Plan Change 10 introduced rules to limit the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Rotorua from land use, in order to improve water quality.

The rules set out how Nitrogen Discharge Allowances will be allocated to individual rural properties and were developed in consultation with members of the Rotorua community, including our partners of the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme, Rotorua Lakes Council and Te Arawa Lakes Trust.

The proposed plan change is part of an integrated programme aimed at improving the quality of the water in Lake Rotorua, which is led by the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme.

Plan Change 10 Science Review

Purpose

The purpose of this report is to provide a synthesis of the detailed technical reports produced for the Lake Rotorua Science Review. Short summaries are presented for each technical report while the synthesis of these, including discussion of key findings and recommendations, is provided in this Executive Summary.

Background

This science review is required under Method LR M2 in ‘Plan Change 10 Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management’ (PC10), and under an agreement with key stakeholders. The review followed a set methodology leading to 12 reports which are summarised here. Each of the technical reports and this summary document were independently peer reviewed by Professor Warwick Vincent from Laval University, Canada (see Appendix 1).

Appeals

Council decisions on Proposed Plan Change 10: Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management were publicly notified on 15 August 2017. Four appeals and their relevant notices were lodged with the Environment Court against Council's decisions. The Environment Court is currently considering the schedule for conferencing with appellants. It is anticipated that apeals will be heard late 2018.

Council decisions on Proposed Plan Change 10: Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management were publicly notified on 15 August 2017. As of 26 September 2017 four appeals were lodged with the Environment Court against Council's decisions. A copy of each appeal, and their relevant notices from parties who wish to be part of any proceedings under section 274 of the Resource Management Act 1991, is provided below:

The Ministry for the Environment website, www.mfe.govt.nz/rma, contains more information about the Environment Court and RMA processes.

Council decisions

On 30 June 2017, after several days of hearings and many hours of deliberations, the Independent Hearing Panel provided Council with their Report and Recommendations on Proposed Plan Change 10.

The Regional Direction and Delivery Committee adopted these recommendations as Council decisions on 2 August 2017 and the report, with appendices, below.

The resolutions of the Regional Direction and Delivery Committee are outlined below.

That the Regional Direction and Delivery Committee under its delegated authority:

1 Receives the report, Proposed Plan Change 10: Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management - Recommendations received from the Independent Hearing Panel.

2 Receives the report and recommendations of the Independent Hearing Panel on Proposed Plan Change 10 to the Bay of Plenty Regional Water and Land Plan as set out in the document “Report and Recommendations of the Hearing Commissioners” and Appendices 1 to 7.

3 Accepts the recommendations of the Independent Hearing Panel on Proposed Plan Change 10 to the Bay of Plenty Regional Water and Land Plan as set out in the document “Report and Recommendations of the Hearing Commissioners” and Appendices 1 to 7 as Council’s decisions on submissions on Proposed Plan Change 10 Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management under clause 10(1) of Schedule 1 to the Resource Management Act 1991.

4 Approves public notification of its decisions on submissions on Proposed Plan Change 10 Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management to the Bay of Plenty Regional Water and Land Plan in accordance with clauses 10 and 11 of Schedule 1 to the Resource Management Act 1991.

5 Notes that the requirements of 32AA(1)(d)(ii) of the Resource Management Act 1991 are fulfilled by the Hearing Panel report and that no separate 32AA report is therefore required.

6 Notes that on and from the date the decisions are publicly notified, Proposed Plan Change 10 is amended in accordance with the decisions.

7 Delegates to the Group Manager Strategy and Science to make any required minor corrections and formatting under clause 16(2) Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991.

Key dates at a glance:

  • 2 August 2017 – decisions made by Council on recommendations from independent hearing panel.
  • 15 August 2017 – decisions publicly notified.
  • 26 September 2017 – appeals must be lodged with the Environment Court.

Report and recommendations of the Hearing Commissioners

The independent hearing panel has considered the submitted information and prepared this Independent Hearing Panel Recommendations Report.

