Tagged: Air quality

Environment and planning committee meeting (17 November)

Environmental status updates

The environment and planning committee meeting was held on 17 November 2016. Apologies were received from the Mayor for lateness and myself. All other councilors were present.

The agenda included: (1) biosecurity annual report, (2) enforcement policy update, (3) proposed Plan change 64 – update of protected tree schedule, (4) biodiversity report, (5) 2016 air quality report, (6) environment and planning activity report, and (7) chair’s report.

Generally, there were no decisions made other than receive reports and approve Plan Change 64.

Biosecurity annual report

The Council is obliged to report annually on activities undertaken under the Regional Pest Management Plan. This report presented the 2016-17 Operational Plan for implementing the 2012-17 Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Strategy (within an approved budget of $545,000), and summarised the achievements of the 2015-16 Operational Plan.

The Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS) contains 62 (declared) pests. These pests are grouped into 5 categories:

  • Total control pests (2015-16 operational budget: $40,000, recast $35,000, actual $35,000) are high risk pests that are of limited distribution or density in the region for which long-term eradication by 2022 is the goal. There are 13 pest plants (8 terrestrial, 5 aquatic): african feathergrass, bathurst bur, boxthorn, cathederal bells, climbing spindleberry, egeria, entire marshwort, hornwort, maderia vine, phragmites, saffron thistle, senegal tea, and spartina. On all known sites, plant numbers have been reduced, but for some pests, new sites have been found and this may extend the time required for eradication.

  • Progressive control pests (2015-16 operational budget: $85,000, recast $75,000, actual $100,000) are pests whose distribution is limited to parts of the region but are unlikely to be eradicated because of their biological characteristics. There are 18 pests (12 plants, 5 fish, and one bird: rook). Generally, the goal of distribution and density reduction is being achieved at most sites. However, ongoing changes within the Department of Conservation, re-direction of funding and staff changes during the last two years have restricted its ability to deal with the challenge of controlling pest fish in eastern Tasman.

  • Containment pests (2015-16 operational budget: $120,000, recast $105,000, actual $100,000) are pests that are abundant in the region. There are 14 pests (4 plants: purple pampas, lagarosiphon, gorse, and broom; 7 mammals: feral cats, rabbits, hares, possums, mustelids; 2 insects: argentine and darwin ants; and one bird: magpie). These are widespread throughout the region and the goal is to stop the spread of these pests to properties that are not infested. The continuing spread of Argentine and Darwin’s ants, despite a significant commitment of resources, highlight the challenges of dealing with highly-organised social insects and the limitations of existing tools. A synthetic pyrethroid spray is being applied in a narrow strip along the margins of footpaths and kerbs. While this slows the rate of spread in urban areas, its effect is relatively short-term and does not prevent re-invasion from neighbouring properties. More information on both ants is located at page 10 of the agenda report.

  • Boundary control pests (2015-16 operational budget: $10,000, recast $10,000, actual $10,000) are pests (mostly common weeds or horticultural diseases), that have been included to stop the spread to land that is free from these pests. There are 8 plants (eg, blackberry, gorse and broom); and 5 horticltural diseases (on apples and pears). Generally, staff have dealt effectively and efficiently with requests for intervention.

  • Regional surveillance pests (2015-16 operational budget: $35,000, recast $30,000, actual $45,000) are pest that could pose a future risk. There are 4 pests (yellow flag, parrots feather, pinus contorta, undaria).

Other budget categories include:

  • Sites of high public value (2015-16 operational budget: $35,000, recast $30,000, actual $10,000). The goal is to control nominated pests on public land.

  • Biological control (2015-16 operational budget: $35,000, recast $30,000, actual $30,000). The goal is to support ongoing research into biological controls.

  • National pest plant accord (2015-16 operational budget: $4,000, recast $4,000, actual $4,000). The goal is to prevent sale, propagation or distribution of pest plants.

