24. COASTAL ENVIRONMENT
TE TAIAO MOANA
24.1.1 For the purposes of this Plan, the ‘coast’ includes estuaries, beaches, dunes, islands, coastal flora and fauna, and that space seaward from the coastal marine area (the area generally below average spring high tides) and the exclusive economic zone and coastal shelf. ‘Coast’ also includes associated fresh, estuarine, and marine water.
24.1.2 Oceans are complex systems, holding many economic and cultural resources. These resources are increasingly at risk from coastal population growth, over-exploitation, and pollution. Oceans require holistic, integrated management. Much like the approach to the Waikato River under the 2008 Settlement, the intricate relationships of an ocean ecosystem must be considered when developing any ocean policy or undertaking economic and cultural activities using ocean resources.
24.1.3 The coastal boundary of the Waikato-Tainui region stretches from Te Maanukanuka a Hoturoa harbour (Manukau Harbour) in the North to Te Puuaha o Waikato (Port Waikato and the Port Waikato deltas), through to the West Coast harbours (Aotea, Whaaingaroa and Kaawhia), and part of the Waitemata and Tikapa Moana (Hauraki Gulf ).
24.1.4 The western coast consists of black sand beaches and dunes. The Waikato-Tainui coastlines are inhabited by a variety of species including shellfish such as cockles, pipi, scallops, mussels, paua, kina, tio, peraro, tuatua, turret shells, nutshells, sea biscuit, wedge shells, venus shells, whelks, crabs, koura, and a variety of other crustaceans.
24.1.5 The dunes provide homes and food for small animals such as indigenous insects, spiders, butterflies, moths, and lizards, which in turn provide habitats for shorebirds (variable oystercatcher, NZ dotterel and the wrybill).
24.1.6 Some Waikato-Tainui marae, hapuu, and management committees have developed coastal management plans. These coastal management plans are currently in operation and therefore should be considered in addition to the coastal objectives and policies in this Plan. Ngaa Hapuu o te Uru o Tainui Customary Fisheries Forum (Regional Customary Fisheries Management Plan 2012-2017), Huakina Development Trust (Manukau Harbour), and Te Rohe o Te Puuaha are such groups that have or will develop coastal management and/or fisheries management plans. Other coastal management plans are or will be developed.
24.1.7 The mauri of the waters of the coast is of critical importance to Waikato-Tainui, particularly to coastal marae and hapuu. Waikato-Tainui seeks to restore and protect the health and well-being of its harbours and coastal areas.
24.1.8 Waikato-Tainui considers that the coastal area is fully integrated with land, air, river and freshwater ecosystems. Waikato-Tainui considers that all of these ecosystems effectively operate as a whole, interrelated and indivisible system. An effect on one ecosystem has the potential to have a flow on effect on any, or all the other ecosystems. Planning and policy should take this integration into consideration.
24.1.9 Waikato-Tainui has mana whakahaere over the coastal area within its rohe and prefers that there are no adverse effects from activities in this area and that, providing there are no adverse effects, Waikato-Tainui people benefit from coastal activity. As taangata whenua, Waikato-Tainui expect to be fully involved, engaged, and consulted in proposed and ongoing activity in the coastal area.
Fisheries – customary, recreational, commercial
24.2.1 Anything that occurs in the coastal area, including on or in lands and waters that feed into the coastal area has the potential to impact on fisheries. Commercial and recreational fishing significantly impacts on customary fishing activities. This issue is considered separately in Chapter 22, ‘He Mahinga Ika – Fisheries’.
Water quality degradation
24.2.2 Most fresh water eventually makes its way to the coast and so land use practices in the upper freshwater catchments impact on coastal water quality. The contamination of coastal waters has led to the closure of shellfish beds due to health concerns. There is concern at the discharge of waste into the coastal environment, including discharge of ballast waters (legal or illegal) from off-shore activities and vessels. Degrading water quality impacts on Waikato-Tainui hauanga kai such as the ability to gather kai moana (seafood) for whaanau, marae, and hapuu.
