Monitoring and Operations Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Thursday 30 November 2023, 9.30 am

Venue:                         Mataatua Room, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Building, Level 1, 5 Quay Street, Whakatane 3120

Chairperson:               Cr Kevin Winters


Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Ron Scott

Members:                    Cr Stuart Crosby

Chairman Doug Leeder

Cr Jane Nees

Cr Paula Thompson (via Zoom)

Cr Lyall Thurston

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Te Taru White (via Zoom)

Cr Kat Macmillan

Cr Malcolm Campbell

Cr Ken Shirley

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


Apologies:                  Cr Matemoana McDonald, Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti


Please note: This meeting was livestreamed and recorded, and can be accessed on Council’s YouTube channel: Monitoring & Operations Committee Meeting - 30 November 2023 - YouTube

1.     Apologies


That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Accepts the apologies from Cr McDonald and Cr Iti tendered at the meeting.



2.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

·         Cr Stuart Crosby: Agenda Item 8.1 Chairperson’s Report

·         Cr Te Taru White: Agenda Item 8.1 Chairperson’s Report

3.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed


Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 5 September 2023

Matters Arising

·         In relation to Minute Item 6.3 Annual Report of the University of Waikato Toihuarewa Waimāori and Toihuarewa Takutai and Lake Rotorua Science Review Report, the Chair advised members that the ‘laymen’s terms’ version of the 2022 Science Review from Professor Deniz Ozkundakci received after the meeting was available in Diligent.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Confirms the Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 5 September 2023 as a true and correct record.



4.     Presentations


Bay Conservation Alliance Update - Supporting Community Conservation Progress

Presentation: Bay Conservation Alliance Update: Objective ID A4564895  

Presented by: Michelle Elborn - Chief Executive, Bay Conservation Alliance


9.35 am – Chairman Leeder entered the meeting.

Key Points:

·         Bay Conservation Alliance (BCA) had a focus on restoring indigenous biodiversity

·         Total volunteer hours listed did not include BOPRC Care Groups and the work of other groups i.e Predator Free NZ

·         Highlighted the collective impact of conservation groups across the Bay of Plenty

·         Celebrating volunteers was important and BCA recognised their work and achievements through awards ceremonies and volunteer appreciation days

·         Outlined the professional operational support and assistance provided, including Department of Conservation (DOC) processes and iwi engagement

·         Listed the increasing number of groups that had joined BCA

·         Training and capability building was offered to volunteers

·         Intake nine was almost complete for the cadet Programme - Tauira Mahi

·         BCA was part of a pilot programme through DOC and now had connections with similar entities in regions across the country

·         Valued the support received from BOPRC to date and hoped to continue working together in the future.

Key Points - Members:

·         Commended the growth shown in the Annual Report and the positive impact made on the community.

In Response to Questions:

·         There were challenging times ahead with Jobs for Nature ending and a new government – it was important to stay strong and positive at a community level.


That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the Presentation, Bay Conservation Alliance Update - Supporting Community Conservation Progress.





EnviroHub Update

Presentation: EnviroHub Update: Objective ID A4556238  

Presented by: Laura Wragg - Chief Executive and Mary Dillon – Co-Chair, EnviroHub (via Zoom)


Key Points:

·         Played a video of work undertaken over the past two years and a summary of what had been achieved

·         Had observed success using various social media platforms and would continue to grow in this area

·         Championed slow fashion through sustainable textiles and wearable art

·         Regional Environment Network continued to evolve

·         The first Climate Action festival was well received and the next one was being planned

·         The Green Team App was now live

·         Outlined goals for Space for Nature and the Green Team

·         Acknowledged the funding and support received from BOPRC to date and looked forward to delivering more together in the future.

In Response to Questions:

·         Supported being more involved in the circular economy space

·         Contamination was a major issue preventing items from being recycled.  Education was important in addressing this, along with consistency across the region and making it clear which items were recyclable and which were not

·         Consumption and the choices people made when making purchases was another factor.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the Presentation, EnviroHub Update.






State Highway 35 'Motu Bluffs' debris flow incident from Haupoto Forest

Presentation: State HIghway 35 'Motu Bluffs' Debris Flow Incident: Objective ID A4564891  

Presented by: Sally Strang - Environmental Manager and Reuben Hawtree, Manulife Investment Management Forest Management NZ Ltd


Key Points:

·         Manulife Investment was formerly known as Hancock Forest Management and managed for three clients exclusively, with a total of 54,700 hectares in the Bay of Plenty

·         Forestry was a long-term business with historical decisions made which often involved different landowners over time

·         Provided background to the forest, leases and ownership

·         The Motu bluffs area was not an economic operation, with steep and challenging land planned for retirement after harvesting

·         The bulk of the debris came from the area of windthrow with steep slopes

·         The heavy lift helicopter was unable to be used due to the weight of the trees

·         Whitebait season had delayed the clean up by the river bed as approval needed to be gained

·         Another ongoing challenge was the manual access issue required for this steep land in order to manage the harvested area back to native forest.

Key Points - Members:

·         Natural revegetation made the most sense due to the landscape and gradient.

In Response to Questions:

·         The geology and gradient of the forest was different to those in Gisborne

·         Options for retiring the land needed to be discussed and approved by the landowners

·         If the trees were poisoned, they would break down over time

·         Radiata regeneration would be another challenge to manage

·         New regulations under the National Environmental Standards for Commercial Forestry (NES-CF) presented additional challenges in terms of what debris could be left behind following harvest.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the Presentation, State Highway 35 ‘Motu Bluffs’ Debris Flow Incident from Motu Forest.



5.     Reports

Information Only


Chairperson's Report

Tabled Document 1 - Monitoring and Operations Committee Draft Work Programme - 2024: Objective ID A4559623  

Presented by: Reuben Fraser – General Manager, Regulatory Services, Greg Corbett – Biosecurity Manager and Hamish Lass – Team Leader, Biosecurity

Key Points:

·         A verbal update was provided on freshwater gold clams and the Mediterranean fanworm:

o     Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) had issued Controlled Area Notices for wake boats and recreational users for parts of the Waikato River and for the 14 Te Arawa Lakes, with additional protections for Lake Ōkataina. 

o     Vessels taking on ballast water (e.g. wake boats) used in the controlled stretch of Waikato River were not to be used in any other waterways.  Recreational users had specific cleaning rules to adhere to, with a QR code to scan at site. 

o     Prosecution penalties were significant, with fines of up to $100K or potential imprisonment

o     After a tip from Toi-Ohomai Dive School, 81 Mediterranean fanworm had been identified in Pilot Bay, some of which had clearly been scraped from the hull of a boat

o     Staff had been managing Mediterranean fanworm in Tauranga Moana for ten years and numbers had significantly decreased until now.

In Response to Questions:

·         Staff considered that the Mediterranean fanworm was currently being contained due to good conditions and visibility, and would continue with monitoring

·         The P & O cruise ship recently turned away from Tauranga Harbour was enacted by Border Control/ Biosecurity.  Beyond 12 miles offshore was classed as international waters and BOPRC staff had no jurisdiction to act

·         There was an opportunity for the community to be involved in identifying Mediterranean fanworm and other marine pest species – the process for doing so could be improved

·         There was a high level of concern over the Freshwater gold clam invasion and it was very challenging to manage the spread once present.




That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.





2022/2023 Compliance Activity Report

Presented by: Matthew Harrex – Compliance Manager, Land and Water and Stephen Mellor – Compliance Manager – Air, Industry and Response.

Key Points:

·           Subsequent to the agenda report, some successful sentencing prosecutions had taken place, including two unauthorised ground water takes (fined at $42K each), and Alpine Pet Foods which had been fined $70K for ongoing odour discharge issues - they had now moved out of the region to Manawatu.

Key Points - Staff:

·         The reason for the increase in fines and penalties was due in part to better evidence being provided

·         The decreased level of compliance for dairy effluent discharges related to closer and more consistent monitoring by staff during inspections, as well as more farmers being audited under newer and more stringent consent conditions.  There had not been a dramatic increase in significant non-compliance

·         New government policy would take time to flow through into new policies and plans – all dairy farms in the region were currently under consents and their consent requirements would not change

·         Desktop analysis of permitted activity monitoring sites was targeted and more risk based than representative – focused on areas of likely non-compliance

·         Staff would consider options for providing information of ‘Service Request by Type’ to also include ‘Complaint Types by District’ in future reports. 



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

             Receives the report, 2022/2023 Compliance Activity Report.

von Dadelszen/Macmillan




11.27 am – The meeting adjourned.


11.42 am – The meeting reconvened.




Overview of Municipal Wastewater Compliance in the Bay of Plenty Region

Presented by: Matthew Harrex – Compliance Manager, Land and Water

Key Points - Members:

·         The cost of upgrading a number of the consents would be a challenging task over the next ten years.

Key Points - Staff:

·         Considered that there was no single cause of the overflow issues, but there had been an increase due to wet weather and stormwater intrusion (wet wipes and other items which caused blockages were particularly difficult to manage)

·         Weather had a significant contribution to compliance performance over the past year, especially with short and intense downpours observed compared to previous years.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

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

von Dadelszen/Scott




Mount Maunganui Industrial Area Update

Presented by: Stephen Mellor – Compliance Manager – Air, Industry and Response, Shane Iremonger – Team Leader Science and Reece Irving – Senior Regulatory Project Officer (via Zoom).

Key Points:

·           A new independent chair with a forward-focused approach was required for the Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party

·           Advised of a correction to the report, Page 128 of the Agenda: Item 2.3, Paragraph Three regarding the presentation by Leonard Sampson, Chief Executive of the Port of Tauranga should read ‘in excess of $30 billion of annual export revenue across three key commodities being logs, dairy and kiwifruit’.

Key Points - Members:

·           Acknowledged the ongoing concern of residents in the vicinity of the Mount Maunganui Industrial Area around particulate matter and odour issues.  Commended the culture of the Working Party for their focus being  not just on compliance, but on continually reducing particulates in the air.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Mount Maunganui Industrial Area Update;

2          Sends a letter of acknowledgement to Graeme Marshall to recognise his work in bringing the Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party together.


von Dadelszen/Macmillan





Climate Change Programme Quarterly Report

Presentation: Toi Moana Climate Change Scholarship 2023 - Jess Mitchell: Objective ID A4564889  

Presented by: Nic Newman – Climate Change Programme Manager, joined by Jessica  Mitchell – first recipient of the Toi Moana Climate Change Scholarship.

Key Points:

·             Commended community-led climate change adaptation projects, particularly at Waihī Beach where the partnership with Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Emergency Management Bay of Plenty, Surf Lifesaving New Zealand and the Waihī Beach Community Board was a great example of what could be achieved

·             Jess Mitchell provided a presentation outlining her studies as one of the first students of the Bachelor of Climate Change (BCC), through the University of Waikato (based in Tauranga):

o     The BCC was inter-disciplinary with the core centred around climate change papers and a wide range of majors and minors available

o     Jess chose a major in Geography, with a minor in Strategic Management

o     Highlighted the BCC outcomes against Council’s Climate Change goals

o     Had already achieved positive community interest though an article in SunLive.


Key Points - Members:

·         Commended Jess’s passion and work, and looked forward to an update once completing her BCC degree.

In Response to Questions:

·           Considered that the best approach in maximising awareness in communities was normalising the term ‘Climate Change’ – removing previous negative connotations by creating a social lens across it and making this comfortable to address in everyday conversation.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Climate Change Programme Quarterly Report.






Cutwater Road Wetland Project

Presentation: Cutwater Road Wetland Project: Objective ID A4564880  

Presented by: Pim de Monchy – Coastal Catchments Manager and Claire McCorkindale – Land Management Officer

Key Points:

·         Outlined the high level design for the 30 hectares of land, proposed to be split into a ten hectare constructed treatment wetland, with the remaining 20 hectares to create a saltmarsh habitat on the Pukehina side.  This would allow the best chance of connecting it directly into the estuary via an existing drain down the South Eastern side

·         Intended to maintain the historical extent of the Pongakawa River, and shift the inanga spawning pond next to the exit point

·         Te Wahapu o Waihī were partners for this project and initial consultation had also been undertaken with the Waihī District Drainage Society, the Department of Conservation and the landowners on Cutwater Road

·         The shape of the ten hectare treatment wetland may change after the feasibility study was completed

·         The proposed treatment wetland adhered to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) guidelines which required one to five percent of the contributing catchment (1.62%)

·         Explained the pump station layout and how the pumps were intended to be used

·         This project would be the first time that a treatment wetland was constructed in a pumped environment, therefore would also act as a pilot study for other parts of the region and the country

·         It was likely that another pump station would be required at the inlet, which was being costed and sized for the requirements of this project

·         Another key consideration was a bund being created around the edge for separation from the saltmarsh habitat

·         Outlined the saltmarsh connection options available, including potential benefits

·         Highlighted Initial cost estimates including provision for a smaller pump

·         It was worthwhile to demonstrate that the wetland methodology could work in a pumped environment due to potential benefits for other parts of the region 

·         The shortfall in funding indicated in the report was reconsidered, as the shortfall existed between projects within the Coastal Catchments Activity Capital budget.  The Rangitāiki Reconnection project was only partially able to proceed at this time, so it was proposed that some of the capital from this could be reallocated.

Key Points - Members:

·         Expressed concern over the cost structure within the partnership, particularly given the high capital required, operating and ongoing maintenance costs

·         The hydraulic nature of being able to operate farms was a critical issue

·         Expressed concern over investing in treating water to solve upstream issues rather than requiring better land use practices and whether doing so would establish a precedent

·         Considered that partners and stakeholders should be engaged with on the different model discussed before proceeding or gaining further direction from members as part of the Long Term Plan.

In Response to Questions:

·             Large parts of the region relied upon pumping for their productivity and the proposal took into account the rate of sea level rise, although it was difficult to gauge the accuracy of this

·             Noted that there was no level of service for flood protection in the Waihī District Drainage Society’s rating scheme

·             The $78K for design was the cost anticipated for the first year to evaluate the effects through the consenting process and prepare designs that were sufficient to begin the procurement process

·             The option of creating a saltmarsh across 100% of the land would be more cost effective to build and run, as well as being more resistant to climate change.  It did not however, achieve the water quality benefits which were the original aim

·             There were benefits to a staged approach – creating a saltmarsh with the 20 hectares and continuing to lease the ten hectares earmarked for a treatment wetland.  The ten hectares could then be turned into either saltmarsh or treatment wetland.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Cutwater Road Wetland Project.

von Dadelszen/Scott




Rates Collection Status Update

Presented by: Jo Pellew – Rates Manager

Key Points:

·             Subsequent to the agenda report being released, rates collection had reached 94%, consisting of customers that had either paid or set up direct debits.

Key Points - Members:

·         Recognised the work and the challenges that call centre staff had faced during the implementation of this project.




That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Rates Collection Status Update.





Customer Service Performance Update

Presented by: Rachael Burgess – Customer Contact Manager

In Response to Questions:

·       It was challenging to differentiate between the reasons for satisfaction levels provided by customers, and staff examined any comments provided to try and gain further insight.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1          Receives the report, Customer Service Performance Update.


von Dadelszen/Macmillan


1.03 pm – the meeting closed.




                                                                                                                                   Cr Kevin Winters

Chairperson, Monitoring and Operations Committee