Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum

Ngā Meneti

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Tuesday 26 April 2022, 9.30 am

Venue:                         The Board Room, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, 4-10 Louvain Street, Whakatāne


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

Heamana Tuarua

Deputy Chairperson:  Mayor Lyn Riesterer - Ōpōtiki District Council

Ngā Kopounga

Members:                    Charlie Bluett - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Trevor Ransfield - Te Upokorehe, Deputy  Mayor Andrew Iles – Whakatāne District Council, Karen Mokomoko - Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, Cr Bill Clark, Alternate – Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Te Hunga i Tae Ake

In Attendance:                  Bay of Plenty Regional Council: Pim de Monchy – Coastal Catchments Manager, Tim Senior – Land Management Officer, Stacey Faire – Senior Planner, Coastal (via Zoom), all presenters – as listed in the minutes, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

Ngā Hōnea

Apologies:                  Tu O'Brien - Alternate, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Cr Debi Hocart – Alternate, Ōpōtiki District Council


1.     Karakia Whakatuwhera
Opening Karakia

A karakia was provided by Charlie Bluett.

2.     Whakahoutanga Kōrero
Verbal Updates


Chairperson's Report

Chair Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti acknowledged the passing of Whakatōhea member, Josie Mortensen and her strong contribution to the Forum.

Trevor Ransfield – Te Upokorehe paid tribute to Josie, recognising her commitment to the community and her significant lifetime achievements.

3.     Ngā  Hōnea


That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Accepts the apologies from Cr Debit Hocart and Tu O’Brien tendered at the meeting.



4.     Ngā Take Tōmuri
Items not on the Agenda

·            New appointment of Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board member to the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum.


That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1       Accepts the late item, appointment of the member for Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board

2        Agrees that the item cannot be delayed as the information has only just become available and cannot wait until the next meeting.



5.     Raupapa o Ngā Take
Order of Business

Item 10 – Consideration of items not on the agenda was taken immediately following Item 4, in order to officially endorse the new Whakatōhea member prior to any further business.

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


That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Endorses the appointment of Karen Mokomoko as the primary member for Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board to the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum.



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

None declared

8.     Ngā Meneti

Kia Whakaūngia Ngā Meneti
Minutes to be Confirmed


Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum Minutes - 12 November 2021

Matters Arising

In relation to Minute Item 6.6, Resolution 3; Coastal Catchments Manager Pim de Monchy advised members that a letter had not been written to Fish and Game New Zealand as this was no longer required.  Investigation of Fish and Game regulations clarified that in addition to the late February special season for hunting black swan, they were considered a game bird and as such could also be hunted during Game Bird Season.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Confirms the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum Minutes - 12 November 2021 as a true and correct record.




9.     Ngā Pūrongo

Hei Pānui Anake
Information Only


Ōhiwa website development

Dr. Tanja Rother, PhD - Shared Landscapes – Intercultural Research & Engagement Services presented this item (via Zoom).

Key Points:

·         Demonstrated the website’s tabs and features and outlined content:  Home | Ohiwaharbour (hello66411.wixsite.com)

·         There were future opportunities for the website to become more interactive and inclusive of the wider Ōhiwa community, including an archive of the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy and related documents.

Key Points - Members:

·         Commended the visual aspects of the website

·         Making the website bilingual was an important step, although the cost was likely to be significant and funding needed to be addressed

·         Add a Rāhui component to the website to help people understand the concept and implications of when this was in place

·         Requested a presentation be made to Upokorehe, Whakatōhea, and Ngāti Awa so that mana whenua were included and had a good understanding of the website which would also add value to other initiatives in the future.




That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Ōhiwa website development;

2           Endorses the public release of the Ōhiwa website, once the presentation has also been made to ngā hapū, ngā iwi;

3           Endorses the ongoing content development of the Ōhiwa website.





Nukuhou Water Quality Summary

Presentation: Nukuhou Water Quality Summary: Objective ID A4090035   

Environmental Scientist (Water Quality) James Dare presented this item.

Key Points:

·         Explained trend analysis as it related to data around Nukuhou water quality

·         Outlined short , medium  and long term trends, their benefits and how the data was used

·         Explained the gradient of stability and the positives/negatives which needed to be taken into account

·         Nukuhou catchment contaminants were reducing in magnitude over time, therefore overall the water quality was gradually improving

·         Faecal contamination and sediment were of the highest concern.

Key Points - Members:

·         Agreed that receiving both sets of information (medium and long term data) was important to see the long term picture as well as identifying what required more immediate attention

·         Improved results were expected to be observed once Farm Management Plans (FMPs) were all in place (by 2025).

