Notice is hereby given that a Meeting of the Regulatory and Consents Committee will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Thursday, 6 September 2018

9am

Council Chambers
15 Forth Street, Invercargill

 

Regulatory and Consents Committee Agenda

OPEN

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Gavin Macpherson

 

 

Mayor Gary Tong

 

Councillors

Brian Dillon

 

 

Paul Duffy

 

 

Darren Frazer

 

 

Julie Keast

 

 

Neil Paterson

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE

 

Group Manager, Environmental Services

Bruce Halligan

Committee Advisor

Alyson Hamilton

 

 

Contact Telephone: 0800 732 732

Postal Address: PO Box 903, Invercargill 9840

Email: emailsdc@southlanddc.govt.nz

Website: www.southlanddc.govt.nz

 

Full agendas are available on Council’s Website

www.southlanddc.govt.nz

 

 

 


Terms of Reference – Regulatory and Consents Committee

 

The Regulatory and Consents Committee is responsible for overseeing the statutory functions of the Council under the following legislation (but not limited to the following):

·                 Resource Management Act 1991

·                 Health Act 1956

·                 Food Act 2014

·                 Dog Control Act 1996

·                 Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

·                 Heritage New Zealand Act Pouhere Taonga Act 2014

·                 Building Act 2004

·                 Freedom Camping Act 2011

·                 Psychoactive Substances Act 2013

·                 Impounding Act 1955

·                 Southland Land Drainage Act 1935

·                 Southland Land Drainage Amendment Act 1938

 

 

The Regulatory and Consents Committee is delegated the authority to undertake the following functions in accordance with the Council’s approved delegations register:

 

(a)                  Maintain an oversight of the delivery of regulatory services;

(b)                 Conduct statutory hearings on regulatory matters and undertake and make decisions on those hearings (excluding matters it is legally unable to make decisions on as legislated by the Resource Management Act 1991);

(c)                  Appoint panels for regulatory hearings;

(d)                  Hear appeals on officer’s decisions to decline permission for an activity that would breach the Southland District Council Control of Alcohol Bylaw 2015;

(e)                  Approve Council's list of hearings commissioners (from whom a commissioner can be selected) at regular intervals and the Chief Executive Officer be authorised to appoint individual Commissioners for a particular hearing;

(f)                    Make decisions on applications required under the Southland District Council’s Development and Financial Contribution Policy for remissions, postponements, reconsiderations and objections;

(g)                  Approve Commissioners and list members under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act  2012;

(h)                  Exercise the Council's powers, duties and discretions under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 and the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012;

(i)                    Hear objections to officer decisions under the Dog Control Act 1996.

(j)                    Hear objections and decide on matters under the Southland Land Drainage Act 1935 and Southland Land Drainage Amendment Act 1938.

 

 

The Regulatory and Consents Committee shall be accountable to Council for the exercising of these powers.

 

 

The Regulatory and Consents Committee is responsible for considering and making recommendations to Council regarding:

(a)                 Regulatory policies and bylaws for consultation;

(b)                Regulatory delegations;

(c)                 Regulatory fees and charges (in accordance with the Revenue and Financial Policy)

(d)                Assisting with the review and monitoring of the District Plan.


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ITEM                                                                                                                                                                                  PAGE

Procedural

1             Apologies                                                                                                                                                                6

2             Leave of absence                                                                                                                                                6

3             Conflict of Interest                                                                                                                                             6

4             Public Forum                                                                                                                                                         6

5             Extraordinary/Urgent Items                                                                                                                        6

6             Confirmation of Minutes                                                                                                                               6

Reports for Recommendation

7.1         Dog Control Annual Report for the year ending 30 June 2018                                             41

7.2         Alcohol Licensing Annual Report and Income and Costs Report                                       51

7.3         Dark Skies Sanctuary Accreditation on Stewart Island                                                             75

7.4         Draft Regional Biodiversity Strategy                                                                                                229

Reports

8.1         National Environmental Standard Plantation Forestry Regulation 2017                   287

8.2         National Planning Standards - Staff Technical Submission                                                 293

8.3         Regulatory and Environmental Services Delivery Action Plan Update                        313

 

  


 

1             Apologies

 

At the close of the agenda no apologies had been received.

 

2             Leave of absence

 

At the close of the agenda no requests for leave of absence had been received.

 

3             Conflict of Interest

 

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

 

4             Public Forum

Notification to speak is required by 5pm at least two days before the meeting. Further information is available on www.southlanddc.govt.nz or phoning 0800 732 732.

 

5             Extraordinary/Urgent Items

To consider, and if thought fit, to pass a resolution to permit the committee to consider any further items which do not appear on the Agenda of this meeting and/or the meeting to be held with the public excluded.

Such resolution is required to be made pursuant to Section 46A(7) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, and the Chairperson must advise:

(i)            the reason why the item was not on the Agenda, and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

6             Confirmation of Minutes

6.1         Meeting minutes of Regulatory and Consents Committee, 25 July 2018


 

Regulatory and Consents Committee

 

OPEN MINUTES

 

 

Minutes of a meeting of Regulatory and Consents Committee held in the Council Chambers, 15 Forth Street, Invercargill on Wednesday, 25 July 2018 at 9am.

 

present

 

Chairperson

Gavin Macpherson

 

 

Mayor Gary Tong

 

Councillors

Brian Dillon

 

 

Paul Duffy

 

 

Darren Frazer

 

 

Julie Keast

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE

 

Group Manager, Environmental Services

Bruce Halligan

Group Manager, Services & Assets

Matt Russell

Environmental Health Manager

Michael Sarfaiti

Team Leader, Resource Management

Marcus Roy

Committee Advisor

Alyson Hamilton

Communications Officer

Alana Dixon-Calder

 


1             Apologies

 

There was an apology from Councillor Paterson.

 

Resolution

Moved Cr Frazer, seconded Cr Keast  and resolved:

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee accept the apology.

 

 

2             Leave of absence

 

There were no requests for leave of absence had been received.

 

 

3             Conflict of Interest

 

There were no conflicts of interest declared.

 

 

4             Public Forum

 

Wendy Joy Baker addressed the meeting on various issues relating to dog control.

 

Papers that Ms Baker referred during her presentation in public forum have been attached to the minutes as appendix 1.

 

 

5             Extraordinary/Urgent Items

 

There were no Extraordinary/Urgent items.

 

 

6             Confirmation of Minutes

 

Resolution

Moved Cr Dillon, seconded Mayor Tong  and resolved:

That the minutes of Regulatory and Consents Committee meeting held on 10 May 2018 be confirmed as a true and correct record of that meeting.

