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

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Thursday, 8 September 2022

10.00am

Reception Lounge
Auckland Town Hall
301-305 Queen Street
Auckland

 

Kōmiti Mō Te Hurihanga Āhuarangi me Te Taiao / Environment and Climate Change Committee

 

OPEN ADDENDUM AGENDA

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Cr Richard Hills

 

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Pippa Coom

 

Members

Cr Josephine Bartley

IMSB Member Mr Terrence Hohneck

 

Cr Dr Cathy Casey

Cr Tracy Mulholland

 

Deputy Mayor Cr Bill Cashmore

Cr Daniel Newman, JP

 

Cr Fa’anana Efeso Collins

Cr Greg Sayers

 

Cr Linda Cooper, JP

Cr Desley Simpson, JP

 

Cr Angela Dalton

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

Cr Chris Darby

Cr Wayne Walker

 

Cr Alf Filipaina, MNZM

Cr John Watson

 

Cr Christine Fletcher, QSO

IMSB Member Karen Wilson

 

Mayor Hon Phil Goff, CNZM, JP

Cr Paul Young

 

Cr Shane Henderson

 

 

(Quorum 11 members)

 

 

 

Suad Allie

Kaitohutohu Mana Whakahaere Matua / Senior Governance Advisor

 

7 September 2022

 

Contact Telephone: (09) 977 6953

Email: suad.allie@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 


ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                         PAGE

 

11        Natural environment and water quality targeted rates end of year report 2021/2022  5

 


Environment and Climate Change Committee

08 September 2022

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Natural environment and water quality targeted rates end of year report 2021/2022

File No.: CP2022/06103

 

  

 

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.         To note the annual report for 2021/2022 on delivery of the natural environment and water quality targeted rate work programmes and the annual report on implementation of the Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030.

 

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       The natural environment and water quality targeted rates were established in 2018 to enable Auckland Council to invest in protecting and restoring our natural environment and improving water quality.

3.       The 10-year Budget 2021-2031 included an extension of both targeted rates to 2031 and an increase to the water quality targeted rate, enabling the eastern isthmus water quality improvement and southern catchments alignment programme to be brought forward six years.

4.       The total budgeted expenditure of the two targeted rates is $948 million over the 10-year period from 2021-2031.

5.       In the 2021/2022 financial year, the natural environment programme spent a total of $28.2 million against a budget of $39.8 million, and the water quality programme spent a total of $20.6 million against a budget of $30.74 million. Delivery of some programmes were impacted by COVID-19 and the August 2021 extreme weather event. Despite this, both targeted rates are on track for their overall 2021-2031 programmes and made significant progress in 2021/2022 towards achieving environmental and water quality outcomes.

6.       This report provides a summary of the key achievements from the natural environment and water quality targeted rate programmes for 2021/2022. A detailed annual highlights report is provided as Attachment A.

7.       The natural environment targeted rate funds the implementation of the Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030. This includes the pest management highlights set out in this report. Overall implementation is on track and achieving the outcomes set out in the plan.

8.       Under section 100B of the Biosecurity Act, the council is required to report annually on its operational plan for implementing the Regional Pest Management Plan. The annual report for 2021/2022 is provided in Attachment B. An updated operational plan is provided in Attachment C.

 


 

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendations

That the Environment and Climate Change Committee:

a)      note the annual report on the natural environment and water quality targeted rate work programmes

b)      note the annual report on the operational plan implementing the Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030

c)      note the updated operational plan implementing the Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030.

 

Horopaki

Context

9.       Auckland Council’s 10-year Budget 2018-2028 introduced the natural environment and water quality targeted rates. These targeted rates provided $311 million of investment towards environmental outcomes and $452 million for investment into water quality outcomes over 10 years.

10.     In June 2021, the 10-year Budget 2021-2031 was adopted. This included an extension of the natural environment targeted rate to 2031, with an additional $107 million of investment into environmental outcomes.

11.     The 10-year Budget also included extending the water quality targeted rate to 2031 and increasing it in line with general rates. This provides an additional $256 million investment into water quality outcomes over 10 years. The extension and increase of the water quality targeted rate will help continue to improve water quality in other areas of the city, including coastal water quality from Hobson Bay to St Heliers, as well as the Manukau Harbour.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

12.     Key highlights from the fourth year of delivery of the natural environment and water quality targeted rate work programmes are summarised in the end of year report in Attachment A.

