate Change Commission with an advisory role (not, at least initially, a regulatory role)

14.4.    Transition to a low-emissions economy, with a priority focus for innovation, research and development in New Zealand to achieve the 2050 national target.

Stocktake: Adaptation

15.    Adaptation to climate change is a critical leadership area for local government.  Climate change is a component of all eight of HBRC’s strategic drivers.  Whereas with mitigation, central government is often the lead agency through legislation, with adaptation, the regional and local communities are more often leading the way. 

16.    Tables 3 and 4 below summarise the main projects relating to management of the region’s natural resource base, as well as managing the use and development of natural and physical resources.

Table 3: Stocktake of Adaptation Activities - Natural Resource Base Focus



Climate Change Benefit

For the regional community


·    Irrigation efficiency, efficient allocation & use

·    Measuring flows & use

·    Security of supply projects

·    Regional freshwater security programme in Tukituki & Heretaunga

Natural resources are used in more sustainable ways, recognising climate change effects

These actions will enable community wellbeing to be sustained, now and into the future

Reduce the adverse impacts of extreme weather events, including droughts, heavy rainfall, wind and new pests and diseases


·    Erosion control, including the Hill Country Erosion Fund

·    Shade, shelter & fodder


·    Riparian planting

·    Predator-free HB

·    Pest management

·    Wetland restoration

·    Ecosystem prioritisation


·    Particulate control

·    Urban emissions inventory

As a regional leader

Monitor, inform & educate

·    Climate change predictions

·    Situation, trends

Good information improves community awareness of climate change effects, and enables individuals & businesses to better manage their own responses


·    Manage effects of resource use

·    Set bottom lines

Regional plan controls recognize and minimise the risk of adverse climate change effects, setting the parameters within which development occurs


Table 4:  Stocktake of Adaptation Activities - Human Activities Focus



Climate Change Benefit

For the regional community

Primary sector

·    Future Farming

·    Catchment modelling & management

The regional economy is better able to adapt to likely climate change, thereby sustaining the regional community

Civil defence

·    Reduce natural hazard risk

·    Readiness for hazard events

·    Reaction to any hazard event

·    Recovery

Communities within the region are better prepared & able to respond to any climate-related hazard

Climate-related hazards

·    Flood protection & drainage, including upgrade of the Heretaunga Plains Flood Protection Scheme

·    Coastal defences

·    Coastal Protection Fund (proposed)

Physical defence systems are being provided, with future investment recognising changing climate risks

Creation of a regional fund to assist with other future responses


·    Clifton – Tangoio Coastal Hazards Strategy

·    HPUDS

·    Flood assessment

·    3 Waters

Adaptations are made to where and how development occurs, including for housing and infrastructure investments

Resources are allocated effectively & efficiently to achieve long term, sustainable regional benefits

As a regional leader


·    RPS - strategic integration of infrastructure

·    Manage resource allocation & use


17.    The Council has taken a leading role in New Zealand, alongside Hastings District and Napier City Councils, by developing the Clifton-Tangoio Coastal Hazards Strategy 2120 as a staged response to considering and responding to climate change effects over the next 100 years.  The initial response (over the next 20 years) includes construction of a sea wall along the coast from Clifton, and a range of re-nourishment and control structure activities along the whole coastline. Funding requirements for future adaptations are also being considered. Future steps in the Strategy require identification of the trigger points at which the community must re-evaluate the course of action being used.  This process of community engagement is being shared as an example of best practice at a number of national fora, including the recent New Zealand Planning Institute Conference, held in Napier in April 2019.

18.    More recently, the Regional Freshwater Security scheme has received significant central government support via the Provincial Growth Fund and will enable the community to accelerate its development of short, medium and long-term solutions for creating greater freshwater security in the face of a less predictable, more volatile climate.

Opportunity: clarifying our current response

19.    As the brief stocktake above illustrates, HBRC is undertaking a range of activities which either directly or indirectly contribute to mitigation or assisting communities to better prepare for a changing climate future.

20.    As the focus on taking visible actions to address climate change increases across New Zealand, simple ways to make HBRC’s responses more transparent include:

20.1.    Elevating climate change considerations in decision-making by identifying any climate change impacts and considerations as a core requirement of any report to Council that requires a decision to be made

20.2.    Preparing an annual climate change report; summarising HBRC’s activities in mitigation, adaptation and leadership by example

20.3.    Proactively participating in (or leading) a pan-region response to climate change issues and to ensure co-ordination across agencies for regionally relevant mitigation and adaptation actions and for driving public awareness of climate change impacts.

National-level opportunities: Budget 2019

21.    The Budget 2019 identifies a number of actions which Government will lead, and which may potentially benefit the region.  Table 5 identifies major Budget initiatives and ways that HBRC may gain more leverage for Hawke’s Bay iwi, businesses and community through adopting these opportunities.

Table 5: Opportunities for Further Action Budget 2019

Budget 2019 Activity


HBRC Opportunity

Rail & sustainable transport

Green Transport Card

Making public transport more affordable for low income households

Continue to build on current Transport programmes to increase bus usage & decrease motor vehicle use

Resilient & Reliable Freight Rail System

Ensure continued use of rail to support freight & passenger movements & reduce carbon emissions

Continue advocacy to ensure that the Hawke’s Bay rail system remains resilient, & reliable

Meeting the Climate Change Challenge

Advanced Energy Technology Platform

Advocate for test & trial of new energy forms that may be useful for Hawke’s Bay

e.g offshore wind, hydrogen, solar, batteries, bio-energy, waste-to-energy

Agriculture Climate Change Research Platform

Advocate for Hawke’s Bay relevant research, preferably based within the region

Changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme

Facilitate opportunities for regional business to understand any changes, so they can make more informed business decisions

Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

Adoption of 5-yearly emissions budgets (to 2050 target) & national climate change risk assessments to inform a national adaptation plan

Update the 2004-2005 regional greenhouse gas inventory to set a new benchmark for Hawke’s Bay region

Align Hawke’s Bay regional emissions targets & adaptation programme with national targets & adaptation programme

Industry Futures

Advocate to enable Hawke’s Bay opportunities to access the Bioresource Processing Alliance & Product Accelerator for co-funding & co-development of new products or processes turning low-value biological waste streams into high-value products

Global Research Alliance to Reduce Agricultural Emissions

Advocate for Hawke’s Bay relevant research, preferably based within the region

Productive & sustainable land use

Climate Change Commission & government response

Supporting more sustainable land use & a low emissions and climate-resilient economy

Align Hawke’s Bay’s programme with any national programme

Advocate to ensure the region’s interests and issues are recognized and appropriate action is taken

Enabling the Transition in Agriculture

On the ground advice to farmers & agri-business, providing /upgrading tools to assist local practitioners

Work with all partners to enable the transition

Protect high-value food crops

Pro-active research on & management of a changing distribution of plants & animals (land use change) associated with a changing Hawke’s Bay climate

Freshwater & Transition to a Sustainable & Low Emission Economy

Support for key institutions & regulation

Work with all partners to achieve the best possible outcome for Hawke’s Bay water users.

The One Billion Trees Programme

Lowering planting barriers for landowners & improving incentives to increase tree planting

Continue to work with all partners to maximise regional benefits from this fund

Transforming the Economy

The Provincial Growth Fund

Lifting regional productivity potential

Continue advocacy to ensure Hawke’s Bay benefits in the longer term, co-benefits for climate change possible

Growing a Vibrant & Inclusive Low-Emissions Economy

Scaling up Te Uru Rākau to promote growth & sustainability of the forestry sector

Advocate for a greater regional presence to increase the value received from wood & timber resources grown in Hawke’s Bay


Regional and Local Opportunities

22.    Some regional, district and city councils have also taken more pro-active steps to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change. These opportunities are included as an attachment to this report, “Snapshot of regional and local opportunities”. The attachment does not provide an exhaustive list of all local government initiatives.

23.    It should be noted that in recent times while individual local authorities have taken the move to make climate emergency declarations, no region has made a coordinated declaration across all Councils.

Political Challenge

24.    Climate Change is described as an existential problem and it is the nature of its global pervasiveness, uncertain and uneven global impacts and multi-generational timeframes that has made progress to meet the challenge so slow. Some commentators observe that nearly every conversation had in 2019 about climate change was held in 1979 and note that “we have trained ourselves, whether culturally or evolutionarily, to obsess over the present, fret about the medium term, and cast the long term out of our minds.” Even in 1980 the philosopher Klaus Meyer-Abich, lamenting the lack of progress in preventing global warming, somewhat fatalistically observed that adaptation to climate change, “seems to be the most rational political option.”

25.    Climate change issues exacerbate the dictatorship of the present. What seems terrifyingly fast on the geological scale is unfathomably long on the human scale. Forcing others to clean up our mess is acknowledged as unfair. But preventing climate change problems requires societies to make costly investments to benefit people elsewhere in the future, thereby “swamping the machinery of morality.” Humankind places much value on the short and medium term, and very little value on the long term. We massively misprice the value of a stable climate – even though it is the platform and assumption behind trillions of dollars of investment in infrastructure, agriculture, national security and urban development. Our modern financial decision frameworks discount the value of investments/decisions whose returns occur deep into the future.

26.    However, perhaps now we have the matrix of solutions to prevent catastrophic climate change – but, as Al Gore has stated that historically ‘the central problem has always been that the maximum considered politically feasible still falls short of the minimum required to be efficacious.’ It is a certainty that a generation of politicians will address climate change in a manner consistent with the crisis. The question is: which generation?

What Next?

27.    HBRC may take a more visible climate change lead now by:

27.1.    Addressing climate change impacts and considerations as a requirement of every HBRC report requiring a decision to be taken

27.2.    Preparing an annual climate change report stating what HBRC is doing with respect to climate change mitigation, adaptation and as a regional leader

27.3.    Developing a community engagement plan, including a climate change website page for Hawke’s Bay, enabling information and actions being taken to be communicated more effectively, together with profiling of actions through various communications media

27.4.    Continuing to develop how the organisation itself ‘walks the talk’, leading by example

27.5.    Considering the benefits of making the sustainable homes funding more flexible to enable innovative solutions to achieve the same outcome (refer to the Flaxmere Solar Farm report to this committee).

28.    Staff will investigate opportunities identified within the Budget 2019 to maximise benefits for the region, including building on existing initiatives such as the 1 Billion Trees Programme and for water security.

29.    A comprehensive programme of climate change related actions, extending the current broad range of responses, will be developed for consideration by HBRC. A workshop will be scheduled in 2020 to discuss options prior to more detailed costings being prepared for the next LTP 2021-2031.

Considerations of Tangata Whenua

30.    Tangata whenua are impacted by climate change. The comprehensive programme of climate related actions will be developed with input from tangata whenua. Should Council choose to lead a Hawke’s Bay wide response, we would expect their active involvement in co-leadership.

31.    No consultation has been undertaken with tangata whenua on this matter in preparation of this report. However, it is recommended that this report be referred to the Maori Committee and Regional Planning Committee for discussion on co-leadership.

Finance and Resource Implications

32.    There is no change in financial or resource implications arising from this report. However, any broadening of the current work programme into the future will require additional resourcing.

Decision Making Process

33.    Council is required to make every decision in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act). Staff have assessed the requirements in relation to this item and have concluded:

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

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

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

33.4.    The persons affected by this decision are all persons in Hawke’s Bay, including ratepayers, residents, visitors and businesses.

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

33.6.    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 Environment and Services Committee receives and considers the “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation - A Regional Response” report.

2.      The Environment and Services Committee recommends that Hawke’s Bay Regional Council:

2.1.      Declares that it recognises climate change to be an urgent and pervasive threat to human and ecological wellbeing.

2.2.      Commits to providing an annual progress report in relation to its existing programme of work and additional future programmes relating to climate change.

2.3.      Includes climate change as a primary factor for consideration in its decision making processes.

2.4.      Commits to developing a comprehensive programme of work in response to climate change, including regional leadership for climate change awareness and action.

2.5.      Requests staff develop a programme of community engagement on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

2.6.      Directs the Chief Executive to further reduce the Council’s greenhouse gas emissions and report annually on progress within the annual progress report.



Authored by:

Dale Meredith

Senior Policy Planner


Approved by:

Tom Skerman

Group Manager
Strategic Planning





Snapshot of Regional and Local Opportunities




Snapshot of Regional and Local Opportunities

Attachment 1


Snapshot of other Regional and Local opportunities


Some regional, district and city councils have already taken more pro-active steps to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change. These opportunities are listed in Table 1 following. This is not an exhaustive list.


Table 1: Other Actions Being Taken by Local Government Agencies



HBRC Opportunity

Wellington Region

Climate Change Strategy (2015)

·      Reduce GHG emissions

·      Manage risks

·      Improve community awareness

Review Strategic Plan to provide clear focus on HBRC’s strategic approach

Highlight LTP work programme re climate change

Demonstrate implementation of strategic programme through regular reporting & communications

Waikato Region

Waste Management Strategy

Sustainable Agricultural Project

Biodiversity Strategy

Transport Strategy

Risk mitigation plans

Prepare plans to address specific risks, including for flooding, erosion and water shortage, which identify actions for HBRC, city & district councils, iwi, stakeholders & the wider community

Civil defence community action planning may provide a vehicle for community responses

Community care groups

Facilitate groups within specific communities

Civil defence actions should be included

Nelson City

Website: How we respond to climate change

Simple graphics to show the HBRC climate-change related work programme (see Figure 1 below)

Corporate sustainability strategy

Regional energy strategy

Regional soils strategy

Regional waste strategy

Co-ordinated and planned approaches to focus both internal and regional community actions, informing the development of future Long Term Plans

Social economic & environmental monitoring

Broader collection of data to inform progress and evaluate impacts of proposals across the well-beings.

Include cultural monitoring.

Wellington City

Te Atakura – First to Zero: Blueprint for a Zero Carbon City (draft 2019):

(refer to Figure 2 below)

·      Shaping our plan for a growing city

·      Getting us moving in all the right ways

·      Becoming a leader in high performance buildings

·      Giving shared mobility options a lift

·      Building a Wellington climate lab

·      Going for a zero emissions transport fleet

A wide range of initiatives are proposed in this draft, which could be picked up in Hawke’s Bay e.g.:

·      Bike & scooter sharing

·      Solar community buildings

·      Zero carbon parks

·      Mandating NABERSNZ (or  Enviro-mark)

·      Developing biofuels

·      Diet change

·      Sustainable food networks

·      Product stewardship

·      Climate certified bonds

·      Energy management KPIs

·      Connecting digitally

·      CarbonZero council

Climate Change Action Plan: Low Carbon Capital (2016)

(pre-cursor to Te Atakura above):

·      Greening Wellington’s growth

·      Changing the way we move

·      Leading by example

A range of opportunities are identified which could apply in Hawke’s Bay, including:

·      Alternatives for sewage sludge disposal

·      Advocate for lower public transport fares

·      Advocate for more support to develop biofuels

·      Use CEMARS certification to measure organisational performance in reducing greenhouse gases

FutureFit: gaming tool or people to assess & reduce their personal carbon profile

Interactive game which could be promoted for personal use in Hawke’s Bay

Climate Change portfolio leader

Councillor nominated to lead climate change matters for the region

Auckland Council

Climate Action Plan

Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri (2019) Draft

(refer to Figure 3 below)

·      11 key moves

·      7 climate action outcomes

·      Action Plan

·    Measuring progress and indicators

Informed by the Auckland Climate symposium (held in March 2019) and an Auckland Climate Independent Advisory Group

A range of opportunities are identified, which could apply in Hawke’s Bay, including:

·      Developing an interactive plan created by and for the regional community

·      Hosting a Hawke’s Bay Symposium to bring together agencies and businesses to focus on climate change awareness and actions

Environment Canterbury

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions:

·      Head office (solar roof panels, NABERSNZ star rating, )

·      Low-carbon transport

·      Single-use plastic bag ban

·      Printing efficiency

Benchmarking HBRC’s corporate greenhouse gas emissions, & reporting in future

Ideas to build on current HBRC corporate initiatives to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change integration programme (under development)

Identify & report on the suite of  HBRC projects which contribute towards adaptation or mitigation, providing a more transparent view of climate change initiatives led by HBRC, for the regional community or in leading by example

Regional Climate Change Working Group

Convene a governance group from territorial local authorities and iwi within Hawke’s Bay to lead responses

Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Climate Change Action Plan (to adopt in late Jun 2019 and launch in 2019-20):

·      BOPRC carbon footprint

·      Climate change as a consideration in decision-making

·      Services review

·      Collaborating with communities to build resilience & responses

Climate Change team

Establish a regional climate change community group

Establish a Climate Change team

Update current policies, projects and plans to reflect current climate change knowledge and best practice

Identify regional emissions targets with the community

Establish contestable funding for community-led responses

Car pool co-ordination



Figure 1: Nelson City Council

Figure 2: Wellington City Council Te Atakura (2019) Draft



Figure 3: Auckland Council Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri (2019) Draft



Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Flaxmere Solar Farm


Reason for Report

1.      This item provides the Environment and Services Committee with an option to consider partial funding of a solar farm that could supply 400 homes in Flaxmere, to reduce energy costs utilising the Heatsmart / Sustainable Homes programme.


2.      HBRC is asked to consider a proposal to provide borrowing toward a total capital project of $2.7 million to build and operate a 1MW PV Solar Farm on a 2 hectare site.  The proceeds from the sale of electricity generated are to reduce the cost of retail power to 400 low-income homes in Flaxmere and Camberley.

3.      The HBRC debt contribution will be capped at $500,000 with grant funding making up the balance. The loan would not be drawn until the fundraising target is achieved.

4.      As the proposal stands, the borrowing term would be 10 years at an interest rate of 3% given Councils access to borrowing through the LGFA.

5.      The HBRC Heatsmart programme has offered subsidized funding to encourage clean heat solutions since 2009. The 50% interest subsidy is funded by a targeted rate applied to homeowners in the Napier and Hastings Airsheds (including all homes in Camberley and Flaxmere).  Borrowing is drawn down annually for lending, and repaid by way of a voluntary targeted rate on the property.

6.      The more recent Sustainable Homes programme encourages the use of solar energy, domestic water storage and upgraded septic tanks for homes in Hawke’s Bay to become more sustainable and resilient, and is fully cost recovered, unlike the subsidized borrowing rate applied to Heatsmart funding.

7.      Power to the People (PttP) is a social enterprise developed through St Andrew’s Church Hastings.  It aims to improve the lives of approximately 1,500 people in 400 low-income Flaxmere and Camberley homes by:

7.1       reducing the electricity costs, and

7.2       promoting the use of electricity to heat homes in winter.