 

Reports

 

 

7.1

Catlins Freedom Camping Shared Service

Record No: R/18/5/10790

 

Environmental Health Manager, Michael Sarfaiti was in attendance for this item.

 

 

Resolution

Moved Cr Duffy, seconded Cr Keast  and resolved:

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “Catlins Freedom Camping Shared Service ” dated 18 July 2018, as information.

 

b)           Determines that this matter or decision be recognised as not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

 

c)            Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.

 

d)           Endorses the continuation of the Shared Service, and the additional funding allocated for this service in the Long Term Plan budget.

 

 

7.2

Environmental Services Group Update

Record No: R/18/7/16522

 

Group Manager Environmental Services, Bruce Halligan was in attendance for this item.

 

 

Resolution

Moved Chairperson Macpherson, seconded Mayor Tong  and resolved:

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)    Receives the report titled “Environmental Services Group Update” dated 18 July 2018.

 

 


7.3

Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 - Delegation

Record No: R/18/7/16789

 

Environmental Health Manager, Michael Sarfaiti was in attendance for this item.

 

 

Resolution

Moved Mayor Tong, seconded Cr Duffy  and resolved:

That Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)        Receives the report titled “Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 - Delegation” dated 12 July 2018.

 

b)        Determines that this matter or decision be recognised as not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

c)         Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.

 

d)        Recommends to Council that the following delegation be added to the delegations to staff made by Council resolution on 18 June 2018 in the report “Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 – Delegation”.

 

Key

 

CEO

Chief Executive Officer

GMES

GM – Environmental Services

LI

Licensing Inspector

CLI

Chief Licensing Inspector

CSOR

Customer Services Officer - Regulatory

 

LEGISLATION

SUMMARY OF FUNCTION/POWER DELEGATED

DELEGATED OFFICER

Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012

Section 187(a)

To consider and determine applications for special licenses

CEO, GMES, CLI, LI, CSOR

 

 

7.4

Quality Assurance - Quarterly Update

Record No: R/18/7/16498

 

Quality Assurance Lead, Julie Conradi was in attendance for this item.

 

Resolution

Moved Cr Keast, seconded Cr Frazer  and resolved:

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “Quality Assurance - Quarterly Update” dated 18 July 2018.

 


 

 

 

 

The meeting concluded at 10.45am.                    CONFIRMED AS A TRUE AND CORRECT RECORD AT A MEETING OF THE Regulatory and Consents Committee HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 25 JULY 2018

 

 

 

DATE:............................................................................................

 

 

 

CHAIRPERSON:........................................................................

 


 

APPENDIX 1

 


 


 


 


 


 


 



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

6 September 2018

 

Dog Control Annual Report for the year ending 30 June 2018

Record No:             R/18/8/19203

Author:                      Michael Sarfaiti, Environmental Health Manager

Approved by:         Bruce Halligan, Group Manager Environmental Services

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Purpose

1       This report covers the administration of the Southland District Council’s Dog Control Policy and its associated practices.

Executive Summary

2       Section 10A of the Dog Control Act 1996 provides that every territorial authority shall report on the administration of its Dog Control Policy and dog control practices, and submit it to the Secretary of Local Government, and give public notice of the report in a daily newspaper. 

 

Recommendation

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “Dog Control Annual Report for the year ending 30 June 2018” dated 20 August 2018.

 

b)           Determines that this matter or decision be recognised as not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

c)            Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.

d)           Adopts the Annual Report and authorises it to be forwarded to dogs@dia.govt.nz by the Manager of Environmental Health, and that the report be publicly notified as required by the Dog Control Act 1996. 

 

Attachments

a             Dog Control Annual Report 2017 2018    

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

6 September 2018

 

Alcohol Licensing Annual Report and Income and Costs Report

Record No:             R/18/8/19206

Author:                      Michael Sarfaiti, Environmental Health Manager

Approved by:         Bruce Halligan, Group Manager Environmental Services

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Purpose

1        To meet Council’s alcohol licensing reporting requirements under alcohol legislation.

Executive Summary

Annual Report

2        Section 199 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 requires Council to prepare a report of the proceedings and operations of its licensing committee during the year, and to send to the Licensing Authority.  Section 199 (5) requires that the annual report must be made available on Council’s Internet site for a period of not less than five years.

3       The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority has detailed the format it requires for the Annual Report and Annual Return.  These are Attachments A to C.  The report and annual return conforms to these requirements.

Income and Costs Report

4        Regulation 19 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Fees) Regulations 2013 requires Council to make publicly available a report showing its alcohol licensing income from fees and its costs.  Council’s legal advisor advises that the financial information in the format in Attachment D meets the requirements of the Regulations. 

 

Recommendation

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “Alcohol Licensing Annual Report and Income and Costs Report” dated 21 August 2018.

 

b)           Determines that this matter or decision be recognised as not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

c)            Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.

d)           Receives the Annual Report and authorises it to be forwarded to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority and to be made publicly available on Council’s website.

e)            Receives the financial information and authorises it to be made publicly available on Council’s website.

 

 

Attachments

a             Annual Report of the District Licensing Committee for the period ended 30 June 2018(2)

b             Annual Return

c             LIQ Current Premises for ARLA Annual report

d            Alcohol licensing 11/7/2018    

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 


 


 


 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

6 September 2018

 

Dark Skies Sanctuary Accreditation on Stewart Island

Record No:             R/18/8/19479

Author:                      Margaret Ferguson, Resource Management Planner

Approved by:         Bruce Halligan, Group Manager Environmental Services

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Purpose

1        To investigate and consider the range of regulatory options available to manage lighting on Stewart Island to meet Dark Sky Sanctuary Accreditation requirements.  

Executive Summary

2        The following report has been prepared following a request by the Stewart Island Promotion Association to Council to assess the existing lighting regulations imposed by the District Plan in order to identify the opportunities for imposing stricter lighting controls for the purpose of successfully applying for Dark Sky Sanctuary Status accreditation on Stewart Island/Rakiura.

3        A full assessment of the existing regulatory framework, to include the following:

·      A review of the legislative context within which Council operates to determine if it has the mandate to include Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements.

·      An assessment of the Objectives and Policies of the District Plan against the Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements.

·      An assessment of the Rules of the District Plan against the Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements to identify what lighting controls already exist and if these meet the Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements or not.

·      An assessment of any other documents and plans that are applicable in this instance against the Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements.

·      The identification of regulatory options available to Council to enable Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements to be met.

