Meeting of the Biosecurity Working Party


Date:                        Tuesday 6 September 2022

Time:                       9.00am


Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street





Item          Title                                                                                                                                                                         Page


1.             Welcome/Notices/Apologies

2.             Conflict of Interest Declarations

3.             Confirmation of Minutes of the Biosecurity Working Party held on 17 August 2022

Decision Items

4.             Deliberations on changes to possum control in Hawke's Bay                                                              3




Biosecurity Working Party  

Tuesday 06 September 2022

Subject: Deliberations on Changes to possum control in Hawke's Bay        


Reason for Report

1.      This deliberations report provides the Biosecurity Working Party (BWP) with further information to assist it in making a recommendation to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) partial plan review changes (the Proposal) regarding the possum control programme.

2.      It sets out the background for this review and key themes raised by submitters during consultation.

Officers’ Recommendations

3.      Council officers recommend that the BWP consider the views expressed by written submissions received as well as verbal submissions heard on 17 August 2022, in conjunction with the information in this report, when making its recommendation to Council on the proposal.

Scope of the decision

4.      Only two options were proposed during consultation:

4.1.    Support moving to a contractor delivery model for possum management.

4.2.    Against moving to a contractor delivery model for possum management.


5.      On 1 July 2022 Council released the Proposal on the future of possum control in Hawke’s Bay. The purpose of the Proposal was to seek feedback on the proposed change from occupier responsibility to a Council-managed contract delivery model.

6.      To encourage public input, several mechanisms for submitting feedback were provided, including via phone, email, letter, hard-copy submission form or online submission form. A total of 153 submissions were received with the majority received by the online submission form. The release of the Proposal was advertised via Council’s website and Facebook page, a YouTube video, an article in Bay Buzz magazine, and 4,500 letters sent to stakeholders. An email was also sent to key stakeholders.

7.      Staff consulted with neighbouring councils about the Proposal and held meetings with key industry and interest groups, such as Department of Conservation, Federated Farmers, OSPRI, Beef and Lamb, and local pest control contractors.

Submissions received

8.      A total of 155 submissions were received through the consultation period. The majority were online.

9.      Of these, 102 submitters supported moving to a contractor delivery model, 37 were against a change and 16 were unsure.

10.    Of the 155 submissions, 28 had indicated their preference but had not commented further (18%).

The headlines and key themes of submissions

11.    The majority of submitters support the proposed changes to possum control. 

12.    Of the 102 submitters in support the key themes included:


Sub themes


·         Biodiversity gains possible from the approach for the region

Current system has failed

·         Awareness that the current model has weaknesses


·         Using contractors will allow for greater consistency across the region

Land tenure

·         Ensuring that all properties are treated equally, including forestry, DOC and lifestyle blocks

13.    Of the 37 submitters who did not support the proposed changes to possum control the clear themes were:


Sub themes

Costs/more information required

·         Specific costs per property

·         Do not want any further rates increases

Already controlling possums

·         Do not want to pay for a contractor when the work is already being undertaken by land occupier

Other pests

·         Focus on other pests as a priority and not just possums

Contactor hesitation

·         Concern around contractors entering property from a health and safety perspective

·         Contractors using toxins/ poisons

14.    Of the 16 submitters who did not know whether they supported the proposal, the overall theme was needing more information specifically pertaining to costs. Staff were asked by the BWP to produce an example of how property rates could change under current rating modelling and using the Council-managed contractor approach. This information has been attached to this report. Please note that the rating approach currently used is highly likely to change as a result of the Revenue and Financing Policy review currently occurring.

Sufficiency of consultation

15.    Under the Biosecurity Act 1993 (BSA), the Council (and BWP when making recommendations to the Council) is required to be satisfied of the sufficiency of the consultation undertaken.

16.    In considering whether the Council is satisfied that the consultation conducted was sufficient the Council must have regard to the following:

16.1      The scale of the impacts on persons who are likely to be affected by the plan; and

16.2      Whether the persons likely to be affected by the plan or their representatives have already been consulted and, if so, the nature of the consultation; and

16.3      The level of support for, or opposition to, the Proposal from persons who are likely to be affected by it.

17.    In this case, staff consider:

17.1      The scale of the impacts on persons likely to be affected is relatively low, given that the Council is proposing to shift from an occupier responsibility to Council-managed model for possum control and that a discussion with the community on how this programme will be funded will be undertaken as part of the 2024 Long-Term Plan (please see paragraph 21 below).

17.2      The persons likely to be affected by the plan have been consulted, through the public notification and letters sent to 4,500 stakeholders, the receipt of 153 submissions on the proposal, and the opportunity to participate at a public hearing of the submissions; and

17.3      The majority of the submissions received were in support of the Proposal.

Significance and Engagement Policy Assessment

18.    Council considered this Proposal to be significant and directed staff to undertake consultation with the community to ascertain their views.

Engagement with Tāngata Whenua

19.    The BWP, consisting of five councillors and 2 representatives of the Māori Committee, was formed. The purpose of the BWP was to provide recommendations to staff on the development of the Proposal and to advise on how to best to consult with Māori.

20.    When the BWP was formed, there was the intent to provide an update to the Māori Committee, however, due to time constraints this was not possible. As a result, and following advice from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Māori Partnerships group, the BWP has relied on the guidance of the tāngata whenua members of the Biosecurity Working Party.

