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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 3.7 Wetlands* » 3.7.4 Implementation Methods - Wetlands

3.7.4 Implementation Methods - Wetlands

3.7.4.1 Promote an Inter-agency Approach to Managing Wetlands

Waikato Regional Council will promote an inter-agency approach in conjunction with territorial authorities, Department of Conversation, tangata whenua, affected landowners, Fish and Game New Zealand, public health authorities, neighbouring regional councils and other interested parties, to:

  1. prepare joint strategies to protect wetland areas,
  2. consider preparation of a Waikato Wetlands Accord to set regional objectives for wetland management,
  3. prepare guidelines on good practice for wetland management.

3.7.4.2 Promote Creation/Enhancement/Remediation of Wetlands

Waikato Regional Council will promote and support the creation of new wetlands and/or the enhancement/remediation of degraded wetlands to:

  1. industry, as an environmental enhancement method
  2. private landowners seeking to maximise recreational and/or wildlife values
  3. resource consent applicatants as a mitigation method where appropriate, for both regional council and territorial authority resource consents
  4. owners of sites where the adverse effects referred to in Policy 1 occur.

3.7.4.3 Environmental Education*

Waikato Regional Council will, through environmental education programmes in conjunction with territorial authorities and Department of Conservation and other interested parties, help the community to:

  1. understand the values of wetlands, including small wetlands,
  2. undertake remediation of degraded wetlands,
  3. adopt land management and drain maintenance practices which avoid loss or damage to wetlands.

3.7.4.4 Economic Incentives

Waikato Regional Council will consider providing funding contributions for the promotion and implementation of initiatives that provide for the protection and creation of wetlands within the Waikato Region.

3.7.4.5 Water or Bed Level Setting for Significant Peat Lakes and Wetlands

Waikato Regional Council will undertake a water or bed level setting exercise, in conjunction with landowners, territorial authorities, tangata whenua, DoC, Fish and Game New Zealand, owners of hydroelectric generation dams and other interested parties, to determine appropriate minimum water and/or bed levels for the purpose of promoting the sustainable management of significant peat lakes and wetlands in the Region.

Waikato Regional Council will prepare variations/changes to the Plan to include minimum bed/water levels for peat lakes. On the basis of presently available information it is proposed to undertake the variations/changes in the following order:



First variation/change Second variation/change Third variation/change
Lake Ngaroto
Lake Maratoto
Lake Milicich
Lake Kareotahi
Lake Rotopiko
Lake Hotoananga
Lake Areare
Lake Rotomanuka
Lake Whakatangi
Hendersons Pond
Lake Posa
Lake Potaka
Lake Rotongata
Lake Pikopiko
Lake Rotopataka

 

3.7.4.6 Discretionary Activity Rule – Creation of New Drains and Deepening of Drain Invert Levels

The following activities:

  1. the creation of new drains for the purposes of managing water tables, or
  2. the deepening (relative to the wetland level) of the invert level (bed) of lawfully established or authorised drains constructed prior to the date of notification (28 September 1998) of this Plan

in areas within 200 metres of the legal property boundaries of any wetland listed in Section 3.7.7 are discretionary activities (requiring resource consent) (except where the location of that activity is hydrologically isolated* from the wetland).

Advisory Notes:

  • Information requirements to enable the assessment of any application under this Rule are set out in Sections 8.1.2.4 and 8.1.2.5. In addition, assessment shall also take into account the matters identified in Policy 1 of Section 3.7.3.
  • This Rule should be read in conjunction with Rules 3.6.4.4 to 3.6.4.12 in Chapter 3.6.

3.7.4.7 Discretionary Activity Rule – Drainage of Wetlands

The following activities:

  1. the creation of drains after the date of notification of this Plan (28 September 1998), and
  2. the deepening (relative to the wetland water level) of the invert level (bed) of lawfully established or authorised drains constructed prior to the date of notification of this Plan (28 September 1998)

within a wetland that is an area of significant indigenous vegetation and/or significant habitat of indigenous fauna1 are discretionary activities (requiring resource consent).

Advisory Notes:

  • Information requirements to enable the assessment of any application under this Rule are set out in Sections 8.1.2.4 and 8.1.2.5. In addition, assessment shall also take into account the matters identified in Policy 1 of Section 3.7.3.
  • This rule should be read in conjunction with Rules 3.6.4.4 to 3.6.4.12 in Chapter 3.6.
  • For guidance as to wetlands that are habitat for indigenous vegetation or fauna communities and wetlands that do not meet this criterion refer to the photographs in Section 3.7.8.

 

Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods 3.7.4.1 to 3.7.4.7
The above methods provide a range of non-regulatory and regulatory methods as provided for in the policies in Section 3.7.4 to achieve Objective 3.1.2. These methods will be used to address the adverse effects of activities on wetlands. Other methods in Chapters 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1 and 5.2 also affect the management of wetlands in the Region. For a full list of objectives, policies and methods affecting wetlands refer to the rule guide and key word index at the start of the Plan.

Method 3.7.4.1 is included because currently, significant wetlands and the areas adjacent to them, are subject to the controls of Waikato Regional Council, territorial authorities and Department of Conversation. The activities of landowners may impact upon these areas. In order to ensure the continued viability of these wetlands, Waikato Regional Council will promote an inter-agency approach to their management. This approach would potentially involve preparing joint strategies with the Department of Conversation, territorial authorities, affected landowners, Fish and Game New Zealand and other interested parties to protect these areas. This could involve consideration of a Waikato Wetlands Accord to set regional objectives for wetland management. Such an accord may include guidelines on good practice for wetland management.

Method 3.7.4.2 is included to encourage and support the enhancement/remediation of degraded wetlands and the creation of new wetlands. These activities may take place as part of an industry environment enhancement programme or by private landowners seeking to maximise recreational and wildlife opportunities. The creation or enhancement/remediation of wetlands could also be considered as part of mitigation for activities requiring resource consents from Waikato Regional Council or territorial authorities.

Environmental education, as provided for in Method 3.7.4.3, is intended to provide resource users with information about how they can improve their land management practices. Waikato Regional Council’s Environmental Education Strategy will be used to assist the community to adopt land use practices that avoid damage to and loss of wetlands, to undertake remediation of degraded wetlands, and to understand the values of wetlands.

Method 3.7.4.4 includes initiatives such as the promotion of New Projects Policy and allows Waikato Regional Council to, in partnership with other organisations, groups or individuals, provide funding to protect and create wetlands. Economic incentives may be used in circumstances where financial considerations are an obstacle to protecting and creating wetland areas. In order to qualify for funding, applicants must apply to Waikato Regional Council and meet certain specified criteria depending on the purpose of the fund.

Method 3.7.4.5 acknowledges that a level-setting exercise requires specific technical information on each peat lake or wetland that is to have a level set. Waikato Regional Council is progressively collecting the information necessary to set levels and will incorporate minimum water or bed levels into the Plan as indicated.

The purpose of Rule 3.7.4.6 is to assist in the protection of the identified wetland areas as listed in Section 3.7.7. It is acknowledged that this list is not comprehensive. This list includes only those identified wetlands that have land drainage systems on their boundary and may be impacted by the activities discussed in this Chapter. The areas to which the Rule applies are within 200 metres of the wetlands identified in Section 3.7.7. This rule will assist by controlling the adverse effects of land drainage activities or management of water tables that may occur in areas immediately adjacent to wetlands. The deepening of existing adjacent drains results in more water being diverted from wetland areas thus lowering water levels, which in turn damages plant and animal communities within the area.

Rule 3.7.4.6 also prevents the uncontrolled construction of new drains in these areas, which have the same effects as the deepening of the invert levels or beds of existing drains. Some forms of shallow drainage may be acceptable within 200 metres of the wetlands listed in Section 3.7.7 and these would need to be assessed through the consents process. The rule does not prevent maintenance of existing drains to their current depths within 200 metres of a regionally significant wetland area as listed in Section 3.7.7.

Rule 3.7.4.7 is included to control drainage within wetland areas that are habitat for indigenous vegetation and fauna communities. Smaller wetlands may provide important functions, particularly in terms of movement of mobile wildlife and generally providing wildlife habitat. This is consistent with Appendix 3 of the Waikato RPS.

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