Informal Workshop Notes

Strategy and Policy Committee Workshop

Held:                            9.30am, Tuesday 21 May 2024

Venue                          Council Chambers, Regional House, 1 Elizabeth Street, Tauranga, and via Zoom (Audio Visual Meeting)

Chairperson:               Cr Kat Macmillan – for this Workshop

Present:                       Cr Malcolm Campbell

Cr Stuart Crosby (via Zoom)

Cr Toi Kai Rākau Iti (via Zoom)

Chairman Doug Leeder

Cr Matemoana McDonald (via Zoom)

Cr Jane Nees

Cr Ron Scott

Cr Ken Shirley

Cr Lyall Thurston

Cr Andrew von Dadelszen

Cr Te Taru White (via Zoom)

Cr Kevin Winters (via Zoom)

In Attendance:            Staff: Fiona McTavish – Chief Executive; Namouta Poutasi – General Manager, Strategy and Science; Chris Ingle – General Manager, Integrated Catchments; Reuben Fraser – General Manager – Regulatory Services; Nic Newman - Climate Change Programme Manager; Ana Serrano - Senior Advisor, Climate Resilience; Antoine Coffin - Manager, Spatial Planning; Bex Houston - Geospatial Analyst; Freya Camburn - Senior Policy Analyst; Elsa Weir – Senior Planner; Karen Parcell - Team Leader Kaiwhakatinana; Mark Hamilton - Senior Policy Analyst; Nassah Rolleston-Steed - Principal Advisor, Policy and Planning; Jenny Teeuwen – Committee Advisor

Apologies:                  Cr Paula Thompson

As Chairperson Cr Paula Thompson was unable to attend the workshop, the Deputy Chairperson Cr Kat Macmillan, assumed the Chair.

1.     Introduction

Chairperson, Cr Kat Macmillan, welcomed those present and noted that the workshop was open to the public, but would not be livestreamed or recorded.

2.     Presentations


An introduction to Climate Adaptation Planning

Presentation:      An Introduction to Climate Adaptation Planning: Objective ID A4674004

Tabled Document:    Tabled Document - Waihi Beach Surf Club Climate Change Brochure: Objective ID A4675339  

Presented by:     Nic Newman - Climate Change Programme Manager

Ana Serrano - Senior Advisor, Climate Resilience


Key Points

·           The purpose of the presentation was to bring Councillors up to speed with the relatively new (for New Zealand) Climate Adaptation Planning approach that was commonly used worldwide.

·           Introduced DAPP - Dynamic Adaptive Pathways Planning, an innovative approach to planning and decision-making under conditions of deep uncertainty, that explicitly considered decision-making over time responding to how the future unfolded.  It was designed to support communities who were ready to start planning for a changing climate.  The DAPP cycle was included in the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) Coastal Hazards and Climate Change guidelines.

·           Provided an explanation of how DAPP worked and what it looked like.

·           Explained the DAPP 10-step process using the local Waihī Beach Lifeguards project as an example.

·           The Waihi Beach Lifeguards project had been nominated for a LGFA (New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency) Taituarā Local Government Excellence Award, in the BERL (Business and Economic Research Limited) Award for Excellence in Collaborating for Results category, which recognised projects that demonstrated collaboration with other agencies.

In Response to Questions

·           The triggers, signals and thresholds set within the DAPP could indicate when economic investment needed to be applied.

·           Using DAPP was a good approach for communities who were facing a lack of uncertainty and resources.

·           The Waihi Beach Lifeguards project was focussed on the changing climate rather than extreme events (earthquakes/tsunamis), which fell more under emergency management; however, Civil Defence Emergency Management had been involved in the project.

·           The Maketū Climate Adaptation Planning project had evolved differently with the community initially building a foundation plan which showed what the future would look like.  The community were now working on more detailed action plans.

·           Both the Waihī Beach Lifeguards and Maketū projects had received $15,000 grants from Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s (BOPRC) Community Initiatives Fund (CIF).  In addition, the Waihī Beach Lifeguards project included BOPRC staff time of approximately two days a week for five months.

·           The DAPP process helped BOPRC to empower communities to be able to continue planning as they wanted to – it was about planning and being proactive, not about reacting.

·           MfE were looking at producing practitioner guidelines and NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) had developed tools to help communities facing issues due to the changing climate.  Technical input on the ground was also valuable to help communities understand the hazards and the possible implications of changes that they may face in the future.

·           A number of areas of “future work together” had been identified through the Rotorua Development Strategy, and one of these was the concern over Rotorua lake levels.

