New National Environmental Standards for Freshwater (Freshwater NES or NESFF), a National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (Freshwater NPS 2020 or NPSFM 2020), stock exclusion regulations, and regulations in the measurement and reporting of water takes have come into effect. They are designed to restore and protect the health of waterways.

Regional councils implement these new requirements. That means that if the regulations require you to get a resource consent or to provide information about an activity in the Bay of Plenty, please talk to our Consents Team. Our Compliance Teams work to ensure the regulations are followed.

Our Council also needs to lead a work programme to implement the NPSFM, and we will have to change our Regional Policy Statement and Regional Natural Resources Plan (including the rules) by 2024, after engaging with tangata whenua, communities and stakeholders.

You can find tailored factsheets for iwi, farmers, horticulturalists and more on the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) website.

 

The new rules and what they mean for you

The most immediate changes which came into effect on 3 September 2020 are that consents will now be required in some circumstances for:

  • intensification of land use (conversion of forestry to pastoral, conversions to dairy, new or expanded irrigation of dairy land and any increase in dairy support),
  • winter grazing on forage crops beyond defined limits,
  • stock-holding areas and feedlots,
  • structures or other works in waterways that restrict fish movement,
  • stream reclamations
  • activities within proximity of a natural wetland (including water takes and discharges within 100m, vegetation clearance and earthworks)

Anyone involved in or planning to undertake those activities in the Bay of Plenty should contact our Duty Consents Officer on 0800 884 881 extn. 9090 or email consents.queries@boprc.govt.nz in the first instance to discuss the likely implications for them.

We are now reviewing the new pieces of law and further guidance to come from MfE, to determine the specific implications for our region and alignment with our current plans, policies and rules.

We will then adapt our Regional Council work programmes, including our National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management implementation plan, and continue discussions with Maori, stakeholders and the wider community, so that we can deliver on the new requirements together with our partners and communities.

To receive updates as we confirm our next steps, please follow this webpage by clicking the follow button on the top right corner.

Regional Council has been working towards implementing previous versions of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management for some time now and that work is still relevant, but that work programme will change soon. You can read about work we have done so far on the following pages:

Central government consulted on a new Action for healthy waterways package of freshwater reform proposals from September to October 2019.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council made its own submission, but also hosted a series of public information sharing sessions from 30 September to 2 October to help local people understand what’s in the proposals and get ready to make their submissions. See material from the sessions:

Cabinet released its final decisions on 28 May 2020, following consideration of approximately 17, 500 submissions. See details in their decision summary document.

Kaituna River
Kaituna River

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PROJECT CREATED

05 Sep 2019

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Project Updates

4 months ago

New rules to restore healthy rivers

Government has now gazetted its updated new policy direction and regulations for freshwater management. 

Regional Council staff and Councillors are now reviewing the released documents to determine the specific implications for our region and alignment with our current plans, policies and rules.

New rules to restore healthy rivers

Government has now gazetted its updated new policy direction and regulations for freshwater management. See Minister Parker’s media statement here, further details are available at www.mfe.govt.nz/action-for-healthy-waterways.

Regional Council staff and Councillors are now reviewing the released documents to determine the specific implications for our region and alignment with our current plans, policies and rules.

The most immediate changes which take effect from 3 September are that consents will now be required in some circumstances for:

  • intensification of land use,
  • winter grazing on forage crops beyond defined limits,
  • stock-holding areas and feedlots,
  • structures or other works in waterways that restrict fish movement,
  • activities that have more than a minor impact on wetlands and streams.

Anyone involved in or planning to undertake those activities in the Bay of Plenty should contact our Duty Consents Officer on 0800 884 881 extn. 9090 or email consents.queries@boprc.govt.nz in the first instance to discuss the likely implications for them.

7 months ago

Regional Council welcomes national water reforms

“It’s great to have the direction we’ve been waiting for. Now we can move forward faster to improve the care of our region’s waterways,” said Bay of Plenty Regional Council Councillor and Strategy and Policy Committee Chair Paula Thompson in response to Government’s Action for Healthy Waterways decisions released by Minister Parker.

Regional Councillors and staff will be working through the details of the announcement in the coming weeks, to determine the full implications for the regional community, current planning processes, and resourcing levels. 

Read more.

about 2 years ago

Te Puke Session Discussion Points - 2 October 2019

We had a great turn out of about 50 people at the Te Puke. Thank you to everyone that joined us and added their  voices to the discussion.

Here are photos of the discussion points that were recorded from the day.

Te Puke session discussion points - 2 October 2019

We had a great turn out of about 50 people at the Te Puke. Thank you to everyone that joined us and added their  voices to the discussion.

Here are photos of the discussion points that were recorded from the day.

