Monitoring and Operations Committee Agenda

NOTICE IS GIVEN that the next meeting of the Monitoring and Operations Committee will be held in Totara Room, Whakatāne District Council, 14 Commerce Street, Whakatāne on:

Tuesday 5 March 2024 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

26 February 2024



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                                 5 March 2024

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.      Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

6.1      Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes - 30 November 2023                   8

7.      Presentations

7.1      NZ Landcare Trust Update

Presented by: Nardene Berry - Waikato Regional Coordiner/North Island Team Leader

7.2      Kaituna Re-Diversion and Maketū Estuary

Presented by: Jim Dahm - Coastal Scientist

7.3      Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital Incorporated

Presented by: Beccy Ganley and Carlton Bidois - Co Chairs

8.      Reports

Information Only

8.1      Chairperson's Report                             20

8.2      Coast Care - External programme review and beach user survey results                34

Attachment 1 - Coast Care Review Presentation                                                                                38

Attachment 2 - 2023 Coast Care Beach User Survey                                                                    75

8.3      Taihuarewa Takutai - University of Waikato Coastal Chair's Report (To be distributed under separate cover)

8.4      Climate Change Quarterly Report          93

Attachment 1 - Climate Change Programme Overview March 2024                                        100

8.5      Ohiwa FMU Land Management Update                                                             101

8.6      Rates Collection Update                      117

9.      Consideration of Items not on the Agenda

Monitoring and Operations Committee Minutes

30 November 2023


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





Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

5 March 2024

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:

·     Biosecurity Update

·     Regulatory Compliance Update

·     Rotorua Air Quality Programme Update

·     Resource Consents Update

·     Mount Maunganui Industrial Air Update (Attachment 1)



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Chairperson's Report.


1.        Purpose

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


2.        Matters of Potential Interest

2.1      Biosecurity Update

2.1.1    Freshwater gold clam (Corbicula fluminea)

In preparation for the busy 2023/2024 summer period, BoPRC, Te Arawa Lakes Trust and MPI carried out a series of surveillance initiatives for the detection of gold clams and increased the presence of contracted biosecurity staff at boat ramps to undertake boat inspections and monitor Rule 7 Compliance.


During the period from November – December 2023, MPI, Te Arawa Lakes Trust and representatives from Ngāti Tarāwhai completed comprehensive eDNA sampling across 12 lakes with over 200 eDNA samples collected across 31 sites. Sampling efforts were focused on key vector points (public boat ramps) and areas where boats were known to congregate. No corbicula DNA was detected at any of the sampled sites.

During the same period, BoPRC Dive team carried out its routine dive surveillance on lakes Tikitapu, Ōkāreka, Rotomā and Ōkataina and implemented new techniques to detect gold clams, including benthic dive surveys and core sampling. A series of core samples were collected at various locations around each of the boat ramps and the contents were examined for the presence of gold clams. No corbicula was detected in any of the core samples.

Further dive surveillance is planned in February – March 2024, and the gold clam surveillance with form part of the dive surveillance moving forward.

Boat ramp and compliance inspections

This financial year, Te Arawa Lakes Trust biosecurity staff have completed over 2500 self-certification checks as part of monitoring compliance with Rule 7 of the Regional Pest Management Plan. 40% of inspected vehicles were compliant with the Rule 7 requirements, which represents a significant increase in compliance from the same period last financial year at 24%.

TALT staff also conducted over 766 boat ramp inspections with 98% of inspected vessels passing inspections. The pass rate is consistent with previous years which indicates that most boaties are practicing good hygiene before visiting the lakes. It is also worth noting that a high proportion of these boaties had some level of awareness for the gold clam and the Check, Clean, Dry protocols and were very receptive when engaged with.

2.2      Regulatory Compliance Update

2.2.1    Enforcement

For this reporting period (1 November 2023 – 13 February 2024), Regional Council has issued 49 abatement notices (109 for the year to date) and 28 infringement notices (50 for the year to date), totalling $19,950 ($34,000 for year to date) in fines in relation to breaches of Regional Plan rules and/or Resource Consent conditions. Abatement notices are for a range of activities and predominately require the cessation of discharges to land and air. Eight Infringements were served for breach of abatement notices, eleven for discharge of contaminants to land and four infringements for discharges to air.

Over the last reporting period we received a number of sentencing decisions from the courts. In addition to Te Rahu Orchards, we received sentencing decisions for four other kiwifruit orchards for the unauthorised taking of groundwater to irrigate. In total we have received five guilty verdicts for offenders taking ground water without a resource consent.  In these cases, the court commented on how growers prioritised their commercial activity over compliance with the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), it found that the unlawful takes challenged the integrity and viability the water consent process aimed at ensuring the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The five cases were:

·     Maniatutu Heights - Guilty $33,500

·     David Thomas - Guilty $42,000

·     Woodland Orchards - Guilty $42,000

·     Peter Stewart Holdings - Guilty $42,000

·     Te Rahu Orchards - Guilty $35,000


Total Fines $156,700

On 23 November 2023 we received a sentencing decision for Alpine Petfoods. Alpine Petfoods were fined $70,000 (after allowing discounts for early guilty pleas and remorse).  Judge Kirkpatrick noted:

The odours have affected peoples’ enjoyment of their properties and ability to undertake their everyday life. The odours have impacted the health and wellbeing of people, and amenity values. I conclude that the impacts of the discharges were serious. The incidents were not isolated; the charges allege four incidents occurring over a nine-month period. Cumulatively the discharges indicate that the management of the factory was unsatisfactory and the systems in place were not sufficient to control the effects of its activities. Alpine is in the business of pet food manufacturing and should have appropriate systems and management practices in place to manage odour. It was on notice regarding odour discharge issues following complaints, infringement notices, the abatement notice, and formal warning letters. While steps were taken by Alpine to address the odour following each incident, the incidents point to an ongoing problem with its odour management.

2.2.2    Pollution Hotline and Complaints Response

·       614 service requests were received for the period 1 November 2023 to 31 January 2024. This equates to an average of seven jobs per day. 35% of service requests were received after-hours.

·       72% of all service requests during the period related to air quality concerns, the majority being odour (202 service requests) and smoke (163 service requests). 43 complaints during the reporting period related to dust. 94 service requests (15%) related to discharges of contaminants to water and/or land.

·       21% of service requests (131) were substantiated (i.e. a confirmed breach of the Resource Management Act, a Regional Plan, or a National Environmental Standard).

·       90% of service requests were actioned within one day. 94% were actioned within three working days. 100% of urgent service requests (14) were actioned within 12 hours of receipt of the initial call.



2.2.3    2023/24 Water Shortage Programme Update

In the November 2023 Chairperson’s Report to the Monitoring and Operations Committee, staff outlined the predicted summer weather conditions based on the strong El Nino weather pattern that has been driving New Zealand’s recent climate. Of particular interest at that time was how the predicted weather could impact our region’s surface and ground waters. Although conditions have warmed up from late December, frequent periods of rainfall over the last few months have helped maintain the region’s rivers and streams, with none of the region’s monitored waterways showing low flow conditions. In addition, the region’s aquifers have maintained good water levels, helped by the very wet 2022/23 summer/autumn period.

Water demand from consented users increased from December (mostly taken for pasture irrigation). The regular periods of rainfall have meant that many horticultural users did not have to rely on using their irrigation until mid-January, and even then they mostly required only infrequent periods of irrigation. As we move towards kiwifruit harvest, water demand is likely to reduce further for that sector.

In summary, the current state of our region’s waterways and aquifers, coupled with the expected lower demand by horticultural water users, are unlikely to result in any need to invoke water restrictions for the Bay of Plenty.

2.2.4    Forestry Compliance Update

Summer Student

The Compliance Team were fortunate enough to have a third year University of Canterbury forestry student (Harry Low) in the team for a 2 ½ month internship. Harry undertook three projects and accompanied staff on several field-based compliance audits. It was great to get a young forester’s view on some very new legislation as well as some longer standing challenges. Harry assisted with the work outlined below.   

Interpine Trial

Council staff are working closely with Interpine, a Rotorua based forest consulting and data management company, to utilise drone imagery and machine learning to assist with forestry compliance. The work is focussed on quantifying slash volumes, with a view to assisting Compliance Officers to be able to enforce the new regulations on maximum volumes of slash that can be left on a cutover (15m3) under National Environmental Standard Commercial Forestry (NES-CF). 

GIS Compatible Mapping

Work continues internally with the GIS team to create the backend system and processes whereby Council, under regulations in the new NES-CF, can require that plans submitted for Afforestation, Harvesting, Earthworks, and Quarrying are accompanied by relevant GIS compatible maps. This will make the auditing of such plans by Compliance Officers much simpler and more efficient, allowing such plans to be viewed alongside all other information currently contained in GeoView[1]. Attendees at the November 23 Bay of Plenty Forestry Liaison Group were briefed on the initiative and there is currently a trial underway with Rayonier Matariki Forests to iron out the kinks before going ‘live’.

Erosion and sediment control guidelines for forestry operations (2013)

Harry Low, the Summer Assistant, undertook a review of this document with the aim of making a recommendation of either maintain the status quo, update the document, or adopt other best practise guides already in use by the forestry sector or Council(s). The recommendation was to incorporate the Forest Owners Association best practise guides in totality and retain where required a significantly reduced Bay of Plenty specific Erosion and Sediment control Guideline for Forestry Operations. No decisions have yet been made about whether to formally update the guidelines.