In Response to Questions:

·         Abnormal rainfall would likely cause more mobilisation (e.g. flushing of nitrogen causing higher loads), the effect of which would depend on how the catchment responded to elevated flows

·         Gaps in the first portions of each graph were potentially due to resourcing issues at the time of the data collection

·         Every catchment that was part of the environmental monitoring network was included in the comparison data.

In Response to Questions (Pim de Monchy – Coastal Catchments Manager):

·         Catchment Land Use for Environmental Sustainability (CLUES) Modelling and more recently, SedNet modelling had taken place in the Ōhiwa catchment

·         The underlying assumptions in the CLUES modelling were that exotic forestry on steep country (as opposed to pastural grazing) would reduce E-Coli and nitrogen losses, and over the long term would generally reduce phosphorous and sediment losses.  This was providing that there was no large rainfall event during the first two years after harvesting

·         Slash management was a separate issue for which there continued to be room for improvement, but advising at the time of planting was important to determine where to plant, skid site locations, offsets and slash management opportunities

·         Although there was still some pinus radiata forestry in the catchment, there was significantly less than there used to be.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·         Provide statistics and information about land use and farming change in the Nukuhou catchment to a future meeting.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Nukuhou Water Quality Summary.




10:40 am  - The meeting adjourned.


11:02 am – The meeting reconvened.



Improving the quality of freshwater in the Ōhiwa catchment

Presentation: Improving quality of freshwater in Ōhiwa catchment: Objective ID A4090037

Land Management Officer Tim Senior presented this item.

Key Points:

·         Highlighted where the majority of sediment in the Ōhiwa catchment originated from, namely land slips caused by major rain events

·         Although some of this could not be prevented, there were measures that could be taken to potentially mitigate small slips on steep slopes, including planting trees such as poplars on gradient land to assist in holding it back.  This issue could also be addressed through farm management practices

·         Whilst it could be determined where these issues were likely to occur, Council did not have authority to enforce change, although it may be addressed through FMPs.  All these measures were currently voluntary on behalf of the landowners

·         Options/techniques needed to be developed for how to manage the issue of high, steep river banks as simply planting natives was not a viable solution (these would get washed away in a rainfall event)

·         Dead trees, particularly old willows, were falling into the river, forcing water to be pushed into the banks and exacerbating the problem

·         Shrub Willows were being planted to stabilise riverbanks as they had the advantage of a large root base and did not fall into the river, taking the bank with them

·         Rock was another option which had been successful in holding banks up (and vegetation would eventually grow between), but this was expensive

·         Surface run off accounted for approximately 10% of sediment that entered Ōhiwa Harbour

·         Wet, boggy areas were valuable for trapping sediment and nutrients but were generally unpopular on farms as it reduced the potential for grazing - it was hoped that this type of issue would be addressed through the new FMP rules.

Key Points - Members:

·         Reiterated the importance of the Forum with regard to making clear, well-reasoned submissions to future plans

·         Consolidation/amalgamation of farming properties could create further ongoing impacts with unintended consequences e.g. longer races.

In Response to Questions:

·         There was increasing awareness from farmers of what was needed to increase water quality, although at different rates.  Generally dairy farms were becoming less intensified and looking for productivity versus profit - less stock could be managed for less input without decreasing profits

·         ‘Riparian planting’ refers to planting on all waterways, including rivers, streams and drains.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Improving the quality of freshwater in the Ōhiwa catchment.





Essential Freshwater Policy Programme Update and Visions

Presentation: Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum visions and EFPP: Objective ID A4090038   

Senior Planners (Water Policy) Gemma Moleta and Reuben Gardiner presented this item.

Key Points:

·         Outlined the National Objectives Framework, under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM)

·         Explained what Vision under the NPS-FM meant for Ōhiwa Harbour and the process for establishing this

·         Online engagement was underway, with more intensive engagement planned for 2023 - once there was a clearer idea of rules, targets and implications for landowners

·         Clarified that engagement with forums and co-governance groups was not a proxy for engagement with iwi/hapū

·         The example vision had been taken from key goals/vision for the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy.  Noted key aspects of this:

o    Acknowledged that the harbour was also important to the Freshwater Management Unit (FMU) as its receiving environment;

o    the importance of sustaining the lives of future generations;

o    the purpose of water quantity and water quality;

o    healthy and abundant mahinga kai;

o    reducing sediment;

o    protecting sites of cultural significance and protecting the mauri.

