Monitoring and Operations Committee Agenda

NOTICE IS GIVEN that the next meeting of the Monitoring and Operations Committee will be held in Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga on:

Tuesday 7 March 2023 COMMENCING AT 9.30 am

This meeting will be livestreamed and recorded.

The Public section of this meeting will be livestreamed and recorded and uploaded to Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s website.  Further details on this can be found after the Terms of Reference within the Agenda. Bay of Plenty Regional Council - YouTube


Fiona McTavish

Chief Executive, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana

27 February 2023



Monitoring and Operations Committee



Cr Kevin Winters

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Ron Scott


All Councillors


Seven members, consisting of half the number of members

Meeting frequency



·            Oversee and monitor the implementation of policies and strategies, promoting effective delivery and coordination between policy and implementation through recommendations to the Strategy and Policy Committee.

·            Monitor the implementation of Council’s activities, projects and services.


Oversee and monitor:

·            Regulatory performance of permitted activities, resource consents and bylaw rules, including compliance and enforcement.

·            Delivery of biodiversity, catchment management and flood protection activities in the region.

·            Delivery of biosecurity activities, including implementation and monitoring of the Regional Pest Management Plan.

·            Effectiveness of navigation safety bylaw responses.

·            State of the Environment monitoring.

·            Implementation of specific programmes in place such as the Mount Maunganui Industrial Air Programme, and integrated catchment programmes (e.g. Rotorua Lakes and Tauranga Moana).

·            Receive information on environmental monitoring and performance monitoring trends and recommend to the Strategy and Policy Committee to inform policy review.

·            Monitor Council’s actions on Climate Change.

·            Operational activities that implement relevant national and regional plans and strategies, including:

§  Science

§  Flood protection

§  Biosecurity

§  Catchment management

§  Rivers and drainage

§  Compliance, monitoring and enforcement

§  Resource consents

§  Maritime

Power to Act

To make all decisions necessary to fulfil the role and scope of the committee subject to the limitations imposed.

The Monitoring and Operations Committee is not delegated authority to:

·            Develop, adopt or review strategic policy and strategy.

·            Approve Council submissions on legislation, policy, regulations, standards, plans and other instruments prepared by Central Government, Local Government and other organisations.

·            Identify, monitor and evaluate necessary actions by the organisation and other relevant organisations under co-governance arrangements.

Power to Recommend

To the Strategy and Policy Committee on matters necessary for reviewing plans, strategies and policies.

To Council and/or any standing committee as it deems appropriate.


Recording of Meetings

Please note the Public section of this meeting is being recorded and streamed live on Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s website in accordance with Council's Live Streaming and Recording of Meetings Protocols which can be viewed on Council’s website. The recording will be archived and made publicly available on Council's website within two working days after the meeting on for a period of three years (or as otherwise agreed to by Council).

All care is taken to maintain your privacy; however, as a visitor in the public gallery or as a participant at the meeting, your presence may be recorded. By remaining in the public gallery, it is understood your consent is given if your image is inadvertently broadcast.

Opinions expressed or statements made by individual persons during a meeting are not the opinions or statements of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Council accepts no liability for any opinions or statements made during a meeting.


Bay of Plenty Regional Council - Toi Moana

Governance Commitment

mō te taiao, mō ngā tāngata - our environment and our people go hand-in-hand.



We provide excellent governance when, individually and collectively, we:

·        Trust and respect each other

·        Stay strategic and focused

·        Are courageous and challenge the status quo in all we do

·        Listen to our stakeholders and value their input

·        Listen to each other to understand various perspectives

·        Act as a team who can challenge, change and add value

·        Continually evaluate what we do




Monitoring and Operations Committee                                 7 March 2023

Recommendations in reports are not to be construed as Council policy until adopted by Council.


1.      Apologies

2.      Public Forum

3.      Items not on the Agenda

4.      Order of Business

5.      Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

6.      Reports

6.1      Chairperson's Report                               1

Information Only

6.2      Rates Collection Update                          1

6.3      Customer Service Performance Update   1

6.4      Climate Change Quarterly Report           1

Attachment 1 - Climate Change Programme Overview February 2023                                        1

6.5      2021/2022 Compliance Activity Report   1

6.6      Overview of Municipal Wastewater Compliance in Bay of Plenty Region        1

Attachment 1 - Overview of WWTP Compliance in BOP Region February 2023_Final                    1

6.7      Mount Maunganui Industrial Area update                                                                 1

Attachment 1 - Table of all PM10 exceedances PDF                                                                           1

Supporting Document 1 - Mount Air Quality Working Party meeting minutes and presentations from Wednesday 22 February 2023

6.8      Weather Events,  January - February 2023                                                          1

Attachment 1 - Weather Events, January - February 2023 Lake Levels                                    1

6.9      Tauranga Moana Land Management Operations Update                                   1

7.      Consideration of Items not on the Agenda




Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

7 March 2023

Report Authoriser:

Reuben Fraser, General Manager Regulatory Services



Chairperson's Report


Executive Summary

This report provides an update on key matters of interest for Monitoring and Operations Committee members including:

·     freshwater farm plans,

·     Whakarewarewa wallaby containment fence construction update,

·     Wallaby branded ute,

·     Lake Ōkataina hornwort incursion management,

·     laboratory services,

·     new co-funding from Central Government,

·     resource consents update,

·     regulatory compliance update,

·     the draft 2023 Monitoring Operations Committee workplan, and

·     the Cyclone Gabrielle response.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.


1.        Purpose

This report provides an update on key matters of interest for Monitoring and Operations Committee members.


2.        Matters of potential interest

2.1      Freshwater Farm Plans

Freshwater Farm Plan (FW-FP) regulations are currently being finalised and are expected to be gazetted by the government in early 2023. They are a key part of the Essential Freshwater work programme to improve water quality and provide a nationally consistent farm planning framework. 

FW-FPs will be a mandatory and enforceable tool subject to Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement functions by Councils under the RMA. They will require certification and audit.

FW-FPs will need to consider the risks of the farming/growing operation on local water quality (catchment context, values and challenges), and identify practical time-bound actions on farm to help improve the health of water.

As a minimum, BOPRC will need to support FW-FP implementation through:

o    Providing our best available information on catchment context, values and challenges to be considered in the FW-FP (this work is already occurring as part of our BOPRC Essential Freshwater Policy programme)

o    Working on the regional training and appointment of FW-FP certifiers and auditors (with the support of a National Appointment Body, yet to be established, and Te Uru Kahika), and

o    Fulfilling our Council compliance, monitoring and enforcement functions for FW-FPs under the RMA. 


FW-FPs are likely to be phased in by the government in the Bay of Plenty Region around mid-2024. There will likely be FW-FP resourcing/capacity limitations across the country, and other unknowns that are currently being worked through as we await certainty through final FW-FP regulations.

Staff will report back to this committee once the regulations and timing for the Bay of Plenty have been confirmed.

2.2      Whakarewarewa Wallaby Containment Fence Construction Update

Following the signing of the last of the landowner agreements, construction works on the Whakarewarewa wallaby containment fence are now underway. Mulching to clear excess vegetation off the fence line has been completed on multiple sections of the project and first 500m of fence erected at the Ford Farm.

The principal contractor, Kenai Ltd, have organised a meeting of all subcontractors at the site to enable effective planning for the delivery of this complex project and ensure all parties are working safely together on the project. The project team is also working closely with the forest managers, Timberlands Limited, to coordinate fence construction with current and pending forestry activities.

Photo 1: Mulched line ready for fencing

Photo 2: Wallaby Fence, Ford Farm

2.3      Wallaby Branded Ute

Biosecurity Officer Dale Williams picked up the new wallaby-branded ute recently, ready for use in Rotorua. Based on people taking photos of the vehicle in the street enroute to being delivered, it’s going to be a great billboard to prompt the public to report wallaby sightings on the site.

It’s been estimated that without control, wallabies could occupy a third of the North Island (and the same in the South Island) within 50 years. Bay of Plenty Regional Council is a key player for the Central North Island, Tipu Mātoro – Wallaby Free Aotearoa programme, and in order to succeed we need the help of everyone to help stop their spread by reporting sightings.

Photo 3: Biosecurity Officer Dale Williams with the Wallaby-branded vehicle

The reporting of any wallaby sighting outside of the Containment Zone (see below map) is the key priority but any sighting reported helps to build the picture of the scale of the wallaby issue. For more information about the programme and the issues caused by wallabies community members can go to the wallaby project page on the BOPRC website

Figure 1: Map of Wallaby Containment Zone

2.4      Lake Ōkataina Hornwort Management

The Biosecurity dive team has completed surveillance as part of the Hornwort Incursion Management Plan for Lake Ōkataina. Hornwort plants and fragment were found in 2010 within Lake Ōkataina. The current round of surveillance has not detected the presence of hornwort within the lake. Plants that were detected at two sites in February 2022 were controlled with Diquat (an aquatic herbicide) and these sites were thoroughly checked during this surveillance round and no plants were detected. This is an excellent result for the ongoing management of hornwort with Lake Ōkataina.

Photo 4: Lake Ōkataina

2.5      New co-funding from Central Government

2.5.1    Hill Country Erosion Funding

The Ministry of Primary Industries “Hill Country Erosion Fund” has tentatively confirmed that they intend to fund BOPRC a total of $774,480 towards the Land Management works programme over the next five years. Funding will come online in July 2023 and will be used to support key activities such as the fencing, retirement and planting of steep erodible land, as well as soil conservation initiatives like poplar pole planting. The funding will be administered by the land management team through our Environmental Programme Agreements, with matching co-funding provided from BOPRC. Work will especially target Focus Catchments requiring sediment and phosphorus reductions under the Essential Freshwater Programme priorities. This new funding is a welcomed co-funding partnership opportunity to increase the scale and quality of works possible with Council funding alone, with our previous “One Billion Trees” funding from MPI now entering its final year and already fully allocated to community.

2.5.2    Essential Freshwater Fund

The Ministry for the Environment has committed $450,000 over the next three years to support our Essential Freshwater implementation. The funding will be used by the Land Management and Policy teams to help with things like the coordination and support of catchment groups, development of ‘catchment context’ information (including for Freshwater Farm Plans), specialist rural-professional input into the development of the new Regional Natural Resources Plan, and priority on-the-ground land management works in Focus Catchments. 

2.5.3    Te Wahapu o Waihī

A significant new collaborative partnership between iwi has been building momentum in the past 15 months. Te Wahapū o Waihī (TWOW) includes iwi leaders from Ngati Whakahemo, Ngati Whakaue ki Maketu, Ngati Makino, Ngati Pikiao and Tapuika and has set itself a vision that aligns closely with that of Council in terms of improving the health of the Waihī Estuary. They have sought and successfully obtained $2.9 million from the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund. Council is both the grantee for that funding and a partner in co-funding and delivering the workstreams identified, where the outcomes sought are shared. This will include works such as the creation of saltmarsh and other priority land management initiatives like new stock exclusion fencing and native planting (co-funded through our Environmental Programme’s).

2.6      Data Services

2.6.1    Laboratory services

The laboratory continues to see growth in use of its services, by both internal and external users, with for the first time over 11,000 samples being received in a calendar year.  Those samples resulted in 87,700 individual analyses and test results.

Figure 2 Laboratory sample and test number for 2022.

Notable is the growth in external services, which are cost recovered, due to increased territorial Council work and industry testing relating to crop and fruit production.

2.6.2    Environmental Data

Continued wet weather over the past eight months had the region saturated and very responsive to storm events that have recently affected the region, which in turn has the data collection staff busy keeping monitoring and reporting infrastructure operational and undertaking flood flow measurements. Further preliminary data and information related to these events is provided within a separate item in the agenda.

The value of the Environmental Data Portal and open access to data can be seen with these types of events, demonstrated by the large increase of use in January due to the Auckland Anniversary severe weather event, we expect February to show a similar result due to Cyclone Gabrielle.

Figure 3: visits to the data portal

2.7      Resource Consents Update

The number of applications is trending towards an average of just over 50 a month dropping since a peak in mid-2020. The monthly average number of applications lodged is down by around 10 applications compared to previous years. 

Decisions made continues to follow a similar trend and more closely matches applications received since 2021.

Figure 4: Consent applications received and decisions made

Groundwater Takes, Lake Structure and Earthworks application were the three major activities granted for the year to date. Bore drilling, dairy and discharges to land (Contaminated land remediation and stormwater discharges) were the next highest categories.



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Figure 5: Consent types granted since July 2022

Since September we have received 32 responses to our customer satisfaction survey. We continue to receive generally positive feedback from our applicants through the customer satisfaction survey (28 of 31 responses), written guidance information and forms are found to be helpful and easy to understand. Customers appreciate the consents team clearly explaining the process to them, particularly being able to ring and get further information. Applications processed quickly have been very well received by applicants.

Four applicants were dissatisfied with our customer service and their comments point to delays in the consenting process and not being kept informed by the processing planner. This is a good reminder for us to keep applicants informed and where there are delays give them as much assurance as we can on the process. It has also identified opportunities to work with our consultant planners to ensure we deliver better service for applicants.

Staff have received specific recognition from applicants. For example:

·     Yvette was excellent to deal with and was very understanding of time constraints surrounding this project. The overall project/consent was quite complex with a lot of moving parts which makes Yvette's work, patience, and communication even more impressive.

·     Jacob was fantastic to deal with. Great communication and responsiveness through the entire process.

·     Marlene is an absolute legend. Pragmatic, solutions-focused, well versed in technical matters and a fantastic communicator.

2.7.1    Matters of interest

There have been some significant staffing changes within the Consents Team over this period. With Reuben moving into the GM Role, Ella Tennent was appointed into the Consents Manager Role which gave us the opportunity to bring in Paula Golsby to the team as a Principal Advisor.  Paula brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience that is really enhancing the way the team works.

The Consents Team, primarily Paula Golsby, provided input on consenting related provisions for the Council’s submission on the Natural and Built Environment Bill.  Our focus was on ensuring workable provisions that facilitate good consent processes and deliver on the outcomes anticipated by the Bill, as well as the intent of the Resource Management reform.

On 19 October, the Consents team held their last team hui of the year at Tipapa Marae in Murupara. It was a good opportunity to sit down and get to know more about Ngāti Manawa and their aspirations for the rohe. We discussed how Ngāti Manawa would like things to work moving forward as well as some of the large topical consents. The highlight of the day was when the Ngāt  Manawa cultural monitoring team showed us all of the work they have been doing to monitor and look after the long finned tuna (eel) in the Rangitaiki River. The team walked away with a better understanding of how Ngāti Manawa whakapapa to the tuna, why water quality is so important to them and the impact some of the consents we process can have on their cultural identity.

On 25 October a hearing was held for the Tauranga City Council application to upgrade the Ohauiti stormwater network. The decision was to grant but is possibly pending an appeal.

We are in the process of reviewing  the Legacy crematorium air discharge consent. The review is almost complete, awaiting final comments from the consent holder regarding new and amended conditions.  The cremator is not in use due to the prosecution process.

Staff have been working with the planning team and Western Bay District Council on the Ōmokoroa Structure Plan, to ensure an integrated approach to stormwater management between the Structure Plan and the Comprehensive Stormwater Consent applied for.

The direct referral Environment Court hearing for Stellar Passage is due to commence next week and is scheduled to be held over three weeks. 

The Genera consent application (fumigation) hearing has been scheduled for June.

The Ōpōtiki marina consent application hearing is scheduled to commence on 23 March. 

The Whanarua Bay community water supply consent hearing is scheduled for April. 

BOPRC has partnered with the Ministry for the Environment in a pilot programme for Māori Commissioners to gain experience in consent hearings.  The trial provides for Māori Commissioners that have certification for RMA decision making to sit in on real hearings and learn from the experience.  An experienced hearing commissioner provides mentoring through the process.  Thus far through this pilot programme, two hearings have been completed with one Māori Commissioner being an observer and one as an active participant on the hearing panel.

2.7.2    Appeals

The appeal on the Tauranga Bridge Marina consent was heard in the Environment Court from the 14-16 November. Staff provided expert planning evidence and answered questions in court.  The Environment Court’s decision is yet to be received and is unlikely prior to the conclusion of the Port of Tauranga hearing mentioned above.

In December 2022 the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals to the Creswell Water Bottling Consents.  Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa have now applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court for another legal challenge to the Creswell water bottling consent. Sustainable Otakiri have also applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in regards to the Whakatāne District Council consent.  

2.8      Cyclone Gabrielle Response

Comprehensive information in relation to recent weather events and their impact on council business is presented in the Weather Events,  January - February 2023 report as part of this agenda. That report outlines how the Regional Council supports location authorities through the analysis of information, briefings, situation reports and advice.

Ex-tropical Cyclone Gabrielle was a Category 3 tropical cyclone originating from the Coral Sea that tracked towards the Northeast of the North Island of New Zealand. This event followed a sustained period of heavy rainfall over January across the Bay of Plenty with late January recording over 5 times the historic average.   At its peak, the impacts from the event included: 

·     Large waves in excess of 6-8m across eastern and northern coasts with peak wave heights occurring at 1600 on 13 February 2023

·     Storm surge across coastal regions ranging from over 1m (Tauranga Harbour) to approximately 0.5m east of Ōhiwa

·     Severe gale force winds with gusts of 120-130km/hr in exposed places

·     Heavy rain across the region with 24hr rainfall total of more than 200mm near Waihī Beach and in the eastern Bay of Plenty Ranges and 140mm in the northern Tauranga and Rotoehu areas, with lesser amounts across the remainder of the region. 

The following table outlines the declarations and timelines used across the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group during the Cyclone Gabrielle event.




Declaration Notice



Start date



Expiry date



Issued by



Terminated by



Area covered


Opotiki District Council State of Local Emergency

08:00hrs Monday 13 February 2023

Monday 13 February 2023

Mayor David Moore

Superseded by the regional State of Emergency

Ōpōtiki District

Whakatane District Council State of Local Emergency

15:00hrs Monday 13 February 2023


Monday 13 February 2023


Acting Mayor Lesley Immink


Superseded by the regional State of Emergency

Whakatāne District


Western Bay of Plenty District Council State of Local Emergency

19:38hrs Monday 13 February 2023


Monday 13 February 2023


Mayor James Denyer


Superseded by the regional State of Emergency

Western Bay of Plenty District


Local State of Emergency for the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group area

20:00hrs Monday 13 February 2023


Tuesday 14 February 2023


Mayor Faylene Tunui, Chair, Bay of Plenty CDEM Group Joint Committee

Superseded by National State of Emergency


Bay of Plenty region


State of National Emergency

08:30hrs Tuesday 14 February 2023




Minister for Emergency ManagementKieran McAnulty


Northland, Auckland, Tairāwhiti, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Hawkes Bay.















