Discharges of wastes and hazardous substances onto or into land undertaken in a manner that:
- does not contaminate soil to levels that present significant risks to human health or the wider environment
- does not have adverse effects on aquatic habitats, surface water quality or ground water quality that are inconsistent with the Water Management objectives in Section 3.1.2
- does not have adverse effects related to particulate matter, odour or hazardous substances that are inconsistent with the Air Quality objectives in Section 6.1.2
- is not inconsistent with the objectives in Section 5.1.2
- avoids significant adverse effects on the relationship that tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their taonga such as ancestral lands, water and waahi tapu
- remedies or mitigates cumulative adverse effects on the relationship that tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their identified taonga such as ancestral lands, water and waahi tapu.
Principal Reasons for Adopting the Objective
The objective acknowledges that discharges onto or into land are a necessary facet of resource use in the Waikato Region and, subject to environmental standards, should be allowed to occur.
Part a) acknowledges that the discharge of chemicals onto or into land should not contaminate soils beyond specific threshold levels at which soil versatility declines and other adverse effects begin to occur. These thresholds represent the point at which the risks to human health or the wider environment from soil contamination become significant. If soils are contaminated above these levels, they will be considered unsafe for their current uses and the range of existing and foreseeable uses of the soil will be restricted.
Parts b) and c) recognise the interconnected nature of the environment so that when managing discharges onto or into land, effects on water and air quality must also be taken into account. Part d) addresses issues associated with Chapter 5.1 such as accelerated infilling of lakes, estuaries, artificial watercourses, rivers, wetlands, cave systems, flood and land instability. This is particularly the case with waste disposal sites or filling operations placed on unstable hill slopes or in floodplains. It is essential that these discharges are managed so that they do not exacerbate these hazards. The degree to which the activity increases the risks of adverse effects and at what point that increase becomes significant will need to be determined on a casebycase basis taking into account the facility design and the nature of the locality. In the case of a flood event, the risks become significant where the discharge would cause flooding on a neighbouring property.
Parts e) and f) acknowledge the relationship of tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their land over which they hold mana whenua. Activities involving discharge onto or into land need to avoid significant adverse effects on the relationship of tangata whenua with their identified taonga such as ancestral lands, water, and waahi tapu.
The intention of the phrase ‘the relationship of tangata whenua as Kaitiaki’ is to state that Council will give priority to the concerns of Maori based on the status as tangata whenua and as Kaitiaki, whilst maintaining the ability of Council to consider the concerns of other groups who are not tangata whenua. The phrasing addresses the concerns of tangata whenua who exercise kaitiakitanga over specific resources, ahead of other Maori submitters to a resource consent who have a relationship that is not based on the present day exercise of kaitiakitanga.
The term ‘significant adverse effects’ means those effects that if allowed to occur, would destroy a site or taonga that is of such importance to tangata whenua as Kaitiaki that its loss or degradation is assessed to be unacceptable and unable to be remedied or mitigated.