  • Education and advice (2015-16 operational budget: $75,000, recast $65,000, actual $105,000).

  • Marine biosecurity partnership (2015-16 operational budget: $20,000, recast $20,000, actual $20,000). Funded by 3 top of south councils ($20,000 each) and MPI ($60,000).

The 2016-17 operational plan covers 62 (declared) pests. The plan includes:

  • Total control pests (budget $35,000)

  • Progressive control pests (budget $100,000)

  • Containment pests (budget $100,000)

  • Boundary control pests (budget $10,000)

  • Regional surveillance pests (budget $55,000)

  • National pest plan accord ($4,000)

  • Sites of high public value ($15,000)

  • Biological control ($30,000)

  • Education and advice ($105,000)

  • Training and education ($90,000).

The 2012 Amendments to the Biosecurity Act outlined the requirements for pathway management plans, which are designed to be used to deal with pathways that may carry pests into new areas. The potential for pathway management is being explored as part of the current Regional Pest Management Strategy review.

Enforcement policy update

Council resolved to receive the report.

The Regional Sector Compliance Framework (RSCF) outlines a set of important principles that are designed to give a robustness to any strategic compliance programme. These principles are: transparency, consistency of process, fair, reasonable and proportional approach, evidence based and informed, collaborative, lawful, ethical and accountable, targeted, and responsive and effective.

These principles are reflected in TDC’s Enforcement Policy and Guidelines which outline the enforcement pathway expected to be undertaken, from discovery of an offence, through to the decision to take enforcement action.

The only significant change to the guidelines is the removal of the original “enforcement option matrix” that was designed assist in selecting an enforcement response along with other factors. This has now been replaced with a compliance pyramid model.

See: www.tasman.govt.nz/policy/policies/enforcement-policies/.

Protected tree schedule update

Council resolved to approve Plan Change 64 (Update of Protected Tree Schedule). The Plan Change was publically notified on 24 September 2016 with no submissions being received.

Plan Change 64 amends the Council’s Protected Tree Schedule 16.13B in the Tasman Resource Management Plan, by removing 10 protected trees from the Schedule. These include: Takaka (2 trees), Riwaka (4 trees), Marahau (2 trees), Richmond (1 tree), and Wakefield (1 tree).

Biodiversity report

Council resolved to receive the report.

The main focus of the Council’s biodiversity work is its Native Habitats Tasman (NHT) Project. This was developed in 2007 following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a number of parties that included the Department of Conservation, Federated Farmers, and Forest and Bird Society.

As at 30 June 2016, 504 sites had been inspected and landowners had signed off on 454 reports. The survey commenced in eastern Tasman lowlands and via the higher altitude sites on the Takaka Hill has now moved into Golden Bay (July 2016). Of the landowners who have been contacted about a site visit and preparation of an ecological report for their property, 70% have agreed. It is anticipated that completion of survey work in Golden Bay will take approximately 2 to 3 years. Current expenditure is $52,000 per year.

A copy of the final ecological district report can be downloaded from TDC’s website at: www.tasman.govt.nz/environment/land/biodiversity/motueka-ecological-districtreport/.

Air quality report

Council resolved to receive the report.

The Richmond Airshed was set up under the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality 2004 (NESAQ).

There were 5 exceedances of the NESAQ for particulate matter (PM10) over the winter of 2016. These exceedances are correlated with complaints and webcam images of outdoor burning occurring in the orchards around the Richmond airshed. The trend in annual concentrations of PM10 has improved over the last ten years, which is due to regulations on household burners, education, and enforcement. The maximum PM10 concentration for 2016 was 66 μg/m3.

A source apportionment study for Richmond has shown 52% of particulate matter is from biomass combustion, attributed to solid fuel appliances in Richmond. A source of arsenic in PM10 was also identified and was not associated with the domestic fires. The annual average arsenic concentrations for 2014 in Richmond was 19 ng/m3, which exceeded the ambient air quality guideline value (5.5ng/m3).