2.8.1    Summary of emergency powers exercised

Emergency powers were used under the declaration for the following response actions:

1.   The evacuation of premises or places where necessary to preserve human life – CDEM Act section 86.

2.   The restriction of access to public places or roads to limit the extent of the emergency – CDEM Act section 88.

3.   Carry out inspections on properties to limit the extent of the emergency – CDEM Act section 92.

2.8.2    Welfare provided

During the response eight Emergency Evacuation Centres were established by local Emergency Operations Centres run by territorial authorities to provide support to the community, including overnight accommodation particularly for pre-emptive evacuees. They were at Bay Park (Tauranga), War Memorial Hall & Whakatane Holiday Park (Whakatāne), Ōpōtiki College & Kutarere school (Ōpōtiki) and Athenree Homestead, the Orchard, Katikati Baptist Church (Western Bay of Plenty) and Waihī Beach RSA (Western Bay). A total of 48 evacuees presented themselves at these centres and were able to return home the day after and all centres were subsequently closed.

Two Community-led Centres were also set up through a community response, assisting 28 people.

11 Marae opened their doors throughout the rohe, taking care of 82 people. There are no reports of these evacuees requiring more support, and we understand all people could return to their homes.

2.8.3    Support provided to other areas

Councils across the Bay of Plenty are also providing support to other areas that have been harder hit. The table below summarises that level of support direct to emergency coordination centres at the time of writing this report (24 February 2023). In addition to this support various business units across Council have been providing support direct to their counterparts in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay (e.g. geospatial support and consenting advice). This support has not included deployment of staff to date.

Figure 6: Bay of Plenty council and emergency management staff deployments

Following the conclusion of the response a debrief will be conducted to identify any lessons learnt.





Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

7 March 2023

Report Writer:

Annabel Chappell, Manager, Special Projects

Report Authoriser:

Fiona McTavish, Chief Executive


To update the Committee on progress with rates collection for the 2022/23 year



Rates Collection Update


Executive Summary

Following Council’s decision in October 2020 to collect the regional council rates in-house, our new rates collection service has been established and the implementation phase of the Rates Collection Project is now complete.

Collecting our own rates has increased the public’s awareness of council, and is expected to result in more community connections, feedback, and engagement. It has also provided transparency of services, and direct control over the rating system, rates information and all related processes.

An internal Project Review has been carried out, which identified and reported on project success measures, additional opportunities for the wider organisation that were achieved through the project, lessons learnt, and future improvements identified. These improvements have been included in a two-year improvements programme.

Cost estimates for in-house rates collection were included in the Long Term Plan 2021-2031, with a projected saving of $5.9m over the ten year period in comparison to the previous TA collection model. Now that costs of the collection service are clearer, this savings estimate has increased to $7.1m over the same period.

An additional financial benefit of improved cash flow is estimated to be approximately $400,000 of additional interest revenue for 2022/23.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Rates Collection Update.


1.        Introduction

At the 29 October 2020 Council Meeting, approval was given to collect all Regional Council rates in-house, with a target date of collecting rates for the 2022/23 financial year. Prior to 1 July 2022 Council relied on the territorial authorities (TAs) to collect the Regional Council rates on its behalf (except for minor river scheme rates).

The reason for the change was that Council wished to increase public awareness of the work we do, and the benefits this work has for the community. Collecting our own rates has increased the public’s awareness of council, and is expected to result in more community connections, feedback, and engagement. It has also provided transparency of services, and direct control over the rating system, rates information, and all related processes.

This report provides Councillors with a post-implementation review, an update on how the in-house rates collection is performing, and information on an improvements programme to further enhance the rates collection service.

1.1      Legislative Framework

The Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 and the Rating Valuations Act 1998 are the primary enactments governing the setting, assessment, and collection of rates by Local Government. 

In addition to complying with this rating specific legislation, Council also needs to ensure that the rating function and process complies with the Local Government Act 2002 and the Privacy Act 2020.

1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework


The Way We Work

We deliver value to our ratepayers and our customers.


We provide great customer service.


We continually seek opportunities to innovate and improve.

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

¨ Environmental


þ Cultural

Medium - Positive

þ Social

Medium - Positive

þ Economic

Medium - Positive


Collecting rates in-house has a positive effect on social and economic well-being. The economic benefit of the in-house collection includes less cost to ratepayers as internal costs are lower than paying other organisations a commission to collect revenue on our behalf. Also, improved cash flow for council due to receiving rates revenue earlier than previously, resulting in approximately $400,000 of additional interest revenue per annum.

Positive social benefits include the community having more awareness about the work that we do and engaging with us more, the public receiving an improved customer experience and equity across the region as council will have control over rating policies and be able to apply a more consistent and holistic view of the Bay of Plenty community.

Cultural benefits include direct engagement with Māori landowners and greater control over rating policies for Māori land. Bay of Plenty Regional Council can decide how to rate whenua Māori, including decisions on rates arrears, remissions and consolidation of whenua Māori land blocks or multiple dwellings for rating purposes.



2.        Rates collection implementation

2.1      Background

In October 2020 approval was given to collect all Regional Council rates in-house, with a target date of collecting rates for the 2022/23 financial year. Prior to 1 July 2022 Council relied on the TAs to collect the Regional Council rates on its behalf (except for minor river scheme rates).

The transition of the rates collection function from the region’s TLA’s to Bay of Plenty Regional Council was a significant change project, not only for the Council, but also for the City and District Councils and the region’s 146,749 ratepayers.

The transition to Bay of Plenty Regional Council collecting all regional council rates in-house resulted in direct rates revenue collection of $82m for the 2022/23 financial year.

The project was complex and challenging, with an ambitious 18-month timeframe.

To manage a project of this scale eight workstreams, involving up to 70 Council staff in varying capacities, were involved in the project that delivered on time and within budget, and generated significant efficiency savings.

2.2      Project closure

The rates invoices for the 2022/23 year were sent out in September 2022 and the due date for payment was on 20 October 2022. These milestones mark the establishment of our new rates collection service, and the implementation phase of the Rates Collection Project is now complete.

An internal Project Review has already been carried out, which identified and reported on project success measures, additional opportunities for the wider organisation that were achieved through the project, lessons learnt, and future improvements identified.

2.3      Objectives and success measures

At the beginning of the project, a number of objectives were set. These objectives included

·     developing a customer-centric service,

·     providing better visibility of the relationship between rates and the services they fund,

·     increasing control of rates processes,

·     establishing direct relationships with our ratepayers,

·     producing service delivery cost savings for ratepayers, and

·     improving the opportunity for collaboration with local authorities in the region.

More than a dozen success measures were identified to provide assurance that these objectives have been achieved. An example of one of the success measures is that “ratepayers have a clear understanding of the Regional Council rating change and what they need to do to pay their rates to Bay of Plenty Regional Council”. The success of this objective can be measured through the percentage of rates collected.

At the time of writing this report 96.3% of rates for the 2022/23 year have either been collected, or are committed through direct debit arrangements.

All initial success measures have either been achieved, or are in progress through the rating policy review, which will be undertaken as part of the Long-Term Plan 2024-2034 process.

The statistics provided in Section 3 of this report demonstrate the high levels of customer engagement with Council throughout this change process, and the heightened awareness of Council activities.

2.4      Rates collection improvements

The rates collection service was a new function for council, with a short delivery timeframe, therefore the technology system initially implemented was on a ‘minimum viable product’ basis that achieved the core objectives. In the process of implementation, several system enhancements were identified that would provide a more efficient service in the long term. We will continue to work with our rates technology provider – Magiq - to implement these improvements.

In addition to system improvements, a range of process improvements were also identified as being desirable to mature our rates collection service. These improvements have been included in a two-year improvements programme. Information on significant improvements and their progress will be reported to this committee on a regular basis.

One of the priority actions from this list is to review the historical rating of properties that were discovered to have been incorrectly charged when the rates data was transferred from some TAs. This is so that any refunds due can be identified and processed before the end of this financial year.

A significant improvement identified will be a review of the river scheme rating categories to update any changes in property circumstances, and reduce complexity. This is likely to be a long-term project, with the potential for each river scheme to be reviewed. Scoping of the project will be carried out in the 2023/24 financial year for consideration by Council in the Long Term Plan 2024 – 2034.

3.        Rates collection information

Some of the desired outcomes of collecting rates in-house were to increase customer engagement and increase people’s awareness of the work we do. The following statistics demonstrate customer reach, the effectiveness of the new rates collection service, and the effectiveness of our communications around the change.

3.1      Customer engagement (Data as at the end of February 2023)

As this has been the first year of in-house rates collection, the volume of customer enquiries had been expected to be higher than in future years as customers are supported through the change.

To date we have had the following customer interactions:

·     147,550 invoices posted out, which included a brochure on the work that rates pay for

·     31,938 rates related calls to our customer contact centre

·     26,403 rates service requests logged through our website, by email or through our customer contact centre

·     7,252 customers visiting our service centres with rates enquiries

Image 1: Customers visiting our offices by location

·     369 Whenua Māori engagement emails sent to various Iwi, Hapū, Trusts and organisations, introducing the changes to the rating system and the BOPRC

·     489 Māori Land Service requests logged through our website, email, direct email and customer contact centre or front counter.

·     22 Māori land review and remission hui held in person, phone conference or online

·     12 site visits to local Whenua within the region, Ōpōtiki, Whakatāne, Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty areas.

·     379,286 visits to the rates pages on our website

In terms of increasing customer awareness of the work Council does, approximately 75% of people who visit our rates pages have then moved on to other pages within the website.

3.2      Revenue

·     76.1% ($62.4 million) of rates were paid as at the due date

·     27,867 penalty letters were sent out

·     96.3% ($78.9m) of rates have been paid as at 24 February 2023

Image 2: Revenue collected to date

In-house collection of rates has improved Council’s cash flow. In previous years, rates collection was characterised by large receipts in September and March which corresponded with City/District Council instalment dates. This year, the majority of rates were received in October, and the increasing use of direct debits is resulting in steady ongoing collections. The chart below shows the percentage of rates received this year compared to last year.








The financial benefit of the improved cash flow is estimated to be approximately $400,000 of additional interest revenue for 2022/23. This figure will probably be higher next year as the increasing use of direct debits results in more revenue received in July and August.

3.3      Payment methods

As part of providing a customer-centric service, as many payment options have been provided as practicable. Customers can pay their rates through the following channels:

·     Internet banking

·     Over the counter at our three main offices (EFTPOS, credit card, cash)

·     Over the counter at NZ Post agencies throughout the region

·     Direct debit

·     Through our website

Internet banking has been the most popular method by far, followed by direct debit and then over the counter payments at either NZ Post or our offices.

Image 3: Customer payment methods


3.4      Direct debits

With a single annual instalment, the best way to address affordability of payments for our customers was to provide multiple direct debit options so that customers can smooth their payments over the financial year rather than having to pay the instalment in a lump sum.

Extensive promotion of these direct debit facilities was undertaken, with a result of around 35,000 direct debits being established.

The most popular direct debit frequency has been monthly, followed by annually, fortnightly, and weekly. During the payment process some customers have requested a quarterly option. We are now looking at offering this as an additional option for the 2023/24 rating year.

Image 4: Direct debit frequencies

4.        Considerations

4.1      Risks and Mitigations

There are no risks in relation to this service delivery performance update.

4.2      Climate Change

The matters addressed in this report are of a procedural nature and there is no need to consider climate change impacts. The project is designed to adapt to our communities’ views through the investigation of the impact rates collection could have on Council’s visibility of work, which takes into account the future impacts of climate change.

4.3      Implications for Māori

Rating Māori land can be complex. Collecting our own rates, gives Bay of Plenty Regional Council greater control and enables it to apply equity and fairness across the region. With our engagement and strengthening relationships we can address economic disparity and rebuild trust, forging better relationships with local Iwi, Hapū, Trusts and owner/occupiers. In-house collection means that Council can establish its own rating policies and will no longer be bound by the TA’s policies.

With greater control over rating policies, Bay of Plenty Regional Council will have the ability to decide how to rate whenua Māori including decisions on rate’s arrears, remissions and consolidation of whenua Māori land blocks or multiple dwellings for rating purposes.

4.4      Community Engagement


Adobe Systems



To provide affected communities with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problems, alternatives and/or solutions.


Rates collection is a statutory process under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 and the Rating Valuations Act 1988. Information provided to customers around the rating process is done so under the Act requirements.

4.5      Financial Implications

Once the decision was made to collect rates in-house the estimated costs of internal rates collection were compared against the costs, we would have faced had we continued with the TA commission model over the Long Term Plan 2021-2031 to identify the potential efficiencies of the initiative.

Cost estimates were included in the Long Term Plan 2021-2031, with a projected saving of $5.9m over the ten year period.

The majority of actual costs for rates collection are now known, with the exception of the District Valuation Roll (DVR) cost sharing calculation that is prescribed in the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 which is yet to be finalised with the TAs. This cost sharing is for valuation services and maintenance of the DVR and replaces the commission paid for the entire rates collection service previously provided by the TAs on our behalf.

The actual costs (excluding the DVR cost sharing which remains an estimate) and efficiencies achieved in relation to the previous TA rates collection service model are as follows, and includes estimated future amounts that would have been payable if Council hadn’t agreed to collect rates in-house:


Y1 – Y5
(2021/22 – 2025/26)

Y5 – Y10
(2026/27 – 2030/31)


TLA Collection model

(Based on rates collection for AP 22/23)








Rates collection costs (2021-2031)









The additional financial benefit of the improved cash flow is estimated to be approximately $400,000 of additional interest revenue for 2022/23.

5.        Next Steps

The collection of rates for the 2022/23 year continues, with the first rate reminder letters were recently sent out for the 3.7% of outstanding rates.

The programme of rates collection improvements has commenced, and progress on these improvements will be reported to the next meeting of this Committee.







Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

7 March 2023

Report Writer:

Rachael Burgess, Customer Contact Manager

Report Authoriser:

Mat Taylor, General Manager, Corporate


To update the committee on customer service performance



Customer Service Performance Update


Executive Summary

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of our customer service performance, including the quality of service provided, customer satisfaction levels, and overall performance metrics. The data allows us to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the customer experience and driving business efficiency.

This report also highlights the successful implementation of the Rates Transition Project. As a result of this project, we have implemented new rates collection processes that have enhanced our customers' experience by providing a more efficient and user-friendly service. We have reviewed the impact of this project on our customer service performance and included key metrics and data-driven insights, including customer feedback and satisfaction levels, to measure the success of the project and identify opportunities for further improvement.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Customer Service Performance Update.


1.        Introduction

Considerable operational changes have been made over the past four years to improve the way we engage with our customers in terms of the technology we use, the processes we follow and the functionality of our public interfaces. A series of initiatives included in the Customer First work programme that commenced in early 2019, has ensured that we now have fit-for-purpose systems and streamlined processes in place to support an improved service delivery. These initiatives have resulted in an improved level of service and have had a positive impact on customer satisfaction levels. They have also supported our readiness for collecting our own rates payments as part of the rates transition project.

Prior to the rates transition project getting underway, extensive research was carried out to ensure we had the most customer-centric, effective, and efficient in-house rates collection function and that the rates collection change was well communicated to our rates customers. A detailed communications plan was developed to inform ratepayers of the change as well as promoting the various payment methods available.

Over the four-month period following the release of rates invoices and penalty notices, phone calls, visitor numbers and email enquiries have doubled in volume. In order to carefully monitor this growing number of enquiries, a rates dashboard was developed to capture rates-specific data during the collection period. This data was reviewed daily by the rates project team to ensure adequate resourcing was in place to respond to peak periods of enquiries. We were also able to identify query trends based on the feedback received from customers and use this to update the messaging provided through our various communications platforms, effectively reducing the pressure on our customer service channels.

Now that the first year of in-house rates collection is largely complete, we are reviewing customer data and feedback to identify opportunities for further improvement before invoicing gets underway again later this year. We expect that in future years, the volume of customer enquiries will be much less as customers will have adjusted to the change and many now have direct debits in place.

1.1      Alignment with Strategic Framework


A Healthy Environment

Freshwater for Life

Safe and Resilient Communities

A Vibrant Region

The Way We Work

We provide great customer service.


We deliver value to our ratepayers and our customers


We continually seek opportunities to innovate and improve


2.        Customer Service Performance

2.1      Customer Contact Centre Highlights

In the 12 months ending 31 January 2023, approximately 129,000 customer queries were received across our six customer service channels. For queries that require a response, service tickets are generated in Zendesk, our customer relationship management system (CRM).

There were 128,000 Zendesk service tickets generated and resolved during this 12-month period. This is an 80% increase in service tickets compared to the previous reporting period ending 31 July 2022 and this is attributed to the large volume of rates queries received during the rates collection period.




Web Query

Social Media


Total Queries

Zendesk Service Tickets















2.1.1    Call Volumes

Calls were the most popular method of contact with 58,700 calls received during the 12 months. This is a 38% increase in calls compared to the previous reporting period ending 31 July 2022. Information relating to the rates collection changes were sent to rates customers in April 2022 and this resulted in call volumes starting to trend upwards as customers sought to understand the change. Call volumes peaked during August and September when rates invoices were released with approx. 8,000 calls received during both months. Call volumes were still sitting above previous averages through October and November as a result of the penalty notices being sent. Call volumes have then reduced in December.

Volume of calls received from January 2022 to January 2023

During the period from August 2022 to November 2022, rates-related calls accounted for half of all calls received into the call centre. The call centre experienced its busiest day on 11 November when 1385 calls were received following the release of penalty notices to rates customers.

Rates calls received from August 2022 to November 2022

During peak periods where call volumes averaged 500 per day it was not possible to answer every call immediately. A call-back service was available so people could save their place in the queue. This was well-received by customers as we were able to respond to call backs within a 24-hour timeframe in most cases.

2.1.2    Call Categories

There are five separate phone lines that are managed by our internal call centre. These include the BOPRC general query phone line, the Baybus phone line, the pollution hotline, the 0800 5KNOTS maritime line and the new rates phone line that was introduced in April when the rates communication campaign was launched.

