Te Kaunihera o Tai Tokerau ki te Raki

 

 

AGENDA

 

Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting

 

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Time:

9:30 am

Location:

Council Chamber

Memorial Avenue

Kaikohe

 

 

Membership:

Cr Rachel Smith - Chairperson

Cr David Clendon – Deputy Chairperson

Mayor John Carter

Deputy Mayor Ann Court

Cr Dave Collard

Cr Felicity Foy

Cr Moko Tepania

Cr John Vujcich

Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board Chairperson Belinda Ward

 

 


Authorising Body

Mayor/Council

Status

Standing Committee

 

 

COUNCIL COMMITTEE

 

Title

Strategy and Policy Committee Terms of

Reference

Approval Date

19 December 2019

Responsible Officer

Chief Executive

Purpose

The purpose of the Strategy and Policy Committee (the Committee) is to set direction for the district, determine specific outcomes that need to be met to deliver on that vision, and set in place the strategies, policies and work programmes to achieve those goals.

 

In determining and shaping the strategies, policies and work programme of the Council, the Committee takes a holistic approach to ensure there is strong alignment between the objectives and work programmes of the strategic outcomes of Council, being:

 

·         Better data and information

·         Affordable core infrastructure

·         Improved Council capabilities and performance

·         Address affordability

·         Civic leadership and advocacy

·         Empowering communities

 

The Committee will review the effectiveness of the following aspects:

·         Trust and confidence in decision-making by keeping our communities informed and involved in decision-making;

·         Operational performance including strategy and policy development, monitoring and reporting on significant projects, including, but not limited to:

o   FN2100

o   District wide strategies (Infrastructure/ Reserves/Climate Change/Transport)

o   District Plan

o   Significant projects (not infrastructure)

o   Financial Strategy

o   Data Governance

o   Affordability

·         Consultation and engagement including submissions to external bodies / organisations

 

To perform his or her role effectively, each Committee member must develop and maintain

his or her skills and knowledge, including an understanding of the Committee’s responsibilities, and of the Council’s business, operations and risks.

 

Power to Delegate

The Strategy and Policy Committee may not delegate any of its responsibilities, duties or powers.

 

 

Membership

The Council will determine the membership of the Strategy and Policy Committee.

 

The Strategy and Policy Committee will comprise of at least seven elected members (one of which

will be the chairperson).

Mayor Carter

Rachel Smith – Chairperson

David Clendon – Deputy Chairperson

Moko Tepania

Ann Court

Felicity Foy

Dave Collard

John Vujcich

 

Non-appointed councillors may attend meetings with speaking rights, but not voting rights.

 

Quorum

The quorum at a meeting of the Strategy and Policy Committee is 5 members. 

 

Frequency of Meetings

The Strategy and Policy Committee shall meet every 6 weeks, but may be cancelled if there is no business.

 

Committees Responsibilities

The Committees responsibilities are described below:

 

Strategy and Policy Development

·         Oversee the Strategic Planning and Policy work programme

·         Develop and agree strategy and policy for consultation / engagement;

·         Recommend to Council strategy and policy for adoption;

·         Monitor and review strategy and policy.

 

Service levels (non regulatory)

·         Recommend service level changes and new initiatives to the Long Term and Annual Plan processes.

 

Policies and Bylaws

·         Leading the development and review of Council's policies and district bylaws when and as directed by Council

·         Recommend to Council new or amended bylaws for adoption

 

Consultation and Engagement

·         Conduct any consultation processes required on issues before the Committee;

·         Act as a community interface (with, as required, the relevant Community Board(s)) for consultation on policies and as a forum for engaging effectively;

·         Receive reports from Council’s Portfolio and Working Parties and monitor engagement;

·         Review as necessary and agree the model for Portfolios and Working Parties.

 

Strategic Relationships

·         Oversee Council’s strategic relationships, including with Māori, the Crown and foreign investors, particularly China

·         Oversee, develop and approve engagement opportunities triggered by the provisions of Mana Whakahono-ā-Rohe under the Resource Management Act 1991

·         Recommend to Council the adoption of new Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)

·         Meet annually with local MOU partners

·         Quarterly reviewing operation of all Memoranda of Understanding

·         Quarterly reviewing Council’s relationships with iwi, hapū, and post-settlement governance entities in the Far North District

·         Monitor Sister City relationships

·         Special projects (such as Te Pū o Te Wheke or water storage projects)

 

Submissions and Remits

·         Approve submissions to, and endorse remits for, external bodies / organisations and on legislation and regulatory proposals, provided that:

o   If there is insufficient time for the matter to be determined by the Committee before the submission “close date” the submission can be agreed by the relevant Portfolio Leaders, Chair of the Strategy and Policy Committee, Mayor and Chief Executive (all Councillors must be advised of the submission and provided copies if requested).

o   If the submission is of a technical and operational nature, the submission can be approved by the Chief Executive (in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Leader prior to lodging the submission).

·         Oversee, develop and approve any relevant remits triggered by governance or management commencing in January of each calendar year.

·         Recommend to Council those remits that meet Council’s legislative, strategic and operational objectives to enable voting at the LGNZ AGM.  All endorsements will take into account the views of our communities (where possible) and consider the unique attributes of the district.

 

Fees

·         Set fees in accordance with legislative requirements unless the fees are set under a bylaw (in which case the decision is retained by Council and the committee has the power of recommendation) or set as part of the Long Term Plan or Annual Plan (in which case the decision will be considered by the Long Term Plan and Annual Plan and approved by Council).

 

District Plan

·         Review and approve for notification a proposed District Plan, a proposed change to the District Plan, or a variation to a proposed plan or proposed plan change (excluding any plan change notified under clause 25(2)(a), First Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991);

·         Withdraw a proposed plan or plan change under clause 8D, First Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991;

·         Make the following decisions to facilitate the administration of proposed plan, plan changes, variations, designation and heritage order processes:

§  To authorise the resolution of appeals on a proposed plan, plan change or variation unless the issue is minor and approved by the Portfolio Leader District Plan and the Chair of the Regulatory committee.

§  To decide whether a decision of a Requiring Authority or Heritage Protection Authority will be appealed to the Environment Court by council and authorise the resolution of any such appeal.

§  To consider and approve council submissions on a proposed plan, plan changes, and variations.

§  To manage the private plan change process.

§  To accept, adopt or reject private plan change applications under clause 25 First Schedule Resource Management Act (RMA).

Rules and Procedures

Council’s Standing Orders and Code of Conduct apply to all the committee’s meetings.

 

Annual reporting

The Chair of the Committee will submit a written report to the Chief Executive on an annual basis. The review will summarise the activities of the Committee and how it has contributed to the Council’s governance and strategic objectives. The Chief Executive will place the report on the next available agenda of the governing body.


 

STRATEGY AND POLICY COMMITTEE - MEMBERS REGISTER OF INTERESTS

Name

Responsibility (i.e. Chairperson etc)

Declaration of Interests

Nature of Potential Interest

Member's Proposed Management Plan

Hon John Carter QSO

Board Member of the Local Government Protection Programme

Board Member of the Local Government Protection Program

 

 

Carter Family Trust

 

 

 

Rachel Smith (Chair)

Friends of Rolands Wood Charitable Trust

Trustee

 

 

Mid North Family Support

Trustee

 

 

Property Owner

Kerikeri

 

 

Friends who work at Far North District Council

 

 

 

Kerikeri Cruising Club

Subscription Member and Treasurer

 

 

Rachel Smith (Partner)

Property Owner

Kerikeri

 

 

Friends who work at Far North District Council

 

 

 

Kerikeri Cruising Club

Subscription Member

 

 

David Clendon (Deputy Chair)

Chairperson – He Waka Eke Noa Charitable Trust

None

 

Declare if any issue arises

Member of Vision Kerikeri

None

 

Declare if any issue arises

Joint owner of family home in Kerikeri

Hall Road, Kerikeri

 

 

David Clendon – Partner

Resident Shareholder on Kerikeri Irrigation

 

 

 

David Collard

Snapper Bonanza 2011 Limited

45% Shareholder and Director

 

 

Trustee of Te Ahu Charitable Trust

Council delegate to this board

 

 

Deputy Mayor Ann Court

Waipapa Business Association

Member

 

Case by case

Warren Pattinson Limited

Shareholder

Building company. FNDC is a regulator and enforcer

Case by case

Kerikeri Irrigation

Supplies my water

 

No

Top Energy

Supplies my power

 

No other interest greater than the publics

District Licensing

N/A

N/A

N/A

Top Energy Consumer Trust

Trustee

Crossover in regulatory functions, consenting economic development and contracts such as street lighting.

Declare interest and abstain from voting.

Ann Court Trust

Private

Private

N/A

Waipapa Rotary

Honorary member

Potential community funding submitter

Declare interest and abstain from voting.

Properties on Onekura Road, Waipapa

Owner Shareholder

Any proposed FNDC Capital works or policy change which may have a direct impact (positive/adverse)

Declare interest and abstain from voting.

Property on Daroux Dr, Waipapa

Financial interest

Any proposed FNDC Capital works or policy change which may have a direct impact (positive/adverse)

Declare interest and abstain from voting.

Flowers and gifts

Ratepayer 'Thankyou'

Bias/ Pre-determination?

Declare to Governance

Coffee and food

Ratepayers sometimes 'shout' food and beverage

Bias or pre-determination

Case by case

Staff

N/A

Suggestion of not being impartial or pre-determined!

Be professional, due diligence, weigh the evidence. Be thorough, thoughtful, considered impartial and balanced. Be fair.

Warren Pattinson

My husband is a builder and may do work for Council staff

 

Case by case

Ann Court - Partner

Warren Pattinson Limited

Director

Building Company. FNDC is a regulator

Remain at arm’s length

Air NZ

Shareholder

None

None

Warren Pattinson Limited

Builder

FNDC is the consent authority, regulator and enforcer.

Apply arm’s length rules

Property on Onekura Road, Waipapa

Owner

Any proposed FNDC capital work in the vicinity or rural plan change. Maybe a link to policy development.

Would not submit.                                                                               Rest on a case by case basis.

Felicity Foy

Director - Northland Planning & Development

I am the director of a planning and development consultancy that is based in the Far North and have two employees.

Property owner of Commerce Street, Kaitaia

 

I will abstain from any debate and voting on proposed plan change items for the Far North District Plan.

 

 

 

I will declare a conflict of interest with any planning matters that relate to resource consent processing, and the management of the resource consents planning team.

 

 

 

I will not enter into any contracts with Council for over $25,000 per year. I have previously contracted to Council to process resource consents as consultant planner.

Flick Trustee Ltd

I am the director of this company that is the company trustee of Flick Family Trust that owns properties Seaview Road – Cable Bay, and Allen Bell Drive - Kaitaia.

 

 

Elbury Holdings Limited

This company is directed by my parents Fiona and Kevin King.

This company owns several dairy and beef farms, and also dwellings on these farms. The Farms and dwellings are located in the Far North at Kaimaumau, Bird Road/Sandhills Rd, Wireless Road/ Puckey Road/Bell Road, the Awanui Straight and Allen Bell Drive.

 

Foy Farms Partnership

Owner and partner in Foy Farms - a farm on Church Road, Kaingaroa

 

 

Foy Farms Rentals

Owner and rental manager of Foy Farms Rentals for 7 dwellings on Church Road, Kaingaroa and 2 dwellings on Allen Bell Drive, Kaitaia, and 1 property on North Road, Kaitaia, one title contains a cell phone tower.

 

 

King Family Trust

This trust owns several titles/properties at Cable Bay, Seaview Rd/State Highway 10 and Ahipara - Panorama Lane.

These trusts own properties in the Far North.

 

Previous employment at FNDC 2007-16

I consider the staff members at FNDC to be my friends

 

 

Shareholder of Coastline Plumbing NZ Limited

 

 

 

Felicity Foy - Partner

Director of Coastline

Plumbing NZ Limited

 

 

 

Friends with some FNDC employees

 

 

 

Moko Tepania

Teacher

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe.

Potential Council funding that will benefit my place of employment.

Declare a perceived conflict

Chairperson

Te Reo o Te Tai Tokerau Trust.

Potential Council funding for events that this trust runs.

Declare a perceived conflict

Tribal Member

Te Rūnanga o Te Rarawa

As a descendent of Te Rarawa I could have a perceived conflict of interest in Te Rarawa Council relations.

Declare a perceived conflict

Tribal Member

Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa

As a descendent of Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa I could have a perceived conflict of interest in Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa Council relations.

Declare a perceived conflict

Tribal Member

Kahukuraariki Trust Board

As a descendent of Kahukuraariki Trust Board I could have a perceived conflict of interest in Kahukuraariki Trust Board Council relations.

Declare a perceived conflict

Tribal Member

Te Rūnanga ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi

As a descendent of Te Rūnanga ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi I could have a perceived conflict of interest in Te Rūnanga ā-Iwi o Ngāpuhi Council relations.

Declare a perceived conflict

John Vujcich

Board Member

Pioneer Village

Matters relating to funding and assets

Declare interest and abstain

Director

Waitukupata Forest Ltd

Potential for council activity to directly affect its assets

Declare interest and abstain

Director

Rural Service Solutions Ltd

Matters where council regulatory function impact of company services

Declare interest and abstain

Director

Kaikohe (Rau Marama) Community Trust

Potential funder

Declare interest and abstain

Partner

MJ & EMJ Vujcich

Matters where council regulatory function impacts on partnership owned assets

Declare interest and abstain

Member

Kaikohe Rotary Club

Potential funder, or impact on Rotary projects

Declare interest and abstain

Member

New Zealand Institute of Directors

Potential provider of training to Council

Declare a Conflict of Interest

Member

Institute of IT Professionals

Unlikely, but possible provider of services to Council

Declare a Conflict of Interest

Member

Kaikohe Business Association

Possible funding provider

Declare a Conflict of Interest

 

 

 


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

Far North District Council

Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting

will be held in the Council Chamber, Memorial Avenue, Kaikohe on:

Thursday 30 July 2020 at 9:30 am

Order Of Business

1          Karakia Timatanga – Opening Prayer. 13

2          Apologies and Declarations of Interest 13

3          Deputation. 13

4          Reports. 14

4.1            Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee. 14

4.2            Options Report - Parks and Reserves General Policies Development 23

4.3            Nothing But Net Far North Digital Strategy. 46

5          Information Reports. 96

5.1            Section 35 Report - Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Operative Far North District Plan. 96

5.2            Submission on the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity. 236

5.3            Future Libraries Progress Report 260

6          Karakia Whakamutunga – Closing Prayer. 273

7          Meeting Close. 273

 

 


1            Karakia Timatanga – Opening Prayer

2            Apologies and Declarations of Interest

Members need to stand aside from decision-making when a conflict arises between their role as a Member of the Committee and any private or other external interest they might have. This note is provided as a reminder to Members to review the matters on the agenda and assess and identify where they may have a pecuniary or other conflict of interest, or where there may be a perception of a conflict of interest.

If a Member feels they do have a conflict of interest, they should publicly declare that at the start of the meeting or of the relevant item of business and refrain from participating in the discussion or voting on that item. If a Member thinks they may have a conflict of interest, they can seek advice from the Chief Executive Officer or the Team Leader Democracy Support (preferably before the meeting).

It is noted that while members can seek advice the final decision as to whether a conflict exists rests with the member.

3            Deputation

No requests for deputations were received at the time of the Agenda going to print.


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

4            Reports

4.1         Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee

File Number:           A2905655

Author:                    Roger Ackers, Manager - Strategy Development

Authoriser:             Janice Smith, Chief Financial Officer

 

Purpose of the Report

To seek approval from the Strategy and Policy Committee for the establishment of a Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee that is tasked with overseeing the development and implementation of a Northland region wide climate change adaptation strategy.

To seek approval for the nomination of Councillor Clendon as the Far North District Council elected member representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Committee.

To seek approval to ask Te Kahu O Taonui to nominate the Far North District Councils tangata whenua representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee.

To see approval for the development of policy for the remuneration of non-elected members to committees of Council.

Executive Summary

·        The Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau Group, a working group of administration representatives from the four Councils located in the Northland region, proposed the establishment of a joint standing Committee to the Mayoral Forum on 10 February 2020 by submitting a draft terms of reference paper (attachment 1) to the Forum.

·        The Mayoral Forum requested further consultation with Māori advisory groups within each Council to get feedback on the draft terms of reference for the proposed joint standing committee.

·        This paper responds to the request from the Mayoral Forum and the draft terms of reference for a proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee by recommending that the Strategy and Policy Committee;

o   Approve the draft Terms of Reference for the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee and

o   approve the appointment of Councillor Clendon to the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee and that

o   Te Kahu O Taonui be asked to nominate the Far North District Council tangata whenua representative on the proposed Joint Climate Adaptation Governance Committee and

o   approve the development of a policy for the remuneration of non-elected members to committees of Council.

 

Recommendation

That the Strategy and Policy Committee:

a)      approve the forming of a Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee one tangata whenua representative from each of the four Councils that are contained in the Northland Region, these being Northland Regional Council, Whangarei District Council, Kaipara District Council and Far North District Council and that;

b)      approve that Councillor Clendon, as the climate change portfolio holder, be appointed as the Far North District Council elected member representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee and that;

c)      approve that Te Kahu O Taonui be asked to nominate the Far North District Council tangata whenua representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee and that;

d)      approve the development of a policy for the remuneration of non-elected members to committees of Council.

 

1) Background

·    In mid-2018 representatives of the administration from Kaipara District Council (KDC), Whangarei District Council (WDC), Northland Regional Council (NRC) and Far North District Council (FNDC) concluded that a regional wide consistent and collaborative approach across the four councils was the preferred way forward for adapting to the impacts of climate change across the Northland Region

·    The first meeting of representatives from the administration of the four Northland Councils plus representatives from the administration of the Northland Transport Alliance (NTA) was held in Whangārei on 23 July 2018. At this meeting it was agreed that a climate change working group be formed with the intent of collaborating on issues and approaches to responding to climate change

·    It was also agreed among attendees at the 23 July 2018 meeting that, to legitimise and give a mandate to a cross council climate change adaptation working group, that the endorsement by the Northland Chief Executive Officer and Mayoral Forums was required

·    A draft Terms of Reference for a Northland wide Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) was submitted to the Chief Executive Officers Forum on 20 August 2018.  The Chief Executive Officers Forum endorsed the Terms of Reference and appointed the Chief Executive Officer from KDC as the project sponsor.  The membership of CCWG includes staff representatives from FNDC, NRC, KDC, WDC, NTA and the Four Waters Advisory Group

·    The purpose of the CCWG as written in its Terms of Reference is ‘to develop a regional collaborative approach to climate change adaptation planning for local government in Northland. This will include a draft climate change strategy for Northland and an associated work programme that identifies and addresses priority issues at both a regional and district level’

·    The CCWG has no delegated authority with recommendations of the group requiring approval by the relevant council(s) prior to the implementation or adoption or any strategy, plan or governance document like a term of reference

·    Since its inception the CCWG has been working towards the development of a regional wide climate change adaptation strategy.  This has drawn heavily on the advice and direction provided by the Ministry for the Environment and case studies from across New Zealand.  A consistent message that has come from the work and analysis undertaken by the CCWG has concluded the success of climate change adaptation initiatives relies heavily on having clear governance and oversight groups in place

·    A paper (attachment one) was submitted to the 10 February 2020 Mayoral Forum proposing the formation of a joint standing committee consisting of elected member representatives from FNDC, KDC, WDC and NRC and representatives from iwi / hapū as ‘nominated by each council from within their jurisdiction’.  This paper also contained a daft Terms of Reference for the proposed joint standing committee

·    Feedback from the Mayoral Forum on the paper was ‘that while the concept was supported there needed to be more consultation with Māori advisory groups from each council before moving forward’

·    The CCWG intends to take the decision from each of the four Northland Councils on the proposed joint standing committee to the CEO Forum on 10 August 2020

·    On the endorsement of a Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee by the Chief Executive Forum each Council will be required to adopt the establishment of the Joint Standing Committee as per the requirements of the Local Government Act (clause 30(1)(b) of Schedule 7 to the Local Government Act 2002).

·    The CCWG has undertaken a renaming exercise in recent months.  This group is now referred to as the Climate Adaptation Te Taitokerau (CATT) Group

·    On 7 May 2020 Council adopted a Climate Change Roadmap for the Far North District Council.  The Roadmap included implementation initiatives and the execution of programmes of work that are being proposed by the CATT Group

·    Te Kahu o Taonui is a collective of Taitokerau iwi chairs from Te Aupouri, Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāi Takoto, Ngāpuhi, Kahukuraariki, Whangaroa, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whātua ki Kaipara and Te Roroa

2) Discussion and Options

DISCUSSION

·    Councillor Clendon holds the portfolio for Climate Change for the Far North District Council, as previously approved by full Council. His appointment to the proposed joint standing committee aligns with this portfolio

·    NRC, KDC and WDC all have forums with iwi and hapū that have been involved in the work being undertaken by the CCWG, including the development of the attached draft terms of reference.  FNDC has no such forum where it can discuss the concept of a joint standing committee or seek an iwi/hapū representative on such a committee.

·    Council does, however, participate in the Iwi Local Government Chief Executives Forum and is a signatory to the Mayoral Forum/Iwi Chairs Memorandum of Understanding, Whanaungatanga Ki Taurangi. While council also has a number of other Memorandum of Understanding with iwi and/or hapū, the Whanaungatanga ki Taurangi is the only district wide relationship mechanism.

·    The Far North District Council currently has no specific policy that determines the remuneration of the non-elected members who are appointed to committees of Council. Northland Regional Council has such a policy.

OPTIONS

Establishment of a Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee

Option One (preferred option):  The Strategy and Policy Committee approves the draft Terms of Reference for the Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee as contained in attachment one to this report.

Under this option the Strategy and Policy Committee approves the proposed Terms of Reference (contained in attachment one).  If this option is approved Council can then consider how it will appoint the Far North District Council elected member representative and the tangata whenua representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee.  Administration recommends this option.

Option Two: The Strategy and Policy Committee does not approve of a Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee

Under this option the Strategy and Policy Committee does not approve the establishment of the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee.  This decision will in effect cease the Far North District Council’s involvement in the CATT Group.  Under this option the Far North District Council will develop and implement its own climate change adaptation strategies and plans.  This option would allow the Far North District Council to develop its response to climate change at its own pace.  However choosing this option has the following disadvantages;

The Far North District Council is likely to experience significant reputational risk, locally, regionally and nationally as the only Council not to sign up to a joint governance model for climate change in Northland

The Far North District Council would not be able to benefit from drawing on the skills of other originations, particularly the Northland Regional Council who do the climate change related data modelling for Northland

The Far North District Council may not be able to secure national funding for climate change response initiatives due to its non-participation in any regional initiatives on climate change.

