Information requests

Environment Canterbury publishes requests for information under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) that are deemed to be in the public interest or relating to a subject that has been widely requested. 

The LGOIMA response is published along with a summary of the request. Personal information is removed from the request and from the response.  The requests have been categorised below. Please be aware that a request/response may cover more than one area and will be located in the relevant category for the majority of the information requested. 

Submit a request for information  

Air quality
13 September 2017 - Request for information on ULEB burners.
1176C - We received an information request regarding several air quality questions including information on ULEB burners. Below are the queries from the requestor and our responses.

Is coal allowed to be burnt?

Coal that has a sulphur content of less than 1% by weight may be burnt within Clean Air Zones in Canterbury. However, domestic burner appliances that comply with the standards for ’low emitting’ or ’ultra-low emitting’ enclosed burners are not designed to burn coal and we have found that in airsheds where older-style and open fires have been phased out, coal is generally not used.

Is coal allowed to be sold?

Yes, under current regulations and the proposed Canterbury Air Regional Plan, coal may be sold.

Are portable hand-held air quality testing devices available?

The answer depends on what you want to measure, and where.  There are portable hand-held devices available to measure gases (CO etc) in ambient air, and more sophisticated units to measure gases in boiler flues.

There are also hand-held devices to count particles in flue gases. Measuring the mass of particles in ambient air or boiler flues is more difficult, and while there are portable, hand-held devices available they are not very reliable yet.

The device used in the Christchurch spatial monitoring, and the Timaru mobile monitoring tests, is relatively portable but still needs a power supply.  

Reliable measurement of particles in woodburner flues still requires either a dilution tunnel or a standard industrial flue testing kit that samples directly from the flue.

Can a retrofit burner cab can be tested by a portable hand-held device?

As far as we are aware there are no hand-held portable devices that could reliably measure particle emissions from a woodburner with a retrofitted burner cab in a cost effective way or to provide results that are scientifically robust enough to comply with the design standards of set out in the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2011.

The CSIRO kit that NIWA used to undertake home emission testing could in theory be fitted to the top of a flue, above that retrofitted device, and would measure particles and gases. However, this kit is complex and expensive.

Why is Monday is the most common day for exceedance?

In 2017 Mondays were the most common day of the week for exceedances, however, in previous years this hasn’t been the case (back to 1999) with between 8% and 20% of high PM10 days in a year occurring on Mondays.

The table below shows the number of days when the daily average PM10 was greater than 50 ug/m3 - recorded against the day of the week.

  2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Monday 7 5 3 4 3 4 4 4
Tuesday 1 4 3 9 3 6 6 6
Wednesday 2 4 7 3 4 4 7
Thursday 1 4 6 10 6 6 3 7
Friday 1 3 3 6 5 3 4 6
Saturday 3 4 5 3 5 4 5 6
Sunday 2 2 2 3 4 5 3 3

How much coal in total would be consumed by the following boilers (located within 1k of the testing station in Anzac Square):

  1. Roncalli
  2. Polytech
  3. Girls High
  4. South School
  5. Timaru hospital

Roncalli College does not have a coal-fired boiler.  For the other four, the coal-burning rates are provided to Environment Canterbury by boiler owners in confidence, so have been withheld under section 7(2)(b) and 7(2)(c) of LGOIMA.  It is worth noting that three of the boilers generally aren’t used after 4pm, and the hospital boiler is used less at night than in the daytime.  The highest concentrations of PM10 at Anzac Square are generally after 6pm.

How many tonnes of coal is burnt in Timaru annually?

Coal burning rates are provided to Environment Canterbury in confidence, and may be commercially sensitive. As noted above, they have been withheld.

What is the calibration process of the Anzac Square testing station?

The gas analysers are calibrated using bottles of certified standard gas, of a known concentration, plus a source of ’zero-gas’ air.  Gas instruments are operated to the appropriate AS or AS/NZS Standards ‘Methods of sampling and analysis of ambient air’.

The measurements of the mass of particles is achieved through the use of a Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM).  The calibration of the TEOM is verified annually.  The air flow, ambient temperature and pressure is verified quarterly and calibrated regularly using flow meters (this is the volume calibration (cubic metres) to ensure accuracy when measuring grams per cubic metre).  The TEOM instruments are operated to AS/NZS 3580.9.16:2016 Standard.

Can the Anzac Square testing station distinguish between ingested pollutants ie coal, wood, petrol, diesel, salt, dust, fog, rain?

The instruments can distinguish particles (from coal, wood, petrol, diesel etc) from fog and rain. They have a nafion© drier at the front of the instrument that dries incoming air, so fog and rain are excluded from the measurement.

The instruments don’t distinguish directly between particles from combustion (coal, wood, petrol, diesel) and other particles i.e. salt or dust. They measure the total mass of all particles. However, there are indirect ways to get information on the likely sources.

  1. There are two particle instruments in Timaru - one measures PM10 (particles smaller than 10 microns) and the other measures PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 microns - a subset of PM10).  These concentrations give some information on whether the likely source is combustion (which tends to be mainly PM2.5) or salt or dust (which tends to be larger than PM2.5).
  2. The SO2 concentrations give an indication of whether fuel with sulphur (e.g. coal) is contributing to the particles that are measured.
  3. The CO concentrations give an indication that the particles are from combustion products, not salt or dust.
  4. The readings at nearby sites (e.g. Washdyke) give an indication of whether the PM is from a regional source, or is specific to Timaru.

In addition, there is a procedure called ’source apportionment’ that can help to detect what proportion of particles came from diesel vehicles, woodburning, sea salt etc.  This involves collecting filters of particulate matter and sending them to a lab to analyse the metals present. Different sources of particulate matter have different chemical signatures, so by analysing the changes in concentrations of each of the metals over time it is possible to estimate what proportion of particles came from each source. Normally the filters are collected for a few months or a year, then all the filters are analysed for their metal content, and finally the results are analysed to indicate how much particulate came from each source.

Can the deadline date of 31/10/2017 easily be extended by Environment Canterbury; and if not, why not?

No, the deadline of 31 October cannot easily be extended. Section 84 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) states:

(1) While a policy statement or a plan is operative, the regional council or territorial authority concerned, and every consent authority, shall observe and, to the extent of its authority, enforce the observance of the policy statement or plan.

(2) No purported grant of a resource consent, and no waiver or sufferance or departure from a policy statement or plan, whether written or otherwise, shall, unless authorised by this Act, have effect in so far as it is contrary to subsection(1).

The proposed Canterbury Air Regional Plan is in a state where its rules must be treated as operative. At Environment Canterbury’s Council meeting on 21 September, Council will be considering a resolution to make it legally operative with effect from 31 October 2017.  Extending the 31 October 2017 deadline would require a formal variation to change the rules in the Canterbury Air Regional Plan.

A Plan variation that has the effect of extending the timeframe would be unlikely to succeed if challenged through hearings or the Courts.  The Regional Council has, among its duties, the duty to comply with the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2011 (NESAQ).  The NESAQ requires significant improvement in air quality in Canterbury’s eight identified airsheds by 2021.

Can the testing station be shifted to another site, and if not, why not?

In theory the testing station could be shifted to any site that has space, a power supply, and is far enough away from point sources of contaminants.  It is expensive to move a testing station, and it results in a break in the sequence of data, so we try to keep shifts to a minimum.  Occasionally we are required to move to a new site, for example we moved a testing station from the old Timaru Main School site when the school closed.

The NES requires the monitoring station to be in the worst area, for obvious reasons, and we are confident that the current site is in one of the highest concentration areas in Timaru. We also have a number of studies showing the likely variation in concentrations across the city, and can see no benefit to the monitoring by moving from the current site.

If 25% more wood is burned with an ECan approved ULEB burner, does that not equate to more emissions discharge than an original burner?

Burners are tested for thermal efficiency, that is, how the wood is burnt and how much heat is transferred into the room.  Testing results must meet a minimum thermal efficiency to be authorised (65%), however the actual results vary from the minimum to greater than that.  This is noted on the specifications of each burner and on our authorised burners list.

While in operation, modern burners may burn more wood than older-style burners (as you don’t turn them down and let them smoulder).  However, in a well-insulated home, you won’t need to have your low-emission burner (LEB) or ultra-low emission burner (ULEB) running all day resulting in less wood burnt.

At the recent public burner demonstrations held in Timaru, where a low emission burner and an ultra-low emission burner were demonstrated side by side, the ULEB used less wood than the LEB.

If the new burners are using 25% more wood, how does this equate to scarce wood supply that already exists over the South Canterbury region?

We have no evidence that the new burners are using more wood, and it is likely that they are using less, given their higher efficiencies, as noted above. Therefore, the new burners, together with improved insulation and good operation, will help to get the most heat out of good quality firewood. 

Biodiversity
13 April 2017 - Request for monitoring results relevent to the state of marine environment
1092C - We received an information request for the monitoring results we hold relevant to the state of the marine environment, particularly as it relates to the discharge and dispersal of contaminants and sediment.
Below are the relevant reports: 
1. Remote sensing of river plumes in the Canterbury Bight. Stage II: Final report (author NIWA John Zeldis dated April 2010)
2. Sediment Quality at Muddy Intertidal Sites in Canterbury (authors Lesley Bolton-Ritchie & Patrick Lees dated December 20120
3. Freshwater Dilution and transport in Canterbury Bight (authors NIWA Mark Hadfield & John Zeldis dated June 2012)
6. Modelling historical and future change of the Washdyke Opihi shoreline (author NIWA D Murray Hicks dated October 1994)
7. Central Canterbury bight stage 2 report model predictions (author Tonkin & Taylor dated February 1996)
8. Canterbury open-coast wave refraction & longshore transport study (authors NIWA Richard Gorman, Murray Hicks & Jeremy Walsh dated June 2002)
The State of the Environment (SOE) marine program has been established to monitor the state and long term trend of water quality in the marine environment, and to assess the influence of the river discharges on the marine environment. In this regard, it is not a program for which we produce yearly reports.
The monitoring for the marine SOE program has produced a significant dataset that will allow a comprehensive consideration of the marine environment in this area. We do have current data available but a report is not currently planned this year – the reports we do have and the current data are listed below.
10. Timaru Harbour water quality – September 1998 to June 2005 (author Lesley Bolton-Ritchie dated May 2006)
11. a, b & c. Data – South of Timaru Water Quality – author Lesley Bolton-Ritchie
28 September 2016 - Request for information about wilding conifer control in Canterbury
1025C - Information request for information about wilding conifer control in Canterbury.

The table below shows the amount of funding that has been allocated to control wilding conifers from ECan’s budget for the last five years, broken down by year:

Year Budget
2016/17 $319,689
2015/16 $296,858
2014/15   $267,934
2013/14 $266,389
2012/13 $248,924

Environment Canterbury has not received any Central Government grants for wilding conifer management over this time.

However, Crown agencies such as the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand and the New Zealand Defence Force do fund wilding control on land that they administer. Environment Canterbury does seek and receive funding from philanthropic sources, as outlined in the table below:

Year Funding Source
2016/17 $100,000 Community Partnership Fund (DoC)
2015/16 $100,000 Community Partnership Fund (DoC)
 2014/15 $100,000  Community Partnership Fund (DoC) 
2013/14 $100,000 Lotteries Heritage and Environment
2012/13 $100,000 Lotteries Heritage and Environment

Approximately 850,000 hectares across Canterbury have wilding conifers present. We propose to prevent further wilding spread and progressively reduce or contain existing wilding infestations.

The estimated land area that is treated varies greatly with topography, tree density and tree age. While every infestation we control is mapped, different control methods and associated costs apply to each situation, and the area that is controlled each year varies. The total annual figure is not measured, but we estimate that the average area covered each year is approximately 10,000 hectares.

Compliance
19 December 2017 - Request for information on odour complaints from 40 Metro Place, Bromley, Christchurch during November 2017.
1226C - We received an information request for any odour complaints for 40 Metro Place during November 2017.
This spreadsheet details all investigations into odour complaints at the specified address within the timeline requested.
19 December 2017 - Request for information on freedom camping.
1235C - We received an information request pertaining to freedom camping by laws.
Environment Canterbury does not have any freedom camping bylaws. Such bylaws would be set by a territorial authority.  In the Regional Parks that Environment Canterbury manages any freedom camping bylaws set by territorial authorities would apply.
Environment Canterbury does have freedom camping policies in each of our Regional Park areas.  These policies cover, for example, rubbish disposal, self-containment and maximum stay periods.
We also have some more developed park areas at the Waimakariri River where gates are closed at night time and camping is not permitted behind those gates.  At Lake Tekapo Regional Park, we work with the Lake Tekapo Incorporated Society to provide a motorhome camping area, although this is restricted to members of the camping association.
Find out more about the Regional Parks we manage including information on camping.
14 December 2017 - Request for information about odour complaints made in relation to Patoa Farms, Hurunui.
1223C - We received an information request regarding any complaints in relation to Patoa Farms, in particular any complaints relating to resource consent CRC121636.  This spreadsheet documents complaints made from 06/08/17 to 30/10/2017 as requested.
Please note that information has been redacted in order to protect the privacy of individuals and in order to maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions by or between officers pursuant to section 7(2)(a) and 7(2)(f)(i) of LGOIMA.
6 December 2017 - Request for information on water takes containing requirements for fish screens.
1219C - We received an information request regarding the number of water takes in Canterbury, how many of those have requirements for fish screens, how many of those have monitoring and how many take-holders have submitted evidence of monitoring.  The requestor also asked for details of enforcement or prosecution proceedings taken by Environment Canterbury over the last five years for failure to meet requirements.

All surface water abstractions in Canterbury have an obligation to make sure both native and sports fish are not being adversely affected.  The fish exclusion obligations are typically laid out as conditions on the water take consents. These consent conditions have varied over time and depend on the size and effects of the consents.

To assist the irrigation industry and provide guidance on what is considered a suitable fish screen for Canterbury, in 2007 Environment Canterbury convened a fish screen working party consisting of experts from Irrigation NZ, the Department of Conservation, NIWA, and the Council.  This group produced the Fish Screening: good practice guidelines for Canterbury.

The current Regional Plan has drawn on this Guidance and in schedule 2 of the plan lays out the pre-requisites for a compliant fish screen. It is compliance with both what is written on the consents as well as these guidelines that officers check for when determining compliance.

In recent times, public concern about compliance has resulted in a review of how we prioritise our activity in this critical area of Resource Management.  This has resulted in a programme being implemented to check all regionally significant consents to ensure the biggest resource users in Canterbury are making every effort to comply with their obligations.  As part of this programme, we will be visiting all large surface water consents this year to ensure they comply with their fish screen conditions.

How many water takes are there in Canterbury, and of those how many contain requirements for fish screens?

There are approximately 1665 surface water takes in Canterbury and all will have an obligation to exclude fish in one form or another. Of this number, there are 297 that we consider regionally significant as they are the larger abstractions of >100L/s.

How many of those takes requiring fish screens have mandated monitoring, as part of the take?

There are 229 consents with specific conditions that require the consent holder to submit information to assure us the fish screen has been installed in compliance with agreed design specifications (e.g. Fish Screening: good practice guidelines for Canterbury) and/or tested after being constructed. These are typically the ones for larger abstractions with increased risk. The remaining consents will have a variety of conditions on them depending on when they were granted but all will require fish to be excluded in some way.

Out of those, how many take-holders have submitted evidence of monitoring?

The information on our database indicates 53 of the 229 have been assessed as fully compliant with the condition that requires them to submit information to demonstrate their fish screens have been installed correctly. Of the remaining, 28 were considered non-compliant and 148 either were not operational or not monitored specifically at the time of the last visit.  This does not necessarily mean they do not comply, just that they have not been assessed yet.  As mentioned above, we will be rolling out a programme to check many of these this year.

Provide details on enforcement or prosecution proceedings taken by Environment Canterbury over the last five years for failure to meet requirements for fish screens in takes.

Environment Canterbury has not taken any enforcement over fish screens in the last five years.

27 November 2017 - Request for information regarding effluent and pollution spills into waterways.
1211C - We received a request for information regarding effluent and pollutions spills into waterways. Below are the questions the requestor asked and our answers.

The LGOIMA response will be published along with a summary of the request. Personal information will be removed from the request and from the response.

Table 1: All urban and rural pollution incidents into waterways

  2015 2016 2017
Urban 46 87 77
Rural 138 142 155

Provide examples of where these urban spills originated from, how many were subject to enforcement action and what the penalties were.

Most urban spills are from building and construction activity where sediment and other contaminants such as paint enters the stormwater system and then urban waterways. Other common spills are from industrial sites where contaminants have been spilt and washed into waterways via the stormwater system. Most often we are alerted to these via our 24 Hour Pollution Hotline complaints system. Most urban enforcement for waterway pollution results from us responding to complaints received from the public by our Pollution Hotline for unauthorised one-off spills i.e. they are not associated with existing resource consents. 

Table 2: Urban enforcement 

  2015 2016 2017
Formal warnings 3 4 6
Abatement notices 1 8 4
Infringements 7 14 3
Prosecutions 2 0 0
Total fines $4,500 $ 10,000 $ 2,7500

Provide examples of where these rural spills originated from, how many were subject to enforcement action and what were the penalties?

Most spills in the rural area are caused by poor dairy effluent management or earthworks and stock management in or adjacent to waterways that result in sediment discharges. As noted above, the rural numbers reflect industrial activities that are also located in rural areas, not just farming related activities.

Most rural enforcement results from non-compliance with activities that have resource consents.  These non-compliances are detected via compliance programmes that mainly involve checking of resource consents to discharge dairy effluent or factories located in the rural area.

Table 3: Rural enforcement

  2015 2016 2017
Formal warnings 6 5 8
Abatement notices 34 43 17
Infringements 30 23 50
Prosecutions 1 2 3
Total fines $18,250 $ 15,250 $ 34,750

Provide comment regarding the consistency of Environment Canterbury’s approach to effluent or pollution spills into urban waterways and into rural waterways.

Environment Canterbury approaches all pollution events in the same manner, and RMA compliance and enforcement is undertaken in accordance with the principles contained in the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Guidelines 2010. This is to make sure compliance and enforcement work is treated equally and rules are applied fairly across the Canterbury region. All decisions to prosecute are made in accordance with the Solicitor General’s Prosecution Guidelines.

Provide comment regarding measures being adopted by Environment Canterbury to prevent the pollution of urban waterways.

Environment Canterbury adopts various measures to prevent spills into urban waterways. We rely on both statutory (e.g. rules in plans) and non-statutory methods (e.g. advertising and community engagement activities). The Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) and the development of local water Zone Implementation Programmes (ZIPs) by the communities across Canterbury also address water quality in urban settings and each ZIP has targets around this.

We also prioritise our compliance effort based on risk, meaning we assess the risk for every consent and look more closely at those that pose the highest risk.

One key area of focus in the urban setting is stormwater discharges from our cities and towns as most pollution enters our waterways via the stormwater network. We work with local councils to manage their networks and under the Land and Water Regional Plan all urban centres are expected to hold resource consents to manage the risks associated with discharges into their stormwater networks.

We also carry out enforcement if it is deemed necessary to reinforce the message that discharges to water contrary to the rules and our community expectations are not acceptable.

Provide comment regarding measures being adopted by Environment Canterbury to prevent the pollution of rural waterways.

Most of the steps outlined above regarding statutory and non-statutory methods apply also in the rural setting.  The Land and Water Regional Plan contains rules to manage discharges to water and the CWMS and ZIPs have targets on water quality in the rural setting.

We also prioritise our compliance effort based on risk, meaning we assess the risk for every consent and look more closely at those that pose the highest risk.
The key area of focus in the rural setting is farming to Good Management Practices (GMPs).  The farming Industry developed a set of GMPs, which we will be requiring farmers to meet through implementing FarmEnvironment Plans.

The Farm Environment Plans are audited by qualified independent auditors.  A key part of meeting GMP is making sure pollution is not running off farms and getting into waterways from dairy effluent systems or from stock access to waterways.

15 November 2017 - Request for information on complaints made to the Pollution Hotline in relation to the composting operation at Canterbury Landscape Supplies.
1208C - We received an information request for all complaints made to the Environment Canterbury Pollution Hotline regarding the composting operation of Canterbury Landscape Supplies.