Stakeholder Group(s)

The Bay of Plenty Forestry Liaison Group (made up of regional forest owners/ managers, regulators, and industry experts) continues to meet quarterly. At the last meeting in Nov 2023, the Terms of Reference were finalised and the Central North Island Wood Council came on board to provide on-going administrative support. Recent discussions have centred on understanding and implementing the newly introduced legislation - National Environmental Standard Commercial Forestry (NES-CF).

In December 2023, an initial all Council Forestry Regulators meeting was held, testing District and Regional Council’s appetite for a permanent group to help facilitate the regulation of the forestry sector. The aim of this group, endorsed and supported by the Compliance and Enforcement Special Interest Group (CESIG), is to champion consistent compliance monitoring and enforcement across the forestry sector in Aotearoa, similar to the previous dairy group. There was resounding support from the 13 Councils in attendance (11 Regional Councils, 2 territorial local authorities). The next meeting, scheduled for May, will look to build on the initial meeting and set out a framework and terms of reference to get things off the ground.  

Regional Natural Resources Plan (RNRP) re-write

Council staff have been considering the gaps in the National Environmental Standards for Commercial Forestry (NES-CF) and whether these could/should be covered off with Bay of Plenty specific forestry rules included as part of the Regional Natural Resources Plan review. Although Council has not formed a position on the specifics, some of the areas that are considered not catered for in the NES-CF include wilding pines, particularly on fallowing or retired land, and managing the effects of windthrow. This topic is on the agenda at the next Bay of Plenty Forestry Liaison Group to test the thinking in the room.  

Forestry Compliance Drone Capability

Council forestry compliance staff continue to upskill in the area of drone flight and imagery capture for use in compliance monitoring. One person is part way through their online modules with the hope of achieving a certification test flight before the end of the financial year. A second staff member will undergo their training in the next financial year.

2.3      Rotorua Airshed Update

2.3.1    Industrial Audits at Ngāpuna, Rotorua

Staff completed auditing Ngāpuna industrial sites in December, specifically to assess their site-management of dust and stormwater discharges. Staff are currently working with site managers to implement recommendations from the audits and create and/or update Dust Management Plans. In the Rotorua Airshed Dust Management Plans (DMP) are voluntary.  Industries can opt in/out of having a DMP, however, most large industries have them.

2.3.2    Working with low-income owner-occupiers using non-complying burners

Low-income owner occupiers, identified during the 2023 winter woodburner enforcement, are being assisted with compliant heating solutions and/or the removal of unlawfully installed burners.

Work in this space can be challenging and time-consuming for staff, but the outcomes for the occupants, the wider community, and the Rotorua environment are beneficial. Opportunities to partner with other agencies, to improve Rotorua air quality, remain a focus for staff. A partnership has been established between Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Green Side Energy Solutions Ltd (EECA suppliers of insulation and heat pumps) specifically to work with vulnerable owner-occupiers needing heating assistance.

Staff have also met with Tatau Pounamu’s Piripiri (Community Connector).  Tatau Pounamu is a Rotorua Eastside community collective made up of residents, community organisations and government departments.  Some owner-occupiers living in this community (for example Ngāpuna and Ōwhata) will require assistance to change their non-complying solid fuel burners.  

2.3.3    Rotorua Air Quality Working Party

Working Party members from Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Rotorua Lakes Council, Te Whatu Ora – Health NZ, Kainga Ora – Homes and Communities and the Ministry for the Environment will be discussing new opportunities to collectively improve Rotorua’s air quality. Their next meeting is scheduled for 8 March 2024. The new government is yet to issue its air quality direction regarding the former government’s proposed PM2.5 change to the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality.

2.4      Resource Consents Update

2.4.1    Financial Performance

The team has been focusing on improving efficiency, time keeping and productivity recently. The Consents leadership and senior teams have worked hard to improve report and conditions templates, provide more guidance to planners and implement more efficient systems and improvements. A new tool for monitoring productivity developed by the corporate team has been very helpful. During the last financial year, the Consents Team earned $2.6m in fees and charges. Thus far for the 2024/25 financial year the Consents team have earned more than $2.4m in fees and charges. The team expenses are marginally higher than the budgeted expectation, however the ratio of revenue to expenses is very favourable.

2.4.2    Customer Satisfaction Survey

Since July we have had 64 responses to the customer satisfaction survey. The link to the online survey is provided to consent holders a week after they receive their consent decision. We have recently asked the consents planners to encourage more survey participation. The individual survey responses are anonymous unless a participant wants to be contacted and supplies their contact details. Of the responses received, 86% of participants advised that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service.

2.4.3    Consents of Interest

A decision from the commissioners for the Higgins asphalt plant (Hewletts Road, Mt Maunganui) replacement consent was received in late January 2024. The decision grants consent for three years. The appeal period has closed on 14 February and no appeals have been received.

Mediation for the Ōpōtiki marina (Ngāti Irapuaia and Ngāi Tamahaua) appeal starts on 15 November.

The Allied asphalt plant (Aerodrome Road, Mt Maunganui) resource consent application is continuing through the direct referral process with the Environment Court. Mediation was held on 14 February 2024; Council evidence is due in March and the hearing is scheduled for May 2024. 

The consent hearing for Ballance (Mt Maunganui) is scheduled for 26 March.

An interim decision was received from the Environment Court on the Port of Tauranga Stellar Passage consent application, indicating that consent will be granted for Stage 1 of the Sulphur Point wharf extension (within the already consented area of dredging), subject to certain matters being addressed to the Court’s satisfaction. Matters required include scoping of the Southern Te Awanui Harbour Health Plan, providing a management structure for meaningful kaitiaki relationships, kaimoana surveys at Te Paritaha, a state of the environment report, visual simulations relating to landscape effects on Whareroa, and a wananga with tangata whenua and Council to discuss this further information. Decisions on whether or not to grant consents for the Stage 2 Sulphur Point wharf extension and for the proposed works on the Mount Maunganui wharf are reserved pending the provision of further information.

Consent applications have been lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority for the following Fast-track applications:

·       Taheke Geothermal proposal for a geothermal power station,

·       Summerset Retirement Village Rotorua, Fairy Springs Rd,

·       Pitau multistorey retirement village at Mt Maunganui, and

·       Ngongotahā residential development.

Where possible, Consents staff have been working collaboratively with the relevant district councils and applicants. Most of the applicants have been happy to engage with Consents staff and pay pre-application costs.

A joint hearing with Western Bay of Plenty District Council on the Te Puna Industrial Ltd consent application is scheduled for June 2024. This is later than the originally planned March hearing to enable the applicant to address traffic safety issues.

Other resource consent applications of interest include:

·       The Rotorua Lakes Council’s application for the Comprehensive Stormwater Consent was notified last year and five submissions were received.

·       Te Huata 10,000 ha marine farm application was notified last year, and 11 submissions were received. The applicant is working to resolve opposition and fill information gaps.

·       Southern Generation’s application to remove debris islands and dredge the Rangitāiki River upstream of Lake Aniwaniwa to alleviate flooding was notified last year and nine submissions were received. 

·       The Lawter application for replacement consent to discharge to air at Mt Maunganui was notified last year and 48 submissions were received.

·       Appeal mediation for the Whanarua Bay community water supply is ongoing.

2.5      Mount Maunganui Industrial Air Update

The Mount Maunganui Airshed was gazetted as a polluted airshed under the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (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.

2.5.1    PM10 monitoring and exceedances in the current financial year

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 NESAQ regulations. The 2022/23 financial year was the most improved since monitoring and data collection began with just two breaches of PM10 standards detected (one permitted under the legislation) and to date in 2023/24 one breach has been recorded.

The investigation into this exceedance revealed vehicle movements on an adjacent industrial site were the almost certain cause. A compliance officer was on site once alarms were received from the monitor that PM10 levels were elevated. The officer observed heavy traffic movements producing dust clouds on the neighbouring K S Freighters industrial site, owned by KiwiRail. The compliance team has had several interactions with site management over several months to ensure that when heavy vehicles are traversing the site a water cart will be available for use to alleviate dust issues. The investigation found the event was isolated to this site and of short duration, with no elevation of PM levels detected at any other location across the Mount Maunganui monitoring network.

2.5.2    Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party

At the last Air Quality Working Party hui on 15 November 2023, the independent chair, Graeme Marshall was farewelled, and it was agreed by the membership that a re-set was required to determine the goals and functions of the Working Party in 2024.

An inaugural facilitated workshop is scheduled to be held for the Working Party on 27 March 2024 with some of the key focus points being:

·       What is our ongoing purpose as a Working Party?

·       What are our shared functions and targets – where do we want to get to?

·       What can we do to achieve these targets?

·       What are realistic timeframes to achieve these targets?

·       Is the current Terms of Reference still relevant to the Working Party or does it need a review?

Following a group discussion on a re-set of the Working Party, a decision will need to be made on the appointment of a new chair to guide the group forward.

