Ecological Impact Assessment Guidelines for New Zealand
The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc (EIANZ) has released the 2018 – Ecological Impact Assessment Guidelines for New Zealand 2nd Edition.
The Ecology Impact Assessment (EcIA) Guidelines have been prepared by a group of ecologists to contribute to raising the standard of practice of ecological assessment in New Zealand, and provide a reference document for students and practitioners. They aim to:
- Improve the scientific rigour, objectivity and consistency of EcIA
- Assist consultants and officers in local and central government working with AEEs
- Improve community confidence in the ability of professionals to undertake impartial assessments
- Guide policy around biodiversity management
- Contribute to better decision-making on environmental matters.
The 2nd Edition has incorporated feedback and comments received from a range of individuals, professional bodies and interest groups. The layout, style and format of the original are retained so that comparison between the two versions is possible, but substantial changes have been made in some areas to:
- emphasise the focus of these Guidelines on RMA section 88/ Schedule 4 (leading to modification of Chapter 5 in particular);
- stress ecological description and analysis as a basis for impact assessment and management; and
- review the use of matrices as summary tables for ecological description and assessment.
The 2nd Edition emphasises that these Guidelines are not just for use by ecologists working for a project developer or proponent, but are also intended to assist ecologists and planners processing applications in councils to check if all expected information is generally present and treated in an appropriate way.