13.     Key achievements from the natural environment work programmes in 2021/2022 include:

·        Plant pathogens: repaired 8km of tracks due to slips and damaged structures following the August 2021 Waitākere Ranges storm, and reopened 4km of tracks in local parks. A further 7.1km of tracks have been upgraded to kauri dieback standards and have been opened or will open soon pending completion of associated facilities and inter-related tracks. The first long-term kauri health monitoring survey for the Waitākere Ranges was undertaken by Auckland Council in partnership with Te Kawerau ā Maki in 2021, utilising remote sensing technology.

·        Mainland: delivered 2230ha of pest plant control in regional parks and 24,000ha of ground-based possum control across the region. Pest animal control in the Hunua Ranges has contributed to a record-breaking kōkako survey, with 258 breeding pairs, up from 106 in 2018.

·        Islands: more than 3700 pest animals were trapped on islands in 2021/2022. Over 470ha of site-led weed control has been undertaken at priority sites on Aotea Great Barrier.

 

 

 

 

·        Marine and pathways: 1257 vessel hulls were inspected in-water for level of fouling and marine pests at marinas, moorings and anchorages on the mainland and Aotea Great Barrier. Also inspected by our dog handlers and their detection dogs: 365 scheduled vehicle sailings, 21 scheduled passenger sailings, 66 unscheduled charter sailings, 198 sailings to Waiheke, 151 sailings to Aotea Great Barrier and 11 sailings to Rakino.

·        Marine ecology: seabird monitoring has been implemented for our highest priority species and breeding locations. We are now monitoring and researching 18 seabird species.

·        Expanding community action: the Community Coordination and Facilitation grant awarded $601,240 to 37 new projects and $260,518 to 17 projects for second year funding (including $97,000 from Healthy Waters). The Regional Environment and Natural Heritage Grant was boosted by $341,165 from the targeted rate, enabling the expansion of 32 community conservation projects.

·        Enabling tools: received two national awards and four nominations for Tiaki Tāmaki Makaurau / Conservation Auckland, our website for the conservation community, and Ruru, our conservation information system.

·        Biodiversity Focus Areas: this programme aims to protect the full range of ecosystems and species in the Auckland region, and to guide the delivery of biodiversity management across both council and private land.

14.     Key achievements from the water quality work programmes in 2021/2022 include:

·        Western isthmus water quality improvement: successfully completed the programme’s fifth water quality project, the Ōwairaka separation. This $2.8 million project successfully separated and connected 44 properties to the newly installed public stormwater network.

·        Safe Networks: tested 86 stormwater outlets across 17 beaches and commenced a further seven network investigations. In total, approximately 7km of public stormwater and wastewater networks were inspected. Private property investigations were conducted at almost 2850 properties to inspect drainage.

·        Safe Septic: completed a major project to create a database of over 45,000 onsite wastewater systems, which will enable the council to automatically send reminders to property owners that their system is due for maintenance and will allow compliance staff to monitor problems and prioritise their response.

·        Urban and rural stream rehabilitation: completed the McArthur Avenue Stream Stabilisation project, stabilising and enhancing a 90-metre urban stream, and co-funded 62 landowners to support them to restore rural waterways, with $950,000 in funding requests received for the Waterway Protection Fund.

·        Contaminant reduction: the Kaipara Moana Remediation programme installed 198,000km of fencing and planted 391,000 plants. The Closing the Gap small building sites monitoring programme inspected 7100 sites, which resulted in the issuing of 310 infringements and 1599 abatements.

·        Eastern isthmus water quality improvement: this new programme was introduced in the council’s 10-year Budget 2021-2031 to increase investment in stormwater infrastructure in Auckland’s eastern isthmus. This will complement Watercare’s investment in the wastewater network and will improve water quality in coastal environments from Hobson Bay to St Heliers.

·        Southern catchments alignment: this new programme was introduced in the council’s 10-year Budget 2021-2031 to improve water quality in the Manukau Harbour by aligning the timing of stormwater improvements with other major infrastructure projects.

