Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum

Ngā Meneti

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Tuesday 14 March 2023, 9.30 am

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


Chairperson:               Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti - Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana: (appointed at the meeting)

Heamana Tuarua

Deputy Chairperson:  Charlie Bluett - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa (appointed at the meeting)

Ngā Kopounga

Members:                    Karen Mokomoko - Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, Cr Nándor Tánczos – Alternate, Whakatāne District Council, Georgina Kohonui – Te Upokorehe, Tuwhakairiora O'Brien – Alternate, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Cr Malcolm Campbell – Alternate, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana:, Cr Dean Peterson – Ōpōtiki District Council, Cr Steve Nelson – Alternate, Ōpōtiki District Council, Cr Andrew Iles – Whakatāne District Council, Haami Aramoana – Alternate, Te Upokorehe,  Marewa Titoko – Alternate, Ngāi Tuhoe

Te Hunga i Tae Ake

In Attendance:            Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC): Pim de Monchy – Coastal Catchments Manager, Reuben Gardiner - Senior Advisor, Michelle Lee - Planner (Water Policy), Erin Fox - Environmental Scientist, Shay Dean - Environmental Scientist, Tim Senior - Land Management Officer, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor


                                                      External: Professor Kura Paul-Burke – University of Waikato (via Zoom), Joe Burke – MUSA Environmental (via Zoom), Megan Ranapia – PhD Student  (via Zoom), Dr Matt Miller - Cawthron Institute (via Zoom) and Dr Mat Cummings - New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research (via Zoom)


1.     Karakia Whakatuwhera
Opening Karakia

A karakia was provided by Tu O’Brien - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa.

2.     Ngā Hōnea


3.     Raupapa o Ngā Take
Order of Business

Pim de Monchy – BOPRC Coastal Catchments Manager advised that as the Committee Champion he would fulfill the role of Acting Chair and with the agreement of the Forum, Item 8.1 would be taken before any other business to appoint a Chair and Deputy Chair, so that the remainder of business could be conducted with the newly appointed Chair.


First Meeting Matters

BOPRC Coastal Catchments Manager Pim de Monchy presented this item.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, First Meeting Matters.

2           Selects System B as the voting system to elect the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson;  



3           Elects Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti as the Chairperson for the 2022-2025 Triennium;

4           Elects Charlie Bluett as the Deputy Chairperson for the 2022-2025 Triennium

5           Notes The Forum’s Terms of Reference, attached as Appendix 1 to the report;

6           Notes the Standing Orders to be used for the conduct of its meetings, attached as Appendix 2, as adopted by the administrating authority (Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana:) on 24 November 2022;

7           Confirms its membership:

·          Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana: – Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti, Cr Malcolm Campbell (Alternate)

·          Ōpōtiki District Council – Cr Dean Peterson, Cr Steve Nelson (Alternate)

·          Whakatāne District Council – Cr Andrew Iles, Cr Nándor Tánczos (Alternate)

·          Whakatōhea – Karen Mokomoko

·          Upokorehe – Georgina Kohonui, Haami Aramoana (Alternate)

·          Ngāti Awa – Charlie Bluett, Tuwhakairiora O’Brien

·          Ngāi Tūhoe – Hori Hillman, Marewa Titoki (Alternate);

8           Confirms the following 2023 meeting dates:

·          7 September 2023

·          Workshop and/or field trip dates to be confirmed as required.



9.42 am – Karen Mokomoko entered the meeting.

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

None declared.

5.     Ngā Meneti

Minutes for Information Only


Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum Minutes - 8 September 2022



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum Minutes - 8 September 2022.



6.     Ngā Pūrongo

Hei Pānui Anake
Information Only


Ōhiwa Harbour Saltmarsh Condition 2021

Presentation: Ohiwa Harbour Saltmarsh Survey: Objective ID A4336973  

BOPRC Environmental Scientist Shay Dean presented this item.

Key Points:

·         34 saltmarsh sites had been assessed around Ōhiwa Harbour – all sites were found to be in good or excellent condition, except one which was in moderate condition

·         Minimal deteriorations were observed

·         The most concerning change was the detection of an invasive grass species (saltwater paspalum) at the Tunanui site

·         Another concern noted was the loss of 300m2 of wetland area - the site would be assessed for natural regeneration and planting to restore it

·         Re-measurement of the survey was to be conducted in five years’ time or when future aerial photography was released.