General Discussion 1 of 4

General Discussion Point 1 of 5

General Discussion Point 2 of 5

General Discussion Point 2 of 5

General Discussion Point 3 of 5

General Discussion Point 3 of 5

General Discussion Point 4 of 5

General Discussion Point 4 of 5

General Discussion Point 5 of 5

General Discussion Point 5 of 5

Clarifying Policy Direction

Clarifying Policy Direction

Elevation of Māori Values

Elevation of Māori Values

Improving Dairy Farm Practices

Improving Dairy Farm Practices 1 of 4

Improving Dairy Farm Practices 2 of 4

Improving Dairy Farm Practices 2 of 4

Improving Dairy Farm Practices 3 of 4

Improving Dairy Farm Practices 3 of 4

Improving Dairy Farm Practices 4 of 4

Improving Dairy Farm Practices 4 of 4

Improving Farm Practice Sheep and Beef

Improving Farm Practice Sheep and Beef

Improving Farm Practice Horticulture

Improving Farm Practice Horticulture

Raising the bar on ecosystem health

Raising the bar on ecosystem health

Stormwater, wastewater, and drinking water

Stormwater, wastewater, and drinking water

Summary 1 of 4

Summary 2 of 4

Summary 2 of 4

Summary 3 of 4

Summary 3 of 4

Summary 4 of 4

Summary 4 of 4

General Discussion Points
about 2 years ago

Awakeri session discussion points – 1 October 2019

A huge thank you to everyone that joined us at Awakeri. Here are photos of the key points discussed in each workshop group.

Awakeri session discussion points – 1 October 2019

A huge thank you to everyone that joined us at Awakeri.

Here are photos of the key points discussed in each workshop group.

Photos

2019-10-01 Awakeri - Te Mana o te Wai and ecosystem health discussion points

Above: Awakeri - Te Mana o te Wai and ecosystem health discussion points.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - General discussion points #1 of 4

Above: Awakeri - General discussion points #1 of 4.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - General discussion points #2 of 4

Above: Awakeri - General discussion points #2 of 4.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - General discussion points continued #3 of 4

Above: Awakeri - General discussion points continued #3 of 4.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - General discussion points continued #4 of 4

Above: Awakeri - General discussion points continued #4 of 4.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - General discussion at the end

Above: Awakeri - General discussion at the end.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - stormwater, wastewater, drinking water discussion points

Above: Awakeri - stormwater, wastewater, drinking water discussion points.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - raising the bar on ecosystem health discussion points

Above: Awakeri - raising the bar on ecosystem health discussion points.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - raising the bar on ecosystem health discussion points

Above: Awakeri - raising the bar on ecosystem health discussion points.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - improving farm practices discussion points #1

Above: Awakeri - improving farm practices discussion points #1.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - improving farm practices discussion points #1

Above: Awakeri - improving farm practices discussion points #2.

 

2019-10-01 Awakeri - Improving farm practices #2 continued

2019-10-01 Awakeri - Improving farm practices #2 continued.

about 2 years ago

Rotorua session discussion points – 30 September 2019

Approximately 45 people attended the Rotorua event, thank you to everyone that came. Here are photos of the key points discussed in each workshop group.

Rotorua session discussion points – 30 September 2019

Approximately 45 people attended the Rotorua event, thank you to everyone that came.

See below photos of the key points discussed in each workshop group.

Photos

2019-09-30 Rotorua - ecosystem services discussion points

Above: Rotorua - Farm practices (dairy) discussion points.

 

2019-09-30 Rotorua - Farm practices (dairy) discussion points

Above: Rotorua - Maori Values & Te Mana o te Wai discussion points.

2019-09-30 Rotorua - stormwater, wastewater, drinking water discussion points

Above: Rotorua - stormwater, wastewater, drinking water discussion points.

 

2019-09-30 Rotorua - ecosystem services discussion points

Above: Rotorua - ecosystem services discussion points.

 

2019-09-30 Rotorua - Improving farm practices (dry stock & horticulture)

Above: Rotorua - Improving farm practices (dry stock & horticulture).

about 2 years ago

Regional Council maintains water momentum

Central government’s new 'Action for Healthy Waterways' proposals are expected to help expand and advance Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s current freshwater improvement efforts says Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chief Executive Fiona McTavish.

Regional Council maintains water momentum

Central government’s new 'Action for Healthy Waterways' proposals are expected to help expand and advance Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s current freshwater improvement efforts says Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chief Executive Fiona McTavish.

“From action on the ground, to science, planning and policy work, Regional Council invests more than $30 million each year in efforts to improve water quality and manage water use in the region.

“Improving our waterways needs to be an ongoing focus and priority for everyone. The proposed reforms could give us the tools we need to do a better job of achieving the outcomes our communities want.

“We’re already making real progress through current work that includes riparian improvement partnerships, Lake Rotorua nutrient management rules and incentives, wetland restoration projects, environmental monitoring network expansion and freshwater plan change development. It will take many years to see the full benefits of those efforts.

“It’s increasingly complex work, and it’s going to take even more investment and change from all of us to ensure healthier waterways for generations to come.

“We all want clean fresh water to drink, swim in and gather kai from; so we welcome central government’s intent to clarify requirements and simplify planning processes for freshwater management,” Ms McTavish said.

