Monitoring and Operations Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Tuesday 9 March 2021, 9:30 am

Venue:                         Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga

Chairperson:               Cr Kevin Winters

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Norm Bruning

Members:                    Cr Bill Clark

Cr Stuart Crosby

Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti

Cr David Love

Cr Matemoana McDonald

Cr Jane Nees

Cr Stacey Rose

Cr Paula Thompson

Cr Lyall Thurston

Cr Te Taru White

In Attendance:            Sarah Omundsen – General Manager Regulatory, Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments, Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive, Shari Kameta – Committee Advisor, Sanjana France and Melissa Williams – Communications Partners, External and staff presenters as listed in the minutes.

Apologies:                  Chairman Doug Leeder

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Paula Thompson (late arrival)

Cr Stacey Rose (late arrival)


Declaration of Public Recording


The Committee Chair reminded members and the public that the public section of the meeting was being recorded and would be made available on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council website following the meeting and archived for a period of three years as noted on page 4 of the agenda.

1.     Apologies


That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Accepts the apologies from Chairman Doug Leeder, Cr Andrew von Dadelszen, and Cr Paula Thompson and Cr Stacey Rose for late arrival tendered at the meeting.



2.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

3.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed


Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 15 December 2020



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Confirms the Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 15 December 2020 as a true and correct record.



4.     Presentations


Site Upgrades and Environmental Improvements at Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd

Presentation - Ballance Agri-Nutrients Mount Operations: Objective ID A3760600

Presented by: Charlie Bourne - Operations Manager, Dominic Adams – National Environmental Manager, Shane Dufaur - General Manager Operations & Supply Chain


Key Points:

·       Ballance's Mount Maunganui site had operated since 1958 in the manufacture of superphosphate fertiliser, employing a large and multi-generational workforce.

·       A long-term view was taken to control and reduce environmental impacts and risks via ISO accreditation, Ballance Production System (BPS), on site investment and operational improvements.

·       Resource consents were held for discharges to air, stormwater, wastewater and ground soakage, supported by real-time compliance monitoring.

·       Illustrated long-term trends in acid stack SO2 emission reduction after NES exceedances in 2016 and following operational and capital investment. As a result of these reductions, Ballance had elected to lower their consent limit from 90 kgSO2/hr to 40 kgSO2/hr.

·       Outlined PM10 and SO2 monitoring location sites and the percentage of fertiliser dust (16%-32%) from the site to improve existing ambient air quality issues. PM10 monitoring provided real-time alerts to track and identify risks of any potential exceedances that may arise.

·       Outlined key improvement activities and capital investments scheduled to be completed by end of May 2021 to maintain and reduce dust emissions on site to guide investment priorities.

9.44 am – Cr Rose entered the meeting.

9.46 am and 9.47 am – Cr Thompson and Cr Iti entered the meeting.

·       A significant driver for Ballance was for its employees to take pride in the company, with open days planned to raise awareness of site operations.

·       Noted the emphasis being placed on understanding and facing the company’s environmental issues and community’s views, as Ballance was a part of the community and vital part of enabling New Zealand’s economy.

In Response to Questions:

·       Dust mitigation onsite included suspending relevant activity (i.e. truck movements and deliveries) and undertaking truck wash downs before leaving the site.

·       Notification was provided to Whareroa Marae’s representative when dust exceedances arose.

·       PM10 monitoring data could be made available to Council and community.

·       Onsite stormwater was treated to a neutral pH level before it was discharged into the harbour. A 20 year study on harbour health had been completed and the report would be available on Ballance’s website.

·       Regarding social licence to operate, all necessary steps were being taken to ensure a safe environment for Ballance’s workforce and to lessen and mitigate impacts on the community and residential neighbours, particularly Whareroa Marae.

·       Ballance had formed a community council for its site, where representation was invited from Whareroa Marae and others in the community. Interactions from other community groups was also welcomed.

·       Ballance was a member of the Mt Maunganui Air Quality Working Party.

Key Points - Members:

·       Pleased with the steps being taken by Ballance to reduce dust emissions.

·       Acknowledged the business was a key part of the economy.

·       Impressed the need for social responsibility by all parties.



