I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Rural Advisory Panel will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Friday, 17 November 2023

12.30pm

Room 1, Level 26
135 Albert Street
Auckland

 

Ngā Hui a te Rōpū Kaitohutohu Take ā-Taiwhenua / Rural Advisory Panel

 

OPEN AGENDA

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Cr Andy Baker

Auckland Council

Deputy Chairperson

Alan Cole

Franklin Local Board, Auckland Council

Members

Mike Bramley

Dairy New Zealand

 

Jesse Brennan

Federated Farmers of NZ

 

Trish Fordyce

National Forest Growers Levy Trust

 

Tim Holdgate

Rodney Local Board, Auckland Council

 

Steve Levet

Rural Contractors New Zealand

 

Greg McCracken

Fonterra Shareholders Council

 

Andrew McKenzie

Beef and Lamb New Zealand

 

Brian Mason

Land Owners and Contractors Association (Wellsford)

 

Annaliese Morgan

Young Farmers

 

Linda Potauaine

Waitākere Ranges Local Board, Auckland Council

 

Leanne Roberts

Horticulture NZ

 

Cr Greg Sayers

Auckland Council

 

Wayne Scott

Aggregate and Quarry Association

 

Geoff Smith

Equine Industry

 

Peter Spencer

NZ Forest Owners Association

 

Keith Vallabh

Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association

 

Glenn Wilcox

Māori representative

 

(Quorum 10 members)

 

 

Phoebe Chiquet-Kaan

Governance Advisor

 

14 November 2023

 

Contact Telephone: +64 27406 9656

Email: phoebe.chiquet-kaan@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 


Terms of Reference

 

(Excerpt – full terms of reference available as a separate document)

 

The terms of reference set out the purpose, role and protocols of the Auckland Council Rural Advisory Panel for the 2022 - 2025 term of the council.  Panel members must abide by the Code of Conduct for Members of Auckland Council Advisory Panels.

 

 

Purpose

 

As one of council’s engagement mechanisms with the rural sector in Auckland, the Rural Advisory Panel provides advice to the council within the remit of the Auckland Plan on the following areas:

 

·       council policies, plans and strategies relevant to rural issues

·       regional and strategic matters relevant to rural issues

·       any matter of particular interest or concern to rural communities.

 

 

Outcomes

 

The panel’s advice will contribute to improving the outcomes of the rural sector as set out in the Auckland Plan.  The panel will provide advice through its agreed work programme.

 

Work programme

 

The panel must develop a work programme for the term.  The agendas should be focused and aligned with the Auckland Plan and the long-term plan.

 

 

Submissions

 

The panel cannot make formal submissions to Auckland Council on council strategies, policies and plans, for example, the annual plan.  However, the panel may be asked for informal feedback during a consultative process.

 

In its advisory role to the council, the panel may have input into submissions made by the council to external organisations but does not make independent submissions, except as agreed with the council.

 

This does not prevent individual members being party to submissions outside their role as panel members.

 

 

Review

 

The form and functioning of the panel may be reviewed prior to or after, the end of the year 2025.

 


Rural Advisory Panel

17 November 2023

 

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS            PAGE

1          Ngā Tamōtanga | Apologies                                                   5

2          Te Whakapuaki i te Whai Pānga | Declaration of Interest                                                               5

3          Te Whakaū i ngā Āmiki | Confirmation of Minutes              5

4          Ngā Pakihi Autaia | Extraordinary Business     5

5          Chair's update                                                       7

6          Meeting dates for 2024                                         9

7          Essential Freshwater update                             11

8          Compliance Monitoring Charging System      15

9          Rural road drainage asset management          17

10        Natural environment and water quality targeted rates annual report                                             21

11        Te Whakaaro ki ngā Take Pūtea e Autaia ana | Consideration of Extraordinary Items

 


1          Ngā Tamōtanga | Apologies

 

 

 

2          Te Whakapuaki i te Whai Pānga | Declaration of Interest

 

Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as a member and any private or other external interest they might have.

 

 

 

3          Te Whakaū i ngā Āmiki | Confirmation of Minutes

 

That the Rural Advisory Panel:

a)          whakaū / confirm the ordinary minutes of its meeting, held on Friday, 8 September 2023, as a true and correct record.

 

 

 

4          Ngā Pakihi Autaia | Extraordinary Business

 

Section 46A(7) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:

 

“An item that is not on the agenda for a meeting may be dealt with at that meeting if-

 

(a)        The local authority by resolution so decides; and

 

(b)        The presiding member explains at the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public,-

 

(i)         The reason why the item is not on the agenda; and

 

(ii)        The reason why the discussion of the item cannot be delayed until a subsequent meeting.”

