The RMA Quality Planning Resource

Non-regulatory tools

NReg1: Biodiversity strategies and action plans for a region or district

There are two primary approaches to a regional or district biodiversity strategy.

  • The first approach addresses the roles and actions as they affect biodiversity for the wide variety of agencies and organisations in the region or district. Usually priorities are identified and actions, targets and monitoring requirements may be specified in varying degrees of detail. Such documents may be ‘signed off’ or otherwise endorsed by the agencies and organisations involved.
  • The second approach focuses on the council’s role and contains a council action plan. This approach recognises that many agencies are involved in biodiversity management but does not try to coordinate them all.

Strengths of the first approach

  • This provides an opportunity to achieve some degree of coordination and cooperation between agencies and organisations working in the region or district for activities affecting biodiversity outcomes in that region or district.
  • The appointment of a coordinator as part of the implementation process is likely to increase the effectiveness of the strategy.

Strengths of the second approach

  • This provides a public document specifying a council’s objectives, policies, methods and targets for biodiversity protection and restoration in respect of its own actions and funding.
  • This is more of a council action plan and typically is more detailed and specific than the first approach.
  • It provides clearer guidance to staff in their daily activities.

Limitations of the first approach

  • A regional strategy may require political ‘sign-off’ by a large number of organisations, the actions may be highly generalised, providing little practical guidance.
  • It may also be necessary to have a separate ‘council’ biodiversity action plan to provide more detailed guidance as to how the council should implement its responsibilities under legislation and agreements.

Limitation of the second approach

  • This approach may not maximise opportunities to work with other agencies and the community to develop a coordinated programme.

Examples

A biodiversity strategy for the Canterbury Region was coordinated by Environment Canterbury and is an example of the first approach.

The Taranaki Regional Council biodiversity strategy is an example of the second approach.

The Wellington City Council biodiversity action plan is a district example of the second approach.

NReg2: Providing biodiversity management information/education resources for landowners and the community

Councils can prepare and distribute biodiversity-related information that can assist landowners and community groups involved in environmental protection and restoration activities.

Information resources can be in a variety of formats including:

  • brochures and booklets
  • material aligned with the school curricula
  • articles showing good practice in local newspapers
  • articles in council newsletters included within local newspapers, rate demands or other council communications with landowners
  • reports with more detailed technical information
  • website information that may include electronic copies of material available in hard copy form and links to other relevant websites
  • video, CD and DVD
  • field and training days for landowners and the community
  • summer programme visiting areas managed by the council
  • school field trips (eg, Environment Waikato Rivers and Us programme)
  • mobile resources
  • phone numbers that landowners and members of the community can call for advice.

This information can address a range of topics including:

  • the different types of ecosystems present in the region or district
  • appropriate species to plant in different types of site
  • ecosystem services
  • identifying and eradicating/controlling animal and plant pests
  • riparian management
  • wetland management
  • coast care
  • estuary care
  • managing forest remnants
  • successful biodiversity and other land and/or water management projects by landowners
  • sources of assistance including funding.

Another type of information resource is council newsletters for a specific biodiversity programme (eg, ‘significant natural area’ or coastcare) or on biodiversity generally. These newsletters report past events, recent progress on biodiversity programmes, good examples and case studies and upcoming events and opportunities such as funding.

Strength

  • Information resources are viewed favourably by landowners and the community.

Limitation

  • On their own, such resources are generally insufficient and need to be used in conjunction with other tools.

The following factors improve the likelihood of success for this approach:

  • the effectiveness of this information is likely to be increased if it is included as part of a council ‘out-reach’ programme to actively work with individual landowners to improve biodiversity outcomes on their properties
  • there are active community groups involved in biodiversity protection and restoration (eg, land care groups, dune care groups, local environmental groups)
  • the council administers funds that landowners and community groups can apply to for financial assistance for biodiversity protection and restoration activities
  • it can be useful to produce combined agency publications where all agencies can use the same high-quality publication
  • the submission of ‘general’ articles to local newspapers without the council logo and other direct signs of council authorship are useful for reaching those who are cynical of councils and do not want to read anything associated with them (ie, make the issue mainstream rather than council pushing it).

Examples

The Rotorua District Lakes A Zone Revegetation Guide provides detailed guidance to landowners to assist them with the practicalities of larger scale revegetation including site preparation, pest management and species requirements.

