Rangitāiki River Forum

Ngā Meneti

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Friday 4 September 2020, 10.30 am

Venue:                         Via Zoom (Audio Visual Meeting)

Heamana

Chairperson:               Maramena Vercoe - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa

Heamana Tuarua

Deputy Chairperson:  Te Waiti Rangiwai - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare

Ngā Kopounga

Members:                    Miro Araroa – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa

Cr Bill Clark – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Cr Stacey Rose – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Whakaeke Ritete – Te Kotahitanga o Ngāti Tūwharetoa

Cr Wilson James (Alternate) – Whakatāne District Council

Karito Paul (Alternate) - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa

Cr Alison Silcock – Whakatāne District Council

Ngapera Rangiaho – Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua

Clifford Te Riini – Ngāti Tūwharetoa (Bay of Plenty) Settlement Trust

Te Hunga i Tae Ake

In Attendance:            Bay of Plenty Regional Council: Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments, Mieke Kapa – Land Management Officer (Eastern), Andrew Pawson – Area Engineer, Peter Ellery (Contractor), Charles Harley – Team Leader Eastern Catchments, Bruce Crabbe – Rivers & Drainage Operations Manager, Shari Kameta – Committee Advisor, Hemi Barsdell – Asset Management Specialist, Anaru Vercoe – Strategic Engagement Manager, Jo Watts – Acting Water Policy Team Leader, Micah Butt – Senior Māori Resource Management Advisor, Gina Mohi – Pūtaiao Matauranga, Sanjana France – Communications Partners, Sandy Hohepa – Māori Policy Advisor, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa: Maxeen Newton – Pou Taiao, Whakatāne District Council: Nicholas Woodley – Manager Project Development and Delivery, Taupō District Council: Sue Mavor – Strategic Advisor Māori

 

                                                      Presenters/Externals: Place Group: Michelle Archer – Project Manager, Morag McKenzie – Director, Waikakariki Limited: Clifford Merriman, Ismael Mitai; Southern Generation Partnership Limited: Peter Mulvihill – General Manager Project Development and Delivery, NIWA: Siobhan Nuri – MSc Student, Trustpower: Ryan Piddington, Jen Spence, Nicola Foran, Lisa Mead

 

Ngā Hōnea

Apologies:                  Tuwhakairiora O'Brien (Alternate) - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa

                                    Cr Kylie Leonard – Taupō District Council

                                                      Whakaeke Ritete (lateness)

                                                      Cr Stacey Rose (lateness/early departure 2pm)

                                                      Te Waiti Rangiwai (early departure 1pm)

                                                      Ngapera Rangiaho (early departure 2pm)
Ivy Kahukiwa Smith – Hineuru Iwi Trust

Cr Kevin Winters – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

1.     Karakia Whakatuwhera
Opening Karakia

A karakia was provided by Miro Araroa, which Clifford Te Riini responded with a mihi.

2.     Opening Announcement

Recording of the Meeting

Forum Chair Maramena Vercoe raised concerns that had been expressed by Iwi members regarding audio and visual recording of the meeting for public viewing. Key concerns raised were: members comments could be sensitive and/or taken out of context and misinterpreted, members wanted a safe environment to express their views without public scrutiny, recording the meeting placed pressure on members and could pose a risk to their mana. Consideration was raised to provide appropriate training for Iwi members on the potential implications of recorded meetings, managing outcomes and professional conduct in preparation for the recording of meetings in the future.

Motion

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Agrees that the meeting not be recorded for the reasons provided.

Vercoe/Rangiwai

CARRIED

10:50 am – Cr Stacey Rose entered the meeting.

3.     Ngā Hōnea
Apologies

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Accepts the apologies from: Tuwhakairiora O'Brien, Cr Kylie Leonard, Ivy Kahukiwa Smith, Cr Kevin Winters, Whakaeke Ritete (for lateness), Cr Stacey Rose (early departure 2pm), Te Waiti Rangiwai (early departure 1pm) and Ngapera Rangiaho (early departure 2pm) tendered at the meeting.

