Monitoring of consents
Consent holders comply with consent conditions to mitigate environmental impact.
84% of consents inspected received a compliant A grade in 2019/20.
About this goal
During 2019/20 there were 5,539 inspections for 3,309 consents across the region. Around 59% of inspections were for water consents, 27% were for discharge consents and 13% were for land-use consents.
Why does it matter?
There are approximately 24,000 resource consents in Canterbury, so it is not possible without considerable cost to monitor every consent every year. We work with land managers, individuals and industry to achieve voluntary compliance, ensuring the best long-term environmental results.
Monitoring consent compliance and responding to incidents, while necessary and important, are more like the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. They are needed to fix a problem often after the environmental damage has occurred and stop it happening again.
As long as we have consents with conditions we will continue to monitor them to ensure the activity is compliant. But what consents we monitor and how we monitor is changing. We are more focused on monitoring high-risk consents or those consent holders with poor compliance history. Better technology is improving our ability to monitor activities for compliance without having to do as many physical site visits.
What's being done?
If there is an issue, our first response is to work with individuals and businesses to stop any immediate environmental damage.
We then investigate to determine what actions should be taken, including enforcement.
Education can achieve better outcomes and is valued by consent holders who need help. If education does not get the right results, there are a range of compliance actions as set out below:
Formal written warnings notify of an offence and require action to be taken.
Infringement notices, which include a fine, are issued for more significant breaches.
Abatement notices are a formal written direction, requiring certain actions to be taken or to cease within a specified time.
Prosecution is reserved for offences so serious that they warrant proceedings through the courts.
What the grades mean
A - Full compliance
Full compliance with all relevant consent conditions, plan rules, regulations and national environmental standards.
B - Low risk non-compliance
Compliance with most of the relevant consent conditions, plan rules, regulations and national environmental standards. Carries a low risk of adverse environmental effects.
C - Moderate non-compliance
Non-compliance with some of the relevant consent conditions, plan rules, regulations and national environmental standards. Some environmental consequence.
D - Significant non-compliance
Non-compliance with many of the relevant consent conditions, plan rules, regulations and national environmental standards. Significant environmental consequence.