Council » Policies and Plans » Waikato Regional Policy Statement: Te Tauākī Kaupapahere Te-Rohe O Waikato » Operative Waikato Regional Policy Statement - Te Tauākī Kaupapahere Te-Rohe O Waikato » PART B » 11 Indigenous biodiversity » Policy 11.1 Maintain or enhance indigenous biodiversity » Explanation
Policy 11.1 guides Waikato Regional Council and territorial authorities to maintain indigenous biodiversity wherever it occurs. An important component of the policy direction is to work towards no net loss for all indigenous biodiversity at a regional scale. The policy is also important where ecosystems have been depleted and fragmented, such as coastal and lowland ecosystems, and where maintaining indigenous biodiversity in the long term requires enhancement and restoration. The Policy will be implemented through a combination of both regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms. This provides the flexibility to manage the varying local contexts and take into account the positive effects that some activities may have on indigenous biodiversity. Examples of this include positive effects from riparian planting.
Method 11.1.1 recognises that there is a range of mechanisms by which regional and district plans can maintain or enhance indigenous biodiversity when managing the effects of activities. Such mechanisms can provide the flexibility to cope with varying local situations or locally specific types of activities, such as within the cycles of plantation forestry.
Method 11.1.2 provides guidance on adverse effects to be avoided, remedied, mitigated and offset when managing the effects of activities.
No net loss of indigenous biodiversity is to be achieved at a regional scale and does not create a no adverse effects regime. Some activities may result in a loss of indigenous biodiversity; however this will be countered by other regulatory and non-regulatory methods that result in positive indigenous biodiversity outcomes. For non-significant indigenous biodiversity Method 11.1.3 seeks that district and regional plans avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects first, before promoting offsetting. Method 11.1.3 provides a more flexible approach to offsetting and no net loss than Method 11.2.2 which applies to areas of significant indigenous biodiversity.
Method 11.1.4 provides a list of activities that may be provided for as permitted activities in regional and district plans where their effects are minor.
Methods 11.1.5 to 11.1.11 provide a range of non-regulatory approaches intended to allow councils to work collaboratively and strategically to identify opportunities and priorities for enhancement and restoration activities, and to ensure that they have appropriate funding mechanisms, incentives and information to achieve positive indigenous biodiversity outcomes. Method 11.1.5 recognises that ecosystem health is an integral component of ecosystem functioning, and that establishing appropriate methodology and baseline data will enable this to be monitored.
Method 11.1.11 helps determine the most appropriate mix of regulatory and non-regulatory methods to address biodiversity management for each district. This method will help to clarify how a no net loss approach should be applied within the broader strategic picture of district-wide indigenous biodiversity maintenance and enhancement. The Method is also important for determining how each district can contribute to no net loss at a regional scale.