Environment Bay of Plenty has prepared a number of brochures relating to dune management. These focus on improving dune resilience and stability as well as improving biodiversity values. The Environment Bay of Plenty brochure ‘Backyard Buffers’ (PDF) includes an excellent illustrated guide as to what native species are appropriate for each of the ecological ‘zones’ in Bay of Plenty dunes. Environment Bay of Plenty has also created a school teaching resource called ‘Life’s a beach’.

Most regional councils have electronic and/or paper-based information sheets addressing different pest plant species that have been identified as a particular problem in the region. These may be species that are abundant and need ongoing control. Conversely they may be species that are of risk that are either absent or are present in only a few locations. The information sheets typically provide information on how to identify the plant, its habitat and behaviour in New Zealand and/or the region, and control and preventative measures that can be taken to minimise spread or invasion.

Examples of council plant and animal pest information for members of the public include the following.
Environment Waikato plant pest fact sheets and animal pest fact sheets.

Taranaki Regional Council has information sheets on riparian management, the establishment of riparian vegetation (using native species), wetlands and bush retirement.

Greater Wellington Regional Council produces several restoration pamphlets including one on wetland restoration.

Northland Regional Council also has a wetland restoration guide.

Auckland Council has a series of coastal planting guides for different coastal habitats such as dunes, clay banks and forests.

In contrast the Northland Regional Council/Department of Conservation planting guide (PDF) focuses on suitable native plants and their utility as a food source for native birds.

Examples of council biodiversity or biodiversity programme newsletters include the Kaikoura District Council biodiversity newsletters and Marlborough District Council significant natural area newsletters.

NReg3: Telephone advice service

The Waikato Biodiversity Forum is a partnership between research and management agencies, iwi groups, private landowners and the community. It is independent of the management agencies and through funding grants is able to offer a freephone service (Biodiversity Advice Waikato) for rural and urban landowners in the Waikato Region.
It provides free information on planting, pest management, native species, local conservation groups and how to contact agencies. Callers may be referred to specialists for more information and free on-site visits are available.

Strengths

  • The phone service is free and available at times reasonably convenient to its target audience.
  • The service provides independent advice for landowners and community groups who may prefer not to contact their local authority or the Department of Conservation.
  • The service is intended to be a one-stop-shop, so as to reduce caller frustration from redirection from one organisation to another.

Limitation

  • To be successful, such services must be well advertised and must also be supported by ready access to good information and willing expert advisors.

NReg4: Landowner property plans that address biodiversity

Regional councils prepare landowner property-based plans for a variety of purposes. Traditionally the focus has been on soil conservation and nutrient containment. Recently there has been an increased focus on riparian management. Some plans address biodiversity management on a property more generally. Part of the preparation and approval of the plans can include financial assistance with work such as fencing, planting and alternative stock water sources (eg, Environment Bay of Plenty). Some district councils also contribute to the funding (eg, Western Bay of Plenty District Council).

Strengths

  • These plans are usually voluntary and prepared in cooperation with the landowner.
  • The landowners often find the process and product useful.
  • The plans can be a first step in obtaining funding assistance or subsidised resources (eg, plants).
  • When plan implementation is monitored and the council maintains a good database, progress across a region can be measured.
  • Landowners can become more aware of the biodiversity values they have on their property.
  • As part of the property plan preparation process, council staff can advise landowners about legal protection options and processes for areas of biodiversity value (eg, open space covenant with the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust).
  • Landowners can choose whether to follow up particular legal protection options. If they do enter into formal agreements it will be because they choose to do so, and as such they should be good guardians.

Limitations

  • The plans are voluntary so not all property owners who could benefit from a plan will choose to request one.
  • Implementation is voluntary.
  • Not all types of property plans address indigenous biodiversity maintenance and enhancement.

Examples

Taranaki Regional Council has a comprehensive programme of riparian plan preparation. These plans address fencing, planting and areas of retirement along rivers and streams, especially those on the Taranaki Ring Plain.

Horizons MW Proposed One Plan (PDF) proposes proactive management of representative ‘rare and threatened’ habitats and ‘at-risk’ habitats identified by type (rather than location) in schedule E of that plan.