Having a dedicated rates phone line allowed the team to better manage the calls coming into the call centre by providing better visibility of rates call patterns for reporting purposes. It also meant that specific rates messaging could be used while callers were waiting for their call to be answered. During the rates collection period, we used customised messaging to respond to common queries and this meant that customers were able to get the information they needed without needing to speak to a customer service agent. This resulted in a reduction on call volumes overall and allowed us to better manage peak call periods by reducing the pressure on the call centre team.

The following graph shows the volume of calls received to each of these phone lines for the 12 months ending 31 January 2023.

Phone Line Statistics from February 2022 to January 2023

Rates-related calls make up the largest call category, increasing our overall call volumes by 38%. The call centre received approximately 150 rates-related calls per day during April, May and June after rates communication campaign went live. The graph shows these calls then increase significantly in July after the direct debit letters were sent to ratepayers and then again in August when the invoices were released across the region.

A total of 22,300 rates calls have been received and a total of 16,500 Zendesk tickets have been generated during the rates transition project. This is a considerable number of tickets that required a resolution and during peak periods staff members from across the organisation assisted the customer service and rates teams in responding to service tickets.  

When looking at monthly call volumes, April saw a significant drop in calls across the other four phone lines. This is consistent with call patterns from previous years where people take leave over Easter.

Baybus calls fluctuate between 1,000 and 2,000 calls each month and totalled 16,000 calls for the 12-month reporting period. Call data shows Baybus calls have been decreasing since May 2022 as people have adjusted to the weekend timetable that is currently in place. Maritime calls have remained consistent with approximately 800 calls received over 12 months. General queries continue to reduce with 3,500 less calls in the 12-month period ending 31 January 2023. The reduction in general calls isn’t attributed to a specific business activity, all call categories have reduced when compared to the previous reporting period.

Calls to the pollution prevention hotline have reduced by 28% over the last 12 months. There is a noticeable reduction in calls from August last year when the compliance team introduced a proactive media campaign to raise awareness around issues that commonly occur during certain times of the year. A combination of regular social media posts as well as leaflet drops were used to communicate pollution related issues in the community, and this has resulted in less pollution hotline calls and complaints being received.

2.1.3    Call Abandonment

Abandoned calls are calls that are disconnected before the customer can connect with a staff member. A call may be abandoned for many reasons, including the wait time in the queue, a connection error or a distraction meaning the customer is no longer available to make the call. The service level measure for call abandonment is based on the percentage of calls that are able to be answered each month. The service levels are monitored as these provide an insight into the impact that peak call periods have on call centre operations and where staff scheduling might need to be adjusted to meet the demand during certain times of the day.

Call abandonment was low during May and June with the call centre answering 96% of calls. The call answer service level has then gradually dropped over the following months to 73% due to the large volumes of rates queries being received each day. In addition to large volumes of calls being received each day, there were also peak times during the day when the call queue had a longer waiting time. This can result in higher levels of abandoned calls; however, our telephony system offers a call back service which enables customers to retain their place in the queue and have a customer service advisor call them back rather than having to wait on the line. Feedback from our customers has been extremely positive about the call back service and in most cases, we are able to call people back within 24 hours.

Call Answer Service Level from January 2022 to January 2023

A total of 22,300 rates related calls were received through the dedicated rates phone line over the last 10 months. 45% of these calls have been answered and resolved by the call centre immediately, 34% have requested a call back, and 21% have been abandoned. Call patterns revealed that rates calls were particularly heavy on Mondays between 10am and 2pm so this helped inform the best timing for releasing batches of emailed invoices. Where possible we were also able to adjust our staff resourcing during the day to respond to peak call periods as well as employing additional temporary customer service staff to help manage the higher call volumes.

When scaling up our resourcing to accommodate a new service such as rates collection, there is a fine balance between having enough staff to provide a good service, but not too many to create additional costs and inefficiencies that essentially have to be borne by the ratepayer. This balance is particularly difficult when you are planning for an unknown number of future enquiries. We also experienced further difficulties with the labour market being particularly challenging and this made it difficult to source enough skilled people to fill customer service positions, as well as manage unexpected absences through Covid and other illnesses.

2.1.4    Call Resolution

The Customer Contact Centre has a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to resolve 97% of calls at the first point of contact. While call resolution has been averaging around 95% in recent months, the KPI target was exceeded in July 2022, achieving a call resolution rate of 98%. With the introduction of the new rates service and the high volume of calls received in July, this achievement demonstrates that the systems and processes put in place to support the new rates collection service have been effective. The average call handing time for rates calls is between 3 – 5 minutes, and this reflects that most enquiries are being dealt with at the first point of contact.

Call Resolution Service Level from January 2022 to January 2023

2.1.5    Visitor Numbers

Just over 21,000 people visited our offices in the 12 months ending 31 January 2023. This is a 70% increase compared to the same period last year when 12,400 people visited our offices. This significant increase in visitors is consistent across all offices with 47% more visitors in Whakatāne, 117% more visitors in Rotorua and 65% more visitors in Tauranga during the 12-month period.

In terms of monthly trends, January this year was twice as busy, with double the number of visitors compared to January last year. Many of these were Bee Card customers wanting to get their bus card sorted before the start of the school year.

Visitor numbers per site from January 2022 to January 2023

The significant increase in visitor numbers is a direct result of the rates collection project where many customers came into our offices to discuss the rates change or make their payment. During October, visitor numbers peaked at 4,500 with the majority of these coming to make their rates payment before the 20 October due date. The busiest day was on 6 October where 160 people visited our Tauranga Office. Visitor patterns were noted as being quite different to call patterns as there were no peak times during the day and no particular day of the week that was noticeably busier. With the rates collection project now largely complete, visitor numbers have now reduced again to pre-rates levels.

In person rates queries from August to November 2022


Description automatically generated

2.1.6    Website

One of the key objectives for the Rates Collection project was to increase people’s awareness of the work we do, and we’ve been able to gauge how successful this has been by using the data that relates to our website traffic. For the year ending December 2022, there were 1.2 million page views on our website compared to 542,000 views the previous year. This is a 125% increase in website traffic where 36% of total visits were to rates-related pages. The most frequently visited rates page is the property search page which contains the Rating Information Database.  In terms of increasing customer awareness of the work Council does, our analysis shows that approximately 75% of people who visit our rates pages have then moved on to other pages within the website.

The new Information Hub with key rates related FAQs has proven to be highly popular and has reduced the number of enquiries coming through to the Customer Services team as answers to common queries can be found easily online.

Top Ten Webpages viewed from May 2022 to January 2023

Many people within our community use our website to access information to common queries and these patterns change depending on the time of year. The chart below shows that while rates searches still account for a large amount of web traffic, other types of seasonal information like monthly rainfall, live cameras and safe swimming areas are also being searched regularly.  

Top Seven Webpage Searches from May 2022 to January 2023

2.2      Customer Satisfaction Feedback

Our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system provides the ability to develop customer satisfaction measures that enable customer service performance management and monitoring across a variety of different customer service touchpoints. This includes comprehensive data reporting to help us better understand our customers and their needs, as well as customer satisfaction surveys that provide valuable feedback in regard to the quality of our service.

Customer Satisfaction surveys are sent to customers who contact us by email or provide their email address over the phone. The survey is voluntary, so only a very small proportion of people reply.

From February 2022 to January 2023, a total of 70,000 surveys were sent to customers, with 5,850 responses received. This is an overall response rate of 8.4%, up from 6% during the last reporting period ending 31 July 2022.  Collecting this data over a 12-month period has enabled us to analyse the trends that emerge during times where there are issues arising in the community. We can then focus extra attention on these services areas to ensure the contact centre have the correct information they need to respond to queries and that response timeframes are reasonable.

Recent customer satisfaction results show that satisfaction levels have improved by 24% across all categories. The biggest change in customer satisfaction levels was the Baybus calls which increased by 11%. Customer Satisfaction for rates calls also increased by 3% over the duration of the project.  

Customer Satisfaction Survey Results from February 2022 to January 2023


No. of Responses



Change from July 22

General Call Queries





Rates Calls





Baybus Calls





Consents Calls





Pollution Hotline





Maritime 0800 5 KNOTS


None received

None received







The comments that are extracted from survey data are also valuable as they provide further opportunities to improve our service delivery both internally and externally. We receive a wide range of both positive and negative feedback, and these are recorded and shared with the respective team activity areas, to ensure that reoccurring issues are followed up as quickly as possible.

2.2.1    Mystery Shopper Survey Results

Mystery Shopper surveys are carried out monthly and include a series of calls to each of our call lines as well as visits to our reception counters when Covid restrictions allow. Call quality is measured in terms of the service provided, the knowledge and understanding of the issue and whether the mystery caller was satisfied with the response. On-site visits also include the office surroundings and customer interaction aspects of the service being provided in person.

The following table provides an overview of the mystery shopping results for both calls and site visits. Since December last year, satisfaction results over 90% have been achieved for calls managed by our internal call centre. Survey results are slightly lower for our after-hours call service which dropped below 80% in July and November 2022. We currently receive very few rates calls after hours; however, we are providing additional support to our external call service provider to ensure they have the information they need to resolve our non-technical rates queries.

Mystery Shopper survey satisfaction results from February 2022 to January 2023

2.2.2    ALGIM Customer Experience Survey Results

Each year the Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) carry out their own Customer Experience Mystery Shop survey across all councils in New Zealand. The survey provides a snapshot of the local government sector with guidance on where councils can improve their customer service delivery. In 2022, a total of 78 councils were surveyed and ranked in terms of their survey results.

Last year we reported that Bay of Plenty Regional Council was announced runner up for the 2021 Customer Experience Award, behind Ashburton District Council. In 2022 our ranking has now dropped to 72 after receiving an overall score of 58.2%. The survey was carried out during our busiest week of rates calls and this has impacted negatively on our survey results in terms of responsiveness. There are some other insights provided in the survey feedback that highlight other areas for improvement so we will be working with the team to ensure we are better prepared next year and that we ensure we can still maintain a quality customer service level during peak call periods.

Of the 78 councils and two CCOs, 30% of organisations delivered an excellent customer experience, 56% delivered a good customer experience, 11% delivered a fair customer experience, and 3% delivered a poor customer experience.


3.        Considerations

3.1      Risks and Mitigations

Prior to the rates project going live, several risks were identified as having the potential to negatively impact on customer service levels during the project. One of these was the risk that if the volume of customer enquiries were much higher than expected once the invoices were sent, call response rates could drop leading to customer dissatisfaction. This could also result in urgent services such as pollution hotline notifications and maritime emergency calls being stuck in a queue rather than being answered quickly. While we were able to implement a priority queue response for the pollution and maritime phone lines to minimise this risk, we identified that this arrangement is something that requires further improvement during this years’ rates collection period.

This year we will explore whether it is more effective to divert these calls to the Regulatory Admin team during peak calls times to ensure these urgent calls are dealt with as quickly as possible.

Another risk that was identified was the need to scale up our resourcing in order to respond to larger call volumes during the rates invoicing period. This balance is particularly difficult when you are planning for an unknown number of future enquiries. While we did employ several temps to help manage our calls and process rates tickets, we found the labour market was particularly challenging and this made it difficult to source enough skilled people to fill customer service positions. We are expecting that there will be less enquiries in the second year however we will still need additional temporary staff to increase the capacity within the call centre.

We plan to start this recruitment earlier to allow more time to secure people and get them well trained. We also intend to scale up our resourcing to ensure we have enough cover during the winter months when Covid and other illnesses are more prevalent.

3.2      Climate Change

Anything we can do to reduce carbon emissions is important, no matter how small, and that includes how we engage with our customers through our various customer service channels. We have four separate service channels available that provide an opportunity for our customers to connect with us digitally. This is important as recent customer service data shows a growing trend in people wanting to access customer services and process their bill payments online.

Our customers are able to access answers to many frequently asked questions through our website or send us a request by email or via social media. We also use the Antenno app which helps ensure members of our community are informed about issues affecting their area and enables another channel to log requests. In addition to this our customers can call us 24/7 and speak to a call centre agent. As part of the rates project planning, it was important that our customers were able to pay their rates locally at an NZ Post agency as this reduced the need for people to travel into one of our offices contributing to a reduction in travel emissions.

3.3      Implications for Māori

The Bay of Plenty region is growing and changing, and this is reflected in our increasingly diverse population. Embracing cultural differences in customer service empowers our people to better predict and accommodate the needs of their customers, as well as connecting with them on a more meaningful and human level. Our customer service model is designed to provide inclusive and accessible customer service that all our customers can use and benefit from. Our staff training focusses on the need to be flexible, patient, and empathetic to ensure that our customers have a positive customer experience.

3.4      Financial Implications

There are no material unbudgeted financial implications and this fits within the allocated budget.

4.        Next Steps

4.1      Customer Feedback Summary Report

One of the key drivers behind Regional Council moving to collect its own rates is to raise its profile and be more transparent and accountable for the work they do for the community. As part of the rates transition project, we also set a goal to deliver customer service that is as good, or better than the service our customers were receiving through their TLA. We have been able to measure the impact of the rates collection change on customer satisfaction and public awareness by monitoring our website traffic and analysing the feedback received through the Zendesk customer satisfaction surveys. During the project this information was used to address common query themes and improving the information we had available on our website.

For the year ending 31 January 2023, 7,000 survey responses have been received and these were reported at a high level in the Customer Satisfaction section of this report. The comments contained in the customer satisfaction survey responses are extremely valuable as they provide further insight into how customers feel about the service they are receiving as well as identifying ways that we can further improve our service delivery.

As a follow up to this customer service performance update, a more detailed analysis will be carried out using the survey data collected. The results will then be shared as part of a comprehensive Customer Feedback Summary report at the next Monitoring and Operations committee meeting in June 2023.







Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

7 March 2023

Report Writer:

Nic Newman, Climate Change Programme Manager and Alicia Burningham, Programme Coordinator Integrated Catchments

Report Authoriser:

Chris Ingle, General Manager, Integrated Catchments


Reporting on the Climate Change Programme of work



Climate Change Quarterly Report


Executive Summary

This report provides an update of climate change actions set out in the Climate Change Action Plan. Delivery and reporting of these actions occurs through the Climate Change Programme. An attached dashboard shows progress of each project.

Council has completed its three-year Toitū CarbonReduce Programme. Internal emissions have been steadily reducing, however the last wet winter has seen a spike in pumping related emissions. Staff will present to Council on this item.

Staff have completed mapping potential saltmarsh habitat in the region and are now working to quantify the sequestration potential of existing saltmarsh sites. This work along with national initiatives are the building blocks to unlock the potential of Blue Carbon in the region. Staff will present to Council on this item.

Tourism Bay of Plenty have been delivering a Council funded project to assist tourism operators to move to low carbon operations. A series of 12 week programmes are being delivered across the region. Tourism Bay of Plenty will present to Council on this item.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Climate Change Quarterly Report.



1.        Introduction

Climate Change is a strategic priority and one of the three Impact Areas for Council. Our vision is to strengthen the long-term resilience and sustainability of the Bay of Plenty region through climate change action and awareness.

Council adopted a climate change position statement in the Long-Term Plan, and delivery of our climate change actions are being managed through the Climate Change Programme, ensuring coordinated delivery, monitoring, and reporting on the programme of work.

A new dashboard is attached to this report to provide a snapshot of progress under the Programme. Reporting this triennium will move to quarterly, from previous 6 monthly reporting.


1.1      Alignment with Strategic Framework

A Healthy Environment

We develop and implement regional plans and policy to protect our natural environment.

Freshwater for Life

We collaborate with others to maintain and improve our water resource for future generations.

Safe and Resilient Communities

We provide systems and information to increase understanding of natural hazard risks and climate change impacts.

A Vibrant Region

We contribute to delivering integrated planning and growth management strategies especially for sustainable urban management.

The Way We Work

We look to partnerships for best outcomes.

1.1.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental


þ Cultural


þ Social


þ Economic




2.        Climate Change Programme

Council’s Climate Change Action Plan identifies 19 Action Plan projects aligned to four goals:

1.  Bay of Plenty Regional Council is net zero carbon by 2050;

2.  Reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions;

3.  As a region we understand, are preparing for and adapting to a changing climate;

4.  Our Bay of Plenty community is aware, engaged, and resilient.

The Action Plan provides the framework for the climate change programme reporting, while the attached Programme Dashboard (Appendix 1) shows an overview of the current status for all projects.

2.1      Programme highlights this period

2.1.1    Internal Emissions

This year marks the end of a three-year Toitū CarbonReduce programme. We have developed our understanding of our carbon emissions, begun our path toward reduction, and identified future challenges. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s current total carbon emissions are 1,114 tonnes per annum. Since 2019, our total carbon emissions have dropped by 8.3%.

Initially, our total carbon emissions for this latest period were projected to show a reduction of 19% from 2019; however, heavy rainfalls in winter 2022 increased our energy demand to power land drainage and flood pumps, driving emissions up unexpectedly. Work is now underway to investigate transitioning pumps from diesel to electricity by the end of 2023 (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Summary of Emissions for Year 2018-22

Current actions to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 are:

Monthly Carbon Emission Monitoring - We now monitor our emissions monthly for each business unit and office. Gaining regular feedback on our effort allows for a more agile approach to reducing emissions.


Fleet Optimisation Study - Our Council car fleet is becoming increasingly electrified with 21 electric vehicles now in use, or 14% of the fleet. However, vehicle emissions remains our main carbon emitter. An optimisation study will highlight emissions reduction opportunities through short-term responses and long-term planning. The first of 3 deliverables have been received from our consultant, and the results and next steps are due in early March 2023.



As an initial step in consideration of sequestration opportunities, BOPRC has engaged EKOS to assess the eligibility[1] of completed and planned re-vegetation in the Pāpāmoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park (Figure 2) under the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Subject to the outcome of this assessment, staff would seek a decision from the Council on registering these areas under the ETS.

Figure 2: Papamoa Hills Cultural Heritage Regional Park re-vegetation plan

Sequestration opportunities in the region’s regional parks are limited due to the cultural and archaeological values present. Te Uepu, the co-goverance entity for Pāpāmoa Hills Regional Park, wish to avoid the blanket planting of the park. Council will need to look outside the existing two regional parks for further significant insetting opportunities.