 

Recommendation

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

 

a)            Receives the report titled “Dark Skies Sanctuary Accreditation on Stewart Island” dated 6 September 2018.

 

b)           Determines that this matter or decision be recognised as not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

 

c)            Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that a Plan Change to include lighting controls as they relate to all of the property on Stewart Island shall be implemented.

 

d)           Recommends to Council that it endorses Option 2 – to proceed to a Plan Change to include all property (both public and private) on Stewart Island / Rakiura.

 

 


 

Background

What is Dark Sky Sanctuary Status?

4        Dark Sky Sanctuary Status is an internationally recognised award for public or volunteered private land possessing exceptional or a distinguished quality of starry nights.   The accreditation is awarded by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) following a formal application process.

5        It is important to note that private land is formally exempt from the requirements of the Dark Sky Sanctuary accreditation process.  However, because private lighting has the potential to compromise the ongoing maintenance of a Sanctuary Status private landowners are encouraged to ‘opt into’ the process.  

What work has been done to date?

6        Work has already progressed to enable the Stewart Island Promotion Association to lodge an application for Stewart Island/Rakiura to become an International Dark Sky Association approved Dark Sky Sanctuary.  The Association desires to include both public and private land within the accredited area.

7        In November 2017 an assessment of the quality of the Rakiura/Stewart Island night sky was undertaken by Mr Paul Wilson of Xyst Sustainable Existence Consultants.  A report entitled the ‘Southland Dark Skies Framework’ (attached at Appendix 1) was published which concluded that the night sky on Rakiura/Stewart Island, when measured at strategic locations, had a night sky dark enough to meet Dark Sky Sanctuary accreditation requirements.  

8        Whilst it has been determined that the existing night sky brightness on Stewart Island/Rakiura is sufficient to meet Dark Sky Sanctuary accreditation requirements, without any rules in place to control lighting from any future development, Sanctuary status could be compromised.  

9        Subsequent to the ‘Southland Dark Skies Framework’ report, the ‘Rakiura – Stewart Island Dark Sky Sanctuary Work Plan’ report was published (attached at Appendix 2), which outlined the process to obtaining Dark Sky Sanctuary accreditation on Stewart Island. 

10      A lighting inventory of the existing lighting on Rakiura/Stewart Island was also undertaken, along with public consultation to determine the level of support within the community for seeking Dark Sky Sanctuary Accreditation status on the Island.  The ‘Dark Skies Survey Results’ report was published in January 2018 (attached at Appendix 3) which concluded that of the 90 respondents to the survey, 79 supported the proposal and 11 did not.

11      The concerns raised by the public via consultation were the potential for rules and regulations; the potential cost to business; safety issues associated with lack of lighting; increase in tourism numbers given attraction of Sanctuary Status and the impact of this on the Island; and the inconsistency of the weather to provide star gazing opportunities.

12      In light of the above Council was subsequently approached by the Stewart Island Promotion Association to investigate the range of planning and/or other controls which might be able to be put in place to assist with the management of external lighting on Rakiura/Stewart Island in a manner which would assist the Association to achieve Dark Sky Sanctuary Status.  This report is the result of that request.

What is the criteria to achieve Dark Sky Sanctuary Status?

13      To achieve Sanctuary Status the ‘Eligibility Criteria’ and the eight ‘Minimum Requirements’ as outlined in the International Dark – Sky Association Dark Sky Sanctuary Program Criteria 2015 must be met (attached at Appendix 4).

14      In this instance the ‘Eligibility Criteria’ has been met on land sought for Sanctuary Status because the nightsky on Rakiura/Stewart Island has been deemed to provide an exceptional dark sky resource where the night sky is dark enough to meet Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements.   

15      In terms of the ‘Minimum Requirements’, there are range of requirements that must be met with the most relevant to Council being Requirements A, B, D, F and G:

A)  The preparation of a ‘Lightscape Management Plan’ (LMP).

The Lightscape Management Plan is binding upon all participating private and public landowners within the Dark Sky Sanctuary accredited area and stipulates in detail the level of lighting allowed.  The LMP is required to either comply with or exceed existing regulatory controls.  The LMP is required to be enforceable and therefore needs to be adopted by the local regulatory authority as part of its role.  It is noted that Council would not be required to prepare the LMP per se, but support it through its regulatory role.  

B)  Evidence of commitment to the Dark Sky Sanctuary and LMP by having at least 67% of existing outdoor lighting fixtures in the sanctuary accredited area meeting the LMP; or an alternative fraction approved by the Dark Sky Place Committee.

D)  A schedule on which 90% of all outdoor lighting within the accredited area is to meet the LMP within 5 years and 100% to meet the LMP within 10 years.

F)   The acknowledgement of the Dark Sky Sanctuary Status within long term planning documents to include identifying the protected area, detailing the important scientific, natural and cultural and/or scenic resource value of the sanctuary.

G)  Signage associated with the Sanctuary is to be established once accreditation is achieved. 

16      As stated above, private land is exempt from the Dark Sky Sanctuary Status requirements however private lighting has the potential to impact on the Sanctuary Status if it is not managed appropriately. 

What is Council required to do to facilitate Dark Sky Sanctuary Status accreditation?

17      The Committee needs to decide whether it recommends that Council introduces regulatory control of lighting on Rakiura/Stewart Island in order to achieve and maintain Dark Sky Sanctuary Status. 

18      The Committee needs to decide which land it recommends to Council to be regulated with lighting controls i.e. will the controls apply to both public and un-volunteered private land.  

19      The Committee and then subsequently Council needs to identify which regulatory option to adopt for the purposes of controlling lighting.

Factors to Consider

Legal and Statutory Requirements

20      There is a hierarchy of planning documents at a national and regional level which govern how the environment is managed District wide. These include the Resource Management Act 1991, National Policy Statement(s) and the Southland Regional Policy Statement.   A review of these higher level planning instruments is found at Appendix 5 attached.  

21      Overall, these planning instruments do not directly mandate the protection of the nightscape however, the broad values of the overarching documents do allow for a principled inclusion of the Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements into the District Plan.

What are the existing lighting controls within the Southland District Plan 2018

22      The District Plan sets a framework for development and the management of the natural and physical resources in the District.  It establishes Objectives, Policies and Rules for managing the environmental effects of land use, subdivision and development. 

23      A full assessment of the Objectives, Policies and Rules of the following Chapters of the District Plan against the Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements is attached at Appendix 6 and 7. 

Objectives and Policies

24      No specific reference is made in any Objectives and Policies within the District Plan to protect the amenity of the night sky through controlling lighting. The Signage Chapter Objectives and Policies seek to consider location and design of signage to minimise adverse effects on amenity values, adding further that amenity values can be compromised by the illumination of signage, however, this reference is not specifically for the purposes of protecting the nightsky.  

25      There are general Objectives and Policies around protecting and enhancing the natural and cultural values of the area and protecting and enhancing residential amenity, which could broadly include protection of the nightsky. 

Rules

There are some lighting controls within the General Standards of the Fiordland/Rakiura Zone Chapter, Urban Zone Chapter, Industrial Zone Chapter and Signage Chapter, however these controls do not meet the Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements for the following reasons:

·      There is no requirement that lighting is to be shielded to reduce lightspill. 

·      There is no specification in terms of what colour of light is to be installed. 

·      There is no restriction on light being emitted above the horizontal plane.

It is noted that a Discretionary Activity resource consent allows for Council to consider any issue it deems relevant and impose conditions accordingly.   The opportunity therefore exists for conditions that would meet Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements being applied to this type of resource consent.  

 

 

‘Other’ documents and Plans

The following ‘other’ documents and plans are considered applicable and an assessment of these documents is attached at Appendix 8.

·      Southland District Council Subdivision, Land Use, and Development Bylaw 2012

·      Conservation Management Strategy and Rakiura National Park Management Plan

·      2003 District Wide Reserves Management Plan

·      The Cry of the People - Te Tangi a Tauira

26      The Southland District Council Subdivision, Land Use and Development Bylaw 2012, Conservation Management Strategy and Rakiura National Park Management Plan and the 2003 District Wide Reserves Management Plan place value upon landscape and general amenity, however there is no specific reference to nightsky and the protection of the nightsky from light pollution.  

27      The Cry of the People – Te Tangi a Tauira Iwi Management Plan acknowledges the impact of light pollution as an issue because light pollution can distort celestial darkness.  The Plan includes policy statements seeking to encourage planning techniques to eliminate light pollution for new suburban and coastal subdivisions.  

What are the Options available to Council to facilitate Dark Sky Sanctuary Status accreditation?

28      The following regulatory options are available to Council which will enable Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements to be met.   

Option 1: A Plan Change (un-volunteered private property IS NOT SUBJECT to accreditation requirements).

29      A Plan Change to include Objectives, Policies and Rules specifically relating to lighting, and the identification of a Dark Sky Sanctuary accredited area on Rakiura/Stewart Island that encompasses both public land and volunteered private land only. 

Option 2: A Plan Change (un-volunteered private property IS SUBJECT to accreditation requirements).  

30      A Plan Change to include Objectives, Policies and Rules specifically relating to lighting, and the identification of a Dark Sky Sanctuary accredited area on Rakiura/Stewart Island that encompasses both public and un-volunteered private land. 

Option 3: A bylaw

31      A bylaw to include specific lighting controls on Rakiura/Stewart Island only.  Current advice from the Policy and Strategy Department is that the proposal may not meet the tests under the Local Government Act 2002 to create a Bylaw, or to amend and include lighting within the existing Subdivision, Land Use and Development Bylaw 2012.  If this advice changes, Option 3 can be revised when a report is taken to full Council.   

Option 4: Voluntary agreements

32      A voluntary agreement stipulating the type of lighting to be used between the group managing the Dark Sky Sanctuary and local home owners and residents.

Option 5: Do nothing

33      Council does nothing.

34      Funding

35      With regards to funding the above options it is recommended that Council funds the Plan Change.  It is anticipated that the cost of a Plan Change can be incorporated into the existing Planning budget.   Any cost incurred in the ongoing upkeep of the Sanctuary Status once accreditation has been achieved, to include; education and promotion; development of the Lightscape Management Plan (LMP); ongoing signage; and any retrospective lighting changes on private property that may be required is borne by either the Stewart Island Promotion Association and / or the Community Board.   

Analysis of Options

Option 1 – Plan Change – (un-volunteered private land IS NOT SUBJECT TO accreditation requirements)

Advantages

Disadvantages

·   The protection of nocturnal habitats, enabling astro-tourism opportunities, and the positive impact on human health from reduced artificial lighting.

·   No additional rules to be borne by the private resident i.e. the status quo relating to lighting rules on private property would remain.

·   Potential for the administering body to take ownership of community education to seek voluntary engagement in the initiative.  This would support Council’s strategic vision for community involvement and working together with Council for a better Southland.

·   Monitoring costs and time would be minimal given its public land and rate of development would be limited.

·   Whilst Council will need to maintain the street and public reserve land lights there is potential for Council seek funding to cover this cost and eliminate the expense from the ratepayer.

·   Whilst the success of the sanctuary is reliant on the support of the community to make lighting changes where necessary, a large portion of the Island is National Park (85%) therefore, the Dark Sky Sanctuary is still viable and attractive in that format.

·   Only reliant on two parties for consultation i.e. DoC and SDC.

·   The Plan Change process is likely to cost less overall given private land is excluded.   It is more likely to have a more certain outcome. 

·   This does not rule out any future community led plan change to address private property.

·   Potential for an increase in tourism to the Island with associated economic benefits.

Cost to Council

·    Cost of processing a Plan Change to include Resource Management Planner at a chargeable rate of $150.00 per hour.  To date 41.5 hours spent on this report at a cost of $6225.00. 

·    Administration cost of processing the Plan Change would be borne by Council and indirectly the ratepayer.  Potential cost for Plan Change that is straight forward is $10,000.00 - $20,000.00.

·    Extra monitoring required to enforce the new rules.  The Compliance Officer would be cost of $150.00 per hour plus a site visit to potentially remote locations.

·    There is the potential for an increase in the number of consents that Council and DoC would be required to obtain given different light options are not provided for in Reserve Management Plans for example (which would normally be exempt if District Plan Rules are covered.) 

·    Extra documents need to be created to assist public e.g. guidance on what lights to buy.

·    Cost to Council to maintain the lights on public land.  An estimated cost to upgrade the street lighting by Paul Wilson is $25,000.00.

·    Cost of signage to be borne by Council.  Estimated at $5000.00.

·    The success of ongoing compliance with Dark Sky Sanctuary requirements relies upon the public being supportive and making the voluntary changes to lighting where necessary.

·    Future development on private land may compromise the Sanctuary Status.

 

Option 2 – Plan Change – (un-volunteered private land IS SUBJECT TO accreditation requirements)

Advantages

Disadvantages

·   The protection of nocturnal habitats, enabling astro-tourism opportunities, and the positive impact on human health from reduced artificial lighting.

·   Whilst Council will need to maintain the street and public reserve land lights there is potential for Council to seek funding to cover this cost and eliminate the expense to the ratepayer.

·   Potential for increase in tourism to the Island associated economic benefits.

·   Compliance and maintenance of Dark Sky Sanctuary status would be certain.

·   Minimise any new developments emitting unsuitable light which could compromise accreditation.

 

·   Additional rules to be borne by the private resident and the potential for a resource consent if non-compliant. 

·   Any advantages of the Sanctuary status would potentially benefit only those involved in tourism i.e. those not engaged in tourism activity would have the expense of meeting the rules, but are not rewarded financially. 

·   Cost of processing a Plan Change to include Resource Management Planner at a chargeable rate of $150.00 per hour.  To date 41.5 hours spent on this report at a cost of $6225.00. 

·   Administration cost of processing the Plan Change would be borne by Council and indirectly the ratepayer.  Given the number of affected parties (all residents), this could be a drawn out legal process and cost accordingly.

·   Extra monitoring required to enforce the new rules.  The Compliance Officer would be cost of $150.00 per hour plus a site visit.

·   Extra documents need to be created to assist public e.g. guidance on what lights to buy.

·   Cost to Council to maintain the lights on public land.  An estimated cost to upgrade the street lighting by Paul Wilson is $25,000.00.

·   Cost of signage to be borne by Council.  Estimated at $5000.00.

Option 3 – A Bylaw

Advantages

Disadvantages

·   The protection of nocturnal habitats, enabling astro-tourism opportunities, and the positive impact on human health from reduced artificial lighting.

·   Whilst Council will need to maintain the street and public reserve land lights there is potential for Council to seek funding to cover this cost and eliminate the expense to the ratepayer.

·   Potential for increase in tourism to the Island with associated economic benefits.

·   Compliance and maintenance of Dark Sky Sanctuary status would be certain.

·   Potential cost for Bylaw is $10,000.00 - $20,000.00.

·   Would only apply to private land and therefore would need to be used in conjunction with a Plan Change that relates to public land. 

·   Covers the entire District.  This would place rules and associated costs on areas that are not included within the Sanctuary accredited area.

·   Enforcing a Bylaw is difficult.

·   Potential that the Local Government Act 2002 does not provide for a Bylaw to be created relating to lighting for one specific area.  This is based upon the strict test that Council is required to meet in order to use the LGA to implement a Bylaw.

 

Option 4 – Voluntary Agreement between private land owners and administering body to be used in conjunction with Option 1.

Advantages

Disadvantages

·   This control would be used in conjunction with a Plan Change over public land (Option 1).  The Dark Sky Sanctuary Status could be met over the entire Island by having voluntary lighting controls that meet the LMP.

·   No additional rules imposed on private property above what is already detailed within the District Plan.

·   Cost to Council would be for a Plan Change as per Option 1. 

 

·   There is a lack of certainty that lighting controls will be maintained by public and there this compromises the Sanctuary Status.

·   Relies on administering group to monitor and enforce the agreements.

·   Potential for Council to be involved in the agreement process and associated costs to include human resources and monetary. 

·   Potential for discord amongst community i.e. if one neighbour has signed an agreement and another has not, the potential conflict that could arise. 

·   Not binding and therefore limited options for enforcement.

 

Option 5 – Do nothing

Advantages

Disadvantages

·   No cost to ratepayer or Council.

 

·   The Island does not achieve Dark Sky Sanctuary accreditation status. 

 

Assessment of Significance

36      The piece of work is not significant in terms of the Local Government Act 2002 however, without Council making the determination to accept regulatory responsibility for controlling lighting on Rakiura/Stewart Island then the requirements of the Dark Sky Sanctuary accreditation cannot be met and maintained. 

Recommended Option(s)

37      Option 2 – Plan Change to include all land owners on Rakiura/Stewart Island to include both public and private.  By adopting rules to apply to all landowners on the Island there is certainty that the Dark Sky Sanctuary accreditation requirements will be met and maintained going forward.   

Next Steps

38      That if the Committee is supportive of this recommendation, this report is taken to full Council.

 

Attachments

a             Appendix 1 Southland Dark Skies Framework

b             Appendix 2 Rakiura Stewart Island Dark Sky Sanctuary Work Plan

c             Appendix 3 Dark Skies Survey Results January 2018

d            Appendix 4 IDSS Guidelines October 2015

e             Appendix 5 Legislative Context

f             Appendix 6 Assessment of District Plan Objectives and Policies

g            Appendix 7 Assessment of District Plan Rules

h            Appendix 8 Other Planning Documents    

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

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Regulatory and Consents Committee

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Regulatory and Consents Committee

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Regulatory and Consents Committee

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Regulatory and Consents Committee

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06 September 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

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Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 


 


 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

6 September 2018

 

Draft Regional Biodiversity Strategy

Record No:             R/18/8/19468

Author:                      Rebecca Blyth, Senior Policy Analyst

Approved by:         Bruce Halligan, Group Manager Environmental Services

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Purpose

1        To present the draft Regional Biodiversity Strategy and suggested Council response for discussion and endorsement.

Executive Summary

2        Council has been asked to become a signatory to the recently developed Regional Biodiversity Strategy developed by Biodiversity Southland.  Council is a member of Biodiversity Southland and has been involved in the collaborative group that has developed the strategy.

3        The strategy has been assessed as being consistent with Council’s current commitments to Biodiversity matters and so it is recommended that Council responds favourably to the strategy. 

4        Additional opportunities for coordination within Council with regard its functions and activities that provide biodiversity outcomes have been highlighted.  A review to understand these opportunities and propose clear actions for incorporating into the strategy has been recommended.  This will assist Council in supporting regional biodiversity initiatives and coordination of resources.  This will also assist Council in being prepared for any additional national requirements that may be established through a likely future National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity.

 

Recommendation

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “Draft Regional Biodiversity Strategy ” dated 22 August 2018.

 

b)           Determines that this matter or decision be recognised as not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.

 

c)            Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.

 

d)           Recommends to Council that it Endorses Option 2 – as the response required to the Draft Regional Biodiversity Strategy and sets a timeframe for reporting back to the Committee on the findings of a review as proposed.

 

Background

5        Under the Southland Regional Policy Statement 2017 Environment Southland was identified as the lead agency responsible for developing a Regional Biodiversity Strategy (Method BIO.2).  In 2017 Environment Southland approached Biodiversity Southland asking if the group would take on the responsibility and mandate to develop the strategy. 

6        Biodiversity Southland is described as being a forum for agencies, organisations and individuals who have responsibilities or an interest in managing biodiversity in Southland. The forum was formed in 2002 to improve communication and biodiversity management between the many groups involved in biodiversity in the region.  Southland District Council has been a part of this forum from inception.

7        The group was seen as being able to facilitate a collaborative approach towards developing a strategy involving multiple organisations, given that it was the primary forum for biodiversity cooperation in Southland. 

8        All member organisations confirmed their support of being involved in such a project which has resulted in this draft document.

Overview of Draft Strategy

9        The draft strategy (attached) is a non regulatory document and has been developed through a number of workshops with relevant and interested parties.  A clear vision and problem definition was formed which guided the development of key objectives and goals. 

10      Essentially the document outlines 4 key objectives which relate to:

Objective 1 – collaboration, coordination and partnership

Objective 2 - achieving understanding and value of biodiversity through caring and enjoyment of the environment.

Objective 3 – safe guarding the full range of ecosystems

Objective 4 – growing our understanding of and sharing information about indigenous biodiversity.

11      Under each objective are a set of proposed goals and methods to achieve the objective.  These have been developed collaboratively and reflect the agreement that was reached as a group.

12      The Council is now being asked formally whether it can support the vision, objectives and goals as proposed in the draft in principle by becoming a signatory to an accord that will sit within the strategy.  As a non regulatory document it does not establish any requirements on the parties to the accord – other than the specific actions that their organisation promoted and commits to undertake themselves.

13      If Council agrees to become a signatory, the consultation document also asks what practical actions Council can undertake to help in achieving the vision.  These would need to be actions that fit within the role of a Territorial Authority under the Local Government Act and the Resource Management Act.

Factors to Consider

Legal and Statutory Requirements

14      Southland District Council is required through the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to consider how it will manage and protect significant indigenous biodiversity.  As part of the Councils response to that responsibility provisions have been developed within the Southland District Plan regarding the clearance and use of indigenous vegetation. The District Plan also states that Council will use non-regulatory methods to achieve the requirements of the RMA.

15      These non-regulatory methods include

-     Increasing awareness and providing education on maintaining biodiversity

-     Encouraging landowners to identify, protect, maintain, restore and enhance significant indigenous biodiversity.

-     Collaborating with other agencies including Southland Regional Council/ Environment Southland to identify and document ecosystems which support significant indigenous biodiversity.

-     Working in partnership with landowners and where appropriate community groups to protect and rehabilitate areas of significance indigenous biodiversity.

16      There has been some work towards implementing aspects of these non-regulatory methods but no consistent programme or strategy exists within Council at this time.

17      The District Plan also has provisions relating to Esplanade Mechanisms (the establishment of access rights over land that run adjacent to streams and rivers).  The establishment of these mechanisms can also contribute to biodiversity outcomes depending on how they are managed.

18      The Council is also legally required by the Resource Management Act to implement the direction that is set out in the Southland Regional Policy Statement.  This sets specific methods that Territorial Authorities are to use to achieve the responsibilities under the RMA with regard to Indigenous Biodiversity

19      When assessing the Council’s legal and statutory requirements against what is proposed in the draft strategy is apparent that they are consistent and work towards the same end goal. 

20      Southland District Council also has obligations under the Local Government Act and Reserves Management Act with regard to planning and managing Council owned open spaces and reserves.  Feedback from the Corporate Planning and Property and Parks Divisions has highlighted that they have no concerns with what is proposed in the draft strategy and that the strategy will in fact assist in prioritising and refocusing work in this area in relation to their specific work plans.

21      Reviewing the legal and statutory requirements has highlighted an opportunity to use the strategy to facilitate a review of how the non-regulatory requirements are being given effect to and what opportunities are available and could be offered as clear actions to the strategy.  For example there are a range of opportunities within Council owned parks and reserves that could be expanded to align with some of the biodiversity outcomes set out in the draft strategy and in the District Plan.

Community Views

22      The draft strategy has been developed in a collaborative style with a working group made up of a broad range of community representative and reflects the knowledge and experience of those involved in Biodiversity Southland.  The following organisations have been involved:

-     All Local Government Authorities (SDC, GDC, ICC, ES)

-     Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and Te Ao Marama Inc.

-     Department of Conservation

-     Venture Southland

-     Southern Institute of Technology

-     Forest and Bird, Fish and Game and Federated Farmers

-     QE II National Trust

-     Urtica Ecology

-     Waiau Fisheries and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Trust

-     Southland Community Nursery,

-     Southland Ecological Restoration Network

Therefore, while no wider public consultation process has been undertaken it is considered that a broad range of likely community views was present in the discussions and development of the strategy.  Further Council has only recently completed an extensive plan development process which also involved consultation on the development of provisions to protect and maintain biodiversity.  The strategy provides high level guidance to those organisations working to achieve biodiversity outcomes and sets as an objective greater connection with the community.  This will provide opportunities on specific projects for community views to be understood and given effect to.

Costs and Funding

23      The Council currently provides funding towards a number of biodiversity related programmes including High Value Area assessments, Toimata Foundation (Enviroschools), Waituna Partnership and the Hollyford Conservation Trust, This equates to approximately $60,000pa (sourced from the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan). 

24      In terms of Resource Management projects the General Project budget has contributed to the Regional Biodiversity Study and has funding to continue work in the area in an ongoing manner.  Council’s contribution to this regional study was $16,000 in the 2016/2017 financial year.

25      In addition Group Manager – Environment Services and Resource Management staff time and expertise are offered to specific projects as they arise.  In recent times this has included the Waituna Project, Biodiversity Southland, Predator Free Rakiura, Predator Free Southland and the Rakiura Integrated Management Team.

26      Council also has invested time in developing open space and reserves management policies and strategies and undertakes some active management of pests and weeds on its own land.

27      As identified above it is difficult to collate wider organisational projects (pest and weed management in Council owned reserves for example) that contribute towards biodiversity outcomes.  It would be valuable to collate across the organisation the numerous projects to gain an accurate picture of what Council is doing outside of its regulatory functions towards biodiversity goals.

Policy Implications

28      The draft strategy does not present any additional policy implications for the Southland District Plan 2018.  Given both the District Plan and the draft strategy have been developed to be consistent with the higher order Regional Policy Statement they are both working towards the same goal – just using a different range of methods.

29      There are implications for the open spaces strategy and the reserves management plans and policies which can be addressed at the time these are reviewed.  These documents also provide an opportunity to identify and offer specific actions to demonstrate Council support of the goals of the strategy.  It has been some time since the reserves management documents in particular were reviewed.

30      It will be important that any policy work is undertaken with an organisational wide perspective to engage and coordinate the range of departments that have involvement in giving effect to the strategy goals.

Analysis

Options Considered

31      The consultation document outlines specific matters that the Biodiversity Southland Group is seeking responses on.  These are outlined below with a brief comment from a my analysis and involvement in the preparation of the document:

1.    Is the problem clearly and sufficiently covered?

The problem that the strategy seeks to address is identified accurately as being complex and covering a wide range of root causes (these are identified on pgs 18 & 19 of the attached strategy).

2.   Could I or my organisation become a signatory under these terms?

The document is a non-regulatory approach to improving biodiversity in Southland.  While it does not have a regulatory aspect it does assist Council in meeting its obligations under the Regional Policy Statement.  While a non-regulatory document, Council would need to endeavour to ensure that it acts generally consistently with the direction of the strategy and if it does not it could be called to account publicly.

It is possible that with proposed national direction in this area that the non-mandatory status of Regional Biodiversity Strategy may change.  This has previously been discussed with Council.

It is considered that the objectives and goals set out in the document align with Council’s existing approach and will assist in helping create focus and coordination internally and with other organisations. 

3.   Is there anything missing or too onerous?

The document covers the main topics and drivers behind seeking to influence and change decisions that affect biodiversity.  Given it is a non-regulatory document which incorporates Council’s current direction it is not considered to place overly onerous requirements on Council.

4.   Will the proposed objectives and goals achieve the vision?

To achieve the vision the proposed objectives and goals need to be supported by actions.  This will require all key organisations involved to contribute and commit to ongoing investment and focus with regard to biodiversity matters.  It is considered that these will achieve the vision.

5.   Will the regional methods achieve the goal?

The regional methods relate to:

Education, awareness, promotion and celebrating success.  This is towards the goals of improving understanding, advocating for biodiversity and encouraging participation in initiatives.  These methods will achieve the goal of raising the profile and beginning to ‘normalise’ biodiversity matters.

Increasing protection and information.  These are matters that Council is already committed to considering through the RMA, any future National Policy Statement and the Regional Policy Statement.

6.   Can my organisation contribute?

The council could increase its involvement in this area given these are also methods stated in the District Plan.  Any specific or additional action in this area would need to be determined subsequent to a coordinated review across Council of what is currently happening in the biodiversity area and what opportunities exist to increase or support connections with the community.  (See specific recommendations in this report).

With regard to increasing protection and information these are matters that Council is already committed to considering through the RMA, any future National Policy Statement and the Regional Policy Statement.

7.   Can you contribute something that is not covered by the regional method?

These methods align with the Council’s current stated involvement through the District Plan and the Regional Biodiversity Study project.  As there has been no specific assessment of actions to implement some of the non-regulatory district plan methods it is possible that there are areas Council could contribute to, but these have not yet been identified.

8.   Could my organisation support the actions proposed?

As above – these methods and actions proposed are considered to be consistent with Council’s current commitments.  Therefore it is concluded that the Council can formally support the actions proposed but will need to consider how involvement can be coordinated and strengthened.

It is suggested that Council in responding to the strategy also mention that there is consideration of local governments 3 year Long Term Planning cycle in any action plan developed and associated reporting.

9.   What would our organisational actions be?

While Council has been involved in providing funding and supporting through staff time different projects there is a need to undertake a fuller review across the projects Council is involved in and its functions and activities to provide a coordinated and focused response to this question. 

 

Analysis of Options

Do Nothing:  This is not seen as a viable option given Council’s established commitment to biodiversity matters (both non-regulatory and regulatory).  Therefore this has not been assessed in the analysis below.

Option 1 – Recommend to Council to Sign the Accord

Endorse the strategy at a high level and become a signatory to the accord.  Provide no commitment to any specific actions beyond what is currently able to be identified.

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        Demonstrates support for the Strategy

·        Gives limited effect to Council’s obligations under the Regional Policy Statement

·        Limited additional staff time required to respond to the strategy

·        Limited additional resources committed (funding and staff time).

·        Does not give effect to Council’s wider obligations under the Regional Policy Statement.

·        Does not reflect the good work and projects already been undertaken or supported by Council.

·        Does not enable Council to be well prepared for any additional requirements likely to be proposed by a NPS on Biodiversity.

 

Option 2 – Recommend to Council to Sign the Accord and commit to review

Endorse the strategy as above but provide an undertaking to commit to reviewing the full scope of Council’s current responses to biodiversity across Council with a view to offer specific actions and opportunities within a specified timeframe.

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        Demonstrates Support for the Strategy

·        Gives Effect to Council’s obligations under the Regional Policy Statement.

·        Provides a level of certainty for Biodiversity Southland for forward planning on actions.

·        Acknowledges the level of resourcing currently available to Council is limited.

·        Demonstrates a willingness to partnership.

·        Provides an opportunity for any additional resourcing to be put forward and endorsed by Council in its LTP planning cycle.

·        Provides time for internal alignment of parks and reserves resourcing.

·        Does not provide a specific set of actions or tangible projects for the first round of the strategy.

 

 

Option 3 – Recommend to Council to Sign Accord and submit findings of review

Endorse the strategy as above and provide a range of actions to support the goals, including opportunities to integrate Council’s parks and reserves with community initiatives, and focus efforts and resources on priority areas (identified through the work to be undertaken in the regional biodiversity study).

Advantages

Disadvantages

·        Demonstrates Support for the Strategy

·        Gives Effect to Council’s obligations under the Regional Policy Statement

·        Provides certainty for forward planning around an Action Plan for Biodiversity Southland.

·        Demonstrates a willingness to partnership

·        Does not acknowledge the level of resourcing currently available to Council is limited.

·        Does not provide an opportunity for any additional resourcing to be put forward and endorsed by Council in its LTP planning cycle.

·        Does not provide time for internal alignment of parks and reserves resourcing.

·        Will require reprioritisation of existing projects across Council – creating inconsistencies with existing agreed work plans.

 

Assessment of Significance

32      A decision on this matter is not considered to trigger the significance criteria as set out under Section 76 of the Local Government Act 1974.

Recommended Option

33      Option 2 as outlined in the table above is the recommended option.  Council is recommended to sign the accord and with a brief summary of those current actions it is supporting from a resource management perspective.  It is proposed that Council offer to provide further details of actions to meet the strategy goals within 9 -12 months of the date of submission (or earlier if completed earlier), allowing time to review and endorse findings through the Councillors.

34      It is recommended that Council undertake a review of its existing and proposed work streams that have links to Biodiversity.  This will consolidate in one place the existing good work being undertaken, identify the potential opportunities and understand the resourcing implications in more detail.  This could be initiated by Resource Management in conjunction with the newly formed Recreational Assets, Parks and Reserves Area and transition to being led from the new department.

Next Steps

35      Once the preferred option has been identified by Council, staff will proceed to draft a response on behalf of Council.

36      If a review is endorsed a project plan will need to be scoped and endorsed by the relevant General Managers.

 

Attachments

a             Draft Regional Biodiversity Strategy - Consultation Document    

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

6 September 2018

 

National Environmental Standard Plantation Forestry Regulation 2017

Record No:             R/18/8/18732

Author:                      Rebecca Blyth, Senior Policy Analyst

Approved by:         Bruce Halligan, Group Manager Environmental Services

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Introduction

1        On 22 May 2018 Council’s Regulatory and Consents Committee instructed staff to prepare a draft letter to the Ministry for Environment outlining the concerns the Committee has regarding the National Environmental Standard – Planation Forestry Regulation 2017 (NESPF) – which came into effect on 1 May 2018.

 

Discussion

2        Council staff have drafted a letter to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) outlining the Council’s concerns regarding the ‘overriding’ effect of the NESPF.  The letter is addressed to MPI as it is the primary contact for the NESPF, and will also be copied to the Ministry for the Environment.

3        The letter outlines the specific effect of the NESPF on the recently established District Plan rules and references some unique characteristics of the Southland environment.  The committee is invited to review and make suggestions to the letter to ensure it accurately reflects the Council’s concerns and then authorise staff to forward the letter to relevant agencies.

4        The Committee is advised that while changes can be requested to the National Environment Standard these can only be developed or amended by Central Government at the recommendation of the Ministry for the Environment.

 

 

Recommendation

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “National Environmental Standard Plantation Forestry Regulation 2017” dated 21 August 2018.

 

b)           Review and approve with any required amendments to the attached letter titled National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry Regulations 2017 from Council to Ministry for Primary Industries regarding Road Shading.

 

c)            Authorises Staff to send the approved letter to the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ministry for the Environment.

 

 

Attachments

a             Letter from Council to MPI regarding Road Shading    

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 


 


 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

6 September 2018

 

National Planning Standards - Staff Technical Submission

Record No:             R/18/8/18733

Author:                      Rebecca Blyth, Senior Policy Analyst

Approved by:         Bruce Halligan, Group Manager Environmental Services

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Introduction

1        The Resource Management Amendment Act 2017 (The Act) introduced the legislative framework to enable the Minister for the Environment to direct that National Planning Standards be established.  The Act also set a timeframe requiring that the Minister ensure the first set of planning standards is approved not later than 2 years after the date on which the amendments came into force.  This means that the planning standards are required to be gazetted by April 2019.

2        The draft of the first set of National Planning Standards was released for public comment in June 2018 with submissions closing on 17 August 2018.  These standards propose a set of mandatory and discretionary requirements including:

-     A structure and form for plans, including references to relevant national policy statements, national environmental standards and regulations made under the Resource Management Act 1991.

-     Definitions

-     Requirements for the electronic functionality and accessibility of plans.

-     Spatial planning tools

-     Zone framework

-     Mapping

-     Metrics

3        It was decided that two joint submissions on behalf of all the Southland councils be prepared and lodged.  One at a detailed technical level from staff and the other from a higher governance level. This has enabled the efficient use of the policy resource within the Southland councils and resulted in a robust and detailed staff submission on very technical documents.

4        Both submissions are attached for information to this report and have been endorsed by all councils.  This report focuses on the staff technical submission.

 

Key points from the Submission

5        The councils support in principle the Draft National Planning Standards and consider they will provide benefits to our community in terms of saving time and resource in the preparation and completion of plans. 

 

6        The submission raises concerns regarding the ambitious work programme required to meet the timeframe of 5 years for electronic accessibility, functionality and e-plans.  This will have a significant impact on all the Southland councils.  The submission makes suggestions as to how this may be addressed and includes the request for a central government funded platform and preferred supplier of software.

7        The standards require councils to meet specific timeframes in implementing the requirements, the four Southland councils have two different timeframes to meet.  Gore and Southland have 5 years and Environment Southland and Invercargill City have 7 years to align the plans.  Given the desire at an officer level to consider the opportunity to integrate future planning documents a request has been made for a common timeframe to apply to all Southland councils. 

8        A number of technical comments are made regarding the practical effect of standardising plans and these are detailed in the attached submission.

 

 

Recommendation

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “National Planning Standards - Staff Technical Submission” dated 21 August 2018.

 

 

Attachments

a             Joint Councils Governance Submission - Draft National Planning Standards

b             Joint Councils Technical Submission - Draft National Planning Standards    

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 


 


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06 September 2018

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

6 September 2018

 

Regulatory and Environmental Services Delivery Action Plan Update

Record No:             R/18/8/19500

Author:                      Julie Conradi, Quality Assurance Lead

Approved by:         Bruce Halligan, Group Manager Environmental Services

 

  Decision                                        Recommendation                                  Information

 

 

Purpose

1        To provide a progress update for the Action Plan submitted to the committee on 06 April 2017.  This action plan addresses the recommendations made in the Environmental Services Section 17A Local Government Act Service Delivery Review report presented at the committee meeting on 23 February 2017.

 

Approach

2        The Environmental Services Group Leadership Team ‘The Team’ (which includes the Group Manager, Quality Assurance Lead and Team Leaders) have begun meeting on a monthly basis to actively track and deliver group wide actions.

3        The Team has chosen to maintain the integrity of the original action plan submitted on 06 April 2017 and have been using this as a baseline.  Instead of amending the information originally submitted, The Team have added two columns to demonstrate progress or completion of the original actions reported by Council.

 

Summary

4        To date, The Team has completed four actions and are progressing the remaining nine.  Many of these remaining actions are large and complex pieces of work that will take several years to deliver, such as generating automatic LIMs and enabling Online Lodgement of applications.

5       Hence, the attached Action Plan outlines the progress made to date as well as the activities which are ‘in progress’ for each action identified.

6       This Action Plan update is provided for the Committee’s information, and any feedback is welcome.

 

Recommendation

That the Regulatory and Consents Committee:

a)            Receives the report titled “Regulatory and Environmental Services Delivery Action Plan Update” dated 21 August 2018.

 

Attachments

a             Environmental Services Group Action Plan    

 


Regulatory and Consents Committee

06 September 2018

 

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