I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Environment, Climate Change and Natural Heritage Committee will be held on:




Meeting Room:



Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Reception Lounge Level 2
Auckland Town Hall
301-305 Queen Street


Environment, Climate Change and Natural Heritage Committee









Cr Wayne Walker


Deputy Chairperson

Cr Linda Cooper, JP



Cr Dr Cathy Casey



Cr Ross Clow



Cr Chris Darby



Cr Hon Christine Fletcher, QSO



Cr Mike Lee



Member Liane Ngamane



Cr John Watson



Member Karen Wilson






Mayor Len Brown, JP



Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse


(Quorum 11 members)



Crispian Franklin

Democracy Advisor


25 November 2014

Contact Telephone: (09) 373 6205

Email: crispian.franklin@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz




Environment, Climate Change and Natural Heritage Committee

26 November 2014



ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                        PAGE


15        Auckland Council’s State of the Environment report 2015                                      5   



Environment, Climate Change and Natural Heritage Committee

26 November 2014



Auckland Council’s State of the Environment report 2015


File No.: CP2014/27145





1.       To provide the Environment, Climate Change and Natural Heritage Committee with an update on Auckland Council’s State of the Environment report 2015.

Executive Summary

2.       State of Environment (SoE) reporting has been undertaken by local, regional and central levels of government in New Zealand since the enactment of the Resource Management Act  1991 (RMA). In Auckland, this has involved the production of five-yearly SoE reports, in 2010, 2004 and 1999. To meet Auckland Council’s statutory reporting obligations, there is a requirement to produce an updated SoE report in 2015.

3.       This report outlines the proposed approach to the production of the Auckland Council State of the Environment report 2015, including a high-level description of the proposed indicators and case studies.



That the Environment, Climate Change and Natural Heritage Committee:

a)      receive the report.

b)      forward this report to the Local Boards for their information.



4.       The Resource Management Act 1991 requires local authorities to prepare and make publicly available a review of the results of monitoring together with an assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of policies, rules, or other methods in statutory planning documents at least once every five years.

5.       In Auckland, this has involved the production of five-yearly SoE reports, in 2010, 2004 and 1999.  These have been complemented by local board report cards since 2011. The report cards fulfil much of the statutory requirement for communicating the results of monitoring and meet the information demands of the local boards. However, the report card format limits the amount of information that can be conveyed to readers, and does not permit the complex analysis and reporting that would allow the assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of council’s actions. Therefore, to meet Auckland Council’s statutory reporting obligations, there is a requirement to produce an updated SoE report in 2015.

6.       The last Auckland SoE report was released in March 2010 and was an exhaustive compendium of information of over 300 pages. As much of the content of the 2010 report is now captured by the report cards, to avoid duplication it is proposed to produce a more focused SoE report for release in 2015. The report would be environmentally focused and report on a limited range of key indicators, with a particular focus on those indicators that:

·    have substantially changed since 2010

·    are directly aligned with the Auckland Plan

·    inform the effectiveness of initiatives

·    report against national standards or guidelines.


7.       All indicators will be consistent with methodologies used nationally and internationally for environmental reporting, and will meet the ‘SMART’ criteria – that is, that they are specific, measurable, accurate, reliable and time-bound.

8.       It is intended that the suite of indicators would be complemented by a range of case studies. The case studies would fulfil a number of purposes, including providing:

·  flexibility to accommodate important issues that may not be supported by SMART indicators

·    opportunities to highlight gaps or emerging issues

·    for integration across environmental domains.


9.       Based on an extensive review of SoE reports from around the world, we propose that the report is produced using graphical communication tools where possible, using a consistent structure amongst the indicators (issue, state, trend, implication, actions) grouped into four environmental domains (Figure 1). The case studies listed are illustrative only to demonstrate the purpose of using them to link domains and indicate that the breadth of the case studies may range from one to all four domains.

10.     Figure 1; Conceptual diagram for the SoE Report 2015 (case studies are illustrative).


11.     The detailed content of the report is currently under development. A tentative list of indicators and cases studies is shown in the tables below (paragraphs 12 and 13). Please note that these are subject to change.