Option Three:  The Strategy and Policy Committee requests that the draft Terms of Reference for the Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee be modified

Under this option the Strategy and Policy Committee reviews and requests modification to the proposed Terms of Reference (contained in attachment one) that ensures that the intent of this document is aligned with the Far North District Councils goals and objectives. Under this option, on direction from the Strategy and Policy Committee, administration will draft up changes to the Terms of Reference that will be submitted to the CATT group for further consideration before an agreed Terms of Reference is submitted to the Northland Chief Executive Officers Forum.

Appointment of Far North District Elected Member representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee

Administration recommends that Council appoints the climate change portfolio holder, Councillor Clendon, as the Far North District Council nominated elected member representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee.

Appointment of the Far North District tangata whenua representative to the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee

Option One (preferred option): The Far North District Council tangata whenua representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee is appointed by Te Kahu O Taonui

Using the Whanaungatanga ki Taurangi agreement, Council will approach Te Kahu o Taonui with a view that Te Kahu o Taonui appoint a member as the Far North tangata whenua representative on to the Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee as the Far North District representative.

This approach would see Council give weight to the relationship agreement it signed at Waitangi in February 2019. It also provides a District wide perspective from iwi/hapū due to the nature of Te Kahu o Taonui being representative of the districts iwi.

Engaging with Te Kahu o Taonui would also develop trust and build stronger relationships between the governance of iwi and Council which would have wider beneficial outcomes for Council and iwi.

Under this option the Far North District Council will need to adopt a policy for remuneration of non-elected members who are appointed to committees of Council.

 

Option Two:  The Far North District Council tangata whenua representative on the proposed the Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee is appointed via a public expression of interest process

Council will advertise in the public notices and undertake a tender process to appoint a tangata whenua non-elected member on to the Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee as the Far North District representative. This process would see council on its own, without discussion or endorsement by iwi/hapū, appoint a tangata whenua representative to the proposed joint committee.

Option Three: The Council makes a direct appointment of the Far North District Council tangata whenua representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee

This option would see Council alone deciding as to who would be best qualified to represent the views of Māori in the Far North District on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee.

Reason for the recommendation

·    Administration recommends that the Strategy and Policy Committee approves the proposed Terms of Reference (attachment one) to demonstrate the Far North District Council’s commitment to a Northland wide approach to climate change adaptation.  This option has the following advantages:

This will ensure a regionally consistent approach to climate change adaptation and allow for greater synergies with policies and strategies, and Resource Management Act planning

A regional approach will enable Northland Councils to lobby for central government financial contributions for projects given the collaborative nature of the arrangement

·    Administration recommends the appointment of Councillor Clendon as the elected member representative on the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee as it aligns and shows commitment to the portfolio assignment that Council has made

·    Administration recommends that the appointment of a Far North District Council tangata whenua representative to the proposed Joint Climate Change Adaptation Governance Committee is best determined and endorsed by Te Kahu O Taonui as this respects the mana of this group and demonstrates a commitment to and respect for the relationship between the Far North District Council and Te Kahu O Taonui.  This option has the following advantages:

Engaging Te Kahu o Taonui responds to Whanaungatanga Ki Taurangi and is an appropriate response by the Far North District Council.

It provides for the Far North District Councils obligations as prescribed in the Local Government Act 2002, section 81 by providing Māori input into the decision-making processes of council.

·    Administration recommends the development and adoption of a policy for the remuneration of non-elected members to committees of Council.

3) Financial Implications and Budgetary Provision

There are no direct financial implications associated with the recommendation made in this paper.  The development of a policy for the remuneration of non-elected members to committees of Council will articulate the quantum and form of remuneration of those appointed to a committee.  These details will be contained in a future paper to the committee.

Attachments

1.       10 February 2020 Mayoral Forum - Joint Council Climate Change Adaptation Committee Proposal and draft terms of reference - A2906404  


 

Compliance schedule:

Full consideration has been given to the provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 S77 in relation to decision making, in particular:

1.       A Local authority must, in the course of the decision-making process,

a)      Seek to identify all reasonably practicable options for the achievement of the objective of a decision; and

b)      Assess the options in terms of their advantages and disadvantages; and

c)      If any of the options identified under paragraph (a) involves a significant decision in relation to land or a body of water, take into account the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral land, water sites, waahi tapu, valued flora and fauna and other taonga.

2.       This section is subject to Section 79 - Compliance with procedures in relation to decisions.

 

Compliance requirement

Staff assessment

State the level of significance (high or low) of the issue or proposal as determined by the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy

The recommendations made in this paper do not exceed any of the significance thresholds contained in the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.

State the relevant Council policies (external or internal), legislation, and/or community outcomes (as stated in the LTP) that relate to this decision.

Clause 30(1)(b) of Schedule 7 to the Local Government Act 2002 gives the power to a local authority to appoint a joint committee with another local authority or other public body as per the recommendations in this report.

The following Council policy is relevant, but not directly related, to the recommendation in this report:

·    Appointment and Remuneration of Directors for Council Organisations.

State whether this issue or proposal has a District wide relevance and, if not, the ways in which the appropriate Community Board’s views have been sought.

The recommendation in this report has district wide relevance.

State the possible implications for Māori and how Māori have been provided with an opportunity to contribute to decision making if this decision is significant and relates to land and/or any body of water.

Māori will be disproportional impacted by the impacts of climate change. In providing for a standing committee to develop adaption strategies which is a co-governance arrangement of iwi and councils will provide Māori direct input into council decisions around Climate Change Adaption.

Identify persons likely to be affected by or have an interest in the matter, and how you have given consideration to their views or preferences (for example – youth, the aged and those with disabilities.

There are no specific persons that will be affected by or have an interest in the recommendation in this report that required special consideration of their views or preferences.

State the financial implications and where budgetary provisions have been made to support this decision.

There are no direct financial implications associated with the recommendation made in this paper.

Chief Financial Officer review.

The Chief Financial Officer has reviewed this report.

 

 


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

Joint climate change adaptation committee

Terms of Reference

 

10 February 2020

 

 

Background

Climate change poses significant risks to the environment and people of Te Taitokerau - local government has responsibilities in reducing the impact of climate change (adaptation). It is essential that councils, communities and iwi / hapū work collaboratively to ensure an effective, efficient and equitable response to the impacts of climate change. Work on adaptation has already started between council staff with the formation of a joint Te Taitokerau Councils Climate Change Adaption Group and the development of a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Taitokerau. The formation of a joint standing committee of the Far North, Kaipara and Whangarei district councils and Northland Regional Council elected council members and iwi / hapū is fundamental to ensuring these outcomes are achieved in a coordinated and collaborative way across Te Taitokerau. 

 

 

Role and Responsibilities

1)    Provide direction and oversight of the development and implementation of climate change adaptation activities by local government in Te Taitokerau

2)    Receive advice and provide direction and support to the Te Taitokerau Councils Climate Change Adaption Group

3)    Make recommendations to member councils to ensure a consistent regional approach is adopted to climate change adaptation activities

4)    Act collectively as an advocate for climate change adaptation generally and within the individual bodies represented on the Committee 

5)    Ensure the bodies represented on the Committee are adequately informed of adaptation activity in Te Taitokerau and the rationale for these activities

6)    Ensure the importance of and the rationale for climate change adaptation is communicated consistently within Te Taitokerau

7)    Receive progress reports from the Te Taitokerau Councils Climate Change Adaption Group

 

Membership

The Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee (the committee) is a standing committee made up of elected members from the Far North, Kaipara and Whangarei district councils, the Northland Regional Council and representatives from Northland hapū and iwi. 

 

The committee shall have eight members as follows:

 

One elected member from:                      Kaipara District Council

                                                                   Far North District Council

                                                                   Whangarei District Council

Northland Regional Council

 

Iwi / hapū members:                                 One representative from iwi / hapū nominated by each council from within their jurisdiction. Where possible, this nomination should follow recommendations from council Māori advisory groups or committees.

 

Each council shall also nominate one alternative elected member and one alternative iwi / hapū member who will have full speaking and voting rights when formally acting as the alternate.

 

Status

The Committee is a joint standing committee of council as provided for under Clause 30(1)(b) of Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002 and shall operate in accordance with the provisions of Clause 30A of that Act. The committee is an advisory body only and has no powers under the Local Government Act 2002 (or any other Act) other than those delegated by decision of all member councils.  The joint standing committee shall operate under Northland Regional Council Standing Orders.

 

Committee Chair and deputy Chair:

The Chair and Deputy Chair is to be elected from members at the first meeting of the committee.

 

Quorum

At least 50% of members shall be present to form a quorum.

 

Meetings

The Committee shall meet a minimum of two times per annum.

 

Service of meetings:

The Northland Regional Council will provide secretarial and administrative support to the joint committee.

 

Draft agendas are to be prepared by the Te Taitokerau Councils Climate Change Adaption Group and approved by the Chair of the Committee prior to the Committee meeting.

 

Remuneration

Remuneration and / or reimbursement for costs incurred by council members is the responsibility of each council. 

 

Respective iwi / hapū representatives will be remunerated and reimbursed by the nominating council in accordance with the Northland Regional Council Non-Elected Members Remuneration Policy.

 

Amendments

Any amendment to the Terms of Reference or other arrangements of the Committee shall be subject to approval by all member councils. 

 

 


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

4.2         Options Report - Parks and Reserves General Policies Development

File Number:           A2885500

Author:                    Caitlin Thomas, Strategic Planner

Authoriser:             Darrell Sargent, General Manager - Strategic Planning and Policy

 

Purpose of the Report

For the Strategy and Policy Committee to consider an analysis of options for the appropriate management of parks and reserves through policies, and to make a recommendation to Council for adoption of the most appropriate option. A detailed discussion of options is contained in the attached report.

Executive Summary

·        Parks and Reserves are lands’ that form Council’s open space suite. Reserves are lands that are classified under the Reserves Act 1977 for a specific purpose, whereas parks are lands that are held for reserve purposes but have not been classified under the Reserves Act.

·        The current Reserves Policy was adopted by Council in 2017 as an amalgamation of nine former reserves-related policies. The problem definition and issues and options study, which led to Council’s May 2020 resolution to develop a new reserve bylaw, identified several concerns and problems arising from the 2017 policy amalgamation, including the omission to seek public input, distinction between reserves and park lands, lack of clarity and incorporation of regulatory provisions and standard operating procedures, while other critical content was removed. The review of the current Reserve Policy further identified inconsistencies with legislation, delegations and as a result has been deemed not fit for purpose.

·        The attached report discusses identified shortfalls and provides two options to proceed with the management of parks and reserves through the use of policy.  The options discuss:

1. Do nothing/status quo (retain the 2017 Reserves Policy Document);

2. Develop new General Policies for Parks and Reserves.

·        Administration recommends Option 2.

 

Recommendation

The Strategy and Policy Committee agrees and recommends to Council that new general policies for the management of parks and reserves be developed.

 

1) Background

The problem definition and issues and options analysis for the management and regulation of parks and reserves, which, on May 15 2020, led to Council’s resolution to develop a new Parks and Reserve Bylaw, included the review of the current Reserve Policy.

The Reserve Policy was adopted by Council in March 2017, based on the amalgamation of nine former reserve-related policies.  The review of the policy identified several concerns and problems arising from the 2017 policy amalgamation, including the omission to seek public input on matters of significance, distinction between reserves and park lands and their management requirements, lack of clarity, incorporation of regulatory provisions and standard operating procedures, while other critical content was removed. The review of the current Reserve Policy further identified omissions of former content, inconsistencies with legislation and matters of delegations for decision-making.

The review found that the Reserve Policy does not create well-developed statements of position on ongoing or recurring matters or provide direction for responses or actions of staff, or for decisions of Council or a Committee. 

The current Reserve Policy is attached to this report.

2) Discussion and Options

Brief Summary of Issues/Context

Council’s options for the management of reserves and Council-owned lands which fulfil a similar function but are not classified under the Reserve Act include:

·    retaining the status quo, i.e. continue with the implementation of the current Reserve Policy, and

·    developing new general parks and reserves policies, to better address the identified problems and provide improved community outcomes.

The attached issues and options report provides a detailed discussion of identified problems and their impact on decision-making and operations.  A summary is provided below:

·    The amalgamation resulted in changes in content, including omission or removal of policies which are deemed to be significant.  At the time, no public consultation was undertaken.  As a result, the Reserve Policy is not reflective of community needs and aspirations for parks and reserve lands.

·    The Reserve Policy refers to reserves only in its title, omitting non-classified parks. It is important to distinguish between classified and non-classified reserves, given their dedicated purpose and different management regimes subject to applicable legislation.  This impacts and confuses dialogue with the public with respect to opportunities and constraints of these lands.

·    Conversely, other lands that do not form part of the open space suite ( for example the road corridor) are address in the Reserve Policy, but should be removed.

·    Some content is inconsistent with if not contrary to applicable legislation including the Reserves Act 1977, the Local Government Act 2002 or the Resource Management Act 1991, or not give effect to National or Regional Policy Statements.

·    Whilst discussed, supporting documents to standardize processes and operating procedures were not created and remain unavailable. This results in inconsistent responses and administration of parks and reserve management.

·    Some content of Reserve Policy is regulatory in nature and should be contained in a bylaw rather than a policy. 

·    Terminology is used interchangeably throughout causing a lack of clear direction if not confusion.

·    Some content restricts elected members in the exercise of their delegations.

Reason for the recommendation

Developing new parks and reserves general policies is recommended in accordance with applicable legislation including the Reserves Act 1977, the Local Government Act 2002, the Resource Management Act 1991 and Heritage New Zealand/Pouhere Taonga Act 2014.

Reasons for this recommendation include the development of a fit for purpose policy, which:

·    Is compliant with legislation,

·    Considers both classified reserves and parks,

·    Is consistent with the District Plan and enables the development of future Engineering Standards, future Parks and Reserves Bylaw, and standard operating procedures and processes etc,

·    Follows best-practice while being locally relevant,

·    Provides policy statements for all identified matters and problems requiring guidance and direction.

3) Financial Implications and Budgetary Provision

The development of new parks and reserves general policies will not immediately indicate any financial implications and can be completed within current budgets.

Attachments

1.       Options Report Parks and Reserves General Policies Review and Development - A2910437

2.       Far North District Council Reserves Policy 2017 - A2905609  


 

Compliance schedule:

Full consideration has been given to the provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 S77 in relation to decision making, in particular:

1.       A Local authority must, in the course of the decision-making process,

a)      Seek to identify all reasonably practicable options for the achievement of the objective of a decision; and

b)      Assess the options in terms of their advantages and disadvantages; and

c)      If any of the options identified under paragraph (a) involves a significant decision in relation to land or a body of water, take into account the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral land, water sites, waahi tapu, valued flora and fauna and other taonga.

2.       This section is subject to Section 79 - Compliance with procedures in relation to decisions.

 

Compliance requirement

Staff assessment

State the level of significance (high or low) of the issue or proposal as determined by the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy

This meets a High Significance threshold as the proposal will likely generate considerable community interest.

State the relevant Council policies (external or internal), legislation, and/or community outcomes (as stated in the LTP) that relate to this decision.

Reserves Act 1977 – section 3, and 41 which relate to creation of policy in the process of developing Reserve Management Plans.

Local Government Act 2002 – sections 3, 4, 11A, 77, 145, 146 and 149.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi – section 4.

Heritage NZ/Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 – section 3.

Resource Management Act 1991 and NZCPS.

NPS – Urban Development, Indigenous Biodiversity.

District Plans – Open Space/Zones

Northland Regional Policy Statements - various.

Contribution towards meeting community outcomes (as stated in the LTP) by way of a safe and healthy district, a sustainable and liveable environment, and a vibrant and thriving economy through thorough decision making as it relates to the management and operations of Councils parks and reserves.

State whether this issue or proposal has a District wide relevance and, if not, the ways in which the appropriate Community Board’s views have been sought.

This proposal has District wide relevance.

State the possible implications for Māori and how Māori have been provided with an opportunity to contribute to decision making if this decision is significant and relates to land and/or any body of water.

There are implications for Māori as this relates to the activities on public land and in some instances, adjacent bodies of water. It is recommended that key stakeholder engagement with Māori is conducted in the drafting of policies.

Identify persons likely to be affected by or have an interest in the matter, and how you have given consideration to their views or preferences (for example – youth, the aged and those with disabilities.

Many parties in the community will be interested or consider themselves affected including individuals as well as special interests groups and organisations such as: mana whenua and tangata whenua iwi (see Iwi/Hapu Management Plans), Heritage NZ/Pouhere Taonga,  User groups; lessees and licensees, sports and recreation clubs and general users of facilities – including children, the elderly and those with disabilities), event managers. Management groups – Hall Management committees etc, Health Department, Northland Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Advocacy Groups – e.g. Vision Kerikeri, Friends of Kerikeri Domain, Rotary Groups etc. Special interest groups – Forest and Bird, Bay of Island Watchdogs, Walking Access. Tourism Association. It is recommended that other key stakeholder engagement is conducted in the drafting of the bylaw.

State the financial implications and where budgetary provisions have been made to support this decision.

Currently there are no financial implications.

Chief Financial Officer review.

The Chief Financial Officer has reviewed this report.

 

 


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator

 


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

4.3         Nothing But Net Far North Digital Strategy

File Number:           A2905122

Author:                    Ana Mules, Team Leader - Community Development and Investment

Authoriser:             Darrell Sargent, General Manager - Strategic Planning and Policy

 

Purpose of the Report

To present the Nothing But Net Far North Digital Strategy to the Strategy and Policy Committee.

Executive Summary

·    There is an increasing reliance on digital and those without connectivity or the skills to use it risk getting further left behind.

·    The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting nationwide lockdown further exposed the digital divide across Northland.

·    This digital strategy & action plan was developed with input from internal and external reference groups and the public via a digital campaign called Nothing But Net.

·    The strategy recommends immediate actions to address the digital divide in the Far North.

Recommendation

That the Strategy and Policy Committee recommend that Council adopt the Nothing But Net Far North Digital Strategy and commits to delivering on the actions in the plan as part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.

 

 

Background

The digital divide is the gap between those who have connectivity and the skills to use it and those who do not. It is the result of inadequate or lacking digital infrastructure, difficulties in access and affordability, poor digital literacy and capability and relevance. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting nationwide lockdown has further exposed the digital divide across Northland.

In response to the digital challenges faced by our communities in lockdown, and while connectivity and digital skills were top of mind, staff considered it an opportune time to start a conversation about how we could become a more digitally enabled district. Using co-design methodologies and a new and innovative online engagement tool (Video Ask), people were asked a series of questions that linked the 4 wellbeing’s and digital connectivity.

Called ‘Nothing But Net’, engagement ran for a 2-week period (1 May - 15 May) and 118 full and complete responses (i.e. all 9 questions answered) were submitted over this time. Hundreds more submitted answers to a few questions only or simply ‘clicked through’ to find out more. There were well over 1000 individual responses in total.

In addition to the qualitative data collected through Nothing But Net, the Northland Digital Enablement Group’s annual Broadband Speed Test Surveys (2016-2020) provide quantitative data on broadband speeds and insight into ongoing infrastructure challenges. Both these pieces of work actively involved key stakeholders, enabling and empowering the people affected by the issues to contribute to developing the solutions, and they have helped inform this piece of work, the Nothing But Net Far North Digital Strategy.

The ‘Nothing But Net’ strategy and action plan is a 3.5 year plan that that will be used to support our district’s digital future by directly addressing the digital divide. Internal and external reference groups have been established to provide feedback and guidance and care has been taken to ensure Nothing But Net meets the immediate needs of our communities. 

The strategy content and structure is a direct result of community contributions and an external reference group of industry professionals. The final draft was presented back to all contributors for refinement. This iterative, co-design process has ensured the resulting document is fit for purpose and reflects the ideas and aspirations of our communities.

Discussion and Next Steps

Eliminating the digital divide in the Far North will take many hands but with a strategy, organisations and individuals can work together towards the shared goals of ensuring that everyone is empowered by digital technology, our economy is supported, and no one is left behind.  

Staff ask that the Strategy and Policy Committee receives the Nothing But Net Far North Digital Strategy and recommend that Council adopts the Strategy and commits to delivering on the actions in the plan as part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.

Financial Implications and Budgetary Provision

There are no financial implications.

Attachments

1.       NBN Final Version Strat and Policy Committee 3 July 2020 - A2912339  


 

Compliance schedule:

Full consideration has been given to the provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 S77 in relation to decision making, in particular:

1.       A Local authority must, in the course of the decision-making process,

a)      Seek to identify all reasonably practicable options for the achievement of the objective of a decision; and

b)      Assess the options in terms of their advantages and disadvantages; and

c)      If any of the options identified under paragraph (a) involves a significant decision in relation to land or a body of water, take into account the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral land, water sites, waahi tapu, valued flora and fauna and other taonga.

2.       This section is subject to Section 79 - Compliance with procedures in relation to decisions.

 

Compliance requirement

Staff assessment

State the level of significance (high or low) of the issue or proposal as determined by the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy

Low degree of significance. Initiatives/budget items allocated as a result of the strategy may be considered significant but this will happen as part of Long Term or Annual Planning.

State the relevant Council policies (external or internal), legislation, and/or community outcomes (as stated in the LTP) that relate to this decision.

Legislatively, this strategy speaks to community wellbeing and the purpose of local government.

State whether this issue or proposal has a District wide relevance and, if not, the ways in which the appropriate Community Board’s views have been sought.

District-wide relevance. Community Board views have not been sought. An external reference group of industry professionals contributed significantly.

State the possible implications for Māori and how Māori have been provided with an opportunity to contribute to decision making if this decision is significant and relates to land and/or any body of water.

Targeted engagement with iwi/hapu was not carried out in the development of the strategy but iwi leaders were provided with a copy of the draft and their feedback invited.

Identify persons likely to be affected by or have an interest in the matter, and how you have given consideration to their views or preferences (for example – youth, the aged and those with disabilities.

Digital connectivity is an issue that attracts a lot of attention in the Far North. Almost every household will be affected by the outcomes of this strategy once it has been implemented.

State the financial implications and where budgetary provisions have been made to support this decision.

None. Future costs for the implementation of the strategy will be taken through long term and/or annual planning processes.

Chief Financial Officer review.

The Chief Financial Officer has reviewed this report.

 


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


 

PDF Creator


PDF Creator 


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

5            Information Reports

5.1         Section 35 Report - Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Operative Far North District Plan

File Number:           A2870725

Author:                    Emily Robinson, Policy Planner

Authoriser:             Darrell Sargent, General Manager - Strategic Planning and Policy

 

Purpose of the Report

To inform the Committee of Council’s monitoring and reporting responsibilities under Section 35 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), and for the Committee to receive the report, “Review of Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Far North District Plan”. 

Executive SummarY

Councils are required to gather information, undertake monitoring and keep records in order to effectively carry out their functions under Section 35 of the Resource Management Act (1991). At least every 5 years, Council must prepare a report on the efficiency and effectiveness of the rules, policies and other methods in its plan, and make this report publicly available. The District Plan team have prepared the Section 35 report to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the Operative District Plan in fulfilling the sustainable management purpose of the RMA.

Recommendation

That the Strategy and Policy Committee receive the report, “Section 35 Report - Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Operative Far North District Plan under Section 35 of the Resource Management Act”.