Here is a spreadsheet of complaints made in relation made to this address. Please note that “not substantiated” means that we were unable to establish that there was an issue. There may be some instances, for example, where we were unable to attend.

Please also note that information has been redacted in order to protect the privacy of individuals and in order to maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions by or between officers pursuant to section 7(2)(a) and 7(2)(f)(i) of LGOIMA.

14 September 2017 - Request for documents on hazardous chemicals and leachates leaking from Kyle Park, and copies of resource consents related to Chalmers Street
1166C - We received an information request for all documents and knowledge on hazardous chemicals and leachates leaking from the Smarts Road rubbish pit to the Heathcote River catchment. Copies of any resource consents we hold regarding Chalmers Street around the loading and unloading of goods service vehicles were also requested.

Hazardous chemicals and leachates leaking from the Smarts Road rubbish pit

There are no relevant resource consents at the Kyle Park site. We are aware it was an active landfill from approximately 1960 to 1984.  The stormwater discharge from the site is authorised by the South West Global Stormwater Consent CRC120223 which is held by the Christchurch City Council.  We have no investigations on record relating to hazardous substances or leachate from the site.

Resource consents related to Chalmers Street

There are no resource consents required for the loading/unloading of goods and services vehicles.  Environment Canterbury has controls (rules) on the use of land to store hazardous substances. Rule 5.179 and 5.181 of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan seem the most relevant as they permit the use of land to store hazardous substances.  This means that where certain conditions are met, land may be used for storage of hazardous substances and no resource consent is necessary.  These rules are as follows: Rule 5.179 and 5.181 of the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan seem the most relevant as they permit the use of land to store hazardous substances. This means that where certain conditions are met, land may be used for storage of hazardous substances and no resource consent is necessary.  These rules are as follows:

5.179 The use of land for the storage in a portable container and use of a hazardous substance listed in Part A of Schedule 4 is a permitted activity, provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The substance is approved under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 and the storage and use of the substance is in accordance with all conditions of the approval; and
  2. The container(s) are not located within:
    a. 20 m of a surface water body or a bore; or
    b. a Group or Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1.

(Portable container is defined as: one or more containers of petrol, kerosene or diesel used for refuelling and the container(s) is fixed to a vehicle, towed by a vehicle or transported by helicopter, but does not comprise part of the inbuilt fuel system required to power a vehicle or machine).

5.181 The use of land for the storage, other than in a portable container, and use of a hazardous substance listed in Part A of Schedule 4 is a permitted activity, provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The substance is approved under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 and the storage and use of the substance is in accordance with all conditions of the approval; and
  2. A current inventory of all hazardous substances on the site is maintained, and a copy of the inventory shall be made available to the CRC or emergency services on request; and
  3. For hazardous substances stored or held on or over land, all areas or installations used to store or hold hazardous substances are inspected at least once per month or annually if the site is outside of any area or zone identified in a proposed or operative district plan for residential, commercial or industrial purposes and is unstaffed, and repaired or maintained if any defects are found that may compromise the containment of the hazardous substance; and
  4. For hazardous substances stored or held in a container located in or under land:
    a) if there has been any physical loss of product, then the Canterbury Regional Council shall be notified within 24 hours of confirmation of the loss; and
    b) records of stock reconciliations over the past 12 months shall be made available to the CRC upon request. If requested, a copy of the stock reconciliation and the most recent certification of the container     shall be provided to the CRC within five working days; and
  5. For substances stored within a Community Drinking-water Protection Zone as set out in Schedule 1:
    a) all hazardous substances on a site are stored under cover in a facility which is designed, constructed and managed to contain a leak or spill and allow the leaked or spilled substance to either be collected or lawfully disposed of; and
    b) spill kits to contain or absorb a spilt substance are located with the storage facility and use areas at all times and
  6. Except where the storage was lawfully established before 4 July 2004 and the maximum quantity stored has not increased since that date, or the storage relates to transformers and other equipment associated with electricity infrastructure, the substances shall not be stored within:
    a) 20 m of a surface waterbody or a bore used for water abstraction; or
    b) 250 m of a known active fault that has a recurrence period of less than 10,000 years, and the land is:
    i. over an unconfined or semi-confined aquifer;
    ii. within 50m of a permanently or intermittently flowing river or lake.
30 August 2017 - Request for information on dairy prosecutions, abatement notices and infringement notices issued by Environment Canterbury in the year ended 30 June 2017
1157C - We received an information request regarding dairy prosecutions, abatement notices and infringement notices issues in the year ending 30 June 2017.
There are 1,309 dairy effluent consents for farms in the Canterbury region. Environment Canterbury’s role is to make sure the operation of the dairy effluent consents associated with these farms does not unduly impact on water quality throughout the region.
For the 2016/17 financial year, Environment Canterbury staff conducted 953 inspections against 790 dairy effluent consents.  This equates to 60% of dairy effluent consents being directly monitored by council staff.  In addition, through the Farm Environment Plan programme, independent auditors have carried out audits on another 196 dairy farms in the 2016/17 financial year.
The majority of these inspections (over 90%) were conducted on site.  The remainder were conducted by assessing information that was sent to Environment Canterbury by the consent holders.  Environment Canterbury has no obligation to advise the consent holder in advance of an inspection, but the council generally provides between 15 minutes and 2 days’ notice, depending on the circumstances around the inspection.
In the year 2016/17 we took 25 enforcement actions against the holders of dairy discharge consents. We prosecuted three parties in one prosecution during this period relating to dairy effluent overflowing from a pond into a paddock at one farm.  These prosecutions resulted in $58,000 in fines to two companies (Mairangi Diaries Limited and A&H Dairies Limited). A director of A&H Dairies, Mr Shaskey, was discharged without conviction in the year 2017/18.
Last season we continued to meet our obligation to monitor compliance with dairy effluent discharge consents.  We also took steps to educate and to work with farmers dealing with the season’s many challenges, including the earthquakes in Hurunui and Kaikoura.

Number of Dairy Farm Prosecutions, Abatement Notices and Infringement Notices for the 2015/16 Year

Infringement Notices: 19

Abatement Notices: 1

Prosecutions commenced: 1

Prosecutions resolved: 1

Enforcement action can include the following actions:

  • Formal written warning – notice of an offence (often minor)
  • Abatement notice – formal notice to take action or cease an activity that may have an adverse environmental effect or breaches the Resource Management Act
  • Infringement notice – formal notice of an offence which includes payment of a fine
  • Prosecution – for offences so serious that they warrant proceedings through the courts

It is important to note that the type of enforcement action taken depends on the situation.

Environment Canterbury’s first response is to work with individuals and businesses to achieve the right environmental outcome.  For every significant non-compliance, we, at the very least, have an action plan with the consent holder.  The vast majority of non-compliance is resolved with the cooperation of the consent holder and doesn’t require further action.

We are continually looking at our procedures to ensure we respond to complaints in a timely manner, resolve the issue quickly, and take enforcement action where appropriate.  We are sometimes criticised for not prosecuting those who breach consent requirements or rules.  More value and better outcomes are achieved through advice and education.  If education does not get the right result, there are a number of tools available to us (as noted above) that we would use before we reach the prosecution stage. We will prosecute when we need to and we know we have the community’s mandate to do so.

29 August 2017 - Request for information regarding territorial authorities’ compliance with resource consents relating to the sewerage and stormwater systems

1173C - We received the following questions regarding Canterbury territorial authorities’ stormwater and sewerage systems compliance for the year ending 30 June 2017.

How many abatement notices, infringement notices, enforcement orders and convictions relating to its sewerage discharge system?

There have been no abatement or infringement notices issued, enforcement orders or prosecutions in relation to sewerage or stormwater systems for the following territorial authorities:

  • Ashburton District Council
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Hurunui District Council
  • Kaikōura District Council
  • Mackenzie District Council
  • Selwyn District Council
  • Timaru District Council
  • Waimakariri District Council
  • Waimate District Council
  • Waitaki District Council

The following significant issues have been noted in relation to sewerage or stormwater resource consents:

Christchurch City Council

  • CRC092692 Avon and Heathcote Rivers – discharging in non-consented locations and at greater frequency than consented. Note that a non-enforcement agreement is in place until October 2017.
  • CRC120223 Southwest stormwater consent – absence of stormwater mitigation infrastructure on the Redmond Spur development.
  • CRC940690A Lyttelton wastewater treatment plant – overflows of untreated sewerage in wet weather (see also CRC167412 for replacement pipeline consent).

Mackenzie District Council

  • CRC042914 Tekapo oxidation ponds – effluent discharge entering the Tekapo River

Timaru District Council

  • CRC164341 Temuka Oxidation Ponds – factory discharge of cleaning product destroyed the active bacteria in the ponds (now compliant).

Were all consent conditions met at Kate Valley landfill for the year ending 30 June 2017?

No consent conditions have been non-compliant for the landfill at Kate Valley.

How many breaches of consent conditions leading to significant adverse effects for treatment and disposal of sewage and the stormwater system at Waimakariri District Council?

No additional significant adverse effects have been identified as a result of the Waimakariri District Council sewerage or stormwater resource consents.

9 May 2017 - Request for information about Section 33 RMA Transfers
1108C - We received an information request regarding Section 33 of the Resource Management Act - Transfer of powers. The requester’s specific questions are listed below with our replies.
Have any transfers of power been made by the council through section 33 RMA since 2015?

We have made no transfers to iwi since 2015.

Are any methods outside of Section 33 RMA used to transfer any duties or functions to authorities other than the council?

Environment Canterbury works very closely with Ngāi Tahu on a wide range of resource management issues.

Environment Canterbury has a co-governance arrangement with Ngāi Tahu around Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and is supported by the Whakaora Te Waihora programme.

Environment Canterbury works in partnership with Ngāi Tahu through the Tuia programme. This is about working together to achieve better outcomes for everyone. It’s about relationships, mutual respect, shared understandings and shared values. Working in partnership in this way means that we can create a sustainable environment for current and future generations – together.

Has the council been approached by iwi for any transfers under section 33, and if these were never progressed what the reasons for this were?

No, we have not been approached by iwi for any transfers under section 33 of the RMA since 2015.

27 February 2017 - Request for information regarding the Yaldhurst Quarries
1071C - We received a request for information about cattle that had been observed alongside the Hurunui River. Environment Canterbury decided not to take any action against the owner operators in relation to a complaint about these cattle. This decision was the result of a number of considerations which are outlined below.  
We received a request for information regarding the quarries in Yaldhurst. Below are charts with information regarding public complaints:
  1. All public complaints on groundwater in the last 5 years in the Yaldhurst area
  2. All public complaints about dust in the last 5 years in the Yaldhurst area
Information regarding borehole monitoring results was also requested, however this information is too large to put on our website. If you would like a copy of the monitoring results please contact us at LGOIMA@ecan.govt.nz.
Also requested was our staff’s comments on Air Quality Investigation Yaldhurst Quarries, Report No R16/30. This is an Environment Canterbury report carried out by our staff (in the Environmental Sciences Section) and stands on its own merits.
The study was undertaken to determine if there was a dust issue in the area. While the report identified that dust was an issue, it was unable to identify its source. For this reason, subsequent investigations were undertaken. However, intensive visual monitoring could not identify the visible dust. Residents reported that it was fine particulate, invisible to the eye, which was the on-going problem. For this reason, continuous fine particulate monitoring is being scheduled.
We have since been advised by at least one resident that it is not the day-to-day dust which is causing problems, but the cumulative build up on his property, and that this is causing health effects.
This matter has been referred to Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, while we continue to pursue continuous fine particulate monitoring.
17 February 2017 - Request for information about complaints by Environment Canterbury regarding air discharge permit held by Southern Horticultural Products Limited (intelligro) at 1366 & 1394 Main South Road, Rolleston
1069C - We received an information request about complaints received by Environment Canterbury regarding air discharge permit held by Southern Horticultural Products Limited (intelligro) at 1366 & 1394 Main South Road, Rolleston. 
Attached is a list of all the complaints for the address.
Some information has been redacted in order to protect the privacy of individuals and in order to maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions by or between officers pursuant to section 7(2)(a) and 7(2)(f)(i) of LGOIMA.
13 February 2017 - Request for information regarding the effectiveness of Rangitata Diversion Race Ltd’s fish screens
1068C - We received an information request regarding the effectiveness of Rangitata Diversion Race Ltd’s fish screens. Below are the specific questions that were asked and our reply.  
What work Environment Canterbury has done recently to ensure that any fish screens on, or near the RDR intake are effective in ensuring native fish, salmon and trout remain in the river?
After receiving a report by Ryder Consulting in 2015 (see attached) showing the fish screen cannot achieve the efficiency promised during the consent hearing in 2007, despite a great deal of effort and money being spent on improvements, we issued a Compliance Monitoring Report to RDRML rating the consent as significantly non-compliant.
This initiated a series of meetings between RDRML and Environment Canterbury, resulting in RDRML agreeing to replace the screen with one that functions adequately within two years.
This will be a significant investment by RDR, and Environment Canterbury is pleased with the outcome as it negates the need for further action. We understand Central South Island Fish and Game are also pleased with this outcome. RDRML are currently investigating design options for the new screen.
How effective does Environment Canterbury consider the fish screens on the RDR scheme to be and why?
We consider the Bio Acoustic Fish Fence (BAFF) screen on the Rangitata water take to be largely ineffective, as indicated by the Ryder report. We agree with the reasoning in the report as to why it is only on average 33% efficient.
What independent research and/or monitoring information for the Rangitata and the RDR scheme is available to show that the screens are effective; and if none is available, on what other Canterbury irrigations schemes have fish screens of the same or similar design to those used on the RDR scheme been shown to be effective?
Please refer to the Ryder report for independent monitoring showing the screen is not an effective barrier to fish. There are no other bio-acoustic fish screens similar to that used by RDRML in Canterbury.
What is Environment Canterbury’s view is of recent research information, in particular, NIWA reports which questions the effectiveness of the screens and Environment Canterbury testing using “mixed vegetables”?
We have not endorsed the use of “mixed vegetables” as a methodology of testing fish screens.
What abatement or other enforcement action Environment Canterbury has taken should the RDR fish screens prove ineffective?
In fact, no enforcement actions have been taken and we deem none to be necessary at this stage, given that RDRMLhave agreed to replace their screen within two years, as explained above.
This is the outcome all parties want, and it is the outcome that Environment Canterbury is focused on.
Does RDR’s resource consent allow the entrapment and death of native fish and trout and salmon, and if so, to what scale?
In essence, yes, it was always envisaged that some fish would get through the RDRML fish screen. At the consent hearing it was promised to be 80% efficient, therefore there was always an expectation that 20% of fish that enter the diversion may end up in the races and not go down the bypass and back into the Rangitata River.
It is widely accepted that no fish screen is 100% effective, especially given some native fish will make efforts to climb around barriers. However, the fact that the screen has failed to meet expectations is of huge concern to Environment Canterbury, and is the reason why we have pursued RDRML to build a new one, which they have agreed to do.
13 February 2017 - Request for information on Selwyn River groundwater management
1067C - We received a request for information regarding irrigation and groundwater management at the Selwyn River. The requester’s questions and our replies are outlined below.
Who monitors the farmers’ irrigation levels and compliance to the restrictions and how often action is taken for noncomplying farmers?
Monitoring is primarily carried out by our Resource Management Officers within the Compliance team.
The attached Compliance Monitoring Selwyn Zone Report 2015-2016 shows that during this time there were 14 formal warnings, 10 infringement notices and 24 abatement notices issued by way of enforcement action.
Why does Environment Canterbury allows irrigation to take place on hot northwest days when thousands of litres of water are blown away to evaporate?
It is about maximising grass growth. Farmers need to irrigate on these days to keep up with soil moisture demand, especially during days when there is a hot northwest wind blowing. Many farmers will irrigate 24/7 to cope with the demand, as long as they have legal access to water.
All water permits/consents contain limits on how much water can be used (including limits on rate of take, limits on total water volumes and low flow restrictions) and as long as consent holders are not exceeding soil moisture levels (losing water below the root zone) and not irrigating unproductive areas such as roads and other hardstand, they are permitted to irrigate within these consent limits. If irrigation was restricted to non-windy days the rate of application would need to be much greater when irrigation does occur, needing bigger pumps, bigger pipes and higher rate of take, which could be significant if water is taken from surface water.
Our Land Management Advisors work with farmers and industry groups across the region on efficient use of irrigation as a good management practice (GMP). Several irrigation GMP-focused workshops were held with farmers in 2016 and more are planned in the future.
Are records available to show any proof that Environment Canterbury visits farms to check on compliance?
A Compliance Monitoring Report is produced every site visit and this is recorded on our database.
What are the irrigation restrictions listed on Canterbury Waters website specifically for the Selwyn district and affecting the farms from Glentunnel to Lake Ellesmere?
Details about these irrigation restrictions can be found here.
Are any new consents being approved for bores that will further impact the ground water levels in the Selwyn District?
There were no consents issued in 2016 for consumptive water takes that would impact groundwater levels. This is because it is now a prohibited activity in the new Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) to take water from a groundwater zone that is over-allocated, such as the Selwyn-Waihora groundwater zone.
Who is monitoring the nitrogen levels on farm land close to the river?
Nitrogen levels in the groundwater and surface water are being monitored by a network of regional monitoring bores and sampling that Environment Canterbury undertakes. At a farm level, N-losses are being monitored through the use of resource consents and Farm Environment Plans (FEPs). The Selwyn-Waihora Plan, which forms part of the Land and Water Regional Plan, requires about 900 high leaching farms in the zone to obtain resource consents and develop Farm Environment Plans. These plans will require farmers to check their N-losses every year via the use of the Overseer nutrient loss model. The FEPs will be audited and through this process we will check their N-losses. We will also monitor the cumulative losses from all farms against the catchment load limit that has been set in the Selwyn-Waihora Plan.
What action is Environment Canterbury taking now and in the future to achieve improvements in flows down the Selwyn River?
Along with the actions outlined above, which are intended to stop any more water consents being issued from an over-allocated aquifer, improve efficiency of water use and reduce nutrient leaching, we have policies in the Selwyn-Waihora sub-regional plan to move irrigators away from groundwater and into Alpine-fed surface water. The Central Plains Water scheme is an example of this. This scheme takes Alpine water stored during high flows in Lake Coleridge and distributes it to over 20,000 Ha (stage 1) of farmland in the zone. Using this surface water means there will be more groundwater in the aquifer, which will in turn supply the springs, which feed the plains’ rivers such as the Selwyn. One last direct action is that under the new plan if someone wants to transfer a water permit to another location they will need to surrender 50% of the water allocated. It is hoped by using the interventions above the flows in the plains’ rivers, especially the Selwyn River, will improve over time.
24 January 2017 - Request for information in relation to Tegel Foods Ltd for the operation of a poultry processing plant
1056C - We received an information request for the following information we hold regarding consents granted to Tegel Foods Ltd for the operation of a poultry processing plant:
  • the decision/s to grant the discharge consent(s); and
  • any correspondence, documents or other information concerning the operation of the plant, compliance with consent conditions, complaints about odour discharges, inspection by Council staff, annual monitoring reports etc.
There are 80 associated attachments with this LGOIMA which we cannot provide on our website. If you would like to view these attachments please contact us at LGOIMA@ecan.govt.nz.
In regards to complaints about odours, we have received a number of complaints about sporadic offensive odours discharged from Tegel Foods processing facility on Carmen Road. Officers have substantiated offensive odour several times over the last 15 years.
Also, there have been incidents where waste products have been discharged from the site into the Christchurch City Council’s storm water network, which resulted in enforcement action.
In this period our officers have identified a number of practices to be addressed to improve odour and waste control. Tegel Foods has a record of carrying out improvements to processes and equipment to address concerns we have raised about odour.
There have been some instances where we have taken enforcement action because the incidents were serious. Examples of these related to odour discharges following the prolonged storage of offal outside, or the release of waste to land where it entered the CCC storm water network.
There have been 15 odour incidents registered in 2015 and 2016, of which two allegations of offensive odour discharged from the operation have been substantiated.
Date Incident
22/05/2015

