Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group

Ngā Meneti

Open Minutes

Commencing:               Friday 14 May 2021, 09:30 am

Venue:                           Nukuteapiapi Room, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, 1194 Haupapa Street, Rotorua


Chairperson:                 Sir Toby Curtis (Poū Tākiwaiora)

Heamana Tuarua

Deputy Chairperson:   Mayor Steve Chadwick (Rotorua Lakes Council)

Ngā Kopounga

Members:                      Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC)

                                       Deputy Mayor David Donaldson

Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT)

Roana Bennett

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC)

Cr Kevin Winters and Cr Te Taru White

Observers from Ministry for the Environment (MfE)

Courtney Clyne – Kaitātari Freshwater Investments Team; Karla Kereopa – Senior Policy Analyst, Treaty Partnerships and via Zoom: Lorena Stephen – Director of Sustainable Land Use Delivery

Te Hunga i Tae Ake

In Attendance:             BOPRC: Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments; Helen Creagh – Rotorua Catchments Manager; Rosemary Cross – Senior Projects Manager – Rotorua; Merinda Pansegrouw – Committee Advisor

RLC: Geoff Williams – Chief Executive; Stavros Michael – Deputy Chief Executive Environmental and Infrastructure Solutions; Gina Rangi - Manahautū Māori (Māori Manager)

TALT: Mariana Te Rangi – Acting Environment Manager

Ngā Hōnea

Apologies:                    Chairman Doug Leeder (BOPRC)

Nuki Nicholson and Rangitihi Pene (TALT)


1.     Karakia Whakatuwhera
Opening Karakia

A karakia was provided by Councillor Te Taru White

2.     Ngā Hōnea


That the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group:

1         Accepts the apologies from Chairman Doug Leeder, Nuki Nicholson and Rangitihi Pene tendered at the meeting.



3.     Ngā Take Tōmuri
Items not on the Agenda

·        Memorial Service - former Councillor Rosemary Michie

·        Suggested items for future Agendas


4.     Chairman’s Announcements

·        Commended Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana for the beautiful and appropriate Te Reo Māori translations incorporated into agendas and minutes

·        Paid respect to Mr Willie Emery, a former member of the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group and TALT Trustee  who recently passed away.  Mr Emery, a stalwart for Rotorua’s Lakes, land and people, has left a lasting legacy.  Members acknowledged that he had always put himself forward to serve all to the best of his abilities.

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


6.     Ngā Meneti

Kia Whakaūngia Ngā Meneti
Minutes to be Confirmed


Matters Arising:

Item 6.2: Progressing a Collective Impact Framework for the Tarawera Lakes System

·      TALT Representative Roana Bennett provided an update on progress made regarding Te Mana o Te Wai project for the Tarawera Project. In referring to the Collective Impact Framework for the Tarawera Lakes System (which was endorsed by the Strategy Group in February 2021), she pointed out that further support for the appointment of dedicated resourcing needed for the project was now sought.



That the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group:

1         Confirms the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group Minutes - 12 February 2021 as a true and correct record.




7.     Whakahoutanga Kōrero
Verbal Updates


Te Arawa Lakes Trust Update

Tabled Document 1 - Tabled Item 8.1 TALT Update for RTALSG 14 May 2021: Objective ID A3795827  

Presented by TALT Acting Environment Manager Mariana Te Rangi:


Key Points:

·      Key focus of the third quarter of 2020/21 had been leading the Tarawera Collective Impact project and continuing to add value to the Te Arawa Lakes Programme on behalf of Te Arawa beneficiaries

·      Developing a response to Te Hononga about engagement on the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management implementation

·      Te Tūāpapa had been embedded into the Lakes  programme and had formed the basis of input to the BOPRC Long Term Plan submission

·      Was working closely with RLC and its contractors on the Lakefront Development, particularly regarding monitoring and management of koura

·      Made a submission on the alum dosing consent, supporting the recommendations of the Cultural Impact Assessments (CIA) undertaken by hapū and iwi for the Puarenga and Utuhina Streams

·      Continued to engage with BOPRC on Plan Change 14 (Onsite Effluent Treatment systems) and was working with RLC on a CIA for the Rotorua Stormwater Catchment comprehensive consent

·      TALT via the National Iwi Chairs Forum (NICF) and Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group was involved in the co-design of the Resource Management Act (RMA) reforms

·      Te Arawa Climate Change Working Group - Te Urunga o Kea met with the Climate Commission and made a submission on the Advice Report which would form the basis of the advice to Government

·      Mauri Tū Mauri Ora - Jobs for Nature: TALT had secured $2.5m to restore wetlands

·      Catfish Killas continued to operate on Lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua with 29 schools registered and around 100 volunteers participating in the programme

·      TALT and BOPRC had trained 17 individuals from across Rotorua as biosecurity officers.

