Informal Workshop Notes

Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum Workshop

Held:                            9.30 am, Thursday 11 February 2021, Mataatua Room, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, 5 Quay Street, Whakatāne

Chairperson:               Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti - Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Deputy Chairperson:  Mayor Lyn Riesterer - Ōpōtiki District Council

Present:                       Cr Bill Clark – Alternate, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Charlie Bluett - Te Runanga o Ngati Awa, Tuwhakairiora O'Brien – Alternate, Te Runanga o Ngati Awa, Cr Debi Hocart – Alternate, Ōpōtiki District Council

In Attendance:            BOPRC: Pim de Monchy – Coastal Catchments Manager, Anaru Vercoe – Pou Whainga – Principal Advisor, Stephanie McDonald – Community Engagement Team Leader, Tim Senior – Land Management Office (Eastern), Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

                                                      External: Bevan Gray – Ōpōtiki District Council, Nikora Heitia – Department of Conservation, Ian Molony - Whakatāne District Council, Michal Akurangi – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Whitney Nelson – Department of Conservation, Tanja Rother – Contractor –

Apologies:                  Trevor Ransfield – Te Upokorehe; Deputy Mayor Andrew Iles – Whakatāne District Council, Cr Nándor Tánczos – Whakatāne District Council


1.     Introduction

Charlie Bluett - Te Runanga o Ngati Awa opened the workshop with a karakia.

Stephanie McDonald – Community Engagement Team Leader outlined the purpose of the workshop and advised that representatives from the Department of Conservation would be compiling the information and direction received from members into Long Term Plan submissions for each council.  The Forum would then review and approve these at the next meeting scheduled for 11 March 2021.  Independent members and entities were also encouraged to provide individual submissions to each Long Term Plan.



Implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM)

Presentation - Implementing the NPSFM: Objective ID A3726375


Tabled Document 1 - Te Honongo - Regional Māori Engagement Plan for implementing the NPSFM: Objective ID A3741322

Presented by: Anaru Vercoe, Pou Whainga – Principal Advisor


In Response to Questions

·       Dependencies had been identified across all the project workstreams

·       Te Mana o Te Wai sat at the top and everything else filtered down

·       From an iwi perspective, freshwater management concerns were many and varied

·       Māori rights and interests in freshwater were high on the agenda for the Crown

·       Council was limited by the legislation under the current Resource Management Act (RMA) and the National Policy Statement.  Clarified that Council’s role was to implement and give effect to this legislation

·       Conversations around the NPSM with tangata whenua would be critical to establishing the best way for Council and tangata whenua to work together in partnership in giving effect to the policy

·       The NPSFM directly related to the Ōhiwa Harbour as a receiving environment in that it was impacted by all the freshwater bodies that flowed into it

·       The role of the forum in relation to Te Honongo was to be decided by members, how they collectively decided to participate in the process.

Members’ Comments

·       Questioned the terminology used and noted that terms such as ‘mahinga kai’ and ‘Te Mana o Te Wai’ meant different things to different people which could be confusing terms to operate under

·       Focus groups were being created to talk about values and standards – identifying values for each iwi/hapu group about what mattered most in the freshwater space now and in the future.  This information would then be collated and handed over to the freshwater policy groups

·       It was important to remember that different tangata whenua groups had their own views and all iwi/hapū should be engaged with individually to capture the breadth of these views.

Staff Comments

·       The management of drains and how the regulatory framework provided for this was a critical part of the conversation with tangata whenua and other interested parties in relation to what would be permitted and how, once the new NPSFM was implemented.




10.15 am – The workshop adjourned.


10.32 am – The workshop reconvened.




Long Term Plan submissions discussion

Presentation - BOPRC 2021-2031 Long Term Plan: Objective ID A3741704

Tabled Document 1 - Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy Actions Summary: Objective ID A3744560  


Discussion facilitated by Stephanie McDonald – Community Engagement Team Leader.
























































































Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC)

Key Points

·       Noted that Action 11.1 in the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy was to investigate potential impacts of climate change on the harbour, therefore the consultation topic of Climate Change Projects was of particular relevance

·       Climate change was predicted to increase the intensity and potentially the frequency of rainfall events, providing a direct link to the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy.

Key Points – Members

·       Suggested Councils donate to charitable regional safety and rescue services, rather than rating for this

·       Important environmental improvements were underway since the Forum began and now was the time to accelerate this mahi and gather momentum on projects

·       Work of the volunteers for Care Groups looking after the harbour was also gathering momentum and they were having to fundraise themselves

·       Recognised that climate change conversations for Ōhiwa Harbour - in relation to tangata whenua, marae and cultural practices, were different to broad community engagement about climate change.

In Response to Questions

·       Some of the consultation questions had arisen through Annual Plan workshops and decisions were made in principal

·       SedNet and hydrology modelling was the first comprehensive attempt to model the hydrology and sediment loads into and around Ōhiwa Harbour, which would provide baseline information and help to provide some insight and answers sought by the Forum

·       Funding for an additional full time employee (FTE) would come from BOPRC’s operating budget.

Direction Provided by the Forum

·       Requested submission points on the impacts of climate change (correlated with Strategy Action 1.11) and supported all four projects

·       Continued assessment of sedimentation in Ōhiwa Harbour and mangrove management

·       Supported an additional 2 FTE Eastern catchment Land Management Officers and operational costs to support Ōhiwa Harbour (Strategy Actions 1.1 and 1.7)

·       Further submission point on Strategy Action 1.10 to support fish passage

·       The Forum endorsed submitting on the resourcing of Care Groups and volunteers and expanding the criteria to be able to apply for funding, including technical and administrative support (Strategy Action 3.11)

·       Provide support for Upokorehe kaitiaki Group to continue their important mahi.

Item for Staff Follow Up

·       Respond to Mayor Riesterer on whether BOPRC was working together with The Moana Project on Climate Change Projects Question 1 - Facilitating a co-ordinated approach to climate change risk assessment and adaptation plans for the region (up to $250k over three years).


Ōpōtiki District Council

Bevan Gray – Finance and Corporate Services Group Manager, Ōpōtiki District Council presented this item.

Key Points

·       Key challenges included dealing with demand for growth, Covid-19 and recovery, Three Waters Reform, climate change, housing affordability and social development.  The consultation document would include projects to address most of these challenges

·       2018 LTP had additional budget for cycleway extensions around Ōhiwa and an increased Parks and Reserves budget which included maintenance of playgrounds and reserves in the area

·       A consultation topic would include increasing the number of rubbish bins in the district

·       The recreational impact on Ōhiwa Harbour with increased population in Ōpōtiki should be taken into consideration.

Key Points – Members

·       Of considerable concern was visitors to the harbour that went fishing but had nowhere to put their fish frames and they were not allowed in public rubbish bins

·       Noted that good road management under district council plans should minimise runoff into the harbour.

Direction Provided by the Forum

·       Whakatāne boat ramp had a Handee Can solution for disposing of fish frames and the Forum would like to submit to ODC and WDC for a similar solution for Ōhiwa

·       Supported providing additional rubbish bins in public toilet areas

·       Requested improved drainage and better management of stormwater coming from Ōhiwa properties.

Items for Staff Follow Up

·       The Forum requested a letter to Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) regarding fisheries compliance issues around Ōhiwa Harbour.

·       Further support for Strategy Action 3.8 required as vehicles on tidal flats and beaches was an ongoing issue - review penalties for environmental infringements and make them easier to enforce.

Whakatāne District Council

Ian Molony – Open Spaces Operations Manager, Whakatāne District Council presented this item.

Key Points

·       Key focus areas were around population growth and housing, Three Waters Reform, resilience and safety (including Matatā sewerage system), adapting to climate change and iwi partnerships.

Direction Provided by the Forum

·       Submission points on better management of stormwater discharge into Ōhiwa Harbour, discouragement of vehicles on tidal flats, fish waste options/solutions and potential fish waste dumping penalties

·       Suggested these also be put forward to all three councils to be taken on board and hear the voice of the Forum

·       Attach a link to the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy to each submission put forward by the Forum

·       Submission points based on ensuring adequate recreation, provisions and protections for both district councils (and regional park for BOPRC)

·       Endorsed BOPRC for action to date in monitoring and assessment of the Ōhiwa Harbour (Strategy Action 1.8) and encouraged progress in this area together with other agencies to gain further momentum.

Items for Staff Follow Up

·       To extend an invitation to the Minister of Conservation, Hon. Kiritapu Allan, to a future meeting when timing was appropriate

·       Encouraged BOPRC and DOC to continue applying to other organisations involved with funding projects on behalf of the Forum to assist with scientific research and other components of achieving the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy.





Jobs for Nature funding


Nikora Heitia - Department of Conservation presented this item.

Key Points:

·         The focus was jobs on the ground quickly, biodiversity values, helping recover businesses, entities, individuals and groups from the impacts of Covid-19

·         Outlined the projects and funding from the Kamahi for Nature Fund, which was still contestable and a few groups and iwi entities were applying for funding.  Through this funding stream it was estimated that $1M - $2M remained available for the Eastern Bay of Plenty

·         There were an additional two funding streams available – Jobs for Nature Community Conservation Fund (these grants were for $300K - $700K) and the Jobs for Nature Private Land Biodiversity Fund ($330K - $1M)

·         If Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum were to put through an application, it would need to be considered who would administer the fund

·         A strong focus was on how fast it was possible to get jobs on the ground and building a bigger base in terms of conservation

·         The minimum application was $300K and the Department of Conservation was encouraging partnerships between councils and iwi groups with connectivity between all.

Key Points – Staff

·       BOPRC had prepared an application for the region-wide biodiversity programme which would boost the grant rates available to landowners for work to protect and maintain the biodiversity assets on their properties, in additional to current funding available through the ratepayer funded environmental grants.

Key Points - Members:

·         Proposed further riparian planting around drainage schemes

·         A ‘sediment catcher’ at Nukuhou was suggested but this would not be a job rich option

·         There was a challenge in that a lot of work was ongoing and yet the funding was finite.

In Response to Questions:

·         Fish passage was a potential opportunity for funding but there was a lot of planning work to do around this first

·         For riparian planting it would be a challenge to find enough plants and additional willing landowners, as well as not being financially constrained on this point

·         The funding streams were based upon a four year programme.




The workshop closed at 12:36 pm.