Rangiwai/Rangiaho

CARRIED

4.     Raupapa o Ngā Take
Order of Business

It was noted that Agenda Item 10.1, ‘Forum Membership Appointment’ would be considered after Agenda Item 9.1, ‘Proposed Walkway around Lake Aniwaniwa’ due to the early departure of the Deputy Chair/member for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare.

5.     Whakapuakanga o Ngā Take Whai Taha-Rua
Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

6.     Ngā Meneti
Minutes

Ngā Meneti a Ngā Komiti
Minutes to be Confirmed

6.1

Rangitaiki River Forum Minutes - 5 June 2020

 

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Confirms the Rangitaiki River Forum Minutes - 5 June 2020 as a true and correct record.

Rose/Rangiwai

CARRIED

7.     Whakahoutanga Kōrero
Verbal Updates

7.1

Forum Members Verbal Updates

 

Te Waiti Rangiwai

·       Reactivation of Covid-19 Level 2 on 12 August had resulted in office closure for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare, however staff were continuing to respond to public enquiries.

·       The Rūnanga had developed a Covid-19 Pandemic Response Plan to help with managing future mahi, and had called on many relationships over the past three months to assist with key kaupapa.

Clifford Te Riini

·       Work and discussions were ongoing with iwi partners Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Rangitihi on geothermal discharges into the Tarawera River.

·       Future focus regarding the Rangitāiki catchment would be consideration of the Matahina and Aniwhenua Dam resource consent renewals.

Ngapera Rangiaho

·       Hapū engagement was occurring with the Aniwhenua Dam regarding the proposal for sedimentation extraction.

·       Waiohau hapū/community were developing an emergency response plan in alignment with the Galatea community and Aniwhenua Dam plans.

·       Waiohau hapū were keeping in mind the resource consent renewal process that was scheduled in 2026 for Aniwaniwa dam.

·       Waiohau hapū had received a presentation from Cr Silcock and the Galatea Community Group on the proposed walkway for Lake Aniwaniwa, which had been well received. Engagement with the project would be ongoing as a key interest.

Cr Bill Clark

·       Further to the Forum meeting of 5 June 2020, Cr Clark and member Tuwhakairiora O'Brien had reviewed Department of Conservation’s whitebait regulations on the behalf of the Forum. From a Ngāti Awa perspective, Mr O’Brien was not comfortable with the proposal and would provide an update at the next Forum meeting.

·       Rangitāiki-Tarawera River Advisory Group had appointed two new members: Heyden Johnston (an active member of the Thornton community and son of the late George Johnston) and Leeann Waka (Rangitāiki Community Board representative).

Cr Toi Iti

·       An issue had been raised by Mr Pem Bird regarding low groundwater issues at Murupara, which Cr Iti had advised Mr Bird to refer the matter to the Forum Chair and Regional Council staff where appropriate.

Cr Stacey Rose

·       No update to report.

Miro Araroa

·       Discussions were ongoing with Ngāti Tūwharetoa (BOP) Settlement Trust on geothermal discharges into the Tarawera River.

·       Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa and affected hapū were in discussions to agree on a way forward in regard to Fonterra consent.

·       Ngāti Awa would be holding annual discussions with Trustpower in regard to environmental flows and impacts on the awa in relation to their consent.

·       Local iwi/hapū members had been actively involved with NIWA’s glass eel sampling on the Rangitāiki awa.

Cr Alison Silcock

·       Cr Silcock and Ngapera Rangiaho had been working closely on matters relating to the Galatea/Waiohau communities and had met with Aniwhenua Dam owners to look at their emergency response plan.

·       Informal engagement and information sharing had commenced with Lake Aniwaniwa landowners on the walkway proposal.

Maramena Vercoe

·       Te Rūnanga on Ngāti Manawa had appointed Maxeen Newton to a new Pou Taiao position.