Air Quality PM10 BAM adjusted concentrations in Richmond for 2015-16

Trends in PM10 adjusted concentrations in Richmond

Number of Exceedances of 24-Hour PM10 for Richmond

The sources of the PM10 for Richmond (see Figure 9) were biomass combustion (52%), motor vehicles (17%), marine aerosol (16%), secondary sulphate (13%), and copper chrome arsenate (CCA) (2%).

Average source contributions to PM10 in Richmond (from GNS Science report)

There were 41 exceedances of the global world health organisation (WHO) daily guideline value for the finer fraction of particulate matter (PM2.5) over the period from May to August 2016, with a peak concentration of 46 μg/m3.

Partisol PM 2.5 concentrations in Richmond for 2015-16

The NESAQ is currently under review and TDC will need to review its air quality management provisions when the outcome is known. Based on current trends, during normal winter weather, Tasman District Council may not achieve the current requirements of the NESAQ which is no more than one exceedance per year by 2020.

Environment and planning activity report

Council resolved to receive the report and appointed Mr Mike Fitzsimons to the position of District Licensing Committee Commissioner for a 5-year term of appointment.

Highlights from the manager’s report include:

  • Swimming pool fencing. Parliament has passed law repealing the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act and merging the obligation Council has into the Building Act. The main change is a move to mandatory 3 yearly inspections which can be undertaken by Council staff or authorised private contractors. If the latter are involved they are required to pass information on the Council for the property file. Companion changes are also being made to the Building Code with submissions closing 16 December. Spa pools with lockable lids will not require inspection, meaning TDC will no longer have to grant exemptions under a 2014 Council-approved policy. The new law comes into effect from 1 January 2017.

  • National policy statement (NPS) on urban development capacity. The Government has signed off on a National Policy Statement to ensure councils provide enough land for new housing and business development. Tasman is a local authority that has a medium-growth urban area within it, which we share with Nelson City. Having sufficient land for development also means we have to provide an additional margin of 20% for the first 10 years and 15% for 10 to 30 years. Council is required to carry out a housing and business development capacity assessment on at least a 3-yearly basis. The NPS takes effect from 1 December 2017.

  • Waimea nitrate survey. Council has previously conducted groundwater nitrate surveys across the Waimea Plains in 1986, 1994, 1999, and 2005. Council will repeat that survey (sampling around 100 bores) starting towards the end of November 2016.

  • Our waters. Council prepared a State of the Environment Report on river water quality in November 2015 under its reporting obligations under the Resource Management Act. Last year the Council released a movie entitled “Our Waters in Common” as an innovative way of reporting to the community on the health of our water ways. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=81zNEmTCYVY.

  • Freedom camping. This matter was raised at the 27 October Council meeting and an update requested. The Government has indicated that it will review the Freedom Camping Act soon and Council has offered to assist in this review. A review of TDC’s Freedom Camping Bylaws will be undertaken after the Governments review in August 2017.

  • Finances. Generally, at 33% of the financial year completed, expenditure is slightly under budget overall and non-rate income overall is ahead of budget.

Agenda and minutes

the agenda and minutes are located at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/committees-and-subcommittees/standing-committees-meetings/environment-and-planning-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EnvironmentPlanningCommittee/2016/2016-11-17.

Draft minutes are available upon request from TDC.

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Environment and planning (4 February)

The environment and planning committee meeting was held on 4 February 2016. Apologies were received from Cr Norris and Cr Mirfin, and for lateness from Cr Dowler. All other councillors were present.

The agenda included a number of information only reports and a confidential (in-committee) session on: (1) a private plan change request from Progressive Enterprises Ltd, (2) report and recommendations from commissioner on Plan changes 54, 55 and 56 relating to the Waimea Water Management (Security of Supply), and (3) a report on weather tight home resolution case.