The Environment Bay of Plenty Regional Water and Land Plan provides for Wetland Management Agreements (chapter 8), which are voluntary agreements between the Council and landowners to promote wetland management and facilitate specified works that are necessary for wetland maintenance and enhancement.

NReg5: Comprehensive ecological assessment and indigenous biodiversity protection programme for private land

This method focuses on work undertaken by the Marlborough District Council. As a unitary council it has both regional and district functions, including managing indigenous biodiversity. Since 2000 the Council has undertaken a ‘significant natural areas’ (SNA) project that identifies and promotes protection of significant natural areas and indigenous biodiversity on private land in Marlborough. In terms of resources this has entailed systematic on-the-ground ecological survey work. The survey process also established relationships and partnerships with landowners (who now participate on a voluntary basis). These relationships are maintained and developed through ongoing communication and contact.

Alongside the voluntary ‘SNA’ programme, general vegetation and land drainage rules were developed and apply to all landowners regardless of whether they have identified SNA sites on their property or not. Where resource consents are required, the general assessment criteria in the plans anticipate that ecological values (amongst other things) will be taken into account. Conditions can be attached to consents that maintain and protect identified values.

Following completion of the SNA survey work, the focus has shifted to the ‘promotion’ of protection. A programme to assist landowners to protect areas on their properties has been running alongside the survey work since 2003 and is now well established. The Council has committed $100,000.00 per annum to this programme and funding is also regularly sought from the Central Government Biodiversity Fund to boost the local programme. The bulk of this funding directly funds projects on private land. Approximately 20 per cent has been used for associated projects, including publicity material and programmes, native seed collection and farm plan development.

The following factors are key to the success for the Marlborough District Council approach:

  • sound planning at the outset – communications strategy, working group established, political support for programme established and maintained
  • care to employ a quality team, experienced practical ecologists and a positive communication strategy, including initial contact with landowners and ongoing publicity using mainstream media
  • role as a catalyst ­– informing and inspiring landowners through property reports, contact with ecologists, newsletters and publicity, linking with positive landowners to provide community leadership
  • proactive non-regulatory approach (field survey followed by assistance programme for protection)
  • focused and effective working group to provide guidance and, through this group, a good relationship with Department of Conservation and Federated Farmers
  • strong political support with an emphasis on ongoing councillor education and involvement
  • maintaining credibility through a proactive landowner assistance programme, providing funding (50–75 per cent), links with other agencies (Department of Conservation and Queen Elizabeth II National Trust for covenanting), technical advice and support, publicity
  • based on strong principles but a flexible approach in practice (for instance, promote covenanting with landowners but do not insist on it; recognise that the system for evaluating the significance of sites needs to be robust but is always subjective; promote and practice eco-sourcing in a broad sense)
  • SNA landowners not ‘penalised’ by more regulation than other landowners
  • keep jargon, paperwork and administration for landowners to a minimum.

Strength

  • This type of approach can build a strong level of support for biodiversity protection amongst landowners.

Limitation

  • Such a programme can be time-consuming and expensive if properly done.

The following factors improve the likelihood of success for this approach:

  • staff continuity: landowners often prefer to deal with the same person over time
  • districts or regions where little remains of certain habitats make it worthwhile to expend considerable time and effort to establish a commitment to biodiversity protection and enhancement by individual landowners.

Examples

Marlborough District Council Significant Natural Areas Project.

NReg6: Employing appropriate staff

Councils are increasingly recognising that they need appropriately qualified staff to help them address their responsibilities for biodiversity and community expectations for assistance. Depending on council size and resources, such staff may provide or assist with providing one or more of the following:

  • ecological expertise and advice
  • development of biodiversity policy and strategy documents or action plans
  • development and/or management of council biodiversity programmes and projects (eg, plant and animal pest control programmes affecting natural areas)
  • development and/or facilitation of community biodiversity projects
  • management of significant natural area programmes including working with landowners
  • development or commissioning of appropriate biodiversity monitoring programmes.

Larger councils have led the way in employing ecologists and coordinators of biodiversity programmes, particularly where the council has extensive land holdings. Recently other councils have begun to employ biodiversity officers to focus on community outreach programmes such as significant natural area programmes and other community biodiversity projects (e.g. Kaikoura District).

Strength

  • A council that has access to appropriate biodiversity expertise is in a better position to make decisions that adequately address its biodiversity responsibilities.

