8. MANAGING EFFECTS
TE WHAKAHAERE I NGAA PAANGA
8.1.1 In this Plan where the context requires, an effect is something that is produced or caused as a result of another action or inaction. Generally all resource uses and environmental activities have an accompanying effect on the environment, either positive or negative. An effect is considered in terms of its magnitude (how big the effect is), its frequency (how often the effect occurs), and its duration (how long the effect occurs when it does occur). For Waikato-Tainui effects can also be intangible in nature including spiritual and emotional.
NOTE: Only Waikato-Tainui can determine for Waikato-Tainui if, from a Waikato-Tainui perspective, the magnitude, frequency, and duration of the effect, and if the overall effect of an activity is positive or negative. Consideration of an effect is also shaped by a desire for environmental enhancement as discussed in the previous chapter.
8.1.2 A proposed resource use or activity may be considered less than minor by the applicant but significant by Waikato- Tainui. For example, an applicant may consider that restricting access to hauanga kai is not a serious effect if there is other nearby areas to gather similar food sources. However, it may be a serious matter for the whaanau or marae that have used that particular site for generations and it is a source of pride that they are able to feed visitors from that particular site. There is likely to be whakamaa, or shame, if the whaanau that now has restricted access to their own hauanga kai site needs to seek permission from another whaanau or marae to utilise their hauanga kai. In examples such as this there are clearly going to be significant differences in perspectives of different parties regarding the relative magnitude of the effect. Early consultation and engagement, as outlined above, should enable all parties to understand and appropriately manage the effects of a proposed resource use or activity.
8.1.3 As mentioned in the previous chapter, when there are benefits derived from resource use or activities there is an expectation that there will be a reciprocal responsibility to return something of benefit back to the environment, particularly when ongoing resource use depletes the supply of the resource (e.g. in mining activities) or has a negative effect on the environment.
8.2 Managing Effects
8.2.1 In managing the effects of a resource use or activity, regardless of the magnitude, frequency, or duration of the effect, Waikato-Tainui considers that it is necessary to provide a net benefit when considering social, economic, environmental, spiritual and cultural impacts – to strive for environmental enhancement. Therefore it is necessary to suitably manage any effects so that effects are avoided, remedied, minimised, mitigated, or balanced. For Waikato-Tainui, this is essentially a hierarchy where the first way to manage an effect is to avoid the effect, the second way is to remedy the effect, and so on through to suitably balancing the effect, what some may call offset mitigation. In managing effects consideration needs to be given to:
(a) Avoid: is there any way to manage the effects to a point where they can be avoided (i.e. no effect occurs)?
(b) Remedy: can the effect be managed to the point that it is eliminated (e.g. cleaning discharges to water so that the water discharge is of a suitable quality)?
(c) Minimise: is there a way to minimise the effect so that the effect is no longer of sufficient frequency or magnitude to cause Waikato-Tainui any concern?
(d) Mitigate: if the effects cannot be adequately avoided, remedied, or minimised, is there something that can be done to mitigate or offset the effect to create a benefit not directly linked to the proposed resource use or activity. (e.g. an effect of discharge to water being offset by additional riparian planting or wetland restoration).
(e) Balance: when taking all the effects into consideration, and considering the relative weight of the effects to Waikato-Tainui, do the positive effects adequately balance out the negative effects, and provide environmental enhancement? Only Waikato-Tainui can determine whether effects are suitably balanced for Waikato-Tainui.
8.2.2 Generally, where mitigation is proposed, this should be closely linked to the site of the resource use or activity and relatively balance out the negative effect.
8.2.3 Only Waikato-Tainui can determine what, from a Waikato-Tainui perspective, constitutes a suitable way to avoid, remedy, minimise, mitigate, or balance effects caused from a resource use or activity.
8.2.4 Unless the context demands otherwise, for ease of reading, and to prevent lengthy repetition, ‘manage,’ ‘managing,’ or ‘managed’ is used with ‘effects’ in this Plan to indicate any adverse effect that should be managed in such a way that the above hierarchy is applied. So, the adverse effect should first be avoided. If the effect cannot be avoided it should be remedied. If the effect cannot be remedied it should be minimised and so on. Again, only Waikato-Tainui can determine, for Waikato-Tainui, if an adverse effect has been suitably managed. In some cases the Plan states an ideal outcome for an effect, such as to avoid the effect – this is intentional.
8.2.5 Resource users and activity operators are again reminded of a desire to see environmental enhancement from such use and activity at a scale commensurate to the effect of the use or activity. Ideally, effects should be managed so as to achieve environmental enhancement. The environment should start to benefit from human intervention rather than continually being expected to absorb further degradation.
8.3 Supporting the highest target measure
8.3.1 This Plan generally does not contain specific targets and measures. These will generally be contained in the methods and rules of local authority planning documents. Marae, hapuu, and other collective grouping of Waikato-Tainui may also have environmental targets.
8.3.2 The ‘highest target or measure’ could be a target or measure applied by Waikato-Tainui, a community, a local authority, the resource user or activity owner, or central government. Regardless, Waikato-Tainui is generally supportive of the highest target or measure being applied to best achieve the objectives outlined in Section C. Waikato-Tainui encourages the ongoing use of the best practicable option being applied when considering targets or measures.
8.4 Content Terms - precautionary approach
8.4.1 Where consents are granted for a resource use or an activity that may continue to have an adverse effect on the social, economic, cultural, spiritual or environmental wellbeing of Waikato-Tainui, a precautionary approach is encouraged. This includes ensuring that consents are granted for a term that is sufficiently short enough to allow for a review of the consent conditions by virtue of the consent holder needing to apply for a consent renewal.
8.4.2 Waikato-Tainui understands that the biggest improvements in consent conditions are through consent renewals and not consent reviews. Waikato-Tainui also understands that less than 1% of consents are reviewed. A consent renewal also means that the existing resource use or activity is looked at afresh. This is understood to be different to a review which is undertaken based on the purpose specified within the review.