8.      To do this, PttP will build and operate a 1MW PV Solar Farm on a 2 hectare site.  The proceeds from the sale of generated electricity to be able to reduce the cost of retail power to the 400 low-income homes.  Installing PV panels on the rooves of low-income homes is problematic as most of these homes are rented and changes in residency occur. The current HBRC Sustainable Homes Policy is orientated towards property owners rather than residents.

9.      Central to the viability of PttP is to have very low cost of capital where $2.2M of the capital comes through grants and only $0.5M comes by way of debt.

10.    Selection of qualifying low-income homes will be done in conjunction with existing social welfare agencies who are already closely engaged with beneficiaries.

11.    The anticipated life of the PttP social enterprise is 30 years.  PttP is scalable and can be repeated once the success of the project has been proved.

12.    Power to the People has started its fundraising activities and is looking to complete this by August 2019. As such we are unable to specify the contributions other parties will make.  The entities that will be approached for contributions include:

12.1     Hawkes Bay Power Consumers Trust

12.2     Hastings District Council

12.3     Presbytery CentralEastern and Central Community Trust

12.4     Trust House

12.5     Provincial Growth Fund

12.6     First Light

12.7     Lotteries Commission

12.8     Akina Foundation

12.9     Tindal Foundation.

13.    Grant discussions have commenced with many of these entities.

14.    Power to the People is seeking to raise $2.7M in equity by both debt and grants. The debt will be limited to $0.5M, with grants making up the balance. The debt to equity ratio will not exceed 19%.

15.    The risk of setting a precedent is limited by:

15.1     PttP corporate structure being charitable trust

15.2     low debt ratio

15.3     directed to specific suburbs/low income homes.

16.    The loan would not be drawn down upon until the fundraising target is achieved.

17.    There are no perceived conflicts of interest.

18.    The PV solar farm has an economic life of 30 years.  During this period the maintenance costs are low and primarily consist of cleaning the surface of panels. The electrical invertors have a scheduled life of 15 years. All invertors will be replaced at the end of year 15.

Strategic Fit

19.    Council has agreed to borrow up to $13 million for the sustainable homes programme over the next 10 years to provide financial assistance packages to initially allow 1300 homes in Hawke’s Bay to become more sustainable, reduce energy consumption, and become more resilient in a civil emergency, on the basis of supporting individual households, rather than a commercial entity. The proposal sets a policy precedent of offering borrowing to a commercial entity at cost.

20.    Consideration should also be given to a reduction in the interest rate charged across the sustainable homes programme. The Heatsmart programme will continue to target air quality improvement until 2023, at subsidized rates, which could now include solar as a clean heat solution.

21.    The programmes will contribute to Council’s achievement of its strategic goals through:

21.1     More warmer, drier homes leading to improved health outcomes and a reduced health burden

21.2     Improved civil defense resilience

21.3     Increased energy efficiency and reduced demand

21.4     Reduced dependence on networked supply (energy and water)

21.5     Solar will assist in moving the Regional Council from the national current renewable energy level of 85% to the planned 100% in line with the Council’s strategic goal of carbon neutrality by 2040.

Financial and Resource Implications

22.    The Sustainable Homes programme is providing financial assistance to homeowners to install solar systems, to provide water storage to improve resilience in an emergency, and to replace older septic tanks. These activities are classified as a private benefit and are funded by the charging of fees, which fund the borrowing cost and administration of the programme, for those who take up the offer of Council assistance.

23.    The scheme is currently fully cost recovered (packages will be repaid through a voluntary targeted rate on the property) so there is no impact on the general ratepayer.

24.    HBRC could choose to offer discounted borrowing for community initiatives, by waiving the administrative costs sunk in the Heatsmart and Sustainable homes projects, passing on only the current borrowing rate (2.9%) through LGNZ.

25.    As the proposal stands, the borrowing term would be 10 years at 3% interest (the same as the Heatsmart programme).

Decision Making Process

25.   Council and its committees are required to make every decision in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act). Staff have assessed the requirements in relation to this item and have concluded:

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 ratepayers in the region that wish to avail themselves of Voluntary Targeted Rate funding assistance.

25.5     The decision is consistent with existing policy and plans.

25.6     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 Environment and Services Committee receives and considers the “Flaxmere Solar Farm” staff report.

2.      The Environment and Services Committee recommends that Hawke’s Bay Regional Council:

2.1       Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted Significance and Engagement Policy, and that Council can exercise its discretion 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.

2.2       Agrees in principle, and subject to acceptance by the Regional Council of a full business case and debt security being procured, to extend lending to ‘Power To The People’, to achieve the objectives of the Heatsmart and the Sustainable Homes programmes.


Authored by:                                                       Approved by:

Mark Heaney

Manager Client Services

Jessica Ellerm

Group Manager Corporate Services





There are no attachments for this report.


Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: National Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report

Reason for Report

1.      Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement (CME) is a significant tool in achieving the purpose of the Resource Management Act (RMA). Data on overall performance nationally has historically been patchy and this has led to the regional sector commissioning an independent report that provides a comprehensive picture of CME activities.

2.      This item provides an opportunity for Council to receive the report. A concise summary of the report is attached.


3.      Dr. Marie Brown of the Catalyst Group was commissioned by the local government regional sector prepare a report that would improve the availability of data on CME functions. All 16 of New Zealand’s regional and unitary councils participated. 

4.      This is the first report to provide some means of comparative evaluation of councils. The level of detail is greater than the information in the public realm from any environmental enforcement agency in New Zealand.

5.      Overall the report has found that the sector is in relatively good shape and the author made recommendations on improvements. The report highlights areas of strong performance and also areas where improvement is needed.


National Statistics

6.      The survey found:

6.1.      Staff numbers - 436 FTEs are employed in regional CME roles

6.2.      Nearly 30,000 complaints are received annually, 87% of which are responded to.

6.3.      Regional and Unitary councils monitor 92% of consents requiring monitoring.

6.4.      In response to non-compliance in 2017-18 the sector issued:

6.4.1.   905 formal warnings

6.4.2.   1844 abatement notices

6.4.3.   1289 infringement fines

6.4.4.   and applied for 21 enforcement actions

6.5.      The sector secured:

6.5.1.   114 convictions against 49 individuals

6.5.2.   102 convictions against corporate defendants

6.5.3.   The dominant offence was the discharge of contaminants.

Hawke’s Bay Region

7.      In the 2017-18 year HBRC:

7.1.      employed 10 FTEs in CME activities (now 12 FTEs)

7.2.      Received 1095 complaints (an increase of 20% over the previous year)

7.3.      Monitored 2943 consents (93.5%)

7.4.      Issued:

7.4.1.   14 formal warnings

7.4.2.   46 abatement notices

7.4.3.   92 infringement notices (64% air-related)

7.5.      Was successful in 4/4 prosecutions

8.      The National CME Report made the following statement about Hawke’s Bay.

“The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has some of the lowest levels of resourcing across the sector relative to population. Like Taranaki, express provision for the CEO to participate in decision making on prosecutions is an area of reputational risk. Information management, particularly regarding the outcomes of incident response demonstrates room for improvement”.



9.      The CME Report noted that HBRC has room for improvement around information management, particularly regarding the outcomes of incident responses. This has previously been highlighted through the audit undertaken on behalf of the Finance, Audit and Risk sub-committee and new systems have been put in place to address this.

10.    For the Committee’s information reporting back occurs through the following mechanisms to Council:

10.1.    Compliance Annual Report (18/19 report due to be presented in September 2019)

10.2.    Annual report – results are presented through the Regulation Group of Activities within the Annual Report document

10.3.    Active investigations or issues are reported to Council through the Significant Activities item on the monthly Council agenda.

11.    Internally a weekly incident report is prepared for the Group Manager which details complaints and incidents and the outcomes or progress towards the outcomes.

12.    Internally staff have established an approach whereby a media release will be issued at the conclusion of any prosecution, regardless of the outcome of the prosecution.


13.    The CME report has found that HBRC has some of the lowest staffing levels per head of population involved in CME activities. This has the potential to reduce capacity to carry out the minimum requirements within the Best Practice Guidelines developed by the Ministry for the Environment (July 2018). The average resourcing is 0.13 per 1000 population, and HBRC is at 0.06 per 1,000. HBRC has provided for additional staff through the Long Term Plan to help address this.  

14.    Other drivers for resourcing include additional legislative and regulatory instruments from central government. A recent example of this is the new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry(2018) which employs one new compliance staff member fulltime and will need a further 0.5 FTE for the 2019/20 year and beyond to meet industry demand.

15.    Council can expect there to be ongoing need for greater compliance, monitoring and enforcement staff as new consenting requirements take effect, such as the new land use consents required in the Tukituki catchment, and eventually the region’s other catchments as plan changes are completed.

Decision Making

16.    A critical aspect of the enforcement part of CME is the separation of decision making on enforcement from political input. HBRC operates in accordance with the Solicitor General’s Prosecution Guidelines that clearly outlines the separation between politically elected councillors and the enforcement decision process. This is articulated in the Enforcement Policy adopted by Council in April 2018.

17.    The hierarchy of enforcement options is reflected in the hierarchy of where the decision is made. Where the potential enforcement is a prosecution or the seeking of an Enforcement Order from the Environment Court the decision to proceed is made by the Chief Executive.

18.    The response acknowledging the input of the CE into certain decision making processes by HBRC and at least five other councils elicited a response from the report author questioning the appropriateness of these arrangements.

19.    From HBRC’s perspective it is important to have the CE involved in the final decision making on prosecutions or enforcement orders for several reasons:

19.1.    Preparation of a case for a prosecution often requires significant unbudgeted resourcing, including the use of external technical and legal advice. This can have an impact on the Council’s operating budget, particularly if costs are not awarded or recovered.

19.2.    A decision to prosecute can create a precedent for similar occasions and this may have ongoing demands for resourcing.

19.3.    Potential political ramifications for any decision to prosecute need to be managed.

Other Matters

20.    The regional and unitary council sector has been working for several years on standardising fundamental CME tasks that enable national scale data to have much stronger value due to increased comparability.

21.    As a further tool to increase consistency and sharing of best practice auditing is carried out by CME peers from other councils. This is driving the development of internal policy frameworks for CME within councils as independence, transparency and consistency are fundamental components of being a credible regulator.

22.    The ongoing development of a robust and regular reporting framework, including review and improvement of the current suite of metrics, will help drive performance improvements year on year.

23.    This framework also will better inform future reports undertaken nationally following the production of this inaugural report.

Decision Making Process

24.    Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “National Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report”.


Authored & Approved by:

Liz Lambert

Group Manager Regulation





National CME Report - Summary


Under Separate Cover



Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Update on Farm Environment Management Plans


Reason for Report

1.      This item updates the Committee on work done to date and progress towards meeting Tukituki Plan Change 6 (PC6) deadlines for Farm Environment Management Plans (FEMPs).


2.      Plan Change 6 became operative in 2015. One of the major regulatory deadlines in PC6 was the requirement for farming operations above 10 ha and some farming operations between 4 and 10 ha to have completed Farm Environment Management Plans by 31 May 2018.

3.      Another major regulatory deadline in PC6 is the requirement for production land use consents to be obtained for farm properties or farm enterprises exceeding 4 ha (some exceptions) in sub-catchments where the DIN limit exceeds 0.8 mg/L (and is measured over a five year average period) and/or the nitrogen leached from the property exceeds the Tukituki LUC Natural Capital; Nitrogen Leaching Rates in Table 5.9.1D. The PC6 deadline for the first of the resource consent requirements is 1 June 2020.

4.      The first Farm Environment Management Plan (FEMP) was received by HBRC in 2016. Council resources were focused on getting it done – and specifically on community engagement to raise awareness about nutrient and sediment management to achieve PC 6’s water quality objectives and the target date for FEMP completion by 31 May 2018.

5.      Shane Gilmer, HBRC’s FEMP Project Coordinator, will make a presentation to the Committee on the progress made on FEMPs in the Tukituki catchment, the exceeding sub-catchments and the identification of properties that exceed the LUC rates.


6.      Schedule XXII of the RRMP lists the minimum requirements for Farm Environmental Management Plans (Tukituki River Catchment). The FEMPs have been prepared on behalf of the landowners by approved FEMP providers, accredited by HBRC.

7.      During the course of the development of the FEMPs many famers have recognised that the FEMP instrument has become a platform for them take a fresh look at their farming systems and to identify actions that they will take to meet the risks posed by their farming activities to water quality. While the focus of the FEMPs is environmental risk mitigation other benefits include education about land management and profitability increase.


8.      HBRC does not receive the entire FEMP but instead receives a summary of it, including the nutrient budget. A copy of the information we receive and hold is attached.

9.      An auditing programme is being piloted to check the FEMPs which have been prepared. To date the pilot project has included these farm systems:

9.1.      cropping

9.2.      intensive irrigated finishing

9.3.      dairying

9.4.      dry stock sheep and beef.

10.    The audit assesses three key components:

10.1.    Does the FEMP comply with the Schedule XXII requirements for content?

10.2.    Is the nutrient budget accurate and robust and does it adequately address the complexity of the farm system?

10.3.    Are all environmental risks identified and are the mitigation measures adequate and are responses to the risks being addressed in the work stream?

11.    Once the pilot programme has been completed and reviewed HBRC will be asked to consider the resourcing implications for this work and one option will be the employment of a staff member to carry out audits on an ongoing basis.

12.    Further FEMP auditing will occur in two situations:

12.1.    Auditing to ensure compliance with stock exclusion rules (this is also a PC6 requirement to be in place by 1 June 2020)

12.2.    Upon receipt of a resource consent for production land use to validate information within the consent for nutrient loss and environmental mitigation.

Procedural Guidelines

13.    HBRC staff have been developing Procedural Guidelines to assist landowners covered by PC6 to better understand the implications of the plan requirement for their property or farming system. These guidelines cover:

13.1.    The methodology for estimating a nutrient budget using OVERSEER (or an alternative model approved by HBRCX)

13.2.    The process for monitoring water quality trends and alerting affected farming properties if water quality limits are being approached.

13.3.    Delineation of the “capture zone” for the relevant water body.

13.4.    Where Rule TT2 is triggered an adaptive management process for reducing nitrogen leaching from affected farming properties based on the implementation of progressively more stringent on-farm management practices.

13.5.    How effects on registered drinking water supplies are to be monitored.

14.    HBRC’s Water Quality Team, led by Dr. Andy Hicks, continues to undertake work on better understanding the DIN exceeding sub-catchments and how we can manage these to work towards a reduction in DIN levels. This work includes calculating the nitrogen over allocation at a sub-catchment monitoring site, using OVERSEER to estimate the nitrogen load from each farm, and then doing a pro-rata contribution of individual farms to waterway over allocation.

15.    Gary Rushworth is developing a water quality dashboard setting out the state of specific locations, relative to local and national targets. The first sub-catchment to go live on the HBRC website is the Papanui sub-catchment and the link to this can be found at:

Resource Consents

16.    Based on the nutrient budgets received from the PC6 FEMPs and on the 5-year average for DIN concentration in waterways HBRC staff are planning for approximately 340 new resource consents to be required by 1 June 2020.

17.    The three exceeding sub-catchments for which we have five years worth of information are the Papanui Stream, the Mangaonuku Stream and the Kahahakuri Stream. The properties in these sub-catchments (excluding low intensity farming systems) will require resource consents by 31 May 2020. We expect that properties located within the Maharakeke, Tukipo, Porangahau and the Upper Tukituki sub-catchments will require resource consents in the following years, unless DIN levels are reduced.

18.    Staff are currently finalising the consent application forms, and information guidelines to accompany them, and will begin a series of engagements with landowners in the three affected sub-catchments early in the new financial year.

Decision Making Process

19.    Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Update on Farm Environment Management Plans” staff report.


Authored by:

Shane Gilmer

FEMP Project Coordinator


Approved by:

Liz Lambert

Group Manager Regulation





FEMP Summary Form




FEMP Summary Form

Attachment 1


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Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Update on Central Government Policy Announcements


Reason for Report

1.      This report presents a brief update on the extensive number of workstreams underway by central government departments in relation to resource management legislation and policy in the pipeline. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has described 2019 a critical year of “delivery” for the Government.

2.      This report does not dive into the details of each and every one of those workstreams. In many instances, the details are simply not yet publicly available. Many of the proposals remain subject to further drafting by government officials and/or direction from Cabinet Ministers.


3.      During the second half of 2019 and into 2020, the Government will be releasing various proposals and inviting public feedback on them. Asnapshot of the notable proposals recently released or in the pipeline relating to resource management matters is attached. Some of those opportunities for feedback will be relatively formal (e.g. submissions on bills to select committees) while others will be less formal as comments on discussion documents and the like.

4.      The Government’s year of “delivery” will require an unprecedented degree of activity in the ‘statutory advocacy’ project (Project 196).  Not all of the government’s proposals will be directly relevant to HBRC’s activities and interests, but many certainly will be.  Senior staff will maintain a watching brief and remain connected with colleagues in other regional councils/unitary authorities so we may ‘share the load’ of evaluating each of the proposals as and when they are released.

5.      It is highly likely that there will be other groups and agencies reviewing the same proposals and considering making submissions. For example, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM), neighbouring territorial local authorities, iwi authorities, iwi/hapū groups, etc. Subject to timing constraints, there may be opportunities for HBRC’s interests to be incorporated into a sector submission or a joint submission with other parties who share similar interests. Staff will use existing connections to proactively scan for potential joint submissions.

What next?

6.      Where relevant and subject to Council/Committee meeting schedules, staff will prepare further advice for Councillors on these upcoming policy proposals from central government. The most notable ones will be undoubtedly the ‘Essential Freshwater Package’ (including NPSFM amendments and new national environmental standards), the indigenous biodiversity NPS and the RMA amendment bill.

7.      It is worth noting that none of the Government’s proposals can be guaranteed until it is approved and in force. A prudent approach of being simultaneously proactive, yet patient, is recommended. The recent hype around a capital gains tax was a prime example where policy announcements do not always materialise into legislation.

Additional Comments on Essential Freshwater Proposals

8.      Earlier this year, the Regional Sector Water sub-group considered the workstreams and policy options as they existed at that time. In March, Doug Leeder wrote on behalf of the LGNZ Regional Sector providing advice to Minister Parker (and shared with Ministers O’Connor and Sage) that the work programme is too ambitious and that focus should be given to particular matters.  It remains to be seen if that advice has been heeded in any way.

9.      Minister Parker has said he is “determined to put frameworks in place that will see material improvements to our freshwater in five years” and wanting “to have new rules in place by next year.”  Minister Parker has frequently lamented that it is taking too long for regional councils to have better policies and regional plans in place for managing freshwater resources.