Offensive odour from processing substantiated by after-hours officer

07/03/2014 Odour control letter received setting out a range of improvements to be carried out
 02/2014 Offensive odour discharge identified beyond the site boundary. The officer identified the potential for the discharge to be from the double-venting of cooker vessels 
05/2012 Compliance report following visit, full compliance achieved, but comments received from local businesses about common odour problems
2009 Fire burns the primary processing facility down
16/12/2009  Letter regarding odour in Halwyn Drive, potentially from the release of cooker gases 
11/02/2009 Letter regarding offensive odour discharges – increased monitoring was proposed to identify sources of odour for management and controls
18/02/2008 Compliance report regarding offensive odours discharged from offal that had not been removed from the site. Enforcement action
23/01/2008 Discharge of wastewater due to a breakdown, significant clean up carried out voluntarily
2006 Proposed change from LFO to alternative (biofuels)
05/2006 Continuing work on odour reduction from the scald room
11/10/2005 A loss of waste from the site. Pump failure cause. Stream cleaned up
2004 Concerns raised about storm water discharges, to land and to surface water
2004 Non-compliance with condition about offensive odour
22/07/2004 Inspection and alleged breach of Abatement Notice observed
19/07/2004 Abatement notices regarding discharges of contaminants to land where they could enter water. Cease /Do
10/09/2003 Open containers with small quantities of offal were observed. Tegel were evaluating the potential for lifting the scald room extraction to improve odour dispersion.
01/09/2003 Complaints most frequently were received from locations downwind of Tegel in easterly conditions
21/03/2003 Compliance inspection following complaints: strong odours detected downwind, most likely to be coming from the contra-shear
19 December 2016 - Request for information about infringement/abatement notices and prosecutions issued against territorial authorities in Canterbury
1059C - Information request about infringement/abatement notices and prosecutions issued against territorial authorities in Canterbury.
The following table includes details of notices that were issued against a territorial authority during the years 2014/15 and 2015/16:
Name Date of Offence Alleged Incident Location Penalty
Christchurch City Council (CCC) 14/06/2016 Discharging contaminants to air from an industrial or trade premises (offensive odour) from Living Earth site at 40 Metro Place, Bromley

Bromley, Christchurch

Infringement notice which was then withdrawn as Living Earth contractor paid their infringement for the discharge

Timaru District Council

(TDC)

27/06/2014 Permitting a discharge of contaminants, namely treated human effluent, from the George Street Oxidization ponds, Pleasant Point, into the Opihi River in a manner which contravenes Section 15(1) of the Resource Management Act 1991 and Rule 3 of the Opihi River Regional Plan Pleasant Point Abatement notice which was lifted 5 October 2015

Timaru District Council

(TDC) 
27/06/2014  Permitting a discharge of contaminants, namely treated sewage into the Opihi River from the Pleasant Point Effluent Ponds, when that discharge was not expressly allowed by a national environmental standards or other regulations, a rule in a regional plan as well as a rule in a proposed regional plan for the same region (if there is one), or a resource consent.   Pleasant Point Infringement notice $750 issued 16/09/2014 
Timaru District Council
(TDC) 
30/06/2014  Permitting a discharge of contaminants, namely treated sewage into the Opihi River from the Pleasant Point Effluent Ponds, when that discharge was not expressly allowed by a national governmental standard or other regulations, a rule in a regional plan as well as a rule in a proposed regional plan for the same region (if there is one), or a resource consent.   Pleasant Point Infringement notice $750 issued 16/09/2014 

The infringement and abatement notices issued to the Timaru District Council in 2014 were in relation to the Pleasant Point oxidation ponds, which became over full because of stormwater infiltration into sewer lines in heavy rain. To protect the ponds from overtopping, Timaru District Council decided to discharge into the Opihi River. Environment Canterbury will be meeting with TDC in early January 2017 to further discuss their wastewater consents.

The infringement notice issued to the Christchurch City Council was later withdrawn as the infringement was paid.

27 October 2016 - Request for information regarding water take compliance
1035C - The request was in relation to nine names and businesses published on our website during October 2016 under “enforcement response” who were found to not be in compliance with various aspects of their water take consent.
All the names relating to water take consents were for abatement notices. This list of names is not static and does change as individuals comply with requirements and are removed from this list. None of those named have previously been subject to enforcement action from Environment Canterbury.
We were also asked about “anyone permitted to take water for the new irrigation season who does not meet the necessary conditions outlined”. Environment Canterbury are actively following up on all outstanding actions relating to compliance with an abatement notice or otherwise agreed action plan in relation to installing water measuring devices. This is an active programme that is being internally monitored on a weekly basis.
We can also confirm that no permissions have been granted for individuals to take water this irrigation season (in the 10 l/s and above flow category) without having an appropriate measuring device in place. 
18 October 2016 - Request for information about cattle observed alongside the Hurunui river
1029C - We received a request for information about cattle that had been observed alongside the Hurunui River. Environment Canterbury decided not to take any action against the owner operators in relation to a complaint about these cattle. This decision was the result of a number of considerations which are outlined below.  
On 12 September 2016 Environment Canterbury was advised by a member of the public that cows were observed in/near the Hurunui River at the Jollie Brook Conservation Area. We also received several photos that were took on 4 September, and which are attached.
In response to this complaint, on 14 September one of our Resource Management Officers visited the site to investigate the impact that cattle were having on the area.
About 20 cows were observed in various locations on the true left of the river, downstream from the confluence of the Jollie Brook. Our RMO did not observe any cows in the river, and no obvious signs of damage. He met with the owner operators of Lake Taylor Station, where he discussed the complaint and showed them the photos. The owner operators confirmed that their cattle, which are wintered between May and October, are walked across the river when they change locations.
Our RMO discussed the rules with the owner operators. The cattle are allowed in rivers, but with conditions that relate to crossing points only. The general process of enforcement was also discussed, as well as the various steps and options available once a decision is made.
After the meeting our RMO conducted a thorough examination of the area and found some evidence of cow dung and pugging, but no cattle in the river.
On 15 September our RMO confirmed with the owner operators that the usual crossing point is just upstream of the confluence with Jollie Brook. At this point, it was confirmed that the cattle were no longer on the DoC grazing concession.
To conclude, action was not taken by Environment Canterbury against the owner operators after an assessment of the following factors:
  • a delay in the complaint being made
  • photograph supplied shows cattle standing on a small peninsula between the two rivers
  • admission that the cattle cross the river very close to where the photo was taken
  • they do so to reach a parcel of land that is a DOC grazing lease, annually since about 1948. Entry is at the start of May and leave is at the start of October for calving
  • there was no pugging or evidence of cow dung in the river, there was sign of dung on the true left bank and terraces where the cows have camped
  • the area is not one of the prohibited sites listed in Schedule 17
  • Jollie Brook is an area of interest to Fish and Game
  • the environmental damage is less than minor
The owner operators of Lake Taylor Station were advised of the outcome of this investigation on 29 September 2016.
See attachments below:
1 September 2016 - Request for information on the number of prosecutions, abatement notices and infringement notices Environment Canterbury has issued for dairy effluent discharges for the 2015/16 year.
1002C - Dairying has been growing in Canterbury. Environment Canterbury’s role is to make sure this intensification does not unduly impact on water quality throughout the region. In the year 15/16 we took 34 enforcement actions, whereas in the 14/15 year we took only 12. Last season we continued to meet our obligation to monitor compliance with dairy effluent discharge consents. We also took steps to educate and to work with farmers dealing with the season’s many challenges, including drought conditions.
Number of Dairy Farm Prosecutions, Abatement Notices and Infringement Notices for 15/16 Year
  • Infringement Notice for breaching an Abatement Notice 1
  • Abatement Notices 19
  • Infringement Notices for ponded effluent 14
  • Prosecutions 0
We have, sinceyear end (30 June 2016), commenced a prosecution against three defendants in relation to an overflowing effluent transfer sump at a dairy farm in North Canterbury.  Enforcement action can include the following actions:
  • Formal written warning – notice of an offence (often minor)
  • Abatement notice – formal notice to take action or cease an activity that may have an adverse
  • environmental effect or breaches the Resource Management Act
  • Infringement notice – formal notice of an offence which includes payment of a fine.
  • Prosecution – for offences so serious that they warrant proceedings through the courts.
It is important to note that the type of enforcement action taken depends on the situation.
For example, one person might receive a formal warning which leads them to take action and does not require follow up enforcement actions. In other situations, a variety of enforcement actions are taken.
For every significant non-compliance, we, at the very least, have an action plan with the consent holder. The vast majority of non-compliance is resolved with the cooperation of the consent holder and doesn’t require further action.
We are continually looking at our procedures to ensure we react to complaints in a timely manner, resolve the issue quickly, and take enforcement action where appropriate. When enforcement is needed, we won’t hesitate to take action, including prosecution of the most serious cases. We are also continuing to work with industry and farmers on education and raising awareness.
More than 2200 farmers in Canterbury have taken action to understand and mitigate the environmental effects from their farms by developing a Farm Environment Plan (FEP). The FEP approach recognises every farm is different and it helps farmers think about the risks on their land and the actions they can take to improve their farming business.
The follow-up is an independent audit which looks at the Farm Environment Plan and assesses whether the farmer is doing what they said they would. The farmer is then graded A, B (acceptable) or C, D (not acceptable) based on how they are managing environmental risks under their Farm Environment Plan. Around 250 farmers have already had their plans independently audited. We expect all 5000 farms in the Canterbury region to have created their FEPs and be working to good management practices within a couple of years.

 

18 July 2016 - Request for information regarding prosecution advice on 'water theft cases' and "any advice on the decision of whether or not to prosecute in these two cases
986C -We received a request for information on 'prosecution advice on water theft cases.
In your request you asked for, "any advice on the decision of whether or not to prosecute in these two cases. (Both cases should be easily identifiable from the original data you provided to Forest & Bird)".
We provided some context to water metering in Canterbury before addressing those two specifics below:
Farming water use practices are changing
In 2009 the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) was launched. An initiative of the region's Mayoral Forum, it set out a shared vision, which was developed over many years via extensive public engagement. This vision reflected the community's desire to work differently, in a collaborative manner, around water management.
As a result Environment Canterbury has adopted a strong collaborative and supportive approach to getting the right environmental outcomes for the community. In terms of water measurement/metering this has meant Environment Canterbury has worked with water take consent holders to move water management towards a self-audited approach where we can work together to ensure that compliance is achieved.
As the national rules for water metering were introduced, Environment Canterbury (in 2011) began a five year staged process to ensure that all water-take consent holders (for 5 litres/s or more) had installed a water measuring device. It is a farmer's responsibility to manage their resources to achieve water efficiency.
From a water measurement perspective, when the process started few meters were in place and so a huge effort has been made by Environment Canterbury's compliance team to get farmers on board with this process.
Daily monitoring and telemetry has been installed on most Canterbury farms to measure water use over the last four years. This has involved significant technological change for farmers and for Environment Canterbury, ensuring all large water takes are being measured, monitored and reported, and ensuring water use is within the allocated amount set by consent.
18 July 2016 - Request for information on enforcement actions undertaken by Environment Canterbury in the past 10 years under s15(1)(a) of the Resource Management Act 1991, which relates solely to the discharge of contaminants directly into water
983C - We received a request for further information on enforcement actions undertaken by Environment Canterbury in the past 10 years under s15(1)(a) of the RMA 1991, which relates soltely to the discharge of contaminants directly into water.
The figures here indicate enforcement actions relating specifically to s15(1)(a) of the RMA in the past 10 years.
This section relates solely to the discharge of contaminants directly into water. For Environment Canterbury, action taken under s15(1 )(a) commonly relates to sediment and effluent discharges, but also includes hydrocarbons and chemical discharges.
The more common breach we deal with is under s 15( 1 )(b) which relates to discharges into land that could affect water quality. This year, we have issued 29 abatement notices under s15(1)(b) with a significant number more being processed before issue.
Investigations
Environment Canterbury has well established guidelines on how to deal with incidents and our staff are well trained in making judgements on what level of response is required. In determining the level of action required we consider things like:
  • The scale of contamination- how long did it go on for? How much contaminant was released? What was the effect on the environment and is it something that could be fixed or are the effects irreversible?
  • The behaviour of the offender- was this an accident or deliberate? Is there evidence of previous offending? Have we taken action against them before? Was the incident avoidable?
  • The significance of the incident on the community
  • The legal availability of enforcement tools- successful prosecution under the RMA can be difficult
For the full guidelines see  Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Guidelines.

Our strategy is to achieve good environmental outcomes by working with people to achieve compliance. Research shows those who are invested in the process are more likely to sustain that compliance.

Enforcements

Enforcement action can include the following actions:

  • Formal written warning - notice of an offence (often minor)
  • Abatement notice - formal notice to take action or cease an activity that may have an adverse environmental effect or breaches the Resource Management Act
  • Infringement notice - formal notice of an offence which includes payment of a fine.
  • Prosecution - for offences so serious that they warrant proceedings through the courts.
It is important to note that the type of enforcement action taken depends on the situation. 

For example, one person might receive a formal warning which leads them to take action and does not require follow up enforcement actions. In other situations, a variety of enforcement actions are taken.

We often find people simply don't understand that what they do on a property could affect a nearby stream through the storm water system. Some people also don't understand that sediment (for example) is a serious pollutant of streams and rivers as it smothers the bed and kills stream life.

In some cases it is not possible to take enforcement action because we cannot establish who or what caused the pollution. This is particularly the case when we are notified well after the incident or in an area where there are many businesses or properties making it difficult to pinpoint the offender.

For every significant non-compliance, we, at the very least, have an action plan with the consent holder. The vast majority of non-compliance is resolved with the cooperation of the consent holder and doesn't require further action.

Looking ahead

We are continually looking at our procedures to ensure we react to complaints in a timely manner, resolve the issue quickly, and take enforcement action where appropriate.

We are continuing to work with industry and farmers on education and raising awareness, but when enforcement is needed, we won't hesitate to take action, including prosecution of the most serious cases.

Consents
11 December 2017 - Request for information on the management of existing discharges into the Twizel Drinking Water Protection Zone.

1222C - We received an information request regarding consents for human effluent discharge into the Twizel Drinking Water Protection Zone and how the human effluent discharges are being managed.

The only resource consent for human effluent discharges within the community protection zone is CRC084700. There are three other issued consents for wastewater discharges outside the protection zone in Hocken Lane:

Environment Canterbury does not have information on how Mackenzie District Council manages human effluent discharges in the Twizel Drinking Water Protection Zone.  We are working alongside the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) and Canterbury district councils to establish good practice for management and protection of drinking water supplies across the region, but that work is not yet complete.

8 December 2017 - Request for information on water allocation in Canterbury related water consents

1216C - We received an information request regarding water allocation in Canterbury and water consents granted since those water allocation areas reached 100% allocation.

We provided the requestor with the current percentage of allocation in each area and this is attached for:

  1. Surface Water
  2. Groundwater

We have two different spreadsheet tables because Groundwater and Surface Water are accounted for separately. This is because they have different management triggers.

  • Surface water has minimum flows in the river at which irrigation must cease and river flow trigger levels at which flow rates must reduce.
  • Groundwater doesn’t have minimum flows attached but is managed on an instantaneous take rate and annual total.
  • Groundwater takes that are considered hydraulically linked (i.e. taking their water directly affects river flows because they are so close to a river) are considered surface water takes.

We manage the water as a single resource (combined groundwater and surface water) but for the sake of accounting for takes and how they are restricted we maintain different tables.

The requestor also asked for any commentary that would be helpful and we provided the following:

Within Canterbury there is a comprehensive suite of resource management plans to manage the take and use of water. Many of our largest catchments, including the Hurunui, Waiau, Waimakariri and Waitaki, along with the Waipara, Opihi and Pareora Catchments have their own flow and allocation plans which list the Minimum River Flow and an allocation regime which determines how much water can be allocated.

Some of our Alpine rivers, including the Rangitata and Rakaia have water conservation orders which contain similar restrictions.

The Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) is the most modern of Canterbury’s plans, with its final parts becoming fully operative in early 2017. It contains minimum flow and allocation limits for all other rivers and streams in the region, and allocation limits for groundwater throughout the region.  This plan provides the strongest direction possible to ensure that allocation limits are not exceeded by any new takes, expressly prohibiting any applications for new takes if they would breach limits. You will see that some of the water management areas are over 100% allocated; this is a historical result of consents granted before the planning framework was put in place.  Under the LWRP, where consent is sought to continue existing abstractions in overallocated catchments, the plan provides direction that those existing takes should be reduced to phase out overallocation.

Whether a river is managed under a Resource Management Plan or Water Conservation Order they all have a similar management approach.

Anyone wishing to take and use water must apply for resource consent. Consent will only be granted if there is space available within the allocation block. Consents are granted with conditions including a requirement to cease taking water when the minimum flow is reached. Most takes for irrigation now have an annual volume (i.e. a total amount of water which can be taken over a year). Most consents, and in practice all large consents, to take and use water now have a water meter which allows us to monitor accurately water use across the region.

6 December 2017 - Request for information on companies in the Canterbury region which have air discharge and water-related consents issued to them for the ongoing monitoring of their air and water dischargesed water consents

1220C - We received an information request regarding companies in the Canterbury region which have air discharge and water-related consents issued to them for the ongoing monitoring of their air and water discharges.

Please find attached a spreadsheet which contains all discharges to air and discharges of water to water across Canterbury.

4 December 2017 - Request for information on the jurisdictional boundaries, monitoring processes and details of resource consents for the South New Brighton and South Shore areas of Christchurch.

1217C - We received a request for information on the jurisdictional boundaries, monitoring processes and details of resource consents for the South New Brighton and South Shore areas of Christchurch. The requestor's specific questions are below with our answers.

Provide details of monitoring processes and details of resource consents that have effect in or were received or issued for the South New Brighton and South Shore areas of Christchurch.

Consent monitoring programmes are designed to deliver regional and zone priorities as well as mitigate the risks associated with the individual activity.  The Christchurch West Melton Zone Committee develops actions and tactics to deliver on the 10 targets of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) in their zone, which help to determine the priorities for consent monitoring. Environment Canterbury operates a risk-based compliance strategy that considers a number of factors, including scale of the activity and the risk of harm.  Each consent has a risk score, which determines the frequency and type of monitoring that will be carried out.

Types of monitoring include site visits, desktop monitoring, community notifications and proactive campaigns.  Good management practices which result in continued compliance with consent conditions will often reduce the level of monitoring required to minimise the risk of environmental harm.  The compliance gradings supplied in the attached spreadsheet are the outcome of these monitoring activities.

How does Environment Canterbury intend to “meet its obligations under the above-mentioned legislation?”

The Minister for Earthquake Recovery Approved a change made under section 27 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 to amend the following Resource Management Act documents to change the location of the Avon River mouth and the Coastal Marine Area Boundary to respond to the change in estuary dynamics as a result of land subsidence following the Canterbury earthquake sequence. You can view the amended map series below.

The Regional Coastal Environment Plan for the Canterbury Region

The Canterbury Regional Policy Statement

The Christchurch District Plan

The Council is required to ensure that when its plans are reviewed they give effect to the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and all other national policy statements as well as the regional policy statement. In terms of how we are planning to implement our responsibilities under the NZCPS, the timing of the review of the Regional Coastal Environment Plan is noted in the draft Long-Term Plan 2018-28 and this plan will be available for public consultation from Monday 26 February to Monday 26 March 2018.

In terms of the management of coastal erosion and managing the effects of sea level rise, the Minister for Earthquake Recovery, under Action 46 of the LURP, has directed Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council and Selwyn District Council to manage the effects of these hazards on the landward side of the coastal marine area. This was achieved by the following changes being made to the Regional Policy Statement:

Adding a new method in Chapter 9 as follows:

  • Method 9.6 Responsibilities of Christchurch City, Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils
  • Christchurch City, Waimakariri and Selwyn District Councils will identify areas likely to be subject to coastal erosion and sea water inundation including the cumulative effects of sea level rise over the next 100 years through the provisions of their district plans and include objectives, policies and methods to control the use of land within those areas.