 

 

BackgrounD

Section 5 of the RMA (the Act) establishes the purpose of the Act as being the sustainable management of natural and physical resources by managing the use, development and protection of these resources. Council’s are required under Section 35 of the Act to produce a report at least every 5 years which reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of policies, provisions and other methods within their plan. The Section 35 reports draw on data gathered and reports kept from resource consent applications, as well as monitoring programs that are undertaken to fulfil the obligations of the RMA. The current report uses data from 2013 to 2018 in order to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the District Plan.

Ø The Operative Far North District Plan

The Far North District Plan is the principal planning document to achieve the sustainable management purpose of the Act. The Plan was mostly operative in 2007 and became fully operative in September 2009. As a previous Section 35 report focussed on the years preceding 2015, the current report will focus on the 2013-2018 period. The report uses resource consent data from this period gathered from internal and external sources and draws conclusions about the efficiency and effectiveness of the Far North District Plan from this data.

Ø Purpose of the Section 35 Report

While the principal purpose of the Section 35 report is to gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of the District Plan, the report also enables Council the opportunity to reflect and improve on internal processes by understanding emerging trends in resource consent applications and associated monitoring programs within the District. This also assists the District Plan team in their authoring of Section 32 reports for the Proposed District Plan, due for notification at the end of 2020.  While there are many new responsibilities and structural changes to the way plans must now be prepared under the National Planning Standards, the analysis of plan efficiency and effectiveness will directly inform the need for provisions and the relevant thresholds for setting rules and associated performance standards for different activities in the new District Plan.

Ø Findings and Conclusions of the Section 35 Report

The Section 35 report enables us to examine resource consent trends over the period between 2013 and 2018. This analysis reports on both the efficiency and effectiveness of the plan, while informing our plan making process. The below trends emerged from the Section 35 analysis:

 

·    The number of resource consents granted per financial year has increased over the past 5 years, with the largest proportion of resource consents occurring in the rural environment. In particular, the Rural Production zone has seen the largest number of resource consents for any one zone.

 

·    The large amount of consents in the rural environment enables us to gain an understanding of the development pressures which exist in the Far North and can be taken into account for the proposed District Plan. For example, an increase in the amount of consents in the rural environment may indicate that development is occurring where the plan does not anticipate it and this may be due to factors including infrastructure pressures, or not having adequate amounts of urban zoned land for development.

 

·    A large portion of resource consents were granted in Kerikeri and Northern communities over the 5 year reporting period. This is consistent with known growth patterns in each of these areas. In particular, Kerikeri had the most resource consents for any one place in the Far North.

 

·    Each zone was analysed to give an indication of what types of consents were granted in these zones, including the main breaches for that zone. This information gives us an idea of the most common consent types and will assist in the District Plan review.

Discussion and Next Steps

Under Section 35 of the RMA, Council are required to produce a report on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Plan, and to release this report to the public. Previously, a comprehensive report was produced in 2015 which was taken to Council at the time. The current Section 35 report will be made available to the public, in order to ensure that they are able to participate in the RMA process, and to ensure that our internal consenting processes are transparent.

Financial Implications and Budgetary Provision

There are no direct financial implications as a result of the Section 35 report, however it is anticipated that the report will be used as a tool in the current plan making process, and may enable Council to review internal processes in order to create efficiencies in both consenting and monitoring in the future.

Attachments

1.       Section 35 Report - A2873239  

 


Strategy and Policy Committee Meeting Agenda

30 July 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Far North District Plan

 

 

 

A report prepared under Section 35 of the Resource Management Act (1991)

 

 

 

 

April 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

Summary Report

1    Background

1.1  Introduction

1.2  Legislative changes

1.2.1      National Direction

1.2.2      Local Direction

1.3  Post-operative plan changes

1.4  Data sources

 

2    District Wide Analysis

2.1  Development trends

2.1.1      Comparison between building consents and land use resource consents

2.1.2      Number of resource consents granted

2.2  Resource consent location analysis

2.3  Resource consent processing

2.4  Resource consent costs

2.5  Deemed permitted boundary consents

2.6  Designations

 

3    Environment trends and analysis

3.1  Urban environment

3.2  Rural environment

3.3  Coastal environment

4    District wide reporting

4.1  Tangata Whenua

4.2  Outstanding natural landscapes and features

4.3  Indigenous Flora and Fauna

5    Appendices

Appendix A - Effects Based Rule Thresholds

Appendix B – Key Dates, Plan Changes

Appendix C - Section 35 Report 2015

 

 

 

 

 


Summary Report

Councils are required to gather information, undertake monitoring and keep records in order to effectively carry out their functions under Section 35 of the Resource Management Act (RMA 1991). At least every 5 years, Council must prepare a report on the effectiveness and efficiency of the rules, policies and other methods in its plan, and make this report publicly available.  Administration have prepared the Section 35 report to assess and report on the effectiveness and efficiency of the Operative District Plan in fulfilling the sustainable management purpose of the RMA. The report specifically focusses on the period between 2013 and 2018, as another Section 35 report was prepared for the preceding period. The Section 35 report will also act to inform Administration in the plan making process through the consolidated review of the District Plan, with notification of the Proposed District Plan due to occur in the latter half of 2020. As well as this, this report aims to guide internal processes in both the monitoring and resource consent spaces.

 

Key findings

·    The number of resource consents granted per financial year has increased over the past 5 years, with the largest proportion of resource consents occurring in the rural environment. In particular, the Rural Production zone has seen the largest number of resource consents for any one zone.

·    The large amount of consents in the rural environment enables us to gain an understanding of the development pressures which exist in the Far North and can be taken into account for the proposed District Plan. For example, an increase in the amount of consents in the rural environment may indicate that development is occurring where the plan does not anticipate it and this may be due to factors including infrastructure pressures, or not having adequate amounts of urban zoned land for development. As well as this, the data may show other factors including changes to housing markets, and changes to lifestyle choices with a switch towards lifestyle properties within peri-urban areas and areas of high rural amenity.

·    A large portion of resource consents were granted in Kerikeri and Northern communities over the 5-year reporting period. This is consistent with known growth patterns in each of these areas. In particular, Kerikeri had the most resource consents for any one place in the Far North.

·    Each zone was analysed to give an indication of what types of consents were granted in these zones, including the main breaches for that zone. This information gives us an idea of the most common consents types and will assist in the District Plan review.

Resource Consent Trends and Numbers

The past five years have represented a dynamic time for resource management planning, as well as for our District. In 2017, significant reform to the RMA was undertaken through the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (RLAA). The RLAA made changes to the way that resource consent applications were processed, the matters to be considered and the notification process. Alongside this, the District has gone through a recent period of growth and increasing development pressures. Our analysis shows that the number of resource consents granted in the past five years has been consistently rising each year, with both subdivision and land use consents seeing a marked increase across the reporting period. As well as this, by comparing numbers of building consents with the number of resource consents granted, we have gained a picture of overall development in the District, as well as gaining an understanding of the triggers and thresholds for resource consent applications. For example, in the 2017-18 financial year, 1185 building consents were granted throughout the District, while only 407 land use consents were granted. This represents that a certain amount of development can occur in the District without triggering the need for resource consent.

In addition to volumes of resource consents, it is important to also look at the location of resource consent applications to understand development trends in different areas across the District. The Far North District is unique in having a large number of urban centres (towns with reticulated infrastructure), with a relatively low population and spread across a large land area. Our analysis shows that the largest proportion of resource consents were granted in the Kerikeri community and Northern communities (i.e. Kaitaia and surrounds). This analysis matches with known growth trends in both of these areas, and allows Administration to tailor their plan making on the issues facing each location, while placing this into the context of the wider district.

 

Urban and Rural Environments

A large portion of the Far North District is comprised of rural land, with the zoning of Rural Production. The Rural Production zone provides for primary production uses including pastoral farming and horticulture. Alternatively, urban environments are defined as those surrounding townships and are generally serviced by Council’s reticulated services. By analysing the occurrence of resource consent applications in both rural and urban environments, we can gain an understanding of the development pressures that may be occurring in the different environments throughout the district. Our analysis shows that throughout the 2013-2018 period, a significant amount of resource consent applications were located in the rural environment, and in particular the Rural Production zone. This may be due to a number of factors. For one, it may be because in general the land use rules in urban environments are less prohibitive, and therefore overall the need for a resource consent may be triggered less. However, it may also suggest that there are activities occurring in the rural environment that are not anticipated by the current plan or that the rural zones are restrictive for the types of activities that are occurring in these areas. Along with this, it may also suggest that we currently don’t have an adequate supply of urban land and therefore development is pushed into the rural environment. These considerations will be taken into account in the District Plan review in order to ensure that there is an adequate supply of land for urban uses, while also providing for primary production in the appropriate places.

Coastal Environments

The Far North has a significant amount of coastline, with approximately 12% of the District’s land area being classified as a coastal environment. With this, the District Plan has three main coastal zonings; the General Coastal zone, Coastal Living zone and Coastal Residential zone. These zones represent a broad sweep of coastal environments, from a more rural focussed rule framework with the General Coastal zone, to an urban style Coastal Residential zone. The proposed District Plan will deviate from coastal zonings and will instead have a coastal environment overlay which is in line with the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and the Regional Policy Statement for Northland. However, analysing how the current coastal zone framework is functioning in the current District Plan enables us to understand what rule framework should be applied to the coastal environment in the Proposed District Plan. Our analysis showed that there was a high number of resource consents required throughout the coastal zones in the reporting period. This represents an increasing pressure for development in coastal areas, which is in line with known trends over the past few decades. Overall, there were more land use applications than subdivision consents, with the number of subdivision consents being fairly equal over the three coastal zones (General Coastal, Coastal Living and Coastal Residential). The most common breach was visual amenity in both the General Coastal and the Coastal Living zone (the Coastal Residential zone does not have a visual amenity rule). This is to be expected in that protecting the amenity of coastal areas is a large driver behind the current policy framework. Going forward, the coastal environment will be managed in a way to preserve and protect the natural character of this environment from inappropriate land use and subdivision, while balancing land uses in these areas.

District Wide Matters

District wide provisions include those which apply across all zones in the District, including earthworks, natural hazard provisions, rules for heritage areas and provisions for natural environments. Analysing the thresholds for these activities allows us to create a picture of overall development in the District, and enables us to build a policy framework going forward. A detailed analysis of each district wide provision was included in the previous Section 35 report, and included as an Appendix to the current report.

 

1.   Background

1.1       Introduction

The Far North District Plan (the plan) has been the district’s principal planning tool used to achieve the sustainable management purpose of the Resource Management Act 1991 (the Act) over the last 10 years.  The plan was made partly operative in 2007, and became fully operative in September 2009, with the aim of managing the effects of the use, development, and protection of land and associated natural and physical resources.

 

Councils are required to gather information, undertake monitoring and keep records under Section 35 of the Resource Management Act (RMA 1991). This enables council to report on the efficiency and effectiveness of their plan, which is required to be undertaken at least every 5 years. A comprehensive review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the District Plan was carried out in 2015, and the current report draws on the data and findings from the previous report, as well as using resource consent and building consent data from the period between 2013-2018 to draw conclusions on the efficiency and effectiveness of the District Plan.

 

This report also enables Council the opportunity to reflect and improve on internal processes by understanding emerging trends in resource consent applications and associated monitoring programs within the District, and will assist Administration in the plan making process for the Proposed District Plan, due for notification at the end of 2020.  While there are many new responsibilities and structural changes to the way plans must now be structured under the National Planning Standards, the analysis of plan efficiency and effectiveness will directly inform the need for rules and the relevant thresholds for setting rules and associated performance standards for different activities in the new District Plan.

 

1.2       Legislative changes

1.2.1    National Direction

There has been a significant amount of legislative change in the years since the District Plan became operative.  This includes national direction through both National Environmental Standards, and National Policy Statements, as well as the RMA going through a significant reform through the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (RLAA). The key changes from the RLAA are as below:

·    Introduction of the National Planning Standards - The National Planning Standards were released in April 2019 and set out a standardized framework for preparing plans. Local authorities are required to recognise National Planning Standards by amending their plans, and the proposed district plan will be prepared in accordance with these requirements.

·    Amendments to Sections 30 and 31 - Gave regional council and territorial authorities new functions to ensure there is sufficient development capacity in respect to housing and business land.

·    Changes affecting Māori participation - The introduction of Mana Whakahono a Rohe and Iwi participation agreements.  There is now a requirement for proposed policy statement and plans to be pre-notified to iwi authorities. Any advice received on the draft from those iwi authorities must be given particular regard

·    Natural hazards - Natural hazard management was elevated to a matter of national importance. In addition, the range of natural hazards to be considered have been broadened, and risk-based approach to considering subdivision consent applications has been introduced.

·    Changes to the resource consent process -

§ Certain boundary activities are treated as “deemed permitted” activities.

§ Councils may exempt activities from needing a resource consent where it is determined the only infringement is ‘marginal or temporary’ in nature.

§ Changes to the public notification criteria for subdivisions and residential activities.

§ The introduction of fast-tracking for controlled land use activities with a 10-day processing timeframe.

§ Positive environmental effects to offset adverse effects can be considered in the resource consent process.

 

1.2.2    Local Direction

There are also a number of documents within Council that have been developed in the years since the plan became operative, or are still in the process of being developed. These documents will be taken into account in the plan making process.

 

·    LTP 2012-2022 & LTP 2015-2025 (once adopted)

·    Iwi/Hāpu Management Plans

·    Annual Plan

·    Transport Strategy

·    Asset Management Plans

·    Community Development Plans

·    Regional Policy Statement for Northland (RPS)

·    FN2100

·    Northland Regional Plan

·    30 year Infrastructure strategy

 

1.3       Post-operative plan changes

There have been a number of plan changes since the plan became operative in 2009, details of which can be found in Appendix B. There have been three private plan changes and 19 Council initiated plan changes since the plan was made operative. Since 2013 there has been one private plan change and eight Council initiated plan changes, an overview of these changes is detailed below:

·    Plan change 13 - Technical amendments included alteration, additions and deletions to the plan to improve the clarity of rules and assist in the interpretations. This plan change was considered necessary in order to improve the workability of the Plan.

·    Plan change 14 - Removal of the air chapter of the district plan due to a duplication and overlap of functions with Northland Regional Council (NRC). NRC also has the responsibility to monitor and control air discharges.

·    Plan change 15 - Modified objectives and policies for the rural environment, and changes to the rule framework for land use in the rural environment. The changes were aimed at addressing the potential for land use incompatibility and cumulative effects in the rural environment. There were three key components to the plan change:

 

(a)  Objectives, policies and rules aimed at enhancing the integrity and productive potential of the Rural Zones, including maintaining the exemptions to rules for farming alongside the introduction of a Scale of Activities Rule in the Rural Production Zone. Within the proposed new rule are relaxed thresholds for activities ancillary to farming and forestry;

 

(b)  Provisions aimed at addressing potential adverse cumulative effects of activities including reductions to the permitted activity thresholds for the Traffic Intensity Rule for land adjacent to State Highways and amendments to the assessment criteria to the Traffic Intensity Rule and appropriate criteria for the Scale of Activities Rule;

 

(c)   Provisions aimed at enabling the well-being of rural communities, including Controlled Activity status for Minor Residential Units, a Permitted Activity Temporary Events Rule, increased setbacks under the Keeping of Animals Rule and amendments to the Setback from Boundaries Rule for smaller rural lots.

 

·    Plan change 17 - Review of impermeable surfaces provisions to assess their workability and address outstanding issues with regard to the definition. The plan change did not intend to review the individual thresholds of each zone, however the rural living zone was an exception due to existing development pressure.

·    Plan change 18 - This plan change introduced a new chapter into the plan that regulates the outdoor use of genetically modified organisms in the district.

·    Plan change 19 - Changes to the plan to promote the health and safety and wellbeing of the district by improving the clarity and workability of the plan’s signage and lighting provisions, and the management of cumulative effects and the integrated management of sign and lighting activities.

·    Plan change 20 - Traffic parking and access was implemented to improve the management of traffic in the plan. This amended the existing provisions within the transport chapter and traffic intensity rules in all zones.

·    Plan change 21 - National Policy statement on electricity transmission was undertaken to manage the adverse effects of activities on the National grid.

·    Private Plan change 22 - Inlet Estate Limited rezoned 7, 11,15,17,17A Kerikeri Inlet Road and 86 Cobham Road Kerikeri from rural living to residential.

 

1.4       Data sources

This report draws on data from resource consents and building consents from Council’s databases. It also uses data from the Ministry for the Environment’s National Monitoring System (Ministry for the Environment). It should be noted that there are gaps in the resource consent data due to a lack of data entry. In some cases, spatial information has been used to complete the analysis.

Detailed information on the monitoring indicators of the Plan and the significant resource management issues can be found in the previous section 35 report from June 2015. This looks at samples of data from 2007- 2015 and is attached in Appendix C. The previous section 35 is referred to throughout this report as the previous reporting period.

Unless otherwise stated the data has been sourced from pathway reports.

2.   District Wide Analysis

 

2.1       Development trends

The following section outlines the performance of the plan by highlighting resource consent trends in the period between 2013 and 2018. The data contained in this section provides an insight to the performance of the plan in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.

 

2.1.1    Comparison between building consents and land use resource consents

The below chart shows building consents granted in comparison to both land use and combined resource consents for the financial years from 2013/2014 to 2017/2018. The combined resource consents are included here under the assumption that all combined consents were comprised of a land use component.

 

Comparing building consent numbers with the amount of land use resource consents granted in the same period gives us an indication of overall development within the District, as well as enabling us to understand the triggers and thresholds for requiring resource consent applications. As shown below, building consent numbers are consistently significantly higher than resource consents granted, with the overall number of building consents issued over the 5-year period being 5,256 in comparison to 1,562 land use consents over the same period. In the previous reporting period, it was shown that for every 1 resource consent granted, there were approximately 5 building consents granted. This ratio has decreased in the current reporting period, with approximately 3 building consents being granted for 1 resource consent. This may constitute a change in the type of development in the District in the past five years, and may suggest that there are activities occurring in areas not anticipated by the plan (and therefore requiring resource consent).

 

Figure 1: Building and land use consent numbers by financial year. The above resource consent data is sourced from MFE’s National Monitoring System.

 

2.1.2    Number of resource consents granted

Examining the number of resource consents granted in a certain time period gives us an indication of the development that is occurring within the District. Figure 2 shows the number of resource consents granted in each of the financial years within the reporting period, and is broken down into land use consents, subdivisions and combined applications. Both land use and subdivision consent numbers have risen from the 2013/14 period to the 2017/18 financial year. Overall, consent numbers have increased in this time from 471 consents granted in 2016/17, to 542 granted consents in 2017/18, and this represents a general upwards trend in consent numbers in the past 5 years. An increase in consents granted may indicate increased development in the District and a positive market for development, however may also represent other factors such as development occurring in areas that are not anticipated by the Plan or that the current provisions are restrictive for the types of activities that are occurring in these areas. Therefore, it is important to analyse consent location in order to gain an understanding of the trends which are occurring.

 

Figure 1: Resource consents approved by type and year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.2       Resource consent location analysis

Analysing resource consents based on their zone locations gives us an indication of where development is happening within the District, but also shows the thresholds for activities within these zones. The below graph (Figure 3) shows the number of resource consent issued by zone over the current reporting period (2013-2018). The below graph includes subdivision, land use and combined resource consents.

 

As shown below, a large portion of granted resource consents have occurred in the Rural Production zone, and more broadly the rural environment (General Coastal, Coastal Living, Rural Living, Rural Production and the Waimate North Special Zones) constitutes 70% of all resource consents. Comparatively, the urban environment (comprised of Commercial, Residential, Industrial, Coastal Residential and Russell Township Zones) only makes up 30% of all resource consents. Of the 2268 applications, 1598 were in the rural environment and 670 were in the urban environment. The Rural Production zone alone accounted for 34% of all applications. This shows that development that requires a resource consent has been directed to the rural environment. This could be a result of growth not occurring where the plan anticipated and infrastructure supply issues such as in Kerikeri urban area may be restraining development until the new Kerikeri wastewater system is completed. It may also indicate we have inadequate supply of urban zoned Figure 2: Resource consents granted by zone and type for the period between 2013 and 2018land.

The below graph (figure 4) shows the location of resource consents broken down by Far North communities. The majority of consents were issued in the Kerikeri community (1,106 consents granted, or 45.22% of total consents) and Northern communities (672 consents, or 27.47%) reflecting known trends of growth in the districts eastern and northern areas. This trend is similar to that of the previous reporting period.

Figure 3: Resource consent application types by communities. Total number of consents = 2446.

 

An analysis of the numbers of resource consents granted in suburbs across the district over the 5 year reporting period was undertaken. Figure 5 identifies where the majority of consented activity is occurring. Kerikeri had 558 consents issued, being 22% of all consents received over the reporting period. The other four locations made up 35%, therefore the top five locations alone accounted for more than half of all development in the district. This shows that there is significantly more development in the Kerikeri and surrounding areas (Waipapa and Kapiro), whereas in the previous reporting period the top 5 locations in order were Kerikeri, Kaitaia, Russell, Paihia and Karikari Peninsula.

Figure 5: Number of resource consents by suburb

2.3       Resource consent processing

Table 1 shows the percentage of resource consents processed within statutory timeframes, as well as giving an indication of the usage of Section 92 requests for further information and section 37 extensions of time.

The table shows that the number of consents being processed on time has decreased over time with the use of section 92 between 35-44% and use of section 37 between 13-20%. Some of the reasons for the use of section 37 include time to allow further consultation or getting technical input. The use of section 92 requests has remained relatively consistent throughout the reporting period, however the number of consents processed within statutory timeframes has decreased significantly from the 2016/17 financial year to the 2017/18 year. This decrease may be due to a number of reasons including internal resourcing issues, however may also be due to an increase in resource consent applications received and may indicate a higher level of development in the District.

Table 1 – Resource consent processing, use of s92 and use of s37 statistics, 2014/2015-2017/2018

 

Processed within timeframes

Use of s 92

Use of s 37

2014/2015

99%*

44%*

18%*

2015/2016

94%*

39%*

18%*

2016/2017

89%*

35%

20%

2017/2018

32%*

39%

13%

*Resource consents data sourced from MFE national monitoring system

2.4       Resource consent costs

Figure 6 below highlights the average costs for RMACOM, RMASUB and RMALUC consents on average cost $2,209; subdivision consents cost $2,459 and combined consents costs $3,261.

The previous reporting period showed average costs of $2,000 for land use consents, $2,225 for subdivision consents and $3,650 for combined land use and subdivision consents. Due to the recent decrease in the number of consents being processed on time, the discounting regulations would be playing a significant part in the cost of consents

Fees are charged at the time of application of resource consent, and in most instances are a deposit. The fees and charges below are the current fees, and over the last 5 years there hasn’t been much of a fee increase, which may explain why they deposit for RMALUC and RMASUB applications don’t reflect the end cost.