Bay Conservation Alliance

Presentation - Bay Conservation Alliance - Nature education update: Objective ID A3760636   

Presented by: Michelle Elborn, Chief Executive supported by Julian Fitter, Board Chairman


Ms Elborn gave a presentation on Bay Conservation Alliance’s (BCA) educational activities, and funding providers and partnerships that supported their activities.

Key Points:

·       Council’s Community Initiative Funding (CIF) had enabled delivery of a new nature education programme to 10 schools, and coordination of BCA’s membership sites at Aongatete Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park and Ōtānewainuku with the Kiwi Trust.

·       COVID-19 had significantly impacted the programme last year, but BCA was back on track to deliver to 1300 students in the 2020/21 financial year.

·       Focus had moved to college level students to encourage skill development, career pathways and volunteer opportunities.

·       BCA was working to partner with other education providers to support a Mountains to Sea focus.

·       Council’s Environmental Enhancement Funding (EEF) had supported a new education trapping site at Oteora.

·       Bay Conservation Cadets (Tauira Mahi) was a 5 year programme that had gained Government Jobs for Nature funding to grow skills and employment opportunities for cadets.

·       BCA had partnered with Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd to support pest management, as an opportunity to engage corporate volunteer support.

·       Funding had been secured for two years from Department of Conservation (DOC) to support a trial being undertaken on regional conservation hubs.

·       The BCA team had grown to support increased membership and activity.

·       BCA wished to partner with Council and DOC on larger projects and would be lodging a submission to Council’s Long Term Plan.

·       BCA would be reviewing its strategic plan to re-evaluate its purpose and needs in the current changing environment.

In Response to Questions:

·       Participation with iwi was an area that BCA wished to grow and support through its membership, which would be a focus in its strategic plan review.

·       BCA were interested in exploring appropriate models for rangatahi.

·       Cadetships were open to students aged from 18 years of age.

·       BCA had sought partnerships with local polytechnics and universities in the region however uptake had not been forthcoming.

·       Expanding relationships in the Eastern Bay and Rotorua was an aspiration which would be explored with the support of new team members.

Key Points - Members:

·       Connecting with iwi and hapū were important and provided a significant opportunity.

·       Supported the work of BCA and looked forward to their submission.



Update on catfish, aquatic pests and wallabies

Presentation - Catfish & other pests update: Objective ID A3760604   

Presented by: Greg Corbett, Biosecurity Manager


Key Points:

·       The new Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) provided stronger and clearer rules for the spread of aquatic pest fish and weeds.

·       Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT) staff were now trained and authorised to carry out RPMP compliance and inspections across the Rotorua Lakes.

·       99% compliance had been achieved for boat and trailer inspections and 28% compliance for self-certification.

·       Catfish capture rates were higher than previous years, with further intensive netting to occur in April 2021.

·       Highlighted the success of the Catfish Killas programme which had been awarded for its outstanding bi-cultural leadership.

·       Provided catfish research results to date for pheromone bait, environmental DNA, brown trout, koura impacts and acoustic tracking.

·       NIWA’s early trials on sterile male biocontrol needed further research.

·       LINZ were scaling up its lake weed control in 2020/21, and monitoring to date had identified the success of diquat at Lake Ōkataina, with results due and further trials of endothal to be carried out in autumn.

·       Outlined focus areas for wallaby surveillance and control that was occurring through October 2020-September 2021, and the national led programme of work to support iwi and community initiatives.

·       Drone surveillance and thermal imaging was being trialled with Interpine Innovation, with discussions occurring to explore technologies to carry out targeted baiting using drones.

·       Funding to develop an online app for boat self-certification was being investigated.

In Response to Questions:

·       Numbers of wallabies shot could be collated, however it was not possible to identify numbers poisoned.

·       Use of long finned eel as a control posed a potential threat to koura.

·       Checking vessels for ballast and weeds was a part of self-certification.

·       A video clip for self-certification was being created to assist boat owners.

Key Points - Members:

·       Social and cultural connections were having a significant positive impact.

·       Further communication with the community was needed on wallaby eradication and control.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·       Request that boat self-certification forms are made available on Council’s website.


11.07 am – the meeting adjourned.


11.26 am – the meeting reconvened.

5.     Reports


Chairperson's Report

Presented by: Chair - Cr Kevin Winters

In Response to Questions:

·       Deployment of a dive buoy at the Rena wreck by the local dive club was delayed by the COVID-19 Level 3 lockdown in Auckland but would be completed by the end of March.

