Monitoring and Operations Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Wednesday 28 June 2023, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Mataatua Room, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Level 1, 5 Quay Street, Whakatāne and via Zoom

Chairperson:               Cr Kevin Winters

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Ron Scott

Members:                    Cr Stuart Crosby

Chairman Doug Leeder

Cr Matemoana McDonald

Cr Jane Nees

Cr Lyall Thurston

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Te Taru White

Cr Kat Macmillan

Cr Malcolm Campbell

Cr Ken Shirley

In Attendance:            BOPRC: Reuben Fraser – General Manager, Regulatory Services, Chris Ingle – General Manager, Integrated Catchments, Staff Presenters – as listed in the minutes, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor

                                    External: John Gifford- Chair, Lakes Water Quality Society, Tom Kay – Forest and Bird NZ (via Zoom)

Please note: This meeting was livestreamed and recorded, and can be accessed on Council’s YouTube channel: Monitoring and Operations Committee - 28 June 2023 - YouTube Apologies:                  Cr Toi Iti, Cr Paula Thompson, Cr Jane Nees (early departure), Cr Stuart Crosby (early departure)

1.     Apologies


That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Accepts the apologies from Cr Iti and Cr Thompson for absence, Cr Nees and Cr Crosby for early departure tendered at the meeting.



2.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

Cr Crosby and Cr White declared an interest in relation to Agenda item 8.5 – Forestry Compliance – a snapshot of risk, as Quayside Board Directors.

3.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed


Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 7 March 2023



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Confirms the Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 7 March 2023 as a true and correct record.

von Dadelszen/Scott


4.     Presentations


Outcomes from the Lakes Water Quality Society Symposium - November 2022

Presentation: LakesWater Quality Society: Objective ID A4409743  

John Gifford - Chair, LakesWater Quality Society presented this item.


Key Points

·        LakesWater Quality Society: Te Kahui Kounga Wai had been operating for over 60 years

·        Symposia were a well-supported and core part of the programme.  They provided an opportunity to engage with and inform the community of latest science influencing water quality and catchment issues

·        The Symposium 2022 document was nearing completion and would be made available to members

·        Summarised the seven sessions held including key messages, issues and solutions

·        Integrated land and water modelling was used to predict the impact of specific land uses on water quality

·        Assessment of sediment cores using eDNA

·        Outlined source contributions of nutrient loads in Lake Rotorua and the nutrient reductions that had been achieved

·        Although gorse target reduction targets had been met, gorse weed was still an issue in places

·        Invasive pest aquatic weeds continued to be a major issue for Rotorua lakes – when addressing any introduced aquatic pests, the earlier this work was undertaken, the higher chance there was for eradication

·        A range of management procedures had been put in place for Lake Ōkāreka to improve plant biodiversity

·       Highlighted opportunities for changing the way that catchments were used – pulling in information from different sources to identify how land could be used more effectively, including visualisation tools

·       Alternative diversification of land use

·       Role of forestry – an important land use change with significant benefits to water quality.  There was also no other strategy except planting more trees which could meet the 2050 Net Zero Emissions goals

·       Catchment change needed to be at the forefront of future thinking – sustainably increasing land value.

Key Points - Members:

·       Commended the presentation summary and the leading edge of knowledge provided through the Symposium

·       From a Māori perspective, Radiata Pine still provided sequestration for carbon and supported the concept that over time, this would turn into native forest and was a good alternative economy for land use

·       Considered that alternatives for land use needed to be creative and courageous

·       Needed to ensure that the effects of urban development on the Rotorua lakes were at the forefront of considerations for a future development strategy for Rotorua.


In Response to Questions:

·       The core issue for landowners was revenue generation, so alternative land use options, combined with agencies such as Council having a long-term view of how land and water could be integrated, was important

·       Needed to set high level policies to drive multiple outcomes in all catchments

·       Land use changes should rely more on plants than animals to enhance value.


9.36 am – Cr McDonald entered the meeting.


That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the Presentation, Outcomes from the Lakes Water Quality Society Symposium - November 2022.





Forest & Bird New Zealand - Making Room for Rivers

Presentation: Making Room for Rivers: Objective ID A4411152

Tabled Document 1 - Greater Wellington Regional Council - How Greater Wellington can work towards allowing more room for the region's rivers: Objective ID A4411145

Tabled Document 2 - Making Room for Rivers: Objective ID A4411150

Tabled Document 3 - Reanimating the strangled rivers of Aotearoa: Objective ID A4411151  

Tom Kay - Freshwater Advocate - Forest & Bird NZ presented this item (via Zoom).


Key Points

·       Tukua Ngā  Awa Kia Rere (letting rivers flow)

·       The Tūtaekurī River flow gauge failed during Cyclone Gabrielle with the river flowing at 1800 cubic metres per second

·          Provided images of some of the most recent and severe flooding events across the country.  These events were not just exacerbated by climate change, but also mismanagement of the environment including wetland loss, forest degradation and as a consequence of past river management.  Coastal wetlands and flood plains were included in the conversation

·          Putting stopbanks on gravel graded rivers removed space for them to spread gravel, and reduced their ability to naturally recharge groundwater

·       Highlighted the extreme energy potential when water built up between narrow stopbanks – wider stopbanks created less energy in the water and was safer for the surrounding communities and wildlife

·       The cost of damage to assets from the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle had been estimated at between nine and 14.5 billion

·       Outlined some of the tools available to Council to help prioritise nature-based solutions and emphasise long-term thinking in Annual Plan and Long-Term Plan processes.  This covered data collection and flood hazard modelling, planning measures, education to the public, reframing river/ flood management plans, climate hazard risk assessments, reframing flood and pest management plans and community conservation measures

·       Encouraged councils to be smart and precautionary with future development and consideration of long-term managed retreats where necessary.

10.16 am – Chairman Leeder withdrew from the meeting.

Key Points - Members:

·       Continued in-depth thinking around nature-based solutions was fundamental to long-term change

·       Mātauranga Māori was a significant part of this concept and was driven by creating balance with nature to become part of the reset, and of the future solution.


That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the Presentation, Forest & Bird New Zealand - Making Room for Rivers.



5.     Reports


Chairperson's Report

Chair Cr Winters and General Manager Regulatory Services Reuben Fraser presented this item.

Key Points - Members:

·       Acknowledged the level of local concern over build-up of aggregate behind the Whaeo dam in the Rangitāiki River.

In Response to Questions:

·        Confirmed that the final date for applications for the Fast-track process was 7 July 2023

·        Staff were trying to obtain an embargoed copy of the Toi Te Ora Public Health report going to the next Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party meeting to share with councillors.  A briefing with Tauranga City Council Commissioners was also being arranged.

10.44 am - Chairman Leeder entered the meeting.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1                Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.



Decisions Required


Seddon Pump Station

Presentation: Seddon Pump Station: Objective ID A4411143  

Principal Advisor Bruce Crabbe and General Manager, Integrated Catchments Chris Ingle presented this item.

Key Points:

·        The graph provided in the presentation had been updated from the agenda version and showed a 200% increase from the previous average annual rainfall for the site

·        The intention was that once the layout was complete, the riparian planting regime would be carried out.

Key Points - Members:

·       It would be useful to be provided with complete financial implications including funding, and more information of actual costs

·       Suggested to consider the increased rain and flood situation as a ‘new normal’ and make adjustments as things progressed – needed to take a realistic approach.

In Response to Questions:

·        As with other pumping schemes across the region, costs would be allocated to the beneficiaries – in this case, the Kaituna Catchment Control Scheme

·        The fence would be upgraded as part of the project

·        Many drainage areas relied upon gravity as the main discharge of drainage water, which is cheaper than pumping

·        The reason for needing a pump station at this location was that the gravity drainage was no longer effective, due to river levels being elevated

·        Designed discharge from the pump station was at 1000l/s

·        The proposed riparian improvements would be subject to a review by an ecologist to ensure it met the appropriate permitted activity




That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Seddon Pump Station;

2           Supports the proposed riparian improvements for the main contributor drains.




11.18 am – The meeting adjourned.


11.35 am – The meeting reconvened.

Information Only


Climate Change Quarterly Report

Photograph: Motuhoa: Objective ID A4411133  

Climate Change Programme Manager Nic Newman and Programme Coordinator Climate Change Niteshni Nitesh presented this item.

Key Points:

·        A 2019 NIWA report projected that extreme rainfall events would become up to three times more likely for the Bay of Plenty, depending on what happened with global emissions

·        Outlined the FutureFit web-based tool which assisted individuals in understanding their impact on the planet - 1000 people in the region had used the tool at the time the report was written

·       A joint Regional Risk Assessment report would go to the Mayoral Forum on 11 August 2023 to look at actions from each council, responses to the risk assessment and how to work together in this space

·        Approximately 25-30 people attended a workshop for Motohura Island Trust – the island was facing a number of climate change hazards, predominantly coastal erosion

·        The number of homes being supported across the region through the sustainable homes programme was updated to 153, from the 103 on the dashboard when the report was written.

Key Points - Members:

·       Understanding all of the benefits achieved, not just monetary amounts, would be useful to members.

In Response to Questions:

·       Reassessment of the Transport Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) would look at the most effective way to reduce emissions across the region, given the changing scene e.g. Vehicle Kilometres Travelled reduction, other emissions reduction plans, a new Government Policy Statement due for release and how the TERP would feed into the Regional Land Transport Plan.

·       Progress on the joint Regional Risk Assessment would be reported to the next meeting.

·       Adaptation conversations had all been instigated by the communities involved, rather than being led by Council - community readiness was a key consideration and it was important to communicate the support that was available.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Climate Change Quarterly Report.





Freshwater Farm Plan regulation implementation

Principal Advisor, Land and Water Jackson Efford presented this item.

Key Points:

·        The national farm plan system would not be enough to achieve the scale of reduction required for Freshwater Management Units (FMU’s) that needed significant levels of contaminant reduction.

Key Points - Members:

·        The biggest challenges for this implementation would be in the sheep and beef sector.

In Response to Questions:

·        There were many factors to be considered in the timing  of the implementation of each farm plan, including the expiration of existing nutrient management plans and if they aligned with national requirements

·       Different FMU’s could be categorised as requiring low, medium or high contaminant reductions and Waihī Estuary was one of the highest

·       The endorsement and training of the auditors and certifiers would have a national element.  The administration would occur externally to Council, followed up with training to ensure the new rules were understood

·       A compliance management strategy would need to be developed around how to regulate the farm plans

·       Certifier and auditor roles sat outside Council’s function and farmers would choose their own auditor.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

2           Receives the report, Climate Change Quarterly Report.





Forestry Compliance - A snapshot of risk

Presentation: Forestry Compliance - A snapshot of risk: Objective ID A4407079  

Compliance Team Leader, Land Use Fraser Toulmin and Compliance Manager - Land and Water Matthew Harrex presented this item.

Cr Crosby and Cr White declared an interest in this item and abstained from discussion and voting.

Key Points:

·        0.2% of the total Bay of Plenty land area was planted in forestry and on ‘Red Zone’ (Very High Erosion Susceptibility) land.  This was a vastly different risk profile to the 12-13% of the Tairāwhiti region ‘Red Zone’ planted in forestry.  Tairāwhiti had 74% of the total ‘Red Zone’ forest in  New Zealand

·        Wind throw was not considered slash in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management NPS-FM), but was a recommendation submitted to the recent Ministerial enquiry – ‘Land Use causing woody debris and sediment-related damage in Tairāwhiti and Wairoa’.

Key Points - Members:

·       Management of the forest was the issue, rather than the forest itself.

In Response to Questions:

·       There was non-compliance observed in forests in the region, but it was not Significant Non-Compliance. Where non-compliance was recorded, there were clear pathways to compliance being managed with the consent holder

·       Through a desktop geospatial risk assessment there were three forests considered higher risk due to their proximity to water, infrastructure and communities. These were then inspected, with no Significant Non-Compliance observed. The risk of slash mobilising was considered very low

·       Each complaint received from the public (2022/2023), where forestry was assumed to be at fault, was investigated and resulted in no non-compliance. This included flying of three entire catchments in the Western Bay of Plenty

·       Future regulatory compliance reports would include a forestry section.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Forestry Compliance - A snapshot of risk.





Waihī Estuary Focus Catchment Update

Presentation: Waihī Estuary Land Management Operations Update: Objective ID A4411144

Land Management Officers Claire McCorkindale and Thomas Grant presented this item.

Key Points:

·        Provided a progress report card for environmental programme delivery in the Waihī Estuary of planned works and works completed since 2019

·        The presentation also covered:

o   Mangatoetoe Stream and Puanene Stream retirement

o   Constructed treatment wetlands – initial contamination reduction

o   Surface water quality catchment monitoring

o   Event sampling and data sampling

o   Partnership with Te Wahapū o Waihī.

In Response to Questions:

·        Te Wahapū has a focus on Māori land lots where opportunities to develop environmental programmes had not been previously uptaken

·        Requested regular water quality results from Waihī Estuary.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Waihī Estuary Focus Catchment Update.



6.     Presentations (Continued)


Te Wahapū o Waihī

Presentation: Te Wahapū o Waihī: Objective ID A4411140  

Cr Te Taru White presented this item.


Key Points:

·     The intention was to bring Mātauranga Māori along with western science to achieve the best possible outcome for the estuary and catchment

·     The connection between Waihī Estuary and Maketū Estuary was strong

·     Over 90% of seagrass and wetlands were gone and it was no longer swimmable

·     High contaminant levels largely came from land use change

·     The presentation also outlined:

o   A Habitat Assessment Map

o   Unique project of engagement

o   Mana Motuhake, Mahinga Kai, Mahi Tahi, Mokopuna

o   The Vision: He oranga te wahapū he oranga te iwi – the health of the estuary is a metaphor for the health of the people.



Reflections from Toi Moana on recent weather events

Compliance Manager – Land and Water Matthew Harrex presented this item.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Reflections from Toi Moana on recent weather events.




1.25  pm – The meeting adjourned.


1.57 pm – The meeting reconvened.



Maritime Monitoring and Operations Report

Presentation: Maritime Navigation Safety Update: Objective ID A4399213  

BOP Harbourmaster/Manager Jon Jon Peters presented this item.

Key Points:

·        There had been approximately 20% cancellation of patrols due to weather, however infringements had increased 46% - attributed to the team being better trained to collect evidence

·        Outlined the various student initiatives undertaken

·       Identified a concerning lack of navigation lights on boats at night, and a lack of boating knowledge of maritime laws, bylaws and lifejacket use

·        Outlined the challenges for the maritime team arising from the extreme weather events, including sinking boats

·       Training exercises had been undertaken for oil spill response, airport and marina fires. These were a particularly dangerous place for a fire due to the unique measures that needed to be taken and how quickly the fire could spread in that environment

·       An upcoming Search and Rescue exercise was scheduled to be held on 26th July 2023.

Key Points - Members:

·        A career path in maritime had the potential to be attractive to students that preferred a more hands-on type of learning, supported looking into other funding sources to encourage this

·        Toi-Ohomai offered a Maritime Operations - Skipper Restricted Limits (SRL) Level 4 course.

In Response to Questions:

·       The day-skipper two day course covered basic knowledge and was an initial career path into the industry – it was expected that students could return to their communities and share knowledge gained

·       The Navigational Safety Bylaw Review sought to address the issue of boats anchoring in the harbour channel in the path of incoming ships. Currently this was allowed as long as the anchor was retrieved in time for the boat to safely move out the way, however as this was often not the case,  a no-anchor zone was recommended

·       The ideal situation would be if all recreational boat users were licensed and trained.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1             Receives the report, Maritime Monitoring and Operations Report.





2.12 pm – Cr Nees withdrew from the meeting.



Rates Collection Update

Rates Manager Jo Pellew presented this item.

Key Points:

·     Provided an update on latest collection figures (since the report had been released), which was now at 1.23% or around $1M remaining, i.e.  approximately 8000 ratepayers.

In Response to Questions:

·     There was a strong preference from customers for using internet banking/ direct debit

·     Automatic payments were still acceptable.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Rates Collection Update.


Thurston/von Dadelszen




Customer Feedback Summary Report

Customer Contact Manager Rachael Burgess and Facilities and Information Team Leader Rebecca Immink presented this item.

Members’ Comments

·          Would like to see a balance of positive and negative comments to better understand where the focus should be for overall improvement.

2.27 pm – Cr White withdrew from the meeting.

In Response to Questions:

·          There was no prominent theme regarding what type of pollution was being reported by customers.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Customer Feedback Summary Report.


von Dadelszen/Crosby




Capital Project Budgeting, Approval and Delivery Process

Principal Advisor, Finance Mark Le Comte presented this item (via Zoom).

Key Points - Members:

·         Particularly in the local government sector, the issues around price versus delivery were the critical components - pricing and variation to price needed to be established at the start of the process.

In Response to Questions:

·          Years with high delivery percentages were mainly attributed to large projects coming through the construction phase at the same time e.g. Kaituna River diversion, flood repairs and Regional House upgrade – all completed on time and within budget.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1      Receives the report, Capital Project Budgeting, Approval and Delivery Process;

2      Notes the process for capital project budgeting and delivery.




2.42 pm – the meeting closed.




                                                                                   Cr Kevin Winters

Chairperson, Monitoring and Operations Committee