10.    It appears highly likely that the Council’s revised programme (adopted in 2018) to progressively implement the NPSFM by 2030 will need yet another revision so that the remaining catchment plan changes are complete by 2025. To achieve that in this iteration of RMA plans, a different approach will be necessary spanning community engagement, policy development, plan drafting, as well as the formal submission, hearing and appeal processes on RMA plan changes. Time is simply not available to undertake deep and lengthy community engagement plus extensive scientific assessments etc to inform policy development so that plans are fully in place by 2025.

11.    It is also worth noting that since January, seven highly experienced staff from various regional councils have been working as secondees to MFE contributing to development of the freshwater policy proposals. That secondee initiative aimed to bring some pragmatism and coal-face expertise to the range of ideas being generated from the Government’s various working groups, firmer policy proposals and their implement-ability.  One of those secondees was HBRC Senior Planner Mary-Anne Baker.

12.    As outlined in Attachment 1, the Government proposes to present its freshwater policy proposals for public consultation in late July.

Additional Comments on Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

13.    This Bill is now in a Select Committee process after it was introduced to Parliament in April.  An overview of the Bill’s main features is in Attachment 1.

14.    In July last year, HBRC made a submission on the Government’s ‘Zero Carbon Bill Consultation Document.’ In that submission, HBRC supported many of the proposals, but did oppose the idea that the Climate Change Commission might have regulatory powers immediately from its formation. In the Bill, it does not appear that the Commission is proposed to have any regulatory authority, rather it has an advisory (recommendation-making) role to the Climate Change Minister. The Commission would also have responsibility for preparation of a 6-yearly National Climate Change Risk Assessment. The six-yearly timeframe is proposed as it lines up better with relevant investment cycle timings, including local government long term planning and land transport investment planning (both of which happen in 3-yearly cycles).

15.    Much of the remainder of the Bill aligns well with the submissions made by HBRC and LGNZ on last year’s Discussion Document. While the Bill itself does not specify any extra roles and responsibilities for local councils, the Bill does propose a new Section 5ZV which would provide the Minister with powers to request information from certain organisations, including councils and council-controlled organisations. The information would inform the Climate Change Commission’s preparation of the six-yearly National Climate Change Risk Assessments.

16.    MFE “has undertaken an assessment of the economic impacts of the proposed target options in a constrained timeframe… New Zealand is at the forefront of this type of analysis.  The [186-page Regulatory Impact Statement accompanying the Bill] sets out the full economic modelling results for baseline, current domestic target and target options 1–4.

Specific impacts (e.g. on a regional or individual household level) are not estimated. These will be calculated as part of the cost-benefit-analysis behind policies to achieve the target.

[Modelling by] NZIER indicates that with Net Zero Emissions, per household national income would still increase by 40 per cent by 2050, compared to 55 per cent if no further climate action was taken.

Modelling shows the impact of domestic climate action would be felt more strongly by lower income households, if the Government does not take action to mitigate the impacts, because a higher proportion of their spending is on products and services that are likely to increase in cost as we reduce emissions across the economy. Modelling by Infometrics for the NZIER study suggests the households in the lowest 20 per cent bracket for income may be more than twice as affected, on a relative basis, than those households with an average income.

The uneven distribution of costs across different households is an important part of the reason for taking a planned approach to ensure a just and fair transition.” (source: MFE Departmental Disclosure Statement, 2019).[1]

17.    Given that the proposals in the Bill line up very well with HBRC’s comments on the earlier Discussion Document, staff do not consider a separate submission on the Bill is necessary from HBRC. It is understood that LGNZ are currently preparing a submission on this Bill. A draft of that submission is intended to be circulated to council Chief Executives by Friday 21 June for comment. Submissions are due by 16 July 2019. There is a Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday 26 June, and only a meeting of the Regional Planning Committee (3 July) scheduled before the submission deadline.

18.    If Councillors have a different view to staff that HBRC should indeed submit on the Bill, then there will be some immediate logistical limitations to navigate if a submission from HBRC is to be drafted, and approved for lodgment by 16 July.

Decision Making Process

19.    Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Update on Central Government Policy Announcements” staff report.


Authored by:

Gavin Ide

Principal Advisor Strategic Planning


Approved by:

Tom Skerman

Group Manager
Strategic Planning





Overview of Central Government's Key Resource Management Related Workstreams




Overview of Central Government's Key Resource Management Related Workstreams

Attachment 1


Overview of Central Government’s key resource management-related workstreams  (at 1 June 2019)



Lead Ministry



Climate Change Response
(Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill




Select Committee stage.
Submissions close
16 July 2019.

Purpose of the Bill is to establish a framework which New Zealand can use to develop clear, stable climate change policies in accord with the Paris Agreement.  The Paris Agreement is a global effort to combat the effects of climate change by limiting the global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The Bill would set greenhouse gas reduction targets into law and require that future governments continue these efforts into the future. It would also:

·  set up the Climate Change Commission, an independent body that will advise and support the government to reach the targets, specifically:

o reduce gross emissions of biogenic methane within the range of 24% to 47% below 2017 by 2050, with an interim requirement to reduce emissions to 10% below 2017 levels by 2030

o reduce net emissions of all other greenhouse gases to zero by 2050

·  create a requirement that the government sets emission budgets every five years that will act as ‘stepping stones’ towards the ultimate goal of zero greenhouse gases by 2050

·  create a requirement that the government understands the risk of climate change (for example, rising sea levels) and produces plans to address these which will cover climate change adaptation measures.

This bill would be an amendment to the existing Climate Change Response Act 2002, meaning that all of the key climate-related legislation is covered under one Act.

In parallel to the Bill, MFE are overseeing preparation of New Zealand’s first national climate change risk assessment (NCCRA). The NCCRA will improve understanding of the nature and severity of the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, and enable action to adapt to climate change to be prioritised through the national adaptation plan.

Work to respond to a number of the other recommendations from the Climate Change Adaptation Working Group (not covered in the Climate Change Response Bill) are being overseen by an inter-agency Community Resilience Group led by the Department of Internal Affairs.  The CRG’s work has five workstreams:

·  information to better support decision-making

·  enhanced use of risk assessment

·  alignment and adequacy of regulatory frameworks

·  ensuring effective insurance and risk markets.

The potential role of national direction such as a national policy statement to assist councils in the management of risk (natural hazards and climate-related) is part of this work programme.

Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities Bill

Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD)



Select Committee stage (for first Bill).

Submissions close
11 July 2019.


Further Bill to be introduced late 2019.

Legislation was introduced to Parliament on 29 May 2019 to establish Kāinga Ora―Homes and Communities (previously known as the Housing and Urban Development Authority (HUDA)). It will consolidate three existing agencies; Housing New Zealand, its subsidiary HLC and parts of the KiwiBuild Unit. The Bill also sets out the operating framework for Kāinga Ora―Homes and Communities and states that strategic direction will be provided to the organisation through a government policy statement.

Once established, Kāinga Ora―Homes and Communities will be “a one-stop-shop with a job description to build modern homes and vibrant communities” says Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford.  “It will have a strong social mandate, including being a fair and reasonable landlord and recognising the importance of environmental, cultural and heritage values in urban development.”

“Partnerships are critical to the future success of Homes and Communities, which will work alongside local government, iwi, infrastructure providers and property developers,” Phil Twyford said.

According to a MHUD factsheet, “Kāinga Ora―Homes and Communities will partner with councils on developments of all sizes. A range of partnership models will be available to enable Kāinga Ora―Homes and Communities and councils to work together on urban development. In the case of specified development projects, Kāinga Ora―Homes and Communities must seek agreement from relevant councils as part of the establishment process. It will also be able to enter into agreements with councils around providing and funding infrastructure and public facilities as part of these projects.”

It would appear much of Kāinga Ora’s work would be with city and district councils in their respective urban areas.  There may be some involvement from regional councils as providers of infrastructure services and asset managers in those urban areas.

Kāinga Ora will be established through two separate pieces of legislation. The Bill introduced in May will bring together the three agencies. A second Bill intended to be introduced later this year will give Homes and Communities its enabling development powers.

Following the Select Committee process, the first Bill is expected to pass later this year, with Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities up and running on 1 October 2019.

Resource Management Act Amendments – Phase One



Late 2019

A Bill is being drafted, but yet to be referred to a Select Committee and opened for public submissions.  Bill largely focusses on reversing changes made through the 2017 RMA amendments, particularly in relation to resource consent decision-making. It will also introduce some changes to assist with technical problems, strengthen the enforcement tools, and provide Environment Protection Agency enforcement function under the RMA.

RMA Amendments – Phase Two




Second phase of amendments is not so well developed as Phase One, but it will address some broader issues about the overall resource management system.  Details and scope of the Phase Two reforms are not yet available.

Review of Walking Access Act 2008

Ministry for Primary Industries


17 May to 2 July 2019 – public feedback from organisations and individuals involved in access to the outdoors.

The Walking Access Act 2008 (the Act) is about providing free access to the outdoors for walking and for types of access that may be associated with walking, such as access with firearms, dogs, bicycles, or motor vehicles.

MPI is reviewing the Act and they want to hear views about what’s working well and what could be improved.


Freshwater Package


Lead Ministry



‘Essential Freshwater’ package

(incl NPSFM amendments and
new NESs)



Public consultation late July to Sept 2019 (Subject to Ministerial approval)

The work programme's three main objectives to achieve by 2020 are to:

·  stop further degradation and loss to NZ’s freshwater and achieve improvements within five years

·  reverse past damage and promote restoration activity to bring NZ’s freshwater to a healthy state within a generation

·  address water allocation issues – working to achieve efficient and fair allocation of freshwater resources, having regard to all interests, including Maori, and existing and potential new users.

Broadly, the package is mooted to feature a number of policy proposals, including:

1.     at risk catchments (in two workstreams being national level information and ‘exemplar’ catchments)

2.     improving management practices and managing intensification of rural land use (such as regulation of high risk activities, intensification and stock exclusion)

3.     allocation frameworks

4.     strengthening and clarifying the Te Mana o Te Wai framework for freshwater management

5.     Freshwater investments (i.e. use of Crown funding for freshwater projects).

6.     Amendments to systems and processes for developing freshwater policy in RPSs and regional plans by 2025.

7.     Additional requirements for monitoring, reporting and managing within several new attributes for water quality.

These proposals are likely to be delivered principally in the form of a revised National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) and a National Environmental Standard for Freshwater Management (NES-FM).  The amended NPS-FM will be the fourth time it has been amended since first coming into force in 2011.

According to MFE, the revised NPS-FM is intended to improve regional planning by ensuring all aspects of ecosystem health are managed, and give direction on how to proceed where there is uncertainty. It is also intended to clarify and simplify the NPS-FM.

The proposed NES-FM is intended to provide clear and specific direction on resource use, in particular where rapid action is required.

Some of the issues being considered in the development of the NES and NPS are: 

·  how to strengthen Te Mana O Te Wai as the framework for freshwater management

·  how to better provide for ecosystem health (water, fish and plant life)

·  how we can better protect wetlands and estuaries

·  ways to control high-risk farming activities and limit intensification

·  support to improve farm management practices.

Alongside this work, government officials are making progress with the mapping of vulnerability, risks and pressures in each catchment across New Zealand. This is likely to be shared as part of the consultation. In addition to the NPSFM and NESFM, the policy proposals will be complemented by some tailored amendments to the RMA for making freshwater planning more agile, plus increased Crown investment in freshwater projects, decision-making support tools and research and supporting water-users to transition to better practices (as announced as part of the 2019 ‘Wellbeing’ Budget).

MFE officials have also begun work on a system for allocating nitrogen discharges.  As regional councils set limits for nitrogen, a system will be required to allocate who can discharge and how much. Any such system has to provide for new entrants and the development of underdeveloped land. There are a number of complex issues to resolve and MFE advises it will take time to develop a system so councils will be kept informed of this developing workstream.


Other NPSs, NESs and Resource Management Regulations


Lead Ministry



NES for Marine Aquaculture

(Fisheries NZ)


Mid-late 2019

Developing a proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture. Consultation with the public and iwi authorities on the proposal occurred in mid-2017. Government departments have developed final policy recommendations which are currently with Ministers for consideration before a Cabinet decision to proceed to drafting the regulations. Potentially a final NES gazetted in late 2019.

The initial 2017 proposal aimed to:

·  address variations and regional inconsistencies in processing replacement permit applications for existing marine farms

·  reduce New Zealand’s exposure to biosecurity risks

·  enable better use of space within existing marine farms

·  improve environmental outcomes.

Review of NES for Human Drinking Water Sources



Cabinet decisions
~July 2019

Partly informed by Three Waters’ review workstream.  More information to be revealed in 2019. [Refer separate report on HBRC Environment & Services Committee agenda 19 June 2019 on Three Waters Review]. 

In short, a Cabinet briefing paper on strengthening the regulation of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater is in progress, with Government decisions expected in July.

National Planning Standards 2019 (Form, Function & Style)



First Set in effect from April 2019.

Further sets TBA.

The purpose of the national planning standards is to improve consistency in plan and policy statement structure, format and content.  When releasing the first set of planning standards ion 5th April 2019, Environment Minister David Parker said the move would reduce compliance costs and address criticisms that RMA plans are unduly complex. The new planning standards do not determine local policy matters or the substantive content of plans as that remains the responsibility of local councils and communities.

Different timeframes apply to different planning standards and different local authorities.

·  all councils must meet basic electronic accessibility and functionality requirements by May 2020.

·  regional councils have three years to adopt the standards for their regional policy statements, and ten years for their regional plans (i.e. by April 2022 and April 2029 respectively).

·  unitary councils have 10 years to adopt the planning standards.

·  city/district councils generally have five years to adopt the planning standards, with seven years for the definitions standard. A smaller group who have recently completed a plan review have seven years to make changes, and nine years for definitions.

If a council undertakes a full plan review within these timeframes the new plan must meet the planning standards when it is notified for submissions.

There are also different timeframes for online interactive plans. Regional councils and unitary councils have 10 years to comply with the requirements (i.e. by April 2029).

Review of NES for Air Quality




The current Air Quality NES regulations came into effect on 8 October 2004.  They are made up of 14 separate but interlinked standards.  These include:

·  seven standards banning activities that discharge significant quantities of dioxins and other toxics into the air

·  five standards for ambient (outdoor) air quality

·  a design standard for new wood burners installed in urban areas

·  a requirement for landfills over 1 million tonnes of refuse to collect greenhouse gas emissions.

The National-led government had initiated a review of the NES with particular focus on standards for ambient outdoor air quality and domestic woodburners.  Officials are continuing assessment of policy options and relative benefits and costs.  The Review remains subject to further Cabinet decision-making during 2019-20.

NES for Outdoor Storage of Tyres




Draft NES was released in 2017 and further revisions are being considered in response to issued raised in submissions.  Revised NES potentially in place by end of 2019, subject to Cabinet decision ~July 2019.  While the original draft NES placed much of the responsibility for implementation on city and district councils, issues under re-consideration may involve a shift of implementation to regional councils.

NPS for Indigenous Biodiversity
[and NZ Biodiversity Strategy]




Public consultation
late 2019

On 25 October 2018, Associate Minister for the Environment, Nanaia Mahuta, publicly released the Report of the Biodiversity Collaborative Group. Central government has been engaging with Maori, Regional Councils, Territorial Authorities and other relevant stakeholders to test the workability of the draft NPS.  Minister has already announced that the NPS will be drafted with a focus on terrestrial biodiversity and not cover marine or aquatic biodiversity. Further policy analysis is being undertaken. Subject to Ministerial approval, expect an opportunity for public feedback on the indigenous biodiversity NPS mid October to mid December.

The proposed NPS-IB is likely to recommend identification of Significant Natural Areas, as well as coordinated restoration of land, wetlands and depleted environments.

Meanwhile, DOC officials engaged in early 2019 with iwi and stakeholders to understand goals and ambitions for a new strategy for NZ’s Biodiversity. DOC is developing a framework for the new strategy which will ultimately replace the existing NZ Biodiversity Strategy adopted by the Government in 2000.  In terms of timing, officials have indicated the Draft Strategy would be released for comment prior to submissions on a draft NPS being invited.



Lead Ministry



NPS for Highly Productive Land



Public consultation July to Sept 2019 alongside proposed NPS-UD
(Subject to Ministerial approval)

MFE & MPI officials are working together to develop a proposed NPS for highly productive land.  According to MFE (June 2019), “the NPS-HPL would provide councils with greater clarity on how highly productive land (including versatile soils) should be considered in RMA decision-making. The NPS-HPL intends to address the gradual reduction in availability of this resource for primary production, as well as to manage fragmentation and reverse sensitivity effects. The NPS-HPL would initially apply to all LUC1-3 land across New Zealand, however regional councils would be required to undertake a process to identify highly productive land in their region based on a set of criteria.

The proposal would provide direction for councils to:

·  recognise and provide for the full range of values and benefits associated with the use of highly productive land for primary production 

·  maintain the availability of highly productive land for primary production for future generations

·  protect highly productive land from inappropriate subdivision, use and development.

Absolute protection will not always be appropriate. The proposal provides clear direction that urban development should be avoided on highly productive land where better options exist. Councils would be given flexibility to avoid unduly constraints to their urban development objectives.

Further work is expected to progress in 2020 to address declining soil health as a result of past and present agricultural practices. This timeframe will allow the Essential Freshwater programme to develop, which will address overlapping issues. This work is likely to focus on:

·  soil contamination

·  soil compaction

·  erosion.”

Proposed NPS for Urban Development

MFE & Ministry of Housing and Urban Development


Public consultation July to Sept 2019 alongside proposed NPS-HPL
(Subject to Ministerial approval)

A proposed national policy statement on urban development (NPS-UD) is being developed as part of the Government’s Urban Growth Agenda. The proposed NPS-UD would replace the existing 2016 NPS on Urban Development Capacity.  The intention is to build on the existing NPS-UDC by strengthening existing policies and broadening its focus.  According to MFE (June 2019), the new NPS-UD “should help councils make decisions about creating room for growth, both up and out, in suitable areas. Some of the proposals in the NPS-UD would apply to all urban areas that are expected to experience growth. Other proposals would be targeted only at larger cities.

New elements in the proposed NPS-UD include directing councils’ planning decisions to:

-   support quality urban environments  

-   recognise the benefits of urban development and the needs of all current and future communities

-   strengthen long-term, strategic (spatial) planning

-   address a number of the barriers to Māori involvement in council processes and reflect Māori values and interests in urban planning decisions

-   direct more intensive development, particularly around centres and transport networks.

[MFE] are also looking to simplify the evidence-based requirements of the existing NPS-UDC and improve their usefulness for planning.”

Under the existing NPS-UDC, Napier-Hastings area is classified as a ‘medium growth’ area. As a consequence of that medium growth status, the NPS-UDC requires monitoring and quarterly reporting on a range of housing and business land development indicators.  Past housing and business market indicator monitoring reports are published at\resources.

