Rangitāiki River Forum

Ngā Meneti

Open Minutes

Commencing:               Friday 4 June 2021, 10.30 am

Venue:                           Mataatua Room, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, 5 Quay Street, Whakatāne


Chairperson:                 Maramena Vercoe - Te Runanga o Ngāti Manawa

Ngā Kopounga

Members:                      Bay of Plenty Regional Council:  Cr Bill Clark, Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti, Cr Stacey Rose, Cr Kevin Winters

                                             Hineuru Iwi Trust:  Mei Winitana

Te Runanga o Ngāti Awa:  Miro Araroa, Tuwhakairiora O'Brien - Alternate

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa: Karito Paul (Alternate)

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare:  Bronco Carson, Jane Nicholas - Alternate

Ngāti Tuwharetoa (BOP) Settlement Trust: Clifford Te Riini

Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua: Ngapera Rangiaho

Te Kotahitanga o Ngāti Tūwharetoa: Whakaeke Ritete (via Zoom)

Whakatāne District Council: Cr Alison Silcock

Te Hunga i Tae Ake

In Attendance:             Bay of Plenty Regional Council: Chairman Doug Leeder, Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments, Charles Harley – Team Leader Eastern Catchments, Mieke Kapa – Land Management Officer, Kataraina O’Brien – Kotahitanga Strategic Engagement Manager, Shari Kameta – Committee Advisor

                                             Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa: Maxeen Newton – Pou Taiao

                                             Whakatāne District Council: Terryl Lepper - Senior Project Planner

                                             Taupō District Council: Sue Mavor - Senior Policy Advisor (via Zoom)    External: Kelly Hughes, Charl Naude - ATS Environmental; Ryan Piddington, Environmental & Regulatory Services Manager, Lisa Mead, Senior Environmental Advisor, Abi Collins - Trustpower Limited; Craig Rowe, Regional Manager - Pioneer Energy

Ngā Hōnea

Apologies:                    Cr Kylie Leonard, Cr Anna Park – Alternate, Taupō District Council, Cr Wilson James – Alternate, Whakatāne District Council

1.     Karakia Whakatuwhera
Opening Karakia

A karakia was provided by Miro Araroa.

Mihi Whakatau

Welcome to new Members

Miro Araroa provided a mihi to welcome new members Mei Winitana, Jane Nicholas and Bronco Carson and to acknowledge Councillors Alison Silcock and Wilson James for their support in the decision made by Whakatāne District Council to establish Māori wards at the next local body elections.

2.     Ngā Hōnea


That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Accepts the apologies from Cr Wilson James, Cr Kylie Leonard and Cr Anna Park tendered at the meeting.

Silcock/Te Riini


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

None declared.

4.     Ngā Meneti

Kia Whakaūngia Ngā Meneti
Minutes to be Confirmed


Rangitāiki River Forum Minutes - 9 April 2021

Matter arising

Minute item 9.1, ‘Continuation of Item 8.3 Rangitāiki Catchment Programme November 2020-January 2021 Dashboard Report’ – Discussion was sought under agenda item 10.3 in regard to CCTV cameras operating on the western side of the Thornton Domain.



That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Confirms the Rangitāiki River Forum Minutes - 9 April 2021 as a true and correct record, subject to the following amendments:


·     Attendances (page 7) – insert ‘a’ for Jane Nicholas, Opening Karakia (page 8) amend ‘Honahona Haka’ to ‘Hakahaka Hona’, Minute item 6.3 (page 13) amend ‘Polly’ to ‘Holly’; Minute item 7.1: Presentation Update on Glass Eel Research (page 14) under 7th bullet amend ‘100,000’ cumecs to ‘100’ cumecs.



5.     Whakaaturanga


Fish Barrier Remediation work in the Rangitāiki Catchment

Presentation - Rangitaiki Fish Passage 2021: Objective ID A3820051  

Presented by: Kelly Hughes, ATS Environmental


The presentation provided an update on work being carried out in the Rangitāiki catchment to remediate barriers to native fish passage and migration in waterways.

Key Points:

·      The project was leading the way nationally and was in its fifth year, beginning first along public roads and recently moving onto private land.