Future thinking: Establishment of a Pathway to Net-Zero

Initial thinking on a strategic approach to net zero is underway. As Council emissions will never be zero, an early carbon sequestration approach, compensating for emissions that cannot be eliminated will need to be developed. This could include options that hit multiple objectives and outcomes. Staff will bring this discussion to Council through the Strategy and Policy Committee and next Long Term Plan development.


2.1.2    Blue Carbon building blocks

Phase 1 - Saltmarsh Mapping

The assessment and mapping of potential saltmarsh habitat restoration sites in the region has been completed and reported as an environmental publication (Crawshaw & Fox, 2022) [2]. This mapping is part of a Climate Change Action Plan project exploring the potential of Blue Carbon in the region, along with future work to validate local carbon sequestration rates of saltmarsh.

Saltmarsh habitats provide a range of ecosystem services, including carbon storage, and are culturally significant to Māori. Historically the Bay of Plenty has lost 60% of its saltmarsh habitat to reclamation, with the majority lost in Tauranga Harbour and Waihī Estuary (Park 2000). Restoration of saltmarsh habitat is a key goal for regional council, to meet regional and international obligations. We have undertaken a regional assessment of elevation profiles of coastal land to identify potential locations for undertaking saltmarsh restoration projects, which will support biodiversity restoration and water quality outcomes, and carbon sequestration.

LiDAR, field surveys and aerial imagery identified that the preferred elevation range for saltmarsh occurs between 0.8 m–1.2 m Moturiki RL. We used this elevation range and the regionwide LiDAR dataset to identify all land that falls within this elevation range as “potential saltmarsh habitat”. There is currently 1,416 hectares of existing saltmarsh mapped across the Bay of Plenty, with the majority being located in Tauranga and Ōhiwa Harbours.

There was 4,888 hectares of land identified within the “potential saltmarsh habitat” range, with 3,288 hectares of this currently in pastoral land use. The maps are intended to be used by land management officers to undertake site specific investigations and support conversations with landowners, as a first step to identify the potential for saltmarsh restoration at scale in the Bay of Plenty.   

Future sea level rise scenarios were also mapped, which indicated potential migration pathways for saltmarsh habitat to move inland as sea levels rise, to future proof new restoration projects. There is likely to be an overall decrease in space available for saltmarsh with sea level rise due to land topography, although there will be gains and losses in different areas.

Phase 2 - Wetland carbon sequestration study

‘Blue carbon’ refers to carbon captured by the world’s ocean and coastal ecosystems. Blue carbon projects focus on restoration of coastal ecosystems with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and/or enhancing the removal of these gases. This can be achieved by re-wetting and revegetating tidal wetlands or preventing intact tidal wetlands becoming degraded.

Australia has developed a Blue Carbon Method which provides landholders with incentives to undertake blue carbon projects. Projects are awarded Australian Carbon Credit Units, which can be sold to the government or others interested in offsetting emissions. There is potential for New Zealand to develop its own Blue Carbon Method to help incentivise blue carbon projects here.

Before a blue carbon method could be developed for New Zealand, a blue carbon accounting model would need to be developed. This would model emissions avoided from prior land use and carbon sequestered in biomass and soils, with different values used for different climatic regions and for different types of coastal wetland (e.g. mangroves, saltmarsh, seagrass, etc).

A literature review by EKOS (2022) found there is very little data available on carbon storage and emissions within intact coastal wetlands in New Zealand, and a knowledge gap regarding degraded habitats and those in various stages of restoration. Saltmarsh is one coastal wetland type for which there is a paucity of data; there are no published data on emissions for saltmarsh and only a single published study (from a single estuary) for carbon storage.

This project aims to increase knowledge of carbon storage from coastal wetlands in Bay of Plenty with the aim of providing data which will be important in the development of a blue carbon method for New Zealand. Our initial focus will be on saltmarsh habitats as this is a key focus for biodiversity driven restoration efforts in our region.

In the 2022/23 financial year we will focus on increasing staff knowledge and skills in blue carbon coring methods and on collecting cores from 1-2 intact saltmarsh sites. Further sites will be sampled in 2023/24 to increase our understanding of variability in carbon storage across intact saltmarsh sites.

This work will compliment carbon sequestration studies being undertaken in restoration sites such as Wainui Repo Whenua (Sargent Drive) by University of Waikato; and within Nukuhou (Ōhiwa Harbour) and Athenree (Tauranga Harbour) saltmarshes as part of the Future Coasts Aotearoa (Future Coasts Aotearoa | NIWA).

Future thinking

As the building blocks: potential saltmarsh habitat, sequestration rates, and blue carbon methodology are developed; there is potential for a discussion of a new programme of work in the development of the next long term plan to seize this opportunity.

2.1.3    Tourism Bay of Plenty Low Carbon Programme

The second tranche of local tourism operators has graduated from the 12-week ‘Green Room’ programme. This LTP funded project focuses on assisting local tourism operators to turn aspirations into reality for a more sustainable tourism sector. The goal is for 100 businesses to go through the programme. The programme is well connected to and supported by the tourism Industry.


In Waihī Beach and Katikati 17 organisations have graduated. In Tauranga, 11 organisations graduated and a further 12 organisations are currently underway. Planning is underway to run a cohort in Whakatāne.


Tourism Bay of Plenty will present to the committee on this project.

2.1.4    Carbon Footprint

The Bay of Plenty Community Carbon Footprint has been updated covering the three years 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21 and the summary report is available on our website. Separate reports and data have also been provided to each of our Territorial Authorities (including Taupō). The carbon footprint was calculated using the standard Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory (GPC) methodology, used by councils across New Zealand.

In 2020/21, Bay of Plenty gross emissions (excluding forestry) were 5,538 ktCO2e, with agriculture and transport the largest contributors (Figure 3). Net emissions (including forestry) were 7,162 ktCO2e, as over this period, forestry was a net emitter due to the cyclical nature of the harvesting and planting regimes.


Figure 3: Bay of Plenty total gross GHG emissions in 2020/21, split by sector (tCO2e)

Figure 4 shows the changes in the five year period since the last carbon footprint (2015/16), over which time our region’s gross emissions have increased by 12%. The main areas of growth have been in stationary energy (30% increase) and transport (28% increase).

Figure 4: Change in Bay of Plenty’s Emissions between 2015/16 and 2020/21


The updated footprint provides the region and our districts with a current baseline of emissions across a range of sectors: stationary energy, transport, waste, industrial processes and product use, agriculture and forestry. This can help identify where emissions reduction efforts need to focus and form the basis of conversations across sectors and communities about the actions required to reduce our collective carbon footprint. The regional pilot of the Future Fit carbon footprint tool, at an individual level, and the Regional Energy Transition Accelerator, at a sector level, as presented to the Strategy and Policy Committee on 14 February, are initiatives to support the reduction of regional emissions.

2.1.5    Regional Risk Assessment


Council has undertaken a regional climate risk assessment, through Tonkin and Taylor and this work is currently completing. The risk assessment follows the development of regional climate projections from NIWA and relates to the Council position statement to raise awareness of anticipated climate impacts and leadership in response. The risk assessment follows national guidelines and it also incorporates a Te Ao Māori lens through a dedicated working group and case studies - this is a Toi Moana initiative. The process has involved identifying a long list of risks through surveys, workshops and online hui, which have then undergone a technical risk assessment through a series of workshops with subject matter experts.


The Regional Climate Change Risk Assessment provides a regional overview of climate risks in order to identify and highlight areas where a focused effort is needed to manage these risks. The outputs from this assessment:

·     establish a common baseline for the region,

·     support planning by a range of parties,

·     raise community awareness of risk,

·     support subsequent detailed local risk assessments.

Next Steps

The completed risk assessment will be presented at the upcoming S&P workshop 28 March 2023, and the guidance sought on use of the assessment.


2.1.6    Community Led Adaptation Funding

The first Community-led Adaption (CLAF) project has been completed with the Maketū Climate Change Adaption Plan now finalised. The development of this plan was led by the Maketu Iwi Collective and developed with and by the community. This was the first of six projects funded through Council’s Community-led LTP initiative. The Maketū Adaptation Plan has been nominated for the non-statutory best practice award for the New Zealand Planning Institute Annual Awards.

Round Three completed - The third round of CLAF funding closed on 31 October with three applications received. After applications were assessed against the funding purpose and criteria, one project was approved. 

·     Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ranginui has been approved $15,000 (subject to contract) to carry out a Climate risk assessment on their 3 most vulnerable  Marae to support adaptive planning within the rohe of Ngāti Ranginui.

This project brings the total to six projects now being funded through Councils CLAF.

Applications for funding are now open on an ongoing basis until the end of the financial year. For more information please see the BOPRC website.


2.1.7    Sustainable Homes Scheme

As of December 2022, BOPRC has helped 103 low income households throughout the region to upgrade to lower emission and energy efficient heating. This was achieved through the Sustainable Homes Scheme grants, in partnership with other funders. As part of LTP 2021-31, $200,000 (excl GST) was earmarked for these grants. As of December 2022, $64,500 has been used.

Figure 5

Note - The loan component of the Scheme (for clean efficient heating, solar power and insulation) is on hold pending an exemption from the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003. At the end of 2022, MBIE advised BOPRC that the Minister of Consumer Affairs, was keen to explore the option of a wholesale exemption for local government. 

3.        Considerations

3.1      Risks and Mitigations

Climate change is listed on Council’s Key Risk Register, due to the impact this will have on our council’s decision-making processes over the longer term. An internal audit review of the climate change programme will take place in the calendar year 2023.

3.2      Climate Change

The Climate Change Programme delivers, monitors, and reports on Council’s response to climate change in terms of priorities and actions around both mitigation and adaptation.

3.3      Implications for Māori

Climate change could potentially have significant impact on hapū and iwi in the region. Many marae in the Bay of Plenty region are located in coastal or low-lying areas, potentially exposed to flooding and coastal hazards.

The economic livelihood of many of the region’s iwi are linked to natural resources, through activities such as farming, forestry, aquaculture & tourism. These sectors may be impacted by the forthcoming national Emissions Reduction Plan and associated carbon budgets, as well as being potentially vulnerable to ecosystem changes caused by climate.

Our regional climate risk assessment process is helping to tease out both local Māori perspectives on climate change along with more specific risks. The funding we are providing for community adaptation planning (Action Plan project 14) is supporting hapū and iwi to develop their own climate change understanding and response.

Climate change is beginning to be identified specifically in iwi management plans with the inclusion of natural hazards as a key topic. Providing accessible and useful information around the climate impacts and hazard risks for the region through our climate change story maps (Action Plan project 17) will help to inform the response by iwi and hapū.

The Community led adaptation funding has been exclusively accessed by hapū and iwi, demonstrating the readiness and concern that exists around climate change.

3.4      Community Engagement

Adobe Systems



To provide affected communities with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problems, alternatives and/or solutions.

Engaging with our community around climate change and encouraging action related to climate change is a core part of our climate change work programme. The Community led adaptation funding, low carbon tourism, and sustainable homes projects all have an element of community engagement. 

3.5      Financial Implications

There are no material unbudgeted financial implications, and this work all fits within the current budget.

4.        Next Steps

The Climate Change Programme will report back to Council quarterly along the following lines

·     Monitoring & Operations: a quarterly update of progress and delivery of specific climate change projects, as detailed in the Climate Change Action Plan.

·     Strategy & Policy: these reports will detail the strategic issues and decisions required, along with new and emerging initiatives.



Attachment 1 - Climate Change Programme Overview February 2023  


Monitoring and Operations Committee                    7 March 2023

PDF Creator




Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

7 March 2023

Report Writer:

Alex Miller, Compliance Manager - Land & Water

Report Authoriser:

Reuben Fraser, General Manager, Regulatory Services





2021/2022 Compliance Activity Report


Executive Summary

This report provides the Committee with an overview of the Regulatory Compliance Activity for the 2021/22 year, including:

·     3,179 site inspections on 3,173 resource consents were undertaken, and 12,609 performance monitoring returns from consent holders were reviewed. These site inspections showed that 79% were complying with their consents, and only 1% were in significant non-compliance. This is a slight decrease from 84% in 2020/21, but remains consistent with historical averages, and national statistics.

·     Regional Council issued 117 abatement notices, 51 infringement notices, and received decisions from the court in relation to six matters, resulting in a total of $279,500 in fines, and a range of other sanctions and outcomes.

·     3,169 calls were received and responded to through the Pollution Hotline, which is 602 fewer than the previous year.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, 2021/2022 Compliance Activity Report .


1.        Introduction

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Regional Council) uses a variety of regulatory and non-regulatory tools to manage the environmental impacts of activities throughout the region, including rules made and resource consents issued under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). Compliance with the requirements of these rules and resource consents provides an important measure of how we, as a regulatory authority, engage with the community to manage environmental impacts.

This report provides a brief summary of Regional Council’s compliance, monitoring and enforcement activity through the 2021/2022 year.

1.1      Legislative Framework

The Regulatory Compliance function primarily operates as a core council requirement under the Resource Management Act; which sets out an obligation for Regional Councils to monitor and enforce compliance with the Act and any associated instruments (eg. NES), Regional plan rules and resource consents.

There is some crossover with other legislation through activities such as incident response and enforcement proceedings.

1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework


A Healthy Environment

We develop and implement regional plans and policy to protect our natural environment.

Freshwater for Life

Good decision making is supported through improving knowledge of our water resources.

The Way We Work

We provide great customer service.

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

High - Positive

þ Cultural

Medium - Positive

¨ Social


¨ Economic




2.        Compliance Monitoring

2.1      Overview

Compliance monitoring is an important tool for ensuring that consent holders and members of the public are undertaking activities in the correct manner, and complying with the conditions of any applicable resource consents or Regional Plan rules.

Consented activities are monitored through a combination of site inspections and desktop performance monitoring, which involves the review of data and reporting provided by consent holders.

The frequency for site inspections is determined according to a range of factors, including the nature, scale, and environmental risks associated with the activity. This frequency is reviewed annually and outlined in Council’s RMA and Building Act Charges Policy.

The frequency for performance monitoring is considered during the consent application process, and set out in the conditions of a resource consent.

2.2      2021/22 Compliance Monitoring Results

Throughout 2021/22, Regional Council undertook 3,719 site inspections on 3,173 resource consents, and reviewed 12,719 performance monitoring returns from consent holders.

Compliance results for site inspections showed that 79% of were complying with their consents, and only 1% were in significant non-compliance. This is a slight decrease in compliance from the previous year (84%) although remains consistent with numbers seen in previous years and across other regions.

Of the 12,719 Performance Monitoring returns assessed, 83% were found to be compliant, which is consistent with the previous year. The majority of non-compliance was considered to be low risk, with 144 (1%) significant non-compliances identified.

The most frequently monitored activities were earthworks, dairy effluent discharges, and water takes. This is consistent with previous years, and reflects both the environmental risks associated with these activities, and the volume in which they occur within Bay of Plenty Region.

A number of other activities, such as major infrastructure and industrial facilities, can also present a significant risk and are inspected regularly; however, these are fewer in number, and often have a more significant reliance on performance monitoring.

Compliance results for dairy effluent discharges (63%) were poorer than last year, which continues a trend of decreasing compliance levels observed over the last five years (refer to Table 1). Key issues this reporting period were effluent management and ponding, which was exacerbated by the wet winter season. Although the majority of issues were considered to be low risk, a number of moderate and significant non-compliances were identified and referred to our investigations team for further enforcement.

Performance on earthworks sites remained strong with 83.5% compliance across all inspections; this reflects the significant effort that has been put into monitoring earthworks sites and industry engagement and education, particularly in high-risk and/or intensive development areas in the Western Bay of Plenty.

In recent years, Council has increased focus on consented water use and promoted the uptake of telemetry, in line with the 2020 amendments to the Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010. This results in a significant volume of data coming into Council which needs to be reviewed and responded to where necessary. Staff are currently in the process of developing various steps of automation to streamline the process.

A summary of compliance results (inspections and monitoring) for high risk and/or priority activities is provided in Table 1, below.


Table 1: Compliance Results for High Risk/Priority Activities – site inspections and performance monitoring

The total number of site inspections is approximately 23% less than the previous year; however there has been a significant increase (+1,043)  in the amount of performance monitoring, which reflects the growing reliance on data for compliance monitoring.

3.        Permitted/Unconsented Activity CME

At the request of Regional Council, resourcing was provided through the current Long Term Plan to enable proactive compliance monitoring on a number of permitted and/or unconsented activities identified to be high risk; specifically, earthworks, horticultural water use, and on-site effluent treatment (OSET).

To date, this programme has resulted in 92 site inspections for unconsented water takes (50), earthworks (30), and OSET (12).  The majority of these site visits were initiated from compliance staff analysis of property information or surveillance of aerial imagery; very few (approx. 2%)  were initiated from public contacting the BOPRC hotline.  

Of the 92 inspections, approximately 33% complied with the respective permitted activity and no further action was required, and 33% of sites were assessed to be non-complaint with the permitted activity.  The remainder of sites are being subject to further monitoring and investigation, in order to determine whether or not they are complying with Regional Plan Rules.

For those non-compliant with the permitted activity rules, enforcement was initiated for 19 of the 32 sites to date in the form of abatement and/or infringement notices; in most cases this has been sufficient to prompt landowners to cease offending, as either the site changes the way they undertake the activity to meet the permitted activity standards, or they gain resource consent to authorise the activity. 

A number of sites were considered to be significantly non-compliant; this has resulted in three prosecutions commenced, all of which are currently before the courts, and two further investigations currently underway. 

4.        Enforcement

In 2021/2022, Regional Council Received decisions from the court in relation to six matters, resulting in a total of $279,500 in fines, and a number of other sanctions; refer to Table 2, below. As of 15 February 2023, six cases remain before the courts.






On 16 July 2021, Council received the final decision from Judge Dwyer in relation to BOPRC v. CPB Contractors Pty Ltd. This case was in relation to a discharge of wastewater, which occurred after works associated with the Bayfair to Baypark Link project struck a sewer line. The wastewater discharged into the TCC stormwater network, and surface water, which ultimately drains to Tauranga Harbour. CPB pleaded guilty and were fined $63,000. In addition to the penalty issued by the courts, CPB engaged with tangata whenua to apologise for the incident and committed to an environmental restoration project downstream of the discharge.

