Our Council vision ‘Thriving Together – mō te taiao, mō ngā tāngata’ is about supporting our environment and our people to thrive.

This document highlights the hard work we’ve done during the past three years in working towards that vision - and sets out some of the facts and figures around that work

Our vision forms part of our Strategic Framework, which underpins the work we do and the activities and services we’re responsible for across the region. You can read more about this framework in our Long Term Plan.

Highlights 2016/17

River rapids, BOPRC

Work on the Kaituna River Re-diversion and Ongatoro/Maketū Estuary Enhancement Project progressed.

Accepted 9,599 samples and undertook a total of 64,799 tests in our labs.
Carried out 1,130 physical river-flow measurements.

Processed 449 resource consents and 72% of respondents were satisfied with the overall resource consent process.

An Environment Court hearing for the MV Rena Consent resulted in an interim decision to grant consent for the wreck to remain in place.

The Environmental Enhancement Fund was administered and $307,000 allocated.

Supported 32 registered Care Groups, including 11 Estuary Care groups.

Surveyed 53 coastal beach profiles to identify coastal erosion and accretion.

The Lake Rotorua Incentives Scheme was established to encourage land use change to permanently remove nitrogen from entering the lake.

An additional 19 sites were monitored in the Kaituna Water Management Area for water quality at 13 tributary and six drain sites.

Remediation of the Kopeopeo Canal continued to be a high priority project for the Council. The head physical works contractor was appointed in 2016/17 and project management plans and detailed construction design was completed.

Two deep groundwater bores were established at Katikati and Galatea to investigate the geology and monitor water resources in the Kaituna and Tauranga Water Management Areas.

More than 200 students attended the Hands on Water event, from 20 schools throughout the region.

The review of the Navigation Safety Bylaw was completed, with 218 submissions received.

The April 2017 weather event (ex-tropical cyclone Debbie) resulted in serious flooding in Edgecumbe and throughout our region. More than 900 people were involved in the proceeding civil defence response.

We responded to 17 maritime oil spill reports.

Proposed Change 4 (Tauriko West Urban Limit) was adopted into the Regional Policy Statement and approved for notification in May 2018.

The Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Blueprint was approved after receiving and reviewing 1,474 individual pieces of feedback.

A $10,000 He Toka Tūmoana scholarship was approved to commemorate the late Awanuiarangi Black - a former Māori Constituent Councillor. The scholarship is awarded to Māori tertiary students pursuing environment related degrees.

Council purchased additional land at both of our Regional Parks - Papamoa Hills and Onekawa Te Mawhai - of 25 and 10 hectares, respectively. At both sites, the acquired land includes significant cultural and archaeological sites.

The design phases for the Whakatāne and Tauranga office upgrade projects were completed, and this included design for the new Group Emergency Coordination Centre in Tauranga.

The Treaty of Waitangi Symposium was held in April 2017. This provided an opportunity for Councillors and staff from across the region’s Councils to engage with prominent New Zealanders and understand their experiences with Treaty issues.

Highlights 2017/18

Komiti Maori

During the triennium, we processed 20,227 E.coli samples from various locations, including monitoring sites, drinking, bathing and surface waters, and from water used in the production of shellfish and horticulture.

The Regional Water and Land Plan was reformatted and released as the Bay of Plenty Regional Natural Resources Plan in September 2017.

The Coast Care group - a partnership between communities and local government to protect, enhance and restore the coastal environment - held 400 planting days throughout the triennium.

Significant progress was made to support the Kaituna River.

Re-diversion and Ongatoro/Maketū Estuary Enhancement Project and construction commenced in June, 2018.

Te Maru o Kaituna undertook an intensive process of consultation and hearings, culminating in the approval of He Taonga Tuku Iho – the Kaituna River Document in June 2018. Te Maru is now drafting the companion action plan due to be completed by October 2019.

Accepted 10,633 samples and undertook a total of 68,289 tests in our labs.

Carried out 976 physical river-flow measurements.

Processed 500 resource consents.

340 tonnes of sea lettuce and 1,000kg of rubbish removed from Tauranga Harbour foreshores.

Work at Rotoehu Forest resulted in a 97% reduction in Wallaby numbers.

Administered 19 successful applications to the Environment Enhancement Fund.

Protected 144 additional kilometres of waterway margin.

Developed 26 new Environmental Programmes.

During the triennium, more than 95,000 plants were planted across our wetlands, salt marshes, coastal areas, and at our Papamoa Hills Regional Park.

20,000 new plants were put in during the winter of 2018 as part of the Papahikahawai Island Biodiversity Management Plan.

Construction of two containment sites, two flood control structures and sediment dredging of 1.8 kms, of the overall 5.1 km canal length, was completed as part of the Remediation of the Kopeopeo Canal project.

Maintained a strong focus on water management, with progress made implementing the Government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

Purchased 12 red-stickered flood-damaged homes directly opposite the April 2017 Rangitāiki River breach site. These properties were demolished to support the College Road stopbank realignment project.

60 students attended a Civil Defence themed

Taiohi Taiao/Youth Jam.

In public transport, new bus contracts were awarded for Tauranga and Te Puke services, Passenger Wi-Fi was funded on Rotorua and Eastern Bay bus services; and Concession bus fares were introduced on the Rotorua CityRide urban service.

The Regional Infrastructure Fund made contributions towards the Tauranga Marine Precinct, Tauranga tertiary campus and the Te Puna West sewerage scheme.

A review of the Regional Land Transport Plan was undertaken and submitted to the New Zealand Transport Agency.

More than 2.9 million passengers utilised passenger transport services throughout the year.

Held more than 40 events and meetings as part of our Long Term Plan consultation and adopted the Long Term Plan 2018-2028 in June which came into force on 1 July 2018.

In February 2018, Komiti Māori endorsed He Korowai Mātauranga. The framework sets out the pathway to build organisational capability, recognition and provision for Mātauranga Māori.

Highlights 2018/19


Decisions were received from the courts in relation to 12 prosecutions, resulting in a total of $543,025 in fines. Prosecutions related to unlawful earthworks or discharges of sediment, effluent, and oil.

Proposed Plan Change 13 (Air Quality) to the Regional Natural Resources Plan was publicly notified and decisions on submissions released in March 2019.

Decisions on submissions for Proposed Plan Change 9 – Region-wide Water Quantity to the Bay of Plenty Regional Natural Resources Plan – were notified 9 October 2018.

In June 2019, we declared a Climate Emergency and adopted our Climate Change Action Plan. This highlights our commitment to work with the community on our transition to a low carbon future and our adaption to our changed climate.

The Kaituna River Re-diversion project tracked approximately six months ahead of schedule.

Accepted 9,964 samples and undertook a total of 71,860 tests in our labs.

Carried out 1,106 physical river-flow measurements.

Received and responded to 3,519 calls through the Council’s Pollution Hotline. This is 19.5% more than last year, continuing a trend of increased calls over the last 5 years.

Conducted over 3,000 site inspections for consented activities, which is almost 400 more than 2017/2018.

We also reviewed over 7,700 monitoring and data reports provided by consent holders.
Processed 461 resource consents and of these, 96% were processed within statutory timeframes.

Funded three hapū-iwi environmental management plans.

Developed 48 Farm Environment Plans.

Caught 28,000 catfish in the Rotorua lakes.

The Environment Court released its (Stage 1) decision in favour of Council’s Rotorua Nutrient Management Plan Change 10 nitrogen allocation method.

The final Regional Targets for specified swimmable river and lakes were approved as required by the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

The first of 12 culverts to restore freshwater flows into Te Awa o Ngatoroirangi/Maketū Estuary were opened in June 2019.

We now have an increased and significant number of environmental monitoring sites across the region to measure the quality of our air (16), ecological sites (147), river (50) and lake (12) waters, groundwater (22) and soil (70).

Negotiated three land use change agreements - two in the Lake Rotorua Catchment and one in the Lake Ōkāreka Catchment.

Measured zero algal blooms in Lake Rotorua since 2010.

Contaminated sentiment removed from 5.1km of the Kopeopeo Canal.

Issued 28 Resource Consents for properties over 40ha under the Lake Rotorua Nutrient Rules.

Completed the new Bay of Plenty CDEM Group Partnership Agreement, which reaffirms the operational arrangements for CDEM within the Bay of Plenty and defines our roles and responsibilities to deliver CDEM outcomes before, during and after emergencies.

Completed 48% of repairs from the April 2017 Flood Event.

The public transport system in Tauranga underwent significant change in December 2018, with the implementation of the Western Bay of Plenty Public Transport Blueprint, including a change in bus contractor. A number of issues were addressed and the performance of the bus network in the western bay improved over the last quarter of 2018/19.

Through the Regional Infrastructure Fund we contributed $15 million to the new University of Waikato Tauranga Tertiary Campus which opened for the 2019 academic year.

The Whakatāne and Tauranga office upgrade projects are nearing completion and both include environmentally sustainable design features to reduce our energy use and carbon footprint.

13 interpretation signs were installed around the Ōhiwa Harbour Heritage Trail.
2.71 million passenger trips were recorded on our buses across the region.

More than 200 submissions received on the Proposed Future Development Strategy for the Western Bay of Plenty.

Held 6 Komiti Māori hui.

Hosted four Resource Management Plan training sessions for tangata whenua.

In March 2019 the Chief Executive held a workshop for councillors on the Changing Treaty Landscape with guest speakers including Hon. Chris Finlayson and Tania Wati.

A review and reset of the Bay of Connections framework was undertaken, which saw us engage with more than 250 stakeholders. Bay of Connections 2.0 resulted and is focused on advancing economic development priorities in the four sub-regions and advancing regional opportunities that evolved from this engagement.

A number of He Korowai Mātauranga information sessions were held across Council offices to help build knowledge and understanding amongst staff of Te Ao Māori.