Key Points - Members:

·      Commended TALT for an informative report and progress made with their mahi

·      Noted that the planned establishment of constructed wetlands in the Rotorua catchment would take place in close liaison between BOPRC and TALT once all landowners had been consulted

·      Praised the total of 1191 boat ramp inspections that had been undertaken by TALT, contributing to a compliance rate of 98.8%. Stressed the importance of providing enough forms for skippers/boat owners in the letter boxes to complete at the boat ramps.



That the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group:

1         Receives the report, Te Arawa Lakes Trust Update, as tabled at the meeting.





Ministry for the Environment Update

Presented by Ministry for the Environment (MfE) representative Courtney Clyne, Kaitātari Freshwater Investments Team, supported by Karla Kereopa, Senior Policy Analyst, Treaty Partnerships.


Key Points:

·      Progress with Jobs for Nature Funding: $30 million was available for projects from the Te Mana o te Wai Fund (via the Jobs for Nature Programme). Expressions of Interest would be accepted until the fund had been fully committed

·      MfE’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) – Te Pūtea Whakamauru Para - was now open and supported projects that increased the reuse, recovery and recycling of materials. This would help reduce waste to landfill, one-off use of materials and litter. More information was available on MfE’s website:

·      Progress on Freshwater Policy Reforms and Implementation

·      Sector alignment for Farm Environmental Planning

·      Climate Change / National Adaptation Plan

·      Freshwater Allocation

·      Resource Management Act Reform.

Key Point - Members:

·      Noted that Minister for the Environment Honourable David Parker would be considering a request for additional funding to be allocated to the East Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Scheme.  MfE representatives confirmed that they had received all the required information to support the request and that the appropriate due diligence checks would be undertaken.  More clarity on the way forward could be expected by August/September 2021.


Item for Staff Follow Up:

·      MfE representatives to provide a schedule of planned activities to members of the Strategy Group.



That the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group:

1         Receives the verbal update provided by Ministry for the Environment representatives.




10:15 am - The meeting adjourned

10:35 am - The meeting reconvened.

MfE Director of Sustainable Land Use Deliver Lorena Stephen joined the meeting via Zoom.


8.     Ngā Pūrongo

Ngā Whakatau e Hiahiatia Ana
Decisions Required


Rotorua Lakes Council Update Report

Presentation 1 RLC Presentation to RTALSG 14 May 21: Objective ID A3799048  

Presented by Stavros Michael, Deputy Chief Executive Environmental and Infrastructure Solutions.

Key Points:

·      Rotomā/Rotoiti Sewerage Scheme - was a complex project with challenging site conditions in close proximity to sensitive water bodies. RLC’s approach had been to seek to engage, involve and truly understand and address community/iwi concerns

·      Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) – the renewal discharge consent application had been submitted; as part of the application a Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) was required and would be submitted to BOPRC.  Furthermore, to enable the construction of the Rotorua WWTP upgrade, a resource consent application was currently being prepared

·      Tarawera Sewerage Scheme – Feedback/consents from each ratepayer would close 15 May 2021.  Each ratepayer had been asked to submit their written approval for the scheme to proceed. RLC would receive a report on the responses and commit to a final decision on how to proceed with the proposal in June 2021

·      Rotoehu proposed Wastewater Reticulation Scheme – confirmed that a funding application/request had been submitted to MfE in April 2021, in line with the Strategy Group’s recommendations adopted in February 2021

·      Rotorua Urban Area Comprehensive Stormwater Resource Consent - a comprehensive stormwater master plan was progressing with detailed feasibility design and mapping of the consenting process that was required to satisfy both quantitative and qualitative stormwater management