And redrafting method 9.6 (now 9.7) to read as follows:

  • Method 9.7 Regional Rules Erosion Hazard
The following rules apply within Hazard Zones 1 and 2, defined on the Coastal Hazard Zone Maps in Volume 3 of this Plan. They control certain uses of land undertaken in areas subject to coastal erosion and control activities that can contribute to coastal erosion.
The following rules do not apply in Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn districts, where areas likely to be subject to coastal erosion and sea water inundation, including the cumulative effects of sea level rise over the next 100 years, have been identified through provisions of an operative district plan.
27 November 2017 - Request for information on Simons Pass consents.sents

1215C - We received an information request regarding Simons Pass consents and the information provided to Mackenzie District Council for their decision making process.

The consent referred to by the requestor is a resource consent application for Simons Pass to construct a vehicle access track. They queried if Environment Canterbury liaised with Mackenzie District Council on this application, and if both councils discussed the objectives and conditions of the Dryland Recovery Area.

When Mackenzie District Council (MDC) was processing the applications for the tracks on the Simons Pass property, MDC made a request for information on the Simons Pass consents obtained from Environment Canterbury.
Environment Canterbury provided MDC with copies of the consent order and consents including conditions and attachments that were the outcome of the Simons Pass appeals. This is all the information that is able to be provided on the outcome of a mediated settlement.

18 October 2017 - Request for information on plans and documents pertaining to CRC030686

1192C - The requestor asked for all requested plans and documents pertaining to CRC030686.

19 September 2017 - Request for information on water permits for the Christchurch West Melton aquifer

1171C - The requestor asked for all water permits for the Christchurch West Melton aquifer that are categorised on the permit as being for ‘industrial use’.

We supplied a table of issued resource consents for groundwater takes for industrial and service industry purposes in the Christchurch West Melton Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) zone.  This included food products/processing and manufacturing within the search parameters.

The table includes the consent number, expiry date, consent holder, address and industrial use as listed in our database.  Further details and conditions for each consent can be found in the online consent search tool at www.ecan.govt.nz.

It is important to note that a consent for ‘industrial and service industry purposes’ does not mean that the holder can use that consent as of right and switch the use to water bottling.  In the majority of cases, a new consent for an alternative use of water would be needed, but it depends on what was written in the original application.  For example, the water use permit for Kaputone wool scour classified the use as ‘industrial’, but the original consent application was specifically for an industrial use as a wool scour, therefore a new consent would need to be applied for to use water for bottling.

If someone is selling a property that has a consent that allows water bottling, the consent will transfer to the new owner of the property.  The water is already allocated and the transfer is only a change of who holds the consent.

When an application is made for a water take, Environment Canterbury’s role is to look at the volume of water being taken and the environmental effect of taking and using that water.  For example, we consider the drawdown effects of a water take to ensure other bores are not affected. It is not our role to make a judgement on how they use it.

We have some information about water bottling on our website here.

17 September 2017 - Request for information on consents for Blakeley Quarry

1190C - We received an information request for the documents related to the recent variation(s) i.e. the original consent(s), the application(s) to vary the consent(s), the recommending report(s) and the new consent(s) for resource consents for a water bottling plant. The requestor also wanted the water take from the relevant bores for the past 5 years.

We received an information request for the consent and conditions for the acceptance and removal of future disposal of a pile of demolition material stored on the Blakeley Quarry site. Find the associated documents below.

To note, the Christchurch City Council (CCC) Order in Council temporary accommodation permit (TAP) covers authorisation for the waste at the site.  Temporary accommodation permits were extended from April 2016 to June 2021 through the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016.

CRC122597 is the principal Environment Canterbury land use consent for the stockpiling and processing of demolition waste, including the construction and use of an in-quarry compacted storage pad.  This consent expires in April 2018, at which point the waste must be removed.

Our staff are involved in two-weekly communication with Woody Blakely on progress in order to meet the expiry date of the consent. We also undertake regular compliance monitoring of the site.

Additional associated consents for the site are:

  • CRC122063 to discharge contaminants to air from the above activity from the demolition waste; and
  • CRC122054 to discharge storm water from the stockpiled demolition waste.
12 September 2017 - Request for information on resource consents for water bottling for a plant on a former Silver Fern Farms site

1165C - We received an information request for the documents related to the recent variation(s) i.e. the original consent(s), the application(s) to vary the consent(s), the recommending report(s) and the new consent(s) for resource consents for a water bottling plant. The requestor also wanted the water take from the relevant bores for the past 5 years.

The process and history of the consents is set out below:

  • CRC180311: Amalgamation of CRC172245 and CRC180728
  • CRC180728: New consent for the use of water for bottling
  • CRC172245: Transfer of CRC971556 from Silver Fern Farms (SSF) Ltd to Rapaki Natural Resources Ltd
  • CRC971556 – Replacement consent for CRC900359
  • CRC180312: Amalgamation of CRC180729 & CRC172118
  • CRC180729: New consent for use of water for bottling
  • CRC172118: Transfer of CRC163841 from SFF Ltd to Rapaki Natural Resources Ltd
  • CRC163841: Transfer of CRC012609 to SFF Ltd
  • CRC012609: Replacement of North Canterbury Catchment board permit NCY700281

Only two of these resource consents are currently active (that is, in use).  They are CRC 172245 and CRC172118.

The requestor also asked for a list of all water restrictions placed on users of the Christchurch West Melton Aquifer system since 2004, including “details of the restrictions, where the restrictions applied and how long they lasted.”

Environment Canterbury has not applied water restrictions for this water allocation zone.

Finally, the water take data from the relevant bores over the last 5 years was also requested.

We do not hold any data for these consents from the last five years.

The original Silver Fern Farms consents did not require metering.  Metering was required following the introduction of national metering regulations in 2012.

Once water metering became a requirement, Environment Canterbury prioritised the resources it would devote to monitoring and following up water take consents and started with high volume agricultural resource consents.  Accordingly, it did not turn its attention to Silver Fern Farms until 2014. At that time, Silver Fern Farms were reducing operations and applied for waivers from the metering requirements due to low or no water being taken from the bores.  These waivers were granted.

The new owners have recently installed meters on the two bores that are in use: one for a freezer facility and the other for a pet food manufacturing facility. However, we have not yet received any data from these meters.  Please note that neither of these bores is used to supply water for bottling.

21 August 2017 - Request for information for consents issued for vegetation clearance on the Simons Pass leasehold land located in the Mackenzie Basin

1151C - We received an information request for the consents issued by Environment Canterbury for vegetation clearance on land owned by Simons Pass Limited. The following consents have been issued for works on the land and would have involved localised vegetation clearance associated with undertaking these activities.

CRC167208 Pukaki Irrigation Company Limited (Incorporates Simons Pass)

  • To install a pipeline under the bed of several unnamed ephemeral waterways to convey irrigation water
  • To excavate bed material and placement of pipe and backfilling of the trenches in the above waterways
  • To carry out associated earthworks over the confined/semi confined aquifer
  • To carry out maintenance on the pipeline

CRC165544 & CRC165545 Pukaki Irrigation Company Limited (Incorporates Simons Pass)

  • A land use consent to use land to store water and a water permit for the damming of water

CRC155315 Simons Pass Station Limited

  • To install a bore

CRC165059 Simons Pass Station Limited

A land use consent to disturb the beds of waterways to erect a structure under the bed of a river.  The works are limited to:

  • The installation of a pipeline under the bed of several unnamed ephemeral waterways to convey irrigation water
  • Excavation of bed material and placement of pipe and backfilling of the trenches in the above waterways
  • Carrying out associated earthworks over the confined/semi confined aquifer
  • Construction and maintenance of a 4WD maintenance track
  • Maintenance of the pipeline

CRC140829 Simons Pass Station Limited

This is a Land Use Permit to conduct earthworks related to the construction, operation and maintenance of a vehicular access point to State Highway 8 (SH8).  Earthworks will include the construction of bunding to screen a section of the access route from SH8 traffic.

17 August 2017 - Request for information on resource consents for enforcement action and complaints for several Christchurch and one Timaru property.

1166C - We received an information request about resource consents, enforcement action and complaints about a number of properties on Hereford Street, Barbadoes Street, Cashel Street, Tuam Street, and Durey Road, Christchurch and Stafford Street, Timaru.

10 Durey Road (Christchurch International Airport):

  • CRC074115.1
  • CRC074116.1
  • CRC172384
  • CRC174200
  • CRC970754.1
  • CRC970755.1

213-221 Tuam Street (Calder Stewart Industries Ltd):

  • CRC151644
  • CRC165866

258 Hereford Street (Vodafone):

  • CRC172524

It was also asked if any infringements/prosecutions have been registered against the following names/addresses over the last five years:

  • Kew Innovation and Calder Stewart, Tuam Street
  • Vodafone, Barbadoes Street
  • Christchurch International Airport Ltd, Memorial Avenue

There have been no abatement notices issued.

22 June 2017 - Request for information for several water consent documents

1117C - We received an information request for several water consent documents which are outlined below.

1. Original application by Kaputone Wool Scour Record # NCY880175.1 to take water and the associated consent granted in 1994
NCY880175 was a water take permit issued by Canterbury Regional Council to take water for industrial purposes. A copy of the application and the consent document are available below. NCY880175 was a renewal of NCY86003, originally issued by the North Canterbury Catchment Board in September 1986. 2. The renewal application for the above consent and the renewed consent (Record # CRC175585)

The renewal for NCY880175 was received by Canterbury Regional Council on 29 October 1996. A copy of the application form and assessment of environmental effects is enclosed. The consent to take water for industrial purposes was issued as CRC971084 on 30 April 1997. CRC971084 was subsequently transferred to Canterbury Land Resources Ltd and became CRC175585.

3. Any records held detailing the amount of water taken under the two consents above CRC971084 contained condition 2 which stated that:

When requested in writing by the Canterbury Regional Council, the hours and rate at which water is taken shall be recorded to within an accuracy of 10 percent. A copy of the records shall be provided to the Canterbury Regional Council when requested.”

Records are on file for water usage from September 1994 to October 1997 and from April 1998 to April 1999.

Electronic records were submitted to Canterbury Regional Council for the period 2004-2007 and can be found here.

There are no further records of water usage available on file.  However, anecdotally (staff communication with the former site manager) it is understood that prior to August 2012 the maximum amount of water used during the wool scouring process was 18 l/s or 1,555 m3/day.  When the wool scour was unable to discharge via the Silver Fern Waimakariri pipe (from 2012) they were restricted to 3.5 l/s or 300 m3/day.  The reasons for not submitting data to Environment Canterbury after November 2012 was due to their low usage.  This was considered a small water take and not considered a ‘high risk’ consent. Environment Canterbury monitors based on risk and priority. (Recent systems and process advances now allow us to monitor the majority water takes).

Compliance monitoring of the Kaputone Wool Scour continued until the site closed in 2016. Much of the compliance focus for this site was in relation to discharges to air and discharges to water.

4. The application to transfer the consent to Cloud Ocean Water Ltd.

Transfers of resource consents to another owner of the same site the consent was issued for, is managed under s136(2)(a). The change in consent holder takes effect once a formal application is received, and is not subject to any other assessment by the consent authority.

CRC971084 was transferred to Canterbury Land Resources Ltd on 11 April 2017. The consent became CRC175585.

CRC175585 was subsequently transferred to Cloud Ocean water Ltd on 9th May 2017, and became CRC175895.

5 May 2017 - Request for information on nitrate concentrations in groundwater
1102C - We received an information request regarding nitrate concentrations in ground water. The specific queries and our answers are outlined below. 
Was there an increase in nitrate concentrations in groundwater in Rolleston residential town water and what is the average nitrate increase for all water tests completed under Intelligro consents?
Nitrate concentrations vary considerably across the plains, both from one well to the next and from one sample to the next. Over the course of a year, concentrations in the water from the same well can rise and fall by several milligrams per litre. We therefore do not calculate average nitrate concentrations across a wide area. Instead, we monitor concentrations in a selection of wells across the region.
Every year, we publish a summary of our sampling results. You can find our most recent report here from our 2015 survey. The map in Figure 2 on page 6 of the report shows the nitrate concentrations we measured in the spring of 2015.
On the report the area around Rolleston is covered with orange dots, showing that the groundwater from all of the wells we sampled in that area had nitrate nitrogen concentrations between 5.6 and 11.3 mg/L.
The next map, Figure 3 on page 8 of the report, shows the trends in nitrate concentrations that we’ve measured over the past ten years. Most of the wells show no overall trend, but where we do see a trend, it is generally an increasing trend. This is the case in the Rolleston area, across the entire Canterbury Plains, and in fact across the region.
The pattern we find is similar every year. Reports of previous surveys can be found on the Environment Canterbury website. Increases on the broad scale that we see cannot be attributed to any single property. They are the result of farming intensification across the region.
Is the compost material at Intelligro’s main office sitting on sealed non-porous ground?
All windrows of compost and composting materials are located within a sealed catchment paved in asphalt. All leachate and stormwater from the windrows and the catchment in which they are contained is collected via the stormwater system and conveyed to the leachate (nitrate) tank.
How efficient is the recycling system of grey water from the nitrate tank to the compost heap?
Water from the leachate tank can be used to wet the compost heaps to minimise the risk of dust emissions from the site. Any water which is not absorbed into the compost during the wetting process is conveyed back to the leachate tank via the asphalt hardstand and stormwater collection system.
No water from the leachate tank will enter into the ground during this process as long as the asphalt hardstand is well maintained. Environment Canterbury will ensure that it is through regular monitoring of resource consent CRC155762.
Why do you not investigate the bad odours coming from Intelligo?
Environment Canterbury takes all complaints from members of the public seriously. In the case of Intelligro, a number of complaints regarding odour and other aspects of the operation have been received. However, we have not be able to investigate and substantiate many of these complaints due to the temporary nature of odour issues and because officers are not always available to attend when complaints come in.
In lieu of responding to every complaint Environment Canterbury has decided, in the first instance, to focus on ensuring Intelligro meet the conditions of their resource consents particularly CRC156387 (now CRC174170) which authorises the discharge of contaminants (including odour). Since this consent was granted a significant amount of work has been undertaken by both Environment Canterbury and Intelligro to ensure compliance with CRC174170.
For Intelligro this has included:
  1. The development of comprehensive operational and recording systems relating to the composting operation to eliminate the risk of compost turning anaerobic and causing odour issues. Records relating to twice weekly compost temperature, moisture and oxygen monitoring have been made available to Environment Canterbury to demonstrate compliance with this requirement;
  2. Oxygen content monitoring of the water in the leachate tank and the installation of an aerator to prevent it turning anaerobic resulting in an odour nuisance;
  3. The installation of an automatic sprinkler system in the composting area to minimise dust emissions;
  4. The installation of a weather monitoring system on site to guide site compost operations (mainly turning) to reduce effects to neighbours in line with conditions 18 and 23;
  5. The development and maintenance of a comprehensive odour complaint register to help identify issues with the compost operation in terms of odours beyond the property boundary and inform options for corrective actions to the operation;
  6. A trained member of staff is undertaking and recording twice daily odour and dust observations around the site;
  7. The development of an Air Quality Management Plan;
  8. The initiation of a year-long aerosol monitoring programme to determine if there is a risk of bacteria or fungal emissions from the site which may have a negative effect on neighbours. This monitoring began in November 2016.
For Environment Canterbury this has involved:
  1. Since June 2016, Environment Canterbury has undertaken five visits to the site to assess compliance with CRC156387 and CRC174170 as well as other Intelligro consents. The latest visit occurred on 31 March 2017. In terms of the operational conditions of these consents, Intelligro has always been found to be compliant during these visits. At no time has Intelligro been found to be causing an offensive/objectionable odour beyond the property boundary;
  2. Since CRC156387 was granted, numerous correspondence and phone calls have been made by Environment Canterbury resource management officers to Intelligro to ensure that compliance with the many aspects of this consent, particularly the monitoring and reporting requirements, is achieved;
  3. On the basis of the visits made to the site and the information thus far received, Intelligro are compliant with the requirements of CRC174170;
  4. Ensuring compliance with CRC174170 is ongoing. This consent and the other consents held by Intelligro are currently programmed for quarterly monitoring visits. Another visit will therefore be undertaken to the site within the next month.
  5. In terms of odour complaints in relation to the site in future, we are currently in the process of developing an odour response plan for this site. This will endeavour to set out the current status of any odour issues on site, what the likely causes of the odours are, how these should be being managed and what course of action needs to be taken when new complaints are received.
The rules that now apply to farmers in this zone are some of the toughest in the country. Over 900 farmers will need a land use consent to farm, and they must implement Good Management Practices (GMP) and produce Farm Environment Plans. It is very pleasing that nearly 400 farms already have Farm Environment Plans and more are underway.
All farming activities in the Selwyn Te Waihora catchment (unless low risk) cannot increase nitrogen losses now beyond what they lost from their properties during 2009-13; they need to be at Good Management Practices (GMP) now; and in 2022 they then need to make further reductions. These are some of the most significant reductions in the country to-date. This includes 30% reductions for dairy, 22% for dairy support, through to smaller reductions for other land uses. We also have tougher stock access rules than elsewhere in the region. Our Selwyn Waihora Zone Team works with landholders to help them comply with their requirements
21 April 2017 - Request for information in regards to the Rakaia WCO – Lake Coleridge Hydroelectric Power Scheme
1101C - We received an information request for records of the Lake Coleridge Hydroelectric Power Scheme for:

a. stored water within Lake Coleridge;

b. stored water that has been discharged from Lake Coleridge, and

c. water (including stored water) being diverted into any canal from Lake Coleridge.

Environment Canterbury does not hold TrustPower’s data, but Environment Canterbury does access it from time to time to determine compliance with the Conservation Order and with resource consents that relate to the take of Lake Coleridge stored water.
All of TrustPower’s information related to the storage of water is regarded as commercially sensitive, as it relates to contractual arrangements between TrustPower and its customers. As such, it is not available to the public. Accordingly, Environment Canterbury has decided to withhold this information pursuant to section 7(2)(b)(ii) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) as its disclosure would prejudice TrustPower’s commercial position. We do not consider that the public interest outweighs this reason for withholding.
However, Environment Canterbury can provide TrustPower data relating to the operation of the Coleridge Hydro Electric Power Scheme, as the submission of the data is a requirement as part of the resource consent. Data for the period 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2016 (the most recent data we hold) is attached. This data includes:
  • Highbank pump data (m3/s)
  • Coleridge lake level (m)
  • Wilberforce canal flow (m3/s)
  • Oakden canal flow (m3/s)
  • Coleridge penstock flow (m3/s)
  • Acheron canal flow (m3/s)
Please note that due to amount of information included we are unable to put the above data on our website. If you would like to view a copy please contact us at LGOIMA@ecan.govt.nz.
20 March 2017 - Request for information regarding river encroachment on the south branch of the Rangitata river
1083C - We received an information request regarding river encroachment on the south branch of the Rangitata River. The request specifically asked about locations and year completed of any flood protection work, inclusive of the point at which it diverges from the main river bed, (including stop banks, earth works and plantings, and any other activities), and whether or not that work was consented.
Environment Canterbury manages the Rangitata River Rating District and administers rates to fund work under the Rangitata River Asset Management Plan. The objective of the work is to:
“maintain the Rangitata River system to minimise erosion and flooding on the south side of the river, and to prevent flood flows entering the south branch at flows less than 1500 cumecs”.
The objectives, history and funding of the work is documented in the attached Rangitata River Asset Management Plan. Below are also are 16 work plans of physical works that Environment Canterbury has carried out since the year 2000 in the vicinity of the entrance to the Rangitata River south branch and its exit point.
  1. 2001-2002
  2. 2002-2003
  3. 2003-2004
  4. 2004-2005
  5. 2005-2006
  6. 2006-2007
  7. 2007-2008
  8. 2008-2009
  9. 2009-2010
  10. 2010-2011
  11. 2011-2012
  12. 2012-2013
  13. 2013-2014
  14. 2014-2015
  15. 2015-2016
  16. 2016-2017
Work types carried out include: planting, layering, spraying, return banks, anchor bank protection and channel improvements. We note that no works have been carried out in the actual south or middle branches themselves. These were previously permitted by existing use rights and are now authorised by Rule 5.138 of the Land and Water Regional Plan and the associated Canterbury Regional Code of Practice for Defences Against Water and Drainage Schemes 2015 and herbicide spraying resource consent CRC981580.
The requestor also asked for any leases granted on Environment Canterbury reserve on the margins or bed of the south branch of the Rangitata River.
Environment Canterbury has one lease and four licences to graze in or adjacent to the south branch of the Rangitata River (see map). The south branch is cut off from the main Rangitata river flows and has not carried water for a number of years. Four of the tenancies are farmed for dairying and one is a former quarry. The Environment Canterbury reserves are River Protection or River Conservation reserves vested in Environment Canterbury and were transferred from the Department of Conservation many years ago. There are several other similar reserves in the south Rangitata still administered by the Department of Conservation. Environment Canterbury manages these reserves on short term licences to graze with no rights of renewal. When long term leases expire any tenancies are likely to be on short term licences to graze.
The Environment Canterbury tenancies are summarised below:
Environment Canterbury leases on reserve on margins/bed of south branch of Rangitata River
5 ha former quarry 5 year licence to occupy from 1/7/2014
118 ha dairy farming 3 year licence to graze from 1/7/2015
45 ha dairy farming 21 year farm lease from 1/1/1998
58 ha dairy farming 3 year licence to graze from 1/12/2015
8 ha  dairy farming 3 year licence to graze from 1/7/2015
3 March 2017 - Request for information regarding granting consents for asbestos dumping on land at 318 Kennedys Bush Road
1073C - We received an information request for all documentation regarding granting consents for asbestos dumping on land at 318 Kennedys Bush Road.  
Please find below the application and decision documents relating to consents CRC167579, CRC167580 and CRC16758:
Further Information about the conditions attached to these consents can be found on our website here:
Consent Number CRC167579
Consent Number CRC167580
Consent Number CRC167581
Please note that the primary consent for this activity was the land use consent from Christchurch City Council.
Below are emails and other correspondence we hold relating to the granting of these consents:
1 February 2017 - Request for copies of the AEE documents for Fonterra Darfield Air Discharge Consent - CRC156761

1064C - We received a request for copies of the Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) documents for the Fonterra Darfield Air Discharge Consent – CRC156761.