·       Council was trying to keep in front of data and technology advancements to gather rapid real-time information for input and output.

Key Points - Members:

·       Queried whether more targeted probing, investment and analysis was needed to improve and understand customer service satisfaction.

·       A presentation to the Risk and Assurance (R&A) Committee meeting on 4 March 2021 had discussed the advanced state of Council’s technology.

·       The R&A Committee Chair met regularly with staff to receive updates and could report back to Council regarding these matters.

Items for Staff Follow-Up:

·       Requested a further breakdown and analysis of the reasons for customer dissatisfaction within resource consent snapshot reporting.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.



Decisions Required


2020 - 2021 Operational Plan for the Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan

Presented by: Greg Corbett, Biosecurity Manager

Key Points:

·       Council was responsible for developing an operational plan for the newly operative Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP), for which approval was being sought today.

·       The new RPMP and operational plan would be available on Council’s website and copies made available on request.

In Response to Questions:

·       An Environment Court decision on Royal Forest & Bird Society’s appeal would determine if new provisions would be added to the RPMP.

·       Wild kiwifruit could not be eradicated, however the intention would be to systematically move through areas of infestation on a continuous cycle, which would take a number of years.

·       Staff had engaged with Manaaki Te Awanui to monitor Asian paddle crabs in the Tauranga Moana harbour.

Items for Staff Follow-Up:

·       Requested participation with Council’s iwi partners and care groups for the monitoring of Asian paddle crabs in the Ōhiwa harbour.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, 2020 - 2021 Operational Plan for the Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan.

2          Notes that staff considered Council’s Pest Management Strategic Direction, draft Long Term Plan 2021 – 2031 and the Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030 in the preparation of the Operational Plan.

3          Approves the 2020-2021 Operational Plan for the Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030.



Information Only


Outline of Region-Wide Marae Wastewater Project

Presented by: Alex Miller, Compliance Manager – Primary Industry & Enforcement

Key Points:

·       The Tauranga Moana Marae OSET pilot project had expanded to a project for marae in the Western Bay sub-region.

·       Staff proposed to progress similar projects in other districts as follows:

o   Organise engagement meetings with district councils and iwi on a district-by-district basis to seek what level they wish to be involved.

o   The project would be marae-centric focused.

o   Tailor an engagement strategy for engagement with marae/hapū trustees.

·       Staff would report back to this committee on engagement outcomes and resourcing requirements to progress the project.

Key Points - Members:

·       Acknowledged Western Bay of Plenty District Council for their work and treatment of the Marae OSET project, including their ability to access Crown funding to contribute to improving their wider community.

·       Discussions with Territorial Local Authorities (TLAs) should highlight the need for TLAs to take a role in the project.

·       Recommended initial discussions with TLAs and Iwi occur simultaneously with marae to ensure better participation and feedback from marae.

·       Suggested utilising independent contractors to facilitate initial discussions with marae, while staff held discussions with TLAs.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·       Provide a future update to Komiti Maori on the project’s commencement.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Outline of Region-Wide Marae Wastewater Project.

2          Commended the Tauranga Moana marae and the Territorial Local Authorities for their work and efforts.





Mount Maunganui Industrial Airshed update

Tabled Document 1 - Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party Minutes and Appendices 3 March 2021: Objective ID A3752060  

Presentation - Genera Port of Tauranga methyl bromide fumigation boundary map: Objective ID A3760589   

Presented by: Stephen Mellor, Compliance Manager – Urban, Industry & Response, and David Ede, Senior Regulatory Compliance Officer

It is noted that the Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party Minutes 3 March 2021 were pre-circulated and made available at the meeting (refer Tabled Document 1).

Key Points:

·       Outlined Genera’s previous site for methyl bromide fumigation, which had been disestablished on 1 January for safety and practicality reasons, and the new fumigation site along the Port edge (refer presentation map).

In Response to Questions:

·       Methyl bromide did not pose a risk to water, as it was released to air.

·       The new fumigation site provided further separation from the public, which was a further distance than the 100 metre boundary limit of the consent.

·       The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was in the process of considering modelling for boundaries on all fumigation activities, and Council would look closely at the EPA’s decision to guide Council’s own decision making.