Proposed NPS for natural hazards




Understood to be part of the inter-agency Community Resilience Group’s work programme led by DIA.  Details are very limited.


Other things of particular relevance…


Lead Agency



NZ Productivity Commission – Inquiry into local government funding and financing

New Zealand Productivity Commission


Draft report released in June 2019. 

Final report to Government by 30 November 2019.

In June 2019, the Productivity Commission is due to release a draft of its report.  The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference describe the scope as:

“the inquiry would examine the adequacy and efficiency of the existing local government funding and financing framework. Specifically the inquiry will investigate: [cost pressures; funding and finance models; and the regulatory system], but out of scope are “particular mechanisms for rating of Maori freehold land and Crown land; the valuation system and practices; and substantial privatisation.”

In November 2018, the Commission had published an issues paper for this inquiry into local government funding and financing.  That issues paper briefly described local government in New Zealand and how funding and financing currently works. It asked questions about current pressure points and ways that councils can manage cost pressures. It invited feedback on options for future funding and financing tools.

The Commission is aiming to present its final report to the Government by 30 November 2019.



Lead Agency



The 2019 ‘Wellbeing’ Budget



30th May 2019

The 2019 Wellbeing Budget was delivered by the Finance Minister Hon Grant Robertson on Thursday 30 May.

Some parts of particular interest to local government regional sector/HBRC include:

a)   A Sustainable Future:

o Support for farmers, growers and councils to make “positive land use changes”. The $229.2 million package invests in projects to protect and restore at-risk waterways and wetlands and provides support for farmers and growers to use their land more sustainably.

o provides funding (no $ amount specified) to accelerate actions that improve water quality in at-risk catchments and wetlands. Addresses capability gaps and inconsistent practices across regions regarding rules implementation. This includes support for improving consistency between councils, better compliance and enforcement, better engagement with Māori, and improving scientific knowledge to inform plan development.

b)   The Provincial Growth Fund (continues)

c)   Essential Freshwater Work programme – phrased as a non-spending initiative, the website says “In October 2018, the Government launched an Essential Freshwater Work Programme to stop further degradation and loss, reverse past damage and address water allocation issues. These will be achieved through a new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and a new National Environmental Standard for Freshwater Management, among other things.”

d)   Sustainable future initiatives part 2 (some have very limited info)

o Climate Change Commission and Government response: providing funding ($42.7m operating, $0.4 capital) to establish key institutions and regulations and ensuring the Government has the resources to deliver on its obligations and commitments.

o Enabling agriculture transition: funding ($122.2m operating) for: on-the-ground advice to farmers; supporting Māori agribusiness; information, tools and advice to support farmers making change to more environmentally sustainable and higher value production; improving on-farm emissions data and upgrading decision and regulatory tools; and protecting high-value food exports and updating our official assurances system.

o Freshwater and Transition to a Sustainable and Low Emissions Economy: $64.3 million operating funding to establish key institutions and regulations.

o Reforms to RMA

o Strengthening the Integrity of the Environmental Management System: $30.5 million operating, $3.9 million capital. This initiative will enable NZ to better manage economic and urban growth within environmental limits. This will be done through providing funding for comprehensive reform of the resource management system and the improvement of implementation, compliance and enforcement of National Direction (how resources are managed under the RMA).




e)   Meeting the climate change challenge: includes things like ETS changes and the Zero Carbon Bill.

f)    Unlocking Whenua Māori: investment in an advisory service for Māori landowners to help them develop their land. Hawke’s Bay is not one of the initial focus regions (which are Gisborne/Tairawhiti; Northland/Te Tai Tokerau; and Waikato-Waiariki/Waikato; and Bay of Plenty).

g)   Supporting Māori Crown relations and Treaty settlements: stipulates operating budget (probably for Māori Crown relations agency - Te Arawhiti) for various activities related to completing Treaty settlements and ensuring Crown land is in a decent state for redress.

Also seems an increase in research and development funding across a few areas for transitioning NZ’s economy to more climate change friendly activities and technologies.

‘Environment Aotearoa 2019’

MFE and StatsNZ



Report released April 2019

On 18 April MFE released Environment Aotearoa 2019 in partnership with StatsNZ. The report provides a health check on NZ’s environment, identifying the top nine issues that we currently face.

The report also contains a section on strengthening the knowledge and reporting system. It suggests more could be done to make better use of the knowledge system – particularly by aligning, coordinating and leveraging efforts across the many organisations involved.

MFE’s environmental reporting programme is currently being reviewed by the Parliamentary Commissioner of the Environment. PCE’s recommendations are expected towards the end of the year.

MFE’s Marine Environment 2019 report is their next report, due to be released in mid-October with updated data.

National Climate Change Risk Assessment (NCCRA) and

Interim Climate Change Committee Recommendations


June 2020


MFE are currently developing New Zealand’s first national climate change risk assessment (NCCRA). It will improve our understanding of the nature and severity of the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, and enable action to adapt to climate change to be prioritised through the national adaptation plan. It will provide a national overview of how various hazards and threats may be influenced by climate change, and identify significant risks for New Zealand. 

The first step towards producing the NCCRA is to develop a framework that enables a broad range of risks to be systematically compared. An expert panel will develop the framework by the end of June 2019, along with guidance materials to help assess climate change risks at a national level.

MFE will use the framework to commission the first NCCRA, with work scheduled to begin later this year and completed by the end of June 2020. MFE have indicated that will be working closely with local government as they develop the NCCRA.

Interim Climate Change Committee Recommendations

Last year, the Government asked the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) to look into how to set up a system to reduce agricultural emissions – focusing on the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), because this is the way all other emissions are managed in New Zealand. 

The ICCC delivered their recommendations to MFE in April, and the Government is considering its response.
MFE says councils are unlikely to be strongly impacted. This is because the focus on the ETS as a policy tool does not involve implementation by councils. However, as the aim is to reduce on-farm emissions, there is a link to regional councils’ work with on-farm environmental management.



Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Sustainable Homes Update


Reason for Report

1.      To provide the Environment and Services Committee with information about the Council’s Sustainable Homes programme.

2.      To advise on programme base rate borrowing changes, and anticipated activity for 2019-2020.


3.      The Sustainable Homes programme was approved as part of the 2018-28 Long Term Plan to encourage homes in Hawke’s Bay to become more sustainable and resilient. Policy and criteria were approved at the council meeting held on 26 September, approving recommendations made at the Environment and Services committee on 5 September.

4.      The Heatsmart programme which started in 2009 has transitioned to become part of the Sustainable Homes programme, which provides funding to support ratepayers across the region, promoting energy and water use efficiency.

5.      In summary, this year the programme has been designed and implemented, is meeting an increasing demand, and has a growth trend that is likely to continue with the introduction of lower interest rates as an incentive.

Strategic Fit

6.      Council agreed to borrow up to $13 million over the next 10 years to provide financial assistance packages to allow 1300 homes in Hawke’s Bay to become more sustainable, reduce energy consumption, and become more resilient in a civil emergency.

7.      The programme contributes to Council’s achievement of its strategic goals through:

7.1.      Improved water quality resulting from the reduction of leachate from septic tanks that need replacement, evidenced by SOE water quality reporting and the number of tanks replaced 

7.2.      Continued improvement of air quality to meet WHO standards as stated in the Strategic plan, utilizing the heatsmart grant and subsidized interest in the airsheds

7.3.      Increased number of warmer, drier homes leading to improved health and reduced health burden

7.4.      Improved civil defence resilience

7.5.      Increased energy efficiency and reduced demand, with reduced dependence on networked  supply (energy and water)

7.6.      Solar will assist in moving HBRC from the national current renewable energy level of 85% to the planned 100% in line with the HBRC strategic goal of carbon neutrality by 2040

7.7.      Reporting progress on outcomes to the Environment and Services committee annually.

Performance to Date

8.      From September to November the programme planned, sourced and contracted with 55 local suppliers to provide and install 7 products under the programme: Clean heating, Insulation, Ventilation, Double Glazing, Water storage, Septic Tanks and Solar.

9.      Media were engaged and publicity material, information sheets, application forms and service agreements were made available to all suppliers and published on a new Sustainable Homes hub on the HBRC website. The first applications were received in October ‘test bedding’ the administration process, procedures and paperwork.

10.    The programme was promoted coordinating radio, newspaper, website and Facebook in April showing via google analytics of webpage views for Heatsmart during April 2018 (1840) compared with (7570) Sustainable Homes during April 2019 showing that the new web hub, along with the radio ads, social media posts, e-signatures and posters, all worked well to boost the following page views.

Sustainable Homes Hub Page





















11.    The budget, based on the $13m approved over ten years assumed a ‘bell curve’ pick up as people became aware of the programme.

Borrowing and forecast volumes

12.    The current Voluntary Targeted Rate (VTR) for the programme is cost plus 6% interest which includes administration costs of approximately 1%. The Heatsmart interest rate is subsidized by 50%, funded by a targeted general rate in the airsheds. The VTR has a cost plus interest rate of 3%

13.    Given recent lending rate reductions and a shift to LGFA for borrowing, it is proposed to lower the current interest rates on 1 July 2019 to 4% for Sustainable Homes funding and 2% for Heatsmart funding. While the LGFA rates are variable (currently 2.9% for four years, 3.5% for ten years) the proposed level will cover costs and include an administration component. Lowering the rate will be an incentive for increased volumes. Experience has shown a significant number opt for an early payback on term, reducing the need for external borrowing.

14.    The volumes per month are increasing for sustainable homes, with forecast for year end June 2019, and 2019-20 as follows.

VTR Type

2018-2019 Actual Volumes

2018-2019 LTP Budget $000

2019-20 Forecast Volumes

2019-20 LTP Budget $000

Double Glazing





Water Storage





Septic Tanks





Clean Heat 6





Solar PV





Solar HW















Note:  Insulation and clean heat volumes will be included in clean heat reporting for 2018-19, and incorporated into Sustainable Homes reporting to the Environmental and Services Committee in 2019-20.

Decision Making Process

15.    Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Sustainable Homes Update” staff report.


Authored by:

Mark Heaney

Manager Client Services


Approved by:

Jessica Ellerm

Group Manager
Corporate Services




There are no attachments for this report.


Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Waitangi Horseshoe Wetland Update


Reason for Report

1.      This item provides the Committee with an update on progress with the new wetland at Waitangi Regional Park.


2.      A new wetland at Waitangi Regional Park is aimed at providing another haven for fish and birdlife. It is also aimed to increase the amount of habitat in an important whitebait spawning area. The new 15 hectare wetland is next to the 6 hectare Horseshoe Wetland created in the regional park in 2009.

Fig.1: Location of the new wetland in proximity to the Horseshoe Wetland. The confluence of the Ngaruroro and Tutaekurī rivers can be observed in the background, along with the fish passage connection in the foreground.

3.      A partnership approach is funding the construction of the new wetland in the flood plain of the Tutaekurī and Ngaruroro River near the coast at Awatoto. The project partners are Te Wai Mauri Trust (which has obtained Te Wai Māori funding), Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Inc, Napier Port and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council which is managing the project.

4.      Improving mahinga kai (traditional food gathering sites) habitat for species such as eel, flounder, whitebait, is another of the key outcomes of the project. The wetland will also provide a home for bittern (matuku hurepo), endangered wetland birds, and other wading birds. The Waitangi estuary and three rivers create one of the most important ecosystems in Hawke’s Bay and the area is considered a biodiversity hot spot.

5.      The project is running to budget with income from Ngāti Kahungunu ($30K), Napier Port ($10K), Te Wai Māori funding ($60K) and HBRC contribution of all project management and design at cost.

Progress Update

6.      Planning for this wetland has been over 15 years in the making. The construction works started in January 2019 with kaumatua clearing the way with karakia, alongside whānau, council and key project partners. Two mauri stones were buried, one representing manu and the other representing fish species. 

Fig 2: Dawn karakia prior to construction commencing.

7.      Leading experts in wetland habitat construction and fish passage have collaborated to design the outlet between the wetland and the Tutaekurī backwash, which forms a series of pools and swales giving fish a chance to rest before progressing further. HBRC scientists along with John Cheyne and Hans Rook have played key roles in the design and detail of the wetland, including the native planting plan.

Fig.3: Outlet and fish passage channel 1 of 3 ponding areas.

8.      Construction of the wetland, including the 1.5km bund and 3 islands for secure bird nesting and biodiversity was completed within the 2 month construction period in March 2019. The shaping of the internal area of the wetland was undertaken by creating a gentle channel through the middle of the wetland to allow for a longitudinal flow through the wetland, improving water movement and ultimately water quality.

Fig.4: contours showing the gently sloping topography with excavated areas (red), bund and island features (green) overlaid.

9.      A number of site visits with key stakeholders have been carried out since the start of the project.

Fig. 5: HBRC Chairman Rex Graham, councillors and ecology advisors view the construction plans during construction of the wetland.

10.    A Planting Day was held on 01 June 2019 with about 200 volunteers gathering at the site for a safety briefing, a ‘best practise’ description on how to plant the 3,000 native plants effectively, some hard work for about an hour and a sausage sizzle around the new planting. This was promoted through the HBRC channels in conjunction with The Great Give on social media. The day was a great success and enjoyed by many remaining to picnic well after the event concluded.

Fig. 6: Volunteer planting of one of the 3 islands 01/06/2019.


Fig. 7: Drone image of the volunteer planting of the largest of 3 islands.


What’s Next

11.    The wetland is due to be flooded, beginning early July 2019. It is anticipated the flooding process will take 2 months, but this will be monitored and managed by use of a continuous water level monitoring device.

12.    Another 3,000 bull rush plants (Bolboschoenus fluviatilis) will be planted around the edge of the wetland once bulbs are collected. Whānau of the Wiohiki hapu have offered to be involved in this gathering of bulbs and planting exercise.

13.    HBRC Open Space officers are working with members of the Waitangi Shooters Association who have offered to assist with trapping operations in and around the wetland.

Decision Making Process

14.    Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Waitangi Horseshoe Wetland Update” staff report.


Authored by:

Russel Engelke

Team Leader Open Spaces

David Carruth

Manager Regional Assets

Approved by:

Chris Dolley

Group Manager
Asset Management




There are no attachments for this report.


Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Landscape Scale Ecological Restoration on the Mahia Peninsula


Reason for Report

1.      This item updates the Committee on the development of staff considerations about a proposal for an integrated approach to achieving a Te Mahia vision.


2.      Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is currently very active on the Mahia Peninsula. The quantum of work underway and the breadth of things being worked on offers an opportunity to look beyond a project by project approach to what might be achieved through better coordination of work, and integrating the priorities and aspirations of the community into that work.

3.      It is important to state upfront that this paper is conceptual. No formal or structured tangata whenua or community consultation has been undertaken to date. True partnerships with tangata whenua in particular are based in the co-creation of ideas and concepts and their development to action on the ground. This approach is also appropriate for the wider Mahia community. This paper is intended to be an exploration of the potential opportunity that exists at Mahia through a more coordinated and qualitative approach to our implementation efforts, where the aim is to achieve multiple, mutually beneficial outcomes rather than in pre-determining the pathway now.

4.      Integrated Catchment Management has been used to describe a myriad of catchment based approaches to dealing with land and water issues and trade-offs. There are three broad groupings to the way the title has been used to describe what the integrated bit of the catchment management approach represents. Council staff are working across all three approaches in varying ways, depending on the catchment:

4.1       Integrating both water quantity and quality issues in the planning and approaches used to achieve objectives

4.2       Looking at the catchment-wide range of drivers and issues that contribute to the state and value of our waterways and taking an integrated approach to their management through better targeted and coordinated action, greater investment and improved data

4.3       Taking a more whole of landscape/community view to the management of a catchment, while equally empowering the community through their ability to influence, participate, kaitiakitanga and possibly ultimately own the kaupapa itself.

5.      Having a Chair in Integrated Catchment Management, locally based, offers HBRC a significant opportunity to explore and quantify, among other things, the relative advantages and disadvantages of taking different approaches to both our policy setting and our work with communities at a local scale.


6.      Mahia has a proud and vibrant community with a proven track record of getting things done and working together on a variety of different kaupapa. The Whangawehi Catchment Management Group (WCMG) is a prime example of this work which continues to set a national benchmark in the way they have worked together to achieve environmental results.

7.      There are other great examples too. The organisation and preparation of the Tuia 250 celebrations in December to be held at Mahia, and the speed and efficiency with which the Mahia Maori Committee have been able to collectively coordinate and build the kaupapa across the local marae. The Mahisian Wave Warriors bring significant attention to the issue of suicide in the local community offering a support network and outreach through a shared knowledge of surfing, which extends to their current efforts in fund raising for a local skate park, for all children and families to use.

8.      Working with this community requires real collaboration where participation is based on tikanga, and respect and on equal terms. There is a strong desire for kaitiaki and local self-governance of projects like the Whakatipu Mahia.

9.      The Mahia Peninsula, or more appropriately Te Mahia-mai-tawhiti, includes the isthmus and coastal villages of Mahia Beach, Oraka, Māhanga and Opoutama. It is an area of rich ecological significance and diversity and is steeped in a deep cultural and contemporary history. From its significance as the actual hook of Maui and the key role Rongomaiwahine Iwi had in the provision of refuge in the histories of other iwi during time of war. Early European arrival and settlement from whaling to fishing and farming and now to its present prominence as the New Zealand’s equivalent to NASA!

Areas of significance and current work

10.    There is currently a significant amount of activity occurring across Te Mahia. Figure 1 highlights the location, coordination and different funding sources for on-ground projects over the last 12 months. This work includes:

10.1     The continuation of the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group’s activities and their efforts in building wider land holder support across the Peninsula undertaking environmental works and participating in projects. The WCMG are currently seeking support and funding for the creation of a formal walkway along the Whangawehi River, with interpretative signage and walker facilities.

10.2     At Onenui Station the Freshwater Improvement Fund Project is reducing soil erosion in several smaller catchments on the southern end of the Peninsula. This includes the recent Nga Whenua Rahui covenanting a significant amount of bush and a proposal to do an additional 200 ha. There are also aspirations for the protection of the coastal cliffs and focused predator control for Shore Plover protection.

10.3     Taiporutu catchment work – this collection of Erosion Control Scheme projects was a coordinated effort by members of the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group, five landholders and HBRC to fence and protect 130 ha of the catchment.

10.4     The work with landholders on the western side of the peninsula along Kinikini road in supporting their environmental works and investments. Significant areas of land have been retired from grazing recently, including an additional 55 ha of land for Manuka honey production.

10.5     Mokotahi – with the recent enhancement to the walking track and its most recent prominence as the engagement place of our current prime minister, what role is HBRC likely to have in the longer term management of this popular and iconic public land reserve?

