Overview of engagement
During 2021, the project team provided information and gathered feedback on the landscapes and coastal environment topics through:
- Accessible online information including links to the technical studies and draft maps, frequently asked questions, and draft map viewers.
- Newspaper advertising, media interviews, and print and digital newsletter articles.
- Thirteen community feedback events and public meetings across the district during late May and early June.
- Four webinars with a recorded session including the live Q&A available for on-demand viewing.
- An online and print feedback form.
- Dozens of face to face and virtual meetings with groups and landowners in June, July, and August to follow up on the feedback events.
- Numerous emails and phone conversations with groups and landowners in the second half of the year to gather further information, outline the process, and answer questions.
This engagement has resulted in feedback in the forms of:
- Electronic and hard copy feedback forms.
- Emails and letters.
- Notes from phone calls, meetings, webinars and open day events.
During the extended autumn engagement period, the team heard from over 300 individuals and groups.
The following feedback summary has been taken from all the feedback sources and is provided in a summarised form that addresses common themes and key messages, and which does not identify individuals or properties.
Summary of Feedback Received
The main landuse activities currently being undertaken within the Landscape and Coastal Environment areas are described in the feedback as:
- Farming – particularly pastoral farms.
- Residential – both permanent residences and holiday homes.
- Commercial activities, businesses and tourism – including industries and visitor accommodation.
- Exotic plantation forestry
- Bee keeping / Manuka plantations
- Extractive industries such as mining and quarrying.
The future plans people have for the use of land and properties within the Landscape and Coastal Environment areas described in the feedback include:
- Many landowners intend to undertake specific ecological protection and restoration in both ONL and CE areas, active regeneration, restoration of native bush, pest and wed control, or retirement of the land.
- Continuation of existing plantation forestry activity. Those undertaking large scale forestry operations are well aware of the National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) provisions and the ability to harvest and replant under those national provisions. Most forestry owners want to ensure these areas are not captured in ONFL where possible, despite the NES-PF enabling ongoing forestry activity.
- Some landowners have plans for small scale private forestry planting (new afforestation).
- There are numerous existing projects or new proposals for manuka for oil and bees/honey. A number of those in Landscape areas particularly have expressed concern over the linkage to indigenous biodiversity rules coming from Government that could restrict this type of activity.
- There are many plans for new buildings. These range in scale and use including new dwellings, baches, hunting/tramping/camping huts, and additional residential units for family. The larger dwelling proposals are predominantly in coastal areas. The proposals for smaller units appear to be mostly in more remote areas.
- Some landowners with current commercial uses want to continue this and potentially undertake new commercial activity on commercial zoned land.
- Many landowners have plans for new businesses or commercial operations including visitor accommodation, commercial/retail/café developments, and tourism operations. Many of the visitor accommodation proposals are in more remote areas.
- Some landowners have proposals for additional roads, access points and tracks within and accessing properties, both new development and maintenance and upgrading of existing accesses.
- Numerous coastal landowners want to continue to maintain, and install new, rock works and coastal protection works.There is common view from private landowners that the Council should provide such protection for private properties.
- Many farmers want to be able to continue to undertake clearance of regrowth natives in paddocks and have concerns over the impact of the upcoming National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB) on such activity. Similarly landowners who want to use existing native timber for firewood, domestic use, small business use are concerned about the NPS-IB restricting use of native timber.
- There are a few notable proposals for continuation of, or development of new, extraction industries including mining, and quarrying at Mt Burnett and Takaka Hill.
- A number of landowners and utility operators have provided feedback on the need for continued use and development of existing and new infrastructure, utilities, and hydro generation.
- There have been a number of suggestions for continuation of selective native harvesting under MPI provisions.
- There are mixed views on, and a range of levels of understanding of, carbon credits and tree planting opportunities and risks. The ability to take advantage of this is of concern to many.
Of those feedback documents that contained requests for changes to the Landscape or CE boundaries, the majority related to:
- Many property specific requests were received from landowners for changes to their property, some with mapping to show key elements of the land or suggested mapping changes.
- A number of requests were received seeking to remove commercial forestry blocks or highly modified (pastural) land from the Landscape areas. Some of those are part of landowner requests and some related to larger commercial entities such as commercial forestry operators.
- There have been many requests for properties to be excluded from identification completely.
- The Waimea Inlet Forum provided a collective request addressing the CE around the whole inlet.
There were a range of other feedback comments and suggestions provided in relation to the Landscapes and Coastal Environment topics which includes:
- The feedback included numerous messages of general support for identification and protection of CE and landscape areas. Some feedback sought larger areas of landscape protection and increases to the size of the CE area.
