B – 7. TOWARDS ENVIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENT

7. TOWARDS ENVIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENT

TE WHAKAPAKARI I TE TAIAO

7.1 Te Whakapakari i Te Taiao

7.1.1 The goal of Waikato-Tainui is to ensure that the needs of present and future generations are provided for in a manner that goes beyond sustainability towards an approach that enhances the environment. An ‘enhancement’ approach requires the consideration of, not only individual resource use, activities, buildings, or elements, but also an holistic approach to the whole environment. It aims for positive ecological and social outcomes where the resource use and activities effecting the environment becomes a conduit for producing resources and energy, improving physical and psychological health, remedying past pollution, and transforming and filtering waste into new resources.[2]

7.1.2 Sustainability requires the resource to be maintained at a specified level so that future generations can enjoy the same quality use of the land, air, and water resources that we do currently. The ‘enhancement’ approach aims not to maintain but, through our actions, to improve the quality of the environment for future generations.

7.1.3 Therefore, Waikato-Tainui is in favour of an approach to resource use and activity operation that sees a net benefit back to the environment in such a way that the environment is actually enhanced from the resource use, activity, or development. The Table (1) demonstrates the difference between a conventional model, sustainability, and an enhancement approach. Waikato-Tainui accepts that the implementation of an enhancement approach is something that will take time and education to thoroughly implement.

Te Whakapakari i Te Taiao Table 1

7.1.4 Resource users and activity operators need to consider how their existing or proposed use or activity can actually enhance the environment. This approach recognises that those that utilise an environmental resource for some type of benefit (whether economic, social, cultural, spiritual and/or environmental) have a responsibility to show a reciprocal benefit back to the environment. This reciprocal approach is not intended to undermine the benefit from using environmental resources but rather to ensure that the use or depletion of environmental resources does not create a burden for future generations. This may include measures such as having a strategic approach to land development and ensuring there is efficient urban development form.

7.1.5 It may be that, in practice and particularly in the case where environmental resources are depleted (e.g. mineral mining), there needs to be a broader consideration on how to provide this reciprocal benefit back to the environment. This is discussed further in the next Chapter.

7.1.6 Waikato-Tainui recognises that the achievement of environmental enhancement will include using non-regulatory methods. Waikato-Tainui will advocate for environmental enhancement and reciprocal benefit while acknowledging limitations that may exist, such as the ability of consent processes to achieve environmental enhancement.

                                                           

[2] Adapted from Ministry for the Environment – A Sustainable Future – Regenerative Development