24.2.3 Land and water uses and activities can contribute to excessive erosion along coastlines (e.g. the clearing of hilly land for farming that sits alongside the coast). Soil erosion has the potential to release nutrients from soil particles into receiving waters which in turn impacts on water quality. Inappropriate uses and development of marginal lands increases the potential for soil and coastal erosion.
24.2.4 Coastal erosion and silting from high upstream sediment loading causes the smothering of shellfish beds and fragile estuarine ecosystems. Such areas are nursery grounds for fin-fish and other marine life.
24.2.5 The integrity of sand dunes is important for the effective functioning of coastal ecosystems. Dunes provide habitat for flora and fauna and the ineffective care or management of dune systems can result in major erosion and loss of habitat. Dune vegetation, which stabilises the dune systems, can be damaged or destroyed from inappropriate vehicle movements and other inappropriate public use along the coastal sand dune areas.
24.2.6 Access to the coast is of utmost importance to Waikato-Tainui. Fishing and collecting shellfish and other kaimoana/ maataitai is a hauanga kai historically and culturally significant to Waikato-Tainui that has been affected with the reduction of access to these areas.
Activities in the coastal area
24.2.7 Reclamation – reclamation of coastal and estuarine areas to create additional land for development destroys marine flora and fauna and their habitat. Reclamations that have occurred within the Waikato-Tainui rohe, such as in the Manukau Harbour, have adversely impacted upon the traditional relationship with these coastal areas. These traditional fishing grounds and shellfish were once a significant resource to Waikato-Tainui but are now severely depleted.
24.2.8 Land use changes and development – land use changes and practices, stormwater and wastewater discharges have had an adverse impact on coastal ecosystems, modifying the hydrologic regime and the ecological value and quality of coastal waterways. Developments in and around the coastal area, particularly when accompanied with the removal of native flora and fauna, can place pressure on coastal resources, can change the character of the coastal landscape, and alter traditional views and features of the landscape. Inadequate planning for urban or rural development and growth can result in coastal sprawl which impacts on landscape character. This is further aggravated when there are inadequate or failing infrastructure services (water supply, wastewater, stormwater management, solid waste management) in the coastal areas.
24.2.9 Structures – structures, such as marinas, wharves, and buildings on, or in the coastal area can have a significant adverse impact on the coastal area and on customary activities. These structures can attract additional people, vehicles and boats to an area which places further pressure on the environment, such as through the risk of additional waste discharge and/or fuel spillage to the marine environment.
24.2.10 Mining – mining within the coastal environment has the potential to significantly impact Waikato-Tainui in a numberof areas, including the disturbance or destruction of waahi tapu and sites of significances, water quality degradation, and flora and fauna habitat reduction. Shellfish and fin-fish can be impacted by mining operations, in particular mining on the seabed. Often the benefits of mining in the coastal environment do not reside with those impacted most by the activity. Profits from the activity are often privatised while any cost or negative impact is borne by the Local Community and Environment
24.2.11 Marine farming – marine farming, whether shell fish or fin fish, alters the environment immediately under and around the site of the farm. Lighting used on the farms has the potential to impact on ambient lighting in the area and so on flora and fauna lifecycles that are impacted by light. Anchoring farms to the sea bed can also have localised impact. The location of the farms may adversely impact on waahi tapu, sites of significance, and hauanga kai. Marine farming that occurs without input from Waikato-Tainui may also impede any Waikato-Tainui aspirations around commercially utilising the coastal space or in any efforts to rejuvenate customary fishing grounds through ‘seeding’ an area.
24.2.12 Wave energy generation – energy generation from wave activity is an emerging technology in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is anticipated that adverse effects from wave energy conversion structures could be quite significant. The effects are likely to be similar to those with marine farming but the scale of the wave energy conversion structures are likely to magnify the potential and scale of any adverse effects.
24.2.13 Human activity often negatively impacts on the effective operation of an ecosystem. Integrated management is required to manage the effects of human activity or to enable human activity to continue in a sustainable way. As kaitiaki, Waikato-Tainui has a responsibility to ensure that integrated management occurs.