The open agenda included: (1) reduction of fees categories for certain off-licences, (2) environmental policy manager’s report on environmental policy programme, (3) compliance monitoring 6-monthly report (1 July to 31 December 2015), (4) resource consent manager’s report (July to December 2015), (5) 2015 air quality report. (6) pesticide residues in groundwater 2014 survey, (7) environment and planning teams activity report (the manager’s report), and (8) chair’s report.

I will summarise the highlights for me from these reports.

Public forum

Mr Hellyer raised his concerns about freedom camping in the district. He considered it an appalling situation and asked that TDC enforce some of its bylaws. He suggested some freedom campers should use motor camps (which are very cheap!).

Mr Clark gave his condolences to the family of Nick Paterson who had recently passed away. A reminder to everyone how fleeting life can be. Maxwell asked that the Waimea Water Management (Security of Supply) Plan Changes 54, 55 and 56 be considered in open meeting, instead of in-committee. He also spoke about an article in a local paper (Tasman Leader 21 January 2016) pages 4-5), which contained Councillors opinions on the Waimea Community Dam. He asked councilors come clean on where they stood on the dam and considered some councillors were sitting on the fence with “hairy fairy” comments like “holistic”.

Interestingly, many councillors did not vote, how they said they would (see full council meeting agenda and minutes (recording the vote) of 31 March 2016 at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/full-council-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/FullCouncil/2016/2016-03-31)?

Mr Dawson also asked that council do not spend any more money on the proposed Waimea Community Dam. He suggested the current $25 million was more than enough. He warned that council should not be manipulated into dam. He asked that his questions to staff about the hydrology are given an adequate response. He also asked why there were no public forums at extraordinary (mini) full councils meetings?

Off-licence fee reduction

In my opinion, this was the most significant item on the agenda.

By way of background, the TDC has adopted the statutory regulations for fee setting (rather than introduce its own Bylaw), as set out by central government (see Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Fees) Regulations 2013 at www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2013/0452/latest/DLM5708133.html).

In this case, two local boutique businesses (Peckham Ciders and Schnapp Dragon Distillery) wrote to council asking that their off-licence fees be reduced. Peckham Ciders argued that they did not make cellar door sales and instead sold most of their products remotely via their website or directly to trade distributors. Schnapp Dragon made a similar argument, stating that while they sold products on-site (from the cellar door), they did not allow consumption of their products on-site.

Generally, the regulations use a classification and weighting system to determine fees and charges. This is achieved by adding a retailer classification risk weighting and enforcement risk weighting together to determine the overall risk weighting and corresponding fee for the application.

For example, a business that sells alcohol is classified into the following types of retailers:

Licence held or sought Type of premises Weighting
On-licence Class 1 restaurant, night club, tavern, adult premises 15
On-licence Class 2 restaurant, hotel, function centre 10
On-licence Class 3 restaurant, other premises not otherwise specified 5
On-licence BYO restaurants, theatres, cinemas, winery cellar doors 2
Off-licence Supermarket, grocery store, bottle store 15
Off-licence Hotel, tavern 10
Off-licence Class 1, 2, or 3 club, remote sale premises, premises not otherwise specified 5
Off-licence Winery cellar doors 2
Club licence Class 1 club 10
Club licence Class 2 club 5
Club licence Class 3 club 2

The relevant weighting is then combined with another enforcement weighting:

Number of enforcement holdings in last 18 months (applies to all types of premises) Weighting
None 0
1 10
2 or more 20

The total number is then used to create an overall risk rating that generates the license cost.

Cost/risk rating of premises Fees category Application fee Annual fee
0–2 Very low $320.00 $140.00
3–5 Low $530.00 $340.00
6–15 Medium $710.00 $550.00
16–25 High $890.00 $900.00
26 plus Very high $1,050.00 $1,250.00

Due to the manner in which the regulations were drafted, cellar door sales (of wine) are awarded a lower risk rating, than other businesses that sell spirit based alcohol from the door. This is good for the wine industry, who can obtain a lower risk rating by adding a cellar door operation to their business. Although it does create a strange outcome for vineyards that do not operate a cellar door?