- Some feedback provided specific requests for greater restriction on buildings particularly in the landscape areas. This included requests to restrict building locations, building scale, and the colours used for buildings. There was particular restriction requested for activities in the ONL and ONF areas. There were also requests the rules address all new buildings but also additions to existing buildings.
- There was a strong desire expressed that the rules explicitly provide for restoration and conservation planting in CE, ONL and ONF areas.
- Many feedback responses requested that the rules should make clear what people can do on their land and how they can continue their current landuses.
- Some of the feedback commented that the extent of the CE needs to provide for inland migration of the shoreline and saltmarsh in the future and account for sea level rise.
- Extensive information was provided on the values of the Waimea Inlet and a request that the rules ensure the landscape qualities of the Waimea Inlet are retained as they are today, and future development is limited.
- There were many comments that it is important to protect and enhance natural character and ecology in CE around the whole coastline.
- Many of the comments received sought that where land is zoned for residential or commercial use, there should be no further restrictions on the land coming from the CE overlay.
- A few comments received requested that the Council should not allow helicopter takeoff and landing in ONFL areas or the CE. Key issues expressed with helicopters were particularly in terms of noise but also general disturbance.
- Some people stated a view that all public land must be protected with no development allowed to occur.
- Some feedback mentioned that rules should protect dark skies.
- A number of people and groups sought specific provision to be developed to recognise existing activities that create large scale visual change e.g. lime quarry, marble quarry, gold mining.
There were also many queries and comments that relate to other Council departments or services, or other aspects of the wider Tasman Environment Plan project, or issues beyond Council’s jurisdiction, including:
- Queries and comments related to Council functions and responsibilities beyond the Tasman Environment Plan including signage, roading, parking, parks and reserves – this information has been passed on to relevant persons in other Council departments.
- Some issues relate to other Tasman Environment Plan workstreams including vehicles on beaches, beach access, dogs on beaches, fireworks, noise (especially at night), lighting intrusion, need to better control run off and sedimentation from the land affecting the coastal waters. There has been considerable interest in coastal hazards workstream which is separate from the coastal environment workstream. This information has been passed on to relevant team members working on those topics.
- The feedback included significant comment on the biodiversity issues, the impact of regulation at a national level and the anticipated National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB).
- There were a few comments that fire is a significant risk to landscape values, and it is noted that this is not easily managed through planning processes or the Tasman Environment Plan.
How have we responded to feedback?
Outstanding Natural Landscapes and Features
Following feedback, we have closely examined the landscape overlay boundaries where issues have been raised and amended them where technically possible. This has resulted in several very fine-grained mapping changes generally around the edges of the landscape overlays to exclude areas of forestry, pasture, weed dominated scrub and buildings.
In some locations, the analysis of whether the land can be excluded from the overlay is more difficult and it is intended to make site visits in the early 2022 to confirm the mapping ‘on the ground’. This particularly applies to land on the eastern side of the Takaka Valley and throughout the north-western part of Golden Bay.
We have also amended the ONF/L Schedules to add in existing activities that are occurring on the land (as advised by landowners) and which clearly are of a character that is not problematic from a landscape effects perspective.
People have told us they want rules that enable appropriate development and also expressed a desire for ‘good’ development (such as landscape restoration) to be encouraged by the Plan. This feedback has fed into the development of the draft concept rules.
In response to feedback, the team have amended and updated the natural character ratings where additional information has been provided to enable reassessment of these areas. The natural character study has also been updated to further strengthen explanations, values, mapping etc of natural character and the extent of the CE line location.
Developing Conceptual Rules
Over the Spring of 2021, our team has developed high level conceptual rules based on all the feedback received, technical advice, review of the existing TRMP rules, and the approach being taken in other comparable modern plans. We have reality tested these concepts with some groups, but they remain broad, and we will refine and add detail to them before taking them out for discussion with landowners in 2022.
When we met with landowners and stakeholders, we talked about what people are doing on their land and what they might want to do in the future. We learned that many landowners have aspirations for change and desire flexibility to change land uses over time.
An example of tailoring rules is applying a ‘clustering’ approach to buildings in large open landscapes to minimise the spread of modification across wide areas.
We also heard from the community that people want greater certainty in the rules, especially around what can be done as a permitted activity and without resource consent, and what activities are not going to be appropriate. We have specifically considered what activities can be permitted and what will not have a big impact on values, for example focussing new building development close to existing modification so it is not as prominent.
For the conceptual rules to be refined, they rely on other workstreams being progressed such as land disturbance, biodiversity, and coastal hazards. Once aspects of these Tasman Environment Plan topics are progressed, we will revisit our work on the concept rules and engage with landowners.