Table 2 – Far North District Council Fees and charges 2018-2019 year

Type of consent

Fees and charges

Fast track consent

$1073

Land use consent

$1850

Subdivision consent

$1850

Combined land use and subdivision consent

$3217

Deemed permitted boundary activities

$460

 

a)        

Figure 6: Average costs for resource consents between 2013 and 2018

 

2.5       Deemed Permitted Boundary consents

The deemed permitted boundary rule came into effect 18 October 2017. To be deemed permitted all neighbours with the ‘infringed boundaries’ must provide written approval of the activity, and the only rules breached must be relating to a boundary rule within the District Plan.

Figure 7 shows that deemed permitted boundary applications were predominantly in the rural production zone with 67% of all applications being in this zone. Figure 8 shows that 78% of all applications related to a setback breach.

Figure 7 - Deemed Permitted boundary applications issued by zone 2017-2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 8 - Deemed Permitted boundary application by breach type 2017-2018

 

 

 

 

2.6       Designations

Since 2013 there have been 18 applications for designations. These predominantly came from the following requiring authorities, Top Energy, Ministry of Education, and Far North District Council. A full list of plan updates can be found in the plan changes update schedule on the Far North District Council website.

3.   Environment trends and analysis

The following section outlines the performance of the plan referring to resource consent trends in each of the urban, rural and coastal environments. This provides an insight into the efficiency and effectiveness of the operative plan.

3.1       Urban environment

The urban environment is made up of Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Coastal Residential and Russell Township zones. This area accounts for 2,303ha of the district’s 666,000 hectares. A permissive approach to development has led to impacts on urban character, amenity and infrastructure provision and created incompatible land uses.  In many instances the market has chosen to undertake commercial and industrial activities on unserviced rural land due to lower costs and minimal regulation. This has resulted in an inefficient use of existing infrastructure. This has made infrastructure planning and deployment difficult to forecast and undertake.

A detailed assessment of the urban environment expected environmental outcomes and a cost benefit analysis of the rules can be found in the Section 35 report 2015 (Appendix C).

Resource Consent Analysis

Figure 9 shows resource consents from 2013-2018 located in the Urban Environment. This is a total of 450 resource consents. In the Residential Zone there were 289 consents, in the Industrial Zone there were 50, and in the Commercial Zone there were 111. Land use consents made up the majority of applications accounting for 74%, whilst subdivision consents made up 18%. The remainder is made up of combined resource consent; there will also be a small number of other consent application types.

There were less subdivision consents in the residential and commercial zones than the previous reporting period and less land use consents across all zones.

Figure 9 - Urban Environment Resource Consents by application type by zone 2013-2018

Since 2013, the Urban Environment has consistently had more land use consent applications as opposed to subdivision consent applications. With reference to Figure 9 above, it is noted that the majority of both land use and subdivision consents occurred in the Residential Zone as opposed to the Commercial and Industrial Zone. Trends suggest that both subdivision and land use consents will continue to reduce over time. Changes in the serviceability of our urban environments such as the completion of the Kerikeri Wastewater project and tightening up of subdivision of rural land could influence these figures.

Figure 10 -  Urban Environment Resource consent application type 2013-2018

 

In general subdivision signals new development and growth and it is closely aligned with the prevailing economic climate. As the economy slows there is less impetus for growth. However, although subdivision consents have slowed since 2017, there has been a steady flow of land use consents suggesting that activities such as infill development, additions/alterations, and changes of use activities have still occurred.

Resource consent locations

Figure 11 below highlights where resource consents have been issued throughout the district. Using a total sample of 2529 applications between 2013-2018. The majority of consents were in Doubtless Bay and Kerikeri. Other Eastern and Northern ward suburbs also featured heavily. Western ward activity is noted as being considerably lower, although Kaikohe still had 23 resource consent applications over the period. This data further clarifies trends seen in the previous reporting period regarding growth in the Eastern and Northern wards in the District as opposed to the Western ward.

Figure 11 - Urban Environment resource consent application type by suburb 2013-2018

 

 

Figure 12 below shows the activity status of resource consents in the urban environment out of the total sample of 354 applications that had complete data. Of the total residential consents 51% had a discretionary status. In most instances this activity status would have been triggered because applications failed to comply with one or more of the standards for permitted, controlled or restricted discretionary activities. Only 3% of all consents in the urban environment had a non complying status.

Figure 12 - Activity status of resource consents in the urban environment 2013-2018

 

Notification
Out of 390 urban environment applications 6 were limited notified all were not heard. The lack of notified applications suggests that the breaches to the controls in the urban environment incurred no more than minor effects on the environment, affected parties gave their approval and the breaches were not significant.

Breach Analysis

Figures 13 - 15 below provides greater detail by identifying whether land use consents for each of the zones have been growth related (i.e. and increase in scale of a building), or technical (i.e. greater parking requirements as a result of a change of use).

Figures 13 -15 breach data for the urban environment included a total of 606 breaches to the relevant rules for the urban environment. This data assists in determining whether rules most commonly breached are the most efficient and effective means of meeting the relevant policies, objectives and environmental outcomes expected.

Figure 13 – Breach type in the residential zone 2013-2018

Of the sample of 606 breaches with complete information, 393 related to the Residential Zone. Breaches of Sunlight (19%) and Setback from Boundaries (12%) rules were the most common breaches followed by stormwater management (10%), scale of activities (8%)  and Coastal hazard 2 (8%).  Where as in the previous reporting period scale of activities breaches featured as the top breach in this zone.

Figure 14 - Breach type in the Commercial zone 2013-2018

Of the sample of 606 breaches, 143 related to the Commercial Zone. Figure 14 shows that the majority of consents were related to traffic intensity (20%), parking (13%), and signs (13%). These results are similar to that of the previous reporting period.

With respect to the Traffic Intensity rule, these breaches related to activities and their scale generating more than expected traffic movements. In terms of parking, these breaches related to activities which proposed less than the prescribed parking numbers for an activity. 

Figure 15 – Breach type in the Industrial Zone 2013-2018

Of the sample of 606 breaches, 70 related to the Industrial Zone. Breaches related to traffic intensity (14%), visual amenity and environmental protection (13%), parking (10%) and excavation volume (9%).  The traffic and parking related breaches are similar to that of the previous reporting period, yet breaches of the visual amenity and environmental protection rule is a new occurrence as applications seem to be lacking in consideration of landscaping.

3.2       Rural Environment

The majority of land within the District is in the Rural Environment and is used for primary production, conservation, commercial and rural living. A relatively permissive planning framework has led to land fragmentation, reverse sensitivity and lot size that promote residential development. The reduction in production potential is economically significant when subdivision occurs on highly productive land.

Key observations relating to the internal consistency of the Rural Living and Rural production zone are considered in the section 35 report 2015 ( Appendix C).

Resource consent analysis

The Rural environment resource consent analysis used a sample size of 1033 consents. Figure 17 shows resource consents from 2013-2018 located in the Rural Production and Rural Living zones, the predominant consent type was RMALUC (45%). Historically there has been more subdivision activity as opposed to land use activity. This changed  between 2016 and 2017 were we saw growth in land use applications before a trend of decrease more recently.

Figure 16 - Rural Environment zone resource consents by application type 2013-2018

Figure 17 below uses a total sample of  1033 consents. Most of the consents were in the Rural Production zone 71%, with large volumes of both subdivison and land use consents.

Figure 17- Rural environment resource consents by application type by zone 2013-2018

 

 

 

Resource consent activity status

Figure 18 shows the activity status of the 807 consent with a recorded activity status in the rural environment.  Most of the rural production consents had an activity status of restricted discretionary (43%). Most of the rural living consents had a discretionary activity status (52%). In most instances this activity status would have been triggered because applications failed to comply with one or more of the standards for permitted, controlled or restricted discretionary activities.

Figure 18- Activity status of resource consents in the rural environment 2013-2018

Notification
Of the analysis of 916 rural environment resource consents between 2013-2018, only 3 were notified and heard with a further 9 notified but not heard. This is 1.3% of the resource consents.  The limited number of notified application suggests that the breaches incurred no more than minor effects on the environment.

 Rural Living consents location analysis

Figure 19 below highlights where resource consents have been issued throughout the district. The majority of consents were issued in the Kerikeri and Northern Communities. A fair proportion of all Rural Living Zone land is located in these areas as opposed to the Kaikohe, Kawakawa, and Hokianga Communities where activity and zoned land is lower. The figures mirror the Urban Environment development trends which highlight similar trends. This reflects similar trends shown in the previous reporting period.

Figure 19 -  Rural Living resource consent application type by community 2013-2018

Breach Analysis

A sample of resource consents for the rural living zone included a total of 408 rule breaches to the Plan. This assessment helps to understand whether land use consents have been growth related i.e and increase in scale of a building, or technical i.e greater parking requirements as a result of a change of use.

Figure 20 – Breach type in the Rural Living zone 2013-2018

Figure 20 above shows breaches to the Stormwater Management rule accounted for 44% of the rule breaches within the Zone over the sample. Other frequent breaches included building coverage. In the pervious reporting period impermeable surface breach was the most prominent but this is essentially the same breach as the rule was changed to stormwater management through Council Plan change 17.

In the sample of resource consents for the Rural Production zone which included a total of 464 rule breaches to the Plan. This assessment helps to understand whether land use consents have been growth related i.e and increase in scale of a building, or technical i.e greater parking requirements as a result of a change of use.

Figure 21 - Breach type in the Rural Production zone 2013-2018

Figure 21 shows breaches to the setback from boundaries accounted for 39% of the rule breaches within the zone over the sample. Other frequent breaches included stormwater management, followed by residential intensity and traffic intensity.

Plan change 15

An analysis was conducted to see if there were any trends as a result of plan change 15, where there was the introduction of the minor household unit rule, introduction of scale of activities rule, a permitted temporary events rule and a decrease in the traffic intensity thresholds.

The introduction of the scale of activities rule has seen 33 resource consent applications since 2015 most of these had additional rule breaches so would have required resource consent regardless. Some of the activities applied for under this rule include the Kerikeri Pack house markets, accommodation facilities, a gospel hall, concert events, cafes, commercial sheds and a landscaping depot.

 

There has been 8 resource consents applications for traffic intensity breaches with state highway addresses since 2015 without further detailed analysis of the consents it hard to determine if they would have been picked up with out the traffic threshold changes.

The introduction of the minor residential unit controlled rule has seen 20 applications under this rule, with one application being rejected due to the application being incomplete. Fourteen of those applications were in the Kerikeri and surrounds areas.

3.3       Coastal Environment

The coastal environment in the Far North is vast and complex and covers approximately 82,500 hectares, as defined by the Regional Policy Statement. There is a conflict between the need to preserve and protect the natural character of the coastal environment and provide for appropriate access and development. A continued pattern of settlement near the coast has placed additional pressure on coastal resources and amenity.

Resource Consent Analysis

Since 2013, the Coastal Environment (Coastal Residential, Coastal Living and General Coastal zones) has consistently had more land use consent applications issued compared with subdivision consent applications. In general subdivision signals new development and growth and it is closely aligned with the prevailing economic climate. As the economy slows there is less impetus for growth. However, despite subdivision consents slowing in 2014 then climbing in 2015 they have remained steady over the last few years. There has been a steady flow of land use consents which suggests that activities such as infill development, additions/alterations, and changes of use have still occurred over that period as shown in Figure 22.

Figure 22 – Coastal Environment Resource Consent by application type 2013-2018

Figure 23 shows the Coastal Living zone has significantly more land use consent applications. Of the sample of 649 consent applications, 267 (41%) were for breaches in the coastal living zone.  All zones had similar subdivision consent applications. This is a similar trend to the previous reporting period.

Figure 23 – Coastal environment resource consent application type by zone 2013-2018

Activity Status Analysis

Of the resource consents in the sample that required consent, over 51% of them were discretionary activities. In most instances this activity status would have been triggered because applications failed to comply with one or more of the standards for permitted, controlled or restricted discretionary activities as seen in Figure 24. These figures are similar to that of the previous reporting period. 23 (5%) of the consents in all zones had a non complying status this figure was considerably lower compared to 16% in the previous reporting period.

Figure 24 – Activity Status of Consents in the Coastal Environment 2013-2018

Notification

Of the 551 coastal environment resource consent applications between 2013-2018, 8 applications were limited notified (1.4%) with 3 of these being heard. The lack of notified applications suggests that the breaches to the controls as they relate to the coastal environment incurred no more than minor effects on the environment, or written approval was given by those affected.

Breach Analysis

The breaches identified in the figures below may help us better understand the nature of the land use consent applications since 2013 and whether they have been growth related i.e an increase in scale of a building, or technical i.e greater parking requirements as a result of a change of use. Figures 25 – 27 identify a total of 1186 breaches to the relevant rules in the Plan from the time records area available (2013 – 2018). This data may assist in determining whether rules most commonly breached are the most efficient and effective means of meeting the relevant policies, objectives and environmental outcomes expected.

 

Figure 25 - : Breach type in the coastal living zone 2013-2018

Figure 25 shows of the sample of 1186 breaches, 542 related to the Coastal Living Zone. Breaches of  Visual Amenity were the most common at 26% followed by Stormwater Management (20%), and Setback from Boundaries (13%). The nature of the breaches suggests that the degree of development was greater than that envisaged by the provisions in the Plan. Most of the Visual Amenity breaches related to buildings where, as a permitted activity, control over a new building as a permitted activity is limited to 50m2 and any alteration/addition is limited to a 30% in addition to that which currently exists.  For the previous reporting period visual amenity breaches also came out on top along with impermeable surfaces, which was replaced by the stormwater management rule through Council plan change 17 – Impermeable surfaces.

Figure 26 – Breach Type in the Coastal Residential Zone 2013-2018

As shown in Figure 26 of the sample of 1186 breaches, 230 related to the Coastal Residential Zone. The majority of consents were related to Sunlight breaches (20%) and Setbacks from Boundaries (16%) followed by Fire Risk to Residential Units (13%). The nature of these breaches suggests that new dwellings or additions/alterations are struggling to remain in the confines of the site and are therefore impinging on the sunlight and setback controls. These results are similar to that of the previous reporting period. 

Figure 27 – Breach Type in the General Coastal zone 2013-2018

As shown in Figure 27 of the sample of 1186 breaches, 414 related to the General Coastal Zone. Breaches of Visual Amenity were by far the most common at 28% followed by building within Outstanding Landscapes (8%). Most of the Visual Amenity breaches related to buildings where, as a permitted activity, control over a new building as a permitted activity is limited to 50m2 for un inhabited building or 25m2 for human habitation. Any alteration/addition is limited to a 30% in addition to that which currently exists. The top breach in the previous reporting period was also visual amenity.

4.   District wide reporting

This section identifies some of the key district wide trends which helps to detail the efficiency and effectiveness of the operative plan.

Detailed analysis of all district wide topics can be found in the Section 35 report 2015 (Appendix C).

4.1       Tangata Whenua

Tangata Whenua play a large role in the Far North District. Māori make up 43% of our district’s population and own approximately 17% of the land in the Far North District. There are eleven Mandated Iwi Organisations for the purposes of the RMA and a number of Iwi and Hapū who have lodged Iwi/Hapu Environmental Management Plans with Council. There are six Iwi in our district who have Treaty of Waitangi Settlement legislation, Te Roroa, Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri, NgaiTakoto ,Te Rarawa and Ngātikahu ki Whangaroa.In addition to this Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine and numerous Hapū have entered into theTreaty of Waitangi Tribunal process and are the beginnings of the settlement process. It is within this context and the context of Māori as developers and Tangata Whenua as kaitiaki that Tangata Whenua is considered to be a significant resource management issue in the District.

A detailed audit of the plan performance through a Māori lens can be found in the Section 35 report 2015 (Appendix C).

Table 3 - – Papakāinga Housing and Integrated Development resource consents 2013-2018

 

R/C

Zone

Rule

Activity Status

Date Approved

Address

Description

1

2130203

Rural Production/ Residential

Residential – 7.6.5.1.11 TIFs, 7.6.5.1.1 Relocated buildings. Rural Production – 8.6.5.4.2 Integrated development. District Wide – 15.1.6.1.2 Vehicle Access, 12.3.6.1.3 Excavation and filling.

Discretionary

24 July 2013

23 Kohuhu Street, Kaitaia

Relocation 6 dwellings onto a site. Three existing houses are located on the site which form part of the multi stage affordable housing project.

Note: the Rural Production part of this application was applied for under the Integrated Development rule, the rule does not apply in the Residential zone. The He Korowai Trust changed general land to Māori land in order to be able to use this rule.

Note: This application was limited notified and went to hearing and was approved by the Hearing Commissioner

2

2140207

 

Rural Production

8.6.5.2.2 PAPAKAINGA HOUSING

Controlled

12 Feb 2014

Ngakaroa Rd, Ahipara

To construct an additional 3 rammed earth dwellings as part of a Papakainga Development in the Rural Production Zone

3

2150101

 

Rural Production

8.6.5.4.2

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT

Discretionary

24 Dec 2014

Potahi Road, Te Kao

To establish 12 additional residential units in two stages within an existing Papakainga Development in the Rural Production Zone under rule 8.6.5.4.2 ‘Integrated Development’ of the District Plan.

4

2160124

 

Rural Production/ General coastal

8.6.5.3.1 TIFFs

Restricted discretionary

02 Oct 2015

203A Te Ra Road, Kerikeri

Relocate a dwelling onto papakainga whenua

5

2160246

 

Rural Production

8.6.5.1.5 Traffic Intensity

8.6.5.1.1 Residential Intensity

Discretionary

2 Feb 2016

203A Te Ra Road, Kerikeri

Construct a residential unit

Note: Resource consent RC21100303, currently lodged with Council (but suspended), sought to create a Papakainga development within the block under the Integrated Development rule, however consent has not progressed for several years.  Each applicant who would like to construct a dwelling on the block therefore needs to apply for resource consent individually

6

2160262

 

Rural Production

8.6.5.2.2 Papakainga Housing

Controlled

17 Feb 2016

2286 West Coast road, Pangruru

Construct an additional three dwellings o the site as a papakaianga development. The site already contains 4 dwellings and a fifth dwelling partially completed

 7

2170135

 

Rural Production

8.6.5.1.5 Traffic Intensity

8.6.5.1.1 Residential Intensity

Discretionary

29 Sept 2016

203A Te Ra Road, Kerikeri

 New dwelling on papakainga land

8

2160340

Rural Production

8.6.5.4.2 Integrated Development

Discretionary

3 Nov 2016

206 Rangihamama Road, Kaikohe

Proposed Papakainga housing development consisting of 15 houses with associated roads, stormwater disposal, waste water treatment and disposal and landscaping by way of an integrated development plan.

9

2180402

 

Rural Production/ Residential

Residential – 7.6.5.1.1 Relocated buildings, 7.6.5.1.2 Residential Intensity 7.6.5.1.11 TIFFs. Rural Production – 8.6.5.1 Residential Intensity, 8.6.5.1.11 Scale of activities. 8.6.5.4.2 Integrated development

 

Discretionary

2 Feb 2018

23 Kohuhu Street, Kaitaia

To carry out stage two of project “Whare Ora” by establishing 9 relocatable dwellings, 2 relocatable former classroom blocks to be used as a Trades Training Academy, a temporary ablution block and a temporary office block to oversee the construction project. Site is ‘Māori Freehold land’

10

2180534

 

Rural Production

8.6.5.4.2 Integrated development  12.4.6.3 (a) & (c) Fire risk to residential units

Discretionary 

12 April 2018

1345 Orakau Road Kaikohe

Construct a residential dwelling

 

Between 2013 and 2017 there were 10 resource consent applications under the Papakāinga Housing and Integrated Development rules in the Far North District Plan. Eight applications have been made under the Integrated Development rule and two under the Papakāinga Housing rule. Eight of the ten application were non notified, with two being limited notified. All of the applications were in the Rural Production zone.

4.2       Outstanding natural landscapes and features

Approximately 21% of the District is covered in outstanding natural landscapes (ONL) and 1.5% in outstanding natural features (ONF). While a large portion is on land administered by the Department of Conservation, approximately 20% of Māori owned land in the district is covered by an ONL and/or ONF. In the Plan they are simply referred to as Outstanding Landscapes. There is conflict between the requirement to protect landscapes and features and a perceived cost to private land owners in terms of their ability to develop. The regulatory intervention applied to the protection from inappropriate subdivision, use and development does not acknowledge the statutory tensions with respect to enabling Māori to continue to enjoy the relationship they have with their ancestral lands

Section 35 report 2015 (Appendix C) includes a detailed analysis of the current provisions

Resource consent analysis

A total of 66 resource consents were received in relation to Outstanding Natural Landscapes and Features between 2013-2018. Figure 28 below further details in what zones those resource consents were received. The majority of applications were either in the General Coastal zone or the Rural Production zone. As can be seen in the graph below there was a peak of resource consent applications issued in 2013, from then there has been a steady decline leading up to 2015, followed by and increase in recent years.

Figure 28 – Outstanding Natural Landscape and features Resource Consents 2013-2018

 

Figure 29 shows that the number of Outstanding Natural Landscape and Features consents was declining in the early part of the recording period, followed by an upwards trend. The previous reporting period showed a trend of decline in Outstanding Landscape consents between 2011-2015.

Figure 29 – Outstanding Natural Landscapes and features Resource Consents Issued 2013-2018

 


 

Breach Analysis

The breaches identified in Figure 30 below may help us better understand the nature of the land use consent applications since 2013. Figure 30 identifies a total of 89 breaches to the relevant rules in the Plan from the data available 2013-2018. This data may assist in determining whether rules most commonly breached are the most efficient and effective means of meeting the relevant policies, objectives and environmental outcomes expected.

Figure 30 – Breach type for outstanding landscapes 2013-2018

Of the sample of 89 breaches, 57 % related to buildings in outstanding landscapes, and 33 % related to excavation in outstanding landscapes. The most common breach in the previous reporting period was buildings within outstanding landscapes.

Activity Status Analysis

The nature of the breaches suggests that the degree of development in these outstanding areas was greater than that envisaged by the provisions in the Plan. While visual amenity is not a standard addressed in the Outstanding Landscape rules, it is picked up along with breaches relating to buildings within Outstanding Landscapes in the General Coastal zone. Where this happens the non habitable threshold for buildings reduces to 25m2 and resource consent is required for a habitable dwelling. It therefore is understandable that this is a common breech of the controls as most buildings will require resource consent within an Outstanding Landscape.

Figure 31 – Activity status of outstanding landscape resource consents 2013-2018

Of the resource consents that required consent 47% of them were discretionary activities. Discretionary activities are activated in the Plan within Outstanding Natural Landscapes where applications fail to comply with one or more of the standards for permitted, controlled or restricted discretionary activities. Compared to the previous time period more of the consents have a restricted discretionary status.

Notification

Understanding the approach to notification is an important factor because it has a direct bearing on the level of third party involvement and cost of the resource consent process, but more importantly investment and development behaviour with respect to the Plan. Of the 67 consents that were issued over this period none were notified. In the previous reporting period 2 resource consent applications were notified.