·       Manawa Tu Work for Life Centre would open on 16 September 2020. Forum members were invited to attend the opening.

·       Over 100 people had registered for work, which had revealed the need for additional resources to support those entering the workforce.

·       Members of the community still required support from the impacts of Covid-19, requiring quick and effective coordination of resources.

 

7.2

Rangitaiki River Forum Covid-19 Contingency Plan

Presented by: Te Waiti Rangiwai, Forum Deputy Chair

 

Key Points:

·         Raised for the Forum’s consideration, developing a Covid-19 Pandemic Response Plan to cover matters of relevance, such as: how meetings should be managed, ensuring attendance of members at hui, and keeping people safe.

·         A Response Plan would ensure that Rangitāiki River Forum whānau had a plan that was meaningful and relevant, which could be referred to when the need arose.

 

Item for Follow Up:

The Chair noted the matter for consideration at the next Forum meeting.

11:16 am – Whakaeke Ritete entered the meeting.

8.     Whakaaturanga
Presentations

8.1

Proposed Walkway around Lake Aniwaniwa

Presentation: Lake Aniwaniwa Galataea Walking/Cycling Facility - Information Sharing: Objective ID A3614265  

Presented by: Cr Alison Silcock

 

Key Points:

·       The proposed walkway was a project led by the Galatea Community Group for a 11km dual purpose walking/cycling facility around Lake Aniwaniwa, as a recreational resource for the local community and potential visitors.

·       The project had been in the pipeline for a number of years, but was put on hold while attention was given to the flooding impacts on farmers.

·       Long-term goal was to join with other trails, such as the Ngāti Manawa planned trail, Whirinaki Trails, Tūhoe foothills track and other trails in the lower Eastern Bay of Plenty.

·       A map illustrated the starting point and project phases.  

·       The project was supported by Southern Generation, Whakatāne District Council and the Regional Council with funding provided for an initial design concept plan. Further financial contributions would need to be acquired.

·       Highlighted the benefits the walkway would provide to the community to: celebrate the cultural importance of the river and area, improve water quality and aesthetics with native planting, recreational/mobility access and educational, tourism and local employment opportunities.

·       Envisaged the involvement of local volunteers, community and contractors.

·       Galatea Community Group was discussing the proposal with landowners.

·       Welcomed any feedback from the Forum and could provide updates at key project stages.

In response to Questions:

·       Galatea Community Group was in the early stages of information sharing and had not as yet met with the wider community to discuss the proposal, but had made initial contact with landowners and Southern Generation.

·       Had plans to arrange a meeting with Te Uru Taumatua to inform them of the project and seek feedback.

·       Would explore funding opportunities and seek the support and advice of Whakatane District Council and the Regional Council on potential avenues.

·       Iwi would be consulted in regard to wāhi tapu and archaeological sites to ensure they were provided for and protected.

Key Points - Members:

·       The project would be a great benefit to the community.

·       Karito Paul expressed his interest to be involved in the project.

·       Chair Maramena Vercoe and Deputy Chair Te Waiti Rangiwai welcomed the opportunity for Ngāti Manawa and Ngāti Whare to be involved, noting particular regard to the Green Job fund and cultural aspects of the project.

·       Noted for consideration the Ministry for the Environment Jobs for Nature and Provincial Growth Fund as potential funding avenues.

9.     Ngā Pūrongo
Reports

Ngā Whakatau e Hiahiatia Ana
Decisions Required

9.1

Forum Membership Appointment

Key Points - Members:

·       The Chair and members welcomed Karito Paul to the Forum.

·       Mr Paul responded noting it was a privilege to be appointed onto the Forum.

 

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Receives the report, Forum Membership Appointment.

2          Confirms the appointment of Karito Paul onto the Rangitāiki River Forum as the alternate member for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa.