 

Section 46A(7A) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:

 

“Where an item is not on the agenda for a meeting,-

 

(a)        That item may be discussed at that meeting if-

 

(i)         That item is a minor matter relating to the general business of the local authority; and

 

(ii)        the presiding member explains at the beginning of the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public, that the item will be discussed at the meeting; but

 

(b)        no resolution, decision or recommendation may be made in respect of that item except to refer that item to a subsequent meeting of the local authority for further discussion.”

 

 


Rural Advisory Panel

17 November 2023

 

 

Chair's update

File No.: CP2023/11166

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To tūtohi / receive an update from the Chairperson, Cr Andy Baker.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       The chairperson will provide an update of relevance to the rural sector.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Rural Advisory Panel:

a)      tūtohi / receive the update from the chairperson.

 

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.      

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Sandra Gordon - Kaitohutohu Mana Whakahaere Matua / Senior Governance Advisor

Authoriser

Warren Maclennan – Lead Officer

 

 


Rural Advisory Panel

17 November 2023

 

 

Meeting dates for 2024

File No.: CP2023/17474

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To note the Rural Advisory Panel meeting dates for 2024.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       The panel is expected to meet quarterly, normally the first Friday in each month, except for February when it would be the second Friday.

3.       Below is the proposed meeting schedule for the panel for 2024:

Date

Time

9 February 2024

12.30pm

3 May 2024

12.30pm

2 August 2024

12.30pm

1 November 2024

12.30pm

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Rural Advisory Panel:

a)      whakaae / agree the meeting dates for 2024 as follows:

Date

Time

9 February 2024

12.30pm

3 May 2024

12.30pm

2 August 2024

12.30pm

1 November 2024

12.30pm

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

There are no attachments for this report.     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Phoebe Chiquet-Kaan - Governance Advisor

Authoriser

Warren Maclennan - Lead Officer

 


Rural Advisory Panel

17 November 2023

 

 

Essential Freshwater update

File No.: CP2023/17209

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To provide an update on central government’s Essential Freshwater programme and an overview of Auckland Council’s implementation of its components.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       Central government’s Essential Freshwater programme encompasses several regulatory instruments that came into effect from 3 September 2020. Key regulatory instruments of relevance to this update include the:

·     National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM)

·     National Environmental Standards for Freshwater 2020 (NES-F)

·     Resource Management (Freshwater Farm Planning) Regulations 2023 (FWFP).

3.       Central government continues to work with interested parties to address implementation concerns associated with the Essential Freshwater programme. Several new guidance documents have been published or updated since the last Rural Advisory Panel meeting in August, to aid implementation of the Essential Freshwater programme.

4.       Phase 2 of Auckland Council’s NPS-FM public consultation process is underway with the community able to have their say on key aspects around the direction of NPS-FM implementation.

5.       One element of the NPSFM requires the council to focus on how it will facilitate water quality improvements in the Pukekohe Specified Vegetable Growing Area. Central government has set aside Jobs for Nature funding until June 2025 to aid initiatives in the area. Over 30 projects were submitted for funding consideration through the Pukekohe action plan programme. An evaluation and assessment process is underway to decide on which projects to approve under the existing funding.

6.       Council expects some shifts across central government priorities under a new National led government which may affect how some the technical documents provided are applied. 

Guidance documents / reports published

7.       Central government is working with the regional sector and industry bodies to develop technical and policy guidance documents to accompany the implementation of the Essential Freshwater programme. MfE information documents, including guidance and fact sheets, released by central government departments since the last panel meeting in June include:

·       MfE – A guide to setting instream nutrient concentrations (updated 20 October 2023).

·       MfE – Freshwater farm plan system overview (19 October 2023) - Guidance for farmers and growers, advisors, iwi, regional councils and others to understand the Resource Management (Freshwater Farm Plans) Regulations 2023. It provides an overview of the system, its purpose, and the key steps in getting a freshwater farm plan certified.

·       MfE – Freshwater farm plans: Moving to the new system (3 October 2023) – Addresses how freshwater farm planning regulations fit within the resource management reforms.

·       MfE – Stock exclusion factsheet (updated 2 October 2023) -  Guidance on implementing the national stock exclusion regulations, updated to reflect the regulatory amendments gazetted on 5 October 2023.

