Unconfirmed

MINUTES OF A meeting of the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee

 

Date:                                  Wednesday 12 May 2021

Time:                                  9.00am

Venue:

Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street, NAPIER

 

Present:                             Cr H Ormsby - Chair

Cr R Barker

Cr W Foley

Cr C Foss

Cr R Graham

Cr N Kirton

C Lambert

R Maaka (Māori Committee Representative)

P Paku (RPC Tangata Whenua Representative)

Cr J van Beek

Cr M Williams

 

In Attendance:                J Palmer – Chief Executive

K Brunton – Group Manager Policy & Regulation

C Dolley – Group Manager Asset Management

J Ellerm – Group Manager Corporate Services

I Maxwell – Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management

P Munro - Te Pou Whakarae (from 1.02pm)

M Benson – Water Management Advisor

Dr B Clarkson – Waikato University

K Collins – Collins Consulting

D Evans – Manager Catchments Delivery

M Groves – Regional Asset Manager

N Heath – Area Manager, Northern Hawke's Bay

B Herries – Catchment Management Lead Freshwater Improvement Programme

D Keracher – Manager Regional Projects

J Kingsford & H Ludlow – Napier City Council

M Mitchell – Acting Manager, Catchment Services

B Powell – Manager Catchments Policy Implementation 

J Powrie – Project Manager, RedAxe Consulting

D Schmidt – OSPRI (via zoom)

J Townsend – Senior Advisor Integrated Catchment Management

L Tupuola –GIS Analyst

A Roets – Governance Advisor


1.        Welcome/Karakia /Apologies/Notices

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and Dr Roger Maaka opened with a karakia.

Resolution

EICC64/21          That the apology for absence from Apiata Tapine and from Cr Neil Kirton for early departure at 12.30pm be accepted.

Van Beek/Barker

CARRIED

2.        Conflict of Interest Declarations

There were no conflicts of interest declared.

 

3.        Confirmation of Minutes of the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee meeting held on 3 February 2021

EICC65/21

Resolution

Minutes of the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee held on Wednesday, 3 February 2021, a copy having been circulated prior to the meeting, were taken as read and confirmed as a true and correct record.

van Beek/Foss

CARRIED

 

4.

Follow-ups from previous Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee meetings

 

The item was taken as read.

EICC66/21

Resolution

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee receives and notes the “Follow-up Items from Previous Meetings”.

Barker/van Beek

CARRIED

 

5.

Call for Minor Items not on the Agenda

 

Recommendation

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee accepts the following “Minor Items Not on the Agenda” for discussion as Item 16.

 

Topic

Raised by

Karamu

Cr Foss

 

 

 

6.

Review and Recommendations of the Hawke’s Bay Possum Control Area Programme

 

Iain Maxwell introduced the item, which presents the recommendations from the Possum Control Area programme (PCA) review.

Mark Mitchell and Kevin Collins (Collins Consulting) presented the recommendations and findings from the PCA review, and discussions highlighted:

·    Review carried out through interviews, analysis of HBRC processes, and feedback from contractors involved in Possum Control programmes

·    Community consultation and a full system analysis of direct and indirect costs were outside the scope of this review

·    Currently occupiers/landowners are responsible for controlling possums, the most difficult model to manage with too many exemptions and subsidies and uncertainties

·    Current uncertainties would be absent or greatly reduced by professional contractors

·    HBRC Biosecurity spending is low compared to similar councils

·    Recommends move to a contractor-based model for possum control as it is more cost efficient, provides more certainty of outcomes and is more equitable as well as reexamination of rating structure in terms of beneficiaries and exacerbators

·    Landowner responsibility model might be the “right” model for Hawke’s Bay; as long as the community and the Council are aware of the trade-offs and if it can be made more efficient and exemptions for forestry reviewed and potentially removed

·    Government reviewing use of brodifacuoum due to environmental effects of bioaccumulation, and likely to become much harder to access

·    Community consultation on a full, detailed proposal is an essential first step

·    Be clear about the outcomes and objectives Council expects from the PCA programme

·    Primary focus on possum management with potential to expand to other mustelids

·    Need to put together the value proposition including cost-benefit analysis and comparisons between models.