·      Crossing points (i.e. structures, weirs and culverts) were identified via an initial desktop survey followed by field assessments prior to remediation.

·      Approximately 12,000 potential structures had been identified within the Bay of Plenty region.

·      Data collection recorded the current status and attributes of each structure.

·      Outlined current statistics and a snapshot of barriers affecting a section of tributaries within the Rangitāiki catchment.

·      Provided examples of the types of barriers and remediation treatments used for a variety of structures and environmental settings.

·      Next steps: access and remediate unassessed structures, monitoring plan cycles, expand the project across the region and training personnel to build capacity.

In Response to Questions:

·      Materials used were robust, durable and cost effective.

·      Was open to using Mātauranga Māori and sustainable alternatives that may be available and suitable.

·      Monitoring targets to measure success was not defined by the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (NES-FW) and National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM).

·      Welcomed the support of tangata whenua monitors, however noted this would require resource, planning and support.

·      Was open to collaborating with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and existing community volunteer groups.

·      Noted there was scope for discussion with Fish & Game, Ministry for the Environment and Department of Conservation in regard to weighting values for native and exotic fish species.

·      Summarised work underway and completed in the Bay of Plenty region:

o  Rangitāiki catchment - public road assessments and remediation completed; private roads were currently underway;

o  Whakatāne and Kaituna catchment - assessments completed.

o  Tauranga Moana rohe – some assessments and fixes within Katikati area were completed.

Key Points - Members:

·      Supported the use of Mātauranga Māori and environmentally sustainable remediation treatments and local tangata whenua to assist with the work.

·      Federated Farmers may be able to assist with access issues.

·      Commended the remediation mahi happening in the Rangitaiki catchment.

Staff - Key Points

·      Fish passage remediation would be a requirement of farm plans to implement the NPS-FM, which this work was an initial part of and the Land Management team was considering future resourcing to educate and work with farmers on.



Rangitāiki River Reconnection Proposal Update

Presentation - Rangitaiki River Reconnection Proposal: Objective ID A3821193  

Presented by: Mieke Kapa, Senior Projects Officer


Key Points:

·      Provided background on the proposal to reconnect a traditional cultural route between the Tarawera and Rangitāiki rivers that would provide additional ecological habitat.

·      Investigations to date on current water levels identified a 20-25cm downward slope from the Rangitāiki to the Tarawera river.

·      Hydrological modelling suggested there was potential to achieve a one-way flow to the Tarawera, however would still need to determine: volume needed, length of time for water flow through the channel, how to get water into the dry channel and if any ecological improvements would be achieved.

·      Initial talks had occurred with affected landowners and iwi, and discussions held with BOPRC’s engineering team to repair the old river channel gates and Whakatāne District Council to improve the Smith Road crossing.

·      A funding application to the Ministry for the Environment was declined.

·      Next steps were: finish modelling, investigate local hydrology to determine channel connectivity with adjacent groundwater, investigate improvements to the Tarawera gates that could be made to enable upstream flow at high tides, and continue communication with affected landowners, stakeholders and interested parties.

In Response to Questions:

·      Sampling would be undertaken to identify existing invertebrates and ecological health within the old river channel.

·      Anecdotal advice from landowners noted the presence of tuna and other fish species at the Tarawera end of the channel.

·      Water from the Tarawera would not flow into or impact the Rangitāiki.

·      Cost benefit analysis would be done after the completion of modelling to determine a number of factors, including cost and ecological benefits.

·      e-DNA water sampling had identified a number of species present in the channel, including large goldfish, but no presence of koi carp.

Key Points - Members:

·      Salinity would be important to determine benefits for inanga habitat.

·      Reconnection of the traditional route would be culturally significant to kaumātua of Ngāti Awa.




Co-Governance Digital Tool

Presented by:  Mike Taitoko and Tasman Gillies - Takiwa Ltd (Via Zoom)


Mr Taitoko and Mr Gillies gave a demonstration of a digital tool they were developing for co-governance entities that was being funded by the Department of Internal Affairs - Te Tari Taiwhenua (DIA).

Key Points:

·      The digital tool was to assist co-governance entities to gain access and visibility of resource management and environmental data within a co-governance boundary in a spatial format to inform decision-making.