The lack of notified applications may suggest that the breaches to the controls as they relate to Outstanding Natural Landscapes incurred no more than minor effects on the environment. Also effects in these landscapes are not normally on neighbours, which is a common reason for going to a hearing, effects are also offset by conditions e.g landscaping or colours.

4.3       Indigenous Flora and Fauna

The Far North District has a land area of around 666,000 hectares. Approximately 267,000 hectares of that area (around 40%) comprises of indigenous habitat. Due in part to the relatively large area of indigenous habitat remaining, but also due to the district’s unique geology, the Far North retains a diverse suite of ingenious ecosystems and is host to a large variety of native plants and animals, many of which are found only in the Northland area. Council has recently undertaken a mapping project in conjunction with Whangarei and Kaipara District Councils to identify Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) within the region. In the Far North, it has been identified that there are 685 individual SNAs, covering 282,696 hectares (or 42% of the District). The below table (sourced from the 2019 Wildlands SNA report), shows the breakdown of vegetation types in the Far North.

The SNAs have been identified through a desktop analysis, however will be groundtruthed in the latter half of 2020. The SNAs were defined as such using the significance criteria in Appendix 5 of the Regional Policy Statement for Northland, which requires territorial authorities to undertake the identification of SNAs. The SNA mapping project will assist in informing the indigenous biodiversity chapter in the proposed District Plan.

Covenants

The number of QEII open space covenants has increased from 187 in 2008 to 211 in 2018. The number of hectares of land covenanted increased from 5171 ha to 5373 ha. The current make up of vegetation type protected is detailed in Table 4 below:

Table 4 - Bush / cover type of QEII open space covenants 2018

Bush/cover type

Total

Broadleaved Indigenous Hardwoods

448.6

Built-up Area (settlement)

0.9

Deciduous Hardwoods

4.9

Exotic Forest

140.8

Fernland

0.0

Forest – Harvested

1.6

Gorse and/or Broom

13.6

Herbaceous Freshwater Vegetation

234.3

Herbaceous Saline Vegetation

5.3

High Producing Exotic Grassland

445.3

Indigenous Forest

2605.1

Lake or Pond

6.9

Low Producing Grassland

14.7

Mangrove

11.9

Manuka and/or Kanuka

1437.3

Orchard, Vineyard or Other Perennial Crop

1.5

Sand or Gravel

0.1

Short-rotation Cropland

0.0

Urban Parkland/Open Space

0.2

Grand Total

5373.2

 

FNDC has implemented a policy (# R04/11) to allow for the remission of rates on land subject to protection for outstanding landscape, cultural, historic or ecological purposes. The policy was implemented to give effect to Method 12.2.5.13 of the Plan, which sets out that FNDC will allow for the remission or postponement of rates in areas afforded permanent legal protection through a covenant or reserve status. As of 2018 there are 88 covenants with 1446ha of land protected.     

Vegetation Clearance

The overall national trend over the last decade has been one of biodiversity decline, and the Far North is no different. However, the SNA mapping project shows that there are still significant tracts of indigenous vegetation in the Far North. Table 5 shows vegetation loss between 2008 and 2018, from Landcare’s national vegetation clearance database.

Table 5- Vegetation loss between 2008 and 2018, including breakdowns of vegetation type

LUCID

LUC_NAME

% change between 2008 & 2016

Change in hectares between 2008 & 2016 (ha)

% change between 2008 & 2018

Change in hectares between 2008 & 2018 (ha)

% change between 2012 & 2016

Change in hectares between 2012 & 2016 (ha)

71

Natural Forest

-0.15%

-375.1

0.65%

1,577.3

-0.05%

-111.4

72

Planted Forest - Pre-1990

-0.70%

-626.1

-0.38%

-338.7

-0.29%

-256.0

73

Post 1989 Forest

1.91%

435.6

-0.20%

-45.2

-0.05%

-11.5

74

Grassland - With woody biomass

-0.61%

-282.0

-2.58%

-1,194.1

-2.17%

-1019.2

75

Grassland - High producing

0.54%

1,199.8

0.23%

511.2

0.39%

868.2

76

Grassland - Low producing

-1.25%

-334.9

4.40%

1,176.8

2.04%

527.5

77

Cropland - Perennial

-1.16%

-38.2

-1.63%

-53.8

0.10%

3.4

78

Cropland - Annual

2.54%

15.7

2.54%

15.6

0.00%

0.0

79

Wetland - Open water

0.57%

22.3

-6.31%

-247.5

0.00%

0.0

80

Wetland - Vegetated non forest

-0.64%

-88.2

-9.94%

-1,373.5

-0.11%

-15.8

81

Settlements

1.08%

40.5

-0.26%

-9.6

0.00%

0.0

82

Other

0.37%

30.7

-0.22%

-18.4

0.18%

14.8

 

Totals

2.5%

-745.4

-13.69%

-990.3

0.04%

-1146.4


Appendix A - Effects Based Rule Thresholds

Current Effects Based Mechanisms

A matrix is provided in Table 1, comparing various relevant rule thresholds across the Rural Environment; Rural Production & Rural Living Zones, the special Waimate North Zone (within the rural environment, but with special attributes), and comparing these with the Urban Environment; Commercial and Industrial Zones, and the Coastal Environment General Coastal & Coastal Living Zones. All the rules examined have a direct or indirect influence on managing effects of land use incompatibility, cumulative effects and amenity values.

Table 1 -  Current Land Use Provisions

 

RULE

ZONE

Permitted threshold

Rural Production

Waimate North

General Coastal

Rural Living

Coastal Living

Commercial

Industrial

Residential Intensity

1 residential unit per 12ha

1:4ha

1:20ha

1:4000m2

1:4ha

No rule

No rule

Visual Amenity [and Environmental Protection]

No rule

No rule

Most buildings (whether residential or not) require resource consent pursuant to a Visual Amenity rule.

No rule

Most buildings (whether residential or not) require resource consent pursuant to a Visual Amenity rule.

Screening by way of landscaping, fences, walls required where adjoining a zone other than Com or Ind; 50% of road boundary to be landscaped

Screening by way of landscaping, fences, walls required where adjoining a zone other than Com or Ind; 50% of road boundary to be landscaped

Sunlight

2m + 450

2m + 450

2m + 450

2m + 450

2m + 450

2m + 450 where adjoining a residential, RL or CL zone

2m + 450 where adjoining a residential, RL or CL zone

Height

12m

10m

8m

9m

8m

10m; 8.5m or no limit, dependent on location

12m in Opua Industrial Zone, no limit elsewhere

Setback

10m; 12m along a section of Kerikeri Rd; 100m where adjoining Minerals Zone

75m from specified road boundaries; 10m from other site boundaries; reduced to 3m where sites are less than 4000m2 in area

10m for sites larger than 5000m2 in area; 3m elsewhere; 100m where adjoining Minerals Zone

Predominantly 3m; 10m where adjoining RP zone; 20m where adjoining Minerals Zone; 12m along sections of Kerikeri Road

10m for sites larger than 5000m2 in area; 3m elsewhere

6m & 10m variously in Paihia, dependent on sub-zoning; no limit elsewhere

2m from State Highways, no limit elsewhere

Impermeable Surfaces

15% of site, no maximum specified

15% of site, or 5000m2, whichever is the lesser

10% of site, no maximum specified

10% or 3000m2, whichever is the lesser

10% or 600m2, whichever is the lesser

No rule

No rule

Scale of Activities

Exemptions in every zone where this rule applies – activities of a limited duration required by normal farming and forestry practice

No rule

8 persons per 4ha

4 persons per site; or 1 person per 1ha, whichever is greater

 

1 person per 1000m2

1 person per 2000m2

No rule

No rule

Permitted threshold

Rural Production

Waimate North

General Coastal

Rural Living

Coastal Living

Commercial

Industrial


 

Permitted threshold

Rural Production

Waimate North

General Coastal

Rural Living

Coastal Living

Commercial

Industrial

Traffic Intensity Exemptions in every zone – single residential unit, farming, forestry and construction traffic

60 daily one way traffic or 30 if access is via a state highway

 

60 daily one way traffic or 30 if access is via a state highway

 

30

20

20

200

200

Screening for Neighbours – non-residential activities

No rule

No rule

No rule

Outdoor areas used for specified non-residential activities to be screened from adjoining sites by landscaping, walls, fences or combination thereof

Outdoor areas used for specified non-residential activities to be screened from adjoining sites by landscaping, walls, fences or combination thereof.

No rule, but see Visual Amenity & Environmental Protection above

No rule, but see Visual Amenity & Environmental Protection above

Hours of Operation – non-residential activities

Exemptions in every zone where this rule applies – activities that have a predominantly residential function such as lodges, motels and homestays

No rule

No rule

No rule

50hrs per week; limited to between certain hours of the day

50hrs per week; limited to between certain hours of the day

No rule

No rule

Keeping of Animals

50m from site boundary; 600m from residential zone boundaries

Not permitted

50m from site boundary; 600m from residential zone boundaries

50m from site boundary; 600m from residential zone boundaries

50m from site boundary; 600m from residential zone boundaries

Not permitted

Not permitted

Noise

Exemptions in every zone – activities of a limited duration required by normal farming and forestry practice

65 dBA day time

45 dBA night time

70 dBA max

 

55 dBA day time

45 dBA night time

70 dBA max

55 dBA day time

45 dBA night time

70 dBA max

55 dBA day time

45 dBA night time

70 dBA max

55 dBA day time

45 dBA night time

70 dBA max

65 dBA day time

45 dBA night time

70 dBA max

65 dBA day time

45 dBA night time

70 dBA max

Permitted threshold

Rural Production

Waimate North

General Coastal

Rural Living

Coastal Living

Commercial

Industrial

 


 

Appendix B - Key Dates, Plan Changes



 

Appendix C - Section 35 Report 2015

 

 

 

Review of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Far North District Plan
A Report under Section 35 of the Resource Management Act 1991
,Backup Mini2:Clients:F:Far North District Council:Planning Department:Branding:Logo Files:FNDC-PD-Lets-Plan-Together-v1.jpg, 
Draft July 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


               Table of Contents

Executive Summary. 3

PART A.. 4

1. Purpose.. 4

1.2 Background.. 4

1.3 Methods. 6

PART B. 10

2 District Wide Analysis Broad Development Trends. 10

2.1 Consenting Outcomes. 10

2.2 Subdivision and Development Activity. 11

2.3 Resource Consent Data. 13

2.4 Resource Consent Processing. 16

2.5 Resource Consent Costs. 16

3 Significant Resource Management Issues. 18

3.1 Tangata Whenua Policies: Methods and Expected Outcomes. 18

3.2 Urban Growth Management. 20

3.3 Rural Sustainability. 22

3.4 Heritage.. 24

3.5 Coastal Protection.. 25

3.6 Outstanding Landscapes. 28

3.7 Indigenous Flora and Fauna. 31

3.8 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. 35

Part C. 37

4. Detailed Data. 37

4.1 Tanagata Whenua. 37

4.2 Urban Growth.. 40

4.3 Rural Sustainability. 50

4.4 Coastal Protection.. 55

4.5 Outstanding Landscapes. 63

4.6 Indigenous Flora and Fauna. 67

4.7 Heritage.. 73

Appendix A - Effects Based Rule Thresholds. 79

Appendix B - Key Dates, Plan Changes. 82

 


 

Executive Summary

 

The Far North District Plan has acted as the District’s principal tool to achieve the sustainable management purpose of the Resource Management Act 1991 (the Act) for nearly 7 years. 

Since the Plan became fully operative in September 2009, after being made partly operative in 2007, the plan has acted to manage the effects of the use, development, and protection of land and associated natural and physical resources. The District contains some of the country’s most significant cultural and heritage resources, a diverse and unique set of environments and the foundation elements for economic, cultural and social well being for the District’s many communities. In this light, the role of the District plan has particular importance. The stakes are high.

The review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the plan is a good opportunity to understand the if the plan is achieving it’s ends and whether it does so in an appropriate manner. The review also contributes to the platform of knowledge that will be utilised for the review of the Far North District Plan (the District Plan).

Appraisal of the plan’s performance depends on a bank of data and feedback information needs the monitoring mechanisms and feedback to inform. The plan suggests a variety of means to collect this data and, due to resourcing constraints, and other prioritized actions a complete data set has not been available. This has necessitated that other means are utilised to understand the relative performance of the plan. This includes the use of case studies, proxies and representative sample sets of data.

Overall, the plan performs the statutory role of sustainable management of natural and physical resources efficiently and effectively. It has provided a stable framework for integrated management of effects and responsiveness to resource management issues.

The largely effects based planning instrument has operated in a time where economic conditions have fluctuated from a period of unprecedented growth, reflected in a higher level of subdivision activity, to low growth and now a trend towards growth in particular locations.

As an effects based instrument, some of the actions and management approaches of the plan are more direct, measurable and understandable. Whereas other provisions may be difficult to evaluate in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The former includes siting and design provisions of the environment and sections of the district wide provisions of the plan. The latter includes the relative performance of the tangata whenua provisions of the plan, which are relatively confined in the policy framework. Another aspect is the balance of the supply and demand tensions that exist in the urban environment and at interface of the urban environments.

More work is required to ascertain the relative importance of some of these performance measures in the context of a plan review, and identifying the most appropriate future responses to existing and emergent resource management issues.


 

PART A

1     Purpose

 

This document reports on the efficiency and effectiveness[1] of the Far North District Plan in accordance with Section 35 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

Section 35(2) of the RMA requires that all Councils gather information, undertake monitoring and keep records to, amongst other things, enable the efficiency and effectiveness of policies, rules, or other methods to be assessed.

There are three parts to the report:

Parts A and B convey the key information associated with the review and the outcomes of the review process. Part C contains supporting information used to complete the analysis.

1.2 Background

1.2.1  Statutory Context

The District Plan is FNDC’s principal tool for managing land use under the RMA and is the community’s guiding document on how we promote sustainable management of the natural and physical resources in the District.

The Far North District Plan was made fully operative in September 2009.  Section 35(2)(b) of the RMA, requires that FNDC monitors “the efficiency and effectiveness of policies, rules, or other methods in its…plan.”. This process is ongoing, however the five year reporting period required under Section 35(2A) is overdue.

Section 31(1)(a) of the RMA requires FNDC to review the objectives, policies and methods contained in the District Plan and s.75(2)(e) states that the procedures used to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of the District Plan be set out in the plan itself. This means that Council needs to be able to determine whether the policies, rules and methods in the plan are effective and the most efficient way of addressing the issues, objectives and expected environmental outcomes.  To do this we need to know:

(a)          Whether the key issues and objectives identified in the plan are achieving the environmental outcomes expected and the purpose and principles of the RMA;

(b)          how the plan is guiding decision-making on individual resource consents, if the planning procedures contained in the plan are actually being implemented effectively and whether resource consent conditions are achieving the expected environmental outcomes (this ties in with resource consents monitoring);

(c)       how well the expected environmental outcomes have been achieved.

Council has initiated a process to prepare a consolidated review of the District Plan, which means that the issues identified from this review will contribute the information base for the wider plan review process.

1.2.2 Statements of Principle

The first chapter of the District Plan identifies a number of statements of principle that assist in identifying the means by which the District Plan will achieve the purpose of the RMA.

A strong theme promoted by the Operative Plan is to enable the use and development of resources by minimising the level of statutory intervention, whilst achieving the purpose of the RMA.

For example, the statement of principles contains the following:

“.. that the plan wherever possible reflects the desire of Council to minimise its level in intervention in land use and other resource issues, by encouraging a stewardship role or ethic land management through mechanisms such as incentives, education and other forms of encouragement.”

This principle is carried through the plan, however, this framework is not considered to possess the necessary mechanisms to manage the potential for incompatible land use activities, particularly in rural environments – which account for around 70% of the districts land area  Currently, the scope and scale of activities that can establish within rural environments have the potential to individually or cumulatively adversely affect rural production activities.Other activities that rely on rural environments capacity to absorb effects, such as infrastructure and productive industries can also be impacted. This includes reverse sensitivity effects, where the more sensitive activities can impact upon lawfully established activities.

We are currently finding that commercial and industrial uses, that would be more appropriately located within urban areas, choose to establish in rural areas. Other activities that may be considered appropriate in rural areas, such as tourism and recreational land uses, may not incorporate suitable measures to mitigate effects upon productive uses.

1.2.3 Effects Based Regime

The District Plan is considered to represent one of the more comprehensive versions of effects based planning instruments. To demonstrate the methods employed by the plan, a matrix is provided in Appendix A comparing various rule thresholds across the plan’s environments, comprising:

a)    The rural environment - including the Rural Production, Rural Living and Waimate North Special Zone;

b)    the urban environment - including Commercial and Industrial Zones, and,

c)    the coastal environment - including General Coastal & Coastal Living Zones.

The table provides some basis for understanding the effects based approach of the District Plan, the standards established under the plan for the management of effects and the activities that may be permitted under the zone based provisions.

Users of the plan have identified that in many situations; the effects based planning framework has lead to less certainty over permissible uses and a rule framework that is too permissive. User feedback has also suggested that the effects based regime can present inefficient and in some cases over restrictive provisions.

1.2.4 Post Operative Status Plan Changes

Provided at Appendix B is a spreadsheet containing the key dates associated with the plan changes that have been implemented since the plan was made fully operative in 2009. This includes two private plan changes and 18 Council initiated plan changes. These include two technical reviews, heritage updates and an initial review of the Rural Provisions.

1.3 Methods

1.3.1  Monitoring and Data Sources

Sources of information for reviewing plan performance are varied and include:

·    Resource consent data

·    Building consent data

·    Monitoring Strategy results

·    Case studies

Monitoring Issue 5.1.2 in the District Plan states that “the limited availability of financial and technological resources requires that monitoring is targeted primarily to the significant resource management issues of the District”. It then goes on to describe the priority issues being:

·    Tangata whenua concerns;

·    preservation of the coastal environment (including the coastal marine area), wetlands, and lakes and rivers and their margins and the protection of them from inappropriate subdivision use and development;

·    the protection of areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna; and

·    managing urban growth.

Notwithstanding these priority areas, this report intends to provide commentary on all significant resource management issues (SRMI’s).

1.3.2 Significant Resource Management Issues (SRMI)

Consideration of the SRMI is an important reference point in the context of District Plan effectiveness and efficiency. Under section 75 of the RMA a District Plan must state the objectives for the District, the policies to implement the objectives and the rules (if any) to implement the objectives. The District Plan may also state the SRMI for the District along with the policy framework for achieving the resource management purpose of the RMA.

The Operative District Plan identifies that it will achieve the sustainable management purpose of the RMA by avoiding unnecessary regulatory intervention while requiring a satisfactory level of environmental protection. The plan identifies that this role can be achieved in part by targeting eight significant resource management issues:

·    Partnerships with Tangata Whenua

·    Urban Growth Management

·    Rural Sustainability

·    Coastal Protection

·    Outstanding Landscapes

·    Indigenous Flora and Fauna

·    Heritage

·    Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency

The District Plan identifies the outcomes anticipated for each of these issues and contains a policy framework to achieve these outcomes.

This review utilises the significant management issues as the main organising tool, and supplements the issues based review with analysis of district wide issues. It achieves this through analysis of monitoring data, and evaluation of the policy framework.

Monitoring indicators are provided in the Monitoring Strategy 2008[2]. These indicators have been used where appropriate to illicit assumptions with respect to the Plan’s efficiency and effectiveness. It should be noted that these indicators, and the monitoring strategy itself are subject to a review. The implementation of the current indicators to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the Plan will contribute to a more robust monitoring framework in the future.

In that sense this report also fulfils a gap analysis role with respect to the information that can be gathered, collated, and evaluated in a manner that contributes to better resource management outcomes and decision making. Where matters cannot be measured, questions can be posed as to their appropriateness within the policy framework and Plan generally.

1.3.3 Traffic Light Model

An evaluation of the internal consistency of parts of the Plan has been undertaken that focuses on the plan’s policy framework and its ability to achieve and influence the stated ‘Environmental Outcomes Expected’. This process, called plan logic mapping, assesses the connections and coherency between objectives, policies, methods, rules and outcomes and seeks to draw conclusions about their likely contribution to achieving the Plan’s intended outcomes.

This process alone does not assess implementation or actual environmental results on the ground. As a result this process has been supplemented by case studies and targeted analysis of development indicators in order to provide a more substantial evaluation of the Plan’s efficiency and effectiveness.

1.3.4 Case studies and targeted analysis

As noted in section 1.3 above, a series of monitoring indicators have been promoted as a means to inform and assess the Plan’s efficiency and effectiveness. While Council has improved its data collection procedures, there are some indicators which have not been resourced and therefore data is absent. Additionally, there are some outcomes expected in the policy framework which cannot be easily measured, either quantitatively or qualitatively.

Where these situations exist, proxy indicators have been used, for example, case studies to highlight the performance of the Plan. Where data does exist, these have been provided largely in the form of graphs and associated narratives. These are contained in Part C of this report.

1.3.5 External Audit

Administration commissioned an external audit of the plan performance through a Māori lens. The purpose of the review was to help inform the Far North District Council (FNDC) overall review of its District Plan.  FNDC has prioritised Tangata Whenua participation in the District Plan review and consider it a significant component of its commitment to enable Tangata Whenua aspirations in planning processes and decision-making to be realised.   Findings of the review have been incorporated into this report.

1.3.6 Next Steps

Consolidated District Plan Review

Council has a statutory obligation under section 79 of the RMA to commence a review of the District Plan if it has not been reviewed or been the subject of a change during the previous 10 years. A number of elements of the plan have been subject to review since the plan was made partially operative in 2007, however it is estimated that approximately 80% of the plan has not yet been subject to review.

There are other planning documents at a national and regional level that will impact on the direction and content of RMA planning documents at a district level.  These include

·    NZ Coastal Policy Statement

·    National Policy Statements

·    National Environmental Standards

·    New Northland Regional Policy Statement

·    Resource Management Act reforms

These and other influences will be incorporated into the District Plan review process

·    LTP 2012-2022 & LTP 2015-2025 (once adopted)

·    Iwi/Hāpu Management Plans

·    Annual Plan

·    Kerikeri and Waipapa Structure Plan

·    Asset Management Plans

·    Parking Strategy

·    Regional Policy Statement for Northland (RPS)

·    Regional Land Transport Strategy

·    Sustainable Planning / Far North Vision

·    Community Development Plans

·    Far North Sustainable Development  Strategy (under development)

·    Walking and Cycling Strategy


 

PART B

 

2     District Wide Analysis Broad Development Trends

 

The following section outlines the performance of the plan referencing resource consent trends and indicators. The data contained in this section provides an insight to the performance of the plan in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The content provided in this section represents summary of the content provided in Part C.

 

2.1  Consenting Outcomes

A comparison of the quantity of land use consent and building consents issued provides some broad indication of relative permissiveness of planning provisions. The following chart Figure 1 shows land-use resource consents (blue) and building consent activity (green) from 2007-2015. Included are all building consents (new buildings, alternations, and additions) and all land use consents.

