Monitoring and Operations Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Tuesday 5 September 2023, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga

Chairperson:               Cr Kevin Winters


Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Ron Scott

Members:                    Cr Stuart Crosby

Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti (via Zoom)

Chairman Doug Leeder

Cr Jane Nees

Cr Lyall Thurston (via Zoom)

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Te Taru White

Cr Kat Macmillan

Cr Malcolm Campbell

Cr Ken Shirley

In Attendance:            Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive (via Zoom – attendance in part), Reuben Fraser – General Manager, Regulatory Services, Chris Ingle – General Manager, Integrated Catchments, Pim de Monchy – Coastal Catchments Manager, Presenters – as listed in the minutes, Amanda Namana – Committee Advisor


Apologies:                  Cr Paula Thompson

Please note: This meeting was livestreamed and recorded, and can be accessed on Council’s YouTube channel: Monitoring and Operations Committee - 5 September 2023

1.     Apologies


That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Accepts the apology from Cr Thompson for absence tendered at the meeting.



2.     Order of Business

Item 8.1 Chairperson’s Report was considered prior to the presentations due to matters arising from confirmation of the minutes.  Item 8.6 Annual Report of the University of Waikato Toihuarewa Waimāori and Lake Rotorua Science Review Report was taken before Item 8.4 Biodiversity Operations Report, to accommodate presenters

2.   Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

3.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed


Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 28 June 2023

Matters Arising

·        Minute Item 5.1 Chairperson’s Report: As the briefing from Toi Te Ora was unable to be scheduled, Councillors and Tauranga City Commissioners were instead briefed by staff regarding the Toi Te Ora Public Health report going to the next Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party meeting

·        Minute Item 5.5 Forestry Compliance: Staff were working to identify a suitable date for Hekia Parata to present at a future Komiti Māori meeting regarding forestry management.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Confirms the Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 28 June 2023 as a true and correct record, subject to the following amendments:

·       Page 5, Item 5.2 first bullet point should read: …‘showed an increase 100% greater than the historic average at the site’

·      Page 6, Item 5.3 ‘In Response to Questions’ first bullet point should read: ‘Reassessment of the best use of a Transport Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP), given the changing national policy scene.’



4.     Reports


Chairperson's Report

Presented by: Reuben Fraser – General Manager, Regulatory Services, supported by Marion Henton – Senior Regulatory Project Officer (via Zoom)

Key Points - Members:

·    Considered that forestry management practice controls needed to be tightened as simply being compliant was not sufficient.  


In Response to Questions:

·     Each of the abatement notices for air compliance in Rotorua over the 2023-24 period were issued for different properties, although some infringement notices were for further breaches of the abatement notices. 

·     The infringement fine was $750 per day for using a non-compliant burner.  It was unknown whether the fines would change under the new Resource Management Act (RMA).  Fines were  a ‘last resort’, following staff discussing options for gaining compliant heating and assisting where possible

·     Forestry currently had to complete management plans for the harvest phase, but not for the forest establishment, and did not need to consider management of the lifetime of the forest.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.



5.     Presentations


Wai Kōkopu

Presentation: Wai Kōkopu: Objective ID A4471673  

Presented by: Deryk Shaw – Wai Kōkopu Chair, Andre Hickson – Vice Chair, John Burker – Trustee and Alison Dewes – Project Manager


Key Points:

·       The focus for Wai Kōkopu was improving the mauri of the catchment through reducing sedimentation, nitrogen, phosphorus and e-coli levels

·       Applied learnings from a farm scale through to a catchment scale could also have regional benefits

·       Highlighted the importance of planting the right trees in the right places and of developing a landscape plan for the region

·       Agreed with having an exclusion zone for exotic plantings

·       Encouraged members to read the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report ‘Space Invaders’ available here: space-invaders-report-pdf-68mb.pdf (

·       Considered the power for change was now held by catchment groups working together across New Zealand.

10.01 am – Cr Andrew von Dadelszen entered the meeting.

Key Points - Members:

·       Fire-resistance was a significant factor when considering natives for planting plans

·       Working together with iwi was an important part of this mahi - supported ongoing conversation about how to achieve this and build relationships.

In Response to Questions:

·       Encouraged native restoration where possible to provide resilience to climate change.  The economics of exotic plantings was more favourable to farmers so there was further work to be undertaken to generate understanding and behaviour change

·       The focus on eco-sourcing was more around succession trees and taonga species

·       The key challenge was changing people’s mindsets as it was difficult to be sustainably focused around catchment outcomes when dealing with climate change impacts and financial pressures

·       Recognised those who had put their farm systems up for assessment, and made significant change already.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1      Receives the presentation, Wai Kōkopu.





Maketū Ōngātoro Wetlands Society

Presentation: Maketū Ōngātoro Wetlands Society: Objective ID A4470910  

Presented by: Jennifer Sheppard - Operations Manager and Laura Rae - Biosecurity and Restoration Team Leader


Key Points:

·        Maketū Ōngātoro Wetlands Society (MOWS) was a community care group consisting of dedicated individuals who cared about their local environment

·        Outlined the history of MOWS which was initiated in 2018 to protect dotterel breeding on Maketū spit

·        The education programme covered 13 different schools from Te Puke to Ōtamarākau

·        MOWS pest plant control efforts went  beyond what was expected in the Environment Plans and targeted all weeds

·        Waihi wetland was home to nesting bittern and three different species of skink

·        Te Huauri o te Kawa was a priority 2 biodiversity site, as well as an inanga breeding site

·        Some whitebait species in the Lower Kaituna River were diminishing and it was believed to be due to habitat loss – planting rejuvenated this both for  fish species and birds

·        Erosion was  causing wetland loss – requested assistance in managing this

·        ‘Breakfast for the gulls’ event was being held on 12th November 2023.

Key Points - Members:

·       Encouraged MOWS to submit to the Navigational Safety Bylaw review once it was open for public consultation

·       Commended the work being done to educate future generations.

In Response to Questions:

·       Working together collaboratively with other organisations and improving relationships was a priority

·       Suggested that not being consulted for tenders etc. could be due to lack of exposure/public knowledge or perhaps not going through proper channels

·       Whilst pest control was mostly focused on plants and mammals, the entire ecosystem was considered.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1      Receives the presentation, Maketū Ōngātoro Wetlands Society.



6.     Reports

Decisions Required


Regional Pest Management Plan Annual Report for 2022/23 and Operational Plan for 2023/24

Presentation: Biosecurity RPMP Operations Plan: Objective ID A4458378  

Presented by: Greg Corbett – Biosecurity Manager and Shane Grayling – Team Leader, Biosecurity


Key Points:

·       The results from the marine biosecurity programme continued to be encouraging, with the exception of the Asian Paddle Crab

·       Outlined partnerships and collaborative programmes undertaken

·       The two most popular website visits were for wallabies and woolly nightshade information

·       Staff were liaising with Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) regarding available support outside of Waikato should Golden Clams be detected.  Potential support was currently limited to supplying eDNA kits, with councils and communities undertaking sampling

·       Staff and Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT) were working together on formulating surveillance and response plans in the event Golden Clams were identified in the Bay of Plenty region.

In Response to Questions:

·       Te Arawa Kahui comprised of eight iwi concerned about the health of the forest, with a focus on wallaby control

·       Regular communication with Territorial Authorities provided better understanding of their maintenance programmes for pest plants, and fed into their priorities.  A Memorandum of Understanding was also in place with Waka Kotahi.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1              Receives the report, Regional Pest Management Plan Annual report for 2022/23 and Operational Plan for 2023/24;

2              Approves the 2023/24 Operational Plan for the Bay of Plenty Regional Pest Management Plan.



Information Only


Kaituna FMU Land Management Update

Presentation: Kaituna Freshwater Management Unit update: Objective ID A4458378  

Presented by: Anna Dawson – Land Management Officer and Tegan Arnold – Land Management Officer, supported by Pim de Monchy – Coastal Catchments Manager

Key Points:

·        Outlined the Environmental Programme Delivery

·        Waitepuia and Ford Road catchments were selected due to the degraded health of the Maketū Estuary

·        Best practice drain works was a ‘V’ shape, a large setback for fencing and well planted to provide cooler water temperatures and better habitat for biodiversity

·        Highlighted Kaituna wetlands work, with the focus for the remainder of 2023 being pest plant control

·        Funding support was now being offered outside of focus catchments in the Upper Kaituna

·        16 Programmes were underway for the current financial year, ten developing, 44,000 plants planned and 2.1km of fencing

·        Te Wharekaniwha Estate monitoring showed an increase of shore skink and katipo

·        A new publicly accessible wetland development and restoration was planned for the Lawrence Oliver Park Community Wetland in Te Puke, with Fonterra already pledging $10K towards the project

·        Community and care groups were covering approximately 26,000 hectares within the catchment.

Key Points - Members:

·        Commended staff on how the agenda items illustrated the connectivity between the various workstreams

·        As significant investment and time went into mitigations, future reporting on overall outcomes, e.g. cost/benefit analysis, would be valuable.

In Response to Questions:

·       The cost of wetland restoration varied substantially depending on what the objectives were:

o   The most expensive option cost between $150K-$190K per hectare, being a fully constructed wetland to NIWA standards, maximising contaminant removal,

o   The lower end of the spectrum was minor earthworks and planting, changing hydraulic input controls to manage water levels, at a  cost of approximately $20K-$30K per hectare. 

o   A more natural saltmarsh environment where a small proportion of the area was planted and the remainder naturally regenerated could cost $5K -$10K per hectare

·       Monitoring was not always undertaken as it could sometimes exceed the cost of the works, but sufficient monitoring needed to occur to ensure the work was making a difference

·       Further discussion around how to fund this work and trade-offs would occur through the Long Term Plan (LTP) 2024-34 workshop process.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Kaituna FMU Land Management Update.

von Dadelszen/Nees


11:30 am – The meeting adjourned.

11.48 – The meeting reconvened.



Annual Report of the University of Waikato Toihuarewa Waimāori and Toihuarewa Takutai, and Lake Rotorua Science Review Report

Presentation: Annual Report of the University of Waikato Toihuarewa Waimāori and Lake Rotorua Science Review Report: Objective ID A4472108  

Presented by: Andy Bruere – Lake Operations Manager and Associate Professor Deniz Ozkundakci

Chair Cr Winters acknowledged Professor and Chair of Coastal Science Chris Battershill, for being honoured with the lifetime achievement award from the New Zealand Marine Science Society.  Professor Battershill noted that he would provide his Toihuarewa Takutai Coastal Chair’s update to the next meeting.

Key Points – Plan Change 10:

·         Played a video where independent reviewer Professor Warwick Vincent provided an overview of the five year assessment for Plan Change 10 work undertaken on the Lake Rotorua catchment

·         Outlined the nutrient loads required to meet water quality targets in Lake Rotorua

·         Some of the data sets were now looking at time series of more than 20 years, which was substantial for a lakes monitoring programme.  This enabled scientists to see the long term trajectory of water quality and understand the linkage between catchment nutrient loads and in-lake water quality 

·         Despite improvements in water quality, the trophic level index (TLI) target of 4.2 still classed Lake Rotorua as moderately nutrient-enriched.  This target meant that algae blooms were still expected to occur on a regular basis

·         Lake Rotorua responded to annual weather events, long term climate changes, catchment nutrient dynamics and nutrient delivery mechanisms

·         Ongoing support in catchment management activities was crucial to ensure sustainable improvement in water quality.

Key Points – Annual Report

·        A major research theme was connectivity and sustainable catchments, related to understanding cumulative effects of land use, other ecological effects and areas affected by flood and drainage management schemes

·        Aiming to develop a better understanding of cultural priorities for freshwater restoration was a key aspect, including ensuring monitoring and modelling tools  were meaningful and relevant to iwi/hapū

·        Developing and trialling artificial reefs in the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes was part of the Restoring Freshwater Habitats for Future project, with the aim of providing refuge and habitat for koura threatened by the catfish invasion

·        A complex modelling framework was being developed to understand the effects/benefits of the Ōhau Diversion wall of water quality on Lake Rotoiti

·        Outlined national scale projects including lake ecosystem modelling

·        Highlighted temperature projections under different climate change scenarios for New Zealand and potential implications

·        Future research would focus on knowledge gaps around climate change impacts, extreme weather effects on lake ecosystems and mitigation.

In Response to Questions:

·       Aluminium bound phosphorous permanently, and did not re-release it back into the environment.  Whilst there was a mechanical disruption through high turbulence or highly acidic conditions that could release the bond, this was not expected to be possible in Lake Rotorua

·       Evidence was clear from Plan Change 10 that Alum dosing in the streams had substantially contributed to the improvement in lake water quality

·       Trout population was controlled and managed carefully in Te Arawa lakes, which meant the effects on koura were better managed  compared to catfish impacts, where the population was self-sustaining and uncontrolled.  Since the introduction of catfish into the lakes, koura population had diminished by 95%

·       A trial repair for the Ōhau wall holes would be completed by summer 2023, comprising  approximately ten panels  in a  test of the repair methodology

·       Staff would provide a brief to members explaining, in layman’s terms,  Professor Warwick Vincent’s recommendations and their impacts.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Annual Report of the University of Waikato Toihuarewa Waimāori and Toihuarewa Takutai, and Lake Rotorua Science Review Report.

von Dadelszen/White




Biodiversity Operations Report

Presented by: Shay Dean – Environmental Scientist and Chris Ingle – General Manager, Integrated Catchments

In Response to Questions:

·     Wilding pine control methods were dependent upon the infestation level/ density of pines, with helicopters currently being the most efficient option and drones being a potential option in the future.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Biodiversity Operations Report.





Update on the Lake Rotorua Incentives Scheme

Presented by: Rosemary Cross – Senior Projects Manager – Rotorua Catchments and Helen Creagh – Rotorua Catchments Manager

Key Points - Members:

·        Supported having a pragmatic discussion about purchasing an entity/entities as outlined in the report.

In Response to Questions:

·         Although Māori landowners owned approximately 24% of land in the catchment, they had contributed 57% of the incentives target to date, and having this level of commitment from private landowners would help reach the target

·         General acceptance from landowners had been observed in recent years, i.e. that change was necessary, and this was largely inter-generational.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Update on the Lake Rotorua Incentives Scheme.





Climate Change Quarterly Report

Presentation: Pathway to Net Zero: Objective ID A4470939  

Presented by: Nic Newman – Climate Change Programme Manager and Baptiste Natali – Corporate Sustainability Officer

Key Points:

·       Noted the steep increase in emissions over the past year and sequestration on Council land for the first time, in Pāpāmoa Hills

·       Emissions came mostly from an increase in flood pump use due to persistent heavy rainfall. Plans were underway to electrify the main diesel pump and investigate electrifying two others

·       Work was still underway looking at how to reduce high emissions overall, with a separate workstream exploring how to reduce energy demands

·       The aim was to fully electrify the BOPRC vehicle fleet by 2033, this was slowed by electric utes unlikely to be available until 2026

·       Highlighted current carbon storage from Pāpāmoa Hills Regional Park – calculations used showed how BOPRC could reach Net-Zero by 2050, supported by sequestration at a potential new regional park.

In Response to Questions:

·       Increased bus patronage was the best outcome for the environment as it meant less cars on the road

·        The blue carbon sequestration rates would be received in September 2023 and staff would report these to a subsequent meeting

·        An updated climate change action plan would be  brought to councillors for discussion and input.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Climate Change Quarterly Report.





Environmental Code of Practice for Rivers & Drainage Maintenance Activities - 2022-2023 Annual Review

Presented by: Chris Ingle – General Manager, Integrated Catchments

Key Points - Members:

·       Emphasised the importance of providing latitude and discretion to make immediate decisions in adverse events, relevant to the circumstances  to the rivers and drainage team.

Key Points - Staff:

·        There was provision under the Resource Management Act (RMA) to undertake emergency work.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Environmental Code of Practice for Rivers & Drainage Maintenance Activities - 2022-2023 Annual Review.






Rates Collection Update

Presented by: Jo Pellew – Rates Manager

Key Points - Staff:

·       Monthly instalment rates related to the financial year, meaning the remaining two instalments would be at the new rate.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1           Receives the report, Rates Collection Update.





1.29 pm – the meeting closed.





                                                                                   Cr Kevin Winters

Chairperson, Monitoring and Operations Committee