BOPRC v. Rotorua District Council

On 19 November 2021, Council received a decision from Judge Smith in relation to BOPRC v. Rotorua District Council, which was a prosecution in relation to discharges of leachate contaminated stormwater from the Rotorua Landfill in 2017, which reached the Tureporepo Stream, a tributary of the Puareanga Stream, which drains to Laka Rotorua. This matter was subject to significant litigation and was originally set down for a trial by jury, before Rotorua District Council pleaded guilty in May 2021. Rotorua District Council were convicted, fined $60,000 (discounted from a starting point of $100,000), and ordered to pay $80,000 in reparations to a trust comprised of affected mana whenua.

BOPRC v. Kleadmak Farms Ltd


On 25 January 2022, Council received a decision from the Court for the matter of BOPRC v. Kleadmak Farms - a prosecution in relation to the grazing of pigs in the bed of the Umurua Stream, a tributary of the Ngongotahā catchment, which was identified through a complaint received in October 2020. Kleadmak farms pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to an enforcement order in relation to stock exclusion and removal of the pigs from the property as part of the sentencing process. Judge Smith chose to convict and fine Kleadmak $27,000.


On 4 February 2022, Council received a decision from Judge Dickey in relation to BOPRC v. CRS Ltd, which was a prosecution in relation to discharges of sediment-contaminated stormwater from a container storage site in Mount Maunganui, which reached Tauranga Moana at Waipu Bay. This was the second time Council has prosecuted CRS for discharges of this nature. CRS pleaded guilty and engaged in a restorative justice process with Ngāi te Rangi and Ngāti Kuku; although parties were unable to reach agreement on appropriate reparations through mediation. CRS were convicted and fined $49,000 (discounted from a starting point of $70,000). In addition to the fine, CRS have lodged a formal undertaking with the court which commits them to $50,000 of environmental enhancement work at Whareroa, should Ngāi te Rangi and Ngāti kuku wish to accept it. As a result of the two prosecutions, and other enforcement undertaken by Council, CRS have now sealed their site, which will significantly reduce the risk of similar discharges occurring in the future.

BOPRC v. Tio Faulkner

On 27 February 2022, Council received a decision from the court in relation to BOPRC v. Tio Faulkner, which was a prosecution in relation to illegal reclamation works in the coastal marine area on the Matapihi Peninsula, discharges of effluent from a pig farm sited on the illegal reclamation, and other associated charges. Following a week-long trial in July 2021, Mr Faulkner was found guilty of the offences, and has subsequently been sentenced to a prison term of three months and two weeks and ordered to pay a $5,000 contribution Council for costs associated with the prosecution. We understand that Mr Faulkner has since lodged an appeal to the high court in relation to this matter.

BOPRC v Waiu Dairy Ltd & Langford Transport Ltd

On 10 March 2021, Council received a decision from the court in relation to BOPRC v. Waiu Dairy Ltd and Langford Transport Ltd for the discharge of dairy factory wastewater to a number of farms in the Bay of Plenty Region, from the Waiu Dairy facility in Kawerau. Both parties pleaded guilty to the offences; Waiu Dairy Lld were convicted and fined $49,000 for their role in producing and disposing of the wastewater, while Langford Transport Ltd were convicted and fined $31,500 for their role in carting and discharging the wastewater.

Table 2: Prosecution Decisions Received in 2019/20

Regional Council issued 119 abatement notices, and 51 infringement notices, totalling $33,350 in fines. The majority of abatement and infringement notices related to Section 15 offences (discharges of a contaminant).

5.        Pollution Hotline Response

The Pollution Hotline is a 24/7 service for members of the community to report incidents and pollution which may be in breach of consent conditions or regional plan rules. In addition to providing an opportunity to identify and respond to incidents as and when they happen, it provides a useful insight into community concerns, particularly when these relate to permitted activities and/or emerging issues.

In 2019/20, Regional Council received and responded to 2,834 calls through its Pollution Hotline, which is almost 20% fewer than the previous year, and is the second year in a row where numbers have dropped. This decline can likely be linked to enforcement action and resolutions relating to major sources of complaints from the public.

Outside of business hours (weekends, and 4:30pm – 8:30am weekdays), the Pollution Hotline is staffed with an on-call duty officer, in order to ensure that any serious incidents are appropriately responded to as soon as possible; this is particularly important for time-critical incidents, such as oil spills or discharges to the environment. After-hours calls accounted for approximately 36% of calls to the hotline in 2021/22.

100% of service requests were actioned within three days, with the majority (96%) responded to within a day or less. 55 calls were classified as urgent, and attended to within 12 hours.

Staff physically attended 1,496 callouts, which is 47% of all calls. In responding to service requests, Regional Council substantiated 789 breaches of consent conditions and/or regional plan rules, which accounts for 25% of all calls, and is slightly more than identified in 2021/22.

Similar to previous years, the majority of calls (76%) related to air quality, with approximately half of those being related to odour.

6.        National Benchmarking

For the last five years, the Regional Sector Compliance and Enforcement Special Interest Group (CESIG) has produced an annual report of compliance data collected from Regional Councils and Unitary Authorities. The report is primarily for the purpose of promoting consistency across the regional sector; it also provides an opportunity to benchmark compliance performance in the Bay of Plenty, compared to the rest of the country, at a high level.

As in previous years, BOPRC is performing well against national benchmarks; monitoring 93% of the required resource consents against a national average of 86%, and responded to 100% of calls through to the pollution hotline, despite the disruptions from Covid throughout 2021/22. From a volume point of view, both consents monitored (3,173) and complaints responded to (3,169) are the second highest in the country.

One of the more interesting results this year was to see two cases before the courts resulting in imprisonment, which has historically been very rare for offences under the RMA. One of these cases was in the Bay of Plenty (BOPRC v. Tio Faulkner), with the other being in relation to damage of wetlands in the Wellington region.

Compliance levels in the Bay of Plenty are amongst the strongest in the country, with 79% of consent monitoring resulting in “complying” grades (compared to a national average of 73%), and only 1% being significantly non-compliant. BOPRC numbers are notably higher than some of the councils of a similar size and level of activity.

BOPRC is one of the regions which has seen a substantial drop in the number of “active resource consents” (-9.5%/-799); it’s expected that this is a result of natural fluctuation in the types of activities occurring, and the number of individual consent lines associated with some of the bigger suites of consents (eg. major earthworks sites progressing towards completion).


7.        2022/23 Q1-2 Results

7.1      Compliance Monitoring

From 1 July 2022-31 December 2022, Council has undertaken 1,912 compliance inspections, and reviewed 6,784 performance monitoring returns.

Compliance levels to date are tracking similar to previous years, with 80% of inspections and performance monitoring considered to be compliant, and a small number of significant non-compliances.

The completion of the annual dairy inspection project through spring 2022 provided an opportunity to proactively check compliance with new permitted activities under the NES for Freshwater, and gather further information on on-farm practices such as intensive winter grazing. It also identified a continuation of a the trend of worsening  compliance for management of farm dairy effluent, with only 51% of inspections identifying full compliance, and 5% considered to be significantly non-compliant. 

7.2      Service Requests

In Q1-2 of 2022/23, 1222 calls were received through our pollution hotline. Consistent with previous years, over half of all calls to air quality, particularly odour (21%) and smoke (21%), while discharges to water accounted for over 150 calls (12.6%).

Of the 1,222 calls, 302 (25%) were confirmed to be breaches of Regional Plan rules and/or Resource Consents.

7.3      Enforcement

In the year to date we have received decisions from the courts in relation to two discharges of plastic matters, as outlined below:

·     BOPRC v. Whakatāne Mill Ltd: A prosecution in relation to two discharges of plastic to the Whakatāne River. Whakatāne Mill Ltd pleaded guilty to the offences; they were convicted and fined $35,625

·     BOPRC v Kyle Maitai: A prosecution in relation to the discharge of septic tank waste to land where it entered the Orini Canal. Mr Maitai pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 200 hours of community work, and a fine of $5,850.

Additionally, Council has issued 153 abatement notices, and 16 infringement notices for a total of $9,300 in fines.


8.        Considerations

8.1      Risks and Mitigations

The compliance function operates in a number of high risk areas, both in terms of environmental risk (particularly through the incident response function), and legal risk through the enforcement function. Regional Council has a number of robust systems and policies in place to manage and mitigate these risks. 


8.2      Climate Change

The matters addressed in this report are of a procedural nature and there is no need to consider climate change impacts.

8.3      Implications for Māori

The Māori population in the Bay of Plenty equates to about 28% of the total population. BOPRC has clear statutory obligations to Māori under the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA), and the RMA. In particular, Part 2, Sections 6 and 7 of the RMA recognises and provides for participation in decision-making, having regard to kaitiakitanga, consultation and fostering development.

Tangata whenua, as kaitiaki, seek to protect the natural and physical environment, waahi tapu and other sites of cultural significance to ensure community and cultural sustainability is achieved. This aligns closely with the goals of compliance monitoring and enforcement, and is considered in the day to day implementation of our compliance programme.

In practical terms, this may include ensuring tangata whenua are notified of incidents in their rohe ("no surprises" approach), and seeking involvement in projects where appropriate (eg. marae wastewater).We are also more actively looking into opportunities to form partnerships to support shared goals and outcomes.

He waka eke noa – We’re all in this together.

8.4      Community Engagement


Engagement with the community is not required as the report is for information only.


8.5      Financial Implications

There are no material unbudgeted financial implications and this fits within the allocated budget.

9.        Next Steps

The Regulatory Compliance group will continue to investigate process improvements to ensure that the compliance monitoring programme is implemented effectively and efficiently. Similarly, staff are continuing to hone data over time to provide avenues for more proactive approaches to encouraging compliance.

Priority focus areas in the future include implementing the recently gazetted National Environmental Standard for Freshwater, and continued work in the Air Quality space, as well as planning for further changes through the development of new plans under the revised National Policy Statement for Freshwater and wider RMA legislative reviews.








Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

7 March 2023

Report Writer:

Alex Miller, Compliance Manager - Land & Water

Report Authoriser:

Reuben Fraser, General Manager, Regulatory Services


To provide an update on the compliance performance for Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants in the Bay of Plenty Region



Overview of Municipal Wastewater Compliance in Bay of Plenty Region


Executive Summary

This report is an annual update to the Monitoring and Operations Committee on municipal wastewater (treatment, conveyance, and discharge) in the Bay of Plenty Region.  There are 19 municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) servicing communities across the Bay of Plenty.

There are a significant number of challenges faced by Territorial Authorities in the operation of their wastewater treatment plants, which can result in failure to comply with their consent conditions. These challenges are experienced across the region, with a number of non-compliances identified throughout the 2021/2022 financial year, ranging from low-risk or technical non-compliance to significant non-compliance.

Network overflows continue to be a challenge for Territorial Authorities; however, the adoption of the best practice guide for the management of, and response to overflows from wastewater networks has helped to drive improvements in the quality and consistency of responses to such events.

Central Government is continuing to work through the three-waters reform, which proposes changes to wastewater asset ownership and operation, as well as oversight of regulation of wastewater activities.




That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Overview of Municipal Wastewater Compliance in Bay of Plenty Region.



1.        Introduction

The attached report is an update on the current situation with regards to municipal wastewater (treatment, conveyance, and discharge) in the Bay of Plenty Region.

There are currently 19 municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) servicing the various communities spread across the Bay of Plenty Region. There are a total of 37 resource consents held by the Territorial Authorities (TAs) authorising the discharges from these WWTPs. There are six TAs responsible for the operation of the WWTPs and compliance with the resource consents.

Additionally, there is one WWTP operated by a community organisation (Kāingaroa Village Inc).

1.1      Legislative Framework

Compliance monitoring is a core council requirement under the Resource Management Act, which sets out an obligation for Regional Councils to monitor and enforce compliance with the Act and any associated instruments (eg. NES), Regional plan rules and resource consents.

Central Government is continuing to progress reforms to the three-waters infrastructure sector, which has seen the introduction of a new drinking water regulator, Taumata Arowai, and a number of pieces of legislation to establish the new framework and entities associated with the reform

In December 2022, the Water Service Entities Bill, which provided for the establishment of four Water Service Entities, was given royal assent. Through Department of Internal Affairs, a National Transition Unit (NTU) has now been established to facilitate the transition of three waters infrastructure from its current owners, TA’s, to the new Water Service Entities. As part of this, all relevant resource consents which Regional Council currently administers will need to be transferred to the newly established Entity B.

Through Te Uru Kahika, the Regional Sector is assisting with the planning for transition of consents, providing information on compliance history and risks, and developing guidance to ensure the regional sector takes a consistent approach for regulation of the new entities.


1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework


A Healthy Environment

We manage our natural resources effectively through regulation, education and action.

Freshwater for Life

We collaborate with others to maintain and improve our water resource for future generations.

A strong regulatory oversight of wastewater treatment plants and systems allows us to ensure we have a healthy environment as we can pre-empt issues and work with Territorial Authorities to solve problems relating to non-compliant discharges. 

Collaboration and a good working relationship with TAs and tangata whenua is important to ensure we take a “no surprises approach”. The Regional Wastewater Management Group allows us to share ideas across the region. TAs more experienced in some areas can provide support to others.

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

High - Positive

þ Cultural

Medium - Positive

þ Social

Medium - Positive

¨ Economic





2.        2021/22 Wastewater Infrastructure Performance

2.1      Compliance performance

There are a significant number of challenges faced by the TAs in the operation of their WWTPs, which can result in failure to comply with their consent conditions. These challenges are experienced across the region, with several non-compliances identified throughout the 2020/2021 financial year, ranging from low-risk or technical non-compliance to significant non-compliance. These challenges include:

·     Increased inflow due to more frequent high intensity rainfall events and increased population during the summer months,

·     Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) into the pipe networks,

·     Unforeseen mechanical and electrical failures,

·     Aging infrastructure (both at WWTPs and wastewater reticulation),

·     High strength trade waste discharges

·     Expected permanent population increase, and

·     A lack of funding for upgrades and maintenance.

There were no TAs that were fully compliant with their resource consents for the 2020/2021 reporting period.

2.2      Network Overflows

Network overflows can present a risk to both the environment and the community. There are several factors that can lead to an unauthorised network overflow, including blockage as a result of wipes, congealed fat and roots. Whilst emergency discharges from WWTPs may be provided for by resource consent, network overflows are neither permitted nor consented. A Regional Wastewater Management Group, comprised of representatives from all of the TAs, Toi te Ora and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, was set up in order to develop a best practice guide for the TAs to follow in the reporting and management of overflows. The best practice guide was finalised in November 2019 and has been adopted by all TAs to guide their response to overflows.

Given network overflows are uncontrolled events, they cannot be authorised as discharges under a resource consent. Therefore adherence to the Guide, which includes maintenance and proactive measures to avoid overflows occurring, is a critical component in considering enforcement in relation to such discharges.

Throughout 2021/22, there were 202 network overflows across the region, which is significantly more than previous years (103 in 2020/21 last year), which is expected to be a result of significantly higher rainfall through the year, putting additional pressure on networks through stormwater infiltration.

3.        Considerations

3.1      Climate Change

The matters addressed in this report are of a procedural nature and there is no need to consider climate change impacts.

However, the impacts of climate change on wastewater infrastructure is a significant issue facing TAs, particularly in low lying coastal areas. The Bay of Plenty Lifeline Utilities Group (Emergency Management Bay of Plenty is a member) is tendering for a full Climate Change Risk Assessment which will focus on infrastructure, including the Three Waters. The outcomes will inform adaptation by individual Lifeline Utilities (including TAs).

3.2      Implications for Māori

Māori have identified discharges of treated and untreated wastewater to water to be of concern, particularly where that discharge is to freshwater. New consents such as the Rotoiti/Rotoma WWTP have included pre-treatment in response to cultural impact assessments developed by the relevant iwi and will use land treatment and disposal methods. Other consents require the formation of Iwi Liaison and Kaitiaki Groups.

Staff understand that the key aspects identified by iwi include:

·     The transport of wastewater through and disposal of wastewater in separate rohe

·     Active involvement in monitoring both before and after the consent is granted

·     Consultation in the proposed WWTP design and disposal method

·     Sharing of information

·     Up-skilling of young people in environmental management and the RMA

·     Introduction of aspects of mātauranga Māori in monitoring and response to issues.

TAs are encouraged to notify tangata whenua of network overflows, and each TA is currently developing their own Iwi notification procedure following consultation.

3.3      Community Engagement


Engagement with the community is not required as the this report is for information only.

3.4      Financial Implications

There are no material unbudgeted financial implications and this fits within the allocated budget.

4.        Next Steps

Council will continue to monitor TA’s compliance with their respective consents relating to wastewater operations.

It is anticipated that the 2022/23 Wastewater Compliance Report will be presented to this committee in September 2023



Attachment 1 - Overview of WWTP Compliance in BOP Region February 2023_Final  


Monitoring and Operations Committee                    7 March 2023

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Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

7 March 2023

Report Writer:

Reece Irving, Senior Regulatory Project Officer

Report Authoriser:

Reuben Fraser, General Manager, Regulatory Services


An update to the Committee on activities being undertaken to improve air quality and the overall environment in the Mount Maunganui airshed.



Mount Maunganui Industrial Area update


Executive Summary

This report provides an overview of the Mount Maunganui Airshed and the activities being undertaken to improve air quality and the wider environment in the Mount Maunganui industrial area. The report covers the period from September 2022 until February 2023.

During this period, two breaches of the PM10 National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (NES) were recorded within the airshed. In December 2022 a breach at the Rata Street monitoring site was attributed to events causing dust plumes on a nearby industrial site whilst a February breach at Aerodrome Road continues to be investigated. Only one exceedance in a 12-month period is allowed under the NES.

The report gives a summary of actions undertaken by various teams across council, including compliance, consents, complaint response, data services, policy and planning and the Port of Tauranga.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Mount Maunganui Industrial Area update.


1.        Introduction

This update includes some background on establishing the Mount Maunganui Airshed as well as continued reporting on activities and actions undertaken to mitigate the impacts of industrial discharges to air and the wider environment in the Mount Maunganui industrial area.

