Bay of Plenty
Toilet Requirements on Bay of Plenty Orchards
If you are a grower in the Bay of Plenty, toilet regulations are changing. Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) are looking at new rules through a proposed plan change to the current On-Site Effluent Treatment Regional Plan and have prepared a joint statement for growers.
HorticultureNZ (HortNZ) and NZKGI continue to work with BOPRC to try and resolve the issues relating to ongoing use of pit latrines on orchards. HortNZ is hopeful that the rules of the proposed plan change relating to On-Site Effluent Treatment (OSET) are clear and are working hard to ensure this is the case. Until the plan change becomes operative, the rules of the current OSET Regional Plan still apply. This means that some pit latrines do not comply with the rules of that plan and are required to be upgraded or replaced.
To be permitted under the current plan, pit latrines need to meet several criteria which is listed below. If you don’t think that your pit latrine complies with these criteria, refer to the Technical Guideline document. This document outlines the type of toilets that can be installed as a permitted activity (no resource consent required) however a building consent may be required from your District Council. If pit latrines do not comply with current rules, then they will need to be upgraded or replaced by 1 December 2020 (flush to ground pit latrines) and 1 December 2022 (long drop pit latrines). All new or upgraded OSET systems must be designed by an approved OSET designer. A list approved designers can be found here.
To meet current rules, pit latrines need to be in an area where reticulated sewage is not available (in remote areas) and be located at least:
- 20 m from any water supply bore.
- 20 m from surface water.
- 10 m from all property boundaries.
- 5 m from any dwelling on the same property.
- 5 m from any areas that carry stormwater during storm events
- Have at least a 2m gap between the base of the pit latrine and the highest groundwater level
- Be constructed in soils that are not comprised of gravels, coarse sands, scoria, fissured rock or other material that allows the free draining of liquid waste away from the pit
- Not cause any emission of offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the property on which it is located
- Be constructed and maintained to exclude vermin, flies and rainwater
- Be maintained so that waste in the pit latrine does not build up to be within 1m of original ground level.
If you think that your current pit latrine complies with these criteria, then no further action is required at this time however the current criteria may change under the proposed plan change.
Pit Latrines include both dry (long drop) and wet (flush to ground) systems
Reticulated sewage is a sewer pipe system that takes sewage to wastewater treatment plants
Air Plan (Plan Change 13)
Changes to the agrichemical and open burning rules for the Bay of Plenty have been approved by the Environment Court and are now operative. You can read about the new rules and how they compare with the previous ones here.
Open Burning Rules
From 10 June 2020, open burning rules changed in the Bay of Plenty which means that no land owner or user, urban or rural, can light a fire within 100m of a neighbouring dwelling house. For rural production land, you can apply for resource consent to burn vegetative material within 100m of another dwelling house. However, recreational or cultural fires will still be allowed, for example, braziers, BBQs, pizza ovens, smokers and hangi, provided offensive or dangerous discharges are minimised. More information can be found here.
Opotiki District Plan
The Opotiki District Plan will be fully operative by the end of the year. Horticulture NZ has provided an overview of the plan, the proposed rules and how they compare to current rules. You can read about the plan here.
Update on Plan Change 13 (Air Quality)
Western Bay Of Plenty
Seasonal Worker Accommodation Variation of Consent
Some seasonal worker accommodation consent conditions only allow for RSE workers to be accommodated. Western Bay of Plenty District Council has provided flexibility on these consent conditions to acknowledge the impact of Covid-19 and the border closure preventing RSE workers from arriving. The council has agreed that it is acceptable for other workers working in the kiwifruit industry to occupy seasonal worker accommodation without a variation of consent. Councils’ advice is that consent holders continue to operate the facilities in accordance with their Site Management Plan and to communicate with Council any issues related to non-compliance with current consent conditions. In particular, the increased potential of traffic effects as a result of domestic workers (who generally have their own transport) as opposed to RSE workers (who are usually transported in vans). If the facility is unable to operate in general accordance with its consent conditions Council may require a variation to any existing resource consents.
This advice will be reviewed in the next 6-12 months. More information can be found here.
On Monday 10 August, the Tauranga District Court dismissed the appeal by Western Bay of Plenty District Council against NZKGI and ruling by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) that found that access and facilities for disabled people were not required for a change of use rural property in Te Puke. The Judge also commented on the classification of change of use dwellings and precedence setting and NZKGI will continue to work through these rulings with MBIE in the coming weeks. The decision can be read here.
District Plan Changes
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has announced its decisions on the District Plan proposed plan changes 82-84 and 86-91. NZKGI provided a submission on each of the plan changes and the Council has generally accepted our submission points (submission attached). Below is the key changes to the plan changes that relate to kiwifruit.
- Post-Harvest Zone – Review of Provisions
The height restrictions for post-harvest facilities have increased from 12 to 14m. This means that a post-harvest facility can be built upto a height of 14m as a permitted activity
- Accommodation Facility Permitted Limit
The accommodation facility limit has been extended from four to five to align with the Building Act (excludes staff). This is in relation to a boarding house type situation before a change of use would be triggered.
- Frost Protection Fans
A change in activity status from controlled to permitted the operation of frost fans for testing purposes outside of set times Monday – Friday 8am to 5pm.
Rule requiring new dwellings to be designed to mitigate noise effects from frost protection fans.
Exemption for frost protection fans in post-harvest zones to reach a height restriction of 15m.
- Rural Contractors Depots – Separation Distances
Amendments to setback wording for rural contractors deport to include any associated vehicle access ways, driveways, vehicle parking and/or maneuvering areas.The Rural Contractors Depot (including any associated vehicle access ways, driveways, vehicle parking and/or maneuvering areas) shall not be located within 60 metres of any existing or consented Dwelling, Minor Dwelling, Education Facility or Accommodation Facility that is located on a title separate to that of the subject site and in different ownership to that of the Rural Contractors Depot operator.
- Rangiuru Business Park – Water Supply Option
Adding Pongakawa bore as additional option as water supply option
District Council Plan Changes
Plan Change 85 – Cleanfill Activities
The purpose of the plan change is to manage the adverse effects of cleanfill activities on the transportation network, infrastructure and network utilities, safety and convenience of road and access users, and on the amenity of residential activities and other sensitive sites.
The decisions on cleanfill activities can be found here.