We were also asked for the number of recorded complaints against this consent or the site. There have been 24 odour-related enquiries over the last five years relating to the Fonterra Darfield site.

We are not able to confirm that all 24 are directly related to this consent as in some cases we are unable to determine with certainty the source of an odour.

Please note: there are a large number of documents associated with this LGOIMA.  If you are interested in viewing the documents please contact us at LGOIMA@ecan.govt.nz

30 January 2017 - Request for information on agricultural intensification in the McKenzie Country
1058C - We received a request for information about the issue of agricultural intensification in the Mackenzie Country, with the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) claiming too many consents are being handed out for intensive farming.
The requested noted that the EDS has lodged proceedings with the Environment Court against Mackenzie District Council, and asked Environment Canterbury how many consents have been handed out for pivot irrigators, year by year, and whether this information is readily available.
The information, as requested specifically regarding the pivot irrigators, is not readily available. The reason for this is that many of the irrigation activities will have commenced as border dyke takes and converted to spray irrigation since the consent was issued.
Farmers have been encouraged to convert to spray irrigation both for conservation of water and to reduce nutrient enrichment in receiving water bodies. Consent holders can convert their use from border dyke to spray without requiring any further consent from Environment Canterbury. Some irrigators may use guns and k-line, which are forms of spray irrigation other than centre pivot. It is not possible therefore to specify the number of consents for pivot irrigators.
That said, we can confirm that 24 consents have been issued since 1999. These are noted in the attached document. The timing of these is explained below.
The majority of the existing consents for pivot irrigation have been granted in the years 2014 to 2016.  These are both for new irrigation activities and for existing activities where the consents have previously expired.
Some of the existing consents have commenced as a result of Environment Canterbury’s decisions to grant consent, and others after an appeal process in the Environment Court.
There is a cluster of grants after 2012 because applications which had been on-hold (some since 2004) were all processed and decided together as part of the Upper Waitaki hearing process. The reason for this is described below.
The Resource Management (Waitaki Catchment) Amendment Act 2004 (‘the Waitaki Act’) was the legislative response to the management of water in the catchment that arose in the early 2000s.
At that time Environment Canterbury had received a large number of resource consent applications for the taking and/or use of water, principally for hydroelectric generation and irrigation, which raised the issue of allocation in the catchment.
The Waitaki Act set up a statutory board called the Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Board (‘the Special Board’) to enable a fast track planning process to address allocation.
This resulted in the Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Regional Plan 2006, which addressed allocation for different uses of water by creating allocation blocks and set environmental flows and levels to protect water bodies.
All of the resource consent applications dependent on resolution of the allocation issues were put into a statutory moratorium and the hearing of the applications was deferred until the plan was operative.
All the applications - collectively referred to as the Upper Waitaki applications - were heard between 21 September 2009 and 30 April 2010 by independent hearing commissioners.
The timing of the Commissioners’ decisions was affected by the February 2011 earthquakes. The Part A decision, which addressed catchment-wide issues and matters common to the multiple applications, was issued on 22 November 2011.*
The Part B site-specific decisions for the individual applications were issued during November 2011 to November 2012. Most of the decisions were appealed, and the consents granted through the appeal process have commencement dates mainly occurring in 2015 and 2016.
*Decision Part A Catchment Wide Issues.
24 January 2017 - Request for information on consents granted to Tegel Foods for the operation of a poultry plant
1056C - We received a request for information about consents granted to Tegel Foods Ltd for the operation of a poultry processing plant, including the decision/s to grant the discharge of consent/s, and any correspondence, document or other information concerning the operation of the plant, compliance with consent conditions, complaints about odour discharges, inspections by Council staff and annual monitoring reports. The documents requested were supplied to the requester.
Please note that the Compliance Monitoring Reports have automatic dates on their front pages, so they update whenever the document is opened. The actual date of issue is recorded in the body of the report.
Environment Canterbury has received a number of complaints about sporadic offensive odours discharged from Tegel Foods processing facility on Carmen Road. Officers have substantiated offensive odour several times over the last 15 years.
Also, there have been incidents where waste products have been discharged from the site into the Christchurch City Council’s storm water network, which resulted in enforcement action by Environment Canterbury.
In this period Environment Canterbury officers have identified a number of practices to be addressed to improve odour and waste control. Tegel Foods has a record of carrying out improvements to processes and equipment to address concerns raised about odour by Environment Canterbury.
There have been some instances where Environment Canterbury has taken enforcement action because the incidents were serious. Examples of these related to odour discharges following the prolonged storage of offal outside, or the release of waste to land where it entered the CCC storm water network.
There have been 15 odour incidents registered with Environment Canterbury in 2015 and 2016, of which two allegations of offensive odour discharged from the operation have been substantiated.
The table below is a summary of incidents that have been recorded between 2003 and the first half of 2015.
Please note: there are a large number of documents associated with this LGOIMA response.  If you are interested in viewing these documents please contact us at LGOIMA@ecan.govt.nz
Date Incident
22/05/2015

Offensive odour from processing substantiated by after-hours officer

07/03/2014 Odour control letter received setting out a range of improvements to be carried out
 02/2014 Offensive odour discharge identified beyond the site boundary. The officer identified the potential for the discharge to be from the double-venting of cooker vessels 
05/2012 Compliance report following visit, full compliance achieved, but comments received from local businesses about common odour problems
2009 Fire burns the primary processing facility down
16/12/2009  Letter regarding odour in Halwyn Drive, potentially from the release of cooker gases 
11/02/2009 Letter regarding offensive odour discharges – increased monitoring was proposed to identify sources of odour for management and controls
18/02/2008 Compliance report regarding offensive odours discharged from offal that had not been removed from the site. Enforcement action
23/01/2008 Discharge of wastewater due to a breakdown, significant clean up carried out voluntarily
2006 Proposed change from LFO to alternative (biofuels)
05/2006 Continuing work on odour reduction from the scald room
11/10/2005 A loss of waste from the site. Pump failure cause. Stream cleaned up
2004 Concerns raised about storm water discharges, to land and to surface water
2004 Non-compliance with condition about offensive odour
22/07/2004 Inspection and alleged breach of Abatement Notice observed
19/07/2004 Abatement notices regarding discharges of contaminants to land where they could enter water. Cease /Do
10/09/2003 Open containers with small quantities of offal were observed. Tegel were evaluating the potential for lifting the scald room extraction to improve odour dispersion.
01/09/2003 Complaints most frequently were received from locations downwind of Tegel in easterly conditions
21/03/2003 Compliance inspection following complaints: strong odours detected downwind, most likely to be coming from the contra-shear

 

19 January 2017 - Request for copies of AERs, Discharge Management Plan and original application for RC15671 in relation to Fonterra Darfield
1062C - We received a request for copies of the Annual Environmental Reports (AERs), Discharge Management Plan and original application for RC 15671 in relation to Fonterra Darfield.
By way of response, Environment Canterbury clarified that the original discharge (to air) permit granted (athearing) was CRC120180 (2013). This underwent a change of conditions to CRC131346 (2014), followed by another change of conditions (CRC144756) and an administrative transfer (i.e. change) inname (CRC155761).

These are two separate legal processes under the RMA but were processed together (in 2015). The AEE for the current version of the consent (CRC155761) is therefore labelled as being for CRC144756, as that was processed prior to the change in name.

From the original application, the consents relate to the following land parcels:

  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 4 DP 20115
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 2 DP 77605 and Lot 2 DP 20115
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 2 DP 63630
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 1 DP 78173
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 2 DP 78173
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 1 DP 68528
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 3 DP 63630
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 3 DP 60325
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 1 DP 367426
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 1 DP 67185
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 2 DP 304774
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 1 DP 8545
  • Fonterra Ltd Lot 1 DP 11000 and Lot 2 DP 11000
  • Gunn RS4024, RS4027, RS4013, RS4457 and Sec 9-11 SO19304
  • Gray (Aigen Farm Ltd) Lot 3 DP 434071, Lot 2 DP 434071, RS26209, RS26235, and
  • Lot 2 DP 365731

In addition, Fonterra own the properties at:

  • State Highway 73 being Lot 1 DP 67185
  • 3943 State Highway 73 being Lot 1 DP 367426
The Certificates of Title for the land parcels are found in Appendices A, B & C of the original application (CRC120180). There is no Environment Canterbury location plan (map) associated with this consent, although there are plans (maps) incorporated into the application.
Please note: there are a large number of documents associated with this LGOIMA.  If you are interested in viewing these documents, please contact us at LGOIMA@ecan.govt.nz

 

13 January 2017 - Request for information on the number of consents to discharge into natural waterways active in Canterbury
1051C - We received a request for information about the number of consents to discharge into natural waterways active in Canterbury, and who holds those consents.
At the time this request was received the Environment Canterbury database listed 781 active consents to discharge directly to water. One of those consents has expired since the request was received and is included for completeness (marked in red). Two other consents (also marked in red) have expired but are currently authorised to continue under the s124 of the RMA while replacement applications are processed.
Due to changes to the database, and how consents have been recorded over time, a review of the listed consents was undertaken to clarify the nature of the discharges (see column titled Contaminant Type 1 and 2 in attached spreadsheet).

Some discharge permits authorise multiple contaminants and these have been incorporated into the numbers below:

  • 417 are discharges of water to water
  • 91 are of sediment to water typically associated with works in (or adjacent to) waterbodies or discharges from sediment attenuation basins etc. Of these, one has expired but is currently authorised to continue under s124 of the RMA until such time as the replacement application is resolved.
  • 67 relate to the discharge of water to water from de-watering and land drainage activities
  • 48 are stormwater discharges
  • 37 are for agrichemicals (liquid and solid)
  • 30 are discharges of cooling water (i.e. the contaminant is heat).
  • 22 are human effluent discharges. Of these, one has expired but is currently authorised to continue under s124 of the RMA until such time as the replacement application is resolved
  • 16 are waste from aquaculture
  • 10 are for floodwaters and associated contaminants (mainly sediment)
  • 9 relate to hydrocarbons
  • 6 relate to industrial wastewater
  • 4 relate to vegetable wash water
  • 3 relate to hazardous substances
  • The remainder of the discharge permits relate to applications for uncommon discharges (e.g. aquatic anaesthetic).

As can be seen, over half of discharges to water are of water (53%), with the next greatest proportion (12%) including discharges of naturally occurring sediment, typically occurring from works within or adjacent to riverbeds (e.g. installation of bridges and other infrastructure).

It is also important to note that discharge permits are subject to conditions intended to avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects of the discharge.

We have also attached a separate spreadsheet with consents to discharge dairy effluent. These 1300 discharges are of dairy effluent to land and the discharge of odour to air.

16 November 2016  - Request for information on SOL Quarries and stockpile removal timeframes
1041C - We received a request for information on SOL Quarries and stockpile removal timeframes.
We supplied the requester with correspondence between Environment Canterbury and SOL Group Ltd regarding the extension of consent duration and amendment of consent in relation to the stockpile removal timeframes.
We noted that there was no amendment made to consent CRC151969, which expired in October. There is, however, a subsequent change to the stockpile removal conditions in the new consent which follows from CRC151969. This amendment has recently been agreed to by SOL Shingle Ltd. This amendment relates to SOL’s period of operation in the bed of the MakerkeriRiver, and seeks to provide more clarity about timeframes. The new conditions include a clear statement that the piles will be removed one month prior to the expiry of the consent so that piles are not still being stored on the river a week or two prior to the expiry date.
Please note: there are a large number of attachments associated with this LGOIMA.  If you are interested in viewing these files, please contact us at LGOIMA@ecan.govt.nz
1 September 2016 - Request for information about the four companies granted consents to take/use water for the purposes of commercial water bottling or farm irrigation

1001C - We received a request for information about the four companies granted consents to take/use water for the purposes of commercial water bottling or farm irrigation: the duration of consent and the maximum quantity of water it permits the company to take.

The four consents with the highest amount of water per annum for commercial water bottling or
farm irrigation are:

Consent holder and number Duration of consent (expiry date) Amount allocated* (m3 /year)
Central Plains Water
(CRC167218)
31 years (2047) 1,056,456,000
Rangitata Water Ltd
(CRC134810)
29 years (2042) 968,155,200
Rangitata Diversion Race
(CRC011237)
31 years (2041)  968,155,200
Waitaki Irrigators Collective
(CRC950649.1)
35 years (2030) 851,472,000

* These are all theoretical annual allocations, calculated by multiplying their instantaneous take by the number of seconds in a year. They all have minimum flows attached that mean they cannot take all year round but theoretically they could if the river flowed at a high enough level.

These are all for irrigation and are schemes with multiple farms receiving the irrigation water.

It is very important to note that these are theoretical annual allocation volumes. If you took the Rangitata Water Ltd consent as an example then they could only ever take that amount if the Rangitata River was in flood all year round, which obviously never happens.

Another example is the Waitaki Irrigators Collective which theoretically has an annual allocation volume of 851,472,000 m3/year but because they only take during the irrigation season their effective volume allocation is 429,838,936 m3/year. However, legally they could take the full amount if they were to irrigate all year.

The Rangitata Diversion Race consent provides for water to be used for both irrigation and hydroelectricity. This means that when water is not taken for irrigation it will likely be used for hydrogenation (for example, in winter).

1 September 2016 - Information regarding consents for discharge from sewage and stormwater systems 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016

1008C - Audit New Zealand requested information on how many abatement notices, infringement notices, enforcement orders and convictions have been issued to Canterbury Territorial Authorities in relation to their resource consents for discharge from their sewage and stormwater systems for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016.

Audit New Zealand also asked if all consent conditions for the Kate Valley landfill have been met for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016.

Audit New Zealand also asked if all consent conditions for the Kate Valley landfill have been met for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016. 

There have been no abatement notices, infringement notices, enforcement orders or convictions issued to the following territorial authorities in relation to resource consents for discharge from either its sewage or stormwater systems for the year ending 30 June 2016: Ashburton District Council, Christchurch City Council, Hurunui District Council, Kaikoura District Council, Mackenzie District Council, Selwyn District Council, Timaru District Council, Waimakariri District Council, Waimate District Council and Waitaki District Council.  

No enforcement action has been taken against Kate Valley for the year ending 30 June 2016.

Please note that consents for the Kate Valley Landfill are held by Transwaste, which is a 50:50 private public partnership.

The public 50% is made up of the following five territorial authorities: Ashburton, Selwyn, Christchurch, Waimakariri and Hurunui.  The Rangitata Diversion Race consent provides for water to be used for both irrigation and hydroelectricity. This means that when water is not taken for irrigation it will likely be used for hydrogenation (for example, in winter).

30 August 2016 - Request for Information on the top 50 Canterbury water takes

993C - We received a request for information on the 50 largest water take consents in Canterbury, as well as the duration of consent, what the water is used for, the total estimated water take excess (by volume) over and above consented takes for the last three years, and details of the water take for Christchurch City by volume per annum broken down by user.

By way of response, Environment Canterbury prepared a spreadsheet of the top 50 water consents in Canterbury, ranked by the ‘annual effective volume’ which is a measure of what could be abstracted during a normal year but has no legal status (i.e. it is not the annual allocated volume). The spreadsheet contains the raw information and a description of what each column means. The water use data is for 2014-15 because the 2015-16 data is not available yet.

There are a small number of consents for which we have not yet received data for the 2014- 2015 year. These consent holders are being followed up by Compliance Monitoring.

Consent number Local authority Reason for missing data
CRC081320 Waimakariri
District Council
This relates to a district water
supply that is in developmental
stage. We are currently working
with the WDC to supply the
relevant information
CRC952547 The Wolds
Station Ltd
The consent is to take water from
the Tekapo-Pukaki Canal
CRC012006
CRC153238
Selwyn District
Council
 SDC are actively measuring and
monitoring their water use. We
are currently working with SDC on
a data approach that enables us
to receive their data directly into
our hilltop server

Since 2010 the Canterbury Regional Council has been collaborating with the Christchurch City Council to ensure the CCC’s Wells Programme for measuring water takes complies with the requirements of the Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010.

The earthquakes that occurred in 2010 and 2011 meant the Wells Programme was delayed. This was due to the damage of the city’s water network and there were a number of wells that had to be redeveloped. Even at this stage there were a number of takes that were measured but some of these takes had to be decommissioned.

An MOU was developed between the Canterbury Regional Council and the Christchurch City Council in 2014 detailing a work programme for the installation of flow measuring devices on takes that weren’t measured or were being upgraded. The works that have been undertaken so far have met the requirements of the Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010 and the remainder are near completion.  

Over this period CCC have continued to supply water usage data to Environment Canterbury and we are satisfied that they are compliant within their overall consented allocation. However we acknowledge that there have been some individual wells’ allocation limits exceeded and some well under allocation. This is a result of the rationalisation of the CCC bore network postearthquake and within the parameters of the MoU. 

Please read the accompanying data.

8 July 2016 - Request for Information on details of resource consents to take and/or use water for nine named companies

982C - We received a request for information on details of resource consents to take and/or use water for nine named companies.

Deep Waters, Aqualinc Research limited, Irricon Resource Solutions, DataCol, Hydro Services Limited, Rainer Irrigation Limited and Naturally Pure NZ Limited do not have any active resource consents to take and/or use water with Environment Canterbury.  Information requested for Frucor Beverages Limited and Morven Glenavy Ikawai Irrigation Company Limited, is listed below including the consents, their commencement and expiry dates, and annual volumes for each. 