·      The tool used publicly available data held by councils, which included data from Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) gathered by councils.

·      Demonstrated the types of dataset overlays used from resource consents and environmental monitoring information.

·      The tool could provide access to other/overlapping co-governance arrangements and had the potential to be public facing.

·      Sought the Forum’s feedback regarding their interest to be involved in the project.

11:55 am – Jane Nicholas withdrew from the meeting.

In Response to Questions:

·      Data overlays could be requested from councils to contextualise specific activities within a certain locality or sub-catchment.  

·      The project’s scope was to provide access to participants of co-governance arrangements however, separate arrangements could be made for iwi entities to utilise their own data, which could be made available to others or kept private.

·      Takiwa Ltd were in discussion with DIA to determine appropriate funding to build and support capability of co-governance groups to utilise the tool.

Key Points - Members:

·      Utilising Taiao hubs at a co-governance level to assist with data capture and analysis was noted for consideration.

·      Undertaking appropriate analysis would be important.

·      Interest was raised in accessing water bores and other resource consent data.

Key Points - Staff:

·      BOPRC had a live environmental data portal that could be accessed on Council’s website, for which a demonstration could be provided to the Forum.

·      DIA’s digital tool used the same information that was available on BOPRC’s live environmental data portal.

·      Training offered by the DIA project could be supported by Council staff.

Staff Follow-up Action

·      Arrange a presentation on BOPRC’s environmental data portal at the Forum’s next meeting, prior to considering next steps.

12:15 pm – Whakaeke Ritete withdrew from the meeting.

6.     Whakahoutanga Kōrero
Verbal Updates


Forum Members' Verbal Updates


Miro Araroa/Tu O’Brien – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa

·      No update to report.

Alison Silcock – Whakatāne District Council

·      WDC’s Long Term Plan Deliberations would be held on Tuesday
8 November 2021.

Cr Toi Iti – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

·      No update to report.

Karito Paul – Te Rūnanga on Ngāti Manawa

·      Acknowledged the opportunity to assist with the glass eel study on the Rangitāiki awa and commended the mahi being carried out by NIWA and local tangata whenua/volunteers.

Cliff Te Riini – Ngāti Tūwharetoa (Bay of Plenty) Settlement Trust

·      Ngāti Tūwharetoa Geothermal Assets’ geothermal discharge hearing was being held on 1 and 2 July 2021.

Bronco Carson – Te Rūnanga on Ngāti Whare

·      No update to report.

Mei Winitana – Hineuru Iwi Trust

·      Noted in relation to the co-governance digital tool presentation that Ngāti Hineuru had not been listed as one of the participating iwi.

·      Discussions were being held between some Ngāti Hineuru tribal members in regard to freshwater koura within their rohe[1].

Cr Kevin Winters – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

·      BOPRC’s Long Term Plan deliberations were completed in May. Congratulated the Chair on a successful submission to obtain new funding for secretariat support for the Forum.

·      Noted BOPRC’s commitment to add value to co-governance forums and hoped that the support would bring new rigour to the Forum’s mahi.

Cr Bill Clark – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

·      A Memorandum of Understanding was being formalised between the Rangitāiki Waka Ama Club and Edgecumbe Lions Club in a collaborative effort to support the clubs. Mr Hona had become a Lions Club board member and Cr Clark a Waka Ama Club member and the clubs were preparing a joint proposal to put forward to the Edgecumbe College to include waka ama within the school’s curriculum in 2022.

Ngapera Rangiaho – Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua

·      Noted social behavioural issues that were occurring at Lake Aniwaniwa.

·      Community drop-in sessions held at Waiohau Marae were kaupapa driven and held on a need to basis[2] to keep the community informed of relevant issues that affect the Rangitāiki catchment and community. Noted that Craig Rowe, Pioneer Energy had presented at a session along with others.

·      Kokopu Trust had invited Ngapera to become a trustee to support them with their mahi.

Cr Stacey Rose – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

·      Involved in youth engagement work on BOPRC kaupapa.

·      Wished to consider how co-governance forums can influence rangatahi and would be exploring this more in the near future.

Chair Maramena Vercoe – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa

·      Trap and transfer season at Lake Aniwaniwa had been completed.