Regional pest management plan

15.     The natural environment targeted rate funds the implementation of the Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030. This includes those pest management highlights set out above.

16.     Under section 100B of the Biosecurity Act, the council is required to report annually on its operational plan for implementing the Regional Pest Management Plan. The annual report for 2021/2022 is shown in Attachment B.

17.     The operational plan itself has also been updated, and is shown in Attachment C. The update covers the Hunua Management Area, which is managed by Auckland Council but falls in the Waikato Region. A new Waikato Regional Pest Management Plan has recently been adopted, and the text has been updated to reflect this. Key performance indicators have also been updated to better align with current reporting on the natural environment targeted rate.

18.     The current Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) is scheduled to be operative until 2030.

19.     Due to the volume of technical work and consultation required to create a new RPMP, council staff have recently begun project planning for the next RPMP. Preliminary public consultation is likely to occur in 2024, and formal consultation on a draft plan in 2027.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

20.     Indigenous flora and fauna are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change through habitat loss, extreme heat and drought, and exotic species that can adapt more easily to a changing climate. Protecting and restoring indigenous ecosystems and controlling pest plants and animals improves the resilience of native species to the impacts of climate change.

21.     The natural environment targeted rate programme contributes to the following action areas of Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland's Climate Plan through ecological restoration, pest control and planting:

·        Action area N1: Build the resilience of Auckland’s indigenous biodiversity, habitats and ecosystems to the impacts of climate change

·        Action area N2: Grow and protect our rural and urban ngahere (forest) to maximise carbon capture and build resilience to climate change.

22.     The water quality targeted rate programme contributes to the following action areas of Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland's Climate Plan:

·        Action area B2. Ensure new infrastructure is planned and designed to minimise climate risks and lifecycle emissions

·        Action area N5: Advocate for land use practices that deliver healthy, resilient soils, waterways and ecosystems.

23.     Initiatives such as the Regional Waterway Protection Fund and the contaminant reduction programme support rural Aucklanders to protect local waterways, improving biodiversity and making waterways more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

24.     The western isthmus water quality improvement programme fast-tracks major infrastructure upgrades to significantly reduce wastewater overflows entering our waterways. These upgrades allow us to better manage the increasing demands on our network due to wet weather and population growth.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

25.     Delivery of the natural environment targeted rate is led by Environmental Services, working closely with departments across the council. The kauri dieback management programme is co-delivered with Parks, Sports and Recreation, and the marine ecology programme is led by RIMU.

26.     Delivery of the water quality targeted rate is led by Healthy Waters, working with ICT on the Safe Septic programme and Compliance for the contaminant reduction programme.

27.     The western isthmus water quality improvement programme is co-delivered by Healthy Waters and Watercare. Watercare’s investment in this programme supports their annual targets for fewer wastewater overflows, as well as lower volumes, and complements their Central Interceptor programme.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

28.     As part of the 10-year Budget 2021-2031, local boards were consulted on the proposed extension of the natural environment targeted rate, and extension and increase of the water quality targeted rate.

29.     Eighteen local boards supported the extension of the natural environment targeted rate. Seventeen local boards supported the proposed extension and increase to the water quality targeted rate, and four supported the extension only.

30.     Local boards are provided with an annual snapshot of the regionally funded natural environment and water quality targeted rate delivery in their areas. These snapshots will be provided in September 2022.

31.     Staff engage with local boards on specific targeted rate-funded projects in their local areas, and seek local board views on individual projects where appropriate.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

32.     Both the natural environment and water quality targeted rate programmes contribute to the Kia ora te Taiao outcome of Kia ora Tāmaki Makaurau, the council’s Māori outcomes performance measurement framework. The mahi outcome statement for this area is ‘Māori exercise tino rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga through Te Tiriti based relationships with the council group, to enhance the mauri of te taiao’.

33.     The following are examples of programmes that highlight how these targeted rates are being used to give effect to this outcome, by supporting and enabling mana whenua to exercise tino rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga of their ancestral lands.

Natural environment targeted rate

34.     The kauri dieback programme has been rebranded as Kauri Ora to emphasise the holistic Te Ao Māori approach that prioritises the wellbeing of te taiao from the Maunga to the Moana. A Memorandum of Understanding has been established between Auckland Council, Te Motu a Hiaroa Charitable Trust and Te Kawerau Iwi Tiaki Trust. The first long-term kauri health monitoring survey was undertaken by Auckland Council in 2021 in the Waitākere Ranges. The project was co-designed and delivered in partnership with Te Kawerau ā Maki.

35.     Auckland Council has been working with Motairehe Marae on Aotea Great Barrier, supporting them to set up a business to control pest plants on Māori-owned land. The programme has empowered Ngātiwai ki Aotea to exercise kaitiakitanga of te taiao on Aotea. The council will continue to support Motairehe Ltd to grow their capability and capacity.

 

 

 

Water quality targeted rate

36.     The Tāmata Hills stage two restoration project aims to bring 90 hectares of Tāmata Hills land, Kaipara back into native vegetation. The land has degraded wetlands, highly erodible land and three waterways that feed into the vulnerable Kaipara Moana. The restoration will reduce sediment and other contaminant loads in the Kaipara Moana, as well as the Omaumau River, Mangatu Stream and Kotorengaru Stream. This project involves planting 576,000 plants and includes 34 local hapū and kaitiaki doing the planting through The Green Team initiative.

37.     The Hōteo Sediment Reduction project aims to improve the water quality of Kaipara Moana by reducing ongoing sediment loss due to erosion. The project is led by a collaborative partnership between Auckland Council, Ngāti Manuhiri, Ngā Maunga Whakahi o Kaipara and Te Uri o Hau ki Kaipara. This project empowers iwi in their role as kaitiaki by aligning Te Ao Māori and western science outcomes.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

38.     The 10-year Budget 2021-2031 includes budgeted expenditure of $355 million for the natural environment targeted rate and $593 million for the water quality targeted rate.

39.     In the 2021/2022 financial year, the natural environment programme spent a total of $28.2 million against a budget of $39.8 million, and the water quality programme spent a total of $20.6 million against a budget of $30.74 million.

40.     Both programmes had capital expenditure underspends due to challenges and delays from the impacts of COVID-19 and associated restrictions. The kauri dieback track upgrade programme was also impacted by the need to carry out repairs following the Waitākere Ranges severe weather event in August 2021.

41.     Operational expenditure for the water quality targeted rate was fully spent for 2021/2022. The natural environment targeted rate operational expenditure had a $6.8 million operational expenditure underspend due to COVID-19 restrictions impacting pest plant and animal control work, kauri dieback, marine field work and community conservation activities.

42.     Despite underspends in 2021/2022, both targeted rate programmes remain on track to deliver on the agreed outcomes and objectives over the 2021-2031 period, with many capital works planned to catch up in the 2022/2023 financial year.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

43.     COVID-19 has caused delays to many projects due to the physical restrictions and the effects on the supply-chain of materials and resources. The overall 2022-2031 programme has so far been able to absorb these delays.

44.     Increasing costs and demand for construction materials, labour and professional services continue to affect the timeframes and costs of planned projects. This is being mitigated through early engagement with suppliers and a strategic procurement approach.

 


 

 

 

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

45.     The next annual report on the natural environment and water quality targeted rates and the Regional Pest Management Plan will be provided to the Environment and Climate Change Committee (or equivalent committee) following the end of the 2022/2023 financial year.

46.     Throughout the year, quarterly updates on the natural environment and water quality programmes will be provided to the Finance and Performance Committee (or equivalent) and additional updates on specific programmes will be provided to committees and local boards as required.

 

 

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Natural environment and water quality highlights report 2021/2022

13

b

Annual report on the Operational Plan 2021-2030: Implementing the Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030

37

c

Operational Plan 2022-2030: Implementing the Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030

41

      

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Authors

Rachel Kelleher – General Manager Environmental Services

Craig Mcilroy – General Manager Healthy Waters

Authorisers

Barry Potter - Director Infrastructure and Environmental Services

Megan Tyler - Chief of Strategy

 

 



Environment and Climate Change Committee

08 September 2022

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