12.     Indicators




Soil quality


Terrestrial habitat


Bird diversity


Native plants


Animal pests


Exotic plant (weeds)


Freshwater quantity and water consumption


Freshwater quality


Freshwater ecology


Marine water quality


Marine ecology


Marine sediments


Particulate matter (PM10)


Particulate matter (PM2.5)


Rainfall patterns


Temperature regimes


Sea level change


13.     Case studies


Case study

All domains

Ecosystem services – what the environment does for you

Air and climate

Vehicle emissions – tracking change in relation to Auckland Plan and Low Carbon Action Plan targets


Personal exposure to noise and air pollution in the Auckland CBD

Land, water and air

Source control of contaminants


The values of urban forests and reserves

Land and water

Auckland’s wetlands – values and opportunities

Land and water

Weiti forest – showcasing best practice forestry management

All domains

Liveable environments – liveable cities


Marine habitats – what we know, what we should know and how we find out?

Land, water and air

Enhancing urban development outcomes for Auckland

All domains

Long-term changes in environmental measures related to climate variability

Land and water

Restoring ecosystems – learnings from two decades of action


Climate change – what lies ahead, how can we monitor?

All domains

Technology in environmental monitoring – more data, lower cost

All domains

What does the environment mean to me? Stories from the community

All domains

Trade-offs and conflicts in environmental management – how can we de-couple development and degradation?


14.     The project team is currently compiling available information to include in the indicators and case studies, with the aim of having draft content for each by December 2014. It is anticipated that a final draft will be ready in early in 2015.

15.     The State of the Environment report will be published alongside the Environmental Strategic Action Plan.  Whilst the State of the Environment will report on the health of Auckland’s environment, noting areas of improvement and possibly decline; the Environmental Strategic Action Plan will present the strategic actions Auckland Council is pursuing to progress environmental enhancement.  Both documents will demonstrate the extent to which current initiatives are aligned to meeting the challenges ahead.

Local Board Views and Implications

16.     As an extension of the local board-based report cards, we anticipate that the SoE report will be of interest to all local boards. The project team will meet with local boards (if required) to discuss the scope and implications of the report.

Maori Impact Statement

17.     Current work involving Mana Whenua as kaitiaki include the co design of the Environment Strategic Action Plan, co-governance and management of Sea Change, Low Carbon Auckland Implementation, Wai Ora Wai Maori Tamaki Makaurau, the Heritage Grants Policy Review, the Regional Pest Management Plan Review.

18.     The State of the Environment report and the Environmental Strategic Action Plan are likely to identify twin challenges; coordinating and aligning actions across the Council’s many roles so that they work together to improve environmental performance, and working alongside Mana Whenua as kaitiaki of Auckland’s environment – to co-design, co-produce, and co-deliver solutions to local and regional issues. 

19.     The environmental monitoring programmes noted in this report owe a lot to the foresight of those involved in the 1985 Waitangi Tribunal deliberations on the Manukau Harbour. The deliberations provided the genesis for the establishment of Auckland Council’s environmental research and monitoring programmes. Hence, this work is of interest to, and will empower Māori as Kaitiaki and Tangata Whenua. It has synergies with the directives and vision of the Auckland Plan and Māori Plan and can support the principles of kaitiakitanga and facilitate the restoration of mauri of the environment.

20.     The State of the Environment project team project team is currently pursuing options for including iwi perspectives. These options may include a Māori foreword to complement the mayoral foreword and possibly the inclusion of a case study on the Maunga Authority or Whenua Rangatira restoration.

Implementation Issues

The current proposed approach for producing the Auckland Council State of the Environment report 2015 is planned for within existing work programmes and budgets. There are no additional implementation issues.




There are no attachments for this report.     



Martin Neale - Scientist Freshwater


Harvey Brookes - Manager Economic Development

Roger Blakeley - Chief Planning Officer

John Dragicevich - Manager Infrastructure and Environmental Services