10.6     The wider Mahia isthmus is an area of significant opportunity and challenge for WDC, Department of Conservation (DoC) and HBRC. With the relatively rapid growth in residents and economic activity and the stresses this has created on the existing three water and roading infrastructure, there is a need to balance the demands of the community, while minimising the impact of this growth on the highly unique and valuable ecological and cultural assets all along the isthmus. Work is currently occurring using our Ecosystem Prioritisation Fund to protect a 32 ha of wetland on the isthmus. There is also a significant opportunity to extend the WCMG approach into this area to help work through the range of issues and challenges to enhancing and protecting this area.

11.    There are other issues that are currently a concern to the community and the achievement of a wider integrated view for Mahia including:

11.1     The recent fecal indicator bacteria breaches at a number of popular swimming sites at Opoutama, Oraka and Māhanga.

11.2     Vehicle access along the inter-tidal platform from Aurora Point to the Taiporutu stream and the preservation of access to kaimoana for many people who live outside of the takiwa.

11.3     Existing protection of endangered species such as the Shore Plover, (Sand country fauna and flora), and the opportunities eradicating predators from the Peninsula brings with the potential re-introduction of a variety of species.

11.4     Coastal erosion, feral goat predation and the impact of this on the coastal and marine habitat. Eradication of goats in not fully supported by local landholders. A number of existing land owners well remember when goats played a critical role in providing income at times when they otherwise would have struggled to continue financially, thereby enhancing their farm systems resilience.

11.5     The widespread infestation throughout the takiwa of wilding pines, pampas, blackberry, and gorse.

12.    Ecosystem Prioritisation - Mahia Peninsula contains over 50 Ecosystem Prioritisation sites, making this peninsula one of the biodiversity hot spots in Hawke’s Bay. Ecosystem types represented include Tawa-kohekohe-titoki-podocarp forest, cliff vegetation, and coastal treeland/ herbfiled/ rockland. All of these ecosystems are classified as “Threatened” with less than 20% of their original extents remaining in the region. Mahia Peninsula supports some of the largest remnants of these ecosystem types.

Figure 1

13.    Whakatipu Mahia – is a large scale pest and predator eradication project focused across the Mahia peninsula. It will bring the opportunity to eradicate possums and significantly reduce other predator pests. In addition this multi partner project includes investment in education and engagement, research, and species management alongside key funders Maanaki whenua and DOC. The project has created interest in a broader outcome for the peninsula and offers the potential to create a number of opportunities for Rongomaiwahine, the land owners and broader community of Mahia. It will also complement the range of planting and sustainable land management initiatives on the peninsula.

14.    The wider coordination of this effort and these projects to ensure synergies and alignment with both Council’s and the wider communities aspirations for the whenua.

A wider vision

15.    Within the Mahia-mai-tawhiti rohe and the wider Te Mahia community there is acknowledgement that there are opportunities and potential for a variety of other projects and initiatives to bring cultural, social and economic benefits to the whanau and community of Te Mahia. Particularly alongside the environmental enhancement work currently in action.

16.    As identified in the WDC Economic Development Report – Whakarauora. “There are opportunities that exist in becoming New Zealand’s first sustainable rohe, expressed as Whakaruaora or Regeneration (of the sky, land and water, her people, their authentic traditions and culture)… A region of environmental excellence, biodiversity and community guardianship” (WDC 2019).

17.    The are obvious opportunities for a managed and value added approach to the use of the whenua at Mahia which could include;

17.1     Mahia’s obvious potential as a popular tourist destination. With an estimated 15,000 people in the area for New Year celebrations in 2018-19, there is the potential for greater engagement and participation in the local kaupapa with the existing residents, holiday makers and tourists all of whom could become project participants, financial contributors or simply friends (& beneficiaries) of the “Te Mahia vision”. For example Mahia Beach residents have already enquired into how they might help the predator control effort within that community. 

17.2     Utilising the momentum and skills of the Whangawehi Catchment Management Group and their brand and reputation (now recognised internationally), to support other local communities on their own pathways to environmental enhancement and protection.

17.3     How the creation of further environmental work, alongside the development of skills and training for whanau in undertaking that work, might enable greater employment opportunities for the local community. From the provision of plants for on-ground works, from locally available sources, to the offering of formal environmental management cadetships in collaboration with other agencies and entities.

17.4     There are multiple opportunities for incorporating matauranga knowledge and learning into the kaupapa and the ability for mana whenua to kaitiaki within their rohe.

17.5     Leveraging off ecological and cultural riches of Te Mahia – from potential kiwi reserves, the marine environment, coastal dunes and wetlands, the Mahia scenic reserve and Whangawehi walkway, the rich cultural history, stories and experiences available to build a greater package of opportunities for visitors to the area.

17.6     How the Te Mahia vision proposition might position itself into the future is a kaupapa in itself. Members of the WCMG are currently investigating how they might leverage off their existing efforts as a contemporary agro-ecological farmers to add value to their products and farming approaches.

Next steps

18.    A variety of ideas or views have been put forward as to how a “wider vision for Te Mahia” might be realised. Note, that these have only been gathered from a very small representation of the wider community and include:

18.1     The need to support the community’s desire to manage their own projects for example the Whakatipu Mahia project, and the exploration of potential partnerships and governance arrangements to work collectively on mutually beneficial projects or priorities.

18.2     The incorporation of local schools and marae into the wider kaupapa being a critical feature of any future work and aspirations.

18.3     The use of the Erosion Control Schemes internal Partnerships and Innovation grant fund, to engage support to build a shared vision and understanding of local aspirations.

18.4     To seek clarity on what is important to the community through hui and Wananga.

18.5     To identify key cultural, social, economic and ecological assets of most importance to the community and establish the work required for their enhancement or protection.

18.6     To employ a full time coordinator for the wider Te Mahia work to ensure the work is managed and coordinated 

18.7     Look for obvious overlaps and common ground within the different work strands for greater collaboration and opportunity for realising multiple benefits

18.8     Seek further funding for this work. In particular the opportunities that currently exist within the 1 Billion Trees, partnerships fund. That has funding available for catchment group approaches and training and skill development.

18.9     Identify priorities and where best to integrate HBRC actions to optimise investment and benefits accrued from that of Council funding through the development of a wider Te Mahia strategy, the use of our existing data sets and remotely sensed data and regular governance meetings.


19.    For the Regional Council there are clearly benefits and potential efficiencies in better coordinating and aligning our existing work streams at Mahia.

20.    This item updates the Committee and considers how the work currently occurring on the Mahia Peninsula could be integrated and extended in collaboration with the Mahia community to contribute to a broader vision for Te Mahia. There is an opportunity to leverage other social, cultural and economic benefits, through a more coordinated and considered approach.

21.    Any long term vision or aspiration needs to originate from the community first for it to realise its potential, particularly at Mahia. This item is not intended as a template, rather a starting point for korero on the hui and wananga to come.

Decision Making Process

22.    Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and considers the “Landscape Scale Ecological Restoration on the Mahia Peninsula staff report.


Authored by:

Nathan Heath

Catchment Manager (Wairoa/Mohaka)

Campbell Leckie

Manager Catchment Services

Approved by:

Iain Maxwell

Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management




There are no attachments for this report.


Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Catchment Management and Erosion Control Scheme update


Reason for report

1.      This item provides an update to the Committee on the Catchment Management team’s key outputs achieved in the 2018-19 financial year and work planned for the 2019-20 year.


2.      The Long Term Plan for 2018-28 has put us on a clear path to plant more trees, lose less soil to waterways, target cleaner water and a healthier marine environment and better biodiversity.

3.      The Hawke’s Bay Afforestation Programme is an HBRC initiative that seeks to help address three of the four focus areas of the HBRC Strategic Plan 2017-2021, being; water quality / safety and certainty of supply, healthy and functioning biodiversity, and smart sustainable land use. This programme is intended to incorporate both commercial and non-commercial activity designed to control soil erosion within the Hawke’s Bay Region.

4.      The programme allows for the provision of grant funding through the Erosion Control Scheme (ECS) non-commercial activity. Investigation of the commercial viability of the larger fund (Right Tree, Right Place Afforestation project led by HBRIC) is still in development.

5.      The Hawke’s Bay Afforestation Programme aims to plant not less than 2000 ha per annum. Whilst it is anticipated that most of that planting will be achieved via commercial mechanisms, the ECS aims to contribute to that target by providing attractive and readily obtainable incentives for controlling erosion in those areas not suitable (or not desired) for commercial afforestation.

6.      Council has committed $30m over 10 years





















How do we deliver this?

7.      Catchment Management’s primary role is to work with landowners on highly erodible land and establish erosion control plans then assist landowners apply for grant funding through the Erosion Control Scheme to complete any mitigations outlined in their plans.

8.      The team’s success is to be measured on the amount of additional hectares of highly erodible land planted in trees (target of 2,000 ha per year), and kilometres of riparian margin protected annually to reduce sediment, nutrient and / or bacterial contamination of water (target of 100km per year).

9.      Over the past year there has been significant change with our Catchment Management team created requiring staff structural changes, a new grant policy and the development of internal operational procedures and tools to meet these ambitious targets and make a real difference in our environment. In addition we have also sourced external funding to maximise this opportunity (Hill Country Erosion Fund and 1 Billion Trees Fund).

10.    Additionally, as Council will commit significant investment into works on the ground, we are seeking innovative ideas and partnerships that will also contribute to accelerating change. Therefore as part of the grant policy an Innovation and Strategic Relationships Fund was created to allow us to partner with others and to incentivise external parties to come forward with proposals that support Councils vision.

11.    Further to the above we have conducted a North Island wide Poplar and Willow pole review and conducted a ‘health check’ of our nursery. The purpose of this is to better understand the North Island pole production requirements in order that strategic consideration of nursery development can occur. We want to be able to better understand the ability of north island pole nurseries to upscale production, and to identify potential efficiency gains across the regions to do so.

Reorganise the team

12.    The reorganisation provided the staff structural adjustments by splitting the existing Land Management team into three zones to better service our communities. Land areas in the three zones are shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Regional Map of Catchments and Zones

13.    The Land Management staff that pre-dated the creation of the Catchment Management Team were a team of 11 staff. Now the Catchment Management team is a team of 20 staff, which will increase to 27 by 2023 with our LTP provisions and additional resourcing through the Hill Country Erosion Fund. This meant some staff were promoted, some relocated and additional staff recruited to fill the resourcing gaps that existed. Naturally, this transition took time as staff revised their focus from previous years and developed new working relationships.

14.    Our current structure.

Southern Coasts / Tukituki

Mid-Hawke’s Bay

Northern: Wairoa/Mohaka

Catchment Manager

Catchment Manager

Catchment Manager

Team Leader

Team Leader

Team Leader

1 Senior Catchment Advisor

2 Catchment Advisors

1.8 Senior Catchment Advisors

1 Catchment Advisor

2 Catchment Advisors

Administrator (part time)

Administrator (part time)

Administrator (part time)


Project Manager -Environmental Hotspots



Water Management Advisor (part time)



Technical Advisor (Water Information Systems)



15.    The ECS Policy was signed in July 2018 by Council. This provided direction on what Catchment Management were to deliver. The ECS has been established with the intention of achieving its stated objectives at both scale and pace. The policy has been specifically structured to drive early uptake but allow for prioritisation as demand meets or exceeds supply.

ECS Operating Manual

16.    This manual provides the operational and administrative processes and procedures required for Council to manage the ECS grant funding.  Following this, staff were needed over several months to collectively define how to deliver this scheme, from purposeful engagements through to producing Erosion Control Plans with mitigations for landowners and applying for grant funding through our scheme. An operating manual was required to provide clarity to staff on processes, roles and responsibilities to ensure consistency in the delivery of the scheme.

17.    In October 2018, an interim operating manual was produced. This is when staff started hitting the ground knowing they had big targets to meet come June 2019, although at this stage no supporting tools had yet been developed. Although now we have some tools in place they are still in their infancy, and some are simply interim tools to get the job done and to enable satisfactory reporting.

ICT Tools

18.    Staff continue to work with the ICT team on long-term solutions to improve efficiencies that will provide improved management and visibility of the ECS investment. Background development of new tools and processes have and will continue to take significant time to provide these benefits in the longer term.

Engagement Strategy

19.    A well-structured engagement and marketing strategy is critical for this programme to successfully connect with landowners across the region. Understanding attitudes towards environmental business practices, current behaviours, future intentions and motivators are key success factors.  This is currently being established.

External Funding

20.    The HCE Fund is a partnership between Regional Councils, erosion-prone land owners and MPI. It aims to protect vulnerable hill country in our most erosion prone regions through implementing sustainable land management practices. It is managed by Te Uru Rakau in MPI and is part of the One Billion Trees programme. The total value of this project over 4 years (2019-2023) is $10million, of which MPI are contributing $5Mil. The fund consists of additional staff, works on the ground, monitoring, and capability building within HBRC and externally for advisors and landowners. The HCE is strongly tied to the ECS as the focus of the work is the same and the funds will be administered simultaneously.

Erosion Control Scheme - Planning and prioritising for the region

21.    Approximately 252,000 hectares of Hawke’s Bay hill country has been identified through SedNet modelling as being at high risk of erosion. These results are used as a guide for assisting staff to identify potential areas of highly erodible land. These results have been split into the three zones to help with planning and prioritisation of their work.

22.    Land eligible for funding under this scheme must:

22.1     Fall within the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council boundary or fall within a catchment that directly contributes sediment into the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council boundary

22.2     Have, or be likely to have, an average sedimentation yield rate of 1000 Tonnes/km2/Yr or greater

22.3     Have an Erosion Control Plan in place that meets pre-established HBRC requirements.

23.    Catchment Managers may exercise discretion in treating areas of land that are not identified by SedNet as having a high risk of erosion, but can reasonably be expected as being so, using an alternate and recognised means of assessment.

Table 2.  Risk of sediment loss, based on SedNet

24.    As per the above map and table, although the Mid-Hawke’s Bay area has the largest land area, the North/Wairoa zone has the largest area of erodible land based on our SedNet modelling. While properties in the North are larger and fewer than in the other two zones.

25.    While SedNet shows less erodible land in the South than in the Mid-Hawke’s Bay zone these results should be treated with caution. A land use capability analysis shows more erodible land in the South, and other tools give different results. As mentioned above, SedNet provides us with ‘good initial guidance’ of priority areas to visit. Other erodible areas will exist outside of those defined by SedNet. This is why on-farm engagement to identify issues and solutions at the farm or paddock scale is important.

26.    The ECS, led by ICM’s Catchment Management teams, is enabling targeted tree planting and other erosion control tools to be delivered on highly erodible land that is agreed in partnership with landowners. The ECS is a key tool for the ICM teams to engage with and support landholders with land at high risk of erosion.

27.    The table below provides expected outcomes from the scheme as it develops. Quantification of these outcomes cannot be reliably provided at this early stage of the scheme as too many assumptions would have to be made on the likely mix of future works. Appropriate monitoring will be set up to provide assessment of whether outcomes are being met.

Measuring Success: Erosion Control Scheme –Target Outcomes

28.    We have identified short-term, medium-term and long-term qualitative outcomes for this scheme to be successful.  We are currently reviewing our existing monitoring programme to assess our ability to measure progress to ensure outcomes are being met.

29.    Long-term (20+ years) outcomes.

Improved Fresh and coastal water regionally


·    Reduction in Sediment - improved overall clarity and improved habitat indicators

·    Reduction in water temperature

·    Increase in MCI (bugs)

Improved Soil Conservation regionally


·    Increased ha’s of un-vegetated, erodible land under tree cover or % of catchment under cover

·    Soil health improvements through ha’s of reversion and GMP

·    Soil Quality

Increased Biodiversity and protected Ecosystem sites regionally



·     Increase in area of indigenous ecosystems

·     Improved condition of indigenous vegetation under management – as measured by one or more of the following; a) increase in diversity and density of seedlings and saplings, b) reduced in density and diversity of plant pests, c) where exotic species are dominant in given tiers of forest or given site (e.g. wetlands), increase in dominance of native plant species in those tiers/sites.

·     Connectivity between indigenous ecosystems are improved, enhanced, or restored as measured

·     Increase in MCI (bugs) and/or Ecosystem Health score (developed by Sandy and other RC)


30.    Medium-term (10 years) outcomes.

Reduced concentration of sediment in streams where ECS works have occurred


·    Reduction in Sediment

·    Reduction in water temperature

·    Increase in MCI (bugs)

Reduced concentration of e-coli in streams where ECS works have occurred


·    Swim through Summer - Reduction in presence of e-Coli

Increase in land use change incorporating more land cover


·    Increase in farm woodlots or erosion protection plantings

·    Land with new vegetation as a result of ECS works (ha)

Increase Biodiversity from ECS scheme areas.


·    Improved condition of vegetation – Indicators [Bio 1 and 3] above could be used for medium term outcomes.

·    Regular presence of indigenous fauna


31.    Short-term (5 years) outcomes.

Increased targeting of ECS works to highest erosion risk areas


·    Location of ECS planned, committed and actual works

Increased riparian protected areas


·    Riparian planted waterways (m)

·    Stock exclusion from waterways (m)

Increased land cover


·    Increase in farm woodlots or erosion protection plantings

·    Land with new vegetation as a result of ECS works (ha)

·    Stock exclusion from high risk of erosion land (fencing km)


Increased landowner engagement and commitment to treating erosion


·    Increasing enquiries specifically about the ECS

·    Increase in grants committed and spent

·    Number of landowners who have funding approved through HCEF, 1BT funding schemes.

Added protection to Ecosystem Prioritisation sites as a result of ECS works


·    Number of priority ecosystem sites that ECS is working on

·    Area of indigenous vegetation that has been fenced (excluding Ecosystem Prioritisation sites)

Increased Landowner awareness of priority Ecosystem sites

Indicators biodiversity

·    Number of Ecosystem Prioritisation sites that ECS is working on

·    Number of landowners who engage with HBRC to protect priority ecosystems.

Improved means of monitoring biodiversity


·    Development of a National / Regional Biodiversity Monitoring programme

·    Funding allocated towards an agreed monitoring programme

Points of Note

32.    The target outcomes depicted here are those that HBRC intend to monitor and Indicator. A wide range of benefits beyond what HBRC intend to monitor are expected from this scheme.

33.    Italics text depicts current metrics reported to Council. It is anticipated that advancements will be made with monitoring technology increasing efficiencies and HBRC’s ability to monitor at a greater scale.

34.    This scheme aims to deliver additional land cover in moderation. The objective is not to blanket cover the landscape but to build resilience in farming environments.

FY18-19 What We Achieved.  Erosion Control Scheme Regional Outputs FY18-19


35.    As at 7 June 2019, we have approved 70 Erosion Control Plan applications.  Please note Year’s two and three are indicative only.