·       MfE – Delineating source water risk management areas (25 September 2023) – Guidance on methods to delineate source water risk management areas.

Regulatory and planning updates

NPS-FM implementation

8.       Auckland Council is currently conducting public engagement via AK Have Your Say (https://akhaveyoursay.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/freshwaterakl) on NPS-FM implementation.

9.       This is Phase 2 of the NPS-FM public engagement following the Phase 1 engagement in June-July 2022. During Phase1 communities and stakeholders provided feedback helping Auckland Council to develop visions and values to improve freshwater management. The purpose of the Phase 2 engagement is to share with the community the progress we have made and to hear what they think about the direction we are proposing for NPS-FM implementation.

10.     The result from the Phase 2 public engagement will be integrated into next year’s proposed change to the Auckland Unitary Plan.

11.     To support this engagement, council staff have developed:

a)      Setting Our Direction – our comprehensive consultation document (Attachment A or here)

b)      a GIS online mapping tool with detailed information about the region (here)

c)      a state and trend dashboard about the health of our water bodies (here)

d)      a feedback form, available in five languages, for the public to provide feedback on the proposed freshwater management direction (Attachment B or here).

12.     During the Phase 2 engagement, Auckland Council will host an online webinar, discussion at public events, community and stakeholder meetings and workshops to provide information to the public and to answer questions. Engagement event information is available on AK HYS web page (here).

13.     Mana whenua engagement is ongoing. They are also encouraged to provide feedback as part of this public engagement process.

Specified Vegetable Growing Areas (SVGA), as specified in clause 3.33 of the NPS-FM

14.     A draft Pukekohe action plan under the Essential Freshwater Fund’s Pukekohe SVGA Investment, was shared with the Te Roopuu Mahia Te Mahi (working group) members in September for feedback and comment. The final version is expected in November 2023. Around 30 project proposals have been submitted for consideration within the action plan. An evaluation and prioritisation process is underway to access what projects to approve for implementation through the action plan.

NES-F: Nitrogen cap national database

15.     As of 26 September 2023, Auckland Council has received 75 farm furnished returns for N-Cap reporting for the 2022/23 season. This represents a participation rate of only 36% of the region’s dairy farms to date.

16.     Council’s compliance monitoring staff will be following up with dairy farmers over October and November. Farmers will receive e-mail notification indicating they have either:

a)      submitted – compliant with N-Cap

b)      submitted – non-compliant with N-Cap

c)      not submitted – non-compliant.

 

 

 

17.     Staff will continue to work with farmers to the end of the calendar year to ensure a further increase in 2022-2023 furnished returns due in July 2023.

Freshwater farm plan regulations (FWFP)

18.     On 21 August, the Order in Council (OiC) for the Phase 2 roll-out regions (Otago, West Coast, Horizons) was gazetted (here). These three regions will start their phased roll-out from early – mid 2024. Only one more OiC is expected which will cover the phasing for all remaining regions, including Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

19.     Staff have provided MfE with Auckland Council’s preferred roll-out phasing as well as supporting information for the third OiC. As mentioned in the August report, the proposed phasing is:

a)   1 November 2024 – Kaipara Freshwater Management Unit (FMU)

b)   1 May 2025 – Manukau FMU

c)   1 November 2025 – Hauraki FMU.

20.     Staff continue to engage with neighbouring councils to help align and coordinate across aspects of the system where there is shared context and benefit. Staff are also engaging through regional sector forums to share learnings from across the country.

21.     Staff are engaging with primary sector representative bodies and suppliers as it progresses its FWFP implementation programme. Sector meetings are currently planned for late November and early December to provide an update on council’s FWFP implementation programme and to better understand industry needs with FWFP planning and their resourcing across the region.

Change of Government considerations

22.     On 13 October the National Party released its Blueprint for the Environment (here) which provides some insight into the potential shifts in freshwater policy under a National led government. Key points of note relevant to the Essential Freshwater package are the National Party’s:

a)    continued focus on improving sediment management and reducing nutrient loss

b)    continued support for FWFP implementation

c)    intention to eliminate resource consents to establish new wetlands and maintenance of wetlands a permitted activity

d)    intention to make water storage on land a permitted activity.

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Rural Advisory Panel:

a)      whiwhi / receive the staff update on central government’s Essential Freshwater programme, its implementation and interpretation.