·       Staff were working with Genera to formulate a plan on areas where fumigation can occur, and saw value in establishing dedicated zones and limited access that provide a safety buffer.

Key Points - Members:

·       Boundary and dispersion modelling for fumigation would be critical.

12.00 pm – Cr Rose withdrew from the meeting.

Point of Order

A point of order was raised, and accepted by the Chair, regarding a misrepresentation in a statement made by a member.

12.05 pm – Cr Love withdrew from the meeting.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·       Councillors requested advice regarding the selection of Commissioner appointments for Genera’s resource consent hearing.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Mount Maunganui Industrial Airshed update.





Climate Change Programme Update

Presented by: Laverne Mason – Integrated Catchments Programme Manager and Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments

In Response to Questions:

·       Focus to date was to prepare Council’s climate change position statement for Long Term Plan (LTP) consultation, where responses would feed into an updated Action Plan.

·       Clarified the inter-connection between the Climate Change Action Plan and work programme.

Key Points - Members:

·       Pleased with the enhanced reporting and focus on adaptation.

·       Would like some stretch in climate change thinking.

·       LGNZ had commenced an initiative in New Plymouth and Queenstown to trial developing and measuring a climate mitigation plan.

·       Wished to see an updated Action Plan following Council’s Long Term Plan consultation process, and to have a clear programme of actions being taken across the region to share with the community.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Climate Change Programme Update.





Customer Service Performance

Presented by: Rachael Burgess – Customer Contact Manager

Key Points:

·       The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system had been in place for seven months and was achieving 97% resolution at first point of contact.

·       Summarised work programme improvements, key contact centre highlights and current focus of monitoring and measuring delivery methods to interrogate data to improve customer service performance.

In Response to Questions:

·       Service calls that were previously managed externally were now in-house.

·       The cross-organisation Customer Collaborative Network would address trends in customer service performance across core activities.

·       Council was a member of the Antenno mobile app, which the public could use to report issues, provide feedback and receive notifications, as well as the option of using the online feedback form on Council’s website.

·       An online app tool was being investigated specifically for logging pollution prevention issues and complaints.

·       Steps were in progress to embed the CRM across the organisation.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Customer Service Performance.





Update on Kaimai Mamaku projects

Presented by: Pim de Monchy – Coastal Catchments Manager

Key Points:

·       Noted Council’s co-funded work to date with the Manaaki Kaimai Mamaku Trust (MKMT), Department of Conservation (DoC) and Waikato Regional Council, and formation of an environmental programme agreement.

·       Highlighted MKMT’s success in attaining $19M Jobs for Nature funding, which three projects had been approved for commencement so far.

In Response to Questions:

·       While no official target had been set to eradicate goat populations, DoC’s aim was to reduce goat density on average by 0.5 goats per hunter day of effort during a sustained hunting period.

·       A key principle of the MKMT programme was that decisions, such as the method of pest control would be made at a community-restoration hub level.

Key Points - Members:

·       Jobs for Nature funding would span the next four years, working closely with DoC and MKMT to enhance the concept of mountains to the sea.

·       Engagement and employment of Iwi, and collaboration with other agencies and the community would be key to the project.

·       Recognised the work of staff and Cr Bruning in regard to the level of governance achieved by the programme.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Update on Kaimai Mamaku projects.




12:45 pm – the meeting adjourned.


1:15 pm – the meeting reconvened.




Environmental Code of Practice for Rivers & Drainage Maintenance Activities - 2020 Annual Review

Presented by:  Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments

Key Points:

·       The annual performance review of the Environmental Code of Practice was a key requirement of Rivers & Drainage maintenance activities, under the permitted activity rule.

·       Eight written complaints had been lodged over 1,200 activities

·       A key aspect for staff was to resolve complaints as they arise and prevent any recurrences.

1:17 pm – Cr Nees withdrew from the meeting.

1.19 pm – Cr Iti entered the meeting.

In Response to Questions:

·       Main issues of complaint related to minor work, with a few uncertainties experienced regarding who had mana whenua over a particular area of a riverbed.

·       Issues that arose were worked through with the community and/or affected parties, and in consideration of any immediate risk to life and property.

1:22 pm – Cr Nees entered the meeting.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Environmental Code of Practice for Rivers & Drainage Maintenance Activities - 2020 Annual Review.