EICC67/21

Resolutions

1.        That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee:

1.1.         Receives and considers the “Review and Recommendations of the Hawke’s Bay Possum Control Area Programme” staff report

1.2.         Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted Significance and Engagement Policy, and that the Committee can exercise its discretion and make decisions on this issue without conferring directly with the community or persons likely to have an interest in the decision.

2.        The Environment and Integrated Catchments committee recommends that Hawke’s Bay Regional Council:

2.1.         Instructs staff to develop a proposal, under section 70 of the Biosecurity Act 1993, that includes an analysis of the costs, benefits, performance monitoring and funding options for a contractor-based model for possum management in Hawke’s Bay for consideration and potential adoption for public consultation.

Barker/Graham

CARRIED

 

7.

OSPRI Update on Hawke’s Bay TB Response

 

Iain Maxwell introduced Daniel Schmidt (Service Delivery Manager for North Island, OSPRI).  Discussions traversed:

·    Current OSPRI goals are zero infected herds by 2026, TB eradicated from possums by 2040 and TB eradicated from NZ by 2055

·    Currently 17 herds infected, with 10 under investigation and 7 herds with 1 clear test

·    Need to treat source areas – investing significantly in eradication

·    Significant challenges with access to critical and challenging areas of land for widespread vector management and a land access strategy is being developed

·    Strong strategic and operational relationship between HBRC and OSPRI is working well

·    Support for inclusion of forestry in the PCA programme

·    Request for joint OSPRI-HBRC report mapping each organisation’s responsibilities, operations and where integration occurs.

 

EICC68/21

Resolution

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee receives and notes the “OSPRI Update on HB TB Response”.

Ormsby/Barker

CARRIED

The committee adjourned at 10.56am and reconvened at 11.10am.

10.

Napier Open Waterways Water Quality

 

Chris Dolley introduced John Kingsford and Hannah Ludlow from Napier City Council who have been working collaboratively with HBRC to understand the water quality of Napier’s open urban waterway systems in order to develop operational systems to drive water quality improvements.

NCC delivered a presentation highlighting:

·    Currently in year 1 of the 3 year programme

·    Ahuriri Masterplan Stormwater Study is a comprehensive exploration to determine feasibility and consider options for better managing stormwater in the City 2019-22 with joint NCC and HBRC (funding of around $600k and science oversight by Anna Madarasz-Smith and Sandy Haidekker)

·    Key concerns identified as Phosphorus, suspended sediment, ammonia and nitrate, zinc, channelisation, clarity, faecal coliforms, pest plants, rubbish and invasive tubeworm

·    Next steps include external project review and technical consultants will be engaged to review the data and recommend an optimal pathway for implementation through subsequent budgeting processes

·    Substantial work required to improve water quality and a broad range of evidence based interventions may include waterway management changes, a District plan review, TANK Plan Change and onsite environmental quality improvement devices

·    Napier City Council has a separate programme of work for Tyne and Thames Street drains which will feed into the study.

EICC69/21

Resolution

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee receives and notes the “Napier Open Waterways Water Quality” staff report and presentation.

Graham/Kirton

CARRIED

 

8.

Proposed Environmental Projects Overview Tool

 

Iain Maxwell introduced Jolene Townsend and Lee Tupuola who demonstrated a GIS tool that maps Council’s “on-ground” projects .  Discussions traversed:

·    Data underlying the map provides a snapshot of activities in the current annual plan, noting that the data is not live

·    The tool is still being further developed and may be able to integrate with or link to the PowerBI dashboard that reports organisational performance

·    A link will be provided to councillors to explore the tool.

EICC70/21

Resolution

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee receives and notes the “Proposed Environmental Projects Overview Tool” staff report.

van Beek/Barker

CARRIED

 


 

9.

Erosion Control Scheme – Update on systems and forecasts

 

Iain Maxwell introduced Dean Evans and Billy-Anne Herries who provided an update on the Erosion Control Scheme (ECS), highlighting system improvements and financial tracking/forecasting.  Discussions covered:

·    Interim ECS financial tracker has been set up to ensure more accurate financial tracking and financial forecasting and that project commitments and forecast expenditure is within approved budgets

·    From 1 July 2021, a reduction of ECS grant rate from 75% to 50% and $100,000 project funding cap will be introduced

·    In future will be able to report results, based on evidence gathered over time, of ECS reflected by sedimentation and faecal contamination reduction in the catchments.