 


 

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

National Policy Statement - Freshwater Management Consultation document - Setting our Direction

 

b

National Policy Statement - Freshwater Management Consultation document - Feedback form

 

     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Andrew Bird - Senior Analyst Natural Environment Strategy

Authorisers

Jacques Victor – General Manager Auckland Plan Strategy and Research

Warren Maclennan - Lead Officer

 

 


Rural Advisory Panel

17 November 2023

 

 

Compliance Monitoring Charging System

File No.: CP2023/17542

 

  

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To provide an update on the Compliance Monitoring team’s Dairy Farm Discharge Monitoring charges

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       Compliance monitoring staff undertake compliance, monitoring and enforcement (CME) work on all dairy farms across the Auckland region.

3.       Section 36 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) enables the Council to fix charges for its various functions including monitoring the effects of the environment as a of result of giving effect to a resource consent.

4.       Section 150 of the Local Government Act 2002 enables the Council to fix charges payable to recover the costs of responding to environmental incidents, and inspecting dairy farms operating under permitted activity rules for discharges to land. 

5.       This work is cost recoverable and charged out by officers at a fixed hourly rate

6.       The sole purpose of these charges is to recover the reasonable costs incurred by the Council in respect of monitoring the dairy activity.

7.       Actual and reasonable costs will be recovered from dairy farmers and/or consent holders

8.       Attachment A is a letter from Federated Farmers seeking further information about the charges and the charging system while Attachment B is the response from Robert Laulala Manager Environmental Monitoring.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Rural Advisory Panel:

a)      tuhi ā-taipitopito / note the compliance monitoring dairy charging system

b)      whakaae / agree to disseminate the information to dairy servicing agencies and farmers that are not familiar with Council charges.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Letter to AC from Federated Farmers 13.09.2023

 

b

AC response to letter from Federated Farmers 13.10.2023

 

 

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Warren Maclennan - Lead Officer


Rural Advisory Panel

17 November 2023

 

 

Rural road drainage asset management

File No.: CP2023/17328

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To provide information on the arrangements between Healthy Waters and Auckland Transport regarding rural road and drainage management.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       At the 8 September 2023 Rural Advisory Panel meeting, the panel requested advice on the asset management of rural road drainage (RUR/2023/27).

3.       There is no specific asset management plan for rural assets. The arrangements for maintaining all roading and stormwater assets are contained in the Healthy Waters Asset Management Plan and the Auckland Transport Asset Management Plan. The shared responsibilities are defined in the Relationship Delivery Agreement between Auckland Transport and Healthy Waters.

4.       The purpose of the Relationship Delivery Agreement is to guide active and open collaboration between Auckland Transport and Healthy Waters for service delivery, and clarify the responsibilities held by each organisation. The document gives a high-level indication of the budget allocations but does not provide detail on individual projects or areas of spend. The full document is included as Attachment A.

5.       The current asset management expectations are that stormwater is managed to enable road drainage and does not extend to private property flooding. There is a mix of asset types, broadly falling into two categories: road drainage assets and land drainage assets. Generally, the responsibility for an asset depends on whether it benefits the road or the wider catchment.

6.       Road drainage assets include catchpits, culverts, and detention devices, and serve 30,000km of rural roads. The maintenance of these assets is almost exclusively held by Auckland Transport. Their function is to remove water from roads. The location and condition of these assets are generally well understood.

7.       Land drainage is more complex, including streams, overland flow paths, and privately installed drainage. In most cases it is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain assets within their property boundary. Private property owners have some responsibilities for piped kerb outlets, watercourses on private land, overland flow paths, and private culverts for vehicle crossing. Their function is to remove surface water from a property.

8.       Healthy Waters has very few assets in rural areas. Where the infrastructure is there, it is likely undersized and or ad hoc. Some areas had separate arrangements under legacy councils that were not continued after amalgamation. The Rodney Drainage Districts service re-established additional maintenance in 2021 funded by a targeted rate. These drainage districts are the only remaining areas of rural Auckland where the council provides ongoing stormwater management services to private landowners.


 

Budgets and processes

9.       The Relationship Delivery Agreement also identifies budgeting principles and processes, as below.

·        Auckland Transport holds the operational budget for the delivery of road stormwater activities in the road corridor that are delivered by Healthy Waters.

·        Auckland Transport will be responsible for seeking funding from Auckland Council through Long-Term Plans (LTP) and Asset Management Plans (AMP). The parties will liaise and agree budgets prior to these being confirmed, based on the 2021 LTP three-yearly cycle. This will involve the establishment of a joint working group between Auckland Transport and Healthy Waters.

·        Any changes to the budgets and Levels of Service will be based on mutual agreement between Auckland Transport and Healthy Waters.

·        Healthy Waters to manage the service delivery within the allocated budgets. Any over expenditure needs to be funded by Healthy Waters.

·        Healthy Waters will invoice Auckland Transport monthly for the cost of service (both subsidised and unsubsidised).

·        Auckland Transport will manage the relationship with Waka Kotahi NZTA and make all subsidy claims relating to stormwater expenditure to Waka Kotahi NZTA.

·        Future funding is dependent on funding allocated by Council.

10.     Increasing the current level of service or investing in new infrastructure would need to be raised through the Long-term Plan 2024-2034 and built into the future asset management plans of both Healthy Waters and Auckland Transport.

The needs and expectations of rural areas are changing

11.     Since 2010, the number of households outside the metropolitan area has increased substantially. Sometimes population growth has aligned with infrastructure investment, but the pace and spread-out locations of growth has reduced our capacity for delivering the right infrastructure at the right time.

12.     As more people relocate to rural areas, their expectations of the level of service are likely to increase. Services were also delivered differently by the district and regional councils prior to amalgamation, which have not been consistently carried forward.

13.     There are examples of how changes to service delivery can be made to meet a community’s expectations, including the Rodney Drainage Districts targeted rates, Rodney Transport targeted rate, and allocation of local board budgets. Generally, these do not deliver new infrastructure but change the way existing assets are maintained or services that may be available.

Next steps

14.     Neither Auckland Transport nor Healthy Waters has plans to substantially increase its rural investment in its future asset management plans. Auckland Transport and Healthy Waters are currently working together to identify areas that need improvement from a roading and stormwater perspective to maximise investment through current Asset Management Plans and proposed Making Space for Water budgets, including land drainage assets and requirements.

15.     To support this activity, staff seek feedback from the panel regarding areas that are particularly prone to flash flooding or where road flooding would isolate a community or essential services. Staff will provide a summary of potential options for these areas to the panel for feedback at their next meeting. Any potential projects or additional maintenance will need to be prioritised and considered as part of the development of the Long-term Plan 2024-2034, and will be subject to budget availability.

 

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendations

That the Rural Advisory Panel:

a)      whiwhi / receive the information on current management of rural roadside drainage

b)      whakarite / provide feedback to Healthy Waters and Auckland Transport staff regarding areas which are particularly prone to flash flooding.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Auckland Council Healthy Waters and Auckland Transport Relationship and Delivery Agreement for Road Stormwater Services in the Road Corridor

 

     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Authors

Elizabeth Johnson – Principal, Wai Ora Strategic Programmes

Alan Wallace – Portfolio Director Asset Maintenance and Renewals

Authorisers

Craig Mcilroy – General Manager Healthy Waters

Barry Potter - Director Infrastructure and Environmental Services

Warren Maclennan - Lead Officer

 

 


Rural Advisory Panel

17 November 2023

 

 

Natural environment and water quality targeted rates annual report

File No.: CP2023/17764

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To note the annual report for 2022/2023 on delivery of the natural environment and water quality targeted rate work programmes.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       The natural environment and water quality targeted rates were established in 2018 to respond to increasing pressures and grow Auckland Council's investment in protecting and restoring our natural environment and improving water quality.

3.       The Long-term Plan 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. In the 2022/2023 financial year, the natural environment programme spent a total of $37 million against a budget of $38 million, and the water quality programme spent a total of $24 million against a budget of $27 million.

5.       The January and February weather events damaged some upgraded tracks in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park. There were no major storm impacts to the water quality targeted rate programmes, although water quality across Auckland has been affected by wastewater overflows caused by flooding and debris being washed into waterways through the storm events through 2023. The habitats of native freshwater species are expected to have been impacted in some stream locations where there has been significant localised disturbance and it is possible that the extreme weather events will also have increased the spread of pest plant species into new locations.  Some of these impacts and ability to address them through the natural environment targeted rate will not be known for some time.

6.       Both targeted rates made significant progress in 2022/2023 towards achieving environmental and water quality outcomes.

7.       This report provides a summary of the key achievements from the natural environment and water quality targeted rate programmes for 2022/2023. A detailed annual highlights report is provided as Attachment A.

8.       Through the natural environment programmes, the targeted rate funds the protection of native ecosystems, species and the implementation of the Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030, and supports community-led conservation activity and programmes.

9.       This report was previously provided to the Governing Body on 2 November 2023 (PEPCC/2023/151). The natural environment and water quality targeted rates annual report will be published on the council website.