     

Frucor Beverages Limited

CRC011740

Consented Annual Volume:

754,095 m3

To take and use groundwater Commencement Date :
18-04-2001
Expires: 17-04-2036

Morven Glenavy Ikawai Irrigation Company Limited

CRC091997

Volume: 57,000,000 m3 pa

 

To use water for irrigation

 

 

Commencement Date:
22/01/2010
Expires : 30/04/2028

CRC091998

Volume 10,000,000 m3 pa

To take and use water from the Waitaki River for augmentation of flows in the Waihao River outside of the irrigation season.   Commencement Date:
22/01/2010
Expires : 30/04/2028

CRC897381C.2 combined with CRC000897

Volume 330,000,000 m3 (see condition below)

To take and use water from the Waitaki River for augmentation of flows in the Waihao River outside of the irrigation season  Commencement Date: 30/08/2000
Expires: 30/04/2028

The combined maximum annual volume of water abstracted under consents CRC000897 and CRC897381C.2 shall not exceed 330 million cubic metres during the irrigation season (September to May), or 930 million cubic metres in any three consecutive irrigation seasons.

In regards to the annual fee and/or charge Environment Canterbury’s current policy is that the consent holder pays the reasonable and actual costs of monitoring compliance of their consent conditions, therefore no annual fee or charge is applicable.

Finance
7 July  2017 - for the number of male and female employees, and male and female employee remuneration bands at Environment Canterbury
1138C - We received and information request for the number of full time equivalent staff positions and the number of scientific and technical advisors at Environment Canterbury.
 
Gender Count of employee code
 Female  303
Male  298
 Grand Total   601

 

Salary range Female Male Grand Total  

<60,000

104.5

78

182.5  

<60,000-79,999

105

104

209

 

<80,000-99,999

57

64

121  

<100,000-119,999

20 33 53  

<120,000-139,999

4

12

16  

<140,000- 159,999

5

 

5  

<160,000- 179,999

4

5

9  

<180,000- 219,999

1

 

1  

<220,000- 299,999

2

 1

3  

>400,000

 

 1

1  

Grand Total

302.5

298 

600.5  

 

27 June 2017 - Request for information for the number of full time equivalent staff positions and the number of scientific and technical advisors at Environment Canterbury.
1131C - We received and information request for the number of full time equivalent staff positions and the number of scientific and technical advisors at Environment Canterbury.
The below staffing numbers are based on information as reported at 1 July 2017.
  1. Full time equivalent staff members – 600.5
  2. Full time equivalent scientific or technical advisor – 59.17

The requestor defined scientific or technical advisor positions as below:

This number should be understood to include academic and technical disciplines as conventionally understood, such as: agricultural science, air quality science, biology, chemistry, contaminated land assessment and management, earth science, ecology, environmental science, environmental risk assessment, freshwater science, geochemistry, hydrology, soil science, economics, sociology, civil engineering, and geographic information science (where practiced as a science), but exclude staff whose primary roles relate to the use and maintenance of information technology systems (ITS staff), policy development, or planning.

The number should not be based on a staff member’s qualifications, but on their operational role including a significant component as a scientific or technical advisor.  Also excluded would be staff that support sample collection or field or laboratory analysis leading to the provision of environmental data, unless they are also involved in the technical reporting or interpretation of such monitoring results.

18  April 2017 - Request for information about Communications section spending for the 2010/2011 and 2015/2016 financial years
1095C - We received a request for information about Communications section spending for the 2010/2011 and 2015/2016 financial years. 
Functions covered by communications departments in different organisations vary greatly, so we have included some explanatory notes about what is included in our Communications and External Relations department. Also noted is what expenditure has and hasn’t been included in the figures below.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) communications staff:
The Environment Canterbury Communications & External Relations section had 22 FTEs in 2010/11 and 22.6 in 2015/16 at year-end. These staff covered the following functions:
  • web design and management and digital platforms
  • graphic design and print production (including production of RMA Plans, corporate documents, council agendas etc)
  • youth engagement (including Enviroschools facilitation)
  • internal communications
  • external communications (education and awareness) for Environment Canterbury functions (including CWMS/water, biodiversity and biosecurity, public transport, air quality, hazards and emergency management response, navigation safety, annual and long term planning)
  • media liaison
  • marketing and behaviour change campaigns (eg air quality/home heating and public transport) and
  • industry/stakeholder engagement.
Environment Canterbury is the regional council covering the country’s largest geographical area. As you will appreciate, water management is high priority in the region. As the result, in 2015/16 the number of communications staff within the Communications & External Relations section was:
  • five in the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) and biodiversity/biosecurity team
  • two who look after the other portfolios of air quality, consents & compliance, hazards, transport and regional leadership
  • two in internal communications
So of the total seven communications staff, five of them focused on external communications.
Total communications department cost (including wages and spending):
The total figures are shown in Table 1 below
2010/11 ($) 2015/16 ($)  

Labour

1,119,365

Labour

1,322,033  

Goods & Services

1,068,253

Goods & Services

2,601,528

 

Overheads

1,231,044

Overheads

1,671,603  

Plant

4,065 Plant 25,227  

Total

3,422,727

Total

5,620,391  

These total figures include expenditure in all the following areas of expenditure:

  • communications advice
  • collateral design and production
  • printing and advertising
  • web development
  • photography & video
  • media monitoring
  • market research & behaviour change
  • sponsorship & community events
  • operational expenses such as travel, phones, learning and development, stationery
The expenditure for ‘external Public Relations’ has been extracted from the total figure as noted below. This includes expenditure for one-off pieces of communications work or for specialised skills when required.
The total figures are shown in Table 2 below
2010/11 ($) 2015/16 ($)  

External resources

38,085

External resource

147,626  

Note: this does not include expenditure on additional external resource for web development, contracted market research and other such activities. These are included in the overall figures noted above in Table 1.

It is worth noting that the scope of the work undertaken has changed between the 2010/11 year and the 2015/16 year, and so the figures cannot be used to make a direct comparison between the years. For example, during that time significant progress has been made on developing and implementing a new planning framework within both the water management and air quality areas. This has led to new work programmes and initiatives within the communications function to support these changes.

In addition, it is worth noting that the 2010/11 financial year was an unusual one because of the Canterbury earthquakes. We had the Darfield earthquake in Sept 2010 which took most the communications team out for 2-3 weeks doing public information management (PIM) duties in Civil Defence. Then the Christchurch earthquake occurred in Feb 2011. Business as usual took a back seat during this period. It was not until April/May that most staff reconnected with Environment Canterbury work programmes, and started to pick up work interrupted by civil defence duties.

30 March 2017 - Request for information on government funding of product stewardship schemes in New Zealand
1088C - We received a request for information government funding of product stewardship schemes in New Zealand.  
Environment Canterbury does not directly fund any product stewardship schemes. We do however provide relevant services, investigations and officer time associated with product stewardship.
The following activities relate to product stewardship:
Canterbury Waste Joint Committee – contributing member 2008-2010, Environment Canterbury provided 25% funding of the committee’s contestable fund, of which an estimated 20% related to product stewardship investigations, pilot programmes and services. Average annual contribution: $20,000-30,000.
  • Type of funding: direct (contestable fund – ongoing contribution)
  • Total contribution to Product Stewardship investigations: $20,000
  • Total contribution to implementation/ ongoing support – Nil
  • Total waste – N/A
Agrecovery – agrichemical funding for legacy and brand specific chemicals not included in the voluntary product stewardship scheme.
  • Type of funding: direct (collection and disposal costs)
  • Total contribution to Product Stewardship investigations – Nil
  • Total contribution to implementation/ ongoing support: $130,000 (2011-16)
  • Total waste: 9,363kg Agricultural chemicals - 984 containers (estimate)
Advocacy/officer time – While Environment Canterbury does not directly deliver, coordinate or otherwise fund product stewardship schemes it is estimated that approximately 100hrs/year ($120/hr) are dedicated to advocacy around product stewardship related activity. This includes participation in the Canterbury Waste Joint Committee above.
  • Type of funding: labour – advocacy (salary and overheads)
  • Total contribution to investigation/implementation/ongoing support: $96,000 (2008-16)
22 December 2016 - Request from media for information about how much money Environment Canterbury spent on advertising in the last financial year
1066C - Media request for information about how much money Environment Canterbury spent on advertising in the last financial year.

1. Total cost of advertising spend for the last financial year

The total advertising spend for the organisation for last financial year (01/07/2015 - 30/06/2016) is $813,050. This figure includes the cost of creating the advertisement graphic and publishing them.
A significant amount of our advertising is due to our obligations under the Local Government Act to give public notice of bylaws, public meetings, tenders, etc in local newspapers. The other significant contribution to our advertising costs revolves around engaging the community with council activities such as Canterbury Water Management Strategy, Air Quality initiatives, and Public Transport campaigns.
The remainder of the advertising falls under recruitment costs, signage (for example: birds nesting in this area / fire danger), Yellow pages, and various other collateral items such as brochures or information sheets.

2. How much of that spend was used for: You Tube, Google, and Facebook

Environment Canterbury has only invested in Facebook advertising which equalled to $531.81 in the last financial year. This consisted of ‘boosting’ Facebook posts which allows a larger amount of our audience to view that post. No money was spent on You Tube or Google advertising.
13 December 2016 - Request from MP Sue Moroney for public passenger transport costs since 2008/09
1049C - Public transport information was requested as follows:

1. Public passenger transport costs since 2008/2009 including the most recent financial year with totals, broken down by amount covered by users, ratepayers and the New Zealand Transport Agency

2. What were the levels of demand for public passenger transport for each of the financial years to date since 2008/2009

3. How much was the cost of public passenger transport fares for each of the financial years to date since 2008/2009

4. What percentage of public passenger transport fares for each of the financial years to date since 2008/2009 went towards user contributions to cover public passenger transport costs

The information requested is attached.

13 December 2016 - Request from media about external legal services spend for the years previous to 2015/16
1055C - Media request for information about Environment Canterbury’s external legal services spend for the years previous to 2015/16.
The information requested is attached. Each year Environment Canterbury’s legal requirements can vary considerably, covering such things as hearings, employment advice and property matters. The legal firms used, and the amount spent with each, depends on particular needs in any given year. 
6 December 2016 - Request for information regarding Environment Canterbury leased grazing land and income allocation
1043C - Information request regarding Environment Canterbury-leased grazing land and income allocation.

The figures provided below have been extrapolated from the current reserves land database as at November 2016. Our records do not record the exact data that your bespoke request has asked for so the information below has been manually taken from the database and from staff knowledge of the farming operations. The replies below correspond to the five numbered questions submitted.

1. How many hectares of land is ECan currently leasing to farmers for grazing farm animals?


The area of Environment Canterbury reserve land currently under farm lease or grazing licence totals 10816 hectares.

2. Where is the land located that is currently being leased to farmers for grazing farm animals?

These leases and licences are located throughout the Canterbury region from Kaikoura in the north to the Waitaki River in the south. The land is mainly river protection reserve land associated with the main Canterbury rivers. Most of the land is related to the Waimakariri and lower Rakaia Rivers. All leases include requirements to comply with current legislation and our planning rules.

3. How much of the land leased is to farmers who are grazing dairy cows and dairy support?

The total area of land under lease or grazing licence for dairy or dairy support farming is 5509 hectares.

4. How much money does Ecan receive per hectare from the leasing of land to farmers for grazing? If it not leased out on a per hectare basis, how much in total did Ecan receive in 2015 from leasing land to farmers for grazing farm animals?


The current total annual rent for farm leases and grazing licences for the 10816 hectares is $1,480,000. Rentals vary depending on the location, type of soil (mostly very stony river berm), access, risk and productivity. These factors mean there is significant variability in rental on a per hectare basis.

5. Is the money received from this practice allocated to any specific funds or areas of work?

The vast majority of the farm tenancies are within river rating areas and any rentals received are paid into the specific river rating account to help pay for river protection works like stopbanks, protection tree planting and the maintenance of these works. This endowment income from leasing the land helps offset public rating to fund these works. Legislation, for example, the Waimakariri River Improvement Act of 1922, sets out how these funds are to be used and where.

Environment Canterbury inherited this land from former authorities as a result of the 1989 local government reorganisation. As stated earlier, either local legislation or special rating districts determine where income from this land should be spent. The general principle, however, is that the land was endowed or vested in Environment Canterbury for two purposes: 1) to provide for flood prevention infrastructure 2) to provide income to assist funding flood prevention.

19 July 2016 - Request for information regarding the annual budget allocated for enforcement actions under the RMA for each year for the past 5 financial years up to June 30, 2015 and the number of Full Time Equivalent ("FTE") staff working for the Council to undertake enforcement actions under the RMA
988C - We received a letter dated 21/06/2016 requesting information on:
  • The annual budget allocated for enforcement actions under the RMA for each year for the past 5 years (with each year to run from 1 July to 30 June, so that the most recent year will end in June 2015)
  • The number of Full Time Equivalent ("FTE") staff working for the Council to undertake enforcement actions under the RMA each year for the past 5 yearsInformation request regarding Environment Canterbury-leased grazing land and income allocation.
The figures below provide this information relating to staff and budgets relating to all RMA enforcement. 
FTE Environment Canterbury staff employed to undertake enforcement action
FTE Environment Canterbury staff employed to undertake enforcement action Year (1 July to 30 June) Full Time Equivalents   

2010/11

32.71  

2011/12

26.22

 

2012/13

30.48  

2013/14

34.92  

2014/15

33.17  
Council's Budget for RMA Enforcement Actions - last 5 years  Budgets  

2010/11

$5,846,477  

2011/12

$6,334,325

 

2012/13

$5,889,436  

2013/14

$5,670,467  

2014/15

$6,089,823  
The RMA compliance team monitors over 24,000 consents. Of these, there are 5900 consents for water takes. Groundwater abstraction consents had the highest rate of significant non-compliance. Surface water abstraction and agricultural discharges followed close behind. 
Overall, during the 2014/15 year, Environment Canterbury issued 81 abatement notices and 36 infringement notices with $50,500 worth of fines.
Three successful prosecutions were concluded, including one that led to lnterflow ltd contributing $80,000 towards the remediation of a stream on Banks Peninsula. The compliance team's aim is to achieve a high level of voluntary compliance by working with individuals and the community, but if unsuccessful Environment Canterbury has several enforcement tools it can use to make sure rules are complied with.
Compliance is also undertaken by third party providers who, through real time monitoring of water, can immediately alert consent holders to water take consent breaches. Independent auditors also provide us with assurance that Farm Environment Plans are in place and provide information on whether they are up to standard (there will be 5000 farm plans in place by 2020). This compliance activity requires no Environment Canterbury expenditure.
15 July 2016 - Request for information on the full spend and break down of costs for Environment Canterbury of compliance over the 2014/2015 financial year, and the full spend and break down of costs of communications for Environment Canterbury over the 2014/2015 financial year
987C - We received a request for information on:
  • The full spend and break down of costs for ECan of compliance over the 2014/2015 financial year, and
  • The full spend and break down of costs of communications for ECan over the 2014/2015 financial year
The table below shows the information requested.
14/15 Year - Environment Canterbury Labour Vehicle Usage Good & Services  Corporate & Section Overhead Costs Allocated Total Costs

Communications

$310,943 $2,467 $532,848 $375,902  $1,222,160

Monitoring & Compliance

$2,130,371

$196,663

$476,155

$3,182,240  $5,985,429

It is important to note the two business groups – compliance and communications – have completely different functions and it is difficult to compare the budgets between the two.

The compliance team monitors over 24,000 consents with a prime focus on water use. Groundwater abstraction consents had the highest rate of significant non-compliance. Surface water abstraction and agricultural discharges followed close behind. The cost of our compliance activities is largely met by either the user of the resource, or the polluter.

Overall, during the year Environment Canterbury issued 81 abatement notices and 36 infringement notices with $50,500 worth of fines. Three successful prosecutions were concluded, including one that led to Interflow Ltd contributing $80,000 towards the remediation of a stream on Banks Peninsula. The compliance team’s aim is to achieve a high level of voluntary compliance by working with individuals and the community, but if unsuccessful Environment Canterbury has several enforcement tools it can use to make sure rules are complied with.

Compliance is also undertaken by third party providers who through real time monitoring of water can immediately alert consent holders to water take consent breaches. Independent auditors also provide us with assurance that Farm Environment Plans are in place and provide information on whether they are up to standard (there will be 5000 farm plans in place by 2020). This compliance activity requires no Environment Canterbury expenditure.  The Communications team works across the whole organisation, supporting its work. It provides communications and media advice to staff, provides direction and oversight of Environment Canterbury’s extensive website, and commissions design, advertising and publishing for council initiatives.

You can find further information about costs and budgets for both compliance and communications in Environment Canterbury’s annual report which is located here.

Flock Hill
 3 August 2017 - Request for information on Immediate Steps funding on Flock Hill over the past 5 years and subsequent biodiversity outcomes.

1135C - We received an information request on Immediate Steps funding on Flock Hill over the past 5 years and subsequent biodiversity outcomes.

Three projects have been supported on Flock Hill over the past five years from 2010 to 2015.  The majority of these were initiated, managed, and/or delivered in collaboration with Fish & Game North Canterbury without Flock Hill receiving any money.  Details of these three projects are as follows:

Winding Creek fencing and weed control

  • Initiated, managed and delivered by Fish & Game North Canterbury (FY2010/11)
  • Total value $93,700 including contribution from Selwyn District Council, Environment Canterbury and Fish & Game delivered over several stages
  • Project aimed to fence the creek to reduce the amount of sedimentation within Winding Creek and to reduce disturbance within the adjacent wetland area, which will support maintaining a healthy stream with clear gravels, healthy populations of native plants, fish, invertebrates, and thriving native riparian vegetation. In addition, removal of weeds was undertaken
  • Project outcomes monitored: effective fence line placement and delivery of wide stream buffer area

Winding Creek wetland and weed control

  • Landowner initiated and delivered in collaboration with Environment Canterbury and Fish & Game (FY 2012/13)
  • Total project value $31,900 shared 50-50 with land owner to protect wetland
  • Previously stock-grazed land fenced off and retired for 63.7 ha of wetland and connected to previous Winding Creek protection project
  • Protection of wetland habitat and stream habitat, which is known to be of high value to spawning salmon. Weed control was undertaken by Fish & Game
  • Project outcomes monitored: fence was delivered and Fish & Game have completed the weed control

Craigieburn Stream and Lake Pearson

  • Initiated by landowner together with Fish & Game (FY 2011/12)
  • Total project value $48,000 with contributions from Environment Canterbury, Department of Conservation and the landowner
  • Fenced off 2200 m of the Craigieburn Stream and eliminated cattle access to Lake Pearson to improve water quality.  Eliminated cattle grazing from the lower Craigieburn Stream through fencing, to improve water quality (sheep grazing only along the very weedy stream margins).  Eliminated all stock grazing from the lake margin between the Craigieburn Stream fan and the Winding Stream exit point. (no sheep, cattle and deer).

In order for Immediate Steps funding to be successful the Zone Committee relies on willing landowners to approach and work with Environment Canterbury and our biodiversity officers.  Environment Canterbury staff lead the initial project scoping, project drafting, and proposal pitch.  Terrestrial and freshwater ecologists peer review all project proposals and provide a recommendation to the Zone Committee for decision making.  This recommendation takes into account whether the project objectives are achievable and deliver the envisaged biodiversity outcomes.  The biodiversity outcomes under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) are long-term goals and therefore some expected results from projects will take time to eventuate.

18 April 2017 - Request for information about allocation of Immediate Steps Biodiversity Fund to a project on Cave Stream on Flock Hill Station

1104C - We received an information request for Information about allocation of Immediate Steps Biodiversity Fund to a project on Cave Stream on Flock Hill Station. 

The requester asked many questions regarding Cave Stream on Flock Hill Station. All of the questions and their answers can be found below.

What is the purpose of the fence?

The purpose of the fence is to protect Cave Stream from stock access through the agricultural areas adjacent to Stage one and two of the proposed fencing. The proposed fencing goes beyond what is required by farmers in the high country in regards to stock exclusion from water ways.

Where is the proposed fence going to be located?

The attached map shows the location of the proposed fence and the stages of the fencing.

Does it include the natural ecotone from wetland-terrace riser shrubland to dryland terrace?

The main stem of the stream and surrounding wetlands is a naturally rare ecosystem, with >30% left but less than 10% protected. The cave and karst features in Stage three of the proposed fencing are regionally significant, and according to Department of Conservation, nationally significant.

How does the fencing of the adjoining terraces which are proposed for cultivation, meet the objectives of Environment Canterbury's plans and policies to protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity and protect ONLs?