·      Noted there had been a reduction in numbers of migrating tuna caught, which the timing of lake lowering had not helped, therefore would follow-up with Pioneer Energy on this matter.

·      As the Forum Chair, had been approached and interviewed by a researcher on behalf of the Ministry for the Environment and Te Kahui Wai Māori on the Forum’s views and perspectives to freshwater and mana whakahaere. Three key messages conveyed were:

o  Consideration of Māori rights and interests in water

o  Appropriate consideration and understanding to be given to Te Ao Māori concepts such as Te Mana o te Wai, Te Mana Whakahaere and kaitiaki.

o  Reform opportunities and contributing within partnership arrangements.

12:47 pm – Jane Nicholas entered the meeting.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·      Arrange a Forum visit to the source of the Rangitāiki awa.



Trustpower Limited Update

Presentation - Matahina Elver Passage Update - June 2021: Objective ID A3821194

Presentation - Wheao Resconsent Update - June 2021: Objective ID A3821195  

Presented by: Ryan Piddington, Environmental and Regulatory Services Manager


Matahina Elver Passage Update

Key Points:

·      Trap and transfer was still the current method of passage.

·      The Kokopu Trust had transferred 1.3 tonnes of tuna upstream of the dam in 2020, which was good in comparison to other years.

·      Development of the elver elevator system:

o  Project goal was to provide unimpeded tuna passage into Lake Matahina

o  Phase 1 (2020) - proof of concept had been completed

o  Phase 2 (2021) – build design concept of a scoop, culvert and elevator into a holding tank at Trustpower’s carpark for transportation to the lake. Phase 2 still required trap and transfer, but allowed data to be collected. A mechanical engineer had been engaged to finalise the design, which would likely require resource consents.

o  Phase 3 - design an elevator to transport tuna to the rear of the station

o  Phase 4 - design an elevator up and over the dam.

o  Phase 3 & 4 would allow for any new technologies to be considered.

·      Phase 2 timeline:

o  June-September 2021 - finalise design and obtain consents;

o  September-November 2021 – instream work (outside migration season)

o  November-February 2022: trial planning and execution.

·      Noted interest in Kelly Hughes’ work (ATS Environmental), which may provide some ideas and methods to assist with the project.

·      Offered to provide funding to re-establish the tuna steering group.

In Response to Questions:

·      The design did not provide for downstream migration.

·      Work to date had led to the current design proposal due to the size of the dam structure, elevation height and to accommodate other fish species.

·      Success measures for the current trap and transfer operation was based on comparison of numbers transferred annually and mortality rates.

·      Welcomed feedback on other measures of success that could be used.

·      Was unaware of any tuna fatalities from maintenance clean outs, but would make enquiries.

·      Work had been completed to ascertain and adjust turbine velocity levels at the screen gates to reduce any impingement on tuna migration.

Key Points - Members:

·      The hiatus of the tuna steering group and tuna forum was largely due to staff resourcing changes and a lack of engagement of stakeholder agencies.


Wheao Reconsenting Update

Key Points:

·      Provided an overview of the Wheao hydro scheme, for which resource consents were due to expire in 2026.

·      The reconsenting process would not be seeking any enhancements.

·      Outlined Trustpower’s reconsenting strategy approach to:

o  Collaborate and work closely with mana whenua at every stage

o  Bring other stakeholders along on the journey

o  Environmental assessments to involve and engage with tangata whenua and seek the inclusion of cultural monitoring/Mātauranga Māori

·      Provided ‘draft’ drone footage and graphics that were under development to provide a high level story of the scheme and catchment which would be updated with new information that came to hand and made publicly available once finalised.

·      Sought advice on how the Forum wished to be involved.

Key Points - Members:

·      Ngāti Manawa held significant mamae as a result of the impact the hydro scheme had had on their tupuna awa, which needed consideration.

·      Feedback from the Forum needed to align with its purpose and objectives.


In Response to Questions:

·      The Wheao hydro scheme was established pre-RMA. It was given a 35-year term and had not yet been through a RMA consent process.

·      Trustpower’s preference was to be given a further 35-year consent term, which is what the RMA currently provided for (as a maximum).

·      Lodgement of the consent application was anticipated in the next couple of years. Due to its complexity, BOPRC had encouraged Trustpower to lodge their application early.