EICC71/21

Resolution

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee receives and notes the “Erosion Control Scheme – Update on Systems and Forecasts” staff report.

Ormsby/Foley

CARRIED

 

11.

Update on IRG Flood Control Resilience Funded projects

 

Chris Dolley introduced the item, and David Keracher and Martina Groves provided an update on key aspects on each of the four projects. Discussions traversed:

·    Response from Provincial Development Unit (PDU) and Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) has been positive to the extent that HBRC is now assisting neighbouring councils with their programmes

Project 1: Heretaunga Plains Flood Control Scheme (HPFCS) - ($20m)

·    39 key sites identified across HPFCS for prioritisation

·    Developing collaborative site enhancement plans that achieve the objectives of climate resilience, biodiversity gain and community involvement

·    Geotechnical assessments and investigations have been undertaken on the Taradale stopbank and are using the findings to assess a number of options to strengthen that particular stopbank

Project 2: Upper Tukituki Gravel extraction Flood Control Scheme ($8m)

·    Significant work has been undertaken to date including investigating opportunities to subsidise gravel extraction from this scheme to maintain existing 1:100 level of protection

·    Approximately 3.1m m3 of gravel is available in the UTT scheme as revealed by aerial studies/surveys and HBRC Works Group formed 3 new access roads facilitate extraction

·    Consultation with UTT scheme ratepayers undertaken on four occasions to seek feedback on the proposed loan funding options for gravel extraction

·    Options to proceed will be decided by Council by 1 July 2021

Project 3: Upper Tukituki Flood Control Scheme SH 50 bridge Waipawa Erosion - ($1m)

·    Will provide engineered erosion protection works south of SH50 bridge

·    Works Group has completed the installation of 75 precast akmon units on the left bank of the Waipawa river,  earthworks to cut and fill gravel to form the new river channel, and nearly completed installation of 3166 lineal meters of rail irons and wire rope to form permeable groynes on the left and right banks

·    An ecological impact assessment undertaken showed positive effects on biodiversity

·    Project funding has allowed Council to deliver a project that was previously unaffordable.

Project 4: Wairoa River, River Parade Erosion ($1m)

·    Significant erosion on the left bank has compromised Wairoa District Council assets (roading, stormwater and water)

·    Geotechnical investigations and preliminary designs completed, construction contract drafted and liaising with WDC to relocate the watermain

·    Native planting options will be considered as part of the environmental outcomes.

EICC72/21

Resolution

That the EICC receives the “Update on IRG Flood Control Resilience Funded Projects” report.

Barker/Foss

CARRIED

 

13.

Whakakī Catchment Pilot Project case studies and findings

 

Nathan Heath delivered a presentation that highlighted findings and lessons learnt to date.  Discussions covered:

·    Significant investigation and focus on how to address eroding land

·    Funding and ability to work across the catchment community

·    Funding was initially provided through the Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy (HBREDS) and MPI

·    Four-key processes were co-design process, cultural impact assessment, farm planning and economic impact assessments

·    Intent of the case studies was to identify the “cost” of change required to meet Plan and RMA reform requirements through assessing the costs of implementing a Farm Plan

·    Obvious opportunities to further extend work with wider catchment community

·    Next steps include reformation of the Whakakī Catchment Group, extending to other farm planning processes and workshops, and following up with landholders to support the implementation of their plans and access to funding.

EICC73/21

Resolution:

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee receives and notes the “Whakakī Catchment Pilot Project Case Studies and Findings” staff report.

Graham/Barker

CARRIED

The committee adjourned at 1.03pm and reconvened at 1.33pm with Dr Roger Maaka absent

12.

Water Efficiency update

 

Iain Maxwell introduced Monique Benson and Brendan Powell who presented on the Water Efficiency work programme work done to date.