Hearing process

The hearing of submissions closed on 4 May, 2017.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council considered the recommendations at its Regional Direction and Delivery Committee on 2 August 2017 held at 9.30am Baycrest Room, Sudima Hotel, 1000 Eruera Street, Rotorua which members of the public were welcome to attend.

Resource consents

Council is aware there are some over 40 hectare farming enterprises who are ready to progress to the next stage – applying for a resource consent. Learn more about the free resource consent process.

Current Status

Background 

The Proposed Plan Change 10 rules were notified on 29 February, 2016 and public submissions were open for 40 working days.

At total of 92 submissions and 20 further submissions were received on Plan Change 10. A copy of these submissions and a summary can be found below.

Regional Council has assessed each of these submissions and provided recommended decisions to the independent hearing panel to consider along with supporting evidence. Submitters than had the opportunity to review Regional Council's recommendations and evidence, and file additional information in support of their submission.

In response to this additional information, Regional Council was given the ability to file rebuttal evidence. The section 42A report and evidence filed by Council and submitters can be found below.

Proposed Plan Change 10 (as notified 29 February 2016)

Technical Documents:

Spreadmark Code of Practice

View submissions received for Proposed Plan Change 10

About the technical documents

For the Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management Rules, three documents are being incorporated by reference. These relate specifically to Schedule 5 and 6. The documents are:

  1. Methodology for creation of NDA reference files and stocking rate table (Perrin Ag for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council).
  2. Code of Practice for Nutrient Management (Fertiliser Association); and
  3. Spreadmark Code of Practice (New Zealand Fertiliser Quality Council).

In accordance with Clause 34 of Schedule 1 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) these technical documents were publicly notified for comment on 16 December 2015. Comments closed on 29 January 2016.

Document 1 is the technical input data that is used to create the reference files that are used to describe the Nitrogen Discharge Allowances for properties/farming enterprises within the rules. There is one reference file for dairy and one for drystock.

The farm systems are designed to be simple and realistic, whilst also meeting the average allocation NDA (as an OVERSEER® output) for each sector. The geo-physical properties used for the hypothetical farms are representative of the catchment.

Documents 2 and 3 are part of establishing best practice around fertiliser management within Nitrogen Management Plans. These are nationally recognised guidance documents, created and maintained by the organisations noted above.

List of submitters with addresses

List of submitters in alphabetical order

Further submissions received 5 July to 1 August 2016

Late submission

A late submission was accepted following the final submission close-off date of 1 August, 2016 to correct three errors. The first two changes correct typo errors, so no change to what the rules mean. The last change has come after legal advice to ensure a rule cannot be misinterpreted

Why the late submission?

We wanted to ensure:

  • transparency around any changes being made, no matter how insignificant those changes were
  • that the process to finalise these rules would not require the timeframe to be extended.

What does the submission seek to correct?

  What is the change being sought? Why?
Change 1 including the notified date of Plan Change 10 within Rules LR R4, LR R5 and LR R6. The date was omitted from these 3 rules in the final edition, so this is to enable the date to be added back in.
Change 2

an incorrect reference where LR R7(a), LR R8(a), LR R9b) should be LR R8(a), LR R9(a), LR R10(b) within Schedule LR5 A6.

The wrong numbers were used so this is to correct them.
Change 3

Rule LRR7 where inconsistencies with other permitted activities within the plan change did not prevent an increase in effective area.

This new submission seeks to add a condition to this rule to (a) make it consistent with the other rules in this plan change and (b) to prevent a potential loophole, where land that is currently in forestry could be converted to sheep and beef farming which would increase the Nitrogen discharge.

The Independent Hearing Panel have directed Council to publically release a Section 42A report on 20 January 2017 together with any evidence that Council wishes to present in support of the Plan Change. In response to these directions, below Section 42A report and supporting evidence have been made available.