Limitation

  • If additional people are employed this may result in additional costs, although this could be addressed by changing the focus and required expertise for some existing positions.

NReg7: Industry standards, accords and protocols for biodiversity protection and restoration

Many industries have activities that can adversely affect the environment. Several of these industries have developed national accords, protocols or standards that seek to reduce the adverse effects of that industry on the environment. This includes reducing impacts on indigenous biodiversity.

Strengths of industry accords, standards and protocols

  • These provide industry peer support and encouragement for improving environmental standards across that industry.
  • They tend to be well publicised, especially within the industry concerned.
  • Typically accords and standards apply nationally.
  • They can assist councils seeking to improve environmental outcomes, particularly when they address existing damaging uses.

Limitations of industry accords, standards and protocols

  • They are not a substitute for appropriate council plan provisions.
  • There is a risk that the measures proposed in the accords, standards and protocols may be ‘watered down’ by the competing interests of stakeholders.

Examples

The Dairying and Clean Streams Accord was signed in 2003 and ran for a 10 year period ending on 31 December 2012. The parties are: Fonterra Cooperative Group, regional councils, Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The Accord provided a framework that raised the profile of environmental performance within the dairying industry and the wider New Zealand public. Snapshots of progress over the 10-year period have been published.

The New Zealand Forest Accord was signed in 1991 by various members of the forest and timber industry and the conservation movement. Its objectives include defining areas where it is inappropriate to establish plantation forestry and acknowledging that the existing area of natural indigenous forest should be maintained and enhanced.

The National Pest Plant Accord is an agreement between the Nursery and Garden Industry Association, regional councils and government departments with biosecurity functions. All plants on the Accord are unwanted organisms under the Biosecurity Act 1993 and cannot be sold, propagated or distributed in New Zealand.

NReg8: Multi-agency and community environmental restoration programmes

Councils can coordinate multi-agency and community partnership environmental projects that benefit biodiversity. Such projects usually provide a range of benefits, extending beyond the scope of what a single agency could achieve.

One such example is Beachcare, which was initiated in 1993 by Environment Waikato working with local district councils, communities and iwi to protect and restore beaches. Environment Waikato and the district councils provide administrative support and other resources including plants, signage, technical advice and building materials to beachcare groups at 19 beaches.

A similar example is Coast Care BOP, which is coordinated by Environment Bay of Plenty. This programme began in 1994 and is a partnership between the regional council, the four coastal district councils and Department of Conservation. There are nearly 30 volunteer groups associated with the programme. A 2004 review of the Coast Care BOP Programme provides a good description of the programme, including its establishment and operation.

The Peninsula Project seeks to improve the health of the environment and decrease flood risks on the Coromandel Peninsula. It is a partnership between Environment Waikato, Thames Coromandel District Council, Department of Conservation and the Hauraki Maori Trust Board. The main activities are flood protection, river and catchment management and animal pest control.

A number of voluntary initiatives have been undertaken to promote vegetation/tree protection. Voluntary methods include community organisations and initiatives, for example most councils help coordinate community reserve planting days year round to help with preservation and restoration, to improve biodiversity and to protect areas from things like erosion.

Arbor day is a national event where individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Arbor day is celebrated throughout the country through various activities including organising community planting in parks and reserves and supporting schools in their tree planting activities.

Trees for Canterbury is a community organisation created to meet the following objectives:

  • Establishing a sense of involvement in the community for disadvantaged people and providing an environment of acceptance as well as support and training for self-development;
  • Working with educational institutions, providing assistance in the teaching of environmental awareness; and
  • Cultivating native plants for community plantings and using plant material eco-sourced from local areas.

NReg9: Multi-agency biodiversity management and ecological restoration accords

Where effective biodiversity management and restoration requires the cooperation of many agencies, a multi-agency accord can be helpful. Such accords typically tend to set out broad objectives, agency roles and the process for working together.

Examples

The North-West Wildlink Accord (PDF) was signed on 28 February 2006 for an initial three-year term with an ongoing right of renewal. Founding signatories to the North-West Wildlink Accord are Auckland Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, North Shore City Council, Rodney District Council and Waitakere City Council. The purpose of the Accord is to provide a healthy and safe habitat in the North West of the Auckland Region and to link community, individual and agency effort along the wildlink.