·      Ngongotahā flooding/review and actions - engagement with affected landowners was progressing; engagement would be led by BOPRC, supported by RLC. Agreed work programmes were anticipated to be gradually implemented as land owner consents and detailed designs were completed over the next 12-18 months

·      BOPRC - Plan Change 10: Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management (PC10) - Staff from RLC and BOPRC continued to work together on implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding

·      RLC – Plan Change 2:  Pukehangi Heights - had been approved by the Minister for the Environment. It was anticipated that once developed, the area would provide land for approximately 790 houses. However, before subdivision consents could be approved, significant work needed to be undertaken in relation to stormwater management/consultation

·      RLC – Plan Change 3:  Significant Natural Area - appeals period to close early May 2021

·      RLC - Eastside Wellness Plan - each of the five hapū representatives had provided initial feedback and taken the final Draft Plan back to their respective marae committees.  Feedback had resulted in some minor alterations to the maps to reflect changes that have occurred since the original draft.  The next step was to provide the final Draft to the wider Tatau Pounamu Collective before presenting the final Plan to Council for adoption.

A PowerPoint Presentation highlighted the following in relation to the Rotomā/Rotoiti Sewerage Scheme:

·      Targeted Lakes Water Quality improvements and community health

·      Indicative metrics - reticulations had isolated harmful effects of wastewater from the lakes and protected sustainably community health

·      Gross actual cost to date was $85m (for all wastewater reticulation within the Programme), with an average cost of reticulation totalling $28k per household

·      As an alternative, the OSET option would cost $28K plus ongoing care/ compliance costs/performance uncertainty/enforcement costs

·      East Rotoiti Scheme Fly-over video

·      Schematics and cost analysis

·      Tenders for the final component of the scheme had been received and assessed. A preferred supplier contract was ready to be considered by RLC. However, if the Deed funding imbalance was not addressed, the local share of the scheme’s costs would be roughly 75% instead of the 50% envisaged by the 2005 agreement

·      Without the funding balance restoration, RLC would be unable to consider and agree to the final installation portion of the scheme. Costs were likely to continue to escalate with further time delays and the outcomes sought by the reticulation scheme would not be achieved with failing septic tanks compromising lake water quality. Further delays would also compromise the repair of relationships achieved between Iwi and Councils since 2012

·      A funding application/request had been submitted to MfE and the Minister had been requested to consider the high level of deprivation within the Rotoiti community.

Key Points - Members:

·      Suggested that a personal audience with the Minister for the Environment could emphasise the critical importance of the request, highlighting the mana of the mahi

·      The video fly-over of the Rotomā/Rotoiti Sewerage Scheme area was very informative and highlighted the enormity of the project

·      Acknowledged that the Rotomā/Rotoiti Sewerage Scheme would assist in addressing the dire need for housing in the area.



That the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group:

1         Receives the report, Rotorua Lakes Council Update Report;

2         Notes the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group’s 12 February 2021 resolution supporting the Deed Funding adjustment by the Minister;

3         Notes the funding contribution principle in the Deed of 50% deed funding and 50% local share;

4         Notes the independent audit review of April 2021;

5         Agrees that, to provide the necessary confidence for Rotorua Lakes Council to commence a final contract for the East Rotoiti scheme, if the Minister does not adjust the current Deed Funding, the Strategy Group will review the allocation of the remaining Deed Funds required to complete the outstanding work, with priority given to completing Rotoiti.





Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme Update; 2021/22 Annual Work Plan and 2021-2024 Three Year Plan

Tabled Document 2 - Tabled Item R069 Weed harvesting additional funding: Objective ID A3799038

Presentation 2 BOPRC Presentation to RTALSG 14 May 2021 PDF: Objective ID A3799045  

Presented by BOPRC Rotorua Catchments Manager Helen Creagh.