Rangiaho/Rangiwai

CARRIED

10.   Whakaaturanga
Presentations (Continued)

10.1

Renewal of Non-Scheme Waterway Management Consent

Presentation: Resource Consent 64684 - A consent to enable repair works in streams and waterways in the Bay of Plenty: Objective ID A3622584  

Presented by: Hemi Barsdell, Rivers and Drainage Asset Management Specialist

 

Key Points:

·       Renewal of consent 64684 was currently at the pre-notification stage and anticipated to be notified for public submissions later this year.

·       The consent would apply to all waterways, but would exclude all rivers and drainage maintenance scheme areas (permitted activities under the Regional Natural Resources Plan), and Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park and Te Urewera within the Rangitāiki catchment.

·       The consent would primarily be used when Council was approached by landowners and enabled Council to provide for its statutory functions of providing advice around soil conservation, water quality management and natural hazard mitigation.

·       Work completed under the consent may include: removal of vegetation and sediment build-up, bank erosion repairs, removal of small-scale debris and enhancement work to improve ecosystem habitat.

·       For each work project under the consent, a specific management plan will be prepared prior to work occurring.

·       In response to feedback received from tangata whenua, staff had included proposed conditions within the consent application form to provide for engagement, particularly with tangata whenua.

·       Staff had been engaging with tangata whenua since February 2020 to inform and seek feedback on the consent renewal process.

·       Engagement undertaken to date had included Forum iwi partners, with the exception of Hineuru which staff were following up.  

·       The consent was wide-reaching and related to waterways, therefore staff were keen to engage with Iwi/tangata whenua on the process, and welcomed feedback from any groups that would like to be engaged.

In Response to Questions:

·       Common engagement themes with tangata whenua had focused on: water quality, wāhi tapu, planting of native species to support habitat improvement, and ensuring tangata whenua were consulted where relevant and appropriate.

·       The consent could be used to align with Te Ara Whānui outcomes to improve water quality and enhance habitat.

·       Considered some low cost/low impact improvements could be made to Council’s Environmental Code of Practice (COP) for Rivers and Drainage Maintenance Activities to better achieve some Te Ara Whānui outcomes.

·       Cost of consent in most instances would fall to the applicant (landowner), with up to a 25% maximum contribution from Council in recognition of its statutory functions.

Key Points - Members:

·       Signalled an expectation for Te Ara Whānui goals and objectives to be front of mind in Council mahi, including finding solutions to improve and achieve the naturalness of the Rangitāiki River and its tributaries.

·       Sought consideration for Iwi to be involved when reviewing Council’s Environmental COP.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·       Deputy Chair Te Waiti Rangiwai requested a copy of the proposed consent application form for information.

10.2

Creating fish nursery and rearing habitat on river margins

Presentation: Creating fish nursery and rearing habitat on river margins: Objective ID A3615366  

Presented by: Mieke Kapa, Land Management Officer (Eastern), Peter Ellery (Contractor) and Andrew Pawson, Area Engineer (Rivers and Drainage)

 

Key Points:

·       The document ‘Creating fish nursery and rearing habitat on river margins’ (refer page 23 of the agenda) was primarily targeted as in-house guidance for staff and had since been shared with other regional councils.

·       Creation of fish habitat was most effective during stopbank maintenance.

·       Provided examples of design styles and pond construction created at
Te Huauri o Te Kawa (Kaituna), Ōkorero (Thornton Lagoon), Ferry Road (Whakatāne) and on a farm within the Rangitāiki catchment.

·       A potential new site was being investigated on Regional Council land along the Horomanga Stream margin, with potential opportunity for involvement from Galatea School and the local caregroup.

·       Peter Ellery’s extensive experience of habitat creation had contributed significantly to the development of the guidance document.

·       Mr Pawson gave an overview of river maintenance and soft engineering solutions that were being used on the Rangitāiki awa.

·       Regeneration and layering of willows provided habitat for invertebrate, native fish species, bird life, as well as softening of the water currents.

·       The use of rip-rap rock was avoided where possible, but still needed to be used for further stability particularly where velocity flows were high.