In Response to Questions:

·         A mapping exercise had been undertaken throughout the region which provided insight into areas which may have the right elevation to restore saltmarsh

·         Would provide a report to a future meeting with detail around saltmarsh restoration and sequestration

·         New aerial oblique imagery had been captured which could prove useful in the future.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Ōhiwa Harbour Saltmarsh Condition 2021.





Essential Freshwater Policy Programme Update

Presentation: Essential Freshwater Policy Programme and Engagement: Objective ID A4336956  


BOPRC Senior Advisor Reuben  Gardiner and Planner, Water Policy Michelle Lee presented this item.

Key Points:

·        Outlined the Freshwater Policy Programme timeline

·        Engagement dates specific to Ōhiwa were scheduled as follows:

o   Community meeting: 15th May 2023

o   Sub-regional hui-ā-iwi: May 24th 2023

o   Community meeting: 21st July 2023

o   Sub-regional hui-ā-iwi: 25th August 2023 (based in Whakatāne)

Community meeting: 7th September 2023

·       Encouraged members to contact staff with any questions or ideas about engagement on this topic, including places and suitable events to attend

·       A story booklet about the Ōhiwa Harbour Freshwater Management Unit (FMU) would be emailed to members as soon as it was available

·       The nature of the engagement would change as the essential freshwater programme progressed, and any information or advice from tangata whenua was welcomed on the best ways to engage for Ōhiwa Harbour.

In Response to Questions:

·       Engagement, dialogue and discussion with tangata whenua was based upon specific rohe and the freshwater features within, rather than being focused on FMU terminology

·       Tangata whenua relationships with the freshwater of each rohe and a full, informed understanding was critical for positive engagement outcomes

·       The focus needed to be on the natural features of freshwater flowing into Ōhiwa Harbour, what contributed to the harbour’s health and what could negatively affect its health – what happened upstream could have negative effects downstream.

10.21 am – Nandor Tánczos entered the meeting.

·         Significant submissions were expected from other groups including Federated Farmers, Fonterra and community boards to highlight their positions, so it was crucial for the voices of all Ōhiwa tangata whenua to be heard

·        Mahinga kai was a compulsory value under the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) which included clean water and ecosystems, but also a critical aspect of tikanga conditions to prevent alienation.




That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Essential Freshwater Policy Programme Update.





10.24 am – The meeting adjourned.

10.47 am – The meeting reconvened.



Update on the Ōhiwa Catchment freshwater fish barrier project

Presentation: Ōhiwa Fish Passage Project Update: Objective ID A4336955  

BOPRC Environmental Scientist Erin Fox presented this item.

Key Points:

·       Outlined how the project began; fish species, habitat and connectivity

·       Highlighted the four key outcomes of the project

·       554 potential fish passage barriers had been identified throughout Ōhiwa Harbour

·       Provided a map of where environmental DNA Sampling had been undertaken around the harbour and the different species identified through this sampling

·       The catchment was largely free of pest fish species, with the exception of gambusia in the mid to low Nukuhou

·       Potential evidence of low numbers included redfin bully, shortjaw kokopu and kakahi.

In Response to Questions:

·       There was not much known about the impacts of gambusia, or control methods to date but they co-existed well, only thrived in certain types of environments and were not expected to spread

·       Clarified that DNA in the water lasted for weeks, rather than months or years

·       There was work that could be undertaken to make some populations stronger and more viable in the future

·       It was possible that there were other species present that had not been detected

·       Landowners at the sites where kakahi had been found had not been approached yet, but considered that this could be a partnership opportunity

·       This was important work and with the agreement of the Forum, specific locations would not be discussed.  However, information should be shared with farmers and landowners about indigenous freshwater fish species in the harbour, particularly when it was relevant to them being kaitiaki of certain species within their property, and in order to work together to protect these species.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Update on the Ōhiwa Catchment freshwater fish barrier project.






Update report on Awhi Mai Awhi Atu, Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge project, February 2023

Presentation: Sustainable Seas Challenge - Pātangaroa hua rau: Objective ID A4336938  

Waikato University Associate Professor Dr Kura Paul-Burke, PhD student Megan Ranapia (at the request of the presenter, this presentation is not attached to the minutes), Cawthron Institute Dr Matt Miller and New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Dr Mat Cummings presented this item.