Key Points - Members

·           Suggested that the DAPP process could also be used in the policy planning context.

·           Suggested that a simple guide to help communities who start their own adaptation planning could be useful.




Spatial Planning Case Studies

Presentation:      Spatial Planning Case Studies: Objective ID A4674044  

Presented by:     Antoine Coffin - Manager, Spatial Planning


Key Points – Staff

·           BOPRC summer experience student, Simranjot Kaur, had undertaken a comparative analysis of sixteen spatial plans at a national, regional, subregional, locality, and community level.

·           This work was used to inform BOPRC’s approach to the regional and sub-regional activities currently being undertaken – SmartGrowth, Eastern Bay Spatial Plan, and Rotorua Future Development Strategy.

·           Key learnings included:

-      There was a diversity in approaches within New Zealand (NZ).

-      A clear distinction between the United Kingdom (UK) and NZ systems was the clear and coherent framework in the UK, and the bespoke, disconnected, and diverse approaches in NZ.

-      In the NZ context, the participation of indigenous people at governance, management, and implementation level was unique.

-      There were advantages in having top-down and bottom-up methodologies (having a hybrid approach as one-size did not fit all).

·           Outlined some key attributes of the best examples of spatial plans and strategies:

-        Clarity of purpose, scale and what they were addressing.

-        Responsive to the key challenges of the community regardless of mandate.

-        Short-term focus on achievable priorities, in collaboration with partners or local communities.

·           Outlined common weaknesses, with a focus on:

-        The theory and methods of spatial plans were generally robust, but the practical implementation of these plans were commonly poor.

-        National interventions, particularly where there was no local buy-in, could be detrimental to the success of a spatial plan or strategy.

·           Provided examples of where things had been done well i.e. Rotorua Future Development Strategy and Drumchapel (Scotland).

·           Acknowledged Simranjot Kaur, Masters of Urban Planning, University of Auckland, for her work and being part of the Spatial Planning Team for a couple of months.

In Response to Questions

·           The SmartGrowth strategy was comprehensive, broad and deep and covered everything that needed to be included.  The challenge was pivoting from planning to plan making.

·           Post the adoption of the SmartGrowth Strategy, staff had requested a debrief on the strategy process to identify and understand key learnings.

·           There was currently no mandate in legislation covering spatial plans; however, the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) had been the umbrella for many locality/community plans.  It was hoped that a coherent planning framework would part of the new system to replace the Resource Management Act to be introduced next year.

·           Spatial Plans in the UK (including Scotland) did well in urban environments, mostly due to citizenship and communities being long-standing.

Key Points - Members

·           Suggested sharing this work/presentation with SmartGrowth.

·           Acknowledged that the disconnect between central and local government made it hard to create an integrated spatial plan, and deliver it on time in a cohesive manner.

·           The Rotorua Future Development Strategy was a good example of BOPRC working collaboratively with Territorial Authorities (TAs) – a team effort and a true partnership.

·           New Zealand was unique in terms of participation/partnerships with indigenous people and was the envy of many first nations around the world.

·           Acknowledged and congratulated Simranjot Kaur for a job well done.



11.00am – the workshop adjourned.


11.15am – the workshop reconvened.


3.     Workshop Papers


Regional profiles

Presented by:     Antoine Coffin - Manager, Spatial Planning

Bex Houston – Geospatial Analyst


Key Points – Staff

·           Work was being done to ensure that BOPRC data being used for regional profiles could be relied upon and used, whilst knowing/understanding the associated constraints and limitations. 

·           Data currently being used included population demographics and predictions, housing affordability and demand, residential consents, and employment by industry.

·           Links to examples of what others were doing in this space both within New Zealand and internationally were provided in section 3.2 of the report for this item (pages 8 and 9 of the Agenda).

·           Thought had been given as to who could best test how the regional profiles met the needs of specific and broad audiences. Initial testing would be carried out internally i.e. Transport Planning, Policy, and Climate Change programme teams.  Future testing would include iwi and hapū of the region, decision makers within local and central government, industry (housing developers, health care and education providers, utilities companies and businesses), and local and prospective residents.

·           Demonstrated three off-the-shelf tools for communicating BOPRC’s data and information – Power BI, StoryMaps, and Experience Builder.  They had been chosen as they could be accessed on a number of devices, could be updated at the touch of a button, and had a diversity of applications.  They could work together but could also stand alone.

·           Sought feedback from Councillors regarding moving forward with the three communication tools outlined.