In Response to Questions:

·       The use of willow was carefully considered in terms of having the right tree in the right place and were used because of their speed of growth and bank stabilisation properties.

·       Shrub willows were used for riverbank works which are less invasive and more manageable than crack willow or grey willow.

·       Layered willows were still hinged to the stump, where trench willows were tied down. Trench willows handled levels of flooding more, but could still give way where there was a total loss of bank stabilisation.

·       Planting of natives behind rip-rap was taking place, which provided some habitat for native fish and aquatic species.

·       Eel and fish habitat was apparent along rock rip rap river banks, contrary to popular belief, and having a sloping rip rap bank was considered better for fish and eel habitat than a vertical soil bank.

Key Points - Members:

Commended Mr Ellery and staff for their work and looked forward to further positive outcomes along the Rangitāiki awa.

 

10.3

Rangitāiki River Wetlands project update

Presentation: Rangitaiki Wetlands Project Update: Objective ID A3615232  

Presented by: Michelle Archer and Morag McKenzie (Place Group), Ismael Mitai and Clifford Merriman (Waikakariki Ltd)

 

Key Points:

·       Rangitāiki Wetland Restoration Project was a 5-year project (2018-2023) co-funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

·       Approval had been obtained from the landowners of the three wetlands: Hinengawiri, Karamuramu and Rangipo.

·       Objectives were to: improve indigenous biodiversity of wetlands, reduce pest plants and animals, and build capacity and capability within the local community.

·       Provided an overview of each wetland and progress made on: completion of baseline data/monitoring, groundwork for safe access, initial weed control, and completion of planting at one site.

·       Project highlights were: first year of work completed to high standard, first planting undertaken by local kuia on 16 June, the project was collaborating and working well with landowners and local contractors, local capacity and capability had increased, and were contributing to the local economy.

·       Mr Mitai and Mr Merriman provided background on Waikakariki Limited:

o   Contracting company established in 2018 and locally based in Murupara.

o   Goal was to create a sustainable community for their whenua and iwi.

o   Engaged by the project in June 2019 and involved in all three wetlands.

o   Highlights thus far were: employed seven local rangatahi, gained a greater understanding of the natural environment, involved with other services in the community, and created good relationships with local kura and kohanga reo.

o   Future goals were to: continue the journey forward, create a sustainable community, create support pathways for local rangatahi and community, form a Rangitāiki River pest management group, and support and work with iwi/Rūnanga.

o   Acknowledged Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa in working towards the restoration of the whenua.

Key Points - Members:

·       Congratulated the mahi and efforts of Place Group and Waikakariki Limited.

·       Pleased to see the positive outcomes for local people.

·       Commended the model for building environmental and social impacts.

 

12:51 pm – the meeting adjourned.

 

12:51 pm – Te Waiti Rangiwai withdrew during the adjournment.

 

1:10 pm – the meeting reconvened.

11.   Failure of Quorum

Due to the departure of Te Waiti Rangiwai, Deputy Chair/member for Te Rūnanga
o Ngāti Whare, the quorum was lost and the meeting lapsed and adjourned at
1:10 pm.

Members in attendance were: Chair Maramena Vercoe, Miro Araroa, Cr Bill Clark,
Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti, Cr Stacey Rose, Whakaeke Ritete, Ngapera Rangiaho, Clifford
Te Riini, Cr Alison Silcock, Cr Wilson James (Alternate), Karito Paul (Alternate).

12.   Items Deferred

Due to a lack of quorum, members convened a workshop to receive an update on the following items, which were deferred to the next meeting of the Forum for receipt.

·         Item 10.2 – Implementation for the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management

·         Item 10.3 – Rangitāiki Integrated Catchment Programme: Annual Work Plan 2020/21

·         Item 11.1, Verbal Update: Glass Eel Study on the Rangitāiki River – 2020 Preliminary Sampling Results.

 

 

 

Confirmed 4 December 2020                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                 Maramena Vercoe

Chairperson, Rangitāiki River Forum