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Managing the coastal environment

Last updated: 31 August 2023
Reporting frequency: Quarterly
Portfolio: Climate change and community resilience

We are regenerating Canterbury’s coastal environment by working with, and alongside, our partners for effective and integrated coastal management.

This work focuses on three key areas:

We are also developing a Coastal Zone Delivery Team to more effectively deliver our operational functions within the coastal area in partnership with Ngāi Tahu, the community, user groups and our stakeholders.

How are we tracking on our Levels of Service?

Level of Service 20: Enable safe navigation for vessels throughout the Canterbury region.

As part of this level of service we will:

  • 21.1 Ensure our risk assessment regime and Safety Management System is consistent with the New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code and compliant with ISO 9001:2015 certification for customer focus, quality management and continual improvement.
  • 21.2 Ensure availability of our operational and emergency response function, and a qualified, experienced and independent harbourmaster, so that Papatipu Rūnanga, organisations, user groups and the community receive guidance on the safe navigation of vessels within the region.

How did we do: Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code (The Code) panel assessments were last undertaken in 2019 for the Canterbury Coast, including ports and harbours. The assessments confirmed consistency with The Code and the next review is scheduled for 2024. Annual self-assessments were undertaken during the year in conjunction with both Port Companies and Maritime New Zealand. All ports and harbours remain consistent with the Code.

ISO 9001 audits are undertaken annually, either as a triennial audit or an interim surveillance audit. An interim audit was undertaken in October 2022 by an independent ISO accredited auditor and our ISO 9001:2015 certification status was confirmed.

An on-call duty officer was available 24 hours/365 days per year to provide advice and information to the community and user groups across the region to assist with the understanding and implementation of the Navigation Safety Bylaw, and with navigation safety matters generally.

Level of Service 21: Provide coastal environmental monitoring, response planning and advisory services to enable informed decision making.

To achieve this Level of Service we will:

  • 21.3 Undertake a marine biosecurity survey in Kaikōura, Lyttelton, Akaroa and Timaru

How did we do: We completed dive surveys in Timaru, Akaroa and Lyttelton. The Kaikōura marine biosecurity survey was not undertaken due to staff constraints and limited weather favourability. A contractor has been engaged to undertake and complete this work during the latter half of 2023.

Not achieved
Level of Service 22: Partner with Ngāi Tahu, city and district councils, and the community to review the Regional Coastal Environment Plan to achieve integrated management of the Canterbury coastal and marine area.

As part of this level of service we will:

  • 22.1 Progress a review of the Canterbury Regional Coastal Environment Plan.

How did we do: The first phase of the planning work programme is a complete review of the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement (RPS) by 2024 to achieve integrated management of natural and physical resources in Canterbury. The review of the RPS will include provisions to halt environmental decline of the coastal area. The review of the Regional Coastal Environment Plan and the need for additional provisions will be considered at a later date, therefore this target is not achieved for 2022/23.

Not achieved

How are we doing on our key initiatives?

Banks Peninsula subtidal habitats and ecosystems (Iongairo)

How are we doing: Field work has begun at Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula and is on track and progressing as planned and within budget.

The first season of data collection is complete. Otago University team are processing and analysing the information gathered across a variety of methods. Preliminary investigations have revealed a myriad of diverse and often complex habitats and communities of animals and plants living within them. Impacts of marine activities including cruise ship anchoring and aquaculture are being assessed against control sites, as well as geological origin of seafloor sediment assessments.

On track
Navigation Safety Bylaw review

How are we doing: The bylaw review is nearing completion. Proposed amendments, approved for consultation by Council on 19th April, were made available for public feedback. There were only two responses, neither of which resulted in any recommendations for change to originally proposed amendments.

On track

Recent highlights and updates


Illegal dumping is rife across the region and it’s not just the inorganic items that are putting our flood protection, biodiversity and water health at risk.

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