2.5.3    Air quality indicator impact from Matakana Island fire

A fire on Matakana Island, which started on Saturday 23 December 2023, burnt for approximately a week through 41 hectares of scrub and pine slash, yielding the highest readings yet seen by Council’s Mount Maunganui air quality indicator network and resulted in several calls to the Pollution Hotline.

The Sulphur Point sensor recorded an air quality indicator (AQI) value of 172, refer to Figure 1. The ‘Unhealthy’ AQI category has guidance for sensitive groups to consider inside activities rather than being outside, refer to Figure 2. Fortunately, the peak pollution values recorded were between 24:00-03:00 on 26 December when most residents would have been indoors.

Figure 1: Sulphur Point air quality indicator values in response to Matakana Island fire



Figure 2: Unhealthy air quality indicator guidance

2.5.4    Pollution Hotline Complaints Response

From 1 November 2023 to 31 January 2024, 28 service requests were received through the Pollution Hotline relating to air quality within the Mount Maunganui Airshed. Of these, 68% related to odour, 21% related to dust and 11% related to smoke (see Figure 3).

Smoke and/or odour from the two asphalt plants in the Mount Industrial area continue to be an issue for the community with 10 of the 28 complaints relating to these sites.

The dust complaints related to two bulk animal feed storage facilities, concrete crushing and machinery operating in an unsealed yard.

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


Figure 3: Pollution hotline calls by contaminant type for Mount Maunganui Airshed 1 November 2023 to 31 January 2024.

2.5.5    Enforcement

One abatement notice was issued relating to activities taking place in the Mount Maunganui Airshed between 1 November 2023 and 31 January 2024.

·       A swimming pool manufacturing company was issued with an abatement notice requiring it to cease the discharge of offensive and objectionable fibreglass dust beyond the boundary of its property on Aviation Avenue. The notice was issued on 20 November 2023.

During this period, two infringement notices were served for activities within the Mount Maunganui Airshed.

·       Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited received two infringement notices for discharging sulphur dioxide and/or fluoride gas to air in exceedance of the limits specified in its resource consent. One notice was issued for breaching section 15(1)(c) of the Resource Management Act 1991 (fee of $1,000) and the other notice was issued for a breach of abatement notice (fee of $750). Both notices have been paid.

Infringement fees for specific offences are set by the Resource Management (Infringement Offences) Regulations 1999.

2.5.6    Odour and pro-active monitoring

Odour continues to dominate service requests through the Pollution Hotline. The main industrial odour sources have been identified and since November 2022 the compliance team has undertaken daily proactive odour assessments of key industrial locations which involves undertaking an outdoor odour assessment at 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 also 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 stock and poor storage of waste food products outside the factory.

·       Ballance Agri-nutrients and Lawter Ltd with consented sulphur dioxide discharges.

·       Higgins & Allied Asphalt, primarily when an asphalt mix is in production.

·       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, which can be odourous when tank filling is being undertaken.

A project is being undertaken to scrutinise industrial odours arising from within the Mount Maunganui Airshed and Truman Lane industrial area and investigate their causes and better ways to manage them.

Staff are currently mapping odour sources within the two areas and site visits are being made to the most problematic locations. This information will be used to aid the Council’s air quality management work in Mount Maunganui.

2.5.7    Consents

There are currently eight businesses that have applied for discharge consents within the Mount Maunganui air shed. Three new applications on hold pending the final Environment Court decision on Rule AQ R22 (Bulk Solid Materials) of the Air Chapter of the Regional Natural Resources Plan and will now progress as the relevant provisions become operative. Additional consent applications are anticipated now the plan is operative.

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. Allied have applied for a direct referral to the Environment Court. A court hearing date has not been set, but Court assisted mediation has been agreed to by the parties.

The Higgins application was heard at a hearing held on 7 and 8 November 2023. Higgins now propose to install a new plant in the future and are seeking a consent for the current plant until the new plant is built and commissioned. A decision was issued on 23 January 2024 to grant consent for a three-year term, in which time the current stack is to be extended (within 6 months) and a new application is lodged for the discharge from the new plant.

A decision to grant consent for Genera’s fumigation activities at the Port of Tauranga was issued on 5 October 2023. The decision has been appealed by Clear the Air Trust and Tauranga Moana Fumigant Action Group Incorporated on 30 October 2023. The appeal has been accepted by the Environment Court. A Court hearing date has not yet been set, but the parties have agreed to court assisted mediation.

A summary of where in the process each of the renewal application are at is outlined below:

·       Lawter – Publicly notified on 17 November 2023. Forty-seven submissions have been received. A hearing date has not been set at this time.

·       Waste Management – Further information requested.

·       Allied Asphalt - Publicly notified, jointly with TCC on 12 May 2023, submission period ended on 12 June 2023 and 83 submissions were received. The application has been accepted for direct referral to the Environment Court. Court assisted mediation set for 14 February 2024.

·       Higgins – A Decision was issued to grant consent on 23 January 2024. The appeal period ended on 14 February 2024 and no appeals were received.

·       Genera Ltd – Consents granted. The Decision has been appealed to the Environment Court. Court assisted mediation is set for 28 February 2024.

The applications and technical documents for all notified applications can be found on the BOPRC Website:

2.5.8    Policy Matters

In February, the Environment Court released its interim decision on the appeal to Rule AQ R22 of Plan Change 13 – Air Quality (PC 13) pertaining to Bulk Solid Material handling in the Airshed. The PC13 interim decision identified unsealed yards as the largest remaining unaddressed contributor to PM10 and noted the intent to direct Council (under s293 of the Resource Management Act) to make changes to PC13 to control PM10 emissions from unsealed yards in the Airshed.

A second interim decision was released on 20 October. It directed Council to commence a plan change to control emissions from unsealed yards in the Airshed in line with the February interim decision.

On 6 November, an informal feedback process commenced for PC13 – s293, for unsealed yards, and for a new, Court-directed, iterative management policy (Policy 12) for all activities discharging PM10 to air in the Airshed.

The process to collect informal feedback for both PC13 - S293 and Policy 12 included five community drop-in sessions in November and ran until 15 December 2023. 13 parties attended the drop-in sessions, and one piece of written feedback, from Tauranga City Council, was received before the deadline of 15 December.

A second item of feedback was received from Kiwirail on 23 December, after Council had shut down for the Christmas break. Kiwirail were invited to re-submit their comments as part of a formal submission when the plan change was notified in January 2024

PC13 – s293 and Policy 12 were notified on 15 January.

For the s293 unsealed yards provisions, the following parties were directly notified:

·       Site owners and operators of unsealed yards (including Tauranga City Council, who also have an interest in the stormwater implications of the plan change).

·       The s274 parties involved in the existing PC13 appeal for BSM handling, including Toi Te Ora and Ngāi Te Rangi.

For Policy 12, holders of and applicants for air discharge consents in MMA were directly notified. Due to the MMA-wide nature of the policy, it was also publicly notified to allow the public to also make a submission.

To ensure that the unsealed yards owners/operators and the public have sufficient time to consider the proposals, having not the same involvement in the process as those parties involved in the PC13 appeal for BSM handling, an extended submission period until 30 April 2024 has been allowed.

At the end of the submission process, Council staff will update the provisions based on the submissions received and lodge a post-consultation version of the plan change with the Court. As the s293 process is part of the PC13 appeal, it is the Court that will decide on changes to PC13. Should a hearing be necessary, it would be held from late June 2024.

The release of the interim decision for the PC 13 appeal and the need to ensure consistency within the Regional Natural Resources Plan means there has been no change to the development of the high-level framework of provisions for Plan Change 18 – Mount Maunganui Airshed (PC18). However, the interim PC 13 decision has given Council staff direction on the likely final form of the s293 provisions to inform PC13, which will in turn shape the approach to PC18.

2.5.9    Communications

The quarterly newsletter was distributed in February and can be viewed online at

Staff answered media queries by RNZ and BOP Times regarding a chemical smell at the Port.

Staff answered a media enquiry by BOP Times regarding the joint commissioning of an independent review of the Toi te Ora Health Risk Assessment with Tauranga City Council so both councils can understand how the findings within the Toi Te Ora report can further support current work programmes or whether they might require further assessment.








Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

5 March 2024

Report Writer:

Rusty Knutson, Land Management Officer

Report Authoriser:

Chris Ingle, General Manager, Integrated Catchments


To update members on the 2023 Beach User Survey and external review.



Coast Care - External programme review and beach user survey results


Executive Summary

2024 is the 30th Anniversary of the Coast Care Bay of Plenty programme and is an appropriate time to reconsider the structure and strategy of the programme and the views of our community (beach user survey) in anticipation of a refresh of the Coast Care Long-term Plan for Partner Agencies due in 2026.

·     An expert panel reviewed the programme in the second half of 2023.

·     618 Coast Care volunteers and other beach users recently provided their thoughts on coastal management through an online survey.

This paper provides the recommendations of the external review as well as the results from the comprehensive beach user survey.





That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Coast Care - External programme review and beach user survey results;

2       Notes the key recommendations made by the Coast Care external review panel;

3       Notes the key findings of the 2023 Beach User Survey.


1.        Introduction

Coast Care Bay of Plenty (BOP) is a multi-agency collaboration between communities and Local Government that was established in 1994 to protect, enhance, and restore the region's 156 km of sandy coastal dune systems. The dune system is nationally threatened and provides a home for numerous native species, amenity to beach users, and is the first-line of protection from coastal processes and hazards that threaten coastal property and infrastructure.