·      Acknowledged the mamae of mana whenua which had been caused by the hydro schemes and wished to work closely with tangata whenua on how to reconcile the impacts on the wai and surrounding taiao.

Extension of Time

The Chair advised at 1:45pm that the meeting had gone over three hours and that under the Forum’s standing orders a resolution would need to be passed to extend the meeting duration.


That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Extends the duration of the meeting for an additional half hour.

Rose/Te Riini


7.     Ngā Pūrongo

Ngā Whakatau e Hiahiatia Ana
Decisions Required


Change in Membership and Appointment of a Deputy Chairperson



That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Receives the report, Change in Membership and Appointment of a Deputy Chairperson.

2         Confirms the following appointments onto the Rangitāiki River Forum:

·      Mei Winitana as the appointed member for Hineuru Iwi Trust; and

·      Bronco Carson as the appointed member and Jane Nicholas, replacing Jose Miki as the alternate member for Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare.



3         Selects System B as the voting system for the election of a Deputy Chairperson.



4         Elects Bronco Carson as the Deputy Chairperson of the Rangitāiki River Forum.

Te Riini/Rangiaho



Cr Silcock abstained from voting.



Information and Acknowledgement Display Panels at Aniwhenua Reserve Playground (Holly's Playground)

Presented by: Chris Ingle, General Manager Integrated Catchments and Cr Alison Silcock

Key Points:

·      Installation of information and acknowledgment panels had arisen from a public request made to Holly’s Playground Committee to recognise the work of the late Bill Kerrison, founder of the Kokopu Trust.

·      Holly’s Playground Committee had considered it was more appropriate for the request to be referred to the Forum.

·      Cr Silcock had spoken to Mrs Ruby Kerrison who was delighted with the request.

·      It was recommended that Holly’s Playground Committee apply to the Regional Council’s Environment Enhancement Fund (EEF), as the proposal aligned with EEF funding criteria.

Key Points - Members:

·      Karito Paul offered to assist Holly’s Playground Committee with the EEF application and suggested incorporating on the information panels information and stories about the surrounding whenua and Ngāti Manawa who occupied the whenua, which was supported by Forum.



That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Receives the report, Information and Acknowledgement Display Panels at Aniwhenua Reserve Playground (Holly's Playground);

2         Endorses an application to Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Environmental Enhancement Fund to support the production and installation of tuna interpretation panels and an acknowledgement board at Holly’s Playground at Aniwhenua Reserve to honour the late Bill Kerrison (Founder of the Kokopu Trust);

3         Seeks collaboration and support of the respective Forum partners to assist with this mahi and its ongoing maintenance (WDC).



Hei Pānui Anake
Information Only


Rangitaiki Catchment Programme Dashboard February - April 2021

Presented by: Charles Harley, Team Leader Eastern Catchments

Key Points:

·      Due to the Councils’ Long Term Plan processes, the end of year report and 2021-2022 work plan would be reported to the Forum in September.

Key Points - Members:

·      Sought assurance that aquatic weed control scheduled at Lake Aniwaniwa in early November 2021 would not be delayed to December.

In Response to Questions:

·      Aquatic weed control relied on a number of factors to achieve the best outcome (i.e. water temperature, lack of sediment layer on the weed, and low-moderate wind). If conditions were favourable, spraying would be undertaken in November as scheduled.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·      Regarding CCTV installation options for reserves, a concern was raised regarding potential monitoring of customary fishing access and practices at Thornton Domain and it was requested that Whakatāne District Council consult with relevant Forum and Ngāti Awa representatives on this matter.



That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1         Receives the report, Rangitaiki Catchment Programme Dashboard February - April 2021.

Carson/Te Riini


8.     Karakia Kati
Closing Karakia

A karakia was provided by Miro Araroa.

2:10 pm – the meeting closed.


Confirmed 3 September 2021                                                                                  

                                                                                                              Maramena Vercoe

Chairperson, Rangitāiki River Forum

[1] Refer correction, Item 4 Rangitāiki River Forum Meeting Minutes 3 September 2021

[2] Refer correction, Item 4 Rangitāiki River Forum Meeting Minutes 3 September 2021