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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 3.10 Lake Taupo Catchment » 3.10.4 Non-regulatory implementation methods

3.10.4 Non-regulatory implementation methods 2020 Taupo-nui-a-Tia Action Plan

(to achieve Policies 1 to 10)

Waikato Regional Council will support the implementation of the 2020 Taupo-nui-a-Tia Action Plan through:

  1. Working with the 2020 Taupo-nui-a-Tia Joint Management Group to discuss and co-ordinate work priorities, budgets and opportunities for working together
  2. Developing effective relationships between the diverse agencies and groups in the Lake Taupo catchment
  3. Funding implementation of the Action Plan through the Long-Term Council Community Plan
  4. Yearly review of Waikato Regional Council actions, to ensure that existing actions are effective and monitored, and further actions are included as appropriate. Taupo District Council Long-Term Council Community Plan

(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:

  • Hatepe
  • Waitetoko
  • Oruatua/Tauranga Taupo
  • Te Rangiita
  • Waihi Village. Monitoring and Review of Lake Taupo Water Quality

(to achieve Policies 3, 4, 6, 9, 10 and 11)

As part of the Waikato Regional Council’s monitoring responsibilities Council will:

  1. Ensure regular and on-going monitoring of water quality characteristics in Lake Taupo, inflowing tributaries and groundwater, and periodically analyse data and assess water quality trends.
  2. Carry out five-yearly water aging of groundwater and surface water tributaries in 2008 and 2013.
  3. Ongoing use of expert technical advice to assess the information in light of whether the long-term water quality goal will be achieved.
  4. In 2015 carry out an analysis of the need for further plan intervention as a result of monitoring and assessment carried out in a-c.
  5. Carry out five yearly assessments of the effects of community septic tank discharges on near shore water quality.
  6. Carry out five yearly assessments of the cumulative effect of new papakainga and Marae wastewater discharges established under rule on Lake water quality.
  7. If as a result of the monitoring and assessment carried out in a) to c) above there is evidence that any of the effects described in S70(1)(c) to (g) of the RMA 1991 are likely to occur or are occurring, promptly undertake an analysis of the need for plan intervention. Tangata Whenua Partnership

(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. Research into Development and Implementation of Markets for Nitrogen Trading (or offsetting)

(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:

  1. Waikato Regional Council’s role in NDA trading;
  2. How NDA trading occurs including an explanation of the necessary RMA process required to amend an NDA;
  3. The use of OVERSEER ™ in the NDA trading process;
  4. Leasing a NDA or trading a NDA for a limited period of time;
  5. The implications of fixed duration consents for NDA trading;
  6. How NDA trades will be affected by the review of the Plan;
  7. The involvement of the Lake Taupo Protection Trust in NDA trading. Recording of Non-Complying Consents Granted

(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 (Non-Complying Activity Rule – Land Uses that do not comply with Rules –

The database will record for applications granted:

  1. The site location;
  2. The area (in hectares) of land to which the consent relates;
  3. The nature of the land use activity;
  4. The amount (in kgN/ha/year and also in total kgN/year for the site) of nitrogen leaching potential consented over and above the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the site calculated from the July 2001 to June 2005 benchmark data.

The database will record for applications declined:

  1. The site location;
  2. The area (in hectares) of land to which the consent application related;
  3. The nature of the land use activity;
  4. The amount (in kgN/ha/year and also in total kgN/year for the site) of nitrogen leaching potential that was applied for over and above the Nitrogen Discharge Allowance for the site calculated from the July 2001 to June 2005 benchmark data. Wastewater Management

(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. Integrated Management of Wastewater

(to achieve Policies 4, 9 and 10)

Work with Taupo District Council and other stakeholders to:

  1. Ensure integrated management of on-site wastewater
  2. Ensure domestic wastewater systems chosen for new subdivisions and individual properties represent the Best Practicable Option, and include provision for nitrogen reduction
  3. Advocate for centralised wastewater servicing of new subdivisions where such servicing is practicable
  4. Ensure major stakeholders, including designers, manufacturers, installers and users of on-site wastewater systems, are provided with information, advice and discussion forums that help them carry out their wastewater management responsibilities appropriately and in line with Australia/New Zealand Standard 1547:2000
  5. Promote practices to ensure non-domestic point source discharges such as stormwater and industrial discharges do not adversely affect Lake water quality
  6. Support joint initiatives with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rotorua District Council for testing treatment efficiencies of advanced wastewater treatment systems. Public Fund

(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:

  1. Comprises a board of technical people as Trustees appointed by the Joint Committee
  2. Implements strategies to permanently reduce nitrogen from rural land use activities by 20 percent
  3. Contracts appropriately skilled persons to provide advice and nutrient modelling support and education in the nitrogen benchmarking process, as the first phase of achieving a nitrogen cap for farming land uses Review of Effectiveness of Public Fund

(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. Education, Advice and Extension for Rural Land Use Activities Under a Nitrogen Cap

(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:

  1. Providing advice through identification of Certified Nutrient Management advisors who are appropriately qualified in sustainable nutrient management in New Zealand agroecosystems to assist landowners to make changes to farm management practices or change land use under a nitrogen capping regime
  2. As part of implementation develop templates that link land management practices with expected nitrogen leached
  3. Co-ordinating development and updating of codes of practice and best management practices for existing land uses in the catchment
  4. Supporting and facilitating research and development into profitable and viable rural land uses that prevent catchment-wide increases in nitrogen outputs
  5. Supporting and facilitating research and development into methods for reducing the manageable load of nitrogen leached from farming land use activities including through on farm, riparian and in-stream practices
  6. Advocate that managers of Government farm land in the Lake Taupo Catchment take on a leadership role in the investigation and implementation of low nitrogen leaching farming activities.
  7. Facilitating periodic (being not less than annual unless agreed otherwise) consultative meetings between farming representatives within the Lake Taupo catchment and the providers of the OVERSEER™ Nutrient Budgeting Model to allow the farming representatives to discuss their nutrient management planning needs and for the providers to discuss proposed amendments to the model. Landowner Involvement in Catchment Management

(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:

  1. Research needs
  2. Extension and advice
  3. Monitoring and auditing processes for rural land use consents. Education for Rural Land Use Activities on Phosphorus Management

(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 –

Method 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 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 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 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 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 supports Policy 14 by investigating practical issues around implementing the nitrogen offsetting regime for the Lake Taupo Catchment.

Method Under Rule 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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