On Monday 25 September, the Harbourmaster’s Office was notified of a vessel aground near Shell Bay on Banks Peninsula.
Managing the coastal environment
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:
- Operation of the Harbourmaster's office which focuses on port and recreational boating safety, marine pollution enforcement, and swing mooring management.
- Coastal hazards monitoring and investigations
- Review of the Regional Coastal Environment Plan which forms part of the development of the regional integrated planning framework.
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?
As part of this Level of Service we will:
- 20.1: 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.
- 20.2: 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 are we doing: Staff have been performing internal audits over the past quarter in preparation for the October 2023 audit of ISO 9001:2015 compliance. The results of internal reviews have been positive, and the expectation is that our risk assessment regime and safety management system remain compliant. Staff will continue to update and improve the ISO management system throughout the year.
An on-call duty officer was available 24 hours/7 days per week for the quarter. They provided 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.
We have five warranted Harbourmasters which ensures suitable coverage and availability of a Harbourmaster at all times.
To achieve this Level of Service we will:
- Ensure the method used to monitor water quality sites for ecosystem health meets national and local standards
- Ensure the method used to monitor water quality sites for recreational swimming meets national and local standards
- Undertake a marine biosecurity survey in Kaikōura, Lyttelton, Akaroa and Timaru
- Maintain a Maritime NZ-approved marine oil spill response capability and plan.
How are we doing: Water quality is monitored at 79 coastal and estuarine sites on either a quarterly or monthly basis for ecosystem health. The methods used to monitor water quality are in accordance with national and local standards. All data is available on our website, along with wave and sea level data.
Water quality is monitored at 46-region-wide sites on a weekly basis between November and March, all results are published on Land Air Water Aotearoa website within 48 hours. The methods used to monitor water quality are in accordance with national and local standards.
The planning process to undertake marine biosecurity surveys in each location is underway. Surveys are likely to commence during the summer months when weather and sea conditions are more favourable.
We achieved approval of our marine oil spill response capability and plan from Maritime NZ in quarter four 2022/23. Response capability and plan are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just prior to the end of quarter one, the plan was implemented to assist with the Austro Carina vessel wreck. As of late October, the situation response continues and a plan to remove the wrecked vessel is being developed with the vessel owners and stakeholders.
To achieve this Level of Service we will progress a review of the Canterbury Regional Coastal Environment Plan.
How are we doing: 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 will not be achieved.
For quarter one, we commenced engagement with the community to seek feedback on their vision for Canterbury. This will inform the ongoing work on the Regional Policy Statement and the integrated planning framework.
How are we doing on our key initiatives?
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.
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. In quarter one, the focus has been on analysis of the samples and data collected during the summer/autumn 2022/23 field season. Work has started to create a habitat map using sediment grabs, drop camera footage, towed video footage, imagery analysis and corrections. We are also developing a platform for visualising and sharing datasets.
Recent highlights and updates
A project taking a deep dive into understanding the seabed and marine ecosystems around Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū/Banks Peninsula is underway.
New monitoring equipment will provide useful insights into the health of Lake Benmore.