In Response to Questions

·           BOPRC mostly used open sourced data e.g. from Statistics NZ, Land Information NZ, and Ministry of Education.  BOPRC data would also be utilised in the final product.

·           Testing would be internal initially and then the testing programme would be extended out to include stakeholders.

·           The three off-the-shelf products would be updated regularly.  The overall costs would be minimal (tens of dollars for storing the data if using ArcGIS Online as the platform).

Key Points - Members

·           Power BI was a useful tool but required the user to have a good understanding of it, to be able to navigate it effectively.

Guidance Provided

·           Overall support was expressed for moving forward with the three communication tools outlined.




PC11 Geothermal Plan Change - structure and policy direction

Presentation:      PC11 Geothermal Plan Change - structure and policy direction: Objective ID A4674344  

Presented by:     Freya Camburn – Senior Policy Analyst

Elsa Weir – Senior Planner


Key Points – Staff

·           Provided a recap of what had happened to date and where things were at currently.

·           The policy framework was already established in both the Regional Natural Resources Plan (RNRP) and the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) and provided the building blocks for the geothermal plan change, in particular, the system classification approach.

·           Outlined the drivers of policy direction and the proposed chapter structure.

·           Engagement with tangata whenua was underway but uptake had been slow.  A greater level of interest was expected as the plan change progressed.

·           Policy drafting was ongoing and internal stakeholder reviews were being arranged e.g. consents, compliance.

·           Provided an overview of proposed changes (existing policy, amended policy, and new policy), and provided examples.

·           Outlined the updated timeline – proposed plan change now to be notified in May 2025, not March 2025.

·           Sought support in principle from Councillors for the National Planning Standards (NPS) compliant chapter structure, and input on the high-level policy direction presented.

In Response to Questions

·           Tangata whenua aspirations for geothermal management included, but was not limited to, ownership of the resource, the right to develop the geothermal resource for power generation, and being at the decision making table.

·           The Tauranga System Management Plan (SMP) process was already underway.  There were few rules in the geothermal chapter so inconsistencies with the Tauranga SMP were not anticipated.  Tauranga SMP discussions would need to integrate with the freshwater plan change programme, noting that the freshwater plan change process was scheduled to follow slightly after the geothermal plan change.

·           Some minor consequential amendments may be required to the RPS as a result of the overall geothermal plan change process, but changes were not anticipated as a result of the Rotorua and Tauranga SMPs.

·           BOPRC was working closely with Waikato Regional Council (WRC), meeting bi-monthly.  BOPRC and WRC had a shared approach to system classification, and systems on both sides of the boundary between the regions were protected.

·           Had already reached out to iwi to gauge how they would like to engage and participate in the process. 

Guidance Provided

·           Overall support in principle was expressed for continuing with the process as outlined in this workshop.




Rotorua Airshed Update and Policy Direction

Presentation:      Rotorua Airshed Update and Policy Direction: Objective ID A4674352  

Presented by:     Elsa Weir – Senior Planner

Karen Parcell - Team Leader Kaiwhakatinana


Key Points – Staff

·           Air quality in the Rotorua Airshed had improved and was on track to lose its “polluted” status under the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (NESAQ) for PM10 in July 2024; however, the move to a PM2.5 standard was considered inevitable and the Rotorua Airshed would not meet that as it currently stood.

·           There was currently no indication or certainty from central government about when it would progress the proposed amendments to the NESAQ, and lacking that direction the challenge was what could be done do to keep the momentum going without over-reaching.

·           Provided an explanation for what the PM2.5 standard could be.  It was anticipated that the most likely scenario would be a PM2.5 standard of 25 micrograms per cubic metre (25μg/m3) for the 24-hour average.

·           Outlined three options for policy direction:

Option One:     status quo/do nothing;

Option Two:    adopt PM2.5 standard in principle, and undertake associated actions (early Bylaw review, Airshed Management Plan etc);

Option Three:  adopt PM2.5 standard into the RNRP and undertaken associated actions (as above plus plan change and new rules in Air Chapter of the RNRP).

·           Staff recommended Option Two.

In Response to Questions

·           Option Two was not looking at a plan change, but an early review of the bylaw (2024/25 instead of 2026/27) to tidy up known problems within the bylaw, and to start to investigate a pathway for PM2.5 which was anticipated to be included in national direction when it eventuated.  Cost for options One and Two had already been built into baseline budgets and included staff time.

·           PM2.5 was not an issue in the Mount Maunganui Airshed (MMA) and staff were not looking for standards to be introduced for this.