The fences on both sides of the stream (Stage one) will provide a protected freshwater biodiversity corridor, which was previously accessible by stock, and was weed and pine infested. The riparian area has a minimum buffer of approximately 20m on either side and overall 80-100m combined buffer on average. Stage two and three protect Cave Stream and therefore no second fence line is needed as it borders onto the road where there is already a fence installed.

The fenced off area will now be under weed control management and therefore protect current, and enhance existing, biodiversity values.

What ecological assessment was carried out to support the funding decision, and further, was it included an assessment of the landscape impacts of a fence and the proposed changes in vegetation that will occur in an area with “regional and national significant landscape features”. Also requested was a copy of the ecological and landscape assessments.

In relation to the ecological assessment:

The Immediate Steps (IMS) Biodiversity Fund was set up to support on-the-ground actions to improve freshwater-related biodiversity. IMS funding is allocated to each zone and the Zone Committee decides which projects receive IMS funding.

The biodiversity assessment for Immediate Steps funding for projects are based on the following criteria (and in accordance with the Wildlands - Guidelines For The Application Of Ecological Significance Criteria For Indigenous Vegetation And Habitats Of Indigenous Fauna In Canterbury Region):

  • Existing ecological values of the proposed project site (representativeness, rarity or distinctiveness, diversity/pattern, ecological context, protection of threatened environments and naturally rare or distinct habitat)
  • Potential ecological values of the site (10-15 years’ time) based on likely change (effectiveness/key threats, potential positive impact ecologically, value for money)
  • Other criteria such as non-ecological or cultural (legally protected, education)
  • Immediate steps criteria based on the Zone Implementation Programme (ZIP)

The ecological assessment score was peer reviewed by a terrestrial and freshwater ecologist.

Summary:

Overall Assessment Scores

Criteria Score Comments    

Ecological Assessment Score (Existing and Potential) /39

31

This assessment is related to the fencing and ongoing wildling pine and weed control along the spring fed cave stream; this project links up with the fully fenced Cave Stream Reserve downstream. This project has 3 stages and will safeguard the complete Cave Stream system running through the Station.

   

Cultural

Medium

 

 

 

Other Criteria Overall Rating

Medium

 

   

Immediate Steps Rating

High      

In relation to the landscape assessment:

The Zone Committee recognises the high landscape values in the surrounding area, but consideration of the potential visual impact of the fence does not currently form a part of the formal Immediate Steps framework biodiversity assessment. However, these values can be considered in the general discussion of projects with the biodiversity subcommittee, the full Zone Committee and by community members at the meeting. The landscape values in question, and the project’s potential impact on these, were discussed at both the Zone Committee Biodiversity Subcommittee meeting and the full Zone Committee meeting.

The meeting agenda for the latter was publicly available on Environment Canterbury’s website one week before each meeting and sent out to a number of interested and relevant partners, organisations and individuals.

Is the landowner committed to ongoing weed control within the fenced area?

The Ministry for Primary Industries, Department of Conservation and Flock Hill Station Limited have a combined commitment to weed control across the project area for the next three years. Flock Hill is committed to maintain weed control after this period, and the station will continue with maintenance as the ecological cost of discontinuing weed control would be high within the fenced off area.

Would the funding have been better spent to fence off the flats below the Cave stream gorge?

The flats below the gorge are not part of this project. The Zone Committee and Environment Canterbury are open to further Immediate Steps applications from Flock Hill Station and other high country properties to assist with the protection of freshwater-related biodiversity.

Why did the Committee not wait for a decision on the SDC resource consent application before making a decision on the fence?

As mentioned above, Flock Hill Station has withdrawn its resource consent application with Selwyn District Council (SDC). The Station is currently not pursing any further action or application regarding this matter.

Is the fence part of an Overseas Investment obligation?

No, the fence is not part of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) obligation.

The requester stated that “Flock Hill Station lease is now 100% American owned”, and asked if the Committee could not foresee possible PR problems with assisting Flock Hill owners to fence the property with public money and help “pursue a dramatically revised method of farming” as outlined in the Overseas Investment Office consent dated 7 April 2016.

The land area in question is owned by the University of Canterbury and leased long-term by Flock Hill Station Limited. Therefore, the conditions from an Overseas Investment Office consent for Flock Hill Station Limited are unrelated to the site in question as the ownership and lease agreement are a separate issue. The method of farming is not a dramatically revised method of farming. It is a return to the farming long established in the past and operating until the invasion of wilding pines in the last 20 years.

Governance
15 June 2017 - Request for information regarding the ethical code of conduct that Councillors follow in New Zealand.

1125C - We received an information request regarding the ethical code of conduct that Councillors follow in New Zealand.

1. What are the main systems and processes for governing ethical conduct in your council?

Legislation, Standing Orders, Members Code of Conduct and peer support, training and advice.

2. What legislation, codes and protocols govern ethical conduct for councillors and officers?

3. What are behaviours are expected of councillors and officers in order to uphold good ethical conduct?

As above

4. What support is in place to encourage/develop those behaviours?

  • As above and peer support
  • In addition there may be training provided by way of national courses e. g. for decision making on resource consent applications and plan making. Both Councillors and staff with delegations to make decisions for resource consent matters attend this training.
  • There is advice available to Councillors from staff and external advisors on what is confidential, or commercially sensitive information in terms of how they conduct meetings and make decisions.
  • There is advice on avoiding: serious offence to tikanga Maori; and disclosure of the location of waahi tapu (places sacred to Maori in the traditional, spiritual, religious, ritual or mythological sense).
  • There is advice and training available for recognition of what constitutes bias, conflict of interest and pre-determination.

5. What is the process if someone falls short of expected behaviours? When it is a councillor, who decides they have fallen short?

As per standing orders.

6. What are the sanctions and systems in place for addressing poor behaviour?

As per standing orders.

7. What effect have the ethical governance processes you've got in place had on principles like openness, fairness, integrity, transparency, mutual respect but also public confidence?

The legislation and standing orders have been in place for many years. I am not aware of any document that records any such changes over time.

Harbour
16 March 2017 - Request for information in relation to the implementation of the Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code at the Port of Timaru

1087C - Environment Canterbury has adopted the New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code (the Code). The principles of the Code are used in the management of navigation safety throughout the region.

We were unable to provide information to most of these queries, and have outlined below why. Specifically the following were requested:

1. A copy of the Harbour Safety Management System for the Port of Timaru.

Timaru Port is a single port operation and does not lie within a harbour. This means the only operations being undertaken are those of a single port company and associated operations and therefore does not require a harbour safety management system.

2. Documents relevant to berthing plans, any consultation that took place with Environment Canterbury as Harbourmaster and copies of the final plans developed by the Port.

The Port Safety Management System serves as the management document for the operations of that Port. This is not a single document but made up of many procedures, practices, assessments and manuals. Environment Canterbury does not hold copies of these documents.

PrimePort consult with the Harbourmaster on many matters. The discussions and review of documents take place at our meetings with PrimePort on site in Timaru. The discussions are those relating to amendments to existing documents rather than new documents. As such, the discussions are focused on those matters and any changes, amendments or improvements are made at the time, or are reviewed again at a subsequent visit. Environment Canterbury has adopted this process in order to provide a prompt review and response to port company documents. We do not hold copies of the PrimePort documents.

3. A copy of all documents relevant to the setting of wind limit guidelines pursuant to clause 6.3(4) of Harbourmaster’s Direction 16-1.

Harbourmaster’s Direction 16-1, clause 6.3(4) requires that “Every commercial port shall, in consultation with the Harbourmaster, set and operate agreed wind limit guidelines for that port.” These limits will be found within the Port Safety Management System. These documents are reviewed and approved as described above. No copies are held by Environment Canterbury.

4. Any documents that relate to Harbourmaster’s approval of cruise ship visits to Port of Timaru.

The Harbourmaster’s Direction 16-1 sets out the maximum size of vessels that may navigate within the port of Timaru under the Port Safety Management System. This is based on the operational limitations of the port and its infrastructure, and their ability to safely handle those ships, rather than a vessel type. Any vessel in excess of those sizes requires individual approval of the Harbourmaster. There is no separate approval for cruise ships.

Home heating
7 August 2017 - Request for information in relation to our Timaru Home Heating Subsidy Data

1140C - We received a number of questions, most of which we have answered in the table below. 

Timaru Clean Air Zone Clean Heat programmes

We could not answer the requestor’s following queries because we do not compile data about the specific low income evidence supplied and it has only been since December 2016 that the low income eligibility criteria has been expanded to include a wider range of low income evidence than a Community Services Card.

  • Number of applications from those who own a rental property and have tenants (Until recently we have not compiled data about owner occupied and rented properties.)
  • Number of applications for subsidies from those who had a community services card
  • Number of application for subsidies from those who had a combined SuperGold card and community services card
  • Number of applications for subsidies from those who just missed out on being eligible for a community services card by $5,000 or less
  • Number of applications for subsidies from those who receive a rates rebate for the current financial year
  • Number of applications for subsidies from those who receive a disability support pension

It is also important to note that the subsidy programmes have been amended over the years, with the main changes to the amount available and the eligibility criteria.  The home heating subsidy started at $500 (until June 2013) and then increased to $1000 (until June 2014) with no Community Services Card requirement.  At that time $1000 was made available towards a wood burner or $2000 towards a heat pump and a requirement for a Community Services Card (until Dec 2016).  Now the eligibility criteria has been expanded further and provides up to $5,000.

Irrigation
20 April 2017 - Request for information on communications between Rangitata South Irrigation Limited (RSIL) and Environment Canterbury in relation to irrigation in South Canterbury
1099C - We received an information request for communications between Rangitata South Irrigation Limited and Environment Canterbury in relation to irrigation in South Canterbury. Below are several documents that show our communications.
  1. Email from Olivia Smith, Zone Facilitator. This correspondence provides context and background to the OTOP Zone Committee process and recommendations which lead to the Water Resource Modelling project.
  2. Email from Brett Painter, Project Leader CWMS. This correspondence includes details of a public meeting on 17 October 2016, which was attended by Ian Morton and includes a copy of Mr Painter’s presentation at the public meeting (also attached).
  3. Presentation by Brett Painter on 17 October 2016 at the Waihi Lodge, Geraldine.
  4. OTOP ZC Agenda 4 July 2016 (refer to page 22)
  5. OTOP ZC Agenda 21 November 2016 (refer to items on pages 15 & 17)
  6. Geraldine Water Solutions presentation on 21 November 2016
  7. Presentation from Brett Painter to the Zone Committee on 21 November 2016
6 April 2017 - Request for information from Rangitata South Irrigation Limited
1098C - Any information requests from Rangitata South Irrigation Limited (or its representative), Environment Canterbury’s response to these requests, and any further correspondence arising from the request.
There were approximately 50 attachments associated with this LGOIMA, due to the large number we cannot display them here but if you are interested in viewing the documents please contact us at LGOIMA@ecan.govt.nz.
6 March 2017 - Request for information regarding issuing a water shortage direction for Selwyn river aquifers

1079C - We received an information request regarding if we are going to issue a water shortage direction under the Resource Management Act to stop irrigators taking water from Selwyn River aquifers.

Environment Canterbury has used s329 of the RMA in the past in drought conditions in South Canterbury and we are prepared to do so again when and where appropriate. We are cognisant that we have experienced our third consecutive dry winter and therefore need to explore all available tools at our disposal to protect the Selwyn River.

To this effect, we are meeting with the Selwyn-Waihora Zone Committee to affirm the need for direct interventions. Utilisation of s329, a Water Shortage Direction, is one tool we will consider whether to deploy. Other interventions, such as those discussed at the recent Zone Committee workshop e.g. consent reviews, are also being explored. In short, we are actively assessing direct intervention.

We currently also have restrictions in place that help stream flows. For any water take that is likely to have a direct, short-term impact on stream flows, the resource consent contains conditions that restrict the rate of take either partially or fully when stream flows drop below a set trigger level. Given the low flows we are currently experiencing in many streams, these trigger levels have largely been reached and restrictions took effect some time ago.

In addition to the tools noted above, we also have longer-term planning rules in place that will over time see improvements in water quality and quantity. With the Selwyn-Waihora catchment being over-allocated, the Land and Water Regional Plan (through Plan Change 1) addresses over-allocation of water in a number of ways. There is already in place a prohibition on new surface and groundwater water takes, and a restriction on the transferring of water take permits. More detailed information about these rules can be found in the attached appendix.

Environment Canterbury has deployed a number of short and longer term measures to address water quality and quantity in the Selwyn River and in recognition of the ongoing decline of the Selwyn River's flow we are now preparing to deploy further measures commensurate with our rules.

8 December 2016 - Request for information regarding declarations of interest and irrigation NZ, specifically conflict of interest declarations
1044C - Information request regarding declarations of interest & Irrigation NZ, specifically:
  • A copy of the conflict of interest declarations of the commissioners from the years 2010 until 2016
  • A copy of the conflict of interest declarations of CEO Bill Bayfield from the years 2011 until 2016
  • A list of the times, dates, locations, minutes and attendees of all meetings between Environment Canterbury staff or commissioners and Irrigation NZ representatives since 2010

The information requested is attached.

29 November 2016 - Request for information on irrigation practices in Canterbury

1042C - We received a request for information on irrigation practices in Canterbury.

We were asked if Environment Canterbury or any bodies associated with us have invested in, funded or part funded the development of the following irrigation projects, including feasibility studies and other reports: Central Plains Water, Hunter Downs or Hurunui Water Project.

We responded by informing the requester that irrigation infrastructure in Canterbury is developed, owned and operated by the private sector. However, Environment Canterbury in its role of facilitating infrastructure that addresses all CWMS targets has undertaken strategic assessments of Central Plains Water Ltd (CPWL) and other water concepts across Canterbury. We attached reports relevant to CPWL, Hunter Downs Irrigation Ltd (HDIL) and Hurunui Water Project Ltd (HWPL).

We were asked if we have commissioned or undertaken any research into land uses and/or farming practices that would minimise the demand for irrigation in Canterbury in the last 15 years. We have not. This is because a number of private sector, educational, research and industry organisations with appropriate skills and expertise have been undertaking this work with their own funding sources.

We were asked if the farmers in Stage 1 of Central Plains Water surrendered their groundwater consents, and if so, whether or not they are being monitored. There is no immediate regulatory requirement for farmers in CPWL Stage 1 to give up their groundwater consents.

However, there are incentives to reduce or remove pumping capacity, as the costs of electricity to pump deep groundwater and the ‘capacity charge’ to maintain a connection for a pump, whether or not it is used, are significant.

Environment Canterbury is monitoring the situation through the annual compliance report from CPWL, water consumption information from water meters, and by liaising with Orion Group to gain an appreciation of the scale of reduction in irrigation pumping activity and connected capacity.

Attached is an email from Orion that confirms irrigation pump disconnections. Please note that actual water use fluctuates from season to season depending on climatic conditions, so we will get a clearer picture of the scale of the reduction in groundwater use over the next few seasons.

We were asked for copies of any peer reviewed scientific evidence held by Environment Canterbury which suggests that CPWL, Hunter Downs and/or Hurunui Water Project will recharge groundwater and/or have any other positive environmental impacts. Technical reports are available which cover the environmental effects of CPWL, HDL and HWPL. If you are interested in viewing this information please contact LGOIMA@ecan.govt.nz

While these are the main reports on the topics identified there may be additional information of interest in other reports. Therefore please be aware that all reports used as part of the consent process for CPWL, HDIL and HWPL can be found on the Environment Canterbury website at the following links:

Current land use and expected land use changes in the command areas for HDIL and HWPL can be found in the consent applications by these companies, as above. An update from HWPL, given at the August Hurunui Waiau Zone Committee Meeting, is attached.

4 October 2016 - Request for information regarding irrigation on the Canterbury plains
1026C - Information request regarding irrigation on the Canterbury plains. Specific answers are located under the numbered questions below.

1. If there are now almost 6000 permitted water takers, what is the combined volume of water taken annually in the Canterbury Plains region?

The total volume of water taken annually from the Canterbury Plains varies year on year. We now have water meters in place for all takes greater than 10 litres per second which accounts for an estimated 90% of the total volume extracted. For the year 2014/15, July-June, the total measured water volume extracted was 3,194,759,406 m3. To place this volume in context, this is 4% of Canterbury’s average rainfall.

2. Is there a ceiling for water usage and has the science been done to quantify this?

Yes, allocation limits have been set all across Canterbury. There has been a huge amount of science done on what allocation limits are applicable for groundwater and surface water, based around the effect of taking the water on the surrounding environment. For groundwater, the annual allocation limit is based on what is sustainable for lowland streams in the long-term. For surface water, the instantaneous limit is to ensure what remains in the stream is enough to sustain life in the stream, and the total limit is to ensure rivers maintain natural highs and lows (i.e. a naturally variable hydrograph rather than a flat line). However, two important points need to be made:
a) Fundamentally the decision on how much water is allocated is a values based decision supported by science. Science can help inform the community to protect the values that are important, but it won’t tell you how much water should be allocated; that will depend on what the stream is valued for.
a) There is always natural variation in climate and during a dry period (ie drought) all values including irrigation reliability will suffer.

3. Why, during one of our driest summers, was irrigation allowed to continue unabated and for such an extended period into winter?

There were more irrigation restrictions this last summer than any time during the past ten years. Where irrigation continued, it was sourced from either alpine rivers via big schemes like the Rangitata Diversion Race (which maintained good flows with a lot of nor west rain) or groundwater, which is managed through annual limits. The annual limits give a total amount that can be used during a year and that can happen at any time. There was reasonable rain fall in January that meant many people stopped irrigating and therefore, their annual volume wasn’t used up until later in the season.

4. Following on from that, given this extended usage, surely permitted allocations had been exhausted months previously.

No. Preliminary analysis suggests that there were more people that used their full allocation in 2014-15 than in 2015-16 (for reason above).

5. Are there instances of irrigators having to establish new bores because their original bores have been exhausted?

Yes, although ‘exhausted’ is probably a misleading term. The deeper aquifers give better certainty of water supply.

6. Why is irrigation permitted to continue when surrounding waterways become dry and river levels drop to unsustainable levels?

See explanation on water sources above. Any water take from streams/rivers or groundwater near to streams, are subject to minimum flows where irrigation must cease. In these cases, there is no abstraction from the stream and if the river level drops further it is due to natural variation.

7. Why have consents been issued without the relevant compliance mechanisms in place and signed off?

Consents are not being issued without relevant compliance mechanisms. All consents for water takes have specific conditions on them to limit the effects and make sure water is managed sustainably. These conditions limit such things as the annual total volume to make sure water is used efficiently, the rate of take it can be pumped to make sure surrounding water users are not affected, low flow limits requiring irrigators to cease taking when rivers are too low, metering and the supply of records to make sure we know limits are being met. It is an offence under s14 of the RMA to breach any resource consent and we can and do enforce these limits when necessary. We monitor all metered takes and we serve numerous Abatement Notices, Infringement Notices and take prosecutions when we have sufficient evidence and deemed necessary. You can now see the list of the latest enforcement actions being taken on our website at http://ecan.govt.nz/our-responsibilities/consents-compliance/monitoring-compliance/Pages/enforcement-tools.aspx#enforce and also see historical compliance reports at http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/Pages/annual-incident-enforcement.aspx. For the 2014-15 year see http://ecan.govt.nz/publications/Pages/compliance-reports.aspx. Our latest report for the 2015-16 year is being prepared at the moment and will be released within the next few months.

8. If there is not sufficient replenishment of water resources this winter, will irrigation be restricted accordingly for the coming season to prevent an exacerbation of the water crisis?

Yes. Irrigation restrictions are already in place for many streams across Canterbury. Further details are available by searching under ‘irrigation restrictions’ on the Environment Canterbury website.

27 September 2016 - Request from BRaid regarding water extractors of the Ashley Rakahuri River

1024C - Information request from BRaid regarding water extractors of the Ashley Rakahuri River, including abstractions directly from the river as well as aquifers associated with the river. The requestor also asked to be supplied with the conditions by which the consent holders are abstracting water.

Attached is a map of surface water takes and ground water takes which are stream depleting.