I suspect the underlying reason for this distinction is an acknowledgement that the consumption of wine presents a lower risk, than the consumption of spirits. However, the regulations as they are currently drafted do not appear to recognise that online (remote) sales of alcohol (wine or spirits) provide an even lower risk of drink driving incidents. This is because online sales cannot be consumed at the point of purchase (ie at the vineyard or distillery), but are delivered to the home.

In my opinion, the regulations are poorly drafted and fail to make a clear distinction between the types of alcohol (ie wine vs spirits) and the point of sale (ie online (remote) vs site of manufacture). Ideally the regulations should separate out winery sales (remote or cellar door, and all other remote sales. This could be done by adding “remote sales” as a separate classification and awarding a risk rating of “2”. Unfortunately this is not the case, and TDC were left to apply another rule provided within the regulations (clause 6(4) of the regulations) – namely exercising a discretion to reduce the overall risk rating by one step (eg from “low” to “very low”). Exercising the discretion would save affected businesses $810 (over 3 years).

Staff recommended that council allow the applicants to be classified in the “very low” risk category as permitted in the Act. Council, after asking for information about the financial impact of a positive decision, unanimously agreed. Council also took the opportunity to reduce non-commercial community events and fundraising licensing categories by one step. Both changes took affect from the date of the resolutions (and were not retrospective).

TDC information on licensing can be found at www.tasman.govt.nz/services/licensing-and-environmental-health/alcohol-licensing/off-licence/.

Environmental policy programme

This report updated progress with live plan change projects in the environmental policy programme, and discussed priorities, deadlines, and staff resourcing for 2016.

Plan changes included: Richmond greenways (Plan Change 37), Wakefield review (Plan Change 57) Brightwater review (Plan Change 58) Residential zone coverage (Plan Change 59), Rural land use and subdivision policy review (Plan Change 60), PPCR Wainui Bay (Plan Change 61), PPCR Commercial Richmond north (Plan Change 62), Coastal occupation charges (Plan Change 63) Mooring review (Plan Change 64), NPSET – electricity transmission lines review (Plan Change 65), Golden Bay landscapes (Plan Change 66), Urban development review (Plan Change 67), Takaka catchments water management (Plan Change 68), Waimea Plains water quality (Plan Change 69), Richmond residential zone review (Plan Change 70), Takaka and Waimea plains FLAG projects.

Compliance reporting

The report provided a summary of the complaints, incidents, and general monitoring over a 6-month period (from 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015). Between 1 July and 31 December a total of 428 complaints or requests for service were received by the compliance team. In comparison 479 complaints were received for the same period the previous year and 482 the year before that.

Enviro-20160204-p42

A total of 25 abatement notices were issued over the period. A total of 19 infringement fines were issued for breaches against the Resource Management Act or Litter Act. A total of 2278 individual monitoring actions were recorded against 1093 resource consents as part of the Council’s targeted compliance monitoring programme. Enforcement actions in relation to water takes in the district were: 1 abatement notice, 2 infringement fines, and 3 invoices for missing readings audits.

The 2015-16 dairy farm survey started in September 2015 as farms commenced milking. As at the end of December 2015, 40 farms had been inspected. There were 6 recorded instances of non-compliances within the first few weeks of the audits. Of these, 3 farms rated as non-compliant and 3 significantly non-compliant.

For the 3 rated non-compliant, one related to the discharge not meeting the setback requirement to a property boundary. The other two related to minor ponding o f effluent on the ground’s surface but did not pose any threat of run-off to water. For the 3 rated significant, the offences included the direct discharge of effluent to water, significant ponding of effluent on the ground’s surface that resulted in run-off into a waterway and a farm with no contingency in place to avoid a discharge to water. All 3 were dealt with through abatement notices and infringement fines.