Staff Recommendations

The below report contains Council Staff responses to the submissions and further submissions received on Plan Change 10. The Section 42A report provides the responses to key issues raised by submissions, whilst Appendix 3 lists all submission points and the recommended responses. To find your submission within Appendix 3, use the find function (Ctrl+F) and search for either your name or your submission number .

Section 42A report: Proposed Plan Change 10 Lake Rotorua Management

Appendix 2(a) Proposed Plan Change 10: Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management

Appendix 2(b) Proposed Plan Change 10: Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management

Appendix 3: Staff Recommendations on Provisions with Submissions and Further Submissions

Council Evidence

The evidence below provides an insight into how Plan Change 10 was developed, and also informs the responses to each submission received as outlined within Council’s Section 42A report.

Economic & Social

Statement of Evidence: Sandra Barns - Economic Analysis and Social Impacts

Statement of Evidence: Nicola Smith - Economic Impacts – district and regional economy

Statement of Evidence: Professor Graeme Doole - Economic Impacts of Plan Change 10 at the Catchment Level

Statement of Evidence: Lee Matheson - Meeting nutrient loss targets on dairy farms in the Lake Rotorua catchment; Rotorua NDA impact analysis and subsequent update; Methodology for creation of NDA reference files and stocking rate table

Lake Water Quality - Science

Statement of Evidence: Andy Bruere - Overview of Science and Restoration Initiatives

Statement of Evidence: Professor David Hamilton - Lake Rotorua Water Quality

Statement of Evidence: Dr James Rutherford - Current Catchment loads – ROTAN

Proposed Plan Change 10 – Background

Statement of Evidence: Stephen Lamb - Planning Context and Process

Statement of Evidence: Alastair MacCormick - OVERSEER® and proposed Plan Change 10; the use of reference files

Statement of Evidence: Simon Park - The use of OVERSEER® and reference files

Evidence Received from Submitters

Expert Evidence Received from Submitters

Summaries of Evidence

Legal Submission on behalf of BOPRC

Legal Submissions of Counsel for Rotorua Lakes Council

Rebuttal Statements

Bay of Plenty Regional Council appointed an independent hearing panel to decide on rules to manage nutrients coming from land use and ensure the long term sustainability of Lake Rotorua’s water quality (Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management - Proposed Plan Change 10).

The independent hearing panel has considered the submitted information and prepared their recommendations report.

Hearing Commissioners

Retired Judge Gordon Whiting (Chair)
Mr Rauru Kirikiri
Dr Brent Cowie (Deputy Chair)
Ms Gina Sweetman

The hearing of submissions began on 13 March, 2017 and ended on 4 May, 2017. During the hearing, additional evidence was tabled by submitters and Regional Council, either to support the presentation of their submission and evidence, or in response to requests made by the hearing panel. This information is provided below. The hearings were held at the Millennium Hotel, 1270 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua and the Sudima Lake Rotorua Hotel, 1000 Eruera Street, Rotorua.

Further evidence filed during the hearing:

2 May 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Filed by Federated Farmers

20 April 2017

Caucusing of Economic Experts

Filed by Federated Farmers

19 April 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Filed by CNI Iwi Land Management Ltd

Filed by Robin Boom

Filed by Timberlands

13 April 2017

Filed by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council

1. Memorandum of Counsel for BOPRC attaching further information, as foreshadowed in the compendium Memorandum of 22 March 2017;

2. Attachment A – Subdivision Objectives and Policies – this is an attachment to Appendix 6 ‘Planning Report on Rural Subdivision’;

3. Appendix 9 - Revised Track Change Version 6 PPC 10 – this is APPENDIX 9 to the Memorandum.

Table 1 of the Memorandum sets out the additional information and where it can be viewed.