Air quality in the area has been degrading over time as industrial activities and vehicle movements have increased significantly in recent years.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has an extensive work programme underway to improve air quality in this area. Measured breaches of National Environmental Standards (NES) for PM10[3] and sulphur dioxide (SO2) have been reducing year on year, however the community remain concerned that airshed pollution is impacting human health. The objectives of the programme are:

Short term: meet our legislative requirements for air, land, and water quality

Long term: deliver on the community’s expectation to live in a healthy environment

The Mount Air Quality Working Party remains active in bringing together various central and local government agencies, iwi / hapū, community groups, councillors, commissioners, and industry representatives. This group is working towards better outcomes for all stakeholders in the Mount Maunganui airshed and surrounding residential areas with a number of actions planned for 2023.

1.1      Background

In 2018 as a response to a rise in industrial and port activity, transport movements, and an increase in pollution hotline calls raising community concerns around degraded air and general environmental quality, the Regional Council made the decision to increase investment in air quality monitoring in the Mount Maunganui industrial area with an additional investment of $500,000 per annum in the monitoring network.

Watercare Services were engaged to provide independent air quality monitoring infrastructure and technical support and the monitoring network was expanded from two existing locations (Totara Street, operating since the mid 1990’s and Whareroa Marae, monitor installed in 2015), to a total of 11 monitoring sites within the Mount Maunganui industrial area. Each monitor was calibrated to detect a variety of air-borne pollutants including TSP, PM10, PM2.5, SO2, H2S, methyl bromide and meteorological data – not every site monitors every parameter.

The first 12 months of monitoring data showed the Mount Industrial area was in breach of the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (NESAQ) for PM10 exceedances (one permitted in a 12-month period). An application to declare the Mount Industrial Area as a gazetted airshed was made and confirmed in November 2019 when the Mount Maunganui Airshed (MMA) was declared a polluted airshed, based on PM10.

The gazetting of the polluted airshed meant Bay of Plenty Regional Council was in non-compliance with the NESAQ and was required to put measures in place to bring the airshed into compliance with the existing legislation. Regional Council identified that to achieve compliance would involve engaging with all stakeholders and this led to the creation of the Mount Industrial Programme as well as establishing several council sponsored community and industrial groups such as the Mount Industrial Network and the Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party.

Business and industry were identified as key contributors to air pollutants in the MMA and it was essential to have business on board to make changes to site set-up (sealing unsealed industrial land, limiting heavy vehicle movements, employing sprinkler systems, and regularly sweeping dusty sites, constructing wind fences and employing auto-close doors on warehouses) as well as updating scrubber technology on industrial chimneys and reducing overall outputs to the atmosphere.

The initiatives put in place have seen a dramatic reduction in detected levels of PM10 in the airshed, as highlighted in the following table.:

Table 1: Recorded PM10 exceedances by financial year, 2018-2023

Financial Year

PM10 exceedances recorded


7 (data started in Nov 2018)









1.2      Legislative Framework

The Mount Maunganui Airshed was gazetted as a polluted airshed under the NESAQ Regulations 2004, coming into effect in November 2019. The gazetting was based on breaches of the limits for fine particulate matter, PM10. As per the regulations, five continuous years with no NESAQ PM10 breaches must be recorded for the polluted status to be reviewed. Whilst year on year the number of PM10 breaches recorded has been reducing, we have yet to record a year since the airshed was gazetted with no breaches of the NES regulations.


1.3      Alignment with Strategic Framework


A Healthy Environment

We develop and implement regional plans and policy to protect our natural environment.

A Vibrant Region

We work with and connect the right people to create a prosperous region and economy.

The Way We Work

We look to partnerships for best outcomes.

The work in the MMA relates to a range of community outcomes and there are two related Long Term Plan key performance indicators (both indicators are on track at the time of writing this report):

1.   Number of exceedances of air quality limits in priority airsheds is less than 21 (and a reduction year on year)

2.   Air quality exceedances where investigations started within 10 working days


1.3.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

Medium - Positive

þ Cultural

High - Positive

þ Social

High - Positive

þ Economic

Medium - Negative


Local communities, including hapū connected with Whareroa Marae, residents of Mt Maunganui from Pilot Bay to Ōmanu and users of sport and recreation facilities have expressed their desire to live and play unaffected by industrial activity and emissions. Overall, a reduction in industrial discharges will have positive benefits on environmental, cultural, and social well-beings, but is likely to come at an economic cost. In addition, a converse impact on economic wellbeing may be felt if new industries do not develop or existing industries are forced to move away from the area.

2.        Updates – September 2022 to February 2023

2.1      PM10 monitoring and exceedances in the current reporting period

The full list of PM10 exceedances since the monitoring network was established is included in Appendix 1. Investigations of PM10 exceedances continue to show a single pollution source is seldom the cause and the cumulative effect of emissions from multiple sources is generally responsible.

During this reporting period two PM10 NES exceedances were recorded. On 1 December 2022 elevated dust levels were detected throughout the day at the Rata Street monitoring site. Compliance staff were on-site periodically during the day and observed plumes of dust blowing over a neighbouring unsealed site. Additionally, security camera footage was obtained from surrounding businesses which showed activities on the unsealed site contributing to the dust clouds observed. The investigation is on-going to determine this was the sole source of the exceedance detected.

On 31 January 2023 a breach of the NES was detected at the Aerodrome Road monitoring site. Staff responded to alarms from this site at different times during the day and could observe no activities out of the ordinary nor visible dust in the air. Records of truck movements have been received from RMD transport as well as video footage of the truck wash in action. There appears to be some correlation between high PM10 readings and the use of the nearby truck wash (and we know water vapor can trigger the dust censors), however, to date there is nothing categorical to determine why an exceedance was recorded on this day.

Update on August 2022 exceedances: An application to the Ministry for the Environment for exceptional circumstances was submitted for a number of exceedances detected across the network in August. The application was approved as the exceedances were caused by very high levels of airborne sea-salt, a natural occurrence. These exceedances have been removed from the annual total for the 2022/23 annual reporting.

2.2      Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party

The Mount Air Quality Working Party held its first hui of 2023 on 22 February.

Please refer to Appendix 2 for full meeting minutes and presentations.

Priority One presented on the findings of an industrial confidence survey undertaken across businesses operating in the Mount Maunganui air-shed. The survey aimed to determine how engaged business and industry were with the potential limitations of operating in a polluted airshed, current environmental awareness and whether future alternative industrial locations would entice business to move away from the Mount Industrial area.

Waka Kotahi gave an up-date presentation on progress with a business case being which will identify the widest range of solutions to suit the widest range of user groups to undertake major upgrades to Hewletts Road and Totara Street as well as connecting a multitude of cul-de-sacs that run off Totara Street and Hull Road.  The aim is to increase and improve traffic flow and transport choices through the Mount Industrial area.

Karen Parcell (BoPRC) updated the group on the key findings of the interim Environment Court decision regarding Plan Change 13 rules around matters pertaining to Bulk Solid Material (BSM) handling and the impacts this may have on business development and expansion in the Mount Maunganui air-shed. The final court judgement is expected mid-year.

Tauranga City Council gave an over-view of a recent legal opinion received regarding existing use rights of industry to operate in their current locations within the Mount Maunganui industrial area. Current legislation would mean it is extremely difficult for a city council to extinguish existing industrial land use rights and this could not be done under a city or district plan change.

Working Party members discussed the difficulties faced by community groups and industry staff volunteering their time to work on the issues and represent communities in the Working Party. A request was made for funding and additional support to be provided for a community representative to work on the issues.

A dedicated webpage for the Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party, where reports, meeting agendas and minutes are stored can be viewed at:

2.3      Pollution Hotline Complaints Response

From 1 September 2022 to 13th February 2023, 57 calls were received through the Pollution Hotline relating to events within the Mount Industrial Airshed. Of these 41 related to air quality with 19 of these relating to odour. Refer to the table below for specific details.

All urgent calls were responded to within 12 hours and non-urgent calls responded to within three working days.



Table 2: Pollution Hotline calls by category, 1 Sept 2022 – 13 Feb 2023

2.3.1    Odour and pro-active monitoring

Odour continues to dominate service requests through the Pollution Hotline, although since the departure of Ziwi Petfoods the number of odours complaints has noticeably reduced. The current main odour sources have been identified and since November the compliance team undertakes daily pro-active odour assessments of key industrial locations which involves undertaking an outdoor odour assessment of known odour producing business locations. Within the Mount Maunganui airshed these include:

·     Storage areas for Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) and other bulk stock foods. These tend to be concentrated around De Havilland Way and Newton St and as well as odour are a source of dust complaints

·     Bakels Edible Oils has occasional cooking oil odours at times of production

·     Greenmount Foods, odours mainly isolated to cooking seafood stocks and poor storage of waste food products outside the factory

·     Ballance & Lawter with consented sulphur dioxide discharges

·     Higgins & Allied Asphalt, primarily when batching asphalt mix

·     Penguin Pools and their use of chemicals and resins in the fibreglass pool manufacturing processes

·     Tanks farms mainly at the Totara Street end of Hewletts Road, can be odourous when tank filling is being undertaken

Additionally, a WhatsApp group has been set up between Clear the Air Community Group and asphalt producers so members of the public can contact Allied and Higgins directly when they are detecting bitumen odours in residential areas. This allows the bitumen manufacturers to determine the processes being undertaken on their sites at the time a message is received and respond directly to the community. The Report-It App has also been promoted for use within the Mount Maunganui residential community to give them an alternative method of reporting any pollution issues to the compliance team, rather than making a call to the Pollution Hotline.

2.4      Consents

There are currently eight businesses that have applied for discharge consents within the Mount Industrial air shed. There has been no change in the status of these applications since last reported. Many of the new applications are on hold pending the final Environment Court Decision on Plan Change 13 (Air Plan). Appeal parties are working through the interim decision released in January 2023. Once the final decision is made, these applications will progress, provided there are no further appeals. All other applications are awaiting further information to be provided and/or consultation regarding cultural effects.

Allied Asphalt are not applying for a like-for-like renewal of their existing consent but intend to install a new plant. This will also trigger consent requirements from the City Council due to the proposed stack height.

Consents currently in process are:


·     Waste Management

·     Lawter

·     Allied Asphalt

·     Higgins


New applications:

·     HR Cement

·     TPT Forests Ltd

·     Matariki Forests

·     Timberlands Ltd

2.4.1    Fumigation – Genera consent application

Genera Limited applied for the ‘Discharge of fumigants; Methyl Bromide, Phosphine and Ethanedinitrile (EDN), to air at the Port of Tauranga. (Resource Consent RM 19-0663).

The use of methyl bromide, including re-capture, has been applied for in accordance with the 2021 EPA re-evaluation and decision on the use of methyl bromide. EDN is a new fumigant and is intended to largely replace much of the methyl bromide used as it is not an ozone depleting gas and does not require recapture, although it is more flammable.

The application has been processed by an independent consultant and technically reviewed by Regional Council staff. The public hearing on the resource consent application was originally scheduled for the week beginning Monday 13 February 2023. Following a request from the applicant, the Hearing Panel (Independent Commissioners: John Iseli, Alan Watson and Shane Solomon) have re-set the hearing for the week of 12 June 2023 or as soon as practicable thereafter.

2.5      Policy Matters

Since the last report there has been little change to the development of the high-level framework of provisions for Plan Change 18 – Mount Maunganui Airshed (PC 18). This is due to the recent release of the Environment Court’s interim decision for PC 13, and a series of developments involving central government legislation and external agencies, which continue to affect its preparation. However, the interim PC 13 decision has given Council staff direction on the likely final form of that Plan Change, which will in turn guide the approach of PC 18.

To ensure consistency within the Regional Natural Resources Plan, PC 18’s progress will be limited until the final decision of the PC 13 appeal. Council staff had also required clarity in relation to the NESAQ, which is in the process of being amended by the Ministry for the Environment. It had been understood that the NESAQ amendments were themselves reliant on Ministry analysis of two other sources of information: the “Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand” (HAPINZ) study, which was released in July 2022, and the World Health Organization’s “Global Air Quality Guidelines”, published in September 2021.

Council staff have been in regular contact with the Ministry to seek updates on the timing of the possible release of the NES amendments. The Ministry website initially suggested that the NES would be released by mid-2021 but, in November at the Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party hui, Ministry staff indicated that NESAQ provisions will be included in the first National Planning Framework, which is only in very early stages of development, and will be rolled out in stages. It was suggested that this reform could take up to ten years to become fully operative and that, in the interim, existing standards will remain the status quo.

Staff will move ahead to implement the Court’s direction in relation to PC 13, followed by the development of PC 18. These changes will be discussed with key stakeholders in the Airshed, and their feedback sought.

2.6      Dust (PM) Monitoring in Mount residential areas

Staff met with Clear the Air community representatives to discuss their preferred options for monitoring in Mount Maunganui residential and recreational areas. Support was expressed for a network of air monitors the same or similar in concept to the Clarity low-cost air monitors that were trialled by Regional Council in January 2022. Such a network will complement the high-quality data we receive from the existing network.

The advantages of the smaller Clarity type units are that a network can be established across a wider area, data can be readily accessed online, the units are easily installed on existing infrastructure and are solar powered. As the Clarity type monitors are of lower data quality than the existing NESAQ compliant monitors located in the Mount Industrial zone the data will be used to show overall trends and provide broad indicators of real-time air quality along with health-based guidance rather than that to determine compliance with the NESAQ.  The monitors are currently being calibrated against reference equipment in the industrial zone, will record data on levels of PM10, PM2.5 and NO2 and will be deployed at locations across the Mount Maunganui residential area.  A communications plan, including a webpage to deliver results from the monitors, is currently in development.  It is expected that the results from the monitoring network will be delivered to the community in Q2/2023.


Figure 1: Five Clarity air monitors deployed for calibration at the Totara Street reference site.

3.        Port of Tauranga – Hewletts Road Log Yard stormwater treatment upgrades

Port of Tauranga has been successfully refining the stormwater treatment system at the Hewletts Road Log Yard over the past several years to improve stormwater quality and environmental outcomes.  The Hewletts Road Log Yard, which is located off Port, on the corner of Hewletts Road and Totara Street, has benefited from improved stormwater quality because of the works.  This has included utilisation of more efficient flocculant treatment and reductions in water and bark contact time to reduce stormwater staining/discolouration by re-countering the stormwater swales. 

In addition, the Port has committed to further system upgrades to provide additional stormwater polishing before discharging to receiving environments.

 Future upgrades will:

·     Result in better utilisation of stormwater discharge to land (infiltration) by recirculating stormwater from settlement ponds to the upstream sand-based swales between rain events,

·     Reduce the volume of water that will be discharged to water by creating more storage in the stormwater ponds,

·     Provide for improved heavy metals reduction by utilising crushed mussel shell filtration, and

·     Better enable recover of gross solids, namely bark, from the swales, which will increase efficiencies of the stormwater system.

Aspects of this work have been delayed due to the wet summer weather, this has created some uncertainty around implementation dates for the upgrades at this time, however, works will go ahead if opportunity presents.

Stormwater treatment and management improvements have also been implemented at the Tauranga Container Terminal and the Mount Maunganui Wharves over the past five years with monitoring showing improved and compliant stormwater discharges from these sites.  In addition to this, works are also underway to identify opportunities for further stormwater improvements at the Mount Maunganui Wharves.

Figure 2: Schematic of stormwater discharge and treatment in the Hewletts Road log-yards.

Figure 3: Port of Tauranga’s Environmental Advisor, Fenna Beets, celebrating a sample collected from the Hewletts Road Log Yard stormwater system at the final discharge point, following full stormwater treatment.

Figure 4: Stormwater samples collected from the Hewletts Road Log Yard stormwater system.  Left Stormwater sample collected mid treatment; Right Stormwater sample collected at final treatment before discharge.



3.1      Latest Port innovations to improve yard sweeping and bark collection

Bark and dirt that is lost to the ground during logs handling at the Port is cleaned/collected from the log yards by log yard cleaning contractors. The log yard cleaners use bark plough machines and vacuum sweeper trucks to undertake this work. Aspects of this process can be dusty if not appropriately managed. Over recent years significant amounts of work have been undertaken by the log yard cleaners and the Port to minimise dust generation from this work including:

·     increase the number of sweeper trucks to three,

·     increase sweeper truck use hours and improve sweeper truck use efficiencies,

·     increase training and supervision of sweeper truck and bark plough operators,

·     increase water suppression use inside and outside of the sweeper trucks to dampen dust,

·     introduce water suppression systems to the bark plough, and

·     introduce water suppression systems to the bark storage facility.

A custom bark collection trailer which has lower sides and an in-built water suppression system to further minimise fugitive dust when loading bark is due to be introduced in the near future.

4.        Considerations

4.1      Risks and Mitigations

Air emissions from industrial activities in the Mount Maunganui industrial area and in particular activities on Port of Tauranga land are identified as a key risk for Council with several mitigation measures in place. This report is an information only update and no additional risks have been identified.

4.2      Climate Change

The matters addressed in this report are of a procedural nature and there is no need to consider climate change impacts.


4.3      Implications for Māori

Ngāi Tukairangi and Ngāti Kuku ki Whareroa are the Ngāi Te Rangi hapū affiliated with Whareroa Marae and with whom Regional Council staff have been endeavouring to foster closer relationships to ensure council actions will have direct and positive impacts on the Taiaho Place and papakainga communities. Staff have also been working hard to ensure the communities relate to agencies such as Ministry for the Environment and Toi te Ora and surrounding business and industry.

The establishment of the Air Quality Working Party has provided another platform for engagement with iwi and hapū and for their concerns to be heard around a wider table. This is a space of ongoing commitment from all parties involved as there is clearly still a degree of distrust of government agencies and actions held by the Whareroa community.

4.4      Community Engagement


Engagement with the community is not required as the report is an update only and no decisions are required.


4.5      Financial Implications

There are no material unbudgeted financial implications and this fits within the allocated budget.

5.        Next Steps

Staff will continue to update this Committee on all work underway to improve air quality in the Mount Maunganui Industrial Area. There is a wider focus on all environmental discharges and ensuring the minimal impact on human health resulting from industrial activity. The six-monthly updates on these works requested by the Minister for the Environment from Bay of Plenty Regional Council continues to be provided with the most recent sent to the Ministry in December 2022.