Enviro-20160204-p49

Resource consents

The report presented a summary of the performance of the resource consent team regarding compliance with statutory timeframes for the first half of the 2015-2016 financial year.

Overall, 481 resource consent applications (including variations to existing consents) were processed, with 99.8% compliance with statutory timeframes during the 6-month period. Around 35% of all applications had time extensions applied (similar to last year).

The permit replacement processes for all water takes in the Wai-iti Zone, and the first batch of 40 water permits affected by the Waimea Augmentation proposals (Lee Valley Dam), had begun at the time of this report. Water users were able to continue to exercise their old permits in the interim period until new permits were completed.

In my opinion, the consent performance was very good, given resourcing issues (mainly due to staff changes) and increased workload.

Timeliness Results (July-December 2015) Non-notified Applications

Type of Application Number Complete Percentage Within Time Median Processing Days **
2012 * 2013 * 2014 * 2015 *
Non-notified Applications (No Hearing)
District Land 237 203 213 231 100.00% 13
Subdivision 67 68 71 58 98.00% 21
Coastal 14 21 25 10 100.00% 15
Discharge 81 53 101 78 100.00% 20
Regional Land 12 22 13 20 100.00% 22
Water 28 46 61 67 100.00% 19
Total: 446 425 484 464 99.80% 17
Others *** 7 12 18 17 n/a n/a
Non-Notified Applications (With Hearing)
All 0 0 4 0 n/a 0
* Numbers include applications to change conditions of existing consents.
** Processing days include time extensions. Time extensions are typically required for large and/or complex subdivisions including associated discharge permits for wastewater and stormwater disposal for new rural residential allotments. Time extensions are also applied for the bulk processing of replacement water permits for water management zones.
*** The “Others” category includes Rights of Way (ROWs), Designations, Outline Plans and Certificates of Compliance.

Timeliness Results (July-December 2015) Notified Applications

Type of Application Number Complete Percentage Within Time Average Processing Days *
2012 * 2013 * 2014 * 2015 *
Publicly Notified Applications (No Hearing)
All 1 0 2 5 100.00% 62
Publicly Notified Applications (With Hearing)
All 11 2 0 3 100.00% 168 ***
Limited Notified Applications (No Hearing)
All 7 5 2 4 100.00% 78
Limited Notified Applications (With Hearing)
All 1 2 42 ** 5 100.00% 333 ***
Totals 20 10 46 17 100.00% n/a
* Processing days include time extensions.
** The limited notified applications in 2014 included 27 discharge permits for rural subdivisions.
*** The applications with long processing times all involved requests from the applicants to give them time to attempt to resolve issues with submitters.

Summary of Decisions

Type of Decision Number
Declined by Committee 0
Granted by Committee 2
Declined by Independent Commissioners 0
Granted by Independent Commissioners 11
Granted by Mixed Panel 0
Declined under Delegated Authority 0
Granted under Delegated Authority 468
Requiring Authority Decision (Designations) 0

Air quality

The report updated the Environment & Planning Committee on results of air quality monitoring in Richmond undertaken during the winter of 2015. Based on current trends, during normal winter weather TDC is on track to achieve the current requirements of the National Environmental Standard Air Quality (NESAQ). The NESAQ is set by law and TDC is required to meet it.

Enviro-20160204-p62

Over the last winter the NESAQ was exceeded 3 times for 24 hour average particulate matter smaller than 10 microns (PM10). This is the second best result on record since air quality monitoring began in Richmond in 2001 and much lower than the total number of exceedences recorded during 2013 (nine), although one more exceedance than that recorded during 2014 (two).

Enviro-20160204-p64

The majority of smoke related complaints related to outdoor burning, with 15 complaints in the Richmond area, 12 in the Moutere Waimea area and 36 within the Motueka area.

Pesticides

The report discussed Council’s participation in the National Survey of Pesticides in New Zealand Groundwaters and presented the results of the latest round of sampling.