6 April 2017

Filed by Rotorua Lakes Council

4 April 2017

Filed by Bushland Estate Ltd and Adolle Farms Ltd

Filed by CNI Iwi Land Management Ltd

Filed by DairyNZ/Fonterra

Filed by Fertiliser Association

Filed by Rotorua Lakes Council

3 April 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Filed by Dairy NZ/Fonterra

Filed by Ravensdown Limited

Filed by Rotorua Lakes Council

20 March 2017

Filed by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council

17 March 2017

Filed by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council - A Bruere

16 March 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council

15 March 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council

14 March 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council

14 March 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council - Gemma Moleta

13 March 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council - Legal Counsel

Memoranda from Hearing Panel and Submitter Parties

The Independent Hearing Panel for Proposed Plan Change 10: Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management will provide information and directions to all parties participating in the Hearing Process. Please read the information provided below, to remain informed and up to date on matters relating to the hearing process.

Date Issued Memoranda
1 May 2017
24 April 2017 Memorandum from the Panel to Council - Memorandum No 9 - Questions for Council
11 April 2017 Memorandum from Grant Eccles in response to a request from the Panel
7 April 2017 Memorandum from Counsel for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council concerning correspondence from Ngati Uenukukopako Iwi Trust
5 April 2017

Filed by Ngati Uenukukopako Iwi Trust - Letter to the Panel regarding discussions between Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rotorua Lakes Council

3 April 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council - Report on Agreed Proposed Amendments and Outstanding Issues

24 March 2017

Filed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council - Statement of Evidence of Tanira Kingi on behalf of the Lake Rotorua Stakeholder Advisory Group - Rebuttal Evidence

23 March 2017 Appendix 15 to p122 of Memorandum regarding Additional Documents
23 March 2017 Memorandum regarding Additional Documents on behalf of Bay of Plenty Regional Council
17 March 2017

Memorandum on behalf of Federated Farmers 17 March 2017

Attachment to FFNZ memorandum 17 March 2017

17 March 2017 Memorandum of Grant Robert Eccles 17 March 2017
15 March 2017 Memorandum of Counsel on behalf of CNI Iwi Holdings Ltd
15 March 2017 Memorandum to the Hearing Panel from CNI Iwi Land Management in relation to the Late Filing of Evidence
15 March 2017 Memorandum to the Hearing Panel from Fertiliser Association of New Zealand concerning Memo 9 relating to Late Filing of Expert Evidence and the Question of Scope
15 March 2017 Memorandum to the Hearing Panel from Ballance Agri-Nutrients in relation to the Late Filing of Evidence
13 March 2017 Memorandum No 9 - Late Filing of Expert Evidence and Scope

12 March 2017

Memorandum to Hearing Panel from Federated Farmers concerning Process for Exchange of Evidence

10 March 2017

Memorandum from Counsel for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Responding to Memo 8 and expert evidence objected to

Appendix - Kaingaroa Timberlands Partnership Submission

10 March 2017

Memorandum No 8 - Further Memorandum

Relating to Late Filing of Expert Evidence

9 March 2017

Memorandum No 7 - Response to Council's Memorandum

Addressing Late Filing of Expert Evidence by Submitters

7 March 2017

Memorandum to Hearing Panel from Counsel for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Concerning Evidence Received Late from Submitters

3 March 2017

 

 

tablMemorandum No 6 - Hearing Schedule

Wednesday 1 March 2017 Memorandum No 5 - Caucusing of Expert Witnesses / Hearing Schedule
 

Memoranda from the panel

Memorandum No 1 of the Hearing Commissioners

Attachment One - Hearing Status Form

Memorandum No 2 of the Hearing Commissioners

Request for Deferral of PC10 hearing – Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective

Memorandum of Understanding on Science Review

Memorandum No 4 of the Hearing Commissioners

Responses from other parties

Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd

Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Federated Farmers of New Zealand

Chris Hook

Key contact

For more information on Proposed Plan Change 10 please contact Rebecca Burton, Senior Planner (Water Policy) on 0800 884 880.