Next steps for Freshwater
The Society has made a submission on the Ministry for the Environment’s Next Steps for Freshwater consultation document.
We focused on the need to protect our waterways and maintain bottom lines even where significant national infrastructure is proposed. We also supported the Freshwater Improvement Fund for activities to improve water quality, but not for use by companies to offset negative impacts of their proposals. We also supported regulation to require fencing to exclude animals from waterways, but suggested bringing the dates earlier than the proposed deadlines out to 2030. Animal faecal contamination is a major issue in the Te Henga valley and the lagoon.
Wildlife (Powers) Amendment Bill
The Society has made a submission on the Wildlife (Powers) Amendment Bill.
We supported proposed amendments to provide Department of Conservation rangers with greater powers to intervene, stop someone, require suspects to provide identity information, and seize materials for evidence, when they suspect someone of undertaking activities that might harm any wildlife protected under the Act. This includes a number of native species in the Ranges including birds, bats and sea mammals.
A new Marine Protected Areas Act consultation document 2016
The Society has made a submission the Ministry for the Environment’s A new Marine Protected Areas Act consultation document. Feedback from the consultation document will inform proposals for new marine protection legislation later this year.
Healthy waters are important for many of the species that make the Waitakere Ranges their home, including the gannets and grey face petrels. We have supported the intention to modernise and update the legislation, but have raised key issues including that the legislation should cover the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as our territorial waters, that assessments need to be broad and look beyond economic issues to include environment and social assessments, and that the processes need to be accessible and inclusive for community groups.
Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
The Society has submitted on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill.
We have supported the Environmental Defence Society’s detailed analysis and submission on the Bill. In addition, we have emphasised our concerns about erosion of environmental protection limits in the Bill; along with the shift from democratic processes including public participation to increased Ministerial policy setting and decision making.
Read the WRPS – Submission on RMA Bill
Regional pest management plan discussion document 2016
The Society has made a submission on Auckland Council’s discussion document on pest management.
The Society supports ongoing pest management and the initiatives Auckland Council is making in this area. We submitted that Auckland Council and its CCO needs to provide leadership and best practice examples, including Watercare and Auckland Transport. We did not support the removal of any animals or plants from the plan, and supported including those proposed in the discussion document and those outlined in the Waitakere Ranges Strategic Weed Management Plan July 2015.
The Society will also be submitting on the draft pest management plan when it is out for consultation later this year.
Ministry for the Environment’s Topics for Environmental Reporting 2016
The Society has made a submission on the Ministry for the Environments Topics for Environmental Reporting.
These topics will be outlined in regulations and set the areas and measures that the Ministry for the Environment collects data on to report on environmental matters in New Zealand in the future. The Society was generally supportive of the proposed topics but recommended some extra issues to be considered around biodiversity, land, marine, climate and freshwater measures.
The Topics for Environmental Reporting document can be found here.
Auckland Council Proposed Unitary Plan 27 February 2014
The Society has filed four submissions to the Auckland Council Proposed Unitary Plan.
The submissions were prepared by Enviro Planning and Ellis Gould Ltd and filed Thursday 27 February 2014.
The submissions broadly request that the Unitary Plan is consistent with the principles of the Resource Management Act and the Waitakere Heritage Area Act.
The four submissions are titled:
Submission on the Auckland Council Governing Body Draft Annual Plan
February 21st 2014
The Society has made a submission on the Auckland Council Governing Body Draft Annual Plan.
“6. The Society are also concerned to avoid impacts from inappropriate recreation and sporting events in the Waitakere Ranges. We thereby submit that the Local Board and Governing Body take a precautionary approach to the granting of consent to ultra-running and marathon events in the Waitakere Ranges. We were concerned that despite being key stakeholders in the Ranges, the Society was not consulted about the latest application, granted on a non-notified basis, for the Lactic Turkey ‘Hillary Trail Ultra’ event. Given the risks facing the forests from PTA/Kauri Die Back Disease, and problems of displacement of other users, during previous consultation many stakeholders including ourselves, had requested such applications be declined. We submit that in the public and environmental interest, further applications be fully notified and all concerns be publicly considered before consent is granted.”