Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum

Ngā Meneti

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Thursday 11 March 2021, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Kutarere Marae, 435 State Highway 2, Kutarere


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

Heamana Tuarua

Deputy Chairperson:  Mayor Lyn Riesterer (Ōpōtiki District Council)

Ngā Kopounga

Members:                    Cr Bill Clark – Alternate, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Charlie Bluett - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Trevor Ransfield - Te Upokorehe, Cr Debi Hocart – Alternate, Ōpōtiki District Council, Josie Mortensen - Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board

Te Hunga i Tae Ake

In Attendance:            Presenters – as listed in the minutes, Pim de Monchy – Coastal Catchments Manager, Gina Mohi – Putaiao Mātauranga, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Ngā Hōnea

Apologies:                  Tu O'Brien - Alternate, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Deputy  Mayor Andrew Iles – Alternate, Whakatāne District Council


1.     Karakia Whakatuwhera
Opening Karakia

A karakia was provided by Bruce Pukepuke.

2.     Ngā Hōnea


That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1          Accepts the apologies from Tu O'Brien - Alternate, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Deputy  Mayor Andrew Iles – Alternate, Whakatāne District Council and Josie Mortensen (for early departure) tendered at the meeting.



3.     Te Upokorehe Introduction and Updates


Pipi Monitoring

Presentation - Pipi Monitoring 2021: Objective ID A3758423  

Tabled Document 1 - MPI Compliance Update and Statistics: Objective ID A3758395   


Gaylene Kohunui and Ngaire Ngamoki presented this item.

Key Points:

·           Outlined the rohe of the Pipi monitoring undertaken by Te Upokorehe as kaitiaki of Ōhiwa Harbour

·           Whakatāne fisheries officers provided signage and pamphlets

·           Upokorehe Resource Management team provided resources including Hi-Vis safety vests

·           Monitoring commenced 21 December 2020, comprised of 20 participants including kaumātua, rangatahi and mokopuna who participated in the six week programme.  Auckland Anniversary and Waitangi weekends were also monitored

·           The kaupapa arose from local concerns of vehicles on the mud flats and excess take of pipi observed

·           From the excessive amount of pipi being taken, it was discovered that the majority of people did not have permits.  In this instance, they were educated about where to obtain one and asked to return the pipi to the harbour

·           Other things observed during the monitoring were camping at Tokitoki Reserve and the boat ramp, consumption of alcohol at the boat ramp, multitudes of dogs in the pipi gathering area and many footprints around bird nesting areas  

·           Asian crabs and mangrove spread were also discovered and noted

·           Networking provided an opportunity to engage with Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) about becoming honorary fisheries officers, which had a positive repercussive effect along the East Coast

·           Education and information sharing was an important part of this voluntary project

·           Whānau collected 150 pipi each morning to show people what the quantity looked like, which had proven helpful.  Advised that the quota numbers counted but pipi size did not

·           Signage currently in place could be improved as it was either too small or irrelevant to the area

·           The current speed limits were a concerning hazard for residents carrying out the mahi

·           The largest number of visitors detected was during the first week of monitoring when there were 421 people recorded during just one day

·           Had encountered excessive pipi amounts being permitted e.g. 25kg for a mother and child.

Key Points - Members:

·           The purpose for collecting pipi had developed from being only for kai

·           Permit issuers and MPI had a responsibility to ensure that the reasons permits were issued and the quantity they were issued for were being adhered to

·           If this problem continued without any action, there may be no pipi left

·           Congratulated Te Upokorehe on this important and confronting mahi

·           Suggested the pipi monitoring project and ‘lore versus law’ was a perfect science and conservation based learning topic for the Community of Learning (COL) to take to schools.

In Response to Questions

·           Some people were using children of all ages to increase quota numbers.  More education needed to occur and children needed to be gathering pipi to  be counted for their own take.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·           Requested attendance from a Ministry of Fisheries representative to attend a future meeting and clarify the fishing rules around pipi take and size.



The Kiwi Project


Quintin Taitapanui presented this item.

Key Points:

·           Had been involved with The Kiwi Project in the Waiotahi Scenic Reserve in Waiotahe Valley for four years, the last two of which had been funded by the Department of Conservation (DOC)

·           Encouraged tangata whenua to assist with monitoring of the approximately 200 traps

·           The terrain was steep and could be dangerous to navigate

·           In the past two years of monitoring, 22 large stoats and 170 very large rats had been captured

·           Two Kiwi listening programmes had been undertaken, identifying 120 kiwi calls over the past two years

·           Promoting the mahi to tangata whenua was a great opportunity to upskill and be around like-minded people

·           Described a symbiotic relationship between tangata whenua and the whenua.  This correlation had been observed to create many health and wellbeing benefits for those involved in mahi around the ngahere.


10.42 am - Josie Mortensen withdrew from the meeting.



Te Upokorehe verbal update

Tabled Document 1 - Te Upokorehe Update letter to OHIF dated 11 March 2021: Objective ID A3758399



Trevor Ransfield provided a verbal update to the Forum on additional matters.