Attachment 1 - Table of all PM10 exceedances PDF

Supporting Document 1 - Mount Air Quality Working Party meeting minutes and presentations from Wednesday 22 February 2023  


Monitoring and Operations Committee                    7 March 2023

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Monitoring and Operations Committee                    7 March 2023


Item 6.7

Supporting Document 1

Mount Air Quality Working Party meeting minutes and presentations from Wednesday 22 February 2023




Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

7 March 2023

Report Writer:

Paula Chapman, Project Manager

Report Authoriser:

Chris Ingle, General Manager, Integrated Catchments


To provide the Operations Committee with information on recent
significant weather events and the impacts for the Council.


Weather Events,  January - February 2023


Executive Summary

There have been three significant weather events in 2023 which have impacted New Zealand cities and communities, in some cases severely. For the Bay of Plenty, the Auckland Anniversary weekend weather event had the most significant impact. Cyclone Hale and Cyclone Gabrielle resulted in only minor impacts for the Bay of Plenty.

During the Auckland Anniversary event the Kaituna River reached the highest level recorded since the Kaituna Control Scheme was completed and various rural stopbanks overtopped where the conditions exceeded the level of service.

Recent weather events were likely exacerbated by the preceding antecedent weather conditions which resulted in saturated soils and elevated groundwater levels.

There will be costs associated with immediate response actions for the Kaituna Control Scheme maintenance budgets. Staff are currently assessing scheme asset damage and repair.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Weather Events,  January - February 2023.


1.        Introduction

Nationally there have been three significant weather events in January and February 2023 which have impacted New Zealand cities and communities by varying degrees: Cyclone Hale 10 January, Auckland Anniversary Weekend weather event 27-31 January and Cyclone Gabrielle 13-15 February.

For the Bay of Plenty the Auckland Anniversary weekend weather event has had the most significant impact within the Kaituna Catchment Control Scheme. Thankfully Cyclone Hale impacts were negligible, and Cyclone Gabrielle resulted in minor effects within our river schemes.

The Council’s flood management and monitoring team supports a range of agencies during a flood event, from emergency services, lifelines groups and local councils. The dedicated flood room and systems are specially designed to support the flood team’s emergency flood response. The flood room operates in two modes, monitoring (duty Flood Manager is on call 24/7 maintaining an overview of river levels, weather patterns and forecasts affecting the Bay of Plenty) and activated (the entire flood team gathers in the flood room, and operations staff are deployed to assist in the field).

1.1      Legislative Framework

Under the Local Government Act 2002, regional authorities are responsible for the provision and control of river scheme assets. The Council manages and maintains the River Schemes under the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941 and in keeping with its Rivers and Drainage Asset Management Plans. These plans include levels of service and flood protection that the Council provides for the community.

1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework


Safe and Resilient Communities

We support community safety through flood protection and navigation safety.

We work with our partners to develop plans and policies, and we lead and enable our communities to respond and recover from an emergency.

A Vibrant Region

We invest appropriately in infrastructure to support sustainable development.

The Way We Work

We deliver value to our ratepayers and our customers.

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

Low - Negative

¨ Cultural

Low - Positive

þ Social

Low - Negative

þ Economic

Low - Negative

2.        Weather Events

2.1      Auckland Anniversary Weekend Storm Event (27-31 January)

2.1.1    Flood Management and Monitoring Response

Heavy rains and strong winds were forecast in the lead up to the long weekend. Described as a subtropical moisture plume the conditions were predicted as warm, humid, rainy, and stormy with heavy rain possible causing flooding in already saturated parts of the North Island.

A heavy rain warning was issued on Friday 27th January for the region west of Whakatāne and Rotorua with 130 to 180 mm of rain expected about the ranges, and 70 to 110 mm elsewhere. A severe thunderstorm watch was also issued.

The Duty Flood Manager instigated controlled spilling from the Matahina Dam at 10.30am Saturday morning (28th January) as a cautionary response to the heavy rainfall warning, in conjunction with Manawa Energy. As flows into the lake declined on Sunday 29th January spilling was reduced and the lake level raised to normal operating levels over the following couple of days.

The Whakatāne River reached its first warning level early Saturday afternoon (28th January) before receding Sunday Morning.

The Paraiti River (Mangorewa) reached 1st and 2nd warning at early hours of the morning Saturday (28th January).

The Ngongotahā Stream reached warning level Sunday morning (29th January). The stream rose rapidly in response to a second night of rainfall in Rotorua. There was minor overtopping of the riverbanks around Brake Road and in the Brookdale Place area but no reports of damage as a result. The stream receded quickly in the afternoon and early evening.

The Kaituna River reached its 1st and 2nd warning levels early Saturday morning (28th January). The Kaituna River rose further overnight to reach the highest level recorded since the Kaituna Control Scheme was completed. There were various overtopping events reported for the rural stopbank areas where the conditions exceeded the level of service. Several seepage issues were also reported.

The river level recorded at Kaituna at Te Matai measured 4.778m at 7.25 am Sunday morning (29th January) as shown in figure 1. This is the highest level recorded since data collection began in 1955.


Figure 1 River Level Kaituna @ Te Matai since 1955

The Flood Management Team supported local authority responses by providing weather, rainfall, river and coastal information and advice to assist local decision making. 

The stream levels in Ngongotahā were very close to evacuation triggers and flood management staff will be liaising closely with Rotorua Lakes District Council on the provision and analysis of stream level data, to inform decision making in future events.

2.1.2    Operations Team Response

Rivers and Drainage Operations respond to extreme weather events to ensure flood protection assets can operate effectively and to monitor infrastructure during a flood event. The team ensures flood gates are operational, scheme pumps are running and maintained, temporary pumping is in place where required and that the situation is being monitored on the ground as well as from the flood room.

The consistent spells of heavy rain that fell over the past eight months have kept the Rivers and Drainage Operations team extremely busy in the field, even prior to these significant weather events of early 2023. For an extended period, staff have been managing elevated water levels in drainage schemes throughout the region. The recent rain events come at a time when drainage scheme areas such as the lower Kaituna were already well saturated and even moderate rainfall events have had a significant impact on some properties.

The team’s resources have been mainly focused in the lower Kaituna drainage area and Ngongotahā Stream, regarding response and recovery.

In the Upper Kaituna, work involved sandbagging and debris removal in the Ngongotahā Stream and the Puarenga Stream. Staff also assisted retrieving two horse trucks from wet paddocks close to the stream at the A&P showgrounds.

In the Lower Kaituna, multiple staff and contractors were busy checking and refuelling pumps and cleaning screens. Extra pumps were required, with 6 mobile emergency pumps installed for the duration of the event and left in place to keep levels down in preparation for Cyclone Gabrielle rainfall.

2.1.3    Damage to River Schemes Assets

Damage has included the destruction of two grade control structures in the Ohineangaanga River, along with some riverbank, canal, and drainage system erosion. Staff are currently undertaking flood damage assessments in the upper and lower Kaituna. It is anticipated that some of these areas will need to be rock armoured to prevent further erosion and to manage future risk to community assets.

2.1.4    Community impacts

There were substantial impacts for community assets including the Washer Road Bridge, the Washer Road Rail Bridge, FirstGas main supply, the KiwiRail line into Te Puke and the No. 4 Road Bridge. BOPRC staff have worked alongside utility and infrastructure owners to support both temporary and permanent repairs. This has included site meetings, advice on site works, and review of repair plans with Westlink BOP, KiwiRail and FirstGas.

Photo 1 - Washer Road Bridge Damage

Photo 2 - FirstGas Line exposed at Ohineangaanga River, BOPRC undertook work within the river to reduce the possible impact of Cyclone Gabrielle for the precarious gas line prior to reestablishment of a new line.

2.1.5    Outside of scheme impacts

Significant debris build up (trees, vegetation, posts, silt, and rubbish) and riverbank erosion occurred in streams and rivers outside of the managed river scheme. This has had a major impact for productive horticulture properties alongside the rivers.

Debris removal was undertaken in the Ohineangaanga River in the few days between Auckland Anniversary and Cyclone Gabrielle. Over 200 tonne of debris was pulled out of the stream and stacked clear. This preventive work was undertaken to ensure the material did not travel downstream into the scheme area during Cyclone Gabrielle, causing damage to council and community infrastructure.



Photos 3 and 4 - Ohineangaanga River, debris build up following Auckland Anniversary Weekend Weather Event


2.2      Cyclone Gabrielle (13-15 February)

2.2.1    Flood management, monitoring response, and impacts

The flood management and operations teams were fully resourced and prepared for Cyclone Gabrielle. The team supported local authority responses through the analysis of information, briefings, situation reports and advice. Specific advice was provided on coastal areas susceptible to inundation. Local Authorities used this as a basis for evacuation decisions.

Fortunately, the coastal wave action, powerful winds and rainfall predicted did not eventuate to the extent that was forecasted; and impacts were mainly associated with slips due to saturated soils, wind damage, fallen trees, power outages and continued erosion at coastal sites such as Waihī Beach.

2.3      Rainfall

While the Auckland Anniversary weekend and Cyclone Gabrielle events are significant, the impacts were likely exacerbated by the preceding antecedent weather conditions including 8 months of higher-than-normal rainfall, resulting saturated soils and elevated groundwater levels.

The high rainfalls are demonstrated in Figures 2 and 3 which show cumulative rainfall over a water year period (July through to June) for Rotorua and Tauranga representative rain gauges. These gauges show rainfall totals well above any recorded previously, this includes the Rotorua at Whakarewarewa gauge which has been in operation since 1901. These are similar results to rain gauges across the region. 

Figure 2 - Representative Rotorua rainfall

Figure 3 - Representative Tauranga rainfall

The Auckland Anniversary rainfall event was particularly notable in the western and central parts of the region for both its intensity and its duration.

Figure 4 - Maximum 72-hour rainfall totals 27 January - 4 February

Of note are the following:

·     the 500mm of rain that fell in a 72-hour period at Waikato Regional Council’s rain gauge at the top of the Kaimai ranges.

·     the 300mm+ of rain that fell in a 72-hour period at several of the lower altitude gauges in the western and central parts of the region.

·     the rainfall present at the top of the Rangitāiki catchment, which while not comparable with the quantities measured elsewhere, was significant for that locality. 

2.4      Lake levels

This consistently high rainfall since June 2022 has resulted in rising lake levels across the region. The plots provided in Figure 5 shows the full lake level history for Lake Rotorua overplotted with a dashed line representing current lake level as of 15 February 2023. Additional lake level graphs are provided as Attachment 1. While lake levels are currently high across all lakes in the region, similar peaks have been reached at times over the past 20 years.

When looking at full period lake level plots as provided, it is not unusual to see higher levels in the early record when control structures or overflow paths were not present.


Figure 5 - Lake Rotorua level

2.5      Wave buoy

The Pukehina wave buoy recorded a maximum wave height during Cyclone Gabrielle of 8.68m as represented in Figure 6.  The actual maximum wave height may be slightly larger than this as data transmission was lost from the buoy near the peak of the event. Missing data will be recovered from the buoy soon, as it is being returned to shore after its mooring was dragged a kilometre during the event.

Barometric pressure from the Ōhope Golf course meteorological station is also plotted on Figure 6 and shows a minimum air pressure of 973hPa. The timing of the low pressure does not coincide with the peak of the wave buoy due to the time it would have taken the centre of the storm to move the equivalent distance between the sites of approximately 60km.  

Figure 6 Pukehina wave buoy average (blue) & maximum (red) wave heights and Ōhope barometric air pressure (green)

3.        Considerations

3.1      Risks and Mitigations

The flood management and operations team provide information and carry out actions that help to manage flood impacts for our communities. Response and recovery work immediately following the Auckland Anniversary event reduced risk and possible impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle for river scheme assets and other public assets. Subsequent coordination with agencies optimised outcomes for business, ratepayers, and the wider community.

3.2      Climate Change

The matters in this report are directly associated with monitoring and reporting on present day climate change impacts.  Subsequent responses should consider long term sustainability given the ongoing forecasted changes due to climate change, alongside the ongoing need to restore and protect community assts and infrastructure.

3.3      Implications for Māori

The Council has a responsibility to manage the risks posed by our major rivers including the region’s major flood control and drainage schemes. Iwi and hapū have a strong interest in the long-term management of our rivers and waterways. The flood mitigation and environmental work undertaken by the Rivers and Drainage Activity are fundamentally of interest to Māori, as kaitiaki.

3.4      Community Engagement


Adobe Systems



To provide affected communities with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problems, alternatives and/or solutions.


3.5      Financial Implications

The total financial impact of recent weather events for the BOPRC is not yet known. There will be costs associated with immediate response actions such as additional pumping, contractor, and machinery costs. Known costs are estimated at $75,000 - $100,000, being additional costs within the Kaituna Control Scheme maintenance budgets. Asset damage and repair is currently being assessed however and further costs exposure is likely.

4.        Next Steps

·     Within-scheme flood impacts will be assessed and reported to the Kaituna Control Catchment Scheme Advisory Group

·     Flood repair financial implications will be reported back to Council for consideration.

·     Staff will continue to liaise with infrastructure and utility providers to ensure best community outcomes.

·     Staff will meet with Rotorua Lakes District Council to clarify their needs for stream trigger levels.


Attachment 1 - Weather Events, January - February 2023 Lake Levels  


Monitoring and Operations Committee                    7 March 2023

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Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

7 March 2023

Report Writer:

Jackson Efford, Principal Advisor, Land and Water

Report Authoriser:

Chris Ingle, General Manager, Integrated Catchments


To update Councillors on the Land Management work programme around Tauranga Moana



Tauranga Moana Land Management Operations Update


Executive Summary

This is a summary of Land Management operations within the Tauranga Moana Freshwater Management Unit area. It includes an update on progress within the harbour’s Focus Catchments of Waitao (Kaiate Falls), Kopurererua, Te Mania and Uretara, as well as providing other operational highlights over the past 12 months. Preliminary summer water quality results are available for Kaiate Falls, suggesting that the targeted Focus Catchment work is having a positive outcome on helping to reduce E. coli levels at this high profile swimming area.

Similar Land Management updates will follow at subsequent Monitoring and Operations Committee meetings, including for Kaituna/Maketū Estuary, Waihī Estuary, and the eastern Bay of Plenty Focus Catchments, along with separate updates on the Biodiversity and Coast Care programmes.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Tauranga Moana Land Management Operations Update .

1.      Introduction

The Western Land Management team delivers a diverse range of operational works around Tauranga Moana to improve water quality and biodiversity, including the ‘Focus Catchments Programme’ which aligns our work with the highest Essential Freshwater programme priorities such as improving the swimmability of poorly performing swimming sites. Previous Monitoring and Operations Committee reports provide programme background and updates. This report provides an update on the targeted work which continues in the priority Tauranga Moana Focus Catchments of Waitao, Kopurererua, Te Mania, and Uretara.

We are now several years into the programme and some of the smaller Focus Catchments have experienced a slight decline in the rate of new land management works able to be achieved voluntarily, using education/incentive-based approaches with willing landowners - notwithstanding that a significant amount of work has been successfully achieved with community in these areas to date. Additional Focus Catchment support is now being extended to other priority areas within the harbour, including the Wairoa Catchment and “Project Parore’s” northern Tauranga harbour catchment group area. This work aligns closely with the Council’s Essential Freshwater programme priorities for the Tauranga Moana Freshwater Management Unit where a moderate (10-40%) level of change is likely required to both sediment and E. coli, meaning our land management activity and interventions are an important delivery tool for achieving water-quality improvements. 

1.1      Legislative Framework

The Land Management programme is an education and incentives-based work programme. It both compliments and aligns with the legislative requirements and priorities of the Essential Freshwater Programme for Bay of Plenty, as well as other priorities such as biodiversity and care group support.  

1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework


A Healthy Environment

We work cohesively with volunteers and others, to sustainably manage and improve our natural resources.

Freshwater for Life

We deliver solutions to local problems to improve water quality and manage quantity.

The Land Management programme aligns with a number of community outcomes, including those related to Healthy Environments and Freshwater for Life. Our Focus Catchments work is monitored in a number of different ways, including the Council’s ‘Swimmability’ KPI and through the Councils wider water quality monitoring programmes. Ultimately, the Focus Catchment Programme becomes a key link between voluntary land management action and the Council’s requirements to deliver the NPS-FM.          

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

High - Positive

þ Cultural

Medium - Positive

þ Social

Medium - Positive

þ Economic

Low - Positive


Focus Catchments work contributes directly to positive environmental outcomes as its core purpose, with positive co-benefits around Cultural and Social well-beings


2.      Land management progress

2.1      Focus Catchments update

Work continues to be delivered throughout the Kopurererua, Waitao, Uretara and Te Mania sub-catchments of Tauranga Moana as part of the Focus Catchments programme, along with other priority community projects around the rest of the harbour. The following provides some highlights of completed and planned activities in each catchment, including monitoring from Kaiate Falls. Overall, Tauranga Moana Land Management activity is significant with over 100 active Environmental Programmes, 80 km of protection fencing, and over 1 million native plants established in recent years.    

2.2      Kopurererua Catchment Summary

The Kopurererua catchment is 7,400ha in size and located to the Southwest of Tauranga City, it flows north from the Mamaku Plateau foothills approximately 450 m above sea level, through the western suburbs of Tauranga City and discharges into the Waikareao Estuary in Tauranga Harbour. The total length of streams in the catchment is approximately 150 km with the Kopurererua approximately 29 km long. The catchment has two main tributaries, the Tautau and the Nanakau. The Tautau is the largest tributary at 18 km long and is one of the two spring fed awa supplying water for Tauranga City. The catchment receives 1968 mm of rainfall on average per year.

The catchment is dominated by three distinct geographical zones. The lower catchment is dominated by the low-lying Kopurererua Valley Reserve floodplain and wetlands, bordered by low-lying hills <100m asl. Urban and industrial development in this area has led to increased stormwater runoff due to a reduction in permeable areas. The mid catchment sees a significant gradient change from the upper catchment and is characterised by meandering streams and wide alluvial valleys bordered by steep hills and flat plateaus. The soil types and geology make this area vulnerable to stream bank erosion and soil loss, especially where intensive land use change has occurred.

The upper most part of the catchment (above Taumata Road) on the Mamaku plateau foothills is characterised by steep to rolling sheep and beef hill country, with a large network of ephemeral flow paths that contribute high amounts of sediment and nutrients into the Kopurererua and Tautau streams during high intensity rainfall events. There are no perennial waterways in this part of the catchment.

Current landuse in the Kopurererua catchment.