Key Points:

·          A starfish removal study had been undertaken in October and November 2022, with three different removal techniques – diving, trapping and combined

·          Highlighted the starfish removal sites and the numbers removed using each technique

·          Results showed that diving was more effective in the removal of eleven armed starfish than trapping, although trapping was likely to be more efficient long term

·          Outlined the options available for each phase of the Seastar Management Action Plan (SMAP)

·          Analysis of the makeup of two species of starfish had been undertaken from sampling over 12 months e.g. protein and fats

·          The aim was to produce a circular economy opportunity by creating skincare products through the extraction of collagen

·          Test pots of the cream produced had been sent to the Forum but were not available at the meeting

·          Explained bioactive extraction and product development - the process of extraction could be undertaken inhouse or by an external company

·          Starfish had high yields and three were used to make approximately sixty pottles of moisturiser

·          The concept held significant marketing opportunities if it went ahead - there was potentially high interest in the market, given the story and environmental benefits behind the concept

·          Noted that frozen starfish had been used for the analysis and process to create the powder.

Key Points - Members:

·         Costings of the various options presented were important to understand the best way forward.

In Response to Questions:

·       The Awhi Mai Awhi Atu project was to cease in June 2023, along with associated funding so additional putea would need to be sourced to continue this mahi

·       Costings related to the SMAP were dependent on different scenarios, e.g. the number of traps, number of crew involved, divers, the number of days this would be required for

·       Confirmed support from the team to continue leading and facilitating this mahi, if appropriate funding and resources were sourced

·       Outlined the projects and funding sources from conception to date

·       A funding proposal made through council Annual Plan or Long Term Plan processes was a good vehicle for this type of project

·       Starfish population surveys were important to uphold and continue monitoring, whether annually or biannually to establish where intervention was required

·       Harvesting the starfish, freezing and transporting options would be investigated and cost projections from these activities would be provided, along with companies that may be interested in the starfish

·       Costs would be provided to members for retention of the mussel stations, for the next 12 months from the end of the project in June 2023.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1           Receives the report, Update report on Awhi Mai Awhi Atu, Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge project, February 2023;

2          Supports a seastar management plan;

3       Agrees to retain all four mussel stations, subject to funding.







Annual Work Programme report to 31 January 2023 and proposed work programme for 2023-24

Presentation: Work Programme Report to January 2023: Objective ID A4336954  

BOPRC Land Management Officer Tim Senior presented this item.

Key Points:

·       Flooding since the Nukuhou River drone footage was captured had likely altered the landscape in the images provided

·       One of the issues in the Nukuhou catchment was high, steep, unconsolidated riverbanks, for which engineering assistance had been sourced to try and identify the best option to address the issue

·       These interventions were still at the investigative stage and there were many options to be weighed before any decisions were made.  The Nukuhou did not have targeted rates for flood protection and drainage schemes so any work carried out would be funded from general rates through the coastal catchments activity budget

·       Recent changes to freshwater regulation meant that the management of mangroves was now covered by the Regional Coastal Environment Plan (RCEP), which meant that previous mangrove management work could now be recommenced

·       Discussed upcoming pre-engagement options for the Navigational Safety Bylaw Review and highlighted that this was still at an early stage of the process.

·       Proposed a work programme for the coming year

·       Discussed possible adjustments to the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy Coordination Group (OHSCG) meetings and workshop schedule.

In Response to Questions:

·         Previous mangrove management included removing the seedlings from around the edges of the harbour and was undertaken by volunteers and working parties

·         Being able to sustain and enforce a bylaw was an important consideration

·         Pre-hearing engagement would be carried out face to face with Upokorehe and Ngāti Awa as requested, for the Navigational Safety Bylaws Review.

1.00 pm – Karen Mokomoko withdrew from the meeting.

1.05 pm – Marewa Titoko withdrew from the meeting.

1.07 pm – Cr Andrew Iles withdrew from the meeting.



That the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum:

1          Receives the report, Annual Work Programme report to 31 January 2023 and proposed work programme for 2023-24;

2         Endorses the proposed annual work programme 2023-24 and recommencing mangrove management work;

3         Endorses the suggested meeting frequency of two Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum hui, and two informal Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy Coordination Group hui held annually.



7.     Karakia Kati
Closing Karakia

A karakia was provided by Tu O’Brien.

1.17 pm – the meeting closed.



                                                                                Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti

Chairperson, Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum