Environmental monitoring under the spotlight

Compliance staff inspecting an earthworks site in Omokoroa.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has welcomed findings from an independent report into compliance, monitoring and enforcement by New Zealand’s regional and unitary councils.

The report, commissioned by the regional council sector, has found across the country, compliance, monitoring and enforcement activities are in relatively good shape.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Compliance Manager Alex Miller says the Regional Council takes its responsibilities for managing this region’s natural resources and protecting our taonga very seriously so is pleased with the findings.

“Effective compliance, monitoring and enforcement are significant tools in protecting our environment. Carried out well, compliance monitoring and enforcement can drive good environmental outcomes and prevent incidents, so it was great to see our approach endorsed as balanced and comprehensive."

The report looked at how councils across the country are responding to the growing number of pollution complaints and manage compliance of around 200,000 resource consents.

In Bay of Plenty, the Regional Council is responding to a growing number of calls to its pollution hotline, receiving almost 3000 in 2017/18.

It also administers around 5000 resource consents. Potential environmental risks of those activities mean that many of these consents need to be checked regularly.

All 16 regional and unitary councils provided data for the study, resulting in the most comprehensive report available on the sector’s compliance, monitoring and enforcement activities under the RMA’s 27-year history.

A summary and the full report can be found here. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council Compliance reports can be found here.

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