Policy 1: Managing Activities that Cause or Have the Potential to Cause Accelerated Erosion and Encouraging Appropriate Land Management Practices
Through permitted activities and non-regulatory methods manage activities that cause or have the potential to cause accelerated erosion, with particular regard to:
- the potential for the activity to adversely affect the purpose of the water management classes as identified in the policies in Section 3.2.2, and the coastal marine area
- the risk of downstream sedimentation leading to accelerated infilling of lakes, estuaries, artificial watercourses, rivers, wetlands and caves
- the erosion potential of soil when it is disturbed or vegetation is cleared
- the potential to increase the adverse effects of flooding
- the potential to adversely affect waahi tapu and archaeological sites or other identified sites of importance to tangata whenua as Kaitiaki
- the potential to adversely affect natural character of the coastal environment and the margins of rivers, lakes and wetlands and areas of significant indigenous vegetation and significant habitats of indigenous fauna1
- the potential to compromise air quality objectives as identified in Module 6 Air
- the potential to damage property and infrastructure.
Policy 2: Use of Regulatory and Non-Regulatory Approaches of Management for Soil Disturbance/Vegetation Clearance Activities in High Risk Erosion Areas2*
Waikato Regional Council will use a mixture of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to:
- minimise the adverse effects of soil disturbance and vegetation clearance in high risk erosion areas
- minimise the accelerated infilling of Coromandel estuaries that are listed as areas of significant conservation value in the Regional Coastal Plan
- minimise adverse effects of soil disturbance activities in karst environments on cave ecosystems.
Policy 3: Promote Good Practice
Promote, through environmental education, good practice guides and incentives, soil and land management practices that avoid adverse effects on soil productivity, capability and versatility and the off-site effects of sediment discharge, and remedies or mitigates these effect if they do occur.
Policy 4: Approved Operators Approach
Identify methods to reduce regulatory requirements for land managers or operators who are certified under a registered operators system for soil and land managers and who can demonstrate a proven record of good environmental practice and performance.
Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting the Policies
The policy approach adopted provides for managing, through a regulatory approach, soil disturbance and vegetation clearance activities in those high risk areas identified in Objective 5.1.2, and permitting all activities that may cause or have the potential to cause accelerated erosion outside of these areas. The policies promote the use of non-regulatory methods in all areas to assist with achieving Objective 5.1.2 and encourage good practice and seek to reduce the regulatory requirements for certified operators.
The purpose of Policy 1 is to indicate that Waikato Regional Council will use permitted activity rules and other non-regulatory methods to provide certainty to resource users as to appropriate land use practices and to acknowledge such practices by removing the need for resource consents for complying activities. Parts a) to h) flow from Objective 5.1.2 and identify that any activities able to achieve these standards consistently given best practice should be enabled by the Plan.
Policy 2 indicates that Waikato Regional Council will use a mixture of regulatory and nonregulatory approaches to managing soil disturbance and vegetation clearance activities in high risk erosion areas. The criteria to define high risk erosion areas outlined in Issue 5.1.1 are defined in the Glossary of this Plan. A mixture of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches is necessary in these areas in order to minimise any significant adverse effects occurring as a result of land use activities.
The promotion of good practice through environmental education, good practice guides and incentives as provided in Policy 3 is an effective means of encouraging soil productivity, versatility and capability outside of high risk erosion areas. It is also an effective way of communicating measures that help to avoid the off-site effects of sediment in all areas.
Policy 4 provides a mechanism by which Council can reward good operators who have demonstrated that they can and do meet the requirements of an appropriate certification system and who have a proven record of good environmental practice and performance. Council intends to investigate, develop and implement an approved operators system that will reduce the regulatory requirements for those who qualify for registration. This system will be developed and implemented in conjunction with those people/organisations that undertake land use activities and those who represent them.