Funding partners include, Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC), Tauranga City Council (TCC), Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC), Whakatane District Council (WDC), Opotiki District Council (ODC), and the Department of Conservation (DoC), with further in-kind support from local businesses. In total the programme operates on a budget of approximately $335,000 and has not seen a funding increase since 2016.


As 2024 is the 30th year of programme operation it is an appropriate time to consider its effectiveness and to consider improvements that ensure it remains fit for purpose for the future.


1.1      Alignment with Strategic Framework


A Healthy Environment

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

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

Freshwater for Life


Safe and Resilient Communities

We work with communities and others to consider long term views of natural hazard risks through our regional plans and policies.

A Vibrant Region


The Way We Work

We deliver value to our ratepayers and our customers.

We look to partnerships for best outcomes.


1.1.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

¨ Environmental

High - Positive

¨ Cultural

Low - Positive

¨ Social

High - Positive

¨ Economic

Low - Positive




2.        External review

The presentation provided by the independent expert panel is appended in Attachment 1.  The panel were selected for their complementary skills and experiences, and were engaged in 2023 to review the strategy, structure and functioning of the Coast Care Bay of Plenty programme. The panellists were:


1.   Wendy Boyce, geographer and community psychologist with broad local government and primary industry experiences, including involvement with various coastal care programmes in New Zealand over several decades. Hamilton based.

2.   Jim Dahm, coastal geomorphologist with vast experience in coastal management projects, including a lengthy stint leading Coromandel Beach Care. Coromandel based. 

3.   Jo Martin, senior analyst at the Ministry for the Environment with experience in environmental and programme management at both central and local government. Nelson based.


·     The panel were given a broad scope and reviewed a number of documents as well as conducting interviews.

·     The review panel broadly endorsed the existing programme but made six recommendations for improvement.

·     These recommendations (attached) will be considered by the Coast Care Strategic Partners Governance group (CCSPG) at a meeting in early March.

·     Key themes of the recommendations include refinement of the programme goals, adjustments to the governance, management and implementation of the programme, the further devolvement of decision making to the community and iwi, and the rebalancing of our volunteer programme away from schools in favour of community groups.     

·     Councillors may like to provide guidance and direction to staff in light of the review findings, noting that the programme is a collaborative effort between agencies and coastal community volunteers.


3.        Beach User Survey findings

The Coast Care Strategic Partners Governance group is interested in the knowledge and views of Coast care volunteers and the wider beach user community in order to inform the programme’s work and understand its impact. Up until 2014, a biennial beach user survey was undertaken, and the 2023 survey used some of the same questions to assess changes over the past decade. The survey was presented online and completed voluntarily by 618 people, as attached in Attachment 2. The number of participants surprised staff as it indicated a higher-than-expected level of engagement with the topic. Key findings were:


·     Beach users value Bay of Plenty beaches as safe recreational places for children and families, as well as for their natural beauty and wildlife.

·     Beach users understand the role that dune systems play in mitigating coastal storm damage, and some of threats to the dunes.

·     Beach users do not support coastal protection methods that result in the loss of sandy beach area, even if this would protect coastal property.

·     Dune planting is the most acceptable method of restoring and protecting beaches, dunes, and coastal property.

·     Beach users support Councils restricting vehicle access to beaches.

·     Beach users strongly support collaboration between councils and the community to protect and manage beaches and dunes.

·     Beach users overwhelmingly support the Coast Care programme.

4.        Considerations

4.1      Risks and Mitigations

There are no significant risks associated with this matter/subject/project/initiative.

4.2      Climate Change

The Coast Care programme helps protect and enhance a healthy functioning dune system, which helps provide the first line of defence against coastal hazards associated with climate change.

4.3      Implications for Māori

Coastal protection and management is a topic of significant interest to iwi and hapū as stated in iwi environmental management plans, so the objectives and restoration work undertaken through Coast Care tends to support these aspirations. However, Māori tend to be under-represented in the Coast Care volunteer community. The review panel wished to investigate the role and views of tangata whenua in the programme but this aspect was excluded from the terms of reference due to time constraints and budget. It is anticipated that a standalone piece of work be undertaken as part of Council’s wider engagement with iwi/hapū, but this has not yet been scoped or resourced.

4.4      Community Engagement

Both the External Review (through targeted one on one interviews) and the Beach User Survey specifically canvassed the views of the community.  This paper is largely the aggregation of these views.

4.5      Financial Implications

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

5.        Next Steps

The Coast Care Strategic partners group, made up of its six funding partner agencies, intend considering these reports and recommendations and it is expected that programme changes will result. Councillors may wish to provide their guidance to staff.


Attachment 1 - Coast Care Review Presentation

Attachment 2 - 2023 Coast Care Beach User Survey   

Monitoring and Operations Committee                    5 March 2024

Monitoring and Operations Committee                    5 March 2024

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Monitoring and Operations Committee                    5 March 2024





Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

5 March 2024

Report Writer:

Nic Newman, Climate Change Programme Manager

Report Authoriser:

Chris Ingle, General Manager, Integrated Catchments


To update the committee on progress in the last quarter



Climate Change Quarterly Report


Executive Summary

This report provides an update on Climate Change actions, managed through the Climate Change Programme. 

Highlights for the last quarter include:

Community-led adaptation projects, supported by staff, making significant progress in planning for the future.

Support for the House of Science Climate Education Kits established along with a collaborative relationship.

Investment in new initiatives for 2024 across our climate goals.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Climate Change Quarterly Report.


1.        Introduction

Our vision is for a climate resilient Bay of Plenty.

Council’s delivery of climate change actions is managed through the Climate Change Programme, ensuring coordinated delivery, monitoring, and reporting on the programme of work, across four goals.

This report provides a progress update from the last quarter. A dashboard is attached to this report to provide a snapshot of progress under the Programme.


1.1      Alignment with Strategic Framework

The projects highlighted in this report contribute principally to the Safe and Resilient Communities outcome, via the partnerships way of working.

1.1.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental


þ Cultural


þ Social


þ Economic



The projects highlighted in this report contribute positively across the well-beings.


2.        Climate Change Programme

2.1      Programme highlight for this period

2.1.1    Adaptation Projects

Motuhoa Island

This community-led project by the Motuhoa Island Whānau Trust, is examining the climate risks the island faces and developing adaptation strategies to address those risks. Staff are supporting the project via our community led adaptation funding initiative and with technical support.

Following initial workshops, in January 2024 staff spent a day on the island with community members, Pattle Delamore Partners, and the University of Waikato; to further understand the risks the island faces and to explore options.

  Image 1: Motuhoa Island Climate Impacts

The community are now putting together an adaptation plan, including their priorities and initial actions.


Waihī Beach Lifeguards

This community-led project seeks to understand the impacts of predicted climate changes and develop a plan to enable Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services to continue to provide essential services to the community. Staff are providing technical support to the project, following the Dynamic Adaptive Pathway Planning (DAPP) process. The third and final workshop in the project was held in late 2023.

The first 2 workshops: built an understanding of the hazards faced by the club, which of the club’s objectives would be impacted by those hazards, and what adaptation options were available. The third workshop was used to refine an adaption plan developed by the Club’s board and staff. A word cloud below is the feedback the stakeholders provided on the process and a brochure is being produced which explains the process and outcome in simple language.

Staff would like to present to the May Strategy and Policy Committee, about the adaptation planning process via this working example, to promote Councillors’ understanding the Adaptation Planning Process. This will be an increasingly important process for local government and the community in the future.

Image 2: Stakeholder feedback on the Waihī Beach Lifeguards Adaptation process.

Staff are currently working with a number of communities on potential new adaptation projects, which are currently in the scoping stage. An important role going forward will also be supporting the region’s territorial authorities when they lead adaptation planning with their communities. This initiative directly contributes to our Climate Goal 3 supporting our communities and partners.

2.1.2    House of Science

Council has provided direction on the role we should play in school education for climate change - to support the House of Science. Staff met with House of Science in late in 2023 and Council is now supporting, through sponsorship, a Climate Change Science kit in each sub-region. This sponsorship will be for three years and will include a regional council logo on the House of Science website (as a sponsor) a logo on the outside of the Climate Change kit, a logo on the teacher’s manual, alongside a paragraph about the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

                         Image 3: BOPRC sponsored Climate Change Science Kit

Furthermore, there is the opportunity to work with the House of Science as they review their kits this year, to develop new activities related to adaptation and mitigation science in our Bay of Plenty context. This initiative directly contributes to our Climate Goal 4 by supporting and partnering with local experts.


2.1.3    Collaboration

The team are able to achieve a significant amount of progress in the climate programme through a collaborative ethos, working both externally and internally. As a demonstration of this:

Through the Waihī Beach Lifeguards project, staff collaborated with the Club’s Board, Surf Lifesaving NZ, Coast Guard, NZ Police, the local Community Board and Western Bay of Plenty District Council.


The team have built strong relationships with hapū and iwi through adaptation planning including: Ngāti Whakaue ki Maketū, the Te Arawa Climate Change Working group, Motuhoa Island Whānau Trust, Ngāi Tamawhariua, and Ngāti Whakaue ki Ohinemutu.


We have established and facilitate the cross-council Adaptation Technical Working Group. We also work across the sector to get the best out of our collective efforts via the Aotearoa Climate Action Network and the Climate Special Interest Group, among others.


Through the relationship we have established with the House of Science, we will be able to work with their team and Councils science team, to develop new science activities, using the House of Science resources.


The team hold a quarterly climate workshop engaging teams across Council to ensure connection and best leverage of effort.

These are just some of the examples of collaboration as key lever for efficiency and effective delivery.

2.1.4    Upcoming work

Following the successful 2023 Youth Climate Forum led by Tauranga City Council, and supported by BOPRC, a Youth Impact Climate initiative is being launched in 2024. This initiative, again led by TCC, with support from WBOPDC and BOPRC, will work with a number of young people from across the sub region in a positive and constructive manner around climate change. It will involve workshops, education, and then a series of micro grants to facilitate action for either adaptation/climate resilience or mitigation/emissions reduction. One of the ‘takeaways’ from the Youth Forum was ‘climate anxiety’ among young people: This process will work to address this in a positive and empowering manner.

BOPRC is working with councils across the country to establish a pilot of a local emissions data platform that will provide city/district/regional overview of greenhouse gas emissions, by sector, along with future emissions projections. The platform will provide a consistent approach and methodology to greenhouse gas inventories for local government which can be regularly updated, along with additional functionality to support scenario testing. We will be using the pilot to demonstrate the value in this approach and support a case for central funding of the platform.

A number of Territorial Authorities in the region are beginning to plan local climate risk assessments. These will build on the regional risk assessment and drill down into place-based assessments. Staff will work to support the districts and work to ensure the best opportunities for efficiency and synergy are achieved across the region.

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.

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 whānau, hapū and iwi in the region. Many marae in the Bay of Plenty region are located in coastal or low lying areas, or next to lakes or rivers, potentially exposed to flooding and coastal hazards.

The economic livelihood of many of the region’s hapū and iwi are linked to natural resources, through activities such as farming, forestry, aquaculture & tourism.

The funding we provide for community adaptation planning is supporting a number of hapū and iwi to develop their own climate change understanding and response. The majority of applicants for this funding are hapū, demonstrating the connection of people and place are at the forefront of adaptation in our region.

3.4      Community Engagement

The projects highlighted in this report operate at the ‘Co-operate’ and ‘Empower’ levels of the Community Engagement spectrum.

3.5      Financial Implications

The projects highlighted in this update report are all within budget and there are no material unbudgeted financial implications from this report. The Climate Change Programme is operating within the Long Term Plan 2021-2024 budget.

The team is continuously looking for opportunities to collaborate with others, to seek efficiencies in expenditure by working in partnership with others and to seek ways to leverage our own funding to achieve wider community outcomes and benefits.   


4.        Next Steps

Staff will continue to report to the Monitoring Operations Committee quarterly on progress of the Climate Change Programme, with the next report in June 2024.

Staff will present to the May 2024 Strategy and Policy Workshop on the Adaptation Pathway Planning Process, via the Waihī Beach example, to enable Councillors to engage with and understand this important process.

The next version of the Climate Change Action Plan will be finalised through the Strategy and Policy Committee, after LTP deliberations.



Attachment 1 - Climate Change Programme Overview March 2024  


Monitoring and Operations Committee                    5 March 2024

PDF Creator





Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

5 March 2024

Report Writer:

Sami Fox, Land Management Officer

Report Authoriser:

Chris Ingle, General Manager, Integrated Catchments


Ōhiwa FMU Land Management Update



Ohiwa FMU Land Management Update


Executive Summary

This is a summary of Land Management operations within the Ōhiwa Harbour Focus Catchment. It includes an update on work progress within the catchment, as well as providing other operational project highlights over the past 12 months.



That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Ohiwa FMU Land Management Update.



1.        Introduction

The Eastern Land Management staff (part of the Coastal Catchments Team) delivers a diverse range of operational works from Ōtamarākau to Cape Runaway. These works are to improve water quality and biodiversity, including the ‘Focus Catchments Programme’ which aligns our work with the highest Essential Freshwater Programme priorities- such as addressing sedimentation and bacteria in the Ōhiwa Harbour (the catchments receiving body) which are the main environmental concerns due to the shallow nature of the harbour (Figure 1).  

This report provides an update and summary of operations within the 18,754  hectare Ōhiwa catchment or ‘Freshwater Management Unit’ (FMU), and includes the catchments of Maraetōtara, Wainui and Kutarere Streams as well as the Nukuhou River (which drains 60% of the catchment). All discharge into the Ōhiwa Harbour, except Maraetōtara which flows directly out to the coast at Ōhope.

Land use in Ōhiwa is comprised of native forest (22%) and dairy (24%), along with 17% exotic forest, 11% drystock, and nearly 5% in lifestyle blocks (Figure 2). Sediment loss, particularly from pastoral land uses and plantation forestry harvest and recently harvested areas is affecting the ecological health of Ōhiwa Harbour. Much of the land is very steep and erodible as identified in our SedNetNZ modelling of the catchment. Seagrass extents in the Harbour are also declining, and mangroves are naturally expanding into the muddier substrates. Climate change impacts are likely to increase this problem significantly over time. Faecal contamination following heavy rainfall events is significant too.

Both the sediment and E.coli will require significant changes in land use and practice to improve water quality outcomes and meet draft NPS-FM environmental outcomes for this catchment (Figure 1). Furthermore, nutrient concentrations have also seen worsening trends for nitrates and phosphorus, but the degree of change required is smaller by comparison.  

We are now several years into the Focus Catchments work programme and a significant amount of work has been achieved within the catchment through voluntary, incentives-based projects with willing landowners. Land management activities and interventions are important delivery tools for achieving water quality improvements.

The work is funded through the Coastal Catchments Activity, and complements Council’s science, policy and regulatory teams’ efforts. The Ōhiwa harbour is also overseen by the Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum (OHIF) which is a joint non-statutory committee with members from Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, Te Upokorehe, Waimana Kaaku – Ngāi Tūhoe and the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board as well as Councillors from Ōpōtiki and Whakatāne District Councils and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.


Figure 1: Ōhiwa Harbour Catchment/FMU requires a high scale of change for both Sediment & E. coli attributes under the Councils NPSFM Essential Freshwater Programme. 



Figure 2: Ōhiwa Harbour Land Cover Information (produced 2018)


1.1      Legislative Framework

The Land Management work is supported by the Environmental Grants Policy which sets out how, where and to what extent grants, advisory services and community support are provided to achieve our community outcomes and strategic priorities. The policy is based on statutory roles and responsibilities for Councils set out in the RMA 1991 (including the NPS-FW & IB and NES-F and the Soils and Rivers Control Act), often through objectives, policies and methods set out in the Regional Natural Resources Plan.

The Ōhiwa Catchment is also governed by the Ōhiwa Harbour Strategy which was developed by OHIF and has been in place since 2007. The strategy is an action plan to maintain the well-being of the Ōhiwa Harbour and its catchment and improve its health where needed. Some prominent areas that the strategy has made great progress recently, has been identifying and remediating barriers to fish passage throughout the catchment and the restoration of historic mussel beds near the mouth of the harbour. 

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 Way We Work

We look to partnerships for best outcomes.


The Land Management programme aligns with a number of community outcomes, including those related to Healthy Environments and Freshwater for Life. The way we work incorporates Partnerships with Māori and Community Participation.

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. It both complements 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.

1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

þ Environmental

High - Positive

þ Cultural

Medium - Positive

þ Social

Medium - Positive

¨ 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 Catchment Update

The Ōhiwa progress report card in Figure 3 provides an overall summary of funding partners and physical works that have been undertaken in the catchment since 2019, as well as a summary of planned works so far for the upcoming 2023/24 year. Since 2019, across 35 different properties, over 390 hectares have been retired or protected with 180 km of new protection fencing and 72,431 native plants established. Land management works to protect forest remnants, retire steep erodible land, riparian margins and wetlands all helps contribute to the sediment and E. coli reductions required in this catchment.

The overall spatial coverage of Environmental Programmes (i.e. landowners directly engaged with receiving support and advice from the Council) across the wider catchment is significant- as shown in Figure 4. Some of these landowners with environmental programmes are just starting out while others have been proactive for over 20 years. Future work is likely to include further work on these properties and attempts to engage all other landowners with larger holdings and critical source areas.

Common land management works on properties have included the following: riparian fencing (including small streams and drains not covered by the NPS), riparian planting, native planting on retired steep areas, fencing of native bush remnants (including deer fencing for high priority/high risk sites), pest animal control (including traps & bait stations), pest plant control (including contributions toward spray or contractor time) and constructing/ enhancing wetlands. The overall coverage of waterway fencing in the Ōhiwa Harbour catchment was checked in 2018 (see Figure 5), and since then some 180 km of new fencing has been erected in the catchment.

Figure 3: Ōhiwa Focus Catchment Progress Report Card

Figure 4: Landowners with Environmental Programmes (green) across both the Ōhiwa and also Waiotahe Focus Catchments.


Figure 5: 2018 Ōhiwa Focus Catchment waterway stock exclusion. 


2.2      Ōhiwa Catchment Operational Update

2.2.1    Ministry for the Environment Public Waterways and Ecosystem Restoration Fund

The MfE Public Waterways and Ecosystem Restoration Fund (PWER) began in July 2020 as a Jobs for Nature project in the Bay of Plenty region to fast track environmental works in Focus Catchments and has led to the incentivisation of water quality focused Environmental Programmes across 15 different properties within the catchment (providing supplementary co-funding to offset Council and landowner contributions). Across the Ōhiwa catchment the MfE PWER fund work included:

·     Total project costs of $1,434,045 (including landowner contributions)

·     Total MfE contribution of $715,272

·     Total plants planted: 30,301

·     Total length of new riparian/wetland/bush fencing: 86 km

·     Landowner & contractor people hours to deliver works: 11,550 hours across 216 different people  


The MfE PWER fund was fully expended and ended in July 2023. Figure shows a few examples of areas that have been retired/protected using the MfE PWER co-funding around Ōhiwa. Protecting forest remnants can have both biodiversity and significant water quality benefits, as livestock graze and trample the understory creating bare areas (susceptible to erosion) and further prevent the natural regeneration of natives.

Figure 6: Examples of some MfE PWER co-funded works around Ōhiwa:

1 & 2: Part of the 11.8 ha protection area (through 6km of protection fencing) that has been retired on this property along a stretch of the Waingarara Stream.

3: Extent of waterway protection that was achieved on one property shown in photos above.

4: A 4 ha retirement area (through 5.7km of protection fencing) along a stretch of the Matahaka Stream that was fenced and planted.

5: 5.2km of protection fencing along the Te Rereoterangi Stream fenced and planted.



2.2.2    Ministry for Primary Industries One Billion Trees Fund

The MPI One Billion Trees Fund (1BT) began in July 2019 and provided a contribution rate of up to $4,000/hectare for native planting and up to $500/project for fencing costs, with a minimum density requirement of 350/stems ha for tall trees. This has helped Council and landowners subsidise planting costs into areas that are retired out of production, increasing biodiversity values and reducing the risk of weed invasion into protection areas.   

A total of $54,063 of MPI funds have been allocated across 14 properties within the Ōhiwa catchment towards 26,057 trees. The MPI 1BT fund is now fully expended and due for completion in March 2024.

2.2.3    Wetlands

Mapping of potential saltmarsh habitat in the Ōhiwa Harbour has been completed as part of a wider region wide project. LiDAR, field surveys and aerial imagery identified that the preferred elevation range for saltmarsh occurs between 0.8 m–1.2 m above mean sea level (Moturiki datum). We used 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 a further 3,288 hectares identified as ‘potential saltmarsh habitat’ currently in pastoral use. In Ōhiwa, there was 365 hectares of potential saltmarsh area, with 213 hectares of this currently in pastoral land use - representing a significant future environmental opportunity for land management staff to consult with those landowners, assess current site conditions and potentially incentivise the restoration of these areas from marginal pasture back to valuable salt marsh habitat.

In 2021 34 saltmarsh sites were assessed around Ōhiwa Harbour – all sites were found to be in good or excellent condition, except one which was in moderate condition. Minimal deteriorations were observed. The most concerning change was the detection of an invasive grass species (saltwater paspalum) at the Tunanui site. Another concern noted was the loss of 300m2 of wetland area - the site would be assessed for natural regeneration and planting to restore it. Re-measurement of the survey is to be conducted in five years’ time or when future aerial photography is released. Numerous care groups provide significant volunteer mahi in the wetlands that surround Ōhiwa Harbour. 

There are a range of different sediment traps and wetlands in the catchment. Some landowners are enhancing/ restoring natural features, others are adding sediment traps to artificial drains. An older constructed wetland from a 100 ha sub-catchment of Ōhiwa harbour has seen approximately 100 tonnes of sediment removed from last year’s waterlogged conditions, emphasising the importance of advocating for new treatment wetland projects in the area. In 2023 a new 1 ha wetland was also constructed on the edge of the harbour ecotone from freshwater wetland saltmarsh and mangrove habitat.

2.2.4    Biodiversity

The Ōhiwa Catchment has significant biodiversity values, with some recent developments in large-scale and small-scale biodiversity protection. The largest project being the Ōhope and Whakatāne sites including Kōhī Point Scenic Reserve, Mokorua Bush Scenic Reserve, Ōhope Scenic Reserve, Ngāti Awa Kawenata land and the Dodds QEII Covenant for which the Environmental Programme covering the next two years was recently signed by the project partners. This is Council’s largest single Environmental Programme by value which effectively protects the biodiversity of 1,041 ha of pohutukawa and broadleaved tawa dominant forest. This project is worth an estimated $335,900 per annum (including $222,000 from Council), excluding the approximate 8,164 volunteer hours contributing to this project. The reserves are now home to a significant population of kiwi, which dwindled to just four breeding pairs in the Ōhope scenic reserve in 2000.

The Ohope Whakatāne Sites is not the only home to kiwi in the Ōhiwa harbour with one of our recently protected priority biodiversity sites on private land (Millar’s) also having at least a pair of kiwi, which were caught on camera last winter (7). This site is made up of 22ha of Tawa, kohekohe, rewarewa, hinau, podocarp forest protected with a neighbouring 13ha block also protected. These sites were protected with deer fencing and a predator baiting and trapping programme in the forest remnants.

 kiwi 3.MP4


Figure 7: Video stills of kiwi taken in the Millars Environmental Programme area taken on two separate evenings. 

There is just one ‘Priority 1’ PBS biodiversity site (a coastal kahikatea remnant) in the Ōhiwa catchment, which has also been fenced and is protected with pest animal control for possums and rats. The mahi that was completed in the past has recently been protected into perpetuity through a Council Covenant in Gross against the title. Other Priority 2 and 3 biodiversity sites in the catchment are future opportunities to support fencing and pest control activity with co-benefits for water quality.

2.2.5    Water quality targets, monitoring & NPS-FM alignment

Ōhiwa Harbour mud content and faecal contaminants need to reduce (Figure 1), and nutrients should not increase. Indicated load reductions for the Harbour are:

• A 15% sediment load reduction might be achieved by good management practice in the catchment, although substantially more is likely to be needed to improve Harbour ecological health.

• 69% E. coli reduction to meet C band for human contact in the Nukuhou River.

These are large sediment load reductions, and very large E. coli reductions. Some long-term monitoring sites are below national bottom lines and need to improve. For example, phosphorus (DRP) and E. coli at the Nukuhou River monitoring site are in a ‘poor’ state and need to improve. Ōhiwa Harbour ecological health will decline if worsening nutrient concentrations continue. Current nutrient loads are likely to be only slightly impacting harbour ecological health.

The “very likely worsening” trends for nitrate and “likely worsening” for DRP trends on the Nukuhou as the main tributary of the harbour are concerning. Indications are that nutrient loads need to be held at current levels or reduced to support the harbour. These contaminants are generally sourced from pastoral farming land uses. It is likely that dairy farming land use is the predominant source of these contaminants. Work is also underway to estimate how much phosphorus is naturally occurring so that reasonable targets can be set.

The Harbour is valued by the community for its kai moana – flounder, shellfish and native freshwater fish with the Nukuhou River being an important freshwater mahinga kai source. The Council has three monitoring sites for shellfish harvesting around the estuary: Ōhiwa Harbour at Reserve (Boat Ramp), Ōhope at Surf Club, and Ōhope Beach opposite Moana Street. Monitoring over the past five years has shown that water quality is generally safe for shellfish gathering/mahinga kai at the Ōhope sites, but the Boat Ramp site has had some exceedances.

In 2021 the regional council contracted Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research to undertake SedNetNZ modelling which identifies sources and sinks of sediment and nutrients in river networks and predicts spatial patterns of erosion and sediment load. This model found that from the different sediment sources; 75% was from landslides, 17% from river/stream banks and 8% from surficial erosion. This model predicted a 15% reduction in sediment load from the catchment could be achieved under a mitigation scenario incorporating potential riparian fencing and scrub reversion in steep pastoral hill country. Although these findings give a fairly grim forecast ahead it also helps us and the community set realistic goals for reducing sediment yields from the catchment.

2.2.6    River management

The past few years of wet weather has seen high river flows in the Nukuhou River which has resulted in the downcutting of the bed of the river and significant amounts of bank material from the soft unconsolidated banks becoming mobilised and ultimately ending up in the harbour. Detailed aerial drone photography of the lower river has been taken and this imagery is being analysed by Roger Waugh from Riverscape Ltd to analyse options for reducing riverine erosion and prioritise areas for bank remediation. The Nukuhou River is not part of a rated river scheme so the financial resource for any river management is limited. Initial findings have pointed to the need for bed control structures to aggrade bed material and stop the current pattern of the bed being down-cut and leading to bank slumping. Third party funding is being explored for the creation of a number of bed control structures in the river.

Also, recent riverbank erosion has highlighted the importance for council to maintain supply of shrub willow planting stock for the protection of riverbanks throughout the Eastern Bay and hence staff have been working together to create a Regional Council owned shrub willow nursery as well as contingency supply from willing landowners.   

Work is also underway for the establishment of a regional council poplar nursery and there are a couple of local private poplar nurseries becoming established which will support river management and hill country pole planting initiatives in the region- as pole supply remains a challenge for the land management team due to lack of commercial suppliers in the region.

2.2.7    Care Groups

The largest proportion of priority biodiversity sites and care groups in the Eastern Bay are located around the Ōhiwa Harbour. There are 13 Care Groups around the Ōhiwa harbour protecting 1000s of hectares of public land.

An environmental programme protecting the biodiversity (some 175ha) of the Ōhope spit has also recently been finalised and is with project partners for signing. This plan coordinates the work of numerous groups (12) at the spit east of Port Ōhope.

Other groups operating in the Ōhiwa Harbour catchment include: Ōhiwa spit, Nukuhou saltmarsh (and Uretara Island), Upokorehe iwi Kaitiaki, Kutarere Roimata, Ruatuna Pukeruru, Ōhiwa Reserves, Ōhope harbourside walkway, Hurike, Bryans beach, Harrison Road also a farmer led catchment group has been taking shape over the last 12 months with help from the Landcare Trust and Waiōtahe Water care.

A successful public community presentation covering the main water quality issues and Council work being undertaken in the catchment was held in the Nukuhou North Settlers hall in early 2022, with around 20 farmers attending. The group was also gauged for interest in establishing a catchment group which may eventuate in the future with support of Landcare Trust and the Council. This work helped the Ōhiwa and Waiōtahe FMUs have some of the highest attendance and engagement at the policy teams recent Essential Freshwater Programme drop-in sessions updating on the plan change process.

2.2.8    Ōhiwa Harbour Implementation Forum (OHIF)

Fish passage project

Many of New Zealand’s native fish species are dependent on access between rivers, streams and the sea, including taonga species such as tuna (longfin eel) and piharau (lamprey). Unobstructed fish passage allows our desirable native fish species to access key habitats for completing important parts of their life cycle, such as breeding and spawning.

There are numerous instream structures such as culverts, dams, fords and flap gates in our waterways that can impede fish passage and make it challenging for these species to breed and spawn. Approximately 70% of our native fish nationwide are threatened or at risk. Their numbers can be reduced or completely lost from a stream if their movement up or downstream is delayed or obstructed.

Desktop analysis of aerial photography has identified 872 possible barriers to fish passage. In summer 2021 large scale survey work was commenced with the majority of structures having now been assessed and the focus now being on remediation. As at October 2023 of the 217 barriers identified 45 have been remediated.    Remediations can be as simple as providing rope for fish to climb through culverts, adding baffles in culverts to reduce water velocity, adding rocks or ramps to perched culverts, or modifying flap gates to not close as quickly. Sometimes remediations are more complicated and costly, for example replacing culverts with bridges where a resource consent would be required. A lot of these fish passage assessments and remediations have been achieved by Ōhiwa Harbour resident and fish passage leader Kelly Hughes.

Mussel restoration

The Awhi Mai Awhi Atu mussel restoration project (OHIF and Sustainable seas National science challenge funded research) has been caried out in the Ōhiwa harbour from July 2019 - June 2023, building on earlier work by Kura Paul-Burke and a team of tangata whenua and researchers. Populations at the start of the project were estimated at 78,000 mussels with the population increasing to an estimated 16 million. Restoration stations involved suspending mussel spat from the bed of the harbour (away from predatory seastars) and the active management of seastar populations. Removed seastars were taken to a local worm farm as feed and made into hand cream. Third party funding grants through the national science challenge have now ceased, which is a risk to the continuation of this mahi. OHIF is providing annual funding for a reduced scale of the work, and discussions are underway to scope whether volunteers would be able to assist in managing seastar populations and thus reducing the potential cost of seastar removal. However, further funding to sustain the mussel monitoring and seastar control work is required to ensure the benefits of this project continue.

2.2.9    Ōhiwa Harbour engagement challenges 

The Ōhiwa Catchment requires a significant amount of change to achieve community values and targets under the Essential Freshwater Programme. The potential regulatory options (land use rules such as slope-based controls) being considered by the Regional Council to address change have resulted in some concerns from some of the larger landowners in the catchment, to the extent that some have pulled back from their longer-term work programmes and relationships with the land management team while they await better certainty on the new ‘regulatory environment’.

There has also been some land management staff turnover in the catchment which can be challenging as landowners often prefer consistency of relationship with council. Another challenge is that the larger commercial land users are not directly alongside the estuary and so often have less connection and personal interest in the harbour compared with the smaller land holders who adjoin the harbour directly but are not significant contributors to the contaminant loads.

2.2.10  Priority Ōhiwa land management actions for 2024/2025 and onwards

·     Continue to work with individual landowners to develop Environmental Programmes that contribute to enhanced biodiversity and water quality outcomes in the catchment and contribute to relevant OHIF outcomes. Prioritisation will be given to actions that address the main sediment and E. coli issues present, and priority biodiversity sites (PBS’s).


·     Establish new willow and poplar nursery areas as part of the land management tool kit for steeper land erosion and stream bank erosion.


·     Provide ongoing support to maintain/ enhance the Ōhiwa Mussel beds and seek co-funding.


·     Continue with fish passage remediations in the catchment.


·     Prioritise the retirement of areas identified as ‘potential’ saltmarsh habitat and pursue new wetland development opportunities.


·     Progress with remediation of the Nukuhou River bed degradation and bank stabilisation works.


·     Support community/catchment groups and collaborate with community organisations and other agencies to maximise the progress towards achieving a healthy harbour and catchment.


·     Support landowners with understanding the changing regulatory environment, including farm planning etc.  


3.        Considerations

3.1      Risks and Mitigations

There are no significant risks to this work programme at this time, other than the risk mussel monitoring and seastar control will no longer continue. Volunteer assistance is being explored for this mahi and potential third-party funders such as Bay Trust have been invited to attend OHIF. 

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. Sea level rise as a result of climate change will lead to greater amounts of low-lying marginal land being retired around the Ōhiwa Harbour.    


3.3      Implications for Māori

Catchment work spans the rohe of a number of different iwi/hapū, and includes advice and support to Māori land owners consistent with Council’s Environmental Grants Policy. 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.

Recent freshwater engagement for the NPSFM saw good attendance with most large-scale landowners present and impassioned engagement being undertaken in this catchment.


3.5      Financial Implications

This work is funded from the allocated budget of the Coastal Catchments Activity. 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. The one project at risk due to a cessation of funding is the mussel bed work, and there are efforts to attract third party co-funders underway.

4.        Next Steps

The Land Management team will continue to deliver its Ōhiwa Harbour Focus Catchment work programme priority actions with community, iwi/hapū and other relevant stakeholders.








Report To:

Monitoring and Operations Committee

Meeting Date:

5 March 2024

Report Writer:

Jo Pellew, Rates Manager

Report Authoriser:

Mat Taylor, General Manager, Corporate


To provide a quarterly update on the rates collection activity



Rates Collection Update


Executive Summary

This report provides an overview of 2023/24 rates collection.

·          The 2023/24 rates instalment was due for payment on 20 October 2023. The collection rate of the current instalment is at present 96.6%.

·          Just over 9,600 first rates reminder letters were sent out in the last week of January 2024.

·          Two new initiatives will soon be available on our website.

The first initiative is a Property Settlement portal that provides self-service settlement statements for rates, to be used for property sales and refinancing. Solicitors can download their required information in real time, making this process faster and more efficient.

The second initiative is an interactive customer online Rates Remission experience on our website to assist in understanding eligibility of our rate remission process. It will help customers understand rates remissions in a plain and simple format, with explainers that guide the users through the process.

·          Direct debits continue to increase, with over 42,000 customers now signed up to pay their rates by this method.




That the Monitoring and Operations Committee:

1       Receives the report, Rates Collection Update.



1.        Introduction

This report provides an overview of the third quarter of the 2023/24 rating year. We provide a comparison of our rates collection and relevant data year-on-year to show how we are progressing against previous collection activity. Additionally, we detail two interactive website initiatives that will be available on our website shortly to enhance the customer experience with us.

The collection of rates continues to be steady. We continue to engage with ratepayers who have not yet made payment for their rates account. Inflation and the increasing cost of living are impacting our ratepayers. Longer-term arrangements are being used that covers the current and the following rating year to smooth and reduce the payment amount to assist with affordability.

We sent just over 9,600 rate reminder letters in late January to remaining customers who have not arranged or are paying an insufficient amount that will not clear their rates by 30 June 2024. In contrast, we sent over 21,000 penalty letters in November. The decline from that time to the number of rate reminders sent, shows that over half of that number made full payment or set up an acceptable arrangement to clear their rates in the last two months.

The number of direct debits continues to rise, and we continue to encourage this payment method in our rate reminder letters to show how easy it is to pay rates in smaller amounts rather than a one-time payment.

1.1      Legislative Framework

The Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (“LGRA”) and the Rating Valuations Act 1998 (“RVA”) 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 comply with the Local Government Act 2002 (“LGA”) and the Privacy Act 2020 (“PA”).

1.2      Alignment with Strategic Framework


A Vibrant Region

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

The Way We Work

We continually seek opportunities to innovate and improve.

We provide great customer service.

We deliver value to our ratepayers and our customers.


1.2.1    Community Well-beings Assessment

Dominant Well-Beings Affected

¨ Environmental


þ Cultural

Medium - Positive

þ Social

Medium - Positive

þ Economic

Medium - Positive


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 we have control over rating policies and can have 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, rating whenua Māori, including decisions on rates arrears, remissions and consolidation of whenua Māori land blocks or multiple dwellings for rating purposes.

The current economic climate poses many challenges and opportunities for us as a region. We are aware of the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, inflation, and current environmental issues on our local businesses and residents in the region. We recognise the ability of the public to make payment for rates and provide informative support the knowledge and awareness of the work that we do in the region.

2.        Rates Collection

2.1      Rates Status Update

Total rates assessed for the 2023/24 rating year amounted to $91.1 million. As of 15 February 2024, we have received payments of just over $79.9 million (87.8%).

There are also committed payments (direct debits) of $7.9 million to be paid over the remainder of the rating year to June 30, 2024.

There remains $3.1 million (3.4%) to be collected.

Image 1: Revenue collected to date.

To build on the efforts to ensure the successful collection of rates, we continue to focus on the following areas:

·     Communication with ratepayers: We have a further two rates reminder campaigns to be completed before the end of the rating year. The goal of these reminders is to remind our ratepayers of their obligation to pay their rates before the end of the rating year and advise the consequences of non-payment.

·     Streamlined debt recovery processes: Our collection process ensures an efficient and effective structure that we can easily maintain. The rating software reporting tools help us review accounts, monitor payments, and identify issues with customer payment arrangements. These tools have allowed us to have a more proactive approach in account management. This is demonstrated with the current collection rate at 96.6%, which when faced with a higher rates requirement for this rating year and a more challenging economic environment, we are engaging with customers earlier to avoid them falling behind into rate arrears, and future collection action.

2.2      Year-on-year comparison    

This section will provide a direct comparison between the current and previous rating year. In future reporting, we will compare year-on-year collection trends to assess the progress of rates collection and relevant rates data.

By comparing these two periods, we can identify any significant changes (positive or negative) and gain insights into the factors that may have influenced these trends. This approach enables us to monitor the effectiveness of our strategies and initiatives aimed at improving revenue collection. Ultimately, this allows us to make data-driven decisions when planning and allocating resources for the future.

Collection Performance Comparison

Rating Year

Value collected

% of total rates


$78.9 million



$87.9 million



Collection of rates on the due date (20 October)

Rating Year

Value collected

% of total rates


$62.4 million



$66 million


Instalment Penalty (following 31 October penalty date)

Rating Year

Letters sent

Penalty amount



$1.48 million



$1.22 million


 First Rates Reminders

Rating Year

Notifications sent






Direct Debit arrangements (as of March)

Rating Year

Number of active Direct Debits





2.3      Payment methods

We continue to inform our customers about the various methods of payment that they can use.

Customers can pay their rates through the following channels:

·     Internet banking

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

·     At NZ Post agencies across the country

·     Direct debit

·     Through our website – Windcave (credit and debit card)

Internet banking has continued to be the most popular method, followed by direct debit.

Online Payments – credit and debit cards

Online payments can be made through our Windcave portal on our website using credit or debit cards. We have reduced the surcharge for using this payment method from 2% to 1.2%. This also applies to customers who make payments over the counter by credit card.

This came about from a change in the Retail Payment legislation (Retail Payment System Act 2022), which required merchants (credit card companies) to reduce the associated fees being charged to retail operators ensuring that consumers should not pay more than reasonable fees for the supply of payment services.

The subsequent reduction in cost to the Council in using this facility has meant that we can pass on these savings directly to our ratepayers.

Since the change, there has been a slight increase in the number of customers using this payment method. Previously, only 4% of all payments (2022/23) were made using credit or debit cards, it has now increased to 7% of total payments received (2023/24).

2.4      Direct Debits

In the last year, we have gained over 7,000 new customers who are using this facility. We will continue to promote this payment method to new customers and those who need help in paying off their rates balance.

We offer weekly, fortnightly, monthly, and annual frequency options for direct debit payments. The most popular frequency option is monthly, with 40% of all active direct debits using this option. The following graph shows the spread of frequency options among our customers.

Image 2: Direct debit frequencies

There are several advantages in using direct debit payments, these include.

·     Reduced administration: Using direct debit payments reduces the manual processing of payments, which frees up time and resources to focus on other activities.

·     Steady cash flow: Direct debit payments ensure timely and steady cash flow, which reduces the risk of late or missed payments.

·     Increased customer satisfaction: Direct debit payments provide a convenient and hassle-free payment option for our customers. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and positive engagement with us.

·     Reduced costs: Direct debit payments can be more cost-effective than other payment methods, such as credit card payments, which are subject to fees.

2.5      Debt Collection

In the final week of January, we sent just over 9,600 reminder notices to our customers who had not yet set up a payment plan to clear their rates by the end of the rating year. Last year, we sent the same notice to over 11,900 customers.

We have noticed some ratepayers are experiencing difficulties in meeting their payment obligations due to various economic challenges, such as job loss, reduced working hours, and financial hardship. We understand that some individuals and families face increased financial strain, making it harder for them to prioritise their payment obligations.

To assist those struggling with financial difficulties, we try to understand the underlying causes of their situation. We work with these customers to find solutions to help them in their present circumstances. One potential solution is to extend the payment period and combine it with the forecasted amount for the following rating year. By doing so, we can reduce the amount required to be paid and make a realistic payment arrangement that the customer can manage.

While these methods may take longer to recover rates, they ensure that the customer can catch up and manage their rates in the future.

2.6      New innovations

We have two projects that are close to completion as part of our commitment to continuous improvement.

·     Online solicitor portal

·     Online Rates Remissions – Customer Experience

Property Settlement portal

The “Property Settlement Portal” is a self-service facility designed to provide rating information for solicitors or conveyancers as part of the settlement process for the sale of property or refinancing.

Currently, we receive several hundred requests each week from across the region, and we manually provide this information within a 48-hour window.

Other councils provide an online portal for solicitors to retrieve this information themselves, so the concept we have designed, replicates this.

This will allow approved solicitors to log in and retrieve our rating information for their settlement requirements in real-time, eliminating any human error from our side and providing efficiency in receiving their required information.

This is a customer-centric service that meets the customer's needs and frees up our internal resources to focus on quality control and further customer enhancement opportunities.

Online Rates Remission – Customer Experience

Our Online Rates Remission - Customer Experience is aimed at creating an easy-to-use online experience for ratepayers seeking information about their property and rates remission eligibility.

We received feedback from a ratepayer during one of our in-person hui, pointing out the complexity of the rates remission process, confusion that users can experience while finding out information about their property, and the eligibility of a rates remission.

As a result, we are creating an interactive website process to help customers navigate through a series of questions that lead them to the outcome that specifically relates to their property and potential rates remissions available to them. Along the way we will also provide further information or related websites that the ratepayer may need to go to, such as Māori Land Court, Te Puni Kokiri, and more.

We hope this will inform and empower our ratepayers to better understand what is available for their whenua and how we, as a council, can assist.

This project is crucial as we broaden our rates remission policy and want to provide a better connection with our ratepayers through this platform.

2.7      Supporting Long Term Plan consultation

We are planning to directly engage with ratepayers regarding the proposed Rates Remission policy for All land and Māori Freehold land in March/April 2024. The aim is to ensure that customers who may be affected by the proposed changes can submit their views during the consultation period.

In addition, we will be providing an online rates calculator for ratepayers to see what their proposed rates would be based on the preferred approach outlined in the draft Long-Term Plan.

3.        Considerations

3.1      Risks and Mitigations

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

3.2      Climate Change

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

The collection of rates in-house enables visibility of the work that Councils do to mitigate and manage the ongoing impacts of climate change.


3.3      Implications for Māori

Rating Māori land can be complex. Collecting our rates gives the 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.

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

3.4      Community Engagement


Engagement with the community is not required as the recommended proposal / decision [relates to internal Council matters only].

3.5      Financial ImplicationsIf the recommendation is adopted by Council, will it result in:

-   Unbudgeted work during the current financial year?

-   Unbudgeted work for any of the years remaining in the current Long Term Plan?

If the answer is ‘no’ to both questions please select the dropdown option 1 and complete appropriately.

If the answer is ‘yes’ to either question please select “Budget Implications” in the building block below and liaise with your Management Accountant in order to complete the Financial Impact table.

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

4.        Next Steps

Next Steps: What next? What resources are needed? Further analysis? Timeframes ahead. Any consultation planned. Remind Council of the process ahead. Next update to Council?

Conclusion: Short concluding remarks. Referring back to recommendations. No new content.

The rates calculator will be available online in March/April to coincide with the consultation period for determining their proposed rates based on the preferred approach outlined in the draft Long-Term Plan.

The collection process of any outstanding accounts not under a payment arrangement will continue. In April, a second rates reminder notice will be sent out to those customers.

A Rates Collection report will be presented at the next Monitoring and Operations committee in June 2024.






[1] Council’s internal GIS software