Key Points:

·           Upokorehe had been committed to assisting with mangrove removal in Ōhiwa Harbour for ten years

·           Outlined some local projects including new subdivisions and working with archaeologists at the sites, assisting Waka Kotahi with upcoming State Highway 2 work (due to commence 17th March 2021)

·           The build-up of silt at Te Kakaho stream entrance was restraining the flow of the water and becoming an increasing problem for the residents of Kutarere - the community requested assistance to rectify the situation.        

In Response to Questions:

·           BOPRC staff requested further information on the effects to individuals and properties of the restrained waterflow, and the community responded:

o    The marae was in the process of raising all buildings on the property including the wharenui and the wharekai over a fifty year plan to mitigate the issues caused by the water flow, which had never been seen before.  Also expressed concern over future access problems for manuhiri

o    The stream used to be used for swimming but was now waist high in mud

o    Previous requests for assistance from different councils following severe storms had gone unheeded

o    There were also new tidal surges occurring

o    Access to the wharves had been diminished due to the silt build up

o    Suggested control gates be installed at the harbour heads as a potential solution

o    Indirect impacts included lack of accessibility to funding for repairing many Upokorehe homes damaged by storm water flow, due to now being classified as high risk.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·             Noted that there were many complex issues to consider in the restrained water flow problem and BOPRC staff would investigate and consult with other councils before responding to Te Upokorehe with potential options.  Some of these considerations included water use, run off, climate change, sea level rise, storm surges and flooding. 

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

None declared.

5.     Ngā Meneti

Kia Whakaūngia Ngā Meneti
Minutes to be Confirmed


Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum Minutes - 30 November 2020



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1          Confirms the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum Minutes - 30 November 2020 as a true and correct record.




6.     Whakahoutanga Kōrero
Verbal Updates


Chairperson's Report

A verbal update was provided to the Forum by Chair Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti on the following matters:


·           Updated members on Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s progress in the Long Term Plan (LTP) process and timeline

·           Advised that the freshwater reform under the Resource Management Act (RMA) and the ramifications of this at a regional and local level were of particular focus at present.



7.     Ngā Pūrongo

Hei Pānui Anake
Information Only


Korehāhā Whakahau

Presentation - Korehāhā Whakatau: Objective ID A3758410   

Merenia Sawry and Eddie Sykes presented this item.

Key Points:

·             The possum eradication project stretched over 4700 hectares of land

·             This was the first Iwi-led Predator Free 2050 project

·             Created local employment and upskilling, focusing on environmental, social and economic outcomes

·             Was in the first six months of operational activity and had already achieved 10 possum kills and installed 200 zip possum traps

·             The colour palette was collected from areas of significance and reflected in the brand identity.  The pohutukawa symbol was gifted as a vision and direction for the project and symbolised protection of the pohutukawa forest

·             Outlined the innovative technology used which communicated information digitally when a trap had been activated

·             This was paired with a zip motor lure and trail camera acting as a detection system to provide further information about the activity of possums and other predators

·             White card attached to trees was used as a visual lure which emanated the natural behaviour of possums and prevented capture of other animals and birds

·             Part of the strategy was to be flexible in approach and open with learnings and methodologies

·             Recognised the connection between eradicating this invasive species and some aspirations of the Forum - protecting habitats and species around the harbour which affected the harbour.  

In Response to questions

·           Data was being collected about wild cats and other species identified in the area.  Although the project was focused on possums as the technology was available to target eradication, a wider vision may include other pest species as the technology developed

·           There was opportunity for potential learnings through shared interests with The Kiwi Project and other projects around process, methodology and upskilling.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:




Trevor Ransfield voted against the motion.


11.10 am – The meeting adjourned.


11.10 am – Cr Clark withdrew from the meeting.


11.35 am – The meeting reconvened.



Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum submissions to council Long Term Plans

Presentation - Long Term Plan submissions: Objective ID A3758415  

Tabled Document 1 - Submission on Whakatāne District Council Long Term Plan submission: Objective ID A3758387   

Department of Conservation (DOC) Community Ranger Whitney Nelson presented this item, supported by Land Management Officer Tim Senior.

Key Points:

·           Following the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum workshop held on 11 February 2021, DOC collated the feedback received as an independent third party and compiled submissions on behalf of the Forum for approval.

Key Points – Staff:

·           A new vacancy was currently open at Bay of Plenty Regional Council for one Full Time Employee (FTE) Land Management Officer to provide further land management assistance in the eastern part of the region.

Amendments to the Submissions:

·           Emphasise that the Forum seeks councils provide adequate support for recreation provisions and protection as highlighted in Strategy Action 3.1

·           Support councils make provisions in their budgets for the recommendations in the recreation strategy for Ōhiwa Harbour and would like to see more protection planned with increased population and visitor numbers.  The existing recreation strategy was to be appended to submissions.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1   Receives the report, Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum submissions to council Long Term Plans

2    Approves the three appended submissions, with minor amendments as agreed at the meeting.







Bringing the Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Environment Plan to Life

Presentation - Bringing the Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Environment Plan to life: Objective ID A3758416   

Senior Planner (Coastal) Stacey Faire presented this item.

