Informal Workshop Notes

Strategy and Policy Committee Workshop

Held:                            12:00 pm, Thursday 3 September 2020, Council Chambers, Ground Floor, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga

Present:                       Cr Paula Thompson

                                    Cr Norm Bruning

Cr Bill Clark

Cr Stuart Crosby

Chairman Doug Leeder

Cr Matemoana McDonald

Cr Jane Nees

Cr Stacey Rose

Cr Lyall Thurston

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Te Taru White

Cr Kevin Winters

In Attendance:            Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments, Namouta Poutasi – General Manager Strategy & Science, Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive, Lisa Power – Senior Planner, Hamish Lass – Senior Projects Officer (Marine & Freshwater), Sam Stephens - Biosecurity Officer, Julie Bevan – Policy & Planning Manager, Sharlene Pardy – Team Leader Policy (Environmental), Melissa Williams – Communications Partner, Shari Kameta – Committee Advisor

Apologies:                  Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti, Cr David Love


11:00 am - The workshop adjourned and reconvened at 12:00 pm.

1.     Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP)

Presentation: Regional Pest Management Plan: Objective ID A3617520  

Presented by: Lisa Power, Hamish Lass, Sam Stephens and Chris Ingle




Staff gave a presentation that outlined their responses to matters raised by Councillors, following the Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on 11 August.

Keys Points - Staff:

Development Steps

·       Clarified the proposed timeframes to ‘make’ the RPMP.

·       Implications of not meeting the 30 September Council meeting timeframe would have an impact on implementing new proposed rules for boat ramp management in the lakes, which may pose a reputational risk to Council if further catfish spread occurs.

·       Staff had sought an in-house legal review of the RPMP development steps required under the Biosecurity Act, advising that Council could make a one-step decision on the 30th.

Plan Overview

·       Minor edits had been made to the RPMP in response to councillor feedback, following the deferral of RPMP report to S&P Committee’s meeting on 11 August 2020.

·       The RPMP was consistent with other RPMPs and the nationally agreed template, however each RPMP would have their own regional differences.

·       The new RPMP provided structure around Council and property owner responsibilities to manage pests, and tools and resourcing to support this.

·       Outlined cost benefit analysis used to guide decision-making.

·       Provided a diagram that illustrated the preventative measures and agency overlaps, which could be incorporated into the plan to further assist the understanding of the biosecurity framework.




Staff - In Response to Questions:

·       Information on external pest management initiatives could be provided within a supplementary document to the RPMP, or in an appendix.

·       Monitoring and compliance of kiwifruit and woolly nightshade has been stepped up in the Tauranga area with this year’s new funding.

·       While enforcement had been an issue in regard to multiply-owned land, the current RPMP rules provided tools to implement pest management agreements in priority areas on a cost-share delivery basis, which Council had approved funding to commence this financial year, under the new Plan.

·       A comprehensive communication plan would be developed to support the RPMP, and public understanding of solutions and landowner responsibility, which would include a rework of the website.

Key Points - Members

·       Encouraged solutions to be found in regard to multiply-owned land and involving landowners.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·       Queried if Council had Memorandums of Understanding with the territorial authorities across the region to manage pests on roadside reserves.

3.        Key Issues

3.1            Site-led and Good Neighbour Rules

Key Points - Staff:

·       Staff supported the intent of ‘good neighbour’ and ‘site led’  rules but did not recommend incorporating these rules into the RPMP due to their complexity and whether they could meet legislative requirements and be enforceable.  

·       It would be very difficult to undertake the required cost benefit analysis for Good Neighbour rules (e.g. anticipating costs on a case by case basis between neighbours).

·       Provided clarification on the ‘good neighbour’ rule was binding on the Crown and acknowledged general confusion existed on both rules.

Direction Provided:

·       Provide further clarification within staff recommendations on the point of difference of ‘good neighbour’ and ‘site-led’ rules and who they effect to further support the reasons for recommending their incorporation within the RPMP.

·       Provide fact sheets on the RPMP rules approach.

3.2            Wallabies

Direction Provided:

·       Supported the revised approach and amendment for a split programme across the region for progressive containment and eradication.

Action for Staff Follow-up

·       Provide confirmation of Department of Conservation’s assessment regarding numbers of wallabies within the Bay of Plenty region.

3.3            Possums

Key Points:

·       Possums were included as an advisory pest in the RPMP.

·       Strategic decision was to support lead agencies where possible, with no funding committed.

·       Outlined cost benefit analyses from 2011, noting it would not meet the Predator Free NZ goal for eradication.

Direction Provided:

·       Supported staff’s approach and recommendation.

Key Points – Members:

·       Needed to tell Council’s story better on Council’s advocacy of the national-led initiative and where Council’s advisory status fits.

3.4            Kauri Dieback

Key Points:

·       Kauri dieback was included as an advisory pest in the RPMP.

·       Strategic decision was to support lead agencies where possible, with no funding committed.

·       3 out of 15 RPMPs addressed kauri dieback and there was a national steering group to develop a national plan, however did not get in front of the Minister

Direction Provided:

·       Supported a regionally led approach for kauri dieback.

3.5            Wild Ginger and Woolly Nightshade

Key Points:

·       Recommended no change to the proposed programme, as cost benefit analysis showed it would be expensive to meet full progressive containment objectives, therefore recommended trialling the new proposed rules before deciding whether further expenditure was justified.

·       Council still had the ability to require action under the rules and to support community initiatives.

·       New drone technology for surveillance was effective and being used by Council however, was not currently viable for spraying where use of helicopters was more cost beneficial.

Direction Provided:

·       Supported staff’s recommendation.

·       Would like better communication and messaging on landowner responsibility to control woolly nightshade.

3.6            Catfish

Key Points:

·       Staff recommended no change to the proposed programme, as there was no physical barrier to stop catfish from entering the Kaituna river and tributaries, therefore exclusion would be unachievable.

Key Points - Members:

·       Concerned about catfish spreading into the Kaituna River and the impact it would have for tangata whenua, as well as on koura populations within the lakes.

Staff in Response to Questions:

·       Biocontrol methods for catfish was in its infancy, which showed promise and needed to be made known.

·       Upper Kaituna River had not been netted for catfish and would be difficult to do with water flows. Limited amounts of netting had been undertaken in the lower Kaituna, and E-DNA sampling was being investigated.

·       Catfish barbs developed early in juveniles, which protected them from predators.

·       Hornwort also impacted on koura populations and migration. Council staff were working with Te Arawa Catfish Killas to look at new innovative technologies to assist with the issue.


Direction Provided:

·       Supported staff’s recommendation.

·       Would like better communication on the issue and impediments of catfish.

1:14pm - Cr Crosby withdrew from the workshop.

3.7            Life of the Plan

Direction Provided:

Supported inclusion of the following within the RPMP:

·       Bullet point on climate change effects and Council’s support of ongoing science.

·       Adding comment within Table 7 on management regime for progressive containing pests, noting that “Council will work in partnership with other parties that have pest management responsibilities and interests”.

·       Provide an overview of national led initiatives that sit outside of the RPMP, i.e. under legislation section.

·       An appendix or supplementary document to help the community understand Council’s site-led approach around high value biodiversity sites.

3.8            Other Matters

Direction Provided:

·       Consider using story boards in public reserve spaces to educate the community and tell our stories. 

4.     Conclusion

·       Staff would make the necessary changes to the RPMP following the direction provided by councillors, to be reported to the Council meeting on 30 September 2020.



1:22 pm – the workshop closed.