The broad goals of the North-West Wildlink are to:

  • increase the ecological health and connectivity of native habitats throughout the area
  • increase meaningful community participation in environmental care
  • increase collaboration and communication between agencies, groups and individuals.

These benefits are to be achieved through prioritising and coordinating efforts, and linking individual actions and community projects into a broader regional picture.

On 1 February 2002, Environment Waikato, Waipa District Council, Department of Conservation, Auckland/Waikato Fish and Game Council and Ngaa Iwi Toopu O Waipa signed the Waipa Peat Lakes Accord. The purpose of the Accord is to align the activities of management agencies, when working with landowners, tāngata whenua and interested parties, towards the restoration and enhancement of lakes and wetlands in the Waipa District. Much of the land containing and surrounding the lakes is privately owned. Accord members meet regularly to discuss projects, share information and consider opportunities to work together on initiatives. The Accord has also increased awareness about the peat lakes and their management requirements.

Non-regulatory economic instruments

NRegE1: Contestable council funds for environmental protection and enhancement

Regional and district councils can manage contestable funds for environmental and ecological protection and restoration activities. Typically landowners and community groups can apply for financial assistance for activities such as fencing of forest remnants and wetlands, pest management in forest, wetland, riparian and coastal areas and planting such areas with appropriate native species.

Funding is usually only available for materials and the landowner and community group is expected to contribute their own labour and sometimes other resources depending on the percentage contribution to the total project cost provided by the council. Councils may provide different percentage contributions for different types of projects or in different parts of the region or district.

Such funds are usually contestable to projects from throughout the region or district. Sometimes a project may receive funding from both a regional and a district fund. Before and after property inspections are usually undertaken.

Strengths

  • Such funds can provide a strong incentive for landowners to undertake ecological protection and restoration activities, particularly when the council has a relatively large amount of funding available each year.
  • Such funds can enhance community and landowner commitment to undertake biodiversity protection and enhancement activities.
  • Such funds can help protect or enhance biodiversity values on private land.
  • Such funds can help foster pest management and planting on riparian and coastal public land. Often public agencies are not prepared to fund the full cost of council undertaking pest control and planting with native plants in such areas. They may, however, be prepared to fund the materials if community groups undertake the work.

Limitations

  • Where the total amount of funds available each year is low, such funds may have minimal impact on biodiversity outcomes.
  • Such funds depend on individual landowners and community groups applying for assistance. This means that applications may not come from the areas where funding is most needed because of the biodiversity values at risk and/or needing enhancement or restoration.
  • If landowners are not provided with guidance they may plant inappropriate species.
  • Funding is typically short term, while many biodiversity protection and enhancement projects require ongoing financial support, especially for pest management.

The following factors improve the likelihood of success for this approach:

  • providing adequate funding either directly or in partnership with other organisations
  • inspecting projects before approving the grant and after the work has been completed (by one agency if there is multi-party funding)
  • providing advice or directing applicants to appropriate sources of advice (eg, how to control particular pest plant species)
  • notifying successful applicants in time for them to obtain suitable plants and complete the planting while conditions are suitable
  • encouraging landowners applying for funding to join appropriate support networks such as a local Landcare group
  • provide opportunities for longer term funding for ongoing pest control
  • ring fencing some of the funding for projects that focus on protecting and restoring ecosystems and wildlife habitats of high biodiversity value.

Examples

Environment Canterbury’s Environment Enhancement Fund.

Environment Bay of Plenty has a variety of environmental funding options providing for different types and scales of environmental protection and enhancement activities on public and private land.

Northland Regional Council Environment Fund provides funding for a variety of biodiversity protection and restoration activities including wetlands protection and enhancement, plant and animal pest control (specified species) outside of community control areas, revegetation with native plants, coastal dune enhancement and protection and stock exclusion from the coastal marine area. The latter supports a rule in the regional coastal plan requiring the exclusion of all stock from the coastal marine area.

NRegE2: Comprehensive package of non-regulatory mechanisms to assist landowners to protect and restore biodiversity values

Some councils offer a comprehensive package of non-regulatory provisions to support and encourage landowners to protect and restore biodiversity. Such packages tend to be alternatives to contestable council funds. Typically they include information and advice services, assistance with pest management, assistance with fencing areas from stock, plants, funding assistance with the legal and survey costs associated with covenanting and rate relief. Such assistance is not available to assist property owners fulfilling regulatory requirements (such as restoring a site as part of a resource consent).