24.2.14 Integrated management of coastal areas with land and freshwater systems is critical to the health and wellbeing of the coastal area. Integrated management can be hindered by different agencies with different responsibilities and a potentially ‘silo’ approach to ecosystem management. Each silo or part of the management process may not act consistently, collaboratively and cohesively to contribute to the wellbeing of the whole coastal area.
24.2.15 Crown and local government coastal management policies and objectives, and the activities of resource users in the coastal area at times conflict with Waikato-Tainui customary activities and uses. Waikato-Tainui is keen to ensure productive relationships between all those who impact on or use the resources of the coastal area.
24.3 Objectives, Policies & Methods
Objective – water quality
24.3.1 The mauri of marine waters in the Waikato-Tainui coastal area is protected and enhanced and the marine biodiversity in the Waikato-Tainui coastal area is restored and protected.
Policy – mauri, marine biodiversity
To ensure that the mauri of marine waters in the Waikato-Tainui coastal area is protected and enhanced and that the marine biodiversity in the Waikato-Tainui coastal area is restored and protected.
(a) Activities and resource use in the coastal area occurs in such a way that:
i. Marine biodiversity is protected, or preferably enhanced;
ii. Coastal water quality is maintained, or preferably enhanced;
iii. Any accelerated eutrophication (in this case, the harmful increase in nutrients) of estuaries and coastal waters as a result of human activities is reversed;
iv. There are no direct discharges of contaminants into or onto the coast area, including the harbours; and
v. In particular, there are no discharges in the vicinity of a waahi tapu, a site of significance, or food gathering areas.
(b) Direct discharges of any untreated sewage are prohibited (including discharges from boats).
(c) Protect, enhance, and restore coastal wetlands and riparian margins in coastal areas including coastal dune lands.
(d) Livestock are excluded from waterways, wetlands and estuaries in the coastal area.
Objective – coastal erosion
24.3.2 Coastal erosion is effectively managed so that the Waikato-Tainui coastal area is protected and enhanced.
Policy – coastal erosion
18.104.22.168 To ensure that coastal erosion is effectively managed so that the Waikato-Tainui coastal area is protected and enhanced.
(a) Activities and resource use manage effects on coastal erosion.
(b) Projects to stabilise erosion prone areas are supported, particularly where indigenous species are reestablished as a result of the project.
Objective – coastal access
24.3.3 Waikato-Tainui access to coastal areas for customary activities is protected and enhanced.
Policy – coastal access
22.214.171.124 To ensure that Waikato-Tainui access to coastal areas for customary activities is protected and enhanced.
(a) Proposed activities that effect Waikato-Tainui access to coastal areas, particularly access to waahi tapu, sites of significance, and customary activities will generally not be supported.
(b) Notwithstanding existing property or use rights, existing activities that effect Waikato-Tainui access to coastal areas, particularly access to waahi tapu, sites of significance, and customary activities are generally not supported.
(c) In the event that a proposed or existing activity does affect Waikato-Tainui access, Waikato-Tainui will work through the effects with the owners of the activity to determine if the effects can be managed.
(d) Public access for recreational purposes may be restricted only where necessary for safety, cultural, or conservation purposes.
Objective – activities in the coast area
24.3.4 Activities in the Waikato-Tainui coast area only occur when adverse effects to the environment, community, and customary activities are managed, as determined in consultation with Waikato-Tainui.
Policy – use and development
126.96.36.199 To ensure a precautionary approach to activities in the coast area that may result in adverse effects to the environment, community, and customary activities.
(a) Any development in the coast area shall:
i. Have a functional need, as determined in consultation with Waikato-Tainui, to be located in the coast area; and
ii. Facilitate restoration or rehabilitation of natural features.
(b) Any development in the coast area shall manage any adverse effects on:
i. Waikato-Tainui values;
ii. The abundance of taonga species;
iii. The ability to safely undertake hauanga kai;
iv. Areas of cultural and/or spiritual significance (including lines of sight to sites of cultural and/or spiritual significance);
v. The natural character of the landscape;
vi. Overall visual amenity of the landscape;
vii. The natural integrity and functioning of physical processes; and
viii. The intrinsic value of ecosystems.
(c) The effects of an activity on the environment, the community, and in particular customary activities, and
ways to suitably manage effects to be determined in consultation with Waikato-Tainui. Refer to Chapter 6
for the preferred Waikato-Tainui consultation and engagement process.
(d) Activities that may result in adverse effects to the environment, community, and customary activities are generally not supported.
(e) Notwithstanding existing property and usage rights, owners of existing activities and resource uses that adversely affect the environment, the community, and customary activities are encouraged to manage adverse effects.
(f) Land use activities are managed so as to avoid degradation of coastal water quality, protection of coastal sand dunes, protection of culturally and/or spiritually significant areas, and avoid sprawling subdivisions along the coastal edge.
Policy – customary activities and manaaki manuwhiri
188.8.131.52 To ensure that Waikato-Tainui marae, particularly coastal marae, are able to undertake customary coastal activities and have the ability to sustain manuwhiri with traditional coastal food sources during hui, poukai, and waananga.
(a) Waikato-Tainui customary management tikanga is actively promoted to protect, restore and enhance customary fisheries including raahui on shellfish gathering and other activities and protection of coastal areas from over-fishing and other misuse.
(b) Promote the use of marine protected areas that include customary management tools such as taiaapure a local management tool established in an area that has customarily been of special significance to an iwi or hapuu as a source of food or for spiritual or cultural reasons), maataitai reserves (areas where taangata whenua manage non-commercial fishing through a bylaw), and raahui.
(c) Waikato-Tainui customary rights to coastal areas recognised and provided for by:
i. The Crown;
ii. Government departments and their relevant policies (including NZ Coastal Policy Statement);
iii. Local authorities (including incorporating into planning documents); and
iv. Commercial and recreational users of the coastal area.
(d) Any artefact and/or koiwi discovery shall be immediately reported to Waikato-Tainui.
Objective – Integrated management and relationships
24.3.5 Waikato-Tainui coastal areas are managed in an integrated way, considering the upstream effects of land and freshwater activities. Productive relationships exist between those who impact on or use the resources of the Waikato-Tainui Coastal Area
Policy – integrated management
184.108.40.206 To ensure integrated management is applied to the coastal area.
(a) Proposed activities and resource use clearly demonstrate how the proposed activity or resource use is consistent with integrated management.
(b) Policies and decision-making take into account the integrated nature and management of coastal areas.
(c) Existing activities and resource use are encouraged to occur consistent with an integrated management approach, having regard to existing property and use rights.
(d) Coastal area activities and resource use are undertaken in a sustainable manner, utilising Maatauranga Maaori and other knowledge systems.
(e) An integrated and coordinated approach to coastal management is encouraged and promoted, between tribes, the wider community, industry, local authorities, all levels of government, and internationally.
(f) Integrated management adequately considers the management of natural hazards.
Policy – relationships
220.127.116.11 To encourage sector wide relationships that promotes and encourages an integrated approach to activities and resource use within the coastal area in such a way that the coastal area is protected and enhanced.
(a) Develop an interagency coastal management strategy to implement policies and methods in this Plan. This will be developed along with stakeholders including the Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Primary Industries, local authorities, and fisheries stakeholders.
(b) To the satisfaction of Waikato-Tainui, all mitigation for any effects on coastal areas shall, where possible, be completed nearest the site affected and seek to bring a greater benefit than that lost.
(c) For ongoing or significant activities or resource uses, develop a relationship agreement between Waikato-Tainui and the activity owner or resource user.
(d) Early engagement and consultation to occur with Waikato-Tainui, as outlined in Chapter 6, ‘Te koorero tahi me Waikato-Tainui – consultation and engagement with Waikato-Tainui’.