Year One

Year Two

Year Three

ECS Budget FY18-19





Planting Seasons

Planting Seasons

Planting Seasons

Council’s Grant Fund (up to 75%)




Landowner Contribution (25%)




Erosion Control Plan Project Costs Total




Council’s total expenditure




Grant Fund (up to 75%)




Strategic Relationships & Innovation Funds (up to $350k)




Establishment Costs










36.    Poplar and willow pole sales from the nursery for soil conservation work have shown a large increase this year. Last year 9000 poles were sold outside of the region. This year all 28,000 3m poles have been sold within the region. These sales were also locked in 2 months earlier than usual. These poles are expected to protect 560ha of land.

37.    There are currently 50,000 Riparian plants ordered through the Riparian Plant Programme – this is a 50% increase from last year.

Innovation and Strategic Relationships Fund ($350k p.a. maximum)

38.    This fund is available to Council to support the objectives of the ECS. This financial year we have used the majority of fund to cover our scheme establishment’s costs, which include project management, our communications and landowner engagement strategy and minimal legal advice to be a cost of $280,996.

39.    We have contributed the following external parties using this fund:

39.1.    Manuka Farming - Report on Honey Supply Chain $15,000

39.2.    SFF Grazable Shrubs project – HBRC contribution $15,000

39.3.    EKOS - Carbon Management Services: Hawke’s Bay Restorative Forest Carbon Programme Pre-Feasibility Assessment and Roadmap Sean Weaver $5,000.

Beyond ECS:  Other Catchment Management Regional Outputs for 2018-19




Balance Farm Environment awards

Participation and contribution in all judging teams, encouraging entrants, organising group, awards evening, winner’s field-day and sponsorship.

Promotion and greater awareness of farming exemplars, case studies and integration of environmental, economic, human, community and economic aspects of sustainable farming

Strategic relationships and Primary industry liaison

Support to select and set up Beef and Lamb, Patoka monitor farm

Joint winter grazing, good practice campaign with Beef and Lamb and other councils.

Participation in Fonterra Big Day Out

Meetings and communication with Fonterra on 50 catchments project

Input into central government policy development in relation to intensive grazing practices (3 meetings)

Consistent messaging across primary industry groups and HBRC on environmental issues and solutions.

Promotion of on-farm environmental work and careers to high school students

3 Hawke’s Bay Catchments selected by Fonterra for contribution of investment.

Desired development of policy that is practical, enforceable and targeted to the issues.


Dryland  Eucalypt

Managing Annual clovers in dryland

Smart tools and tips for irrigators

Development of resilient solutions for dryland farm systems.

Key messages to overcome barriers to uptake of good irrigation management

Overseer nutrient budgeting model

Participation in national regional council Overseer workshops x4. Hosted one in Napier.

Contributed feedback to Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report on Overseer (3 interviews and provided written material)

Provided feedback to influence Overseer development priorities that will be targeted to the needs of users to help manage nutrient issues.

MPI 1 Billion Trees Workshops

Participated in workshops

Leveraging other funding streams outside HBRC to achieve increased work.

Carbon Farming Workshops

Organised 1, contributed to one

Greater awareness of opportunities among landowners. Increased planting for multiple benefits.

Development of background tools, systems and processes to support the ECS

This has required a high level of time input over the past year

Staff time is used more effectively to deliver outcomes and meet targets

Hill Country Erosion Fund Application

Secured $5 million in funding over the next 4 years

Boosted activities and resources across the region for Erosion control

Lessons learnt and opportunities for improvement

40.    In many areas there has been a high level of enquiry about funding schemes. Initial eligibility has been broad to drive uptake. Staff time has been absorbed in dealing with these enquiries. We need to manage general communication and promotion to enable us to get to priority target areas. The communication strategy work will help achieve this.

41.    Increased subsidy levels have not usually resulted in increased orders of space planted trees for soil conservation, due to farm system constraints. There is a maximum area which can be locked up from grazing in any year to allow for tree establishment. It has however, been successful at attracting interest from a greater number of people this year.

42.    Catchment Management have a target for 100km of riparian protection. The Erosion Control Scheme (ECS) allows for funding riparian work in areas where enough erosion is present. In erodible areas, staff time spent developing an Erosion Control Plan (ECP) can include recommendations for riparian planting and access to funding.

43.    Catchment Management have run a riparian plant programme again this year to provide plants at a reduced cost to landowners for any riparian work, including for reasons other than erodibility. Future growth of this scheme will require the logistical time requirement to be handled by the Riparian business unit once established. There is currently no additional staff time left for landowner engagement on riparian issues in areas that are not erosion priority areas. Staff anticipate that Government announcements relating to the Essential Freshwater programme will influence our role in this area.  We are waiting for these to be confirmed before considering what, if any, further investment is required in this area. There is work currently underway to examine options for native plant procurement across HBRC activities.

44.    As an interim measure and to pilot landowner engagement on riparian issues, the Mid-HB team will hire a contractor to promote this work in a section of the Karamu.

45.    Completion of supporting tools for the ECS and development of business units to handle the logistics of supply are still required to reduce the administrative burden on staff and further increase efficiency. This will still take time in the 2019-20 year. However business needs have been clearly identified and several strands of work are underway to address these.

46.    To improve prioritisation, we will look to break funding allocation into two funding rounds to ensure ECP funding applications can be assessed against each other for appropriateness and value. This will be particularly important as the fund reaches maximum subscription levels.

47.    To maximize benefit from the tools and data at our disposal to ensure we are looking to protect existing and identified council and community investments e.g. ecosystem prioritization sites, QE11, especially where they overlap SedNet areas.

48.    Erosion is the current focus and will be the reason staff go out to a site, however landowner engagements could focus on identifying opportunities to maximise water quality improvement across the range of Sustainable Land Management activities. The activity(s) providing the greatest water quality benefit could be identified and targeted in order of priority, even if that turns out to be an activity other than erosion. A new policy and funding may be investigated to include those additional works.

Health and Safety options for around-farm transport needs further investigation of alternatives to help minimize the risks to staff. This is currently under review.

49.    Future thought needs to be given to potential development of other packages of funding to address gaps that exist between the ECS and sources of funding for works other than erosion control which exist within and outside HBRC.

Zone update: Northern/Wairoa

Present Context

50.    The boosting of staff numbers in the Wairoa office has certainly benefited our ability to get more work done on the ground. Our greater presence in the community has also resulted in a significant increase in demand from a variety of groups for advice, support and to deal with issues. This increased community demand has put significant pressure on staff to balance the needs and workloads of delivering on the ECS and supporting the community.

51.    Wairoa is a unique part of the country. At 63%, the Wairoa district has the highest proportion of the population that are Maori in New Zealand. With the recently signed deed with Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa, 6 different Iwi, 38 marae and a number of different entities and trusts. It has been a big but rewarding job in building relationships with tangata whenua. The challenge for Council going forward will be how best to engage and consult tangata whenua on their issues and aspirations at a local level. There are often multiple Maori entities who have a stake or interest in many of the natural assets in the district and seeking support from mana whenua can be complicated. Tangata whenua have strong aspirations to be actively involved in any catchment planning process and for matauranga māori to be incorporated into the planning and decision making. Failure to address this is likely to challenge the legitimacy of resulting plans by the community. 

52.    Wairoa is currently going through a bit of resurgence and there is a significant sense of optimism in the community, with the recent treaty settlement and economic development report leading to a number of opportunities for the town being discussed and considered. Equally there has been significant increase in the communities concern for the state of the Awa. The Wairoa waste water system upgrade, the legacy effect of the Waihi dam, concerns around forestry slash, and streambank erosion threatening number of urupa and marae, have also resulted in a strong and vocal voice seeking action for addressing these issues.

53.    Wairoa’s comparative advantage is in its natural and cultural capital and there are multiple sites throughout the district that have significant ecological and cultural value. There is an acknowledgement by the community that our work in the hill country controlling erosion is critical to the long term improvement in the state of the districts waterbodies. There is also an expectation by the community that HBRC will also start addressing the other issues as well such as the faecal indicator bacteria exceedances at a number of swimming sites in the summer (Opoutama, Wairoa River, Oraka, Nuhaka). Indeed in the recently completed Economic Development report highlights that the restoration and protection of these assets and the incorporation of tangata whenua kaitiaki aspirations and matauranga into their restoration has the potential for realising significant socio-economic benefits for the community.

Erosion control scheme

54.    Staff have done really well this year to achieve the targets that they have. With a relatively inexperienced team, dealing with the legacy effects of our previous roles, the challenges of relocating and housing the additional staff in the office and the often competing demands on our time as described above. We lost Erica Smith in April to Te Uru Rakau in Southland, and have 2 additional staff members joining the team to support the delivery of the ESC over the next 3 months. We did benefit significantly from work undertaken particularly by an external contractor project manager, for environmental projects, Nicolas Caviale-Delzescaux in the Taiporutu catchment on Mahia Penninsula in enabling us to get several large projects underway relatively quickly.

55.    Through the Hill Country Erosion Fund we will also have an additional staff member who will be based in the Gisborne District Council office but will work exclusively in the Hangaroa and Mangapoike catchments (2 sub-catchments of the Wairoa river, that are in the Gisborne District). ECS funding will also be made available to landholders in this area. We are also currently looking at extending our existing network of people able to provide support to the ESC locally by having “approved providers” also able to design erosion control plans and create projects, and sub-contracting some of this work out.  This approach has advantages around flexibility and allows trusted people within the community to broker our work.

56.    There is certainly a pattern emerging in the district with landholders preferring to undertake smaller more localised projects (comparatively larger than those of the Central and Southern zones). These are taking a long time to administer both as we improve staff capability in providing appropriate soil conservation advice but more so from landholders changing their minds or considering other approaches, resulting on some properties being visited more than 5 times to get works underway.

57.    Wairoa has the greatest area of highly erodible land in the region with over 30% of the district identified through SedNeT as yielding 1000T of sediment per km2. There is certainly an expectation by staff and the community that Wairoa should receive a significant proportion of the current funding available to address the districts erosion problem. Naturally this will be realised by the willingness or not of landowners to engage on the issue and take the funding opportunities in front of them. The community acknowledge there is an erosion issue and more could be done to reduce the sedimentation problem.

58.    There is however significant concern within the community that the current drivers of the carbon price, the prospect of the emissions trading scheme, the perceived incentives for afforestation currently available and the issues of addressing districts erosion problem are leading to the loss of what is regarded a prime agricultural land to broad scale forestry. Over the last 9 months 7 farms totaling 10,000 ha have gone into forestry or as a carbon investment. The communities concern is that if this continues to go unchecked the impact on employment, the town and its services will again further decline. Wairoa has had waves of afforestation efforts over the last 50 years, and the town has not been able to capture the associated benefits from forestry for employment given the relatively transient nature of the forestry industry around Wairoa at the moment. With only 1 forestry gang residing in the town. Companies tend to favour using gangs from outside of the district and logs are taken elsewhere to be milled or shipped, yet Wairoa is left with the roading damage, water quality issues and slash associated with forestry harvesting.

59.    There was a widespread suspicion amongst landholders that the ECS is contributing to this afforestation through the grants and incentives, and it has taken time to differentiate the grants purpose from those promoting broadscale afforestation.

60.    The team is currently working with a group of concerned landholders and an external consultant to better understand and quantify the communities concerns around afforestation, but equally to progress the conversation of what is the right tree, for the right place for Wairoa? Through our Whakaki Pilot project (discussed later), we are also working to better quantify the impact and costs associated with non-afforestation approaches to addressing the erosion problem and what social, economic and cultural benefits could also realised through the quantum of work required to address the issue.

Activity and Projects for the 2018-19 Financial

61.    Part of Catchment Management teams function in Wairoa is to better integrate Council activity to optimise our collective time and resources. This has no doubt bought a number of additional benefits for HBRC, particularly with regards to our relationship with Wairoa District Council. Our involvement is outlined in the table below.

HBRC Integrated Catchment Management Support

Compliance team

·  Retaining wall fencing in Wairoa river

·  Application of effluent at Blucks Pit Road

Asset Management

·  Nuhaka River Road realignment

·  Matiti Marae repatriation

·  Iwitea Culvert replacement

·  Wairoa Playground retaining wall

·  Hine Rauiri stream opening

·  Whakaki (Rahui channel) opening

·  Tuahuru marae drainage

·  Manutai marae streambank erosion

·  Ruataniwha marae – streambank erosion

·  Wairoa River cultural impact assessment

Biodiversity & Biosecurity

·  Meeting with Biodiversity team and WDC re: Ecosystem prioritisation

·  Whakatipu Mahia project team



·  Safety beacons at Mahia Beach

·  Complaint around large ships anchouring in local mataitai.

·  Mataitai marker restoration

·  Tuia 250


·  2 x Outstanding Freshwater Bodies planning meetings

·  Initial conversation on Catchment planning in Wairoa and Mohaka Plan Change


·  Periodic water sampling


62.    Increased staff presence has also resulted in a significant increase in our community engagement and involvement in local issues and projects. A significant proportion of this is outside of normal working hours and staff have been generous in their support of these events. In addition to a number of the activities outlined earlier in this report, staff have engaged with the following stakeholders.

Primary Sector

·  Ravensdown Fertiliser meeting – July

·  Beef & Lamb – working together and direction & research proposal for Whangawehi Catchment (Nov)

·  Wairoa Federated Farmers sub-branch AGM – May

·  AgResearch (Sustainable Farming Fund Project – One Winter, Two Springs)

·  Wairoa A& P show exhibitors

·  East Coast Farming Expo exhibitors

·  Fonterra Big Day Out planting day support provided in Wairoa.


·  Presented to Environment Southland Councillors on use of systems thinking in Catchment Management (Dec).

·  Wairoa District Council – at least weekly contact

·  Te Uru Rakau & MPI – regular discussions about 1BT program, Hill Country Erosion Control Fund project and local 1BT projects.


·  Whangawehi Catchment Group

·  Nursery opportunities meeting (Sep)

·  Sustainable Homes meeting (Feb)

·  Wairoa Community Ngahere Nursery AGM (Aug)

·  School planting day – Wairoa riverbank (Aug)

·  Meeting with Wairoa Native Plant Growers/Nurseries (Aug)

·  Maori Carbon Foundation Hui (Sep)

·  School camp – talk to children – Taiporutu Stream (Dec)

·  Mahia Beach Clean-up – Seaweek (Feb)

·  Presentation at Wairoa Sea Week Expo (Mar)

·  Wairoa College – SHMACK kit & Mohaka catchment presentation (Apr)

·  Ohuka Discussion Group meeting

·  McRae Trust AGM

·  Tree Focus Group Meeting

CRI/National Bodies

·  One Billion Trees working group meeting (August)

·  Our Land & Water (OLW) National Science Challenge – Presented at the Next Generation Leadership forum (August)

·  Policy Implementation workshop – Manaaki Whenua (August)

·  AgResearch & Te Tumu Paeroa – Discussion around Taikura Nuku (Sep)

·  Presented at the OLW National Collaboration workshop (Feb)

·  Poplar & Willow Trust

·  National Science Challenge: DSC Seminar #8 | Climate-resilient Māori forestry and agriculture (Jul)

·  MPI Mahia meeting (Mar)

·  Attended International Rivers Symposium with Whangawehi Catchment Group and visited Landcare Groups in Southern NSW, North East Catchment Management Authority & local Farmer groups

·  Farm Planning Meeting at Bay of Plenty Regional Council

·  Farm Forestry field days.


63.    As mentioned earlier, there has been a significant amount of engagement with tangata whenua in the Wairoa district over the last 10 months. This has been important in building trust and better channels of communication with Council. There is no doubt that there is a requirement for significantly more effort with this work, in particular in the consultation of tangata whenua in a number of different issues and opportunities to do with catchment planning.

64.    The tangata whenua engagement since 1 July 2018 and outcomes of that engagement are outlined below.

Organisation or entity


Outcomes or follow ups

Wairoa District Council Maori Standing Committee

Representative from the 9 takiwa

Attend monthly meetings and present regular updates with follow ups from previous meetings.

Wairoa Taiwhenua Inc.

All members

Several meetings to discuss Outstanding Water Bodies Plan and Afforestation. To update on tangata whenua engagement and local activities.

Tātau Tātau O Te Wairoa

Representatives of TTOTW, including Leon Symes (Chair), & Apiata Tapine

Awa restoration discussions and affected party approval for Whakakī Freshwater Improvement Fund consent

Waikaremoana Tribal Authority

Waikare Kruger – General Manager

Have followed up several issues and organised for a HBRC sustainable homes representative at the Whanau Hakinakina day

Māhia Māori Committee

Representatives of the 6 Marae

Regularly attend meetings and provide updates on HBRC activities and local issues like Tuahuru drainage, Māhanga Hine Rauiri stream opening, installation of water safety beacons at Mahia Beach through Kaiuku marae, repair and painting of mataitai markers, inter-tidal platform signage and brochures. On the Tuia 250 organising committee.

Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust

Several discussions with representatives of the Raupunga community water supply committee and Putere Lakes & Te Awaawa stream project teams (Bonny Hatami & Theresa Thornton) and have met with Kuki Green to discuss wider catchment issues and direction.

Commissioning drone work to look at where and what the issues are within the Raupunga water supply catchment.

Staff are working with landholders to reduce erosion along lake edge. There is a community day planned for the Putere Lakes in July.

Rongomaiwaihine Iwi Trust

Moana Rongo (Iwi Chair) on multiple occasions.

To discuss local issues, HBRC activity, nursery opportunities and as part of the Whakatipu Mahia Project team and other forum.

Wairoa Waikaremoana Maori Trust Board

Michelle McIlroy and Dean Whaanga

Have had on-going conversations around the establishment of nurseries and supporting planting initiatives with local Marae.

Whakakī Lake Trust

Attend regular Lake Trust Meetings and have had multiple engagements with Iwitea & Whakakī Marae at a variety of hui

Discussions regarding Whakakī Freshwater Improvement Fund Proposal, Whakakī Catchment Pilot Project, Whakakī Catchment Group work & Whakakī Hotspot project.

Marae visited:

·   Huramua – support to Mātiti Urupā repatriation

·   Tuahuru – drainage issues affecting the Whare kai and Mataitai marker repair.

·   Kaiuku – water safety beacons at Mahia Beach & Onepoto & Whale jawbone Pōhiri.

·   Māhanga – The opening of the Hine Rauiri river mouth and wider catchment issues

·   Whakakī – FIF Project & PGF project

·   Iwitea – FIF Project, PGF project, drainage issues

·   Manutai – streambank erosion issues near the marae.

·   Have visited other marae through various forum including - Tawhiti-A-Maru, Putahi, Ruawharo, Putere & Waipapa-a-Iwi Marae


Other Northern/Wairoa Catchment work

65.    Staff have been involved in several significant catchment initiatives and projects locally that have occupied a significant proportion of our time.

Whakaki Catchment

66.    The Freshwater Improvement Fund (FIF) Project – staff have been heavily involved with this project. From regularly meeting with the community and tangata whenua to help progress of the project itself. A co-design process was undertaken for a better understanding of local issues and aspirations. Staff have also had a major role in helping obtain the consents required for the project.

The Whakaki Pilot Project

67.    A collaboration between Wairoa District Council, HBRC and the Ministry for Primary Industries was initially developed to look at the afforestation options within the Whakaki Catchment. Unfortunately no one in the community wanted to plant pine trees, so the project has had to pivot to now taker a wider view of how to address the erosion issues. With the recent awarding of an additional $100,000 of PGF funding. The project is now looking at better quantifying the costs and alternatives for erosion control, while equally considering what additional social, cultural and economic benefits might be derived from that work. Nearly 5,500 ha of the Catchment now has a farm plan. Through Catchment meetings alternatives and options will be discussed and an economic assessment proposal developed for tender later in the year. The fund is also helping support the development of a Cultural Impact Assessment around Lake Whakakī where the FIF project is likely to impact on.

Hotspot work

68.    Staff have supported a significant body of work around Lake Whakakī over the last 2 years. This has been reported to the Environment and Services Committee in detail.

Mahia Peninsula

69.    Much of this work is outlined in the “Wider view for Te Mahia” paper presented to the E&S Committee at the 19 June meeting. Our involvement includes; Support to the Whangawehi Catchment Group administration and events, participation in the Whakatipu Mahia Predator Free Project. The Catchment scale protection of the Taiporutu stream. The on-going issues at Mahanga beach around drainage, flooding, Hine Rauiri stream openings, wetland protection and concerns around sewage discharge. Discussions are also occurring around the extension of a “Whangawehi Catchment Group” approach to the wider Mahia Isthmus to protect the high ecological value of this area. Work is currently underway looking at protecting a significant area of wetlands in the area.


70.    Staff have been working with the community to better understand where the sediment is coming from within the water supply catchment. A large area forestry has recently been harvested with more to come in the not too distant future.  We have commissioned some drone work to allow access to some of the more isolated sites.  We will be bringing key stakeholders together once the issues are better understood to establish a plan for reducing soil loss.

Putere Lakes

71.    Staff have meet with member of the Ngati Pahauwera Development Trust on a number of occasions to help support the work underway around Lake Putere. We are participating in the proposed community day in July.  Staff have spent time working with landholders around the lakes to offer ECS grants for additional erosion control.

Northern/Wairoa Priorities and Projects for the 2019-20 Financial Year

72.    ECS targets for the year: Staff have estimated that they will be targeting the completion of 85 Erosion Control Plans this year. This is contingent on several factors, including the recruitment and induction of staff to do the job, their time being managed to ensure they can be done, and external contractors being engaged to assist as required. 85 Erosion Control Plans equates to approximately 750 - 1,250 ha of land protected in the district based on the average size of projects in 2018-19.

73.    With an increase in staff numbers, and the additional need to safely and securely store equipment further extension to the Wairoa office is planned. This will allow staff to work under the same roof and not have to brave the elements to use the office facilities.

74.    Joining the Northern HB team over the next 3-4 months includes Abby Miller, who replaces Erica Smith and commences work with the team in June. An additional staff member for the Wairoa office and GDC offices will also be employed through the HCEF. Staff will require training and induction but will significantly boost our ability to get out on farms more. The GDC employee will also require induction into HBRC processes and systems as well.

75.    A staff symposium between WDC and HBRC is being planned for July. This will enable staff with common work areas to hear what each other is up to and their priorities for the year. With the aim of improving the channels of communication between the relative council teams.

76.    A community “catchment symposium” is being planned for later in the year. A number of members of the community have asked that an event be held that enables them to better understand the state and issues of the whenua and awa of the district, what work is occurring or being planned to occur to address some of the challenges and includes matauranga aspects. There is interest in holding Wananga on the following day to consider the direction ahead. A small steering committee is being formed, including tangata whenua, land holders, WDC and HBRC to discuss how to prepare and organise the event.

77.    The team will continue to work with the community in the development of an “Integrated Catchment Management Plan”. However with all statutory planning being brought forward via the Freshwater reforms, there is a need to better coordinate any plan development in Wairoa. With a small but diverse population, coordination of korero and hui will be important to avoid frustration and confusion. What form or function the “Integrated Catchment Management Plan” is to take is yet to be established. From a community perspective they are more interested in a restoration plan for the lower Wairoa awa, other waterbodies in the district & the wider whenua.

Awa Restoration Proposal for Wairoa

78.    The Whakarauora – The regeneration of Long Water, Economic Development report describes the Wairoa rivers “as an area of environmental excellence, biodiversity and community guardianship” being the long term outcome of greatest significance to the district.

79.    The lower Wairoa River or Te Wairoa Hōpūpū Hōnengenenge Mātangi Rau is of particular concern to the Wairoa township. There are a number of marae and sites of high cultural significance along this stretch of the river that have been included in the cultural impact and asset risk assessment currently being undertaken by Councils Asset Management & Tangata whenua relationships teams. Mahinga kai access and health are of concern.

80.    Alongside WDC waste water improvements and river bank enhancement in town there is a desire for further work to occur upstream to further help reduce faecal indicator bacteria levels in the poplar swimming areas in town.

81.    Local nurseries & marae are keen to play an active role in the restoration efforts, and there is a strong belief in the Whangawehi Catchment Group mantra “Ki te ora te wai, ka ora ai te katoa – if the waterway is healthy everything will survive” locally. For Wairoa this aspiration and belief is that with the improving health of the river will come an improvement in the health and wellbeing, mana and mauri of the community.

82.    Discussions have been held locally already with WDC and some tangata whenua groups around the potential for an integrated restoration plan for Te Wairoa Hōpūpū Hōnengenenge Mātangi Rau. This would also require significant support and coordination with local land owners (of which there are many). It is hoped that options for this work will be discussed at the Catchment symposium later in the year.

83.    This is a significant project, well worthy of a concerted approach involving multiple parties and teams within council. The Wairoa river is a particularly challenging environment to undertake works and planting. Frequent flooding and streambank erosion make the job a challenging and as is evident in the district now, poorly designed approaches can create liabilities for the community into the future. The Northern HB team will bring further information on this proposal at a future date.

Zone update: Mid-Hawke’s Bay

Present Context

84.    The Mid Hawke’s Bay zone has the largest land area of the three zones (see table 1) and has 86% of the population (130,500 of a total 151,000 people). It is the only zone with a growing population, and it generates most of the wealth of the region.

85.    Based on SedNet it has more potentially erodible land than the southern zone (refer Table 2.) but only 30% of the at-risk land area of the Northern zone. The comparison with the south should be treated with care, as a land use capability (LUC) based assessment gives a greater erodibility risk picture in the south.

86.    There are 4885 properties in the region over 4ha and 2364 in this zone. There are approximately 395 properties over 4ha within this zone which Sednet identifies as over the 1000T/km2 high sediment loss threshold.

87.    The three catchments in this zone with the highest proportion of erodible land area are Esk, Central coast and Ahuriri (15, 15 and 10% respectively). There is a natural alignment and synergy between the hotspot project work in Tutira and Ahuriri and an erosion control focus in these areas.

Priorities and time

88.    The clear priority is to deliver on the targets for 2000ha of land under cover and 100km of riparian protection. The focus in the initial couple of years is the “standing up” of the Erosion Control Scheme to help in the delivery of these targets.

89.    Longer term we need to be prepared to deal once again with the greater complexity of wider catchment issues and plan implementation of processes involving landowner engagement to reduce losses from land which affect water quality. Such issues include streams in which lack of shading and high temperatures are the key issue.

90.    The reorganisation following the long term plan has resulted in catchment staff being redistributed to the Northern and Southern zones and a reduced number of staff available for landowner engagement now based in Napier. However this zone has not had a large focus on erosion control in the last 5 years as resources of the wider team were heavily drawn into the Tukituki work.

91.    For most of the past year there has been one staff member devoted full time to focus on landowner engagement for the erosion control scheme. We have recently recruited another catchment advisor to join this work. As mentioned, there is also overlap between hotspot areas and erosion control areas. Another catchment advisor has been fully occupied in the Tutira and Ahuriri hotspots. Following recent changes to bring the Hotspot Environmental Project Manager role into the team, there are now two people in the team working on the Hotspot projects of Tutira and Ahuriri.

92.    The team also includes two people working in Water Information Services.

93.    The Erosion control scheme work is a smaller proportion of the overall focus of work in this zone compared with other zones. This paper focuses largely on the erosion control work.

Mid-Hawke’s Bay Future context

94.    TANK and Mohaka catchments are within this zone.  The development of the Mohaka plan and stakeholder engagement will require catchment management time input in the year ahead.

95.    The draft TANK implementation plan suggests 27 work responsibilities for the Mid-Hawke’s Bay catchment management team. 17 to lead and 10 to partner in. Only three of these action areas relate to erosion. The rest range from increasing riparian planting for shade benefit, to developing templates for operating and managing catchment collectives.  It is acknowledged that this plan is in draft and is highly likely to change following the final policy position and with greater implementation practitioner input.

96.    Once the TANK plan has worked through the submission process and reached its final form it will need a properly resourced cross council implementation team to ensure success. It is beyond the resources of the existing catchment management team to meet current implementation expectations. Liaison with catchment collectives and designing templates for operating and managing these will be a large task on its own. Potential numbers of catchment collectives are unknown, but could easily be 50 groups.  We anticipate that much of the work supporting the collectives will be borne by the primary sector bodies.

97.    One initial piece of work that can be started in 2019-20 will be to advance a plan for riparian work in the Karamu catchment. A contractor will be employed for this as staff time resources are occupied in erodible areas.

Expected Outputs for 2019-20

98.    Two catchment advisors will be focused on the delivery of erosion control works within erodible areas. We will aim to make initial contact with all 395 landowners within the zone identified by SedNet as having some area of high erodibility. This will be the start of the engagement “funnel” which eventually identifies and secures work on the ground.

99.    Target number of Erosion control plans will total 70. This will occupy more than 70-85% of their available time leaving a small proportion of time available to administer projects and respond to general enquiries. This approach will necessitate a targeted focus to prioritise SedNet defined areas. Areas outside of this will have a lower priority for time investment unless there is a definite erosion issue that meets the ECS policy erosion threshold level. This also means that Catchment advisors will only be able to act as the connectors and brokers of solutions within areas of high erodibility rather than in all issues across the zone.

100. There has been a high level of unsolicited enquiry, expectation and demand for the Erosion Control scheme and for funding and advice outside of the SedNet defined areas and the scope of the scheme this year. In the Mid-HB zone, this has been a barrier to getting to the places that we need to target and check.

101. The ability to “triage” enquiries will be necessary in this zone to get to the places that will give the greatest results for the money invested. This is not so much of an issue in the North where there is a greater proportion of erodible land across the zone.

Te Waiū o Tūtira Project

102. Approximate 2019/20 Budget $1,435,250.  Councillors are reminded that this project sits within the work of this team. The hotspot work is reported on separately in greater detail elsewhere.

103. The 2019-20 budget for the Te Waiū o Tūtira Project will focus on a number of key deliverables some of which have rolled over from year 2 of the project. It is anticipated the Lake Tutira Integrated Catchment Plan will be endorsed by the Governance Group and presented to the community for comment. Four FEMP’s have been completed of a possible 24 targeted landowners while discussions with the remaining landowners is underway and will continue in the coming financial year.

104. Two staff involved in water information also sit within the team. Key activities are outlined in table 2.

Table 2. Mid-Hawke’s Bay: Summary of main activities for the 2019-20 year




Erosion control scheme

·  70 Erosion control plans in priority sediment loss areas

·  175ha of land under cover

Reduced sediment loss to water

Ballance Farm Environment awards

Participation and contribution in all judging teams, encouraging entrants, organising group, awards evening, winner’s field-day and sponsorship.

Promotion and greater awareness of farming exemplars, case studies and integration of environmental, economic, human, community and economic aspects of sustainable farming

Strategic relationships and Primary industry liaison

·  Support to select and set up Beef and Lamb, Patoka monitor farm

·  Joint winter grazing, good practice campaign with Beef and Lamb and other councils.

·  Participation in Fonterra Big Day Out

·  Meetings and communication with Fonterra on 50 catchments project

·  Contributions as required to national conversations on practical policy development

·  Consistent messaging across primary industry groups and HBRC on environmental issues and solutions.




·  Desired development of policy that is practical, implementable and targeted to the issues.


·  Dryland  Eucalypt

·  Managing Annual clovers in dryland

·  Smart tools and tips for irrigators

·  Development of resilient solutions for dryland farm systems.

·  Key messages to overcome barriers to uptake of good irrigation management

Overseer nutrient budgeting model

Participation in national regional council Overseer workshops.

Influence Overseer development priorities that will be targeted to the needs of users to help manage nutrient issues.

Tutira FIF Hotspot project

·  Deliver on FIF project milestones

·  16 Farm plans will be completed next year to bring the total completed to 24

Reduction in sediment and nutrient losses into catchment.

Ahuriri Hotspot

Engage with 11 landowners for on-ground works

As above

Development of background tools, systems and processes to support the ECS

This has required a high level of time input over the past year


Hill Country Erosion Project

Secured $5 million in funding over the next 4 years

·  Key deliverables to support the ECS in 2019/2020 are:

·  A project manager, two new Catchment Advisors (one based in Gisborne) , and one research tech will be hired (we will contribute a Catchment Advisor and admin/management support)

·  25 Erosion Control Plans, 5 Farm Environment Plans, 10 sediment monitors installed

·  3 Soil conservation erosion workshops for advisors, 1 workshop HBRC staff around Maori capability, 3 Farmer/landowner focused workshops around erosion and trees on farm

·  44ha poles and 6ha of reversion as part of GDC/HBRC Joint catchment project

·  393ha trees (poles, natives, and other exotics) and 56ha of reversion in the rest of the Hawkes Bay

Water information services

·  Engage with Horticulture sector and water user groups via Hort sector-HBRC liaison meetings and other forums as required several times per year

·  Provide information and advice to Tukituki Surface water consent holders managing to the 2018 minimum flows

·  Work with industry to highlight the requirement for training to build capacity for evaluations and work with partners INZ to coordinate suitable training

·  Irricalc water use model specified in proposed TANK plan; investigate and implement calibration to HB conditions.

·  Work with other councils on combined messaging for water use efficiency

·  Visit and work with 100 water users to ensure understanding and use of flow meter data for good decision making and compliance.

·  Industry capacity for irrigation system evaluation increased to lead to greater efficiency of use.



·  Greater baseline understanding of the need for water use efficiency and solutions to achieve this.



105. Work within the Ahuriri hotspot area will continue with engagement and on-ground works ongoing with 7 landowners. 4 more landowners will be added to this in the next year out of a total of 17 in total to work on from an erosion perspective. Wetland and riparian work are included in this project.

106. We will employ a contractor to visit 50 landowners in the Karamu catchment in targeted areas to drive riparian planting for shade and other benefits. Dependencies will be the set-up of the riparian business unit to provide plants at a reduced cost. We will also explore the potential for partnerships to provide added benefits and incentives to landowners. These may include Fonterra, “Trees that count” and 1BT fund farmer applications.

Zone update: Southern/Tukituki

Present Context

107. The Southern zone has the smallest land area of the three zones (see table 1), but has 8.1% of its area listed as erodible, a similar number when compared with the Central zone.

108. There are 17,131ha of SedNet prioritised erodible land in the Southern Zone.  There are 1795 properties in the Southern Zone over 4ha. The spread of these properties across the three major catchment areas are:

108.1  Porangahau – 224

108.2  Southern Coast – 155

108.3  Tukituki – 1416

109. Each of these three main catchment areas are made up of a number of sub-catchments:

109.1. Porangahau – 5 sub-catchments

109.2. Southern Coast – 11 sub-catchments

109.3. Tukituki - 17 sub-catchments.

110. The three sub-catchments with the highest proportion of erodible land area are: Blackhead Coast, Waikaraka and Mangakuri (37, 19 and 15% respectively). All three of these sub-catchments are in the Southern Coast catchment.

111. That said, the catchment with the largest identified area (ha) of erodible land is the Tukituki at 9,368ha, with Porangahau 3,904ha and Southern Coast 3,860ha.

Tukituki Southern Coasts team

112. Over the last year the Southern Zone team has been coming together as a team, while contributing to the establishment and implementation of the ECS.

Southern/Tukituki timeline for 2018-19 staff recruitments and appointments



July 2018

Land Management team restructure, 2.5 FTEs are now based out of Waipawa

Oct 2018

Catchment Manager recruited

Nov 2018

Team Leader appointed from existing staff

Nov 2018

New Catchment Advisor recruited

Jan 2019

Part time Office Administrator recruited

Jan 2019

0.5 Catchment Advisor leaves for maternity leave

February 2019

The Catchment Advisor 100% involved in Farm Environment Management Plan (FEMP) provider certification, began working on the ECS full time

March 2019

Maternity leave Catchment Advisor replacement recruited


113. Staff have begun working in allocated work areas, these are based on local knowledge, existing relationships, logical boundaries and whether they live in one of the local communities. The reason for working this way is to ensure staff get to build and enhance relationships, know the issues, the opportunities and the lie of the land.

114. It also allows those landowners within these areas to establish and maintain those relationships with a single council representative, with who they can use as an initial point of contact for anything relating to the HBRC. Communication across council teams is extremely important under the Catchment Management model.

Southern/Tukituki Future context

115. Follow through, complete and close off existing engagements to more closely focus on identified priority sites across the zone.

116. Direct contact with those landowners in high priority SedNet areas to initiate discussion around erosion control measures.

117. Continue with staff work area approach to get ownership of the issues, and to build consistent relationships within local communities and Iwi.

118. The Tukituki priority catchments/sub-catchments are in this zone and an implementation plan for Plan Change 6 is currently in discussion with council staff and stakeholders.  Staff will continue to support and resource the sub-catchment approach as required.

119. The Southern team will be actively involved with ongoing plan implementation work.  The exact detail of this is yet to be worked through and is to an extent contingent on the engagement that is occurring with the CHB community through the Tukituki Taskforce.

120. An effective cross council implementation team could be one option to assist implementation and would be best sited at a Southern HBRC office.  This is currently being considered and the thinking developed internally.

121. Work closely with Client Services to ensure the required plant and labour supply is appropriate to meet current and future demand.