Strengths

  • This approach provides a range of mechanisms to assist landowners protect and restore biodiversity.
  • A comprehensive package of incentives for biodiversity protection and enhancement can improve outcomes on the ground, especially if landowners become enthusiastic about protecting and restoring biodiversity values on their property.
  • This can generate landowner goodwill for biodiversity protection and restoration.

Limitations

  • This requires sufficient council funding so that the level of assistance is perceived as being a real incentive for biodiversity protection and restoration.
  • Not all landowners will choose to participate.

The following factors improve the likelihood of success for this approach:

  • sufficient council funding being allocated
  • council staff with biodiversity protection and restoration expertise relevant for the region or district
  • effective publicity of the assistance available
  • motivated landowners.

NRegE3: Discounted disposal of environmental weeds

Environmental weeds can seriously damage the biodiversity values of a site. Areas of vegetation near human settlement are particularly prone to the invasion and spread by a wide variety of environmental weed species. While different weed species have different dispersal methods, roadside/natural area weed dumping dramatically increases the spread by the many weed species that can be spread from fragments or can grow from dumped roots and rhizomes.

Some councils provide free or discounted disposal services for environmental weeds. This can include the provision of special bins or bags for environmental weeds that are collected for free and a provision for landowners to leave certain weed species at a transfer station or landfill for no charge.

Strengths

  • This encourages landowners and community groups to remove environmental weeds from natural areas (at no cost in terms of disposal charges to themselves).
  • This reduces the risk of environmental weed species being dumped in reserves and other ‘natural areas’.
  • This generates community goodwill, especially for those situations where weeds are being removed from council lands including esplanade reserves, recreation reserves and paper roads.

Limitation

  • Councils may forgo some potential income for dumping weeds at a transfer station or landfill, although in the long term preventing dumping should reduce a council’s costs in managing its land portfolio.

The following factors improve the likelihood of success for this approach:

  • effective publicity of the assistance available
  • good information on what constitutes an environmental weed, appropriate control methods for different weed species and the environmental problems caused by roadside/natural area dumping of environmental weeds
  • institute fines for roadside/natural area dumping.

NRegE4: Annual rates relief for protected areas

A number of councils provide some form of rate relief for protected areas.

Strength

  • This provides the landowner with some recognition for protecting biodiversity values and compensation for forgoing potential income from the protected land.

Limitations

  • The amounts involved tend to be limited so may not provide much of an incentive.
  • Some councils require an application to be made annually for rates relief.

The following factors improve the likelihood of success for this approach:

  • including it as one of a number of mechanisms to assist landowners with biodiversity protection and restoration
  • for covenants in perpetuity, make the rates relief endure for periods of time (say 10 years) so as to reduce the administrative burden to the owner needing to apply every year and also to provide a degree of certainty. It could be reassessed if at any time the covenant was lifted, or varied, or if the owner was in breach of the covenant
  • there is no requirement for landowners who receive rate relief to provide public access.

Examples

Kaikoura District Council provides rate remission for special features of natural, historical or cultural value where those features significantly affect the use or property value, and the area is protected to the extent that economic utilisation is restricted. Applications for rates remission are made annually.

NRegE5: Annual grant for legally protected areas on private land

District councils can provide an annual grant to landowners that legally protect areas of ecological value. Such grants would usually be based on the size of the area protected or its rating value. This approach does not appear to be widely used at present.

Strength

  • This is a positive signal to landowners that a council values landowners legally protecting areas of biodiversity value.

Limitations

  • The amounts offered in such grants have tended to be insufficient to act as a strong incentive for legal protection.
  • A council can reduce the amount and/or remove the scheme and potentially lose landowner goodwill.
  • If landowners who gain subdivision privileges from legally protecting areas of ecological value also receive the grant this could be seen as ‘double dipping’.

The following factors improve the likelihood of success for this approach:

  • the grant is well publicised
  • the amount offered per hectare is sufficient to be an incentive
  • it is only offered to landowners who legally protect areas of ecological value without receiving development privileges (eg, opportunities to create additional lots).

NRegE6: Free or discounted resources

Some councils provide free or discounