A net reduction of accelerated erosion across the Region so that:
- soil productivity, versatility and capability is maintained
- there are no adverse effects on water quality, aquatic ecosystems and wetlands that are inconsistent with Water Management Objective 3.1.2
- there is no increase in the adverse effects of flooding or land instability hazards
- accelerated infilling of lakes, estuaries, rivers, wetlands and cave systems is avoided and the rate of infilling of artificial watercourses, excluding structures designed to trap sediment, is minimised
- significant adverse effects on the relationship tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their identified ancestral taonga such as ancestral lands, water and waahi tapu are avoided
- cumulative adverse effects on the relationship tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their identified taonga such as ancestral lands, water, waahi tapu are remedied or mitigated.
- significant adverse effects on natural character and ecological values associated with land and the coastal environment including dune systems is avoided
- there are no adverse effects on air quality that are inconsistent with Air Quality Objective 6.1.2, Objectives 2 and 3
- damage to property and infrastructure is avoided
in particular in High Risk Erosion Areas together with:
- Catchments of estuaries that are areas of significant conservation value on the Coromandel Peninsula
- Karst and cave systems.
Principal Reasons for Adopting the Objective
Use of the words ‘net reduction in accelerated erosion…’ indicates that Waikato Regional Council is seeking to reduce accelerated erosion across the Region, recognising that this will not be possible in all circumstances, and that in some areas accelerated erosion may continue to occur. For a net reduction in accelerated erosion to be achieved it will be necessary for ongoing accelerated erosion in some places to be offset by significantly reduced accelerated erosion in other places. For guidance on interpretation of this expression refer to the policy framework in this Chapter in conjunction with Section 1.3.3 of the Waikato RPS.
The effects addressed in parts a) to h) are only addressed within this Chapter insofar as they are impacted upon or are caused by accelerated erosion. These parts of the objective flow directly from Issue 5.1.1.
The productivity and versatility of soils are vital for the Region, since soils with these qualities sustain a wide range of productive land uses. Part a) indicates that it is important to maintain these characteristics of soil.
The reference in part b) regarding Water Management Objective 3.1.2 establishes a link between this Chapter and the relevant objective in Chapter 3.2 of this Plan. Accelerated erosion may have significant adverse effects on water bodies and should be managed in manner that is consistent with the relevant water management objectives.
Part c) recognises that while natural hazards occur naturally and are beyond our management, adverse effects from these hazards should not be increased as a result of land uses that cause accelerated erosion.
Part d) recognises that infilling occurs naturally and will continue to do so. Where practicable, the entry of sediment into water bodies should be avoided so that the rate of accelerated infilling is not significantly greater than that which would occur naturally.
Accelerated erosion may also have impacts on the relationship tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their identified taonga such as ancestral lands, water, and waahi tapu. Land use activities may also expose or adversely affect waahi tapu or cultural heritage sites. Part e) recognises that the statutory duty to manage accelerated erosion should avoid significant adverse effects on the relationship tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their ancestral lands, water, sites, waahi tapu and other taonga.
Part f) recognises that there are effects which may be smaller scale but which together add up to adversely affecting identified taonga, such as ancestral lands, water and waahi tapu. These adverse effects are more easily remedied or mitigated as they occur through resource consent conditions or non-regulatory methods such as education or incentives.
Module 2 Matters of Significance to Maori identifies the process in which Maori and Waikato Regional Council can work together to identify the areas of interest to tangata whenua, in regards to the specific resource, that will facilitate a greater awareness of these matters in the management of this resource.
Erosion may have significant impacts on the natural character and ecological values associated with land. For example, erosion may adversely affect areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna through the discharge of sediment or the destruction of habitat. Part g) recognises that the management of accelerated erosion should avoid significant adverse effects on these values.
Accelerated erosion may result in the release of particulate matter into the air that may have adverse effects on human health and flora and fauna. The reference in part h) regarding Air Quality Objective 6.1.2, Objectives 2 and 3, establishes a link between this chapter and the relevant objectives in Module 6 Air.
Part i) recognises that property damage, threats to infrastructure and adverse effects on the natural character of coastal dune systems should be avoided and managed when undertaking land uses in the coastal environment.
The final part of Objective 5.1.2 identifies areas of the Region where there is a high risk of the adverse effects identified in the objective occurring. These areas represent areas of high erosion risk due to slope or proximity to the coastal marine area, rivers, lakes and wetlands or to cave systems that have been identified in Issue 5.1.1.
The coastal environment (and especially coastal dune systems) are particularly at risk from wind and sea erosion. Human activity should avoid any interruption with the physical and ecological processes that ensure the dynamic stability of these systems. The Regional Coastal Plan contains Waikato Regional Council’s objectives in respect of the coastal marine area. By contrast the coastal environment covers a wider area and includes the coastal marine area as well as landward features. This Plan only addresses those parts of the coastal environment landward of the coastal marine area. The Coromandel catchments and their areas of significant conservation value are included due to potential increased sedimentation threatening to adversely affect the ecological values of these areas.
Cave systems are particularly vulnerable to any disruption caused by sediment input or works that alter airflow characteristics. Activities in these systems need to be undertaken in a manner that minimises any such adverse effects. Waikato Regional Council is seeking that adverse effects of accelerated erosion in these areas are avoided in order to prevent adverse effects occurring.