Environment and planning committee (22 May)


The environment and planning committee meeting was held on 22 May 2014.

Minutes have yet to be posted. But it is hoped that unconfirmed minutes will be available to the public soon.

The agenda (comprised 211 pages) and included the following topics (some not requiring any decisions): (1) outstanding natural features project in Golden bay, (2) dog control bylaws, (3) feedback on the mooring areas review, (4) climate change risk report, (5) recreation water quality report, (6) manager’s report, and (7) a presentation on freedom camping issues from the NZ Motor Caravan Association

Outstanding natural features project

The report sought direction on further steps to protect outstanding natural landscapes cross the Tasman region. At an earlier environment and planning meeting (10 April 2013) council requested additional information with regard to costs, timeframes, and other variables. Since 2011, consultants fees have totaled $162,000.

Staff advised that costs, time, and staff resources were available within budget to complete the work. On this basis it was recommended that staff continue the collaborative process in Golden Bay on protecting outstanding natural features, and at the same time start landscape assessment work for the rest of the District, with the end-point being a single plan change for the whole District.

Dog control bylaws

The current Dog Control Bylaw 2009 (and Dog Control Policy) is due for review by 12 September 2014. The report sought approval to commence the special consultative procedure in relation to reviewing the existing Tasman District Council Consolidated Bylaw (Chapter 6: Dog Control Bylaw 2009) and the associated Dog Control Policy.

I found this bylaw to be a very well written document with very useful illustrations of where activities are permitted, not permitted, or controlled.

The review process proposes to address a number of concerns raised by the general public, including: (1) a ban on dogs within the defined CBD area of Takaka during business hours, (2) a new leash control area in the Richmond foothills, and (3) a ban on dogs within the Sand Island area (near the airport).

The consultation period will be from 2 June to 7 July. The aim is to have a final draft bylaw to Council for approval and adoption by 14 August 2014.

Mooring areas

This report presented public feedback from the community engagement process on mooring areas held from January to March 2014 and requested council approval for its public release.

The public were consulted on creating new mooring areas (with combined Plan and Bylaw changes) or retaining the existing system.

The majority of respondents supported a change to the existing system (together with new mooring areas) that moves away from resource consents to a system of designated mooring areas and annual renewable occupation licenses The feedback report is contained in the agenda from pages 114 to 132.

Climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) released a fifth Assessment Report on climate change based on earlier findings released in September 2013 and March 2014 (see http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/). This report will impact on future planning decisions for council.

The IPPC reports confirm most observed and projected impacts identified in previous IPCC assessment reports. However, the projections are now more certain in linking greenhouse gas emission scenarios with impacts. And fundamentally changes our understanding of how these global impacts will manifest themselves in New Zealand (and locally in Tasman). In response to this report, it is expected that national guidance on sea level rises will increase – with the upper projected level rising by 2100 from 0.8 metres to 1.0 metres.

A detailed summary of the report can be found at pages 134 to 146 of the agenda (and provides some interesting information on projected rainfalls).

Recreation water quality

Council has monitored swimming holes and coastal beaches since the mid 1990’s in accordance with national guidelines and responsibilities under s35 of the Resource Management Act (RMA).

A total of 21 sites (nine freshwater and 12 marine) were sampled for faecal indicator bacteria between November 2013 and March 2014. Ten sites were fully compliant this season in all weather. National guidelines were exceeded 27 times (11 “Amber” and 16 “Red”) out of a total of 354 samples taken. Non-compliant sites included: Best Island, Patons Rock, Tukurua Stream and Pohara Beach (see Tables at para 5.2 and 5.3 on pages 151 and 152 of the agenda). This equates to approximately 8% of samples exceeding microbiological guidelines. Of the 27 non-complying events, 22 were associated with rainfall events. Excluding the 22 rainfall-influenced samples gives a compliance rate of 98.6%, which is just above the 10 year average compliance rate of 97%.

Using the Ministry for the Environment “Suitability for Recreation Grade” criteria Kaiteriteri Beach was graded “Good” and both Mapua Leisure Park Beach and Rabbit Island Main Beach were graded “Very Good” during all weather (see Tables at para 5.8 on pages 154 to 155 and 161 of the agenda).

Manager’s report

A petition (signed by a number of concerned residents), requesting that a proposed aerial drop of 1080 in the Pearse/Baton/Mt Arthur area be publicly notified, was received by council. Council was advised by staff that the aerial application of 1080 is a discretionary activity (under the Tasman Resource Management Plan) if it fails to comply with the standards and terms applicable to a controlled activity. As no resource consent application for the area identified in the petition had been received by TDC, no response could be made. However, affected parties could expect due process to be followed when an application for resource consent was filed.

The government recently amended the law on psychoactive substances (commonly known as legal highs) which has resulted in all such products being removed from sale. This does not affect the validity of the council’s Local Approved Products Policy (LAPP) which has been reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Health. Tasman District Council (TDC) is one of five Councils that already have an operational LAPP. The Ministry of Health is recommending that those councils who do not have a Policy, continue to put one in place. To date no legal challenge has been made against TDC’s Policy.

Two land parcels near the corner of Mapua Drive and Higgs Road both have “deferred residential” status. This means they cannot be developed for residential purposes until utilities are in place to council standards. Council is likely to grant subdivision consent for one parcel of land which can show that the subdivided land can be serviced to council standards.

Tasman Resource Management Plan Changes 49 (Private request Foodstuffs SI Ltd: Richmond south) and Change 50 (Private request Network Tasman Ltd: Hope) were approved as decisions and notified on 8 March 2014. No appeals were received to these changes.

Wellington City Council is proposing a remit be passed at the forthcoming LGNZ conference asking the Government to consider measures to reduce the disincentives to strengthen earthquake prone buildings. The remit encourages tax rebates for earthquake strengthening – that would benefit private building owners. While this would not directly benefit councils, it does support our community. I support this remit.

Appeals have been received from three parties (Fish & Game (Nelson Marlborough Region) New Zealand, Horticulture New Zealand, and Queen Street Industrial Park Ltd) concerning the outcome of an earlier commission hearing on the council’s water management policy. All three appeals are concerned with the “without dam” management provisions.

Fish & Game have representation on the the Waimea Water Augmentation Committee (WWAC) who support construction of a Dam. Fish & Game appeal concerns two main matters of detail relating to the management of over-allocation of water and maintenance of minimum flows in the Waimea River. The appeal seeks that over-allocation be phased out by 2030. The appeal also seeks that all water users be required to cease abstraction when Waimea River flows reach 800l/sec, except for specified uses such as water required for human health. The plan currently requires a 70% reduction in allocated use when flows at Appleby drop to 800l/sec with some exceptions. Queen Street Industrial Park Ltd seeks an alternative minimum flow of 650l/sec for the Waimea River. Horticulture NZ appears to be primarily concerned with the water allocation priority during periods of rationing and water shortage. The Environment Court has asked the parties to enter mediation.

There continues to be an accounting surplus due to underspend in salary costs (due to delays in filling staff vacancies) and some projects yet to be charged (and some may not be completed by year end). A full financial analysis of the E&P team can be found at page 199 of the agenda.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes for this meeting are located at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/environment-and-planning-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EnvironmentPlanningCommittee/2014/2014-05-22.




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