Key Points:

·      An Independent Quality Assurance New Zealand (IQANZ) Audit Review Report was recently completed (April 2021) on the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme. A review of the recommendations would be undertaken by the Strategy Group at its August meeting/workshop

·      Requests had been made to MfE as directed by the Strategy Group per resolutions of the 12 February 2021 meeting

·      Toihurewa Waimāori (Lake and Freshwater Chair) would be advertised and facilitated shortly by the University of Waikato

·      Lake Rotoehu:

o  Compliance audit of all benchmarks and agreements completed with full compliance

o  Two tonnes of weeds had been harvested

·      Lake Rotorua:

o  Syrinx report had identified priority sites for constructed wetlands, and consultation with landowners was underway

o  Koura monitoring had indicated that the koura population was impacted in those lakes where catfish was present

o  Three more sewerage connections had been made at Rotokawa/Brunswick

o  Collaborative project between Mangorewa Kaharoa Z Trust and Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme, exploring a new land use in the Lake Rotorua catchment: mānuka seedlings planted to produce mānuka oil

·      Three Year Plan (a requirement of Deed of Funding) - Funding beyond 2022 would only be for incentives and constructed wetlands in the Lake Rotorua Catchment

·      Annual Work Plan 2021/22:

o  2022 would be the final year of Deed funding for most projects

o  Alum dosing and weed harvesting however, would continue to be funded by BOPRC in its Long Term Plan

o  Uncertainties remained around funding for remaining Rotoiti reticulation.

Key Points - Members:

·      Highlighted the importance of including Te Tūāpapa o ngā wai o Te Arawa / Te Arawa Cultural Values Framework into future reports

·      Members formally noted Attachment 5 of the report which included correspondence sent to MfE in relation to Deed Funding Requests

·      Noted that Te Ara ki Kōpū/Climate Change Strategy for Te Arawa, developed by Te Urunga o Kea, had been approved and would provide a pathway for partners to work collectively and proactively in this space.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·      Circulation of the IQANZ Audit Review Report on the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme to members of the Strategy Group for consideration at a workshop in August 2021

·      A future site visit to Lake Rotoehu for members of the Strategy Group to observe weed harvesting during the next season

·      Review of the Strategy Group’s strategic direction and related funding options beyond 2022 to be considered at a workshop in August 2021

·      Inclusion of Te Tūāpapa o ngā wai o Te Arawa / Te Arawa Cultural Values Framework into all future reports to the Strategy Group.



That the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group:

1         Receives the report, Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme Update; 2021/22 Annual Work Plan and 2021-2024 Three Year Plan.

2         Approves the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme 2021/22 Annual Work Plan and 2021-2024 Three Year Plan for submission to the Minister for the Environment.

3         Approves change request CR068 Lake Ōkāreka Land Use Change Funding.

4         Approves change request CR069: An additional $141,000 spend on Lake Rotoehu weed harvesting project for the 2020-2021 financial year, noting the additional spend on this intervention is covered by underspends on phosphorous locking within the Te Arawa Lakes Programme.



9.     Ngā Take Tōmuri Hei Whakaaroaro
Consideration of Items not on the Agenda


Memorial Service - Rosemary Michie


Members noted that a Memorial Service to honour the life of former Councillor Rosemary Michie was scheduled for Friday afternoon, 14 May 2021, celebrating   Michie's contribution to Rotorua and the wider region. She spent 12 years as a RLC Councillor and served nine years as a BOPRC Councillor.



Items for Future Agendas


The following matters were highlighted as items for inclusion on future agendas of the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group:


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·      TALT/BOPRC: Presentation on boat ramp monitoring

·      TALT: Presentation on Te Arawa Lakes Trust Project Delivery into
Te Tūāpapa o ngā wai o Te Arawa and the Lakes Strategy

·      MfE: Update on progress made with the Resource Management Act Reforms 

·      Once TALT had completed the appropriate process of reporting to iwi/ hapu, a presentation to be arranged by Cornel de Ronde, Research Geologist GNS Science, Te Pū Ao on research findings relating to “Geothermal Activity under the Lakes Water

·      TALT to action: Due to the current low lake levels, the cleaning of excessive mud/leaves/rubbish at Rotorua Lakefront be followed up and progress on the matter be reported at the next meeting of the Strategy Group.


10.   Karakia Kati
Closing Karakia

A karakia was provided by Councillor Te Taru White.


12:10 pm – the meeting closed.



Confirmed 22 October 2021                                                                                    

                                                                                                                   Sir Toby Curtis

Chairperson, Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Strategy Group