·    Hawke’s Bay Irrigation area estimated at over 28,800 ha (2017)

·    Wide range of land uses (pasture, cropping, orcharding, viticulture) and irrigation types (drip, micro, travelling guns and pivots)

·    Irrigation system performance and management can affect water consumption and nutrient loss

·    Excess water use can decrease yield, increase drainage and nutrient loss and reduces the ability to take advantage of rainfall (free irrigation)

·    Key work done on Water User Group meetings, Irrigation Check-up programme, Media campaigns, IrriCalc Calibration, Irrigation checks before and after maintenance and refined FEMP irrigation requirements

·    Future focus includes Industry and capacity building and working with landowners at Farm Scale specifically around increasing irrigation system performance and effective use of appropriate technology

·    “Saving H2O is the way to go” campaign, focussed on urban water users) is due for a refresh in collaboration with TLAs

·    Specific policies and requirements in TANK for TLAs to meet in relation to water use efficiency and conservation.

EICC74/21

Resolution

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee receives and notes the “Water Efficiency Update” staff report.

Kirton/Lambert

CARRIED

Councillor Rick Barker left the meeting at 2.03pm.

14.

Urban Biodiversity presentation by Dr Bruce Clarkson

 

Dr Bruce Clarks presented on Urban Biodiversity decline and on People, Cities and Nature multi-disciplinary programme leading urban ecological restoration research in New Zealand as well as what can be achieved in a Hawke’s Bay climate. Discussions covered:

·    Key ecological principles explained with focus on urban biodiversity decline

·    Biodiversity in dangerous decline unprecedented with species extinction rate accelerating

·    Current global response insufficient with transformative change needed to restore and protect nature

·    Cities are being viewed as the solution to saving the biodiversity – cities could reverse biodiversity decline in a region

·    Napier has the lowest amount of biodiversity in NZ

·    Implementation targets drafted in the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity aim to restore indigenous biodiversity cover to at least 10%

·    Restoration should be a priority in landscapes where cover is near or below 5–10%, where clearance is likely to have large impacts on native bird communities and even small increases in forest cover may produce large benefits

·    Multiple benefits of increased biodiversity include filtering air and water, cooling heat islands, social cohesion, carbon sequestration to counteract greenhouse gases, and health and recreation

·    Most favourable Policy Framework for 40 years (Predator FreeNZ 2050/Draft National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity/ Aotearoa NZ Biodiversity Strategy/ Te Uru Rakau and 1 Billion Trees/Jobs for Nature).

EICC75/21

Resolution

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee receives and notes the “Urban Biodiversity presentation by Dr Bruce Clarkson”.

Ormsby/van Beek

CARRIED

 

Secretarial note

Standing Order 4.2 states “A meeting can not continue more than 6 hours from when it starts (including any adjournments) …”

Resolution

EICC76/21     That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee meeting continues past the six hour limit.

Ormsby/van Beek

CARRIED

 

15.

Ahuriri Estuary Stocktake

 

Iain Maxwell introduced the item and James Powrie who delivered a presentation of the findings from the Ahuriri Estuary Stocktake.  Discussions traversed:

·    Stocktake was conducted to see which agencies are doing work in the catchment and may later inform Te Muriwai o Te Whanga Plan – Ahuriri catchment and Estuary Plan

·    Communications and biodiversity were seen as key areas or rallying points for focused and aligned efforts and early gains

·    Biodiversity losses are irretrievable however there are many successful initiatives in place to improve conditions for resident species and habitat will improve the overall state of Ahuriri estuary

·    Ahuriri Estuary needs urgent help through aligned and coordinated efforts

·    Proposed next steps include sharing the report in order to determine how to operationalise & formalise its recommendations, focussing on communications

Cr Martin Williams left the meeting at 3.30pm

EICC77/21

Resolution

That the Environment and Integrated Catchments Committee receives and notes the Ahuriri Estuary Stocktake staff report.

Kirton/Foss

CARRIED

 

16.

Discussion of Minor Matters not on the Agenda

 

 

withdrawn

 

Cr Hinewai Ormsby closed the meeting with a karakia.

 

Closure:

There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 3.32pm on Wednesday, 12 May 2021.

 

Signed as a true and correct record.

 

 

 

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