Financial and Resource Implications

21.    It should be noted that no Council decisions on new budgets or any revised allocation of costs have been made. These issues will be considered and discussed with the community as part of the 2024 Long-Term Plan (LTP) process. The changes envisioned in this Proposal are enabling but would not be operationalised until the LTP process has been completed and the Revenue and Financing Policy has been consulted upon and final changes adopted by HBRC.

22.    The existing funding split for this programme is 70% targeted rate, 30% general rate. Given the primary benefit of this Proposal is regional biodiversity, it is recommended that the funding split is substantially changed to account for this.  This has been discussed with HBRC and it is proposed that the programme is primarily funded by a general rate (approximately 70%) with a smaller percentage of target rate (approximately 30%) to reflect that there is a greater benefit to biodiversity than to primary production. The funding split for this programme is also subject to the funding analysis required under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002.

23.    When determining the appropriate cost allocation for this programme HBRC must consider how the costs will be shared amongst:

23.1      Those people who have an interest in the plan.

23.2      Those who benefit from the plan (including collective benefits), and

23.3      Those who contribute to the pest problem and who pose a risk of spreading pests through their activities.

24.    These factors have been considered as part of the development of this Proposal and will continue to be considered under section 100T of the BSA when the funding split is confirmed as part of the review of the Revenue and Financing Policy.  Consultation on the Revenue and Financing Policy review is due to commence in 2023.

Next Steps

25.    Once the Deliberations Report has been received and approved by the BWP, the BWP will then make its recommendations to HBRC to approve the plan for preparation under section 73 of the BSA, including a recommendation of a management agency under section 100 of the BSA.

26.    The BWP will make recommendations to HBRC on the Proposal to make changes to the Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP). It will also provide a report outlining the proposed decisions, which will be presented to HBRC along with a recommendation that HBRC should be satisfied with the requirements in section 74, being:

26.1      That the RPMP plan is not inconsistent with —

26.1.1      The national policy direction; or

26.1.2      Any other pest management plan on the same organism; or

26.1.3      Any pathway management plan; or

26.1.4      A regional policy statement or regional plan prepared under the Resource Management Act 1991; or

26.1.5      Any regulations; and

26.2      That, for each subject of the RPMP plan, the benefits of the plan outweigh the costs, after taking account of the likely consequences of inaction or other courses of action; and

26.3      That, for each subject of the RPMP plan, persons or a group that are required to directly meet any or all of the costs of implementing the plan —

26.3.1      will accrue, as a group, benefits outweighing the costs; or

26.3.2      contribute, as a group, to the creation, continuance, or exacerbation of the problems proposed to be resolved by the plan.

26.4      That, for each subject of the RPMP plan, there is likely to be adequate funding for the implementation of the plan for its proposed duration.

26.5      That each rule —

26.5.1   Will assist in achieving the plan’s objectives; and

26.5.2   Will not trespass unduly on the rights of individuals.

27.    HBRC will make a final decision in accordance with section 75 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 (BSA), accompanied by a report setting out their reasons for accepting or rejecting the submissions.

28.    If HBRC approves the proposed change to the RPMP, a public notice will be given of the decision together with a full decision report including any adopted changes to the RPMP. If submitters wish to do so, they will have 15 working days to lodge an appeal with the Environment Court in accordance with section 76 of the BSA.

Decision Making Process

29.    Council and its committees are required to make every decision in accordance with the requirements of the Biosecurity Act 1993. Staff have assessed the requirements in relation to this item and have concluded:

29.1      The decision does not significantly alter the service provision or affect a strategic asset, nor is it inconsistent with an existing policy or plan.

29.2      The use of a special consultative procedure is not prescribed by legislation.

29.3      The decision is significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted Significance and Engagement Policy and so has been the subject of a four-week public consultation process and hearing of submissions.

29.4      The persons directly affected by this decision are occupiers within the Possum Control Area Programme and rate payers of Hawke’s Bay.



That the Biosecurity Working Party:

1.      Receives and considers the Deliberations on changes to possum control in Hawke's Bay staff report in conjunction with the written submissions received and provided to Council, as well as verbal submissions heard on 17 August 2022.

2.      Agrees that the decisions to be made are 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 having conferred directly with the community and persons likely to have an interest in the decision over the period 1 July 2022 through 31 July 2022 and hearing verbal presentations made on 17 August 2022.

3.      Agrees to recommend to Council that the consultation undertaken on the Proposal is sufficient in terms of the factors in section 72 of the Biosecurity Act 1993.

4.      Notes the next steps required in terms of its recommendations to Council, including:

4.1.       Whether to approve the preparation of the plan, in accordance with section 73 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 (including a recommended management agency under section 100 of the Biosecurity Act 1993)

4.2.       Whether the Council should be satisfied of the matters required in section 74 of the Biosecurity Act 1993

4.3.       A recommendation as to Council’s decision on the plan (if approved for preparation), including a report detailing the reasons for accepting or rejecting the submissions, in accordance with section 75 of the Biosecurity Act 1993.


Authored by:

Lauren Simmonds

Project Manager - Biosecurity Review

Mark Mitchell

Team Leader Principal Advisor Biosecurity Biodiversity



Approved by:

Iain Maxwell

Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management





PCA Review Rating models - Impact on Specific Properties




Biosecurity Working Party Submissions with officers’ response


Under Separate Cover


PCA Review Rating models - Impact on Specific Properties

Attachment 1


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