As one of the guardians of the region’s natural assets, Regional Council has a long history of helping landowners and businesses to take better care of waterways, with more than 2000 property-level environmental plans already delivered to reduce land run-off and protect waterways throughout the region.

Regional Council also conducts more than 3000 compliance checks on consented activities, such as dairy sheds, industrial sites, wastewater and community storm water systems each year, to reduce the risk of waterway pollution.

“We’ve recently adapted our work with rural landowners to better align with swimmability targets and earlier freshwater policy directives released by central government.

“We’ve established a science-led approach to supporting voluntary landowner action in the 12 focus catchments that are at the highest risk of degradation in our region. That way we can make sure that our most vulnerable waterways are getting the attention they need, as quickly as possible,” Ms McTavish said.

Central government launched its package of freshwater reform proposals today. Ms McTavish said that Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff and councillors will now review those proposals and consider the potential impact of the reforms on the wider community and local economies, as well as on the existing capacity of councils, before giving feedback on them.

“We’ll be working through the full implications and details of the proposal over the coming weeks. We’ll adapt our policies and work programmes as needed once the new central government requirements are finalised.

“In the meantime, we remain committed to working in partnership with iwi, hapū, landowners, other councils, industry and the wider community to deliver an environment that people can be proud to leave to their mokopuna.

“No one agency, organisation or iwi can do this alone and just as many of the challenges we face today have been decades in the making, the benefits of the decisions we make now will become evident in the future.

“The effects of the new central government proposals will be wide-ranging, so we encourage local people to take a look and have their say as well,” Ms McTavish said.

Further information about Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s water management work is available at www.boprc.govt.nz/freshwater

Fresh water
about 2 years ago

Community Reference Group tasked with reducing future storm impacts

The Ngongotaha Community Reference Group was tasked with helping Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council reduce the impact of future storm events in Ngongotahā.

Community Reference Group tasked with reducing future storm impacts

The Ngongotaha Community Reference Group was tasked with helping Rotorua Lakes Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council reduce the impact of future storm events in Ngongotahā.

The Independent Review of the severe weather event on 29 April 2018 resulted in recommendations to both Councils and the aim of the Community Reference Group is to assist our councils on developing mitigation options and methods for community engagement for discussing options to create a safer and more resilient Ngongotaha township.

The group’s monthly meetings include updates from five workstreams:

  • Ngongotaha stream maintenance workstream
  • RMA Planning and Consenting workstream
  • Civil Defence Community Preparedness workstream
  • Stream flood capacity modelling and optioneering for possible future design solutions
  • Upper Catchment workstream.

At the recent meeting, members were updated on the upper catchment flood management options. Opportunities for upper catchment flood mitigation are becoming clearer, and can now potentially be combined with lower catchment mitigation options, for a more cost-effective overall flood management approach.

The civil defence workstream reported back on the recent community outreach day in Ngongotahā on June 16, organised by Red Cross Disaster Welfare Support in conjunction with civil defence staff. Staff visited 272 homes with many residents answering a questionairre about their household’s emergency preparedness. Red Cross Disaster Welfare Support teams from Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua took part.

The Reference Group was also worked through one of the twelve potential options for considering how a future large flood event might be managed. The group set the parameters for assessing the remaining options for further discussion at the July meeting.

The members of the Community Reference Group will soon be looking at feeding this information back into the community and seeking feedback from residents. The members of the Reference Group include:

  • Heather Brake
  • Simon Short
  • Sarah Thomson
  • Elliot Pollard
  • Keith Garratt
  • Guy Ngatai
  • Joe Edwards
  • Te Poari Newton
  • Lyall Thurston (Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor)
  • Shirley Trumper (Rotorua Lakes Council Rural Community Board member).

Meanwhile, a community planting day has been organised for the Pioneer Drainage Reserve on July 2. The planting will take place between 10.30am and 12.30pm with support from Ngongotahā Primary, Ngongotahā Early Learning Centre, Central Kids Kindergarten, Infracore Contracting Limited and the Ngongotahā Bowling Club.

about 2 years ago

Ngongotahā Community Reference Group

A Community Reference Group is being formed to assist the Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) and Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) to collaborate and effectively connect with the affected community and iwi.

Ngongotahā Community Reference Group

A Community Reference Group is being formed to assist the Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) and Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) to collaborate and effectively connect with the affected community and iwi, and to ultimately ensure that any action plan options chosen, are balanced, practical, affordable, deliver the risk reduction that the local people need and don't create new issues or flooding

The ‘Community Reference Group’ will perform and support the following:

  • Filter/narrow down the flood reduction/mitigation options that are realistic, pragmatic, appropriate and acceptable to the Ngongotaha catchment community
  • Assist interpreting and communicating flood modelling and mitigation options so they are understandable to the wider public
  • Being a conduit for BOPRC & RLC to connect with the wider community
  • Assisting in engagement with the wider community on the proposed programme of works and help in seeking wider community input

For more information see the 'Terms of Reference'.

Work completed to date

In the weeks and months following the flood, both Councils faced significant repairs to infrastructure.

This included stop banks; roading and stormwater network as well as the banks of the Ngongotahā Stream.

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