EXTERNAL RELATIONS

The target of the external relations portfolio is to build on community and local government relationships whilst being the advocate for kiwifruit growers on wider issues such as health and safety and resource management.

Western Bay of Plenty 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.

  1. 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
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1. Rangiuru Business Park – Water Supply Option
    Adding Pongakawa bore as additional option as water supply option

Bay of Plenty 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.

Hastings District Council Plan Change 1 Seasonal Accommodation

The seasonal accommodation plan change is now operative in the Hastings district and can be found here.

  • In the plains production zone, seasonal workers accommodation up to a maximum of 125m2 gross floor area is a permitted activity.
  • In the plains production zone, seasonal worker accommodation over 125m2 with up to 80 workers is a restricted discretionary activity.

Waikato Regional Council – Plan Change 1

Plan change 1 seeks to reduce the amount of contaminants entering into the Waikato and Waipā catchments and was notified on 22 April 2020 and under the Resource Management Act, any rules relating to water have immediate legal effect from the date of notification. The decision version of the plan change can be found here.

Horticulture NZ has provided advice for growers on what rules apply which can be found here.

Western Bay of Plenty 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.

Bay of Plenty Water Quantity Plan Change withdrawn

The region wide Water Quantity Proposed Plan Change 9 (PC 9) has been withdrawn by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Council). This means PC9 no longer has any legal effect.

PC9 was publicly notified in October 2016 as a first step towards improving the rules around fresh water. Changes within PC9 were developed to replace the existing rules within the operative Regional Natural Resources Plan (RNRP). Proposed changes were primarily concerned with how much surface and groundwater could be taken, proposing stricter limits on takes while also evolving the regulations that govern fresh water use. This was the Council’s approach to start implementing the governments National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS).

On 5 September 2019, the government released their essential freshwater policy for public consultation. The policy sought to halt declining freshwater quality and ecosystem health.

National policy and expectations have therefore evolved since PC9 was notified – particularly in respect of the role tangata whenua should have in fresh water management. The government have has said it will make further decisions on essential freshwater in April 2020 however, until then, Council and water users can only speculate as to the final requirements that will need to be captured in regional policy/plans.

Therefore, on 18 February 2020, Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee decided to withdraw PC9. Resource consents granted under PC9 are still valid and the consent conditions associated with these consents are also valid and must be adhered to.

For growers, this means that the rules under the operative RNRP remain current. Proposed rules under PC9 relating to the registering of permitted takes, changes to permitted take allowances and water metering requirements are therefore on hold however with expectations around water management only increasing under new government policy, growers should not be complacent with their approach to water management. Rules around its availability, efficient use and monitoring requirements will only increase. Ensuring you are measuring your water use through a water meter is your best approach to understanding and optimising your use, provides evidence for GAP requirements and aligns your business with future water management rules that will undeniably be in place in the very near future.

Resource consent is still required for all existing unauthorised water takes and applications will be assessed under the RNRP. Applications to take water from a fully allocated resource will now be processed as a Discretionary Activity as opposed to the ‘generally decline’ clause that PC9 had proposed.

For further detail contact sarah.cameron@nzkgi.org.nz or the Council directly; Sue Simpson, Planning Coordinator Sue.Simpson@boprc.govt.nz, 0800 884 881 ext 8318.

Artificial Crop Protection Structure and Shelter Belt Guidance

NZKGI (along with HortNZ) have provided some guidance on artificial crop protection structures and shelter belts that can help with decision making on your orchard. You can see the guidance material here or alternatively contact NZKGI, Senior Policy Analyst, Sarah Cameron here.

 

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 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