Key Points - Members

·           Needed to be cautious about progressing without central government direction.

·           Would prefer a more evidence based rationale for progressing.  Needed a very clear understanding of the benefits to the community - what it would look like on the ground for people in the area.

·           It was about baby steps - front-foot this and make sure BOPRC was prepared for the inevitable PM2.5 standard.

Guidance Provided

·           Support was expressed for Option Two - adopt PM2.5 standard in principle, and undertake associated actions (early Bylaw review, Airshed Management Plan etc).




Mount Maunganui Airshed: Management Plan – scope and process; PC13 (Air Quality) – Unsealed Yards update.

Presentation:      Mount Maunganui Airshed Management Plan - scope and process; PC13 (Air Quality) - Unsealed Yards update: Objective ID A4674347  

Presented by:     Mark Hamilton – Senior Policy Analyst

Karen Parcell - Team Leader Kaiwhakatinana



Key Points – Staff

·           Staff were seeking input/feedback on the scope, process and timeframes for the proposed Mount Maunganui Airshed Management Plan (AMP).

·           Reminded Councillors that the Environment Court’s first interim decision for PC13 (Air Quality) did not contain a directive, but a strong recommendation for an AMP.

·           Outlined the PC13 objectives - AIR-01 Protect air from adverse effects, AIR-02 Ambient air quality, and AIR-03 Local air quality.

·           Outlined the pros and cons for the three options outlined in the report:

Option One:     PM10 only (one to two years)

Option Two:    PM10 and odour only (two to three years)

Option Three:  PM10, odour and other contaminants (three to five years).

In Response to Questions

·           Other contaminants included nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), methyl bromide, and benzene.

Key Points - Members

·           This was a complex airshed and caution was needed.  BOPRC had to ensure that the community was taken along with us.

·           There was a high level of community expectation around BOPRC being involved and it was important to be seen to be doing work in this area. Suggested dealing with the major issues first – PM10 and odour, and then consider the other options if/when necessary.

·           Important to work closely with the other groups/parties working in this space, in particular, the Mount Maunganui Air Quality Working Party (MMAQWP), and Ngāti Kuku as the hapū involved.

Guidance Provided

·           Support was expressed for Option Two - PM10 and odour only, and associated process and timeframes.




Update on Proposed Change 8 (NPS-HPL)

Presentation:      Update on Proposed Plan Change 8 (NPS-HPL): Objective ID A4674050  

Presented by:     Nassah Rolleston-Steed - Principal Advisor, Policy and Planning


Key Points – Staff

·           The objective of the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) was to protect highly productive land (HPL) for use in land based primary production – agriculture, pastoral, horticulture, and forestry.

·           HPL was around 15% of New Zealand’s land area and was a finite resource.

·           BOPRC was required to map all HPL within the region by 17 October 2025, in consultation with tangata whenua and Territorial Authorities (TAs). 

·           Preliminary consultation with the region’s TAs, key rural industry representative groups (i.e. Horticulture NZ, Federated Farmers, Zespri), iwi, hapū and Māori landowners commenced in August 2023.

·           At its meeting on 10 October 2023, Komiti Māori considered feedback received from Māori landowners concerning potential restrictions to providing housing for whānau, including future generations, on general title land that was classified as HPL in rural zoned areas.  While the NPS-HPL changes being considered by central government did not address issues raised by Māori landowners, MfE officials invited submissions on the matters raised and Komiti Māori lodged a submission specifically in relation to this issue (Attachment 2 of the report for this item – pages 38 and 39 of the agenda).

·           A response from MfE was received in March 2024 advising that central government was working through comments received, and that it was committed to reducing barriers for infrastructure, housing and normal rural activities, and trying to find a balance in the current constructive NPS.

·           Changes to the NPS-HPL remained uncertain; however, staff understood the HPL definition may be amended to exclude Land Use Capability (LUC) class three land (LUC 3).  LUC 3 land made up 56% of the current highly productive land across the region.  This change would require HPL within the region to be re-mapped; therefore staff were considering pausing the mapping project in the interim, until there was certainty around any changes to the NPS-HPL.

In Response to Questions

·           Pausing the project should have no impacts/implications for Māori land development.

·           Māori owned land around the Rangitāiki planes was mostly classed LUC 2.

Guidance Provided

·           Expressed support for pausing work until there was more certainty around any changes to the NPS-HPL.  Noting staff would continue to meet with people interested and continue to support the Regional Sector.




1.05pm - the workshop closed.