In Tasman, 15 groundwater sites are sampled at 4-yearly intervals and tested for the presence of pesticide residues. Tasman has participated in this programme since 1998 completing 5 surveys to date.

Overall, the 2014 sampling confirms the continued presence of trace level pesticide residues in groundwater at some locations (seven). Whilst showing some variability, no sites show any significant increases in pesticide residues compared to the previous sampling results.

The pesticide residues detected in Tasman groundwaters during the 2014 sampling round were:

  • Simazine pre-emergence herbicide (field half-life: 26 – 186 days),
  • Terbuthylazine herbicide for grass and broadleaf weed control (field half-life: 60 days),
  • Dinoseb herbicide for grass and broadleaf weed control (field half-life: 100 days).

Enviro-20160204-p76

Environment and planning activity report

Highlights from the managers report include:

  • Marine protection areas. There are two marine reservations in Tasman – Tonga Island and Whanganui Inlet. Both will transition into new reserve status under the proposed law changes.
  • RMA reform. The LGA and Productivity Commission have released think pieces on the future of the RMA (see www.lgnz.co.nz/home/our-work/publications/a-blue-skies-discussion/, and www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiry-content/2682?stage=2).
  • Woodburners. Nelson council (NCC) is proposing a limited number of Ultra Low Emission Burners (ULEBs) be allowed in Airshed B2 (including Stoke, Wakatu and Enner Glynn) and Airshed C (including Port Hills, City Centre, The Brook, The Wood and Atawhai). If there are further improvements to air quality over the next few years, the plan change proposes that burners could also become a permitted activity in Airshed A (including Bishopdale, Victory, Toi Toi, between the colleges, and Washington Valley) and Airshed B1 (Tahunanui and Tahunanui Hills south of The Cliffs). TDC is unlikely to have any spare capacity in the Richmond Airshed to allow a change in the current woodburner policy.

Agenda and minutes

The agenda and minutes are located at www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/environment-and-planning-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EnvironmentPlanningCommittee/2016/2016-02-04.

Environment and Planning Committee (28 November)

The Environment and Planning Committee was held on 28 November 2013.  Apologies from Cr Murfin, Cr Edgar, and myself were made.

The meeting agenda included a number of reports and consent applications, including: (1) Abbey Bar and Grill gambling venue consent application, (2) adoption of the provisional local alcohol policy, (3) adoption of the local approved psychoactive substances policy, (4) historic sheep dip sites and vessel maintenance contaminant areas report, (5) air quality report, (6) dairy farm effluent compliance report, (7) shorebirds update report, and (8) rural fire presentation and environment and planning staff activities report.

Gambling Venue Application

The committee granted the applicants request for 6 gambling machines.

The committee noted that the councils current gambling policy did not provide for a sinking lid on the number of gambling machines allowed to operate in the Tasman District. All it provided for was a cap on the total number of gambling machines. It is noted that Club Waimea (in its submissions) suggested to Council a sinking lid policy should be adopted.

A total of 220 gambling machines are permitted to operate within the Tasman District. At present, 186 gambling machines currently operate in the Tasman District (81 gaming machines operate in Richmond, with another 105 operating outside of Richmond).

Whether it should or should not provide a sinking lid policy does not appear to have been discussed according to the meeting minutes and was probably outside of the scope of the committee’s consideration of the application.

Alcohol Policy

The committee resolved to approve the provisional alcohol policy which is to apply from 18 December 2013 (subject to any appeal). If no appeal is lodged the provisional policy is deemed to be adopted from 18 January 2014 and come into force from 24 April 2014.

The committee heard submissions on the draft policy on 23 September 2013 and subsequently deliberated on those submissions on 26 September 2013. The outcome of those deliberations was the proposed policy.