 

 

 

Targeted rates have delivered success across the region

10.     Key outcomes from the delivery of the natural environment targeted rate work programmes in 2022/2023 in rural areas includes:

·    Biodiversity Focus Areas: We worked with private landowner to support the protection of high value biodiversity ecosystems on privately-owned rural land including fencing, pest control and planting. We collaborated with mana whenua and private landowners to complete a survey of 10 threatened plant species across 30 sites. The pekapeka-tou-roa (long-tailed bat) survey was delivered for a second year across the Franklin Local Board area as part of the Finding Franklin Bats project, with 51 long-tailed bat roosts detected.

·    Plant pathogens: 12.1km of tracks were upgraded in regional parks and 4.7km in local parks. The council is partnering with ngā iwi mana whenua o Te Ngāherehere o Kohukohunui to conduct a baseline survey of kauri health in the Hunua Ranges.

·    Mainland: We delivered 2579ha of pest plant control in regional parks and 23,000ha of ground-based possum control across the region, including on privately-owned rural land. Both ground and aerial pest animal control in the Hunua Ranges has contributed to a record-breaking kōkako population survey, with 259 pairs recorded, up from 55 in 2015 and 116 in 2018. Pest control programmes for a range of other species have also been carried out.

·    Islands: on Aotea / Great Barrier Island, 57ha across four sites were declared free of Argentine ants. Te Korowai o Waiheke pest animal eradication programme removed 9200 pests, including 180 stoats.

·    Marine and pathways: despite frequent unfavourable weather conditions, 1383 vessels were inspected, surpassing the annual target of 1150. Our dog handlers and their pest and pathogen detection dogs inspected 853 ferry sailings, up 13 per cent from last year. They identified 125 risky goods on sailings and four items were intercepted. Dog handlers and their dogs also inspected 25 relocated houses before they were transported to the Hauraki Gulf islands.

·    Expanding community action: the Community Coordination and Facilitation grant invested $1.43 million in community-led conservation (comprising $625,003 from NETR and $417,996 from Healthy Waters) across 35 projects. The grant supports group planning and organisational support alongside the embedding of coordinators and facilitators in the community.

·    Enabling tools: 120,000 Aucklanders visited the Tiaki Tāmaki Makaurau | Conservation Auckland website for current best practice conservation information, including resources to help Aucklanders get involved in conservation on public and private land.

11.     Key outcomes from the delivery of the water quality work programmes in 2022/2023 in rural areas include:

·    Safe Networks: we tested 130 stormwater outlets across 25 beaches and began a further 14 network investigations. We inspected private property drainage at over 8000 properties. Private drainage issues were referred to the compliance team to work with property owners, and approximately 155 private issues were resolved this year.

·    Safe Septic: new digital processes have enabled the council to track onsite wastewater system compliance. More than 3000 systems became compliant this year, and 494 faulty systems were repaired following compliance investigation.

·    Urban and rural stream rehabilitation: through the Regional Waterway Protection Fund, we provided 50 per cent co-funding for landowners to install 16.5km of fencing, protect 47.5ha of riparian areas, 33km of waterways and 12.5ha of wetlands, and plant approximately 160,000 plants in newly protected areas.

·    Contaminant reduction: the Kaipara Moana Remediation programme enabled installation of 550km of fencing and planted 1.1 million plants, which will reduce sediment contamination to Kaipara Moana.

·    Southern catchments alignment: this year we focused on identifying opportunities for projects where we could implement water quality improvements alongside scheduled infrastructure improvements around the Manukau Harbour.

Advocacy for further rural delivery

12.     Local boards are provided with an annual snapshot of the regionally funded natural environment and water quality targeted rate delivery in their areas.

13.     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. Where possible targeted rate programmes and locally driven initiative-funded programmes are aligned at a local level to be complementary and to optimise investment in local environmental and water quality outcomes.

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

15.     The Rural Advisory Panel and rural local boards have an important role in advocating for investment from these budgets into rural areas.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Rural Advisory Panel:

a)      whiwhi / receive the annual report for 2022/2023 on delivery of the natural environment and water quality targeted rate work programmes.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Natural environment and water quality targeted rates annual report - Highlights

 

     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Elizabeth Johnson – Principal, Wai Ora Strategic Programmes

Authorisers

Craig Mcilroy – General Manager Healthy Waters

Rachel Kelleher – General Manager Environmental Services

Warren Maclennan - Lead Officer