(to achieve Policies 1 to 10)
Waikato Regional Council will support the implementation of the 2020 Taupo-nui-a-Tia Action Plan through:
(to achieve Policies 4, 9 and 10)
Waikato Regional Council will advocate for provision for community wastewater upgrades and reticulation in the Taupo District Council Long Term Council Community Plan, particularly the reticulation and centralised treatment of sewage from lakeshore settlements including:
(to achieve Policies 3, 4, 6, 9, 10 and 11)
As part of the Waikato Regional Council’s monitoring responsibilities Council will:
(to achieve Policy 2)
Waikato Regional Council will continue to work with Ngati Tuwharetoa in the spirit of partnership and in accordance with the memorandum of understanding established by the two parties, and through the memorandum establish processes to enable individuals and groups within Ngati Tuwharetoa to participate in decision making processes.
(to achieve Policy 14)
Waikato Regional Council will, with Central Government, Taupo District Council and affected landowners, support and facilitate research into the practical implementation of markets for nitrogen trading (or offsetting) between properties in the Lake Taupo catchment.
Waikato Regional Council will provide a central notice board to advertise nitrogen for sale/wanted.
Waikato Regional Council will, in cooperation with Taupo Lake Care and other interested and affected landowners, develop, periodically update and make available a Guideline that addresses the trading of nitrogen discharge allowances (NDA) within the Lake Taupo catchment. The Guideline will, as a minimum, address:
(to achieve Policy 8)
Waikato Regional Council will maintain a publicly available database of consents granted, and applications declined, for activities that may result in nitrogen leaching from the land under Rule 184.108.40.206 (Non-Complying Activity Rule – Land Uses that do not comply with Rules 220.127.116.11 – 18.104.22.168).
The database will record for applications granted:
The database will record for applications declined:
(to achieve Policies 4, 9 and 10)
Develop and implement in conjunction with Taupo District Council a management system for on-site wastewater in the Taupo Catchment that is consistent with Australia/New Zealand Standard 1547:2000.
(to achieve Policies 4, 9 and 10)
Work with Taupo District Council and other stakeholders to:
(to achieve Policies 4 and 12)
Waikato Regional Council will, in conjunction with Ngati Tuwharetoa and funding partners Taupo District Council and Central Government, continue to be a member of a Joint Committee of a charitable trust called the Lake Taupo Protection Trust, which is a Council Controlled Organisation that:
(to achieve Policy 13)
Waikato Regional Council will, in conjunction with the other members of the Joint Committee, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Taupo District Council and Central Government, initiate a review after 2010 of the Council Controlled Organisation’s effectiveness toward achieving the nitrogen reduction target using public funding.
(to achieve Policies 3 and 7)
Waikato Regional Council will, in conjunction with any existing or new body with an interest in sustainable catchment management, investigate and develop land management activities and land uses that will maintain or reduce nitrogen leached from land in Lake Taupo catchment, including:
(to achieve Policies 3 and 7)
Establish a catchment management body that is supported and represented by regulatory authorities, Ngati Tuwharetoa and private owners of pastoral, forestry and undeveloped rural land, that has a formal reporting and advisory role to Waikato Regional Council on matters related to the transition to sustainable rural land uses in the Lake Taupo catchment, including:
(to achieve Policy 6)
Develop, implement and regularly review an environmental education strategy that educates farmers on agronomic optimums for soil phosphorus levels.
Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods 22.214.171.124 – 126.96.36.199
Method 188.8.131.52 implements most of the Lake Taupo policies because 2020 Taupo-nui-a-Tia is an integrated sustainable development strategy for the Lake Taupo Catchment. It has been developed jointly by tangata whenua, the community and local and central Government agencies and identifies threats to community values that require action. The health of Lake Taupo is a key community value. Its implementation will therefore provide a significant contribution to ensuring the Lake’s health will not degrade long-term.
Method 184.108.40.206 implements Policies 4, 9 and 10, which ensure nitrogen leaching from wastewater is reduced and the adverse effects from wastewater are avoided. Because it is a Taupo District Council responsibility to reticulate settlements, Waikato Regional Council will advocate for planned upgrading to occur through the Council’s Long-Term Council Community Plan. Currently Taupo District Council has committed to a progressive upgrading and reticulation programme and this is supported and recognised by Waikato Regional Council as a means of helping achieve the Lake water quality targets.
Method 220.127.116.11 implements Policies 3, 4 and 6. It is essential that monitoring of Lake characteristics is carried out on a regular basis to determine whether action is indeed making progress towards the Lake objectives. For instance, it is important to keep a check on levels of phosphorus, due to its relationship with nitrogen in maintaining Lake water quality. S79 of the RMA 1991 requires that a review of the Plan shall be commenced no later than 10 years of it becoming operative. 2015 is a reasonable timeframe for analysing need for policy intervention given the water ageing assessment will occur in approximately 2008 and 2013. Clause e) is to ensure data is collected which will indicate the extent to which Objective 3 is being satisfied. Clause f) is in recognition that the papakainga and Marae wastewater rule (Rule 18.104.22.168) has potential to allow a more than inconsequential increase in nitrogen leaching to the Lake. It is very important that the Regional Council keeps a check on additional nitrogen from new papakainga or Marae wastewater discharges, to help inform consent decisions under this rule. Clause g) is intended to ensure that there is an appropriate response if any of the effects in S70(1)(c) to (g) are likely to occur or are occurring at any time before the 10 year review required under S79 of the RMA 1991. Existing monitoring information indicates that these S70(1) effects are unlikely to occur. Nevertheless, S70(1)(c) to (g) essentially set minimum water quality standards, and it is appropriate to monitor and assess water quality on an ongoing basis and to determine whether any further plan intervention is necessary if those minimum standards are not being met.
Method 22.214.171.124 implements Policy 2, which recognises Ngati Tuwharetoa’s partnership role in managing Lake Taupo. Waikato Regional Council has a governance agreement with Ngati Tuwharetoa and this method envisages that both parties continue to develop sound working relationships to achieve the Plan’s objectives.
Method 126.96.36.199 supports Policy 14 by investigating practical issues around implementing the nitrogen offsetting regime for the Lake Taupo Catchment.
Method 188.8.131.52 Under Rule 184.108.40.206 applications will be considered from land users who wish to undertake activities that may result in nitrogen leaching from their land at a rate over and above that provided for in the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the site as calculated from the July 2001 to June 2005 benchmark data, or where the applicant does not propose to offset that increase by achieving a decrease in nitrogen leaching on another property in the catchment.
As applications under Rule 220.127.116.11 will be for non-complying activities it may be necessary under section 104D(1)(a) of the RMA to determine whether the effects of the proposed activity will be more than minor. One of the potential adverse effects to be considered in that regard is the cumulative effect on Lake Taupo of successive consents granted under Rule 18.104.22.168. To achieve that assessment a robust record of such consents is required. A record of applications declined will also provide useful information to decision makers.
Method 22.214.171.124 implements Policies 4, 9 and 10 by improving the management of on-site domestic wastewater systems in the catchment. AS/NZS 1547:2000 provides guidance on best management practice. The standard recognises that good management of systems is the single most important factor in ensuring systems function properly over the long-term. This is particularly necessary for the advanced treatment plants being encouraged in the Taupo catchment.
Method 126.96.36.199 also implements Policies 4, 9 and 10. It recognises that there are many parties involve in wastewater management and that there are benefits in these parties working together to achieve integrated management. By working with Taupo District Council and other stakeholders such as the wastewater industry, developers and homeowners, we can ensure that appropriate wastewater solutions are adopted for new developments and existing communities, and ensure these solutions are well managed.
Method 188.8.131.52 implements Policies 4 and 12, which establish a public fund for reducing nitrogen leaching in the catchment and its on-going implementation. The method sets up the administration of the fund through a Joint Committee and Council Controlled Organisation that will buy up nitrogen from the catchment.
Method 184.108.40.206 implements Policy 13, and provides for a review of the effectiveness of the fund to ensure it achieves the 20 percent target. The method ensures the Joint Committee initiates a review and determines the effectiveness of the Council Controlled Organisation set up as a charitable trust called Lake Taupo Protection Trust. Ongoing monitoring of Lake Taupo Protection Trust performance targets will be undertaken and reported by Lake Taupo Protection Trust. Public input will be gained through Draft Annual Plans put out by Waikato Regional Council and Taupo District Council under the Local Government Act.
Method 220.127.116.11 implements Policies 3 and 7. It recognises that farmers will need information and advice that will help them to farm under the new land use and discharge rules regime. Farmers will need to understand how their farm management practices influence the quantity of nitrogen leaching from their land so that they are able to maximise production while remaining within their nitrogen cap. The method is intended to assist research and development into viable low nitrogen land uses and practices that will mitigate the nitrogen leached from farming land uses. This is a key component of the Lake Taupo policy framework and, as such, requires a proactive stance from Waikato Regional Council. This method is specific in establishing a commitment by Waikato Regional Council to be actively involved with relevant agencies and organisations and facilitate appropriate research and development.
Method 18.104.22.168 implements Policies 3 and 7. The method establishes a catchment body that provides effective liaison and more formal landowner involvement in decision making processes.
Method 22.214.171.124 implements Policy 6 which recognises that appropriate management practices can be promoted to continue to avoid adverse effects of Phosphorus discharges on Lake water quality.