Figure 1 – Building and Land use Consent Volumes

 

Figure 1 shows, that over the reporting period, land use consents constitute 18.4% of all building consents, or, roughly, for every 5 building consents, 1 required resource consent. Whilst there will be occasions where an activity requires a land use consent but not a building consent (and vice versa), this limited assessment shows that the predominant pattern is that a range of building works have been undertaken without the need for further regulatory intervention.

The extent to which a District Plan intervenes on land use activities can have implications for the development process. The current level of intervention by the Plan reflects an approach that aims toavoid unnecessary regulatory intervention[3]. Notwithstanding this, it is important to assess the occasions where intervention was required in order to understand whether an adequate level of environmental protection is also afforded by the Plan.

2.2  Subdivision and Development Activity

 

Subdivision is part of the land fragmentation process. It is a key indicator of demand for development and a test for the effectiveness of the plan. Figure 2 below outlines the total number of new lots created by subdivision processes  across the District and by Ward from 2007-2014. The number of new lots created has been decreasing since 2007/08. The total lots created over the period reported is 3,435.

Figure 2 – New Lots Created 2007-2014

The economic climate of the Far North is an important backdrop to consider against this data and is likely to be consistent with other territorial authorities in provincial regions around New Zealand. Table 1 below shows the number of lots created against the number of new buildings/dwellings.

Table 1 – Number of lots created against the number of new buildings/dwellings

Year

Number of Lots

New Buildings/Dwellings

Surplus/Deficit Lots

Surplus/Deficit %

2007/08

925

539

386

26.3%

2008/09

665

370

295

28.5%

2009/10

664

356

308

30%

2010/11

395

243

152

23.8%

2011/12

446

222

224

33.5%

2012/13

177

225

-48

-11.9%

2013/14

112

290

-178

-44.2%

2014/15

51

181

-130

-56%

 

The number of new buildings in the 2014/2015 year to date has been higher than the number of lots created by over 50%. This data suggest an uptake of lots created in the previous surplus period between 2007-2012 or a number of new builds on existing lots. This trend has been occurring for the last three years. Notwithstanding this relative assessment, with reference to the data collected in the last eight years the District has a surplus of 1,009 lots.

From a spatial planning perspective, the uptake of existing lots may represent a positive trend towards consolidation of growth in existing areas. It is considered that this outcome is a result of a weakening economy rather than pro-active planning. The data is important to monitor over time and will provide, amongst other considerations, a measure of supply and demand pressures across the District.


 

2.3  Resource Consent Data

Figure 3 below shows resource consents granted from 2007-2015 and includes subdivision consents (RMASUB) land use consents (RMALUC) and combined subdivision and land use consents (RMACOM). The table also separates the data into Urban, Coastal and Rural Environments. The total consent figure for the sample period was 2,852. The Rural Environment consisting of the Rural Production and Rural Living Zones included 1,289 consents, with 470 land use and 543 subdivision consents issued. Overall, this accounted for 45% of all consents in the sample.

Figure 3 – Resource Consents 2007-2015

The Coastal Environment made up of the Coastal Residential, Coastal Living, and General Coastal Zones included 820 consents, with 533 land use and 112 subdivision applications issued. This accounted for 26% of all consents.

The Urban Environment made up of the Residential, Commercial and Industrial Zones included 743 consents, with 351 land use and 138 subdivision applications issued. This accounted for 29% of all consents.

Figure 4 below highlights where consents have been issued throughout the district. The majority of consents were issued in the Kerikeri and Northern communities reflecting known trends of growth in the districts eastern and northern areas. Figure 5 provides more detail by highlighting the top five suburbs where activity is occurring.

 

 

 

Figure 4 – Resource Consents by Community

Figure 5 below identifies where the majority of consented activity is occurring. Kerikeri had 767 consents issued, being 33% of all consents received over the sample period. The other four locations made up 21%, therefore the top five locations alone accounted for almost half of all development in the district.

Figure 5 – Resource Consents by Locality (Top Five)

Since 2009, the proportion of land use consent to subdivision consent applications has increased. Subdivision consents generally reflect growth and development in an area and may reflect the prevailing economic climate. The period between 2007 and 2010 represented 56% of all consents being issued, with both land use and subdivision consents reaching a peak in 2008. Notwithstanding, there was a large dip in consents issued in 2009. It is considered that this data is reflective of the economic climate of the time.

Figure 6 – Resource Consent 2007-2015

As shown in Figure 6 above, in 2012, 221 consents were issued which was the lowest in the period. Since 2012, there has been a consistent upward trend in consents issued. 

Data relating to average lot sizes has not been updated since 2011.The average lot size, by Zone from the 2011 data are provided found in Table 2 below.

Table 2 – Average Lot Size by Zone 2007-2011

Zone

Average Lot Size

Minimum Lot Size (Controlled)

Minimum Lot Size (Discretionary)

Rural Production

17.6ha

20ha

4ha

Rural Living

1.24ha

4,000m2

3,000m2

General Coastal

18.76ha

n/a

Management Plan required (20ha as Restricted Discretionary Activity)

Coastal Living

1.68ha

4ha (provision for stormwater & wastewater disposal required).

5,000m2 (provision for stormwater & wastewater disposal required).

Coastal Residential

2,155m2

3,000m2 (unsewered); 800m2 (sewered)

2,000m2 (unsewered); 600m2 (sewered)

Commercial

1,495m2

3,000m2 (unsewered); 250m2 (sewered)

2,000m2 (unsewered); No Limit (sewered)

Industrial

1.2ha

3,000m2 (unsewered); 500m2 (sewered)

2,000m2 (unsewered); No Limit (sewered)

Residential

1,568m2

3,000m2 (unsewered); 600m2 (sewered)

2,000m2 (unsewered); 300m2 (sewered)

 

Rural Production and Coastal Living Zones average lots sizes were below the Controlled Activity threshold, but larger than the Discretionary limit. All other zones’ average lot size were above the Controlled threshold.

2.4  Resource Consent Processing

 

Processing efficiency has been the focus of recent changes to the RMA alongside changes to the standard and quality of resource consent applications lodged with consent authorities. It is anticipated that, with the lifting of the standard of consent application, resource consent processing efficiency will improve.

 

Table 3 below highlights historical trends with respect to the use of section 37 and 92 of the RMA and consent applications processed on time[4]. While this data relates to all resource consents as opposed to specific Urban Environment consents, they still provide valuable information for analysis.

The table shows that the amount of consents processed on time, over the period has increased. This is unlikely to be due to more effective provisions, rather as a result of efficiency gains in processing.  The use of section 92 has been relatively consistent at around 40-48% of consents. The use of section 37 has increased, however data from previous periods is not in an accessible format for greater analysis.  Future reporting will help to provide further analysis.

Table 3 – Use of Section 37 and 92 2005-2013

 

Processed on time

Use of s 92

Use of s 37

2005/06

51%

43.44%

n/a

2007/08

37%

48.44%

n/a

2010/11

95%

41.43%

3%

2012/13

94%

46.76%

20%

 

2.5  Resource Consent Costs

 

Figure 7 below highlights the average costs for combined, subdivision and land use consents. Land use consents on average cost $2,000; subdivision consents cost $2,225 and combined consents costs $3,650. Costs for each Environment are highlighted in this report in their respective section. This more in depth analysis provides clarity as to what areas of the district have higher compliance costs relative to others.

Figure 7 – Overall Average Resource Consent Costs


 

 

3     Significant Resource Management Issues

 

3.1 Tangata Whenua Policies: Methods and Expected Outcomes

The monitoring provisions of the District Plan and the monitoring processes of the Monitoring Strategy use evaluation of the Expected Outcomes to determine efficiency and effectiveness for s35(2A) reporting.  It is therefore essential that the Expected Outcomes are able to be monitored, and that targets or benchmarks are measurable. A full analysis of the tangata whenua provisions of the District Plan is in the process of being completed.  Preliminary results of that analysis show that there are deficiencies in these provisions which have consequences for the implementation of s35 monitoring. These deficiencies include:

▪      Many of the tangata whenua provisions are expressed in high level terms, and lack operational effectiveness.  Their results are also difficult to measure as the provisions are too broad and general for causality to be determined.

▪      Frequently in the provisions s6(e) of the RMA is presented verbatim, or with minor changes or additions, adding no value to the Plan above that available from the statute itself.

▪      In the tangata whenua chapter there are breaks in the cascade from Issues to Objectives to Policies to Methods, which means that in practice implementation of some provisions is not required.

▪      The tangata whenua provisions are almost all in the tangata whenua section, and tangata whenua provisions are generally absent from the rest of the Plan.

▪      There are few cross references in the Plan.

▪      Many terms require explanation if they are able to be used by decision makers.  For instance, Policy 12.2.4.1 has a requirement for “maintaining tikanga”.  If there were to be Expected Outcomes for this Policy, clarification of meaning would be essential.

3.1.1 Indicators from the Monitoring Strategy

The Monitoring Strategy 2008 contains tangata whenua indicators, but they are of limited use for s35 evaluation of the tangata whenua provisions. The indicators and their limitations are identified below:

Indicator: “Develop and review an organisational definition of The Principles of the Treaty of Waitangiand their implications

This indicator if implemented should determine which rights are being considered.  How they are given effect in the Plan could then follow.

Indicator: Findings of a Treaty audit.

A Treaty analysis designed for and focused on the Plan provisions could result in effective monitoring.  However the detail of the design is critical.  Treaty audits are generally undertaken for organisations and their overall performance.  For the Plan a different methodology would be required.

Indicator: The level of expressed satisfaction by tangata whenua at hui-a-iwi in the context and implementation of the Plan in relation to sections 6, 7 & 8 of the Act.

This indicator has such a broad scope that it would be difficult and / or extremely expensive to implement.

Indicator: The % of recommendations implemented into council policy and processes from Iwi/Hapu Environmental Management Plans, Cultural Impact Assessments and other reports provided to council

Iwi planning documents and Cultural Impact Assessments do not have effective provisions for their support and use in the Plan.  This indicator should be easily implemented, and its results then should inform the need for amendments.

Indicator:  The rate of loss or modification, in numbers and by type, of legally protected Sites of Cultural Significance to Māori, Historic Sites, Heritage Precincts and archaeological sites.

In principle this indicator should be able to be implemented for most the resources, as data on impacts on scheduled sites should be available.  However data on some non-scheduled and previously unknown archaeological sites which are accidentally discovered during development is more difficult to collect.

Indicator:  Any change in the number, size and role of papakāinga in the District.

Data has been collected on papakāinga development (refer to Part C) But while the data exists, it is only able to be used for monitoring if it is evaluated against benchmarks or targets.

3.1.2 Key Issues

·    Tangata whenua provisions are too confined in the policy framework

·    Monitoring provisions lack specificity

·    Monitoring techniques lack follow through

Given the strategic initiatives that Council have now identified regarding the enabling of Māori land for development, further consideration is needed of a means to develop effective policy with measurable performance indicators.


 

3.2 Urban Growth Management

 

The focus of the Urban Environment and the Residential, Commercial and Industrial Zones is generally related to three themes:

•   The reduction and/or mitigation of reverse sensitivity effects and occurrences;

•   the protection of existing character and amenity; and

•   the timely provision of infrastructure and services.

This review found that, overall, the plan had a moderate influence in achieving the intended outcomes. The Residential Zone had a strong ability to influence outcomes whereas the Commercial and Industrial Zone had a moderate-poor influence.

3.2.1 Effectiveness

The policies and methods of the Urban Environment are largely being implemented, although more work could be done with respect to giving effect to the Other Methods contained in this chapter, particularly advocacy and education relating to Low Impact Design principles and their benefits. Policies and methods for the Residential Zone are largely being implemented, as typical development tends to trigger a number of rules. Typical development in the Commercial and Industrial Zones tend to trigger fewer rules.  The extent of outcomes being achieved is linked to the level of implementation of the methods. Analysis of resource consent conditions found that the Residential Zone provisions and conditions were contributing to the achievement of the intended outcomes. Conversely, it was found that while provisions and conditions in the Commercial and Industrial Zone were contributing to outcomes when implemented, the lack of differentiation across the two zones is leading to adverse outcomes. This includes the under utilisation of industrial infrastructure through the uptake by retail and commercial land uses in the industrial zones. The examples of Waipapa and Kaitaia North were considered as case studies to highlight these outcomes.

3.2.2 Efficiency

A sample of commonly breached provisions were assessed. This found that all could be improved in one way or another to increase their performance and the benefits that derive from their implementation. Overall, the analysis has shown that there is room for improvement with respect to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Urban Environment and future review processes with respect to the District Plan should take these into account.

3.2.3 Key Issues:        

·    Need for simplification of policy frameworkNeed for improved connectivity in policy framework including spatial responses to supply and demand pressures

·    Greater differentiation required between Commercial and Industrial Zone provisions

3.3 Rural Sustainability

 

The Plan making process for the operative Far North District Plan carefully considered the balancing of regulatory intervention in the rural environments, being mindful of the scale and nature of the resources within rural areas and the role played by voluntary mechanisms in providing for sustainable management. The outcome was a plan that took a very deliberate stance with respect to enabling activities within the Rural Production Zone.

 

Concerns were raised during the development of Plan that the enabling an effects based approach will allow a wide range of activities to establish in a zone, thereby undermining its intent. The section 32 analysis prepared in 2000 to support the proposed plan, provided the following in relation to the combination of voluntary and regulatory methods to provide for rural sustainability;

“constant monitoring will provide information as to the effectiveness of the proposed method. The Act allows Council to change its district plan should evidence emerge that the proposed method is not achieving the purpose of the Act.”

Since that time, Council has become aware of a variety of issues that undermine the sustainable management of rural areas. In particular, the ad hoc development of commercial and industrial activities is leading to an increased risk of reverse sensitivity and land use incompatibility; and potential for cumulative effects including adverse effects on amenity values associated with the rural environment.

The permissiveness of the Rural Production Zone also allows for less certainty in the programming of the location and scale of urban infrastructure. The existing policy framework, which allows a wide variety of activities to take place in the Rural Production Zone, enables urban style commercial and industrial development to establish with its associated cumulative adverse effects.

3.3.1 Efficiency

The inefficiencies of the policy framework lead to the promulgation of Proposed Plan Change 15 Rural Provisions in 2013. This outcomes of this proposed plan change is still to be determined, however, the initial intent was to sequence the review of rural provisions with a review of Rural Zones and Subdivision regime. This process will now be fulfilled by the comprehensive District Plan Review process., which  will ensure that a balance is achieved both within the Rural Zone taking into account the zone interface with the urban environment and the supply of commercial and industrially zoned land.

3.3.2 Effectiveness

The preliminary scoping report entitled “The Impact and Effect of Industrial and/or Commercial Activities on Rural Character and Amenity in the Far North District”, identified cause for concern that the Plan may not contain adequate or appropriate controls to ensure the protection and enhancement of rural amenity.

Subsequent preliminary consultation on Rural Amenity Values undertaken as part of the scoping document was limited in number, but included some useful feedback from Federated Farmers, NZ Transport Agency and local planning practitioners. Views were mixed in regard to how much, and what, should be amended in the District Plan. On balance there was an acknowledgement that the maintenance and enhancement of amenity values was important to the community and to individual land owners, but there was no universal consensus as to how this would be best achieved. 

3.3.3 Key Issues

·    Need for more effective monitoring of permitted activities

·    Land fragmentation trends to be better understood in the context of productive uses

·    Need for improved management of urban and rural interface


 

3.4 Heritage

 

Under ‘Section 6 Matters of national Importance’ of the RMA, all persons exercising functions and powers under the Act, shall recognise and provide for 6(e) “the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu, and other taonga” and “6(f)  the protection of historic heritage from inappropriate subdivision, use, and development”.

 

The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 provides that Heritage NZ Pouhere Taonga maintains the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero. Inclusion on the list does not provide automatic protection but it does record the importance of historic places. The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 gives legal protection to archaeological sites.

 

In 2012 some interim data gathering was carried out in regard to heritage and report card produced titled ‘Cultural and Historic Heritage’. An evaluation of the data, along with other appraisal processes identified that the plan is performing it’s statutory role of protection of historic heritage, however, the dynamic nature of our understanding of these resources and the means by which aware, understanding and protection may be achieved, requires updating.

 

3.4.1 Efficiency

There are 245 heritage buildings, sites and objects listed in Appendix 1E - Schedule of Historic Sites, Buildings and Objects of the Far North District Plan.

In 2010 Plan Change 4, “Schedule of Notable Trees, Historic Sites Buildings and Other Objects” sought to make amendments to the Far North District Plan schedules. A number of historic buildings were included in Appendix 1E and modifications will be made to the district plan resource maps to reflect these changes.

In 2012 Plan Change 11, “Review of Heritage Schedule”  sought to make further amendments to Appendices 1E - Schedule of Historic Sites, Buildings and Objects of the District Plan to update the schedule in order to improve efficiency.

3.4.2 Effectiveness

The review of the  data indicates that despite these recent reviews, there are less heritage buildings, sites and objects listed in Appendix 1E of the District Plan than are identified in the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero (formerly the Register). This suggests that more heritage items may need to be afforded the additional protection of the district plan as inclusion in the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero (formerly the Register) does not provide automatic protection.

3.4.3 Key Issues                 

·    Currency of Heritage inventories

·    Further scope for promotion of other methods to increase awareness and understanding of resources


3.5 Coastal Protection

 

The coastline in the Far North is long and varied and contains eight major harbour systems. There are a number of values attributed to the coastal environment that contribute to its natural character, which include landscape, ecology, tangata whenua and historic values. Of the Far Norths 651,709ha, 0.48% of land is zoned ‘Coastal Living, 0.12% is zoned ‘Coastal Residentialand 9.44% is zoned General Coastal.

 

It is a complex environment, accommodating dynamic natural processes, unique natural and physical attributes and high cultural values. The environment is subject to varying degrees of growth pressure. Responsiveness of the plan’s policy framework to the multifaceted issues is similarly challenging. This is primarily contained in Chapter 10 of the operative District Plan.

3.5.1 Efficiency

In a general sense, the issues for the Coastal Environment are not concise, and in certain cases lack clarity.

The objectives in the coastal zones have generally been drafted like policies in that they are explaining the ‘how’. In many instances they talk about avoiding, remedying and mitigating where they should be denoting the ‘outcome’.

The provisions that relate to the suite of coastal zones often share a number of the same issues, as such there are a number of instances where duplication occurs across the provisions. The issues identified within the suite of Coastal zones represent a common theme, only there are slight variations on each occasion. In essence all are saying:

▪    There is pressure for development to be located near the coast.

▪    Not all development is sympathetic to the character of the coastal environment

▪    We need to sustainably manage the development of the coastal environment

 

The issues drafted in the coastal environment are generally more overarching than those identified in the following coastal zones.

In some instances there is no clear cascade or link through the provisions starting from the Issues, and then moving through the Objectives and Policies. On a number of occasions the link through to the objectives and polices is weak or non-existent. In many of the Coastal zones provisions are double and triple used to enable the cascade from Issues through to Policies.

3.5.2 Effectiveness

Since 2007, the Coastal Environment has consistently had more land use consent applications issued compared with subdivision consent applications. In general subdivision signals new development and growth and it is closely aligned with the prevailing economic climate. As the economy slows there is less impetus for growth. However, despite subdivision consents (red) having slowed substantially since 2007, there has been a steady flow of land use consents (blue) which suggests that activities such as infill development, additions/alterations, and changes of use have still occurred over that period as shown in Figure 8

Figure 8 – Coastal Resource Consent 2007-2015

Of the sample of 232 breaches, 99 related to the Coastal Living Zone. Breaches of the Visual Amenity were by far the most common at 32% followed by Impermeable Surfaces (13%), Setback from Boundaries (11%), and Stormwater Management (7%). The nature of the breaches suggests that the degree of development was greater than that envisaged by the provisions in the plan. Most of the Visual Amenity breaches related to buildings where, as a permitted activity, control over a new building as a permitted activity is limited to 50m2 and any alteration/addition is limited to a 30% in addition to that which currently exists.

Figure 9 – Activity Status of Consents in the Coastal Environment 2007-2015

Of the resource consents that required consent over 50% of them were Discretionary activities. In most instances this activity status would have been triggered because applications failed to comply with one or more of the standards for permitted, controlled or restricted discretionary activities as seen in Figure 9.

3.5.3 Key Issues     

·    Simplification of policy framework

§ Need for improved connectivity in policy framework

3.6 Outstanding Landscapes

 

Outstanding Natural Landscapes have been identified in the District Plan and result from a requirement under section 6(b)[5] of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to protect such landscapes from inappropriate subdivision, use and development.

Of the Far Norths 651,709ha, 143,622ha or 22% of land is identified as an Outstanding Landscape. This identification was completed as part of an assessment undertaken by consultants LA4 in the mid 1990s. Of the land identified as Outstanding Landscape 46.9% is within public ownership and 53.1% is privately owned.

Outstanding Natural Landscapes provide significant public benefit for the district, including the economic benefits of tourism, recreational use and aesthetic or cultural values. Coupled with this benefit however is a cost to the landowner in terms of development rights and use of the land. Māori also have a stake in this regard as they have large tracts of land identified within Outstanding Natural Landscapes.

3.6.1 Efficiency & Effectiveness

 

Giving effect to the higher order statutory documents

The District Plan under section 75(3)[6] of the RMA is required to give effect to the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS) and the RPS.

The Supreme Court issued what has become commonly known as the ‘King Salmondecision[7] on 17 April 2014. The decision contains important guidance on how policies within the NZCPS are to be interpreted, particularly where policies are prescriptive in their intent. Policy 15(a) of the NZCPS requires that council planning instruments shall ‘avoidadverse effects on Outstanding Natural Landscapes, which are currently mapped by FNDC and the Northland Regional Council.

The words in the NZCPS are clear and directive. Where the word ‘avoidis used it means ‘not allowor ‘prevent the occurrence of[8]. King Salmon states that an ‘overall balancing approachshould not be used when implementing the directive or prescriptive policies of the NZCPS. In the case of Policy 15 an ‘environmental bottom lineis created and the adverse effects cannot be balanced against positive effects through revisiting Part 2 of the RMA. The following policies in the District Plan are at conflict with the interpretation of the NZCPS through King salmon decision:

Policy 1 - “That both positive and adverse effects of development on outstanding natural features and landscapes be taken into account when assessing applications for resource consent.

Policy 2 – That activities avoid, remedy or mitigate significant adverse effects on both the natural and the cultural values and elements which make up the distinctive character of outstanding natural features and landscapes.

Policy 3 - That the cumulative effect of changes to the character of Outstanding Landscapes be taken into account in assessing applications for resource consent.

Policy 5 - That the adverse visual effect of built development on outstanding landscapes and ridgelines be avoided, remedied or mitigated.”

3.6.2 Consistency of language

“Outstanding Natural Landscapes” is the term use in section 6(b) of the RMA, in Policy 15(a) of the NZCPS and in the RPS. The District Plan currently uses the term “Outstanding Landscapes”, which is inconsistent with these higher order documents. This has the potential to add confusion as the term “Outstanding Landscape” is not defined or used anywhere else in any relevant statutory documents. Consistency of language is important as it enables the plan user more certainty, in this case when addressing matters of national importance. The intent of the District Plan provisions is to protect Outstanding Natural Landscapes, as such the term should remain the same and not be shortened to a term not consistently used elsewhere.

3.6.3 The drafting of Issues

Issue 1 identifies Outstanding Natural Landscapes and their capacity to accommodate change without appreciable ‘visual impact’. Outstanding Natural Landscapes are identified using a set of values or attributes called the WESI or Pigeon Bay criteria. There are a number of different values or attributes that may contribute to a site being identified as ‘outstanding’, it is not limited to just ‘visual impact’. Instead of just identifying ‘visual impact’ it would be more appropriate to identify the ‘characteristics and qualities’ or the ‘attributes’ that contribute to the values that make up an Outstanding Natural Landscape, as opposed to just singling out one. This issue would be better drafted to read:

The values attributed to Outstanding Natural Landscapes and Outstanding Landscape Features have a relatively low capacity to accommodate change.

Issue 7 as it is framed has no place in this chapter because Māori cultural landscapes are primarily different to Outstanding Natural Landscapes. Tangata whenua values are an attribute or value to consider when identifying an Outstanding Natural Landscape, however Māori cultural landscapes as such are not a section 6b RMA matter (unless they contribute to the overall values of an Outstanding Natural Landscape).

3.6.4 The drafting of Objectives

The objectives in the natural and physical resources chapter have generally been drafted like policies in that they are explaining the ‘how’. In some instances they identify avoiding adverse effects where they should be addressing the ‘outcome’. Below is an example of a current objective in the District Plan relating to Outstanding Landscapes (or Outstanding Natural Landscapes) and a suggested change to align with best practice. Note that the protection of Outstanding Landscapes from inappropriate subdivision, use and development is addressed already in Objective 1 and is repeated in the first part of Objective 4.

Objective 4 To avoid adverse effects and to encourage positive effects resulting from land use, subdivision or development in outstanding landscapes and natural features and Māori cultural values associated with landscapes.

Suggested change:                  Subdivision, use and development is managed to encourage positive effects in Outstanding Natural Landscapes, natural features and Māori cultural values associated with landscapes.

3.6.5 Natural Character of the Coastal Environment

The preservation of natural character in the coastal environment and its protection from inappropriate subdivision, use and development is a requirement in section 6(a) of the RMA and Policy 13(1) of the NZCPS.

No policy framework currently exists within the District Plan for the preservation of natural character of the coastal environment and its protection from inappropriate subdivision, use and development. The natural character areas of the coastal environment have not previously been mapped by FNDC. The mapping of high and outstanding natural character has recently been done by Northland Regional Council. The criteria for establishing these areas are identified in Policy 13(2) of the NZCPS. Inclusion of provisions that relate to the natural character of the coastal environment could potentially either sit within this chapter or within the coastal chapter.

3.6.6 Key Issues

·    Consistency of language with higher order statutory documents

·    Drafting of the policy framework is overly complex


 

3.7 Indigenous Flora and Fauna

 

The Far North District has a land area of around 651,709 hectares. Approximately 267,000 hectares of that area (around 40%) comprises of indigenous habitat[9]. Due in part to the relatively large area of indigenous habitat remaining, but also due to the district’s unique geology, the Far North retains a diverse suite of ingenious ecosystems and is host to a large variety of native plants and animals, many of which are found only in the Northland area. In fact the Northland Region is commonly referred as a biodiversity hotspot owing to the diversity of unique ecosystems and associated flora and fauna. The Conservation Management Strategy for Northland (2014-2015)[10] identifies that a significant number indigenous plants and animal in the Northland region are classed “Threatened” or “At Risk” according to the Department of Conservation’s New Zealand Threat Classification System. The effective management of indigenous ecosystems is a particular challenge in the Far North because a significant proportion of existing habitat is located on private land. For example, according to the latest Statistics New Zealand Agricultural Census, farmers identified that approximately 50,000 hectares of the District’s 350,000 hectares of farmland comprises mature native bush or regenerating native scrub or bush.[11]

3.7.1 Efficiency

The environmental outcomes set down in Chapter 12.2 provide a clear expectation in respect of the maintenance and enhancement of significant vegetation and rare or endemic plants and animals in addition to improving the extent of formal protection of indigenous vegetation on private land.

The provisions in Chapter 12.2 place heavy reliance on non-regulatory mechanisms (i.e. “Other Methods”). However many of these methods have not been implemented; or were implemented and have since stopped, a key example being the Significant Natural Areas Committee and associated funding. In this case the Committee was intending to play a substantial role in developing voluntary means of maintaining, enhancing and protecting indigenous habitat.

In addition to the limited implementation of the “Other Methods” contained in Chapter 12.2, there is simply insufficient information available to allow a detailed assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of Chapter 12.2. Of particular note is that there is virtually no information available with regard to the extent of vegetation clearance being carried out under the permitted activity rules contained in Chapter 12.2. To put this issue into context, it is worth considering the extent of the vegetation cleared under the previous permitted activity framework. Specifically, between 2003 and 2007, following the full retraction of the first proposed District Plan, the indigenous Flora and Fauna Chapter of the Plan (then Chapter 11) contained a permitted activity rule that allowed for the clearance of vegetation on rural production land provided 15 days notice was given to FNDC. Whilst this rule was in effect FNDC maintained an effective monitoring process. That process involved commissioning an ecological assessment and long term monitoring of tracts of permitted vegetation clearance. Over the four years that the rule was in effect, property owners notified FNDC of indigenous vegetation clearance totaling 1,200 hectares.

Although the permitted activity provisions at the time were not particularly useful at promoting the maintenance of indigenous vegetation on private land, the notification and monitoring process was at least an effective means of understanding the extent and type of permitted indigenous vegetation clearance being carried out throughout the district. In contrast, the permitted activity rules contained in the current District Plan are substantially more restrictive but do not require any form on notification. Consequently, since 2007, there has been no way of gaining a detailed understanding of the extent or type of indigenous vegetation being cleared that relies on the permitted activity rules in Chapter 12.2. This represents a substantial knowledge gap, particularly taking into account the limited area of vegetation clearance that has been authorised by resources consents (see below).

In terms of consented activities, an assessment of resource consents granted between 2007 to 2015 indicates that very little vegetation clearance is being consented. Over that period, a total of 24 resource consents were issued that allowed for indigenous vegetation clearance. The vast majority of those authorisations were for ancillary activities for property developments; that is, very few applications were for indigenous vegetation clearance only. The total area of vegetation clearance authorised by these resource consents is 8 hectares. Given that a total of 1200 hectares was cleared in the fours years between 2003 and 2007 as a permitted activity (permitted clearance after that time is was not recorded), it is reasonable to assume that the 8 hectares of consented clearance between 2007 and 2015 represents a minor proportion of actual indigenous vegetation removal over that period, particularly taken into account the national trend of overall biodiversity decline.

3.7.2 Effectiveness

Far North District Council does not hold any detailed information that would enable a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the District Plan with regard to the maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity. However, it is possible to piece together a broad understanding based on current empirical work and the small amount of data FNDC does hold.

Most notably, Landcare Research has completed a large amount of work over the years assessing the temporal changes in indigenous land cover at a national scale (for example Walker et al. 2005, Walker et al. 2006, Cieraad et al. 2015). The work carried out by Cieraad et al. (2015) reports on the most recent synthesis of land cover changes, providing a national scale assessment of remaining native biodiversity in New Zealand drawing on the results of updated spatial datasets of New Zealand land cover. The overall national trend over the last decade has been one of biodiversity decline.

It should be emphasised that the work carried out by Landcare provides a national scale picture, and so it cannot be used to draw direct conclusions for the Far North. However, to understand the matter further, Landcare Research was commissioned to complete an assessment of land cover change between 2002 and 2012 using the same spatial datasets utilised by Cieraad et al. (2015) covering the Far North District only. The resulting map is provided in Figure 10 below.

The work undertaken by Landcare Research suggests that the natation trend of overt habitat loss is carried though to the Far North District, with around a 0.5 to 1% decrease of indigenous vegetation cover along the east coast of the Te Hiku area, and decline of around 0.5-0.1% throughout the rest of the district. Whilst the work produced by Landcare is useful for providing an overall picture of land cover change throughout the district, it should be noted that there are a number of data uncertainties with the process used; that is, uncertainty about whether the changes were actual change on the ground or database corrections or errors. Nevertheless the work provides the best indication of indigenous land cover changes over the last decade taking into account the limited information currently available.

 

Figure 10 -  Change in the percent of Land Environments New Zealand Level 4 environments in indigenous cover between 2002 and 2012 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In addition to the above work, the Land Cover Database version 4[12] was used to complete an analysis of changes in vegetation cover over the period of summer 2008/09 (around the time the plan become operative) and summer 2012/13. The results of that analysis indicate that indigenous vegetation cover throughout the district declined by about 1200 hectares over the four year assessment period.

With regard to voluntary legal protection of indigenous habitat, FNDC has implemented a policy (# R04/11) to allow for the remission of rates on land subject to protection for outstanding landscape, cultural, historic or ecological purposes. The policy was implemented to give effect to Method 12.2.5.13 of the District Plan, which sets out that FNDC will allow for to the remission or postponement of rates in areas afforded permanent legal protection through a covenant or reserve status. Since 2002, the approximate area of covenants registered with FNDC that give protection to indigenous

In addition to the above area, long-term protection of indigenous habitat on private land is also secured via Queen Elizabeth II National Trust (QEII) and Nga Rahui Whenua covenants. These covenants are also subject to rates remission and postponement policy # R04/11. Data provided by QEII indicate that a total of 187 covenants are presently registered in the Far North District, covering a total area of 5171 hectares. The total area protected by QEII covenants has nearly doubled since 2002, at which point 2379 hectares was registered with the Trust.

With Regard to Nga Rahui Whenua sites, the Ngā Whenua Rāhui Fund provides funds to help protect indigenous ecosystems on Māori land. Information provided by the Department of Conservation (which administers the fund), indicates that a total area of around 6500 hectares of Māori land in the Far North District has gained protection through the Nga Rahui Whenua process. It is assumed that this land comprises exclusively of indigenous ecosystems.

Legal protection

In terms of levels of formal protection, at a national scale, Cieraad et al. (2015) vegetation is 1839ha. QEII covenants, Ngā Whenua Rāhui protection and covenants registered with FNDC for rates remission/postponement are the main forms of voluntary legal protection on private land within the district. Together these protection mechanisms equate to a total area of around 13,500 hectares, which is about 10% of area of indigenous vegetation located on private land. It is reasonable to assume the bulk of the FNDC covenants were registered in order to receive the rates remission or postponement, and so it is possible to conclude that 1839 hectares of indigenous vegetation on private land has been protected largely through the implementation of Method 12.2.5.13 of the District Plan. The influence of that method on the extent of QEII covenants is not so clear because rates remissions is only one of many reasons why a property owner would seek to protect indigenous vegetation on their land.

3.7.3 Key Issues    

·    Need for more effective monitoring of permitted activities

·    Need to give effect to the non-regulatory methods contained in Chapter 12.2

·    Need to better understand the implications of the current rules framework, particularly in respect of the fragmentation and isolation of indigenous habitat.

3.8 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

 

The first Council initiated Plan Change relative to the Operative District Plan was dedicated to the insertion of a policy framework promoting energy efficiency and enabling provisions for renewable energy infrastructure.

The plan change responded to a number of imperatives, including climate change, the costs of energy provision, the dispersed settlement pattern in the Far North and the opportunities for obtaining energy from renewable sources. The plan change also gave effect to the National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation 2011.

The District Plan describes the purpose of the policy framework is to:

enable individuals and communities to provide for their own energy needs through the adoption of appropriate energy efficiency and generation initiatives based on the abundant renewable energy resources of the District. The objectives, policies and methods also recognise that utility scale renewable energy developments have a role to play in securing a sustainable energy future for the District.

The policy framework includes a number of methods to promote micro and domestic scale renewable energy infrastructure. Chapter 12.9 contains the policy framework and provisions with other elements incorporated to the subdivision chapter.

3.8.1 Efficiency

Since the plan change was made operative in 2009, there has been little testing of the policy framework with domestic scale renewable energy infrastructure such as solar and micro wind fitting within the permitted activity thresholds.

At the time of writing of the section 35 report, a proposal to significantly increase the capacity of the geothermal Top Energy Plant at Ngawha was received by Council and under evaluation. The proposal represents a very positive step for the utilisation of a renewable energy source and further moves towards self sufficiency for the District’s energy requirements.

The policy framework also extends to energy efficiency considerations in the design of subdivisions, promoting lot orientation and scale to maximize solar orientation. The regard given to this criteria is not yet apparent, due to the relatively low numbers of submission applications received since the introduction of this policy framework and associated provisions.

3.8.2 Effectiveness

Energy efficiency, resilience of communities and improved self sufficiency are all issues that are likely to assume greater importance over time. The current provisions of the District Plan are considered to represent a very positive framework for the deployment of renewable energy infrastructure and promoting the benefits of energy efficiency at the time of subdivision, however, the consideration given to energy efficiency outside of the subdivision provisions and when concerning land use matters, may be deficient.

This is an especially important issue when considering the development opportunities represented by the District’s urban environment. For example, high yields may be achieved within the Commercial zone, with no consideration required for solar access to the living environment.

Other “macro” scale matters require consideration of the efficiency of energy use. For example, more compact centres offer greater and more efficient interaction, increasing the potential viability of existing and new commercial enterprises. Thus the density of our urban environment and the integration of residential and employment areas require further regard in the policy framework.

3.8.3 Key issues               

·    Relatively new but policy important consideration, not yet fully testedFurther regard to energy efficiency issues required for land use

·    The potential benefits of value of higher density with respect to energy efficiency must be matched up with urban design and urban quality considerations

 

 

 



 

Part C

 

4.    Detailed Data

 

The following section provides further detailed data regarding the performance of the plan. Similar to Part B, there is general district wide data and topic based data centered around the Significant Resource Management Issues. Due to the nature of the issues, monitoring processes, extent and quality of information available and policy evaluation techniques, there is some variation between the individual sections regarding data presentation and analysis.

 

4.1 Tanagata Whenua

 

4.1.1 Monitoring impracticalities

The following outlines some of the difficulties in gathering information to ascertain the relative performance of the District Plan in relation to tangata whenua policies and provisions. Reference is given to the “Environmental Outcomes Expected” from Chapter 2 “Tangata Whenua” of the District Plan.

 

EOE 2.6.1  To the extent possible, the rights guaranteed to Māori by Te Tiriti O Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) are given effect in the Plan.

 

The Plan is silent on the rights which are to be given effect in the Plan.  The Plan includes a set of Treaty Principles, and from these some specific rights could be determined so that their provision could be monitored.  A more specific set of policies and then Expected Outcomes could be developed while considering the monitoring methods.

 

EOE 2.6.2  Subdivision, use and development in the District occurs in a way that recognises and provides for the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu and other taonga.

 

This Expected Outcome, which includes s6(e) of the RMA, is very broad in its expression.   Samples of subdivision development could be analysed against this broad outcome, but it would be preferable to develop a more focussed set of outcomes which would be able to be monitored effectively.

 

EOE 2.6.3 Development on ancestral land occurs in a way that achieves sustainable management of natural and physical resources, and protects Sites of Cultural Significance to Māori and other taonga.

 

This Expected Outcome does not anticipate any scale of development of Māori Land, only the extent to which sustainable management has been achieved.  This is again a very broad outcome, and more focused outcomes are needed for monitoring.

 

There are tangata whenua related Expected Outcomes in other chapters of the District Plan.  These are:

 

EOE 10.2.5 The relationship between Māori and their ancestral lands, water, sites, wahi tapu and other taonga is recognised and provided for in the coastal environment, including improved access for identified cultural and traditional purposes.  (Coastal Development)

 

This restatement of s6(e) is a very broad outcome, and again objectives and measures would be extremely difficult to develop.  Access for identified cultural and traditional purposes could more readily be identified and measured.

 

EOE 12.1.2.4 The relationship of Māori cultural values associated with landscapes are recognised and provided for (Landscape and Natural Features)

 

District wide identification of cultural values or cultural landscapes has not been implemented and no recognised methodology for identification of cultural landscapes has been developed.  Until this is achieved monitoring of this outcome is not possible.

 

EOE 12.5.2.7 Recognition and retention of the Māori values relating to sites of cultural significance. (Heritage Precincts)

 

This more focussed outcome can be measured.   The indicators in the Far North Monitoring strategy can be used.  Within Heritage Precincts the culturally significant resources will be more easily be identified.  Heritage Precincts are in a defined area, and in that area there has been a focus on heritage resources.

 

EOE 12.9.2.8 To achieve the objectives, policies and outcomes of Chapter 2 - Tangata Whenua the following outcomes are expected:

 

§ Energy efficiency and greater use of renewable energy are encouraged during the establishment of papakainga on Māori Freehold Land.

§ Initiatives to support renewable energy provision and greater levels of energy efficiency within Māori communities are facilitated through partnership between  Iwi and other agencies.

§ Engagement and involvement of local Māori occurs at the early stages of development of renewable energy proposals.

 

These more focussed outcomes can be measured.

 

EOE 13.2.1 A subdivision pattern that is consistent with:

 ….

 

(e) the relationship of Māori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu and other taonga

 

This restatement of s6(e) is a very broad outcome, and again objectives and measures would be extremely difficult to develop.

 

Because of the nature of the District Plan Tangata whenua provisions monitoring effectiveness and efficiency is not currently possible.

 

Best practice requires development of indicators and monitoring processes should be an intrinsic part of plan review and plan development.  Clearly the tangata whenua provisions of the District Plan need amendment before monitoring can be implemented. Therefore the current review of the tangata whenua provisions of the plan provides an ideal opportunity to develop new provisions enabling effective monitoring processes.

 

For that process to be effective:

·    Policies should be reviewed and amended where greater specificity and detail is required.

·    Expected Outcomes must be written in a form that facilitates indicator development and monitoring.

·    Tangata whenua policies need to be throughout the Plan, as well as in a specific tangata whenua section, and appropriate and measurable Expected Outcomes are needed for them.

·    Processes other than formal monitoring should be used for data collection.

 

Table 4 - Integrated development

 

 

RC #

Applicant

Zone

Rule

Activity Status

Date Approved

Address

Description

1

2100067

HNZ Corporation Ltd for the Motuti Marae Trustees

RP

8.6.5.4.2 INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT

D

22-Oct-2009

Motuti Rd, Panguru

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT IN FOUR (4) STAGES:

Stage 1) Three (3) additional dwellings plus one converted dwelling;

Stage 2) Additions to, and renovation of, ablution block, and upgrade of water supply;

Stage 3) Upgrade facilities at the harbour access; and

Stage 4) New museum/cafe/craft-produce shop complex for enhancement of the Marae's tourism venture.

Note: The consent has a 10 year consent period.

2

2100364

Aubrey Tepania

GC

10.6.5.4.4 INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT

D

15-Mar-2010

Foreshore Rd, Ahipara

The construction of a second residential dwelling and garage, by way of Integrated Development rule on a parcel of Māori Freehold Land.

3

2110303

(lodged 21-Mar-2011)

Takou Ahu-Whenua Trust

RP

8.6.5.4.2

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT

D

Suspended since 15-Apr-2011

Te Ra Rd, Takou Bay

To undertake an Integrated Development on the site over a ten year consent period. Proposed marae , social services and minor upgrading to the existing campground. The proposal is for a marae centred community development with a residential component to include license to occupy areas for the 17 existing dwellings on the site and the provision of 81 new housing sites plus infrastructure.

Note: this rc has been suspended under s92 for further information since 2011

4

2120157

Rangi Taua Whanau Trust

RP

8.6.5.2.2

PAPAKAINGA HOUSING

C

29-Nov-2011

Whakataha Rd, Waimate North

To construct four dwellings under the Papakainga rule of the District Plan.

5

2130203

He Korowai Trust

RP

8.6.5.4.2

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT

D

26-Jul-2013

Kohuhu Street, Kaitaia

To relocate six dwellings onto a site that is zoned both Residential and Rural Production. The proposal is an affordable housing project named "Project Whare Ora". Three existing houses are located on the site which form part of the multi stage affordable housing project. This application relates to stage 2 only, being the establishment of 6 additional dwellings.

Note: the Rural Production part of this application was applied for under the Integrated Development rule, the rule does not apply in the Residential zone. The He Korowai Trust changed general land to Māori land in order to be able to use this rule.

Note: This application was limited notified and went to hearing and was approved by the Hearing Commissioner

6

2140207

Reuben Porter

RP

8.6.5.2.2 PAPAKAINGA HOUSING

C

12-Feb-2014

Ngakaroa Rd, Ahipara

To construct an additional 3 rammed earth dwellings as part of a Papakainga Development in the Rural Production Zone.

7

2150101

Te Aupouri Māori

Trust Board

RP

8.6.5.4.2

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT

D

24-Dec-2014

Potahi Road, Te Kao

To establish 12 additional residential units in two stages within an existing Papakainga Development in the Rural Production Zone under rule 8.6.5.4.2 'Integrated Development' of the District Plan.

 

Since 2009 there have been seven resource consent applications under the Papakainga Housing and Integrated Development rules in the Far North District Plan. Five applications have been made under the Integrated Development rule and two under the Papakainga Housing rule. Six of the applications have been approved, one is currently suspended under s92 of the RMA 1991 and has been awaiting further information since 2011. Five of the six approved applications were non-notified and one was limited notified, went to hearing and was approved by the Hearings Commissioner, subject to conditions. Six of the seven applications were in the Rural Production zone and one was in the General Coastal zone.

4.2 Urban Growth

 

Of the Far North’s 651,709ha, just 0.28% of land is defined within the ‘Urban Environment’; Residential (1,550.9ha or 0.24%), Commercial (257.4ha or 0.04%), and Industrial (494.8ha or 0.08%). These three zones make up the ‘Urban Environment’ of the Far North District. The ‘Rural Environment’ made up of the Rural Production (456,052.8ha or 69.98%), Rural Living (2,625.2ha or 0.40%), and Minerals zone (1,017.6ha or 0.16%) and accounts for 70.54% of the District’s land mass.

 

Key observations relating to the internal consistency of the Urban Environment are considered in the table below. The internal consistency table assesses the influence the Plan has in providing for the outcomes intended. In summary, the table below highlights that the Plan has a moderate influence in being able to achieve its intended outcomes. The table finishes with a list of generic recommendations that can be used to enhance internal consistency.

 

Table 5 -  Internal Consistency

 

Urban Environment: Environmental Outcomes Expected

Relevant Theme

Internal Consistency

Summary of Key Observations

7.2.1 Urban areas developed in a manner that promotes sustainable management of natural and physical resources, while preserving the distinctive character and amenity of each area.

Character & Amenity

 

Provision of Infrastructure/Services

Moderate

Overall, it is considered that the objectives and policies are quite strong. However, the first part of the outcome is laden with RMA terminology and is likely to be difficult to monitor.

 

Location specific rules relate to specific areas of Kerikeri and Coopers Beach. All other rules are generic in nature, therefore the ‘distinctive character and amenity of each area’ mentioned may be generalised over time. As a result, the preservation directive may be difficult to implement.

7.2.2 Urban areas where a wide range of activities are provided for in a manner which ensures that adverse effects on the environment are avoided, remedied or mitigated.

Reverse Sensitivity

Moderate

It can be argued that this outcome expected is not entirely consistent with an outcome that seeks to preserve the distinctive character and amenity of areas.

 

In order to reconcile the two, a level of differentiation across zone rules is required. Industrial and Commercial zone rules are very similar and therefore provide a potential barrier to this and associated outcomes being achieved.

7.2.3 Urban areas containing a variety of residential and non-residential environments, providing for a level of amenity which is appropriate to the particular environment.

Reverse Sensitivity

 

Character & Amenity

Moderate

Objectives and policies related to the themes are strong. Principal methods used include zoning and associated rules. Difficulties arise when activities co-exist, for example residential activities in commercial zones. The current framework is responsive to one theme; reverse sensitivity; over character and amenity, particularly in the Commercial and Industrial zones.

Residential Zone:

Environmental Outcomes Expected

Relevant Theme

Internal Consistency

Summary of Key Observations

7.6.2.1 Residential areas containing a range of activities that are compatible, in terms of their effects, with the predominant residential use and character of those areas.

Reverse Sensitivity

 

Character & Amenity

Strong

The overall policy framework and suite of rules make a strong attempt at influencing the outcome. While linkages are not explicit they are relatively clear.

Residential Zone:

Environmental Outcomes Expected

Relevant Theme

Internal Consistency

Summary of Key Observations

7.7.2.1 Commercial areas containing a wide range of activities, contributing to the everyday needs and well being of the communities they serve.

Reverse Sensitivity

Moderate

Similar to above, the overall policy framework and suite of rules make  a strong attempt at influencing the outcome; however there can be unintended consequences in promoting a wide range of activities. Contribution to well being is degraded by a lack of differentiation across the Commercial and Industrial zone methods.

7.7.2.2 Commercial areas that are subject to environmental controls to protect their amenity and that of adjoining areas, and which avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on the natural and physical resources of the District.

Reverse Sensitivity

 

Character & Amenity

 

Provision of

Infrastructure/Services

Poor

While amenity controls are present within the Commercial Zone, ‘amenity’ has not been defined or explained in detail. Therefore, it is hard to test whether the policies, objectives and rules are fulfilling their purpose. A focus on the amenity of commercial areas only also fails to recognise the potential for mixed use development. This type of development can positively contribute to the District’s natural and physical resources and to favour commercial amenity creates tensions with other potential uses.

Residential Zone:

Environmental Outcomes Expected

Relevant Theme

Internal Consistency

Summary of Key Observations

7.8.2.1 Industrial areas contributing a wide range of activities that are mutually compatible in terms of their environmental effects, and which contribute to the needs and well being of the people of the District.

Reverse Sensitivity

 

Character & Amenity

 

Provision of Infrastructure/Services

Moderate

See the key observations noted for outcome 7.7.2.1 above.

7.8.2.2 Environmental controls that take account of the needs of industry but also ensure that the amenity of adjacent areas, and the sustainability of natural and physical resources in the District, is safeguarded.

Reverse Sensitivity

 

Character & Amenity

 

Provision of Infrastructure/Services

Poor

Without sufficient differentiation between the Commercial and Industrial zones the controls take no precedence for industry over commerce or vice versa. As a result there is no direct link for the policies and objectives to be carried through and achieve the outcomes intended.

General Comments for Future Review:

·    Clear references should be established in order to easily identify the relationship between Issues, Objectives, Policies, Methods and Expected Outcomes;

·    The policy framework should move from the generic to the specific in terms of details, explanations, and shared understandings;

·    RMA terminology and generic language should be reduced where possible;

·    Objectives and policies need to be reviewed so that they do not avoid reading as one another;

·    Desired outcomes require greater explanation and detail;

·    Reasons for the inclusion of rules should be incorporated into the framework;

·    Future outcomes should be drafted with measurability in mind;

·    Explanations should be supported by an evidence base (i.e facts, external documents/references);

·    Issues should make explicit both their cause and effect and any relevant criteria required for the cause-effect relationship to be met.

 

4.2.1 Development Activity

Figure 11 shows resource consents from 2007-2015 located in the Urban Environment. This is some 743 resource consents. This data identifies development activity in the Urban Environment. In the Residential Zone there were 459 consents, in the Industrial Zone there were 71, and in the Commercial Zone there were 214. Land use consents made up the majority of applications accounting for almost 50% (49.8%), whilst subdivision consents made up 18.5%. The remainder is made up of consents shown below.

 

Figure 11 - Urban Environment Resource Consents

 

 

Figure 12 below highlights where resource consents have been issued throughout the district. The majority of consents were issued in Kerikeri, Paihia, and Kaitaia. Other Eastern and Northern ward suburbs also featured heavily. Western ward activity is noted as being considerably lower, although Kaikohe being in the top five in terms of volume of consents over the period. This data further clarifies trends regarding growth in the Eastern and Northern wards in the District as opposed to the Western ward.

 

Figure 12 - Consents by Suburb

 

Since 2007, the Urban Environment has consistently had more land use consent applications as opposed to subdivision consent applications. With reference to Figure 12 above, it is noted that the majority of both land use and subdivision consents occurred in the Residential Zone as opposed to the Commercial and Industrial Zone. Trends suggest that both subdivision and land use consents will continue to reduce over time.

 

Figure 13 -  Urban Environment Consents

 

 

In general subdivision signals new development and growth and it is closely aligned with the prevailing economic climate. As the economy slows there is less impetus for growth. However, although subdivision consents have slowed substantially since 2007, there has been a steady flow of land use consents suggesting that activities such as infill development, additions/alterations, and changes of use activities have occurred.

 

4.2.2 Resource Consent Breaches

Figures 14 - 16 below provides greater detail by identifying whether land use consents have been growth related i.e and increase in scale of a building, or technical i.e greater parking requirements as a result of a change of use.

 

Figures 14 - 16 highlight a sample of 82 resource consents by breach type in the Urban Environment from 2012-2015.  This sample included a total of 169 breaches to the relevant rules. This data assists in determining whether rules most commonly breached are the most efficient and effective means of meeting the relevant policies, objectives and environmental outcomes expected.

 

Figure 14 -  Residential Zone Breaches

 

 

Of the sample of 169 breaches, 100 related to the Residential Zone. Breaches of the Sunlight and Scale of Activities Rules were the most common (17%) followed by Coastal Hazard 2 (10%), Parking (8%), and Setback from Boundaries (7%). With respect to the consents analysed, a large portion of the activities related to child care and kohanga reo, transient accommodation, and residential development.

 

Figure 15 -  Commercial Zone Breaches

 

 

Of the sample of 169 breaches, 41 related to the Commercial Zone. Figure 15 shows that the majority of consents were related to traffic, parking, and access related matters (54%) and breaches to sign rules (15%). A number of consents related to a change of use to an activity which required additional parking.

 

With respect to the Traffic Intensity rule, these breaches related to activities and their scale generating more than expected traffic movements. In terms of vehicle access, these breaches related to activities which proposed both increases and decreases to minimum and maximum carriageways widths of the Plan.

 

Figure 16 - Industrial Zone Breaches

 

 

Of the sample of 169 breaches, 28 related to the Industrial Zone. Similar to the Commercial Zone, breaches related to traffic, parking, and access were common (26%). Other breaches were focused around hazardous substances, the storage and sale of petrol, and earthworks (36%).

 

Table 6 - Assessment of Environmental Outcomes Expected

 

Environmental Outcome(s) Expected

Key Observations: Effectiveness

Urban Environment

7.2.1 Urban areas developed in a manner that promotes sustainable management of natural and physical resources, while preserving the distinctive character and amenity of each area.

 

7.2.2 Urban areas where a wide range of activities are provided for in a manner which ensures that adverse effects on the environment are avoided, remedied or mitigated.

 

7.2.3 Urban areas containing a variety of residential and non-residential environments, providing for a level of amenity which is appropriate to the particular environment.

To what extent have the policies and methods been implemented?

 

The majority of policies are implemented through the District Plan, by way of zoning and regulatory rules. These are applied in the Residential, Commercial and Industrial Zones. Their implementation is largely dependent on the activity proposed. Since 2012 the most common single breaches of the plan were to the sunlight, scale of activities and coastal hazard 2 rules. Overall, there have been 169 different rule breaches in the Urban Environment, canvassing both zone and district wide rules. The top five breaches overall include:

 

·      Traffic Intensity & Sunlight;

·      Scale of Activities & Parking; and

·      Coastal Hazard 2.

 

Other methods relate to the promotion and development of Mainstreet programmes, bylaws, investigations and studies, education, and best practice principles. Mainstreet initiatives have been undertaken throughout the district to improve the character and amenity of the public realm. Bylaws and investigations relating to water storage is a very relevant issue. Council is currently working with communities to provide for greater water resilience throughout the District. While Low Impact Design principles have been strengthened through Plan Change 17, education and awareness for them have not accompanied the changes. The extent of implementation of policies and methods is dependent on the volume of development that occurs in the District. In the Urban Environment most, if not all, of the methods would have been implemented either as a means to influence activities to be permitted, or through resource consent processes.

 

To what extent have the outcomes been achieved?

 

As it is considered that most, if not all, of the policies and methods have been implemented in the Urban Environment, it could be argued that most of the outcomes should be achieved. However, as noted in section x, the ability of the plan to deliver and influence the achievement of outcomes is not as strong as it could be. This is largely because although policies and methods have been implemented, they themselves may not be the most efficient and effective means to deliver those outcomes. The efficacy of particular rules are noted in section x below. This highlights that although rules are being implemented, they could be improved to advance the outcomes in a more cost effective way.

 

Evaluating the achievement of outcomes necessitates a move away from assessing consent volumes to analysis of resource consent conditions. This enables an insight into how the Plan influences development on the ground. The Urban Environment outcomes represent the overall vision that Council intended with respect to the Residential, Commercial and Industrial Zones.

 

Fifteen resource consents were analysed to highlight the extent to which outcomes were being achieved. Five resource consents from each zone were selected, with the number of breaches and conditions imposed, and their activity status being identified. Conditions were analysed to understand their contribution to the grouped themes of the Urban Environment. This assessment helps to understand whether conditions imposed relate to intended outcomes. This is found in Appendix X of this report.

 

 

Overall, five consents were processed as restricted discretionary consents and the remainder as discretionary. A total of 41 breaches were noted with 65 corresponding conditions of consent. Of the conditions of consent, 15 (23%) related to the theme of Provision of Infrastructure, 17 (26%) related to Character & Amenity, and 33 (51%) related to Reverse Sensitivity outcomes. Therefore, this limited assessment shows that the conditions imposed through the resource consent process are manifesting in on the ground developments that contribute to the Environment’s intended outcomes, with a focus on reverse sensitivity outcomes. 

 

This assessment also links back to the critique of the internal consistency of the Plan. This found, among other things, that the Plan as currently written tends to focus on reverse sensitivity effects as opposed to the other themes. In terms of resource consent conditions and their contribution to expected outcomes, this critique seems to be substantiated by the analysis above.

Residential Zone

7.6.2.1 Residential areas containing a range of activities that are compatible, in terms of their effects, with the predominant residential use and character of those areas.

To what extent have the policies and methods been implemented?

 

All of the policies are implemented by district plan rules and zoning. With respect to stormwater disposal systems, alongside zone rules are Northland Regional Council requirements with respect to discharges. The most common rule breached and therefore the most used methods include the sunlight, scale of activities, coastal hazard 2, parking and setback from boundaries rule.

 

Of the 17 permitted activity rules only 10 were breached over the sample period. There were also a number of breaches to Chapter 12 rules, largely related to earthworks, hazards and the NES. The rules not breached included the Relocated Buildings, Building Height, Outdoor Activities, Visual Amenity, Hours of Operation, Keeping of Animals, Noise and Helicopter Landing Area rules. A number of the rules above would not be breached by typical residential development, and Council’s awareness of non-compliance would largely come about through complaints.

 

Additionally, development would also be swayed by other rules which have been breached more occasionally. For example, the sunlight rule would limit the extent of a buildings height, and therefore may also be a factor in reducing the rules implementation. In some circumstances, the fact that rules have not been implemented also adds to the outcomes intended. For example, the lack of consent for helicopter landing areas and factory farms is positive for the zone.

 

With respect to the extent of implementation, it is clear that the majority of methods was implemented and therefore so was the majority of policies.

 

To what extent have the outcomes been achieved?

 

The Residential Zone consents included 19 breaches with 19 associated conditions. The breakdown of conditions was similar to the overall total, with reverse sensitivity related conditions being imposed more than the others. The internal consistency test in section x noted that the Plan had a strong influence on achieving the intended outcomes. The scope and nature of conditions imposed seems to reiterate this assessment.

 

For example, consent conditions related to reverse sensitivity and character and amenity in the zone reflected a desire to limit or mitigate effects from the activity proposed on other land uses within the area. This was achieved through various outlets such as limits on hours of operation, screening, and stormwater and silt control measures

 

 

 

Commercial Zone

7.7.2.1 Commercial areas containing a wide range of activities, contributing to the everyday needs and well being of the communities they serve.

 

7.7.2.2 Commercial areas that are subject to environmental controls to protect their amenity and that of adjoining areas, and which avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on the natural and physical resources of the District.

To what extent have the policies and methods been implemented?

 

The most common rules breached in the Commercial Zone related to traffic, parking, vehicle access and signs.  Similar to above, all policies are implemented by way of zone rules and zoning. Of the 12 permitted activity rules, 6 were breached over the sample period. Methods not implemented include the Sunlight, Keeping of Animals, Noise, Roof Pitch, Stormwater, and Helicopter Landing Area rules.  While there were breaches to Chapter 12 rules, this wasn’t as pronounced as in the Residential Zone. The Sunlight, Roof Pitch and Stormwater rules have criteria related to when they apply. Their lack of implementation can relate to these criteria not being satisfied when development is undertaken.  Although not all methods were implemented, similar to the conclusion found in the Residential zone, the lack of implementation isn’t considered to be to the detriment of the zones intended outcomes. Rather, the lack of differentiation across the Industrial and Commercial zone is of concern.

 

To what extent have the outcomes been achieved?

 

The Commercial Zone consents included 11 breaches with 11 associated conditions. The breakdown was different to the overall total and Residential Zone, with character and amenity related conditions being imposed more than others.

 

The internal consistency appraisal for the Commercial and Industrial Zone recognised that their frameworks had a moderate-poor influence on achieving the intended outcomes. A key critique included a lack of rule differentiation. This deficiency enables both commercial and industrial activities to co-exist within each zone without many constraints. The effectiveness of the zone provisions are limited by this deficiency.

 

Notwithstanding, observations can be provided that further articulate the issues noted above. As a result of the deficiency, when commercial activities enter into areas zoned industrial, pressure is placed on industrial activities to locate elsewhere. Historically, this has been the Rural Production Zone. This in turn creates further tensions between industrial uses and bona fide rural uses. A historic example includes big box retail establishing in Waipapa and acting as an anchor for further retail and service industries, taking up finite industrial zoned land. A more recent example includes retail operations establishing in  Kaitaia posing further issues regarding urban form and design.

 

The Waipapa example highlights that while the Commercial and Industrial Zone provides for a wide range of activities, this is at the detriment, over time to the wellbeing of the communities they serve. From a provision of infrastructure perspective, areas zoned and appropriately serviced for industrial activities are taken up by activities which will not utilise the services to the level intended. From a character and amenity perspective, the underlying characteristics of industrial areas may not be entirely consistent with the look and feel of retail areas which can be established. This ultimately leads to pressures for industrial uses to locate elsewhere, as there are internal conflicts between particular commercial and industrial activities and the land once designate for their use is no longer appropriate. The same deductions can be made for the Commercial Zone; however this occurrence is yet to occur in a similar manner to that seen above.

 

Another matter to acknowledge is the potential for residential development in both the Commercial and Industrial Zones.  Both the Commercial and Industrial Zone do not contain a Residential Intensity rule and high density development may be achieved with consideration only given to noise mitigation measures. No consideration is given to amenity related outcomes such as improved health and well being through matters such as outdoor living space, privacy, and outlook rules. This links back to the critique made in earlier assessments (See section X) with respect to the policy framework being responsive to one outcome over the others.

 

Industrial Zone

7.8.2.1 Industrial areas contributing a wide range of activities that are mutually compatible in terms of their environmental effects, and which contribute to the needs and well being of the people of the District.

 

7.8.2.2 Environmental controls that take account of the needs of industry but also ensure that the amenity of adjacent areas, and the sustainability of natural and physical resources in the District, is safeguarded.

To what extent have the policies and methods been implemented?

 

The Industrial Zone consents included 17 breaches with 32 associated conditions. The breakdown was similar to the overall total and Residential Zone, with reverse sensitivity related conditions being imposed more than the others. The number of resource consents and conditions imposed relating to earthworks within the Zone is considered to be an anomaly when considered against the Commercial Zone. While the Industrial Zone had 5 related consents, the Commercial Zone had none. The two zones are very similar in every other aspect and it is surprising that the threshold between the two are

 

Again, policies are largely implemented through zone rules and zoning. Stormwater disposal systems incorporating Low Impact Design have both regulatory and non-regulatory methods to achieve them, although as stated, Council has not recently been proactively educating the public on the specific benefits of Low Impact Design.

 

Only 3 out of 10 zone rules were implemented during the sample period, although a number of Chapter 12 rules were breached. Like the Residential zone these related to earthworks and NES. Methods not breached included the Sunlight, Noise Mitigation for Residential Activities, Keeping of Animals, Noise, Building Height, Stormwater, and Helicopter Landing Area. Therefore, typical industrial activities were of a nature that did not include aspects to which the rules manage.

 

The lack of implementation relates to the nature of the activity proposed but also to the resource management ethos to have less regulatory intervention. As noted above, the lack of methods, and their differentiation, can be to the detriment of the outcomes intended for the areas.

 

To what extent have the outcomes been achieved?

 

See reasoning provided in Commercial Zone section above.

 

Table 7 -  Cost Benefit Analysis of Rules

 

Rule(s)

Benefits

Costs

Is the rule efficient?

Sunlight

·   The rule is a key factor in determining access to sunlight and daylight which people value for various reasons, for example health and warmth.

·   The rule ensures sunlight is not blocked by buildings on adjacent sites, unless written approval is given. It is necessary to provide a threshold which requires buildings to fall within an angle which permits sunlight on to the site.

·   The rule provides for privacy and reduces the visual dominance of a building.

·   Written approval by affected neighbours is usually provided and therefore they are the arbiter of their own value on amenity, privacy, and sunlight/daylight admission.

 

·  The rule does not acknowledge that tighter controls are necessary for southern boundaries relative to northern ones. Buildings located close to the southern boundary are likely to have a greater effect on neighbouring properties. The need to avoid or reduce shading effects is greatest in winter when the sun is at its lowest trajectories.

·  Potential changes to the rule may reduce, depending on the buildings location, the need for resource consent, whilst improving the benefits of increased sunlight for all.

·  Average costs are known to be $1,271 per consent.

·   Written approval by affected neighbours is usually required for sunlight breaches. Where this cannot be supplied, the notification process is usually instigated.

·    The rule should acknowledge different levels of daylight admission relative to the buildings location. This would influence design and siting of buildings and create greater benefits for residential areas, particularly south facing sites.

·    From a provision of amenity perspective, the rule is not considered efficient.

Scale of Activities

·   The rule seeks to manage the amount of people on a site at any one time and the implications that can have in terms of:

noise, hours of operation, visual amenity (by way of increased building scale), traffic movement, and impacts on water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

·   Key rule in Residential zone to keep activities consistent with residential character, scale, and nature

·  Ability to effectively monitor and enforce the rule, particularly with respect to the 60 day exemption clause.

·  Average costs are known to be $1,121 per consent.

 

·     On balance, the rule is considered efficient, but could be improved for the purposes of enhanced monitoring and enforcement.

Coastal Hazard 2

·   The rule seeks to reduce the threat of natural hazards to life, property and the environment.

·  Accuracy of information;

·  Average costs are known to be $1,441 per consent.

 

 

·    The rule helps both council and landowners reduce risks from natural hazards.

·    Information is not, and never will be, definitive. New information comes to light on a periodic basis and this will constantly test efficiency.

·    The Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Northlands’ (PRPS) proposed methods relating to hazards suggest that the rule may be inefficient. The PRPS has included methods which seek to increase minimum floor levels within the district. Minimum floor level requirements are not found within the current Plan, but in Council’s engineering standards. These factors suggest that the current rule is inefficient.

Traffic, Parking and Access

Breaches to the traffic, parking and access standards of the Plan were common in the Urban Environment, particularly the Commercial and Industrial Zones. These provisions provide a means to manage the scale and intensity of activities and therefore seek to reduce the occurrence of reverse sensitivity and effects on character and amenity. They also provide a means for the evaluation of impacts on the roading network and associated infrastructure. Therefore, the provisions are very relevant to the Urban Environment and the outcomes foreseen by the Plan. It has already been determined that these provisions are not the most efficient means to achieve the Plans expected outcomes. Council has initiated a proposed plan change 20 – traffic, parking and access to make the policy framework and suite of rules more effective and efficient

 

As an example, the section 32 document for the plan change notes with respect to traffic regulation that ‘in some cases resource consents have been required because figures in Appendix 3A are much higher than actual traffic generation. This is a process which places unnecessary costs on landowners”[13]. With respect to parking and access, similar outcomes have been found during the section 32 process. The proposed changes provide an avenue to increase the efficacy of traffic, parking and access regulations in the Plan. The proposed plan change was notified on the 20th May 2015 and submissions from the public will provide further information regarding the proposal and its efficiency and therefore this report does not seek to comment any further on those matters.

 

4.3 Rural Sustainability

 

The ‘Rural Environment’ made up of the Rural Production (456,052.8ha or 69.98%), Rural Living (2,625.2ha or 0.40%), and Minerals (1,017.6ha or 0.16%) zone accounts for 70.54% of the District’s land mass.

 

The average lot size for the Rural Living Zone was 1.24ha, which suggests latent potential for development and growth in this area.

 

Amongst the findings of the research was the conclusion that the ad hoc development of commercial and industrial activities can lead to an increased risk of reverse sensitivity and land use incompatibility; and potential for adverse effects on amenity values associated with the rural environment.

 

Key observations relating to the internal consistency of the Rural Living Zone are considered in the table below. The internal consistency table assesses the influence the Plan has in providing for the outcomes intended. In summary, the table below highlights that the Plan has a strong  influence in being able to achieve its intended outcomes. The table finishes with a list of generic recommendations that can be used to enhance internal consistency.