Key Points:

·           Outlined the area the Bay of Plenty Regional Council covered in the Regional Coastal Environment Plan (the Plan)

·           Coastal plans had a ten year lifecycle with the purpose of building up information and gathering evidence

·           Compared the relationship between the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy and the Plan and identified integration, collaboration and natural heritage as some common objectives

·           Suggested measuring outcomes around the work being done in the area and consider how to measure effectiveness over time.

Key Points - Members:

·           Suggested planting the Ōhiwa Harbour in native plants to address the sediment issues

·           After discussion, it was clarified that ‘Mātauranga Māori’ in this context was about trying to incorporate Māori knowledge into plans

·           Applauded the effort to incorporate Mātauranga Māori but questioned how to recognise this in legislation

·           Fitting two cultural structures together was challenging but Western science and Mātauranga Māori had worked together successfully in 2014 when pilot whales beached in Ōhiwa Harbour

·           There needed to be a big step forward in organisations in order for Māori to see further inclusion in their systems, structures and plans.

Key Points - Staff:

·            The Forum could consider requesting that annual State of the Environment reporting include explicit cultural health indicators

·           The Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum was strong and had a rich history - there was potential to find cultural health indicators inside mahi already completed in the past to use as a case study and link into other plans in the future.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1          Receives the report, Bringing the Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Environment Plan to Life.






Pātangaroa hua rau: the economic potential of collagen and bioactives from eleven-armed sea-star to manage over populations in Ōhiwa Harbour.

Presentation - Awhi Mai Awhi Atu update: Objective ID A3758417   

Waikato University Associate Professor Dr Kura Paul-Burke, Cawthron Institute Dr Matt Miller and New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Dr Mat Cummings presented this item.

Key Points:

·             K4 was the last remaining traditional mussel bed at the mouth of the harbour

·             12 sea stars were discovered in the K4 mussel bed which previously was sea star-free.  They were found in poor condition and relocated within the harbour

·             Juvenile snapper and other fish had been observed during the dive which was auspicious as these were previously not seen

·             There was an average of 2000 mussels per spat line and the lines were 1-2 metres in length.  Each mussel had an average of 128 individuals living on it, this was encouraging as building a mid-water biodiversity may assist in combating the degradation of the harbour 

·           Each line had a total of 256,000 individuals living on each line, all of which contributed to the complex biodiversity of the harbour food chain

·           Work was aligned with the tangaroa phase of the maramataka which had proven successful

·           The Awhi Mai Awhi Atu project was tracking ahead of time

·           Pātangaroa hua rau was sponsored by National Science Challenges Sustainable Seas and the research was funded for two years.  A circular economy was envisaged where any money earned would go back into the harbour

·           The goal was to align with the values of the Forum and mana whenua, and to provide knowledge that could be used for economic opportunities

·           Outlined the extraction protocol and the varied scientific and health benefits that may be gained from the bioactives extracted from starfish

·           A concept product would be created using collagen as an example of what was possible if the project were to move forward.

In Response to Questions:

·           Maintaining a balanced ecology system was important to the harbour and if the project was successful it would need to include sustainability monitoring

·            For the proof of concept only 6 sea stars per season would be required and there were MPI permits in place for further takes related to scientific research.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1          Receives the report, Pātangaroa hua rau: the economic potential of collagen and bioactives from eleven-armed sea-star to manage over populations in Ōhiwa Harbour.





Ōhiwa Harbour annual work programme update to February 2021 and proposed work programme for 2021/22

Land Management Officer Tim Senior presented this item.

Key Points:

·            32 hectares of land had been covered during November/December 2020 mangrove management operations

·            Outlined options for 2022 Work Programme and received direction from the Forum:

o    Most of the actions did not cost much money but involved a lot of time, with the exception of ‘Assess fish and tuna populations and remediate barriers to migration’

o    Suggested removing ‘Report on bylaws and other rules and policies to identify gaps’ for the next opportunity to do so but consider if there were components that could be changed for next time around

o    Agreed that the list would be taken to Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy Group (OHSG) to help prioritise the list and indicate where best the responsibility lay for getting assistance with each item

o    The Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy and implementation were equally as important as the internal development of the Forum and having a dispute resolution process may help grow the Forum and assist its sustainability into the future. 

o    Clarified that the Forum had a very specific role and focused lens on the Ōhiwa Harbour and would not be involved in any mana whenua disputes, therefore a disputes resolution process would have to have very clear parameters.

In Response to Questions:

·            Fish and tuna populations referred specifically to freshwater tributaries.




That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1          Receives the report, Ōhiwa Harbour annual work programme update to February 2021 and proposed work programme for 2021/22.




8.     Karakia Kati
Closing Karakia

A karakia was provided by Trevor Ransfield.


1.12 pm – the meeting closed.




                                                                                                                               Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti

Chairperson, Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum