Strategy and Policy Committee

Open Minutes

Commencing:             Tuesday 9 April 2024, 9.30am

Venue:                         Council Chambers, Ground Floor, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga, and via Zoom

Chairperson:               Cr Paula Thompson

Deputy Chairperson:  Cr Kat Macmillan

Members:                    Cr Stuart Crosby

Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti (via Zoom)

Cr Matemoana McDonald

Cr Jane Nees (via Zoom)

Cr Ron Scott

Cr Ken Shirley

Cr Lyall Thurston

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Te Taru White

Cr Kevin Winters

In Attendance:            Staff: Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive; Namouta Poutasi – General Manager, Strategy and Science; Kataraina O’Brien – General Manager, Strategic Engagement (via Zoom); Reuben Fraser – General Manager, Regulatory Services, Julie Bevan – Policy and Planning Manager; Nicki Green – Principal Advisor Policy and Planning; Nassah Rolleston-Steed – Principal Advisor, Policy and Planning; Karen Parcell – Team Leader Kaiwhakatinana; Penny Doorman – Programme Leader, Geothermal; Freya Camburn – Senior Policy Analyst; Elsa Weir – Senior Planner; Samantha Pottage - Planner; Antoine Coffin – Manager, Spatial Planning; Jenny Teeuwen – Committee Advisor

External: Rob McGowan, Graeme Marshall and Kaewa Savage – Tiwaiwaka; Mary Dillon, Laura Wragg and Fiona Lavin – Envirohub BOP; Commissioner Greg Hill (via Zoom), Sharon Porter, and Tamara Mutu (via Zoom) - Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan Hearings Panel

Apologies:                  Chairman Doug Leeder, Cr Malcolm Campbell

1.     Chairperson’s Opening Statement

Chairperson Cr Paula Thompson opened the meeting and reminded those present that the meeting was being livestreamed and recorded and that the recording would be available on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC) YouTube channel following the meeting.

Recording link: Strategy and Policy Committee - 9 April 2024 - YouTube

2.     Apologies

Resolved

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

1          Accepts the apologies from Chairman Leeder and Cr Malcolm Campbell, tendered at the meeting.

Thurston/Macmillan

CARRIED

3.     Order of Business

The Chairperson advised that Item 8.6 – Update on Plan Change 11 Geothermal, would be taken after Item 8.2 - Ngā Wai Ariki o Rotorua He Mahere Whakahaere Pūnaha - Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan.

4.     Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

There were none declared.

5.     Minutes

Minutes to be Confirmed

5.1

Strategy and Policy Committee Minutes - 20 February 2024

 

Resolved

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

1          Confirms the Strategy and Policy Committee Minutes - 20 February 2024 as a true and correct record.

Thompson/Macmillan

CARRIED

6.     Presentations

6.1

Tiwaiwaka

Presented by:     Rob McGowan, Graeme Marshall, and Kaewa Savage

 

Key Points

·           Tiwaiwaka was about healing the mauri of the whenua – “When the land is well, we are well”.

·           A different set of priorities was needed as a new start to finding solutions to the impending ecological crisis – climate change, sea level rise, biodiversity loss, global pollution.

·           Outlined the six Tiwaiwaka principles that would provide a pathway to a more certain future:

1.     Caring for the whenua/earth is always the first priority

2.     We are not masters of the universe, but we are part of the family

3.     Mauri is found in the connections that enable life to thrive

4.     Our role is to care for the mauri

5.     We have to get over ourselves and our personal ambitions; these are luxuries we can no longer afford

6.     We must take special care of the tiniest living creatures; they are the key to sustainability

·           Would welcome the opportunity to present the Tiwaiwaka Principles more fully to key people of Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana (BOPRC) so that they could be front of mind as BOPRC developed its plans for our future.

In Response to Questions

·           Achieving balance between looking after all small creatures while also looking to eradicate in some cases, needed sensible, pragmatic decisions based on clear principles and guidelines.

Key Points - Members

·           Support expressed for what had been said.

·           Encouraged Tiwaiwaka to submit to BOPRC’s Long Term Plan 2024-2034 (LTP).

 

 

6.2

Envirohub BOP

Presentation:      Envirohub: Objective ID A4640189  

Presented by:     Mary Dillon, Laura Wragg and Fiona Lavin

 

Key Points

·           Acknowledged the support received from BOPRC over the years.

·           The frequency of weather related disruption as a result of climate change was no longer a distant concern and the need for preparedness and resilience within the Bay of Plenty region was a reality given the region’s large coastline.

·           Envirohub BOP (Envirohub) had been working within and for the region’s environment for the last 22 years. 

·           Envirohub had a long standing relationship with BOPRC and a track record for delivering on objectives.  Would like to build on this relationship and form a partnership to deliver even more together.

·           Had already formed enduring and successful partnerships with Tauranga City Council (TCC), Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC), and Bay Trust.

·           Outlined Envirohub’s focus for the next few years and how their mahi aligned with BOPRC.

In Response to Questions

·           Envirohub currently received funding from BOPRC through a competitive funding process.  They would like to enter into a partnership with BOPRC similar to what they already had with TCC, i.e. to have a dedicated BOPRC staff member to ‘look after’ Envirohub from a BOPRC perspective, and to enter into a multi project deal with direct funding.

·           Envirohub worked closely with Tiwaiwaka – Rob McGown was a patron of Envirohub.

 

7.     Reports

7.1

Operating Environment

Presented by:     Namouta Poutasi – General Manager, Strategy and Science

Julie Bevan – Policy and Planning Manager

Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive

In Response to Questions

·           A key topic in the LTP deliberations would be whether BOPRC was adequately resourced to make the transition from the requirements of the previous Government to the requirements of the new Government.  Councillors had already provided some direction in terms of pre-empting some of the potential changes e.g. paused Farm Environment Plans (FEPs).

·           It was hoped that a decision from central Government to support the region’s stopbank control work would be announced as part of their budget in May.

·           There had been no indication from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) that changes were planned for the National Planning Standards (NPStds); however, re-confirmation would be sought.

·           Councillor feedback for BOPRC’s submission to the Fast-track Approvals Bill could still be provided to the General Manager, Regulatory Services until the end of this week.

 

 

Resolved

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

1          Receives the report, Operating Environment.

Thompson/White

CARRIED

10.30am – the meeting adjourned.

10.30am – Cr Iti withdrew from the meeting.

10.50am – the meeting reconvened.

7.2

Ngā Wai Ariki o Rotorua He Mahere Whakahaere Pūnaha - Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan (SMP)

Presented by:     Penny Doorman – Programme Leader, Geothermal

Freya Camburn – Senior Policy Analyst

Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan Hearings Panel

Greg Hill – Commissioner (via Zoom)

Sharon Porter –member for Whakarewarewa

Tamara Mutu - member for Ngāpuna (via Zoom)

Key Points

·           The SMP process had been the result of five years of work and had input from a wide range of people, including many BOPRC staff.

·           The work and input of Te Ahi Kā Roa Rōpū, the three BOPRC Rotorua Councillors Thurston, White and Winters, and the Rotorua Geothermal SMP Hearings Panel (the Panel) was acknowledged.

·           Commissioner Greg Hill, as the Chair of the Panel, provided an overview of his role in the process and how the process went.

·           The Panel’s recommendations were of the majority of the Panel – five in support and one opposed.

·           Sharon Porter, Tamara Mutu and Fred Clubb (not in attendance) were invited by the Chairperson to provide comments.  Both Sharon and Tamara expressed their appreciation for being given the space and opportunity to be part of the process, and be involved in the plans that affected them and their taonga so directly.

·           Councillors Thurston, White and Winters, as members of the Panel, were invited to provide comments:

Councillor Thurston:

While Ngā wai ariki o Rotorua may currently be in a healthy state, it needed to be acknowledged that it was also fragile. The SMP was a positive way forward to ensure its ongoing protection.

Councillor Winters:

Pleased that the point of being able to adopt the SMP for Ngā wai ariki o Rotorua had been reached.  While it was only the first step rather than the end of the journey, it was a positive start for the people of Rotorua.

Councillor White:

The passion that the people had for Ngā wai ariki o Rotorua was in the hearts and minds. It was a taonga, physically still used today, with an undisturbed connection since the time of first arrival.  Acknowledged the work that had been done to ensure the sustainability and resilience of this taonga.

In Response to Questions

·           There was considerable complexity around the issue of whether first rights for development should be to Māori, and the Panel’s recommendation was based on a number of considerations, not just one specific legal constraint.  The focus of the Panel was more on the type of use, and what types of use were important, rather than who was allocated the resource.

·           The makeup of the proposed governance group was a point of discussion for the Panel (pages 69/70 of the agenda, section 2.4 of the report’s Attachment 2), and did not exclude Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC).  Suggested that the proposed governance group be considered as part of the wider governance review. 

·           Some of the terminology around uses and users had been confusing; however, this had been alleviated through the Panel decision making process by simplifying the prioritisation, and “commercial use” was no longer specifically identified in the much broader list of priorities.

·           Geothermal was very complex and would always need external consultant support.  BOPRC partnered often and closely with GNS Science, but also worked with only geothermal providers/consultants dependent on required skillsets.  

 

 

Resolved

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

1          Receives the report, Ngā Wai Ariki o Rotorua He Mahere Whakahaere Pūnaha - Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan.

2          Approves the Hearings Panel recommended changes to Ngā Wai Ariki o Rotorua He Mahere Whakahaere Pūnaha - Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan.

3          Adopts Ngā Wai Ariki o Rotorua He Mahere Whakahaere Pūnaha - Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan.

4          Delegates to the General Manager Strategy and Science to approve any final minor edits to Ngā Wai Ariki o Rotorua He Mahere Whakahaere Pūnaha - Rotorua Geothermal System Management Plan, prior to its release.

5        Acknowledges with thanks Commissioner Greg Hill, the three hau kainga representatives – Sharon Porter, Tamara Mutu and Fred Clubb, and also the BOPRC staff involved, for their contribution.

Shirley/von Dadelszen

CARRIED

11.36am – Cr Iti entered the meeting.

Agenda Item 8.6 - Update on Plan Change 11 Geothermal, was taken next.

7.3

Update on Plan Change 11 Geothermal

Presentation:      Plan Change 11 Geothermal Update: Objective ID A4640566  

Presented by:     Freya Camburn – Senior Policy Analyst

Elsa Weir - Senior Planner

Reuben Fraser – General Manager, Regulatory Services

Key Points

·           Plan Change 11 Geothermal (PC11) was a region-wide plan change, covering all geothermal systems in the Bay of Plenty region.

·           Provided overview for why PC11 was needed.

·           Outlined some of the key technical and policy documents that would support the plan change.

·           Outlined what key changes were being proposed and what was not.

·           Provided more specific information for the Tauranga Geothermal System, including key issues.

·           Outlined the timeline and next steps.

In Response to Questions

·           The cost of the example provided for the renewal of a geothermal consent in a residential area seemed high, and staff would look into this.

·           A cultural impact assessment report with a fee of around $5,000 required as part of a discretionary activity geothermal consent renewal was considered to be within the normal range.

·           BOPRC had a role in whether consent proposals were acceptable for fast-track; and if they were, could provide input into the makeup of the panel to decide those proposals. 

 

 

Resolved

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

1          Receives the report, Update on Plan Change 11 Geothermal.

Thompson/von Dadelszen

CARRIED

 

7.4

Freshwater Policy Programme: Timeline to deliver proposed Regional Policy Statement Change 7 (Freshwater) and proposed Regional Natural Resources Plan Change 19 (Freshwater)

Presentation:      Freshwater Policy Programme - Timeline update: Objective ID A4640194  

Presented by:     Nicki Green – Principal Advisor Policy and Planning

Key Points

·           Noted an error on page 30 of the agenda, under section 3.1 of the report, the Tangata Whenua Advisory Group referenced was actually the Kaupapa Māori Technical Reference Group.

 

 

Resolved

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

1          Receives the report, Freshwater Policy Programme: Timeline to deliver proposed Regional Policy Statement Change 7 (Freshwater) and proposed Regional Natural Resources Plan Change 19 (Freshwater) .

2          Approves the recommended timeline, noting in particular the timing for targeted release of draft changes for consultation.

Crosby/Macmillan

CARRIED

 

7.5

Update on Plan Change 13 - Third Interim Decision of the Environment Court

Presented by:     Karen Parcell – Team Leader Kaiwhakatinana

In Response to Questions

·           Improvements to the Mount Maunganui Airshed (MMA) were already evident; however, it was likely that there may still be times when conditions aligned to promote an occasional breach.  As better management practices were put in place under the new rule, AQ R22, breaches in the MMA would become more unlikely.

Key Points - Members

·           It was suggested that this information be presented and shared with the Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party.

 

 

Resolved

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

1          Receives the report, Update on Plan Change 13 - Third Interim Decision of the Environment Court.

2          Agrees to incorporate the final provisions, to manage handling of bulk solid materials and log handling as directed by the Environment Court in its Third Interim Decision on Plan Change 13, into the Regional Natural Resources Plan.

3          Affixes the seal of the Regional Council for reference to the Minister of Conservation for approval.

4          Delegates to the Group Manager Strategy and Science to make minor corrections to Plan Change 13 if required, and to make amendments as directed by the Minister of Conservation.

5          Delegates to the Chief Executive the authority to set the date to make the final provisions operative, once approval has been given by the Minister of Conservation.

Macmillan/McDonald

CARRIED

 

7.6

Appeals to Proposed Change 6 (NPS-UD) to the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement

Presented by:     Samantha Pottage - Planner

Nassah Rolleston Steed - Principal Advisor, Policy and Planning

Key Points

·           No further appeals had been received.

In Response to Questions

·           Policy UG 7A - Providing for unanticipated or out-sequence urban growth – urban development, was the main appeal point from all appellants, seeking to reduce/remove the threshold for significant development capacity e.g. five hectare minimum for ‘large scale’ urban development in the Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty urban environments.  It was noted that this policy only applied to private plan changes.

 

 

Resolved

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

1          Receives the report, Appeals to Proposed Change 6 (NPS-UD) to the Bay of Plenty Regional Policy Statement; and

2          Establishes an Appeals Sub-committee for the purpose of guiding the resolution of Environment Court appeals to Proposed Change 6 (NPS-UD), with Bay of Plenty Regional Council Councillors Paula Thompson, Jane Nees and Kat Macmillan; and

3          Notes Council has received four Environment Court appeals to Proposed Change 6 (NPS-UD).

Thurston/Crosby

CARRIED

 

7.7

Spatial Planning - Work Programme

Presentation:      Spatial Planning Work Programme: Objective ID A4640805  

Presented by:     Antoine Coffin – Manager, Spatial Planning

Key Points

·           Provided overview of the Spatial Planning work programme.

·           Outlined key statutory and LTP drivers.

·           Key region and sub-regional spatial plan activities included:

-      SmartGrowth Strategy and Implementation Plan

-      Eastern Bay of Plenty Spatial Plan

-      Rotorua Future Development Strategy

-      Tauriko Specified Development Project – Kainga Ora

-      Locality Plans e.g. Mount – Arataki Spatial Plan

-      Tangata Whenua Spatial Plans

-      Regional profile, future scenarios and critical infrastructure

-      Urban/spatial planning advice to governance and partners

-      Building local capability.

In Response to Questions

·           Tauranga City Council (TCC) was the lead for the Mount – Arataki spatial plan.  BOPRC’s role was for the more region-wide implications of that area.

·           Marine spatial planning would be included where it was required and necessary.

·           Efficient and effective technology that could be easily updated would be used to communicate complex information in a simplified way.

·           The proposed Fast Track Approvals process could reveal some innovation and opportunity that could make a positive difference, that might not otherwise be realised.

 

 

Resolved

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

1          Receives the report, Spatial Planning - Work Programme .

Thompson/Macmillan

CARRIED

 

12.39pm – the meeting closed.

 

 

Confirmed                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                               Cr Paula Thompson

Chairperson, Strategy and Policy Committee