Also attached is a list of consents shown on the map, along with relevant consent conditions. A consent inventory is underway as part of the Waimakariri Land and Water Solutions Programme and we are able to supply that once it is completed.

 

Operations
23 February 2017 - Request for information on whether Ecan were undergoing negotiations with Alliance/SOL Quarries regarding their lease of an access track to Guys Road
1080C - We received a request for information on whether Ecan were undergoing negotiations with Alliance/SOL Quarries regarding their lease of an access track to Guys Road. 
Environment Canterbury can confirm that the block of land in question is a farm lease occupied by Alliance Group Ltd on a 5 year lease expiring on 31/12/19 but in the current lease there is no right of renewal. Alliance, with Environment Canterbury's consent, have entered into an access agreement with SOL to allow vehicle access across the farm lease to their freehold quarry on adjacent land. This access agreement expires when the lease expires and would be up for reconsideration/re-negotiation when the future of any farm lease is considered.
A granting of any new lease is at the discretion of Environment Canterbury as lessor. Usually six months prior to expiry we will consider any granting of a new lease and have discussions with the lessee, Alliance Group.
To date, Environment Canterbury staff have had no discussions or correspondence with either Alliance or the SOL Company about any new lease, extension of the current lease or renewal of any access agreement.
28 September 2016 - Request from media for information on any external help for media management, crisis and issues management and help with managing government relations
1022C - Media request for information regarding information on any external help for media management, crisis and issues management and help with managing government relations that Environment Canterbury (including commissioners) has undertaken since March 30 2010. The advice (if any) the company/person and the cost is also outlined below.
Environment Canterbury has not sought external assistance for media management, crisis and issues management since 2010. However, in the last three years we have contracted external suppliers to provide training for our staff spokespeople so they understand how media organisation work, the importance of deadlines, and the importance of talking about technical science and planning matters using everyday language.
Since 2014 we have contracted an external consultant to provide this training.
Year Provider Cost Number of staff trained
2014 Brett Solvander $370 (for reimbursement of expenses)

24

2015 Jo Malcolm $4,080 48
2016  Jo Malcolm  $5,775  50 
In terms of managing government relations, Commissioners are appointed by Government and as such regularly communicate with Ministers. They do this without external help.
Plan Change
13 March 2017- Request for original submissions from Ngāi Tahu for various plan changes
1077C - We received an information request for original submissions from Ngāi Tahu for various plan changes.

We supplied the below copies of submissions from Ngāi Tahu in relation to the following:

Ngāi Tahu presented evidence and legal submissions at the hearings for both Plan Change 3 and 5. In respect of PC3, the Council’s decision records the outcome from that submission, the legal submissions and evidence.

There is not yet a Council decision in respect of the submissions on PC5 because the hearing commissioners are still deliberating.

Transport
30 August 2017 - Request for information on SuperGold Card
1170C - We received an information request regarding SuperGold Cards.

1. How do the trips used by the SuperGold Card get paid?

Trips made on public transport services in Canterbury by SuperGold Card holders during off-peak periods are funded 100% by Central Government but at a capped annual figure. Off-peak periods are from 9.00am to 3.00pm and from 6:30pm to the end of service on weekdays, and any time on weekends and public holidays.

Trips made on public transport services in Canterbury by SuperGold card holders during peak periods are paid for by the customer at normal adult fares.

2. What is the total paid for fares using the SuperGold Card in the 16/17 financial year?

The total funding by Central Government for off-peak SuperGold travel in Canterbury for the year Jul 2016 – June 2017 was capped at $2,956,485 excluding GST.

18 May 2017 - Request for information on mobile phone payment support for public transport
1109C - We received an information request regarding whether or not we have looked into providing mobile payment support on our public bus services.

Environment Canterbury has not looked into the specific requirements of providing true mobile payment support, as such technologies are not able to be supported by our current ticketing system. However, we will be reviewing our ticketing system, including various payment technologies such as mobile payment, when the current system reaches end of life around 2020/2021.

As a public entity, asset investment lifecyles and the maturity of technologies are very important considerations influencing our decisions at the time of evaluation. We consider that mobile payment technology is relatively immature in its implementation in New Zealand. Environment Canterbury does not see itself as an early adopter of technology solutions, given that we are using public funds and that there is an inherent risk associated with this sort of developing technology.

The requestor also asked if we would consider talking with Google about supporting Android Pay.

As the current ticketing system will not support Android Pay, a discussion with Google may not represent value for either party at this point in time. Environment Canterbury will certainly consider talking with Google closer to the time of replacement of the current ticketing system.

8 September 2016 - Request from a university student for information about our public transport language support services for people with limited English proficiency
1023C - We had a request from a university student for information about our public transport language support services for people with limited English proficiency.

How does Ecan manage interpretation and translation?

The public transport team at ECan has only used a translation service for one customer who is profoundly deaf. The translation service is provided through I-Signs who have a list of interpreters they use. The interpreter has typically been employed by Workbridge.

Does your transport department have access to the same translation and interpretation
services as the wider regional Council?

Our transport team has access to the same translation and interpretation services as the wider regional council. However, to date, these services have not been used.

How much money has Ecan spent on interpretation and translation services?

In relation to public transport, there has been only one occurrence of the public transport team paying for translation services as the remainder have been met by the customer. This occurrence was in May 2016 and the cost was $161.

Public transport brochures are not translated. Across Environment Canterbury, we provide translated services as required, such as using the Department of Internal Affairs’ Chinese
translation services for our Selwyn HAIL (Hazardous Industries and Activities List) project, to cater to the ethnic makeup of the area.

For the wider Environment Canterbury organisation, there have been a few occasions when deaf people have called with prearranged hearing services.

Does Ecan have metrics for tracking language services?

ECan does not use metrics for tracking language services.  

Does Ecan have any other specific policies for reaching out to ethnic/CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) communities?

For visually impaired travellers, large format timetables are available from Metroinfo and on the website www.metroinfo.co.nz We have tactile pavers to lead visibility impaired people to buses, bus bays numbered on columns in Braille, and push buttons for audio door number announcements.

Water Metering
16 August 2017 - Request for information on all active water bottling consents issued in Canterbury
1148C - We received a request for information on all active water bottling consents issued in Canterbury.

Please find below a table of all active water bottling consents issued in Canterbury.

Table of active water botteling consents

15 August 2017 - Request for information on all active water bottling consents issued in Canterbury
1152C - We received an information request for the Hurunui Water Project (HWP) Ltd consents and if there were revisions to existing consents in 2016 and 2017.  Revisions to existing consents held by HWP have been: a notice of partial transfer of the nutrient load that was authorised under CRC153349, to Ngai Tahu Farming Limited.  
The notice of transfer resulted in a land use consent held by Hurunui Water Project Limited (HWP, CRC153349) being partially transferred to Ngai Tahu Farming Limited as CRC172781, and the part retained by HWP being CRC172780.

The consent application documents and emails surrounding the application were also requested which can be found below, including an email which explains the conditions required.

4 August 2017 - Request for information following our response to LGOIMA - 1117C
1132C - We received a further request for information following our response to LGOIMA - 1117C regarding information on the Cloud Ocean Consent which can be found above. The requestor’s additional queries on the Cloud Ocean Consent are outlined below.

 

1. Information on the allocation of the aquifer over the term of Cloud Ocean’s consent (in relation to capacity), allowing for population growth.

The Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP) (Chapter 9) states that:
In general no additional water is to be allocated from the Christchurch West-Melton groundwater allocation zone - except for group or community supply as set out in Rule 5.155 or for non-consumptive taking and use as set out I Rules 5.131 and 5.132.

This is because the Christchurch West-Melton aquifer is treated as fully-allocated, at around 160 million cubic metres allocated per year. This 160 million cubic metres includes the full consented allocation to Ocean Cloud water.

Similar provisions regarding the fully-allocated aquifer were included in the Natural Resources Regional Plan (NRRP), which was notified in 2004. Prior to the NRRP there were no groundwater allocation limits calculated for this aquifer.

2. What was the level of the aquifer over the last 10-20 years?

Data is not available on the level of the aquifer overall.  The attached map here shows groundwater level monitoring bores within 10km of the Cloud Ocean site, and data on groundwater levels for those bores is here.

Water level data and graphs can be accessed on Canterbury Maps using the well search function.  The bore numbers can be entered and graphs generated from the water level graphs tab and the water level data can be downloaded from this page.

The excel sheet attached above shows bore numbers, eg. M36/xxxx, date of data reading and the depth to groundwater measured from a reference point for that well.  The measuring point varies by well.  The depth to water references the measuring point which may be above, below or at ground level depending on the well.  Also, please note that the well details search on our website at www.ecan.govt.nz includes a plot showing water levels relative to ground level.

The positive numbers indicate the water level is above the measuring points, which may or may not be ground surface.  Positive values generally indicate artesian condition, but you would have to check the measuring point elevation relative to the ground elevation.  This information is available on the well summary which is available from our website.

3. Provide a summary of complaints received from water users.

There are no records of complaints in our database relating to availability of groundwater in this area.

4. What is Environment Canterbury’s position regarding reviewing the consent?

Environment Canterbury has the right to review the conditions of this resource consent to deal with adverse effects on the environment that are best dealt with at a later stage.

We can review a resource consent for the following reasons:

  • If a new or unforeseen adverse effect occurs or one that is beyond that which was consented
  • For any purpose specified in a consent
  • If a new rule comes into force in a new plan that requires something which is not addressed in an existing old consent
  • If a new national environmental standard comes into force
  • If we were misled or there were inaccuracies in a consent application

We have not considered whether there are any such adverse effects in relation to this resource consent.

12 April 2017 - Request for information regarding water take consents
1096C - We received an information request regarding how we classify water takes, howmany industrialwater take consents there are currently and how much revenue we raise from the consents.  

Environment Canterbury classifies water takes by the purpose of the use to which the water will be put. Water take and use classifications include industrial, farming, mining, public water supply, hydroelectric power generation and frost protection.

Attached is a table of all active industrial water takes in Canterbury: 99 consents, and a total of 67,719,793 m3 allocated per year.

The Council recovers its costs of processing these applications and of monitoring consent holders’ compliance with their resource consents; however, we do not raise revenue from these consents.

 

18 July 2016 - Request for information on generic letters sent out regarding water metering
990C - We received a request for information on generic letters sent out regarding water metering.

See below the attached four letters:

  • Letter one is the reminder sent to approximately 500 users with a water take of 10 litres per second or more, and where we did not have a record of the installation of their water measuring device.
  • Letter two is a follow up letter asking for immediate action to install their water measuring device. When the device has been installed and verified, a copy of the certificates must be submitted to Environment Canterbury.
  • Letter three is another reminder that we had not been provided with the installation and / or verification certificate on the water measuring device.
  • Letter four is a response letter after we have been informed that the owner no longer intends to use the bore or does not require the full allocation of water.
This is part of a strategic program of work that Environment Canterbury started in April of this year. If no response is received or we are not satisfied with the response that we receive from the addressees of these letters, then we will determine the appropriate enforcement response, which may involve the issuing of an Abatement Notice requiring compliance and then an Infringement Notice for non-compliance if that is the outcome and, for the most significant breaches, under the Resource Management Act is available.

Farming water use practices are changing

In 2009 the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) was launched. An initiative of the region's Mayoral Forum, it set out a shared vision, which was developed over many years via extensive public engagement. This vision reflected the community's desire to work differently, in a collaborative manner, around water management.

As a result, Environment Canterbury has adopted a strong collaborative and supportive approach to getting the right environmental outcomes for the community. In terms of water measurement/metering this has meant Environment Canterbury has worked with water take consent holders to move water management towards a self-audited approach where we can work together collaboratively to ensure that compliance is achieved.

As rules for water metering were introduced, in 2011 Environment Canterbury began a five year staged process to ensure that all water-take consent holders (for 5 1/s or more) had installed a water measuring device. It is a farmer's responsibility to manage their resources to achieve water efficiency. From a water measurement perspective, when the process started few meters were in place and so a huge effort has been made by Environment Canterbury's compliance team to get farmers on board with this process.

Daily monitoring and telemetry has been installed on most Canterbury farms to measure water use over the last four years. This has involved significant technological change for farmers and for Environment Canterbury, ensuring all large water takes are being measured, monitored and reported, and ensuring water use is within the allocated amount set by consent.

90% (4900/5400) of water takes are now metered and reported, most of them daily. Canterbury has three times the number of water takes than any other region.

A range of different tools as set out under the Resource Management Act 1991 can be used to ensure compliance with water take consent conditions. Environment Canterbury's first priority is to work with farmers so that they comply voluntarily. Where consents holders haven't complied, we have taken the following staged approach:

  • Formal written warning - notice of an offence (often minor)
  • Abatement notice - formal notice to take action or cease an activity that may have an adverse environmental effect or breaches the Resource Management Act
  • Infringement notice - formal notice of an offence which includes payment of a fine.
  • Prosecution - for offences so serious that they warrant proceedings through the courts.
Environment Canterbury is now reaching the end of thefive year process. In April this year, we started implementing new enforcement measures designed to address the small overall percentage of non-compliant water take consent holders. For those who have not takenaction we have begun to issue abatement notices - which will lead to appropriate enforcement action (such as an infringement notice and fines). Since April, we have issued 45 abatement notices for non-compliance with water metering and havemany more in the pipeline. We believe by next year the whole region will be compliant in terms of water metering. Our focus now is on cracking down on anyone who still does not have a water meter, low flow breaches during times of water restriction then dealing with breaches exceeding consented volumes.

Generic letters attached here.

20 July 2016 - Request for information regarding the number of FTE staff working on water metering responses since 2012, whether the responses were acceptable, and whether further resources and actions are planned to comply with regulations; also the number of total permitted water takes and information

989C - We received a request for information regarding the number of FTE staff working on water metering responses since 2012, whether the responses were acceptable, and whether further resources and actions are planned to comply with regulations; also the number of total permitted water takes and information.

Questions

1) Back in 2012 Ecan advised that a dedicated team of 3 fulltime staff had been working with water users to promote meter use since 2008;

a) how many staff have been working on this since June 2012?

From June 2012 to October 2013 there were three full time staff as part of the Extension’s team who were working with industry and water users. After October 2013 there has been two full time staff from this team. In addition a large number of other staff from across the Council have also been working with water users to promote water measuring devices. This includes staff from compliance monitoring, zone delivery, CWMS facilitators, planners and customer Services.

b) given Ecan's efforts since 2008, do you believe the outcomes reported recently are acceptable?

Canterbury also has three times the number of water takes than any other region. The approach Environment Canterbury has taken since the national regulations were introduced has been very successful in achieving the outcomes sought.

The main outcomes being to improve water efficiency and ensure the fair and equitable allocation of water resources.  This approach has gone beyond what is required under the regulations by working with consent holders and industry towards daily measurement and telemetry to enable real time monitoring of water use. This has benefits both in terms of enabling the consent holder to manage water more efficiently and for the broader community.

There has been a huge effort by both consent holders and industry and the project has involved significant technological change. The council has a formal process for taking enforcement action when we believe offences against these regulations may be taking place. This process is focused on achieving compliance and includes the following staged approach:

1. Warning letter

2. Abatement notice

3. Infringements

4. Prosecution

Over the past four years 90% (4900/5400) meters of water takes are now metered with a majority of these (3,800) now using daily telemetry reporting water use. We are constantly reviewing our processes and have in April this year started implementing new measures designed to address the small overall percentage of non-compliances by taking a stronger approach.

The priority has been to address those who have failed to comply with installing meters and then in August (following the end of the irrigation season) any non-compliance with water takes.

We have heard our community and are satisfied enough time has elapsed for water users to now understand their obligations. As a consequence we will be ramp-up the pressure on compliance over the next few seasons and look to take stronger action when warranted.

c) what further resources and actions does Ecan plan to take to ensure regulations in effect since November 2010 are fully complied with?

We are constantly reviewing our processes and progress made. In April this year the council kicked off a water measurement compliance campaign. This campaign has three priorities addressing missing meters, addressing missing information and addressing any overtakes. At the beginning of this campaign there were 500 missing meters. Now all of these have now been contacted.

Enforcement action is being pursued for those that haven’t taken action. After July the focus will shift assessing compliance with consented allocations. We have heard our community and we are satisfied consent holders have had sufficient time to implement the regulations. We will be taking stronger action when warranted.

2) The last Canterbury Region Water Use Report we are aware of was for the 2013/14water year;

a) is there to be a report published for the 2014/15 and subsequent water years with similar data and tables?

No. We have moved away from publishing a specific water report as we transition to reporting at a zone level on a range of matters of importance to community including water. We can however provide an analysis of the total water used in the context of the total amount of water allocated.

3) Can Ecan please advise the total permitted water takes;

a) for all existing water users consented to take 10 litres or more per second, who still do not have water meters installed?

At the beginning of April there are approximately 500 takes ≥10l/s that required a water measuring device(s). However all of these consent holders have now been contacted and have either taken action or we are pursuing enforcement action against.

There are 5,400 takes that are now measured (90% of water takes) with 4,600 of these being takes that are equal to or greater than 20 litres per second. This effectively equates to 97% of water allocation in Canterbury now being measured and reported.

b) for all existing water users consented to take 10 litres or more per second who have meters installed but are not consistently supplying useable data?

Environment Canterbury received data from approximately 3,648 consents in the 2014/2015 Water Year. Of those approximately 327 were not consistently supplying useable data due to a variety reasons such as:

  • No data due to battery failure;
  • Loggers incorrectly configured (if at all);
  • Gaps in data record – data spikes (electric fence) or magnetic interference by Variable Speed
  • Drive pumps, cables disconnected etc.; and
  • Inability to download data from loggers.

Requesting data daily from takes that are telemetered will ensure onsite issues are dealt with in a timely manner thus ensuring useable data is submitted consistently. Environment Canterbury is currently receiving data daily from approximately 3,800 takes.

4) We are aware of several information bulletins produced by Ecan similar to the attached, dated July 2011 could you please advise;

a) was this and other information sheets sent to all water consent holders and when?

Since July 2011 there has been a comprehensive programme in place to ensure that water take consent holders understand their obligations and know what to do to comply.

This has included letters, brochures and a range of compliance communications and actions. In addition there have also been a number of field days, media campaigns, and one on one phone calls.

b) how many water consent holders contacted Ecan to advise that they did not understand water metering regulations?

Since July 2011 1,402 people have contacted Customer Services to discuss their water measuring requirements.

Zone Committee
10 April 2017 - Request for information around publically excluded water zone management committee meetings

1097C -  Information was requested around publically excluded water zone management committee meetings, were non-notified in the past council term, any decisions made in publically excluded meetings, how many items were discussed at each meeting which excluded the public and a list of workshops and topics.

Information was requested for:

  • How many Environment Canterbury council, water zone management committees and committee meetings, including extraordinary meetings, minor matters etc, were non-notified in the past council term and the current term, and why?
  • Any decisions made in publicly excluded meetings in the past and current term.
  • A breakdown on how many times items were discussed at each council/committee/community board meetings - which excluded the public.
  • A full list of workshops, and topics, in the past term as well, and any that are planned for the current term.

The agendas and minutes for all Council and committee meetings (including all Zone Committee meetings) that have been held in the current term and in the previous term are provided on Environment Canterbury's website at Council and Committee Meetings.  All of those meetings were duly notified in accordance with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) therefore there were no non-notified meetings in the past or present council term.

Also available on our website are those occasions when matters were discussed in publicly excluded parts of the meetings and also the grounds for the public being excluded. As noted (and as required by LGOIMA), the resolution to move into a publicly excluded session is always passed in an open meeting, the grounds for exclusion of the public are provided as part of the resolution and all are recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

There are numerous informal gatherings held between Councillors, staff and others for a variety of purposes, including to discuss current issues, to provide Councillors with information and to share ideas. It is impossible to maintain any list of such meetings.

Workshops and briefings, at which no resolutions or decisions are made, are not "meetings" for the purposes of LGOIMA and accordingly none of the formal notice, agenda and minute keeping requirements of that Act apply. This is entirely appropriate since otherwise Councillors and staff would not be able to hold unscheduled or informal gatherings unless public notice of them had previously been provided.