Articles

RMLA Awards Report 2013 : Citations

The RMLA Project Award 2013 (received by Ghassan Basheer, Waikato Regional Council)


The Tui Mine Remediation Project
Waikato Regional Council

The RMLA makes awards for projects which make a significant contribution to the development of best practice and the implementation of the RMA’s purpose and principles.

Citation

The Tui Mine is an abandoned mine site on the western flanks of Mt Te Aroha in the Kaimai range and is surrounded by public conservation land in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park.  It was once dubbed New Zealand’s most contaminated site.

But after more than two years of work, the major risks to community health and safety and environmental damage posed by the Tui Mine site on Mt Te Aroha have been removed.  The successful conclusion of the complex project to remediate the Mine was celebrated in May 2013.

The Tui Mine remediation project aimed to:

  • contain the tailings within a stable and secure location
  • reduce the release of contaminants into the Tui and Tunakohoia streams, thereby improving the water quality in those streams
  • improve the geotechnical stability of the tailings impoundment
  • improve the safety and security of the site
  • improve the visual appearance and aesthetics of the site
  • address as far as practicable, within the limitations of the project, the impacts of the Tui mine on the taonga of the Te Aroha maunga (Mt Te Aroha) for iwi.

The Waikato Regional Council has been involved in the management of the Tui Mine remediation works since June 2007, when the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) announced funding for the project.

The Project was considered by the committee as making a significant contribution to the quality of the environment (including of the Tui and Tunakohoia streams), consistent with the sustainable management purpose of the Act.  The Project provides an outstanding result within funding constraints and the issues arising from the abandonment of the site some time ago.  It has also mitigated the impacts of the Tui Mine on the taonga of the Te Aroha Maunga (Mt Te Aroha).

The RMLA Outstanding Person Award 2013 (received by Basil Chamberlain, Taranaki Regional Council)


Basil Chamberlain
Taranaki Regional Council

The Association occasionally makes awards for outstanding individual contributions to the law, theory and practice of resource management.

Citation

Basil Chamberlain is Chief Executive of the Taranaki Regional Council, a position he has held for 23 years.  Prior to that he held senior roles with the Taranaki Catchment Commission and Regional Water Board, during a period of significant oil and gas discoveries and associated energy development.

Basil holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Otago and has undertaken executive management training in both the United States and England.

Basil has also enjoyed considerable involvement in a range of capacities at a national level, mainly in the fields of resource management and biosecurity.  In 2004, he chaired Local Government New Zealand’s Resource Management Act Improvement Project team and at the same time was a member of the Ministerial Reference Group advising on the review of the RMA.  Since 1997, he has been a member of the New Zealand Biosecurity Council and more recently the Government’s Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee.  Basil has also served as Convenor of the Regional Council Chief Executives’ Group.

Basil is a strong advocate for both economic growth and environmental management in the Taranaki Region, leading the charge towards a thriving and prosperous Taranaki by:

  • Promoting the sustainable use, development and protection of Taranaki’s natural and physical resources
  • Safeguarding Taranaki’s people and resources from natural and other hazards
  • Promoting and providing for Taranaki’s regionally significant services, amenities and infrastructure
  • Representing Taranaki’s interests and contributions to the regional, national and international community

He has guided the Council through a myriad of significant, and sometimes controversial, issues over his 23 years as Chief Executive and is nationally recognised as a well respected speaker and commentator.

The Committee is delighted to award the Outstanding Person award to Mr Chamberlain in recognition of his significant contribution to the practice of resource management.

The RMLA Publication Award 2013 (received by Lucy Brake, EDS)
(hard copy publication)


 EDS for Caring for our coast: an EDS Guide to managing coastal developments (EDS, 2013)

The RMLA makes awards for publications which enable a better or more complete understanding of resource management law, theory and practice by the resource management community or interested general public.  These may be in academic, technical or other industry journals, or texts or other publications used by the resource management profession or broader public, – at the discretion of the National Committee.

Citation

EDS produces a range of publications on topical environmental issues.  This publication, Caring for our coast: an EDS Guide to managing coastal developments has made substantial and significant contribution to the understanding of matters requiring consideration in coastal development.

The work provides a comprehensive introduction to issues.  It provides practical insight into them, together with the processes surrounding coastal development.

The publication was described by the committee as being comprehensive, easy to read and navigate, and an outstanding reference textbook that will enhance the understanding of coastal issues, for practitioners working in environmental and resource management law, as well as for students and educational institutions.  That is consistent with EDS’s wider philosophy, intended to bring together the disciplines of science, law and planning to promote good environmental outcomes.

The RMLA Publication Award 2013 (received by Ross Abercrombie, Waikato Regional Council)
(
media publication, to be developed for interactive smart-phone and tablet versions etc)


Waikato Regional Council for the Menus of practices to improve water quality

The RMLA makes awards for publications which enable a better or more complete understanding of resource management law, theory and practice by the resource management community or interested general public.  These may be in academic, technical or other industry journals, or texts or other publications used by the resource management profession or broader public, – at the discretion of the National Committee.

Citation

Waikato Regional Council has recently launched a set of ‘menus of practices’ for improving water quality for each of following activities:

  • Menu of practices to improve water quality: dairy farms
  • Menu of practices to improve water quality: drystock farms
  • Menu of practices to improve water quality: cropping land

The Committee was impressed with the innovative approach to the ‘menus’, which are designed to be developed for interactive smart-phone and tablet use.  They will undoubtedly prove to be a valuable and important resource that will assist in enhancing water quality within the region into the future.  (Although designed for Waikato, the menus will also be relevant for farmers and regulators elsewhere across the country).

The menus use the latest research to rate their effectiveness at reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and microorganisms entering waterways.  The cost and benefit on the farm business are also indicated to assist farmers in making choices about what practices best suit their farming circumstances.

Waikato Regional Council developed the menus together with DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Foundation for Arable Reseach, Fonterra, Federated Farmers Waikato and Rotorua-Taupo branches, AgFirst, Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Headlands.

Farming practices at your fingertips

Farmers can now assess the costs and benefits of various farming practices to improve water quality at the click of a mouse.

Interactive online versions of a set of ‘menus’ of farming practices released as booklets last year are now available at www.farmmenus.org.nz.

The menus assess a range of practices for cropping land, and dairy and drystock farms that improve nutrient management and reduce impacts on water quality.

Farmers can use the menus on their home computer, tablet or smart phones to sort practices on the basis of:

  • likely water quality benefit in terms of reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment or micro-organisms;
  • cost and benefit to the farm business.

Development of the menus was prompted by farmers asking Waikato Regional Council what they could do to improve water quality in rivers. So Waikato Regional Council worked together with eight industry partners for 18 months to develop booklets of menus of practices for dairy, drystock and cropping.

Since their release last year, over 2000 booklets have been distributed to farmers and rural professionals

The web menus make decision making information even easier to access. Farmers can cut and paste farm management practices straight into their environmental farm plans. The menus link to other industry websites for more information. They will be continually updated and online videos added in the future.

The RMLA Documentation Award 2013 (received by Kathryn Ross, Northland Regional Council)


Northland Regional Council for the Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Northland

The RMLA makes awards for  technical, statutory or other resource management planning documents which make a significant contribution to the development of the practice of resource management and/or exhibit innovation and excellence in the planning or technical approach(es) used.

Citation

The Northland Regional Council formally notified its Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Northland for a public submissions period that ran from 8 October until 5pm Monday, 3 December 2012.  Independent commissioners heard submissions and have now deliberated and made their final recommendations to the Northland Regional Council.  The Council is soon due to publicly notify its decisions on the new RPS.

At the time of notification, the Proposed Regional Policy Statement for Northland represented two and a half years’ work involving strong community and stakeholder engagement from a broad spectrum of interests.

The new issues included in the Proposed Regional Policy Statement are targeted at a high level and focus on fresh and coastal water, indigenous ecosystems and species, economic wellbeing, regional form, issues of significance to tangata whenua, natural hazards, and natural character, landscapes and historic heritage.  It is intended to achieve greater integrated management of the region’s natural resources – how they are used, the value placed on them and the community’s aspirations for their management.

The Committee was impressed at the collaborative approach taken to the development of the proposed RPS.  It has a wide view that seeks to provide for economic development and wellbeing while sustainably managing resources in the region for future generations.  The document was logically constructed and made for a high degree of ease of use and understanding of the direction it sought to promote.

Andrea Rickard
RMLA Awards Convenor