Key Points - Members:

·         Acknowledged that this was a unique opportunity to influence the plan which set the rules, with a firm focus on the needs of Ōhiwa

·         Supported having a combined iwi hui on the long term vision for the FMU, as well as holding a workshop for the Forum members.

In Response to Questions:

·         Starting points for the visions were very different within the thirteen FMUs, Ōhiwa Harbour had a shared benefit of already having a strategy in place, therefore a strong direction to start from

·         It was also important to check that the goals set in the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy were the same ones the Forum wished to bring forward in this opportunity.


Items for Staff Follow Up:

·         Arrange a separate workshop with Care Groups from the Ōhiwa rohe, so they were also included on a wider engagement of what was underway in this space.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Essential Freshwater Policy Programme Update and Visions;

2           Agrees to participate in a workshop on this topic as soon as practicable.





Update on the Ohiwa Harbour Awhi Mai Awhi Atu, Sustainable Seas, National Science Challenge project April 2022

Presentation: Awhi Mai Awhi Atu: Objective ID A4094889   

Waikato University Associate Professor Dr Kura Paul-Burke and PhD student Megan Ranapia presented this item.

Key Points:

·         The Awhi Mai Awhi Atu project was well ahead of the planned schedule, noted that the project was funded from 2019 until June 2023

·         In 2019, K4 was the last traditional mussel bed remaining in the harbour, with approximately 78,000 mussels

·         In 2021, the mussel population had grown to approximately 745,000 mussels throughout the harbour

·         A strong measure of success would be if K1 and K2 beds were still there in the future

·         In January 2022, tuangi (cockles) and pipi surveys were undertaken in the harbour and 5 million tuangi were estimated on the western side.  Results confirmed they were smaller than they used to be, which could be contributed to a number of factors

·         An unexpected titikō (mud snail) bed was also discovered, along with an estimated 300 tipa (scallops) and 20 hururoa (horse mussels)

·         Hururoa helped clean the water and had increasingly thin shells due to higher acidity in the water.  Recreational dredging had detrimental impacts on tipa and hururoa, causing population decline across the country

·         Seastar management trials showed that they were still reproducing and recruiting in the harbour

·         Different removal methods were being considered including trapping, diver removal and a combined approach

·         Seastar sampling had been completed and lab testing showed encouraging results for marine protein, which was important for skin and bones.  Using them as food for worm farms were also being considered as an option.

Key Points - Members:

·         Commended how much had been accomplished in increasing shellfish numbers in such a short period of time

·         Upokorehe opened pipi beds for gathering one at a time to ensure sustainability

·         Suggested a relationship be built within the Forum between the science, Ministry for Primary Industries and iwi/hapū for the purposes of growing and protecting the taonga

·         For the 186A Application for Rāhui, there was a set timeframe of a two year minimum whereas customary methods could choose a timeframe

·         It was important to show that a successful way of regenerating shellfish had been made, whilst protecting specific locations.

In Response to Questions:

·         Rāhui was an important short term marine management tool to replenish shellfish and consider action.

Staff In Response to Questions:

·         Working together with Kura and her team to understand requirements of ongoing management priorities and the next generation of research for Ōhiwa Harbour’s marine ecology restoration would be important to identify funding opportunities to implement these.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Update on the Ohiwa Harbour Awhi Mai Awhi Atu, Sustainable Seas, National Science Challenge project April 2022.





Work Programme report to 31 March 2022 and proposed work programme for 2022/23

Land Management Officer Tim Senior presented this item.

Key Points:

·         Fish passage barriers in the Ōhiwa catchment had been researched to identify which ones were preventing migration of the freshwater fish

·         eDNA samples had been collected to understand more about which fish were in the catchment and their locations. This data would be analysed for the purposes of stream restoration. 

·         There was a large body of work suggested for 2023 to finish fish barrier assessments and undertake further eDNA work before fixing the barriers.

Key Points - Members:

·         Commended the forward progress of the Forum and the opportunity to be involved in such a positive shift over time, finding solutions for the greater good of Ōhiwa

·         An adaptive and flexible rāhui management plan needed to be considered going forward, to align with science and mātauranga Māori to create a cohesive system that was responsive to the environment and worked for the benefit of all.




That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Work Programme report to 31 March 2022 and proposed work programme for 2022/23;

2           Endorses the proposed 2022-23 annual work programme.




6.     Karakia Kati
Closing Karakia

A karakia was provided by Charlie Bluett..


12:58 pm – the meeting closed.




                                                                                Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti

Chairperson, Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum