Rangitāiki River Forum

Ngā Meneti

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Thursday 16 November 2023, 9:30 AM

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

Heamana

Chairperson:               Terewai Kalman (Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa (TRONM))

Heamana Tuarua

Deputy Chairperson:  Te Taute Taiepa (Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare)

Ngā Kopounga

Members:                    Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC):

                                    Cr Malcolm Campbell, Cr Kat Macmillan, Cr Kevin Winters

Ngāti Tūwharetoa (BOP) Settlement Trust:

Katishe McCauley

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whare:

Jane Nicholas (Alternate)

Te Kotahitanga o Ngāti Tūwharetoa:
Whakaeke Ritete (Via Zoom)

Taupō District Council:

Cr Yvonne Westerman (Alternate) (Via Zoom)

Whakatāne District Council (WDC):

Cr Tuwhakairiora O'Brien

Te Hunga i Tae Ake

In Attendance:            BOPRC: Chairman Doug Leeder, Chris Ingle – General Manager Integrated Catchments, Stephen Lamb – Environmental Strategy Manager, Shari Kameta – Committee Advisor, Via Zoom: Ella Tennent – Consents Manager, Herewini Simpson – Kaihautu (Te Amorangi Lead)

                                    Presenters: as listed in the minutes

Ngā Hōnea

Apologies:                  Miro Araroa (Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa)

                                    Mihipeka Sisley (Alternate, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa)
Ngawai Crawford (Hineuru Iwi Trust)

Cr Wilson James (Alternate, WDC)

Karito Paul (Alternate, TRONM)

Cr Ken Shirley and Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti (BOPRC)

Cr John Williamson (Taupō District Council)

1.     Karakia Whakatuwhera
Opening Karakia

A karakia and mihi of welcome was provided by Te Taute Taiepa.

Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

The Chair welcomed those in attendance including BOPRC Chairman Doug Leeder who may wish to speak to any matters of relevance on the meeting agenda.

2.     Ngā Hōnea
Apologies

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Accepts the apologies from: Miro Araroa, Ngawai Crawford, Cr Wilson James,  Cr Ken Shirley, Cr John Williamson, Karito Paul, Mihipeka Sisley and Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti for absence tendered at the meeting.

McCauley/Campbell

CARRIED

3.     Wāhanga Tūmatanui
Public Forum

3.1

Scotty Muir and Colin Holmes on behalf of the Galatea Farming Community – Impact of Aniwhenua Hydro Scheme above Rabbit Bridge

Tabled Document 1 - Scotty Muir - Written Statement: Objective ID A4540544

Tabled Document 2 - River and Stream Channel Information: Objective ID A4536215  

 

Key Points:

·       Brought attention to the long-term ongoing issue of sedimentation build-up within the delta at Lake Aniwaniwa that was having a detrimental effect on farmland and affected owners (refer Tabled Documents 1 and 2)

·       Believed the issue would reach Murupara in a decade if it wasn’t addressed

·       Wished to see some conditions included in the Aniwhenua Hydro Scheme resource consent to keep the channels clear upstream and downstream of Rabbit Bridge

·       Having updated cross-sections of the river and stream channel would be important to understand the current state of sedimentation build-up, particularly for consideration of the resource consent

·       BOPRC needed to play its role and that an integrated multi-party discussion and approach was needed on solutions before a consent hearing process.

In Response to Questions:

·       An updated graphic of the increase of current sedimentation build-up could be viewed on Google Earth

Key Points - Members:

·       Acknowledged the issues raised in regard to upstream river management

·       The same impacts also affected a number of iwi/Māori landowners

·       Noted iwi’s inherent responsibility towards Te Mana o Te Wai and providing a voice for the river

·       Recognised the impact of climate change and the need for urgency to understand the impacts and ecology of the environment.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·       Arrange drone footage and a site visit in March/April 2024 of the affected area for interested Forum members and parties (with an invitation to Pioneer Energy) to provide further understanding of the issues raised.

 

Post-Meeting Note: Forum members formally resolved at the end of the meeting to receive the tabled documents that had been circulated during the Public Forum item.

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Receives Tabled Documents 1 and 2 circulated at the meeting during the Public Forum item.

Winters/Taiepa

CARRIED

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

None declared.

5.     Ngā Meneti
Minutes

Kia Whakaūngia Ngā Meneti
Minutes to be Confirmed

5.1

Rangitāiki River Forum Minutes - 1 September 2023

 

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Confirms the Rangitāiki River Forum Minutes - 1 September 2023 as a true and correct record, subject to the following amendment:

Minute Item 5.1: Fonterra Edgecumbe presentation (refer agenda page 9, bullet point 9) – insert “(refer Tabled Document 1)” and attach graphic table to the minute attachments document.

 O'Brien/Macmillan

CARRIED

6.     Whakaaturanga
Presentations

6.1

Southern Generation Partnership Limited (SGPL)/Pioneer Energy - Aniwhenua Hydro Power Station Update

Presented by: Peter McClean - General Manager Contracting, Pioneer Energy (Via Zoom) and Craig Rowe, Regional Manager Contracting

 

Key Points:

·       SGPL owned the Aniwhenua hydro power station, which Pioneer Energy managed/operated and was a 50 percent shareholder

·       Acknowledged the dam’s impact on sedimentation build-up within the delta at Lake Aniwaniwa, however believed the issue was wider reaching and that the community should play a part in providing solutions

·       SGPL had lodged a resource consent application with BOPRC to excavate gravel from the main river channel and remove some debris islands within the delta. They had requested the consent to be publicly notified and it was currently available to view on BOPRC’s website (refer following link Notified applications (boprc.govt.nz))

·       Pioneer Energy was gathering information to inform long-term options ahead of lodging renewal of the dam’s consent in 2026 and welcomed any input that the Forum wished to provide in the formal process

·       Regarding the tuna trap and transfer programme:

o   SGPL sponsored the programme that was operated by the Kokopū Trust and funded by Manawa Energy

o   Upstream elver pass at Aniwhenua Dam barrage - was being upgraded with the input of the Ngāti Manawa trap and transfer team

o   Downstream tuna passage:

§  Pioneer had been working with Mr Toitoi for the past six years and while there had been reasonable success, only a small percentage of adult tuna were being captured for transfer

§  A meeting held on 11 September 2023 with Ngāti Manawa and others had discussed a number of solutions, including the proposed option to install a tuna passage/siphon system at the head pond of the power station, which could be used to trap/transfer tuna below Matahina

§  Budget was available this financial year for design and build and a concept plan was being provided to the working group for approval.

o   Upstream fish passage - a smaller workstream was underway to trial and improve the knowledge and effectiveness of the existing fish pass.

In Response to Questions:

·       Pioneer Energy welcomed open engagement with iwi via Craig Rowe

·       Had been collaborating with Manawa Energy on solutions for uninterrupted passage however, noted that Pioneer Energy was only responsible for its asset, the Aniwhenua hydro scheme.

Key Points - Members:

·       Acknowledged the conversations and solutions that were in progress in regard to tuna passage

·       Appreciated the update and planning that was underway ahead of consent renewal in 2026.

 

6.2

Update on glass eel research on the Rangitāiki Awa

Presentation - Glass Eel Update 2023: Objective ID A4546629  

Presented by: Siobhan Nuri - University of Waikato/NIWA (Via Zoom)

 

Key Points:

·       Siobhan’s study of glass eels had extended from a Masters to a PhD to understand environmental drivers of glass eel recruitment/traits, determine birth dates, growth rates, spawning locations and dispersal routes

·       2019-2021 sample results had found peak migration times for longfin tuna (July-August) and shortfin tuna (June-August)

·       A fine scale study in 2021 had provided some important environmental indicators for tuna migration and an early indication of correlations with the luna phases and maramataka (Māori lunar calendar)

·       Next steps were to determine birth dates, age and spawning grounds

·       Acknowledged and thanked those that had been involved in the project and given their time, in particular local members of Ngāti Awa.

In Response to Questions:

·       Regarding climate change impacts, earlier studies had suggested glass eels used the Eastern Australian Current, which was decreasing in strength across the Tasman. If the current became too weak or ceased, glass eels would not be able to make it to New Zealand which could lead to having no tuna populations in the future.

Key Points - Members:

·       Congratulated Siobhan on her mahi, passion and knowledge

·       Acknowledged the connection of western science and Mātauranga within  the study and the Forum’s support if and where needed.

 

10:45 am – the meeting adjourned.

 

10:45 am – Cr Yvonne Westerman and Whakaeke Ritete exited the meeting.

 

11:06 am – the meeting reconvened.

 

6.3

Rangitāiki Floodway/Spillway Project Update

Presentation - Rangitāiki Floodway Upgrade: Objective ID A4540898  

Presented by: Niroy Sumeran - Project Engineering Team Leader, BOPRC Toi Moana

 

Key Points:

·       Provided an overview of Stages 5, 6 and 7 of the Floodway and Spillway Project between Hydro Road/State Highway 2 at Edgecumbe through to the Rangitāiki outlet at Thornton

·       Earthworks and increasing stopbank profile/heights to accommodate the floodway/spillway had been carried out over the last five years and was now complete

·       Construction of the spillway was the final stage of the project. Preliminary work to establish the site would start on 11 December 2023 before construction progressed after the Christmas period

·       A lot of engagement and consultation had taken place with the community, with the involvement of respective BOPRC councillors

·       McCracken and McLean Road swing gates had been constructed and would be used and manually operated during flood emergency events with the necessary traffic management controls.

In Response to Questions:

·       Floodway and spillway gates provided additional contingency and control to protect the community from flood emergency events

·       BOPRC in conjunction with the hydro dams had flood emergency management plans in place that included advance warning systems to manage/control water flows during flood events

·       The left-hand stopbank at Thornton would be upgraded from Thornton Bridge to just before the Thornton boat ramp

·       Whitebait spawning areas and habitat had been constructed within the Reid Central Canal as part of the project.

Key Points - Members:

·       Acknowledged the work being progressed to help with flood and emergency response

·       Referred to the class action that was being taken against BOPRC in relation to the April 2017 Edgecumbe flooding event. As the matter was before the Court, Council members and staff had been advised that they should not comment or disclose any information that was before the court.

7.     Whakahoutanga Kōrero
Verbal Updates

7.1

Verbal Updates from Forum Members

 

Terewai Kalman – Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Manawa

·       Noted that a number of rangatahi from some of the iwi partners were attending the Te Wai Māori Conference in Nelson.

Chairman Doug Leeder - BOPRC

·       Provided insights from Local Government New Zealand’s Regional Sector Group/regional councils (RSG) in regard to the National party’s proposal for the new Government to refocus freshwater policy ‘to better reflect the interests of all water users’:

o   The RSG considered that the Government’s refocus on freshwater and
Te Mana o Te Wai (TMoTW) principles would still require regional councils to define catchment limits, which co-governance forums should look to play an integral part and lead engagement with their respective communities

o   In regard to TMoTW there would be no pushback from RSG who would look to advise the new Government of the substantial investment and progress made so far towards improving water quality attributes using western science and Mātauranga Māori

o   Noted that freshwater farm plans may take higher precedence to inform water quality limits.

7.2

Co-Governance Secretariat Update

Presented by: Jane Waldon - Co-Governance Secretariat, Pareārau Limited

 

Key Points:

·       The Tarawera Awa Restoration Strategy Group (TARSG), established under the Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Act 2022, had released its Aspirations document as a pre-cursor to developing its Tarawera Awa Restoration Strategy Document

o   One of the key aspirations was to rechannel the course of the Tarawera, Rangitāiki and Orini Awa back through Te Awa o Te Atua and out to sea at Mihimarino

o   Letters had been sent out to the first tranche of stakeholders to inform them about the TARSG and Aspirations document with further letters to be sent to resource consent holders within the catchment early next year

o   Noted the opportunity for the two forums to work together

·       A Freshwater Workshop for the Forum’s iwi members was held on
24 October 2023 to consider freshwater statements. Positive feedback had been received and a second workshop was planned to be held in Murupara in mid-December 2023 to consider setting cultural health indicators. The intention was to prepare a scoping report that would be presented to respective iwi and to the Forum at a future meeting.

Key Points - Members:

·       The Iwi Freshwater workshop had provided the opportunity to discuss the various cultural aspects that needed to be considered in freshwater management and progressed with the partner councils

·       Encouraged Iwi Forum members to attend the second workshop in Murupara

·       BOPRC was required to engage with iwi/hapū/whānau on freshwater limit setting, therefore any leadership and advice from Forum members in regard to engagement at the various levels would be appreciated

·       Support was noted for a one river approach and to utilise the Forum as a platform to feedback information to and from the respective mandated iwi authorities.

8.     Ngā Pūrongo
Reports

Hei Pānui Anake
Information Only

8.1

July-November 2023 Rangitāiki Catchment Programme Dashboard

Presented by: Charles Harley - Team Leader Coastal Catchments

Key Points:

·       Noted programme highlights that included discussions with Ngāti Manawa’s Chief Executive on aquatic weed spraying at Lake Aniwaniwa; and positive monitoring results for rat/possum control at Pūtauaki which had been the lowest recorded over the past 20 years.

In Response to Questions:

·       Confirmed that pest control at Pūtauaki (including dama wallaby control) was carried out twice yearly in spring and autumn by Ian Tarei who employed rangatahi from within the Rangitāiki catchment.

 

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Receives the report, July-November 2023 Rangitāiki Catchment Programme Dashboard.

Campbell/Macmillan

CARRIED

 

8.2

Essential Freshwater Policy Programme Update

Presented by: Michelle Lee - Planner (Water Policy)

Key Points:

·       Acknowledged the matters discussed under Members Verbal Updates in regard to freshwater

·       BOPRC’s freshwater programme was progressing to meet tight legislative timeframes for public notification by 31 December 2024

·       Drew attention to feedback received from engagement drop-in sessions

·       Tangata whenua would be continually invited to provide advice and recommendations through the freshwater policy process

·       Anticipated a draft plan would be available for targeted engagement with tangata whenua in early 2024.

Key Points – Co-Governance Secretariat:

·       Noted that tangata whenua feedback themes aligned with those captured at the Iwi Members’ Freshwater workshop held on 24 October 2023.

 

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Receives the report, Essential Freshwater Policy Programme Update.

Winters/O'Brien

CARRIED

 

8.3

Update from the Rangitāiki-Tarawera Rivers Scheme Advisory Group

Presented by: Chris Ingle - General Manager Integrated Catchments

Key Points:

·       Acknowledged the Forum Chair’s attendance at the River Scheme Advisory Group (RSAG) meeting on 13 September 2023 and the value it has on strengthening communication between the two groups on relevant matters. Noted as an example, the Chair’s invitation to the meeting’s Public Forum speakers who had presented to RSAG in September

·       Noted the updates within the report on the two items received earlier on the agenda for the Rangitāiki floodway and gravel extraction in the upper catchment, while recognising the need for appropriate management of the latter.

Key Points - Members:

·       The Chair commented on the benefit of attending RSAG meetings to understand the different perspectives and represent the views of the Forum and Ngāti Manawa in regard to RSAG engagement from an iwi perspective.

·       Hoped that the Forum’s Deputy Chair would be able to attend future RSAG meetings alongside the Chair.

 

Items for Staff Follow Up:

·       Invitation to the next River Advisory Group meeting to be sent to the Forum Chair and Deputy Chair.

 

Resolved

That the Rangitāiki River Forum:

1          Receives the report, Update from the Rangitāiki-Tarawera Rivers Scheme Advisory Group.

Winters/Taiepa

CARRIED

9.     Chairperson's Closing Remarks

Thanked everyone for their attendance at the meeting and wished them well for the Christmas period and New Year prior to seeing everyone again in 2024.

10.   Karakia Kati
Closing Karakia

A karakia was provided by Te Taute Taiepa.

12:08 pm – the meeting closed.

 

 

Confirmed                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                     Terewai Kalman

Chairperson, Rangitāiki River Forum