122. Work closely with Council, the communities, Iwi and other partners across the zone and in particular:

122.1. Aramoana, to foster community engagement and education to help implement erosion control on targeted land adjacent to the Te Angiangi Marine Reserve

122.2. Lake Whatuma, to finalise the management approach of the lake and agree on an inclusive management plan going forward

122.3. Tukituki priority catchments for plan change 6 implementation

122.4. Tukituki taskforce, on water quantity and security of supply

122.5. Porangahau Estuary, to continue erosion control, stock exclusion and riparian planting projects that impact on the estuary.

123. Look to promote and enhance work with the primary sector and their industry reps.

124. Create closer working relationships with Enviro school’s management and staff to engage with schools in priority areas.

125. Look to better utilise the Councils Waipukurau site for ECS Programme activities in conjunction with the Works team based on site.

126. Catchment groups are likely to be part of the bigger implementation picture, which can achieve good community engagement and outcomes, but can also be resource hungry.

Southern/Tukituki Expected Outputs for 2019-20

127. The Southern’s three catchment advisors and a proportion of the Team Leaders time will be focused on landowner and community engagement, the completion of ECP’s and the delivery of erosion control works within the identified erodible areas and priority catchments. As stated above, there is an expectation that the Southern catchment team will be part of the broader Tukituki Plan implementation team, the extent and nature of the involvement is currently under discussion. 

128. The targeted number of Erosion control plans for the Southern team next year will total 105; requiring a large amount of individual landowner engagement focused on the ECS. The trade-off is that this will allow minimal time for staff to be involved in catchment and community project work and responding to general enquiries.

129. Prioritising effort through an ECS will be necessary to get to the places that will give the best erosion control outcomes for the money invested.

Southern/Tukituki Summary of main activities for the 2019-20 year




Erosion control scheme

·  105 Erosion control plans in priority sediment loss areas and priority catchments

·  263ha of land under cover

Between 70 and 90% reduction in sediment loss for those erodible land areas under active control.

Ballance Farm Environment awards

Participation and contribution in all judging teams, encouraging entrants, awards evening, winner’s field-day and sponsorship.

Promotion and greater awareness of farming exemplars, case studies and integration of environmental, economic, human, community and economic aspects of sustainable farming

Strategic relationships and Primary industry liaison

Participation at events, meetings and workshops

·  Consistent messaging across primary industry groups and HBRC on environmental issues and solutions.

·  Desired development of policy that is practical, implementable and targeted to the issues.

MBIE Advisory Board for Irrigation Efficiency

Irrigation control systems that improve productivity, minimize wasted water and reduce negative environmental impacts

Better use of the water resource, improved environmental outcomes

Farm Forester of the Year

Stakeholder engagement, staff upskilling and participation at meeting and events

Farm Forester of the year awarded at A&P Primary Sector Awards March 2019 and associated field day undertaken May 2019

Sustainable Farming Fund Catch Crops Governance and Technical Advisory Group

Techniques for reducing sediment and surface flow losses of winter grazed forage crops

Improved productivity with reduced environmental harm

Development of background tools, systems and processes to support the ECS

A range of tools to assist ECS implementation

More efficient and effective use of resourcing

Plant and Food Research QT Nitrogen Steering Committee

Quick test mass balance tool for assessing N applications in arable and vegetable production systems

Better N management decisions

Advisory Group for FAR flux meter network evaluation

Research for measuring and managing diffuse nutrient losses from cropping systems

Reduced environmental risk Better information to inform the Overseer crop model

Don’t Muddy the water

Provide defensible, robust figures on the effectiveness of key erosion and sediment control measures on cultivated land.

Better retention of soil on farm

Papanui Focus Group

Provide support and advice

Achieve Papanui Strategy outcomes

Land Managers Group (LMG)

Attend and contribute to bi-annual meetings, share information

Contribute to National projects and represent HBRC in discussions with other Regional Councils.

HB New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management (NZIPIM)

Increased capacity and capability of rural professionals. Networking opportunities

Rural professional extension based activities and networking opportunities

Hawkes Bay Rural Business Network Committee

Participation in professional development through networking and learning

Better outcomes from improved learning and sharing of ideas

Beef and Lamb Hawkes Bay Monitor Farm Advisory Committee

Community groups identify key issues impacting local production and farm performance and select a farmer and facilitator. The group then develops and implements a business plan and 3-4 year monitoring plan

Monitor farms draw on local expertise, planning and community collaboration to improve farm production and make a big difference to profits. Success on a single farm provides other local farmers with a wealth of practical and proven information to take home and use

National Environmental Standards - Production Forestry (NES-PF)

Year one review of the NES-PF. A practical and user friendly national standard that works for everyone.

Better environmental outcomes from the forestry industry. Better implementation of the standards.

HB Farm Forestry

Attend meeting and events, build relationships, provide input and improve knowledge

Better overall skill set and information sharing


Community engagement

Agreed management plan in place

Critical mitigations identified and actioned

Stock exclusion

Erosion mitigation

Engaged community

Reversion of site

Improved habitat for adjoining Te Angiangi Marine Reserve through reduced sediment loading

Reduced erosion

Lake Whatuma

Management decision made

Management plan agreed on

Inclusive and manageable approach to the ecological protection and enhancement of Lake Whatuma


Decision Making Process

130. Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Erosion Control Scheme Update” staff report.


Authored by:

Dean Evans

Catchment Manager Tukituki/Southern Coasts

Nathan Heath

Catchment Manager (Wairoa/Mohaka)

Brendan Powell

Catchment Manager (Central)

Jolene Townshend

Programme Manager ICM Group

Approved by:

Iain Maxwell

Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management




There are no attachments for this report.


Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Erosion Control Grants Policy Refinement


Reason for Report

1.      The purpose of this report is to highlight refinements to the Erosion Control Scheme (ECS) Grant Policy identified by staff during the development, adoption and implementation of the scheme.


2.      The Erosion Control Scheme (ECS) project team has been responsible for the design and initial establishment of the Operating Model to implement and manage the scheme.  HBRC internal project governance endorsed the ECS policy in July 2018 and executive management decided to iteratively develop the scheme allowing eligible Landowner’s earliest possible access to funding.

3.      An ‘interim Operating Model’ was developed in October 2018 and has been tested/streamlined during work delivered to date. The project is moving into the final stages of delivery with the handover of an updated Operating Manual that will provide the operational and administrative processes and procedures required for Council to manage the ECS grant funding.  There have been minor amendments to the ECS policy which staff have deemed inconsequential to the policy intent so requiring Group Manager Approval only.

4.      The key amendments made to the ECS policy since July 2018 include:

4.1.      Revisions to the project governance section to reflect the transition to business as usual where Council governance and operational committees are responsible for scheme oversight and management.

4.1.1.   “The Council’s elected members are the governing group and maintain oversight of the ECS Policy and Scheme. They are responsible for decisions that result in any substantial policy change.  The Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) is the lead HBRC executive and is responsible for the management and implementation of the Scheme. The Group Manager ICM, supported by the HBRC executive team, will provide the strategic direction, resources and decision making necessary to support and deliver the Scheme’s target outcomes”.

4.2.      Revision to the eligibility section to include the Tukituki priority sub catchments where erosion is identified as an issue and stipulate that works required by law under the Regional Resource Management Plan are not eligible for funding.

4.3.      Revision to the “Implementation of the Policy” section to reflect the current high level processes implemented and tested over the past seven months.

4.4.      Inclusion of “Additionality” clause to clarify funding is not available to works already obligated to be undertaken.

4.4.1.   “The ECS will not fund work that landholders are already obligated to undertake, such as those required by consents.  Funds are available to achieve work that otherwise would not take place or would happen at a slower pace”.

4.5.      Inclusion of a Land Covenant clause to provide discretion to HBRC to register a land covenant when works completed on a property exceed $35,000 of grant funding.  This is for the purpose of landowners complying with their obligations to maintain works and not reverse any works undertaken.

4.6.      Exclusion of grant funding for Ag-forestry economic assessments and 100% funding for full land retirement.

Refinements to the policy

5.      To retain a targeted approach in treating highly erodible land, other activities are not currently recommended to be included into the policy that staff believe could, in future, be supported.  Staff will identify these additional activities and develop separate policies, with allocated funding, to compliment the ECS and bring further advice to Council in the near future.  We do not want to establish the required detail and framework around these modules, as upcoming policy changes coming from central government (Essential Freshwater) that will impact landowners.  We need to understand the direction of travel and establish these modules with those in mind, then develop the framework appropriately.

Wetland development and enhancement fund

6.      Wetlands have not been included as fundable under the ECS.  The rationale behind this was primarily based on the fact that the ECS should retain its targeted focus on erosion and therefore if included in the policy, a wetland could be developed for the primary purpose of trapping sediment.  The consensus was that this would ultimately lead to the slow destruction of the wetland which takes considerable investment to establish in the first instance.

7.      Wetlands are currently eligible for funding within Council’s biodiversity programme using the Ecosystem Prioritisation (EP) tool recently developed.  Staff are reviewing options to increase the funding in the EP area to allow for greater investment in these high value sites.

8.      Purpose designed sediment traps are already included in the ECS policy as an erosion control tool.

Decision Making Process

9.      Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Erosion Control Grants Policy Refinement” staff report.


Authored by:

Jolene Townshend

Project Manager, Resource Management


Approved by:

Iain Maxwell

Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management




There are no attachments for this report.


Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: June 2019 Hotspots Update

Reason for Report

1.      To provide an update on the Freshwater Improvement Fund and Hotspots environmental projects.

Freshwater Improvement Fund (FIF) Project:  Lake Tūtira (Te Waiū o Tūtira, the Milk of Tūtira), HBRC partnership with Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust, 2018-2022.

2.      Project Vision:  To restore the mauri of Lakes Tūtira, Waikōpiro, and Orakai, making place that families can happily return to, and where children can swim”. By empowering and aligning community, implementing well-researched actions now, the goal of restoring the mauri of Lakes Tūtira and Waikōpiro, making them swimmable by 2020, is achievable and realistic.

3.      Objective One:  Iwi/hapū, Māori landowners, farmers, community and local authorities are aligned in their vision for Tūtira through establishment of an Integrated Catchment Management Plan (ICMP) and Farm Environmental Management Plans (FEMP).

4.      Integrated Catchment Management Plan:  This is a non-statutory plan.  A final draft will be presented to the project’s Governance Group for review prior to their next meeting on 10 June.  Once approved, the Plan will be open to final feedback before presenting to the community at a final workshop to be held at Tūtira School.

5.      Farm Environmental Management Plans:  Farm Environment Management Plans have been completed on five properties.  Nutrient budgets have been completed on two of the large properties.  There is a good buy-in from landowners, and opportunities have arisen from the plans as a result of a greater understanding of environmental issues on their property and the potential availability of financial assistance.

6.      Objective Two:  Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust (MTT) will develop and establish a cultural monitoring programme (CMP) and will support the water quality education program in Tūtira.

7.      Cultural Monitoring Programme updateMTT continue to progress the CHI Monitoring programme, currently under review with hapū and environmental experts. MTT are using their networks to find a suitable person to complete this task, ideally someone local. This will be discussed further at the upcoming Governance Group meeting.

8.      Objective Three:  The Papakiri Stream will be reconnected to Lake Tūtira, and an outlet will be created by 2021 at the southern end of the lake complex, to provide longitudinal flow and fish passage, improving the mauri of the lake.

9.      Papakiri Stream reconnection:  There is on-going engagement with the chairperson of the Tūtira B7 & B19 Land Blocks. At this stage progress with landowner Henare Ratima, North of Lake Tutira has not made as much progress as had been anticipated. Pieri Munro has offered to meet with Henare to assist with these discussions.

10.    Monitoring Platform:  Monitoring platform is awaiting final engineering designs to ensure accurate flow monitoring that is compatible with the bridging required for forestry operations.

11.    Southern Outlet:  An assessment of environmental effects is being produced by the Environmental Science team. This includes the consequences of reduced flow down the Mahiaruhe due to the southern outlet diversion, the expected water quality effects on the 3 lakes due to increased through flow, the potential benefits to tuna populations, and any other identified ecological effects. Expected completion date is 30 June 2019. NIWA are being contracted to undertake a further assessment on Hydrilla risk in July 2019.

12.    We have engaged with an external contractor to begin the process of preparing the resource consent application(s) for our various deliverables.

13.    Objective Four:  Sediment mitigations will be established at critical source areas within the Kahikanui and Te Whatu-Whewhe sub-catchments, reducing sediment entering the lake system.

14.    The previous sediment plan needed revision following an onsite review with various stakeholders and an internal peer review of the proposals. Consultants have been engaged to complete geotechnical testing and a revised sediment plan by the 31 May 2019.

15.    Objective Five:  An aeration curtain is installed in Lake Tūtira, improving the water quality to a swimmable level.

16.    Andy Hicks has prepared a memo on context and performance around the air curtain trial in Waikōpiro.  This has been circulated to the project’s Governance Group.  The results were mixed. There are positive results, but staff are not yet confident in the results and so are not proceeding to the full air curtain in Tutira. That said, due to existing complexities in Waikōpiro and some major differences in ecology between the two lakes, there is not enough information to conclusively reject an installation in Tūtira. 

17.    A recommendation to proceed with both the costings and the resource consenting process required for an air curtain installation has been made to enable the air curtain proposal to be advanced, pending final technical confirmation. The planning and notification process will take longer than the next potential installation window (before end of August 2019), which means we will have one more year of data before the air curtain would be installed (between May and August 2020).

18.    The final decision on whether to install can thus be made in parallel with the resource consenting process, so it is compatible with project timelines and available budget.

Hot Spot:  Te Whanganui-ā-Orotu (Ahuriri Estuary)

19.    Results of the aerial survey are expected June 2019.  This will enable assessment of the volume of the invasive worm Ficopomatus enigmaticus currently in the estuary and help to assess the effectiveness of mechanical removal.

20.    Mechanical removal of a large area of Ficopomatus enigmaticus is scheduled for June 2019.

21.    Scoping is currently underway to extend the source model into the estuarine area.

22.    4100 metres of fencing of waterways, wetlands and estuary margin has been completed. Planting this winter includes 12,965 natives and 240 poplar and willow poles.

23.    Planting programmes are now being developed for next winter. Some of these include working through One Billion Trees funding applications with landowners.

Freshwater Improvement Fund (FIF) project:  Whakakī Lake (Sunshine, wetlands and bees will revitalize the taonga of Whakakī).

24.    FIF application process updateWe successfully obtained the necessary resource contents for our proposed project.  Our five year work programme and upcoming annual plan have been finalised and are now with the Ministry for the Environment for review. We expect that we will be able to sign the deed of grant with MfE in the second week of June. Once this has occurred the physical works can commence.

25.    Update Hot Spot Whakakī FY18-19Hereheretau Station is continuing the retirement of the Rahui channel with nearly 3 km fenced off in April and May 2019. The farm Manager was generous and gave a wider buffer between the water’s edge and the fence. In time, this buffer will be vegetated and could also allow a walkway to be developed.

26.    Weed control on pampas is to be completed in the coming weeks, initially on the Whakaki sand dunes but also around Iwitea. This work is really important prior to any large scale habitat restoration programmes.

27.    Pest control on hares was carried out around Iwitea for the second time. Once again the tallies were significant with 46 hares and seven cats shot in two nights. This work is critical prior to the establishment of trees around Lake Te Paraoa.

Hot Spot:  Lake Whatumā

28.    Our long term objective is to partner with tangata whenua, and other key stakeholders, for the long term restoration and management of Lake Whatumā. We want to help create a foundation that will provide a platform for establishing a shared vision and collaborative decision making, to pursue potential actions for enhancing Lake Whatumā.

29.    The 2018-19 financial year has been about investigating the potential opportunity to invest in significant long-term mitigations to enhance Lake Whatumā.  The investment proposal is subject to a separate paper to this committee.

Hot Spot:  Marine

Subtidal Habitat Investigations

30.    Mapping of the ‘Clive Hard’ area is scheduled for 12 days in June (weather dependent).  This will provide similar products to the ‘Wairoa Hard’ and allow us to assess the spatial extent of the Clive Hard.

31.    Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) work is ongoing on the Wairoa Hard to examine and then describe the benthic habitat.

Sediment Characteristics and Behaviour

32.    Sediment sampling has been conducted in northern Hawke Bay to inform sediment transport and fate information.

33.    A contract is being set up to engage a PhD student from the University of Waikato under the supervision of Dr Karin Bryan (UoW) and Dr Jose Beya (HBRC) to deliver a hydrodynamic model of the Bay with associated sediment transport information. This will be for a period of 3 years from next financial year.

Decision Making Process

34.    Staff have assessed the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 in relation to this item and have concluded that, as this report is for information only, the decision making provisions do not apply.


That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “June 2019 Hotspots Update” staff report.


Authored by:

Nicolas Caviale-Delzescaux

Land Management Officer - Extensive Hill Country

Dean Evans

Catchment Manager Tukituki/Southern Coasts

Dr Andy Hicks

Team Leader/Principal Scientist Water Quality and Ecology

Anna Madarasz-Smith

Team Leader/Principal Scientist Marine and Coast

Thomas Petrie

 Project Manager Environmental Hotspots

Jolene Townshend

Programme Manager ICM Group

Approved by:

Iain Maxwell

Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management




There are no attachments for this report.  


Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Discussion of Minor Items Not on the Agenda


Reason for Report

1.     This document has been prepared to assist Committee Members to note the Minor Items of Business Not on the Agenda to be discussed as determined earlier in Agenda Item 5.



Raised by














Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Potential Acquisition of Land at Lake Whatuma

That Council excludes the public from this section of the meeting, being Agenda Item 19 Potential Acquisition of Land at Lake Whatuma with the general subject of the item to be considered while the public is excluded; the reasons for passing the resolution and the specific grounds under Section 48 (1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution being:





Potential Acquisition of Land at Lake Whatuma

7(2)(i) That the public conduct of this agenda item would be likely to result in the disclosure of information where the withholding of the information is necessary to enable the local authority holding the information to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations).

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




Authored by:

Dean Evans

Catchment Manager Tukituki/Southern Coasts

Jolene Townshend

Programme Manager ICM Group

Approved by:

Iain Maxwell

Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management




Environment and Services Committee

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Subject: Forest Harvest Procurement, Tūtira and Tangoio Forests

That Council excludes the public from this section of the meeting, being Agenda Item 20 Forest Harvest Procurement, Tūtira and Tangoio Forests with the general subject of the item to be considered while the public is excluded; the reasons for passing the resolution and the specific grounds under Section 48 (1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution being:





Forest Harvest Procurement, Tūtira and Tangoio Forests

7(2)s7(2)(i) That the public conduct of this agenda item would be likely to result in the disclosure of information where the withholding of the information is necessary to enable the local authority holding the information to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations).

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




Authored by:

Ben Douglas

Forest Management Advisor


Approved by:

Chris Dolley

Group Manager
Asset Management



[1] At