The Kopurererua Catchment has an on-going sediment and Escherichia coli (E.Coli) issue which impacts in-stream values and the downstream receiving environment of Waikareao Estuary. The bathing site (Canoe Slalom gates) at McCord Avenue in the lower Kopurererua stream frequently exceeds safe levels for contact recreation.

The last 18 months have seen targeted approach with landowners, hapu, and community groups throughout the catchment to develop Environmental Programmes that seek to improve land management practices and water quality outcomes in the catchment. This includes (completed and planned works) 7 km of new stock exclusion fencing, 14 ha of land retirement, 2 detainment bunds, and over 290,000 native plants in the ground (this includes planting as part of the Kopurererua re-alignment project). In total, 100ha of land has been retired in the catchment under existing and historical BOPRC programmes.

2.2.1    Kopurererua Environmental Programmes

There are currently 11 active environmental programmes within the Kopurererua Focus Catchment.

Given our current understanding of water quality and contaminant sources in the catchment, the upper catchment environmental programmes are targeted towards sediment reduction activities such as retirement/planting of steep erosion prone land, coupled with construction of detainment bunds to attenuate sediment and phosphorus that is usually transported during high intensity rainfall events.


However, recent water quality monitoring also indicates elevated nitrogen concentrations at Taumata Road bridge that is likely anthropogenic in nature. Working with landowners in the upper catchment to undertake detailed farm planning and systems analysis along with an improvement in some intensive winter grazing practices will be a focus moving forward.


Environmental programmes in the mid catchment are focussed on good management practice in riparian zones, particularly as the gradient and geology in this area make it prone to stream bank erosion. The mid catchment is also home to many floodplain and hanging wetlands that hold good enhancement potential. A recent survey identified 33 natural wetlands in the mid-catchment that were predominantly palustrine marsh/sedgeland (Morphum, 2021). The vegetation condition of these wetlands varies, with a number having grey willow infestations. There are 3 environmental programmes in the mid-catchment that have a focus on willow control and native revegetation in these wetlands.

An example of riparian retirement and planting in the mid Kopurererua catchment.

The lower catchment has one environmental programme in partnership with Tauranga City Council (TCC) and Ngāi Tamarawaho. Motuopae Island is an Urupa for Ngā Tamarawaho hapū and their ancestors. It is a BOPRC priority biodiversity site, and this environmental programme has a focus on pest control and re-vegetation with a large amount of in-kind contribution and volunteer hours being undertaken by the hapū.

2.2.2    Kopurererua Detainment bunds

The large network of ephemeral flow paths in the upper catchment contributes increased amounts of surface runoff into the Kopurererua and Tautau streams during high intensity rainfall events. This surface runoff is often laden with sediment and nutrients which negatively impacts water quality and ecological values. This part of the catchment is well suited to the construction of detainment bunds due to its favourable contour, network of ephemeral flow paths, and propensity for high intensity rainfall events.

A detainment bund is a low earth berm placed across and ephemeral flow path and is designed to temporarily detain stormwater run-off to improve water quality outcomes, the ponding duration is temporary (up to 72 hrs to ensure no compromise in pasture) with an upstand riser and plug allowing for sediment and nutrients contained in the ponded water to settle out into pasture during this time. Detainment bunds are generally located on valuable and productive pasture, as these gentle contour areas generally make suitable ponding areas. They form a seamless integration into the landscape that do not require large areas of to land to be retired to improve water quality outcomes. Several detainment bunds have been constructed in the Lake Rotorua catchment to assist with improving water quality outcomes, and recent PhD research completed on these structures indicates that detainment bunds retain 47-68% of phosphorus and 51-59% of suspended sediment (Levine, 2020).


The sequence of detainment bund ponding and releasing during a storm event.

Early 2022 saw the construction of the first detainment bund for the upper Kopurererua catchment. This site is intended to be used as a demonstration site to promote wider uptake in the Tauranga Harbour Catchment. The design and construction for a second detainment bund on a neighbouring property is planned for completion in 2023.

There has been some recent work completed in the mid and upper catchment to scope further suitable sites for detainment bunds that meet optimum storage ratios under BOPRC Detainment Bund Guidelines. This study indicated that there are approximately 36 feasible sites in the upper catchment, and 11 in the mid catchment. Staff will be working with landowners of these identified sites in the coming 12 months to gauge interest in any further construction of detainment bunds. 

The recent weather event in late January 2023 saw this detainment bund ponding and working as designed.

2.2.3    Koromiko wetland fish habitat project (Kopurererua)

BOPRC are partnering with TCC and Ngāi Tamarawaho, along with funding partners, Ngā Matarae Trust/Port of Tauranga to enhance fish passage and habitat in the Koromiko wetland in Judea.

The flood impact modelling and concept design has now been completed. The project steering group will convene in early March to approve one of three concept design options, before progression to detailed design and construction in late 2023.

2.2.4    Kopurererua re-alignment

Restoration of the Kopurererua Valley has been planned and undertaken at various times over the past 15 years. Historically the lower reaches of the Kopurererua stream have been straightened, cleared and drained for pastoral farming. These activities have negatively impacted on water quality and habitat in the area as well as reducing the flood capacity in the catchment. The re-alignment project is a partnership between TCC, BOPRC and Ngāi Tamarawaho and is split in to two parts, Northern and Southern. The purpose of the project is to restore the Kopurererua stream to a more natural path which will increase in-stream habitat, reduce velocities, increase sediment deposition (via submerged benches and sedimentation wetlands) and allow for floodplain engagement during high flows. Several logs and in-stream woody features will be placed in the channels and will assist with creating diversity and habitat for native fish, along with two new bridges and associated pathways to enhance accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. The existing channels are to be de-fished and backfilled to surrounding ground level upon completion of the re-alignment.

The proposed alignment has been selected based on matching the historic sinuosity and alignment (where possible) and avoidance of site constraints, including the Nanako Stream confluence, topographical features, gas and power/transmission lines and cycleway and access roads. The proposed alignment also retains existing maintenance access for utility owners.

The re-alignment project commenced in January 2022 and is due for completion in 2024. A total of 270,000 native plants will be planted over the course of the project. The project and all procurement is being led by TCC with support from Ngāi Tamarawaho and BOPRC. The total project value is over $4,000,000 with $1,268,000 in funding from BOPRC.

Southern re-alignment

Earthworks for the southern part of the re-alignment are nearing completion. The excavation of the new channel was completed in April 2022 with the banks and submerged bench planted in winter 2022 (38,832 plants). Construction of the sedimentation wetland is well underway and due to be completed in March 2023. A further 187,736 plants are due to be planted in the floodplain and sedimentation wetland in winter 2023.

The new channel is currently blocked by an up-stream and down-steam ‘plug’, the excavation of these plugs and the subsequent de-fishing and backfilling of the existing channel is planned to occur in mid-February (weather permitting). Upon completion of this, the new southern re-alignment will be ‘live’.

Southern re-alignment detailed design.


The new southern re-alignment channel.

Northern re-alignment progress

The excavation of northern re-alignment channel was completed in December 2022. In-stream features such a log groyne, and v-log weirs are planned to be installed in March/April 2023, prior to the close of earthworks season. Winter 2023 will see 31,720 native plants planted along the banks of the new channel. The ‘livening’ of the northern re-alignment channel, including the excavation of the upstream and downstream plugs will occur in the summer of 2024. A small amount of in-fill planting will be completed in 2024.

Northern re-alignment detailed design.

2.2.5    Fish passage remediation in the Nanakau Stream (Kopurererua)

As part of a catchment wide waterway assessment for the Kopurererua in 2021, several in-stream structures were assessed for their capacity to enable effective fish passage. A total of 54 structures were identified as posing a barrier to fish, with 77% being artificial such as perched culverts or pipes. A large portion of these barriers are in the Nanakau tributary in the lower urban catchment, and are located on a mix of public and private property. A local specialist has been engaged to undertake small scale remediations to those identified barriers throughout the Nanakau Stream tributary. The fieldwork and reporting for this project is nearing completion.

This structure has had 450mm flexi-baffles installed to create complex flow allowing for rest pools and increased depth of water, reducing energy demand for migrating species.

2.2.6    Priority Kopurererua actions for 2023/2024

1.   Utilising the detainment bund scoping work for the mid and upper catchment, including engagement with landowners that have suitable sites and progress through to design and construction where appropriate.

2.   In collaboration with industry, work with individual landowners above Taumata Road to identify critical source areas, intensive winter grazing, and opportunities improve to farm system practices.

3.   BOPRC to continue an active role in supporting the development and construction of the Kopurererua re-alignment to enhance biodiversity and increase sediment deposition.

4.  Continue to work with individual landowners to develop Environmental Programmes that contribute to enhanced biodiversity and water quality outcomes in the catchment.


2.3      Waitao (including Kaiate Falls) Focus Catchment

Since 2020, significant resource has been committed to the Waitao catchment and in particular the Kaiate Falls catchment, due to ongoing swimmability issues due to bacterial contamination. A mixture of support has come from Regional Council, local land care group, crowd funding, central government funding and landowners. Significant livestock exclusion fences have been built with impressive buffer zones and setbacks. At least 59,079 native plants have been planted directly above the falls during this time with 21.4 ha of land retired and over 10 km of new fencing built. The wider Waitao catchment has also had significant retirement, fencing and planting. Alternative stock water has been made available where required.

Engagement with landowners in the wider Waitao catchment is continuing in accordance with our internal prioritisation list. A number of projects are either planned or underway. Recent weather events have caused significant damage throughout the catchment, including damaged fences, slips, stream bank erosion and stream blockages Planning is underway to support and rectify damage where possible.

Summer water quality monitoring in the sub-catchment at and above Kaiate Falls is well underway, and the results appear to show reduced E.coli levels compared to usual, which is very encouraging and indicates the likely effectiveness of this highly targeted work to address water quality (as seen in Table 1 below).

Scientific and statistical analysis will be completed once all summer monitoring has been completed later in March, and consider factors such as waterway flow data, land management change and rainfall.

Summer water quality monitoring this summer vs last summer at Kaiate Falls below, showing that the E. coli situation appears to have improved following land management interventions


Kaiate Falls Catchment looking up two of the gullies toward the Ōtawa trig carpark during planting 2020. Note the amount of water sitting in the wetland/gully area



Similar photo point as above taken spring 2021 post releasing, natives establishing well.

Different angle, same plantings in summer 2023. Very few losses have been identified and plants are thriving.

2.4      Uretara Focus Catchment

There are currently five active Environmental Programmes in the Uretara catchment at various stages in their five-year programmes.  One of these is newly signed this year.  Three are principally wetland restoration projects, one extensive steep land and riparian retirement and the other riparian retirement.

The relationship with Project Parore continues to strengthen with active partnership both financially and in terms of implementation. Their works crew has been integral with planting and pest plant activities in many of the programmes. Significant work is underway around planning new collaborative projects with private landowners and the three northern hapū of Tauranga Moana.

The following is a summary of some highlights from the past year. 

Lindemann Road EP – this property is a 51 hectare, steep dry stock property adjacent the Kaimai Forest Park.  Over the past 12 months approximately 4km of fencing has been constructed to protect a total of 28ha (21.5ha native forest and 6.5ha of steep gullies and watercourses). Major pest plant control has been undertaken in preparation for the planting of 16,000 native plants this coming winter in the steep gullies. 

Lindemann Rd Property looking along fence line that removes stock from 22ha of native forest contiguous with the Kaimai Forest Park

Lindemann Rd property looking down on one of two large steep gullies.  They are newly fenced and note the extensive dead gorse and privet done in preparation for planting winter 2023.


Henry Road Wetland – on this property a previously drained wetland was reinstated by blocking up the drain.  The wetland and margins were fenced and planted.  This wetland provides biodiversity habitat and filters surface and ground water from a contributing catchment of intensive grazing land.  

Uretara Dairy Farm – this farm is the single largest farming enterprise in the Uretara catchment.  This dairy property has recently changed hands and Regional Council is working with the owner and Tipu Whenua consultants on a farm planning exercise to look at the risks and opportunities for environmental retirement and mitigation works. 

Inanga spawning habitat – the development of a new EP to restore inanga spawning habitat along the tidal reaches of the Uretara River is currently in progress.  This is collaborative project between Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Ngāi Tamawhariua, Project Parore & Regional Council.  It is expected that any physical works will be undertaken next spring after the upcoming spawning period but pest plant control and planting will commence shortly.

Uretara Riverbank below SH2.  Photo taken the hightide the day before cyclone Gabrielle so the visible water level is slightly higher than typical spring tides.  The flooded portions of the riverbank will be enhanced as spawning sites for inanga by shallow excavations and extensive planting.

Upper Busby Rd community – in collaboration with Project Parore we are currently exploring a landscape scale biodiversity restoration and management plan with the community.  At the top of Busby Rd there is a community of approximately 15 lifestyle blocks adjacent the Kaimai Forest Park.  The landscape is extremely steep with ecologically significant remnants of scattered forest.  Many in the community are keen to instigate a network of pest animal control and create corridors of native forest linking the remnants. Individually the properties are relatively small but collectively significant.


2.5      Te Mania Focus Catchment

There are currently 11 active Environmental Programmes at various stages in the Te Mania catchment.  Most of these are in the maintenance stages with the exception of 3500 native plants planted last winter, the last of a 5 hectare steep land retirement programme.

A considerable amount of works has been completed over the past four years.  The maintenance phase is a crucial one in the relative success of any retirement project.  Pest plant control is the main activity to allow native plantings to thrive. 

There are two newly signed programmes this year which will see 3.5 ha of steep land retired later this summer and 9,500 native plants planted this coming winter. 

2.6      Care Group Programme celebration events

A series of events were held solely for volunteers in the months of October/ November 2022 as a thankyou for all the wonderful work our volunteers do across the BOP rohe. These events were hosted by the “Flaxroots Forum” which is a collective of organisations and agencies who support environmental groups (Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Bay Conservation Alliance, Envirohub and the Department of Conservation).

Each event would provide a chance for our volunteers to network amongst each other, showcase their own work, share ideas and learn from one another. Four Open days were selected.  Johnson Reserve (an urban pest plant control focussed care group – TCC), Friends of the Blade (a pest animal control group in the Kamai Mamaku Forest- DOC), Western Bay Wildlife Trust (a species focussed group in an urban area – TCC & DOC) and MOWS (a group with a wide range of activities working in a coastal and wetland environment- WBOPDC & DOC).

BOPRC also designed certificates that were signed by the Flax Roots group. These were then framed & presented to the host group with a $200 grocery voucher as Koha.

Each of the Events were completely different from small to larger gatherings. All volunteers mingled and morning tea networking was successful. A wide range of Volunteer groups were represented throughout the Western region with a range of age groups and demographics. Some very positive feedback was received, with groups arranging amongst themselves to visit other volunteer groups and the comment made “that if this event takes place next year, we would be strongly encouraging more members to come along”.

2.7      Mangrove management

2.7.1    Seedling control work

There are 9 active estuary care groups in Tauranga Moana area involved with mangrove seedling works. Volunteers in groups continue to remove seedlings annually in feasible areas within their rohe through working bees and lone work. Volunteers have cleared/kept clear around 238ha between 1 Jan 2022 and 1 Jan 2023.

BOPRC Contractors are utilised for seedling control in areas that are higher-risk to volunteers (deeper sediment) or where groups are not active. Contractors cleared 75ha between 1 Jan 2022 to 1 Jan 2023 costing around $88,650.00. Petrol or electric scrub bars are the preferred tool.

2.8      Sea Lettuce Clean-Ups

In previous years the regional council and Tauranga City Council (TCC) have invested in beach-cast sea lettuce clean-ups around popular public areas such as Kulim Park in Matua, keeping these areas free of nuisance lettuce for recreation activities. This work is completed together with TCC under a Memorandum of Understanding where we fund 50% of costs.  In previous years the tonnage of sea lettuce collected has ranged around 200-1,000 tonnes, but no collections have been required this year.

Sea lettuce growth dynamics can be cyclic, but the lack of sea lettuce this year could be attributed to the La Nina weather pattern and unusually warm water temperatures (temperatures above the optimum for sea lettuce growth). Previous sea lettuce blooms are often associated with El Nino weather patterns. Our Land Management works to address sediment and nutrient run-off into Tauranga Moana may also help to reduce the occurrence of sea lettuce blooms.   


3.      Considerations

3.1      Risks and Mitigations

There are no significant risks to this work programme at this time.

3.2      Climate Change



Reduce GHG emissions

Produce GHG emissions

Sequester carbon

Anticipate climate change impacts

Respond to climate change impacts

Planting and land retirement activities can help to sequester carbon and produce buffers for climate change.   

3.3      Implications for Māori

Catchment work spans the rohe of a number of different iwi/hapū. Consideration has been given to the aspirations of iwi/hapu in the work programmes of each focus catchment, with strengthening partnerships in various stages of engagement and development.

3.4      Community Engagement


Adobe Systems



To work directly with affected communities throughout the process to ensure that their issues and concerns are consistently understood and fully considered in Council’s decision making.

The Focus Catchment Programme approach relies strongly on collaborative, voluntary work with landowners and community to achieve water quality objectives

3.5      Financial Implications

This work fits within the allocated budget for the programme. Demand remains high for incentivised land management work and new Government funding such as the Hill Country Erosion Fund will continue to increase the scale and quality of on-the-ground actions possible.

4.      Next Steps

The Land Management team will continue to deliver its work programme across Tauranga Moana with community. Re-prioritisation of Focus Catchments will occur as further Essential Freshwater Policy Programme priorities become available and water quality data is received.    

[1] Key eligibility criteria for forestry under the ETS includes:

-      more than 30% tree crown cover from forest species in each hectare at maturity;

-      average tree canopy width of at least 30m at maturity;

-      forest tree species that can grow to at least 5m tall (excluding fruit and nut trees);

-      minimum 1 ha (contiguous);

-      not in forestry as of 1 January 1990.


[3] Small airborne particles less than 10 micrometres across (about the fifth of the thickness of a human hair).  They are produced by the combustion of wood and fossil fuels, as well as by various industrial and natural processes.  These particles can easily be breathed in. When the largest particles are inhaled they get trapped in the nose and nasal passages and can cause irritation. The smaller particles (PM2.5, less than 2.5 micrometres across, and are included in PM10 measurements), can enter our lungs and also reach the bloodstream, resulting in respiratory diseases, heart attacks, and lung cancer. These concentrations are measured in micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) of air.