Psychoactive Substances Policy

As alluded to in an earlier post, I had already attended the psychoactive substances hearings from which a recommendation was made to the Environment and Planning Committee. That recommendation was to adopt the policy. In my opinion, the policy is robust and according to the Ministry of Health is compliant with the law as drafted by the government. The new laws allow Councils to restrict the areas in which such substances can be sold. The policy does this as much as the law will allow. In summary, the policy provides:

  1. Premises licensed for the sale of approved psychoactive substances must be located within the central business zone, as defined in the Tasman Resource Management Plan, in Richmond, Motueka or Takaka.
  2. Premises licensed for the sale of approved psychoactive substances are not permitted within 100 metres of a kindergarten, early childhood centre, school, library, community centre, reserve, playground or place of worship.
  3. New licenses for the sale of approved psychoactive substances are not permitted from premises within 150 metres of an existing premises holding a licence (interim or full) to sell approved products.

A map of where licensed premises can be located is contained in the policy (see the Agenda, item 9.3).

Historic Sheep Dip Sites and Vessel Maintenance Contaminant Areas

In early 2013, council staff, with funding from the Ministry for the Environment, undertook an investigation of potential contaminated areas in regard to historic sheep dips (involving arsenic, zinc, and dieldrin) and vessel maintenance areas (involving anti-fouling agents copper and zinc). It was found that historic sheep dips did exceed, by up to 25 times, approved human health levels of arsenic and dieldrin. Similarly, larger slipways showed extremely huh levels of contamination.

Council staff will be reporting back on options for managing vessel slipways where contamination is present.

Air Quality

During 2013, Richmond recorded 9 breaches of the national environmental standard for smoke levels (PM10). This is lower than the 16 breaches in 2012. If the reduction in breaches continues, Richmond is on track to meet the national environment air quality standards by 2015, well before the 2020 deadline. Graphs illustrating the air quality of Richmond in comparison to Nelson can be found in the agenda (from pages 74 to 79).

Dairy Farm Effluent

Tasman District has 144 dairy farms with active effluent discharges in 2012-13. Of these, 139 farms operate under permitted activity rules. The remaining 5 farms are required to be inspected annually.

In 2012-13, 49 farms were inspected for compliance as a result of the previous years follow-up, new complaints, or farmer requests. This resulted in 88% (43 farms) full compliance, 8% (4 farms) non-compliance (a technical or minor adverse effect), and 4% (2 farms) significant non-compliance (an immediate adverse effect). One of the farms graded significantly non-compliant is a repeat offender and council will be initiating court proceedings. The other farm has since complied with abatement notices.

Shorebirds

The report showed that the Red Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, and Ruddy Turnstone have declining populations in the Tasman District (a reduction of 25% between 1983 to 2012). There are various reasons for the declining populations, including: reclamation of asian tidal flats, and the disturbance of high tide roosting areas by dogs, horses, people, and various crafts.

Environment and Planning Activities

The manager’s report covered a number of topics including: (1) national policy statement on freshwater, (2) Tb vector control programme update, (3) changes to development contributions arising from the new legislation, (4) proposed improvements to the usability of the Tasman resource management plan (TRMP), (5) building code standards for lifting a building’s floor level, (6) assessment of tsunami risk management, (7) delegation of power to appoint freedom camping enforcement officers, (8) rural fire network update, and (9) financial reporting of the departments monthly activities (attachment 5 of the agenda at page 133 to 139).

Interestingly, the council cannot compel new buildings to be constructed on piles (to mitigate flooding) although they can insist on minimum floor clearance heights where there is evidence of adverse effects (eg, a history of flooding).  In relation to financial information, the environment and planning department (for the 2013-14 year), plan to receive operating income of $3.5 million and have similar operating costs (which comprise wages of approx $2.1 million and professional fees of $0.5 million).

Links to Agenda and Minutes

The agenda and meeting minutes can be found on the following webpage (see http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/standing-committees-meetings/environment-and-planning-committee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/EnvironmentPlanningCommittee/2013/2013-11-28).