New Environmental Publications - Sea Lettuce Monitoring in Tauranga Harbour and Whitebait Spawning Zones in the Bay of Plenty

Presentation - Sea lettuce research and monitoring in Tauranga Harbour 2020: Objective ID A3760611  

Presentation - Identification of whitebait spawning zones in the Bay of Plenty: Objective ID A3760612   

Presented by: Josie Crawshaw – Environmental Scientist, Alastair Suren – Senior Environmental Scientist, supported by Rob Donald – Science Manager

Key Points:

Presentation - Sea Lettuce Monitoring in Tauranga Harbour

·       The environmental publication provided an update on research and monitoring of sea lettuce dynamics in Tauranga Harbour.

·       Large blooms had significantly reduced in recent times, with seasonal peaks during spring-summer.

·       Spatial mapping identified major hotspots and red algae species appearing in the northern harbour.

·       Noted seasonal relationship between water quality and sea lettuce tissue nutrients.

·       El nino years remained the highest risk for blooms due to increased nutrient rich groundwater inputs, coastal upwelling events and greater harbour residence.

·       Drivers of future blooms would likely include a mix of nutrient rich groundwater combined with river inputs, high light and suitable temperatures.

·       Climate change may reduce bloom periods or potentially change seasonality of peak growth.

·       Core management reduction would be to reduce potential nutrient inputs, which modelling was underway as part of NPS-FM.

In Response to Questions:

·       Modelling would provide further understanding of natural and nutrient input volumes that were going into the harbour.

·       Isotope testing could be used to trace point source pollutants.

·       Urbanisation was typically not responsible for nutrient inputs, but rather  for heavy metals during construction and within sedimentation.

·       Management of stormwater was managed by Tauranga City Council’s comprehensive stormwater consent. Monitoring information was made available to Council. A 5-year stormwater comprehensive monitoring report had been released and was received by the Tauranga Moana Advisory Group.

Key Points - Members:

·       Raised the need for better land management practices and consideration of the impacts from stormwater and urban growth.

Presentation - Whitebait Spawning Zones in the Bay of Plenty

Key Points - Staff:

·       Whitebait was culturally and recreationally important however there was a growing concern of the conservation status of whitebait inanga.  

·       Spawning habitat varied according to river and tidal flows and could be easily destroyed by rip-rap installation, spraying, mowing and grazing.

·       Council’s policies to protect specific whitebait and spawning sites only represented known spawning points in a few rivers and often did not consider the need for long-term protection.

·       Study aims were to identify potential whitebait spawning zones, quantify habitat conditions, loss of habitat from land activities, and to predict spawning zones to produce better rules, as part of the NPS-FM process.

·       Salt wedge survey results undertaken in 19 rivers had identified spawning zones, influence on flow zones and habitat suitability

·       GIS modelling analysis had identified a further 92 streams for potential inclusion in the regional plan.

·       Modelling indicated a significant percentage of spawning areas lost from historic river straightening, loss of wetland areas and control structures.

·       Noted the potential to modify tidal gates and pump stations to enable further spawning habitat, and that work is underway on this.

·       Highlighted the success of new inanga ponds and spawning habitat created in the river berm along the Whakatāne river by rivers and drainage staff, noting other habitat developed in the Tarawera and Kaituna rivers.

Key Points - Members:

·       Commended staff on the work being actively carried out.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, New Environmental Publications - Sea Lettuce Monitoring in Tauranga Harbour and Whitebait Spawning Zones in the Bay of Plenty.



6.     Public Excluded Section


Resolution to exclude the public

1        Excludes the public from the following parts of the proceedings of this meeting as set out below:

The general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded, the reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter, and the specific grounds under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 for the passing of this resolution are as follows:

Item No.

Subject of each matter to be considered

Reason for passing this resolution in relation to each matter

Grounds under Section 48(1) for the passing of this resolution

When the item can be released into the public


Public Excluded Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 15 December 2020

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

As noted in the relevant Minutes.

To remain in public excluded.



7.     Public Excluded Business Transferred into the Open

Item 10.1 - Public Excluded Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 15 December 2020

It is noted that the only business transacted in the public excluded section of the meeting was to confirm the Public Excluded Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 15 December 2020.

2:09 pm – the meeting closed.




                                                                                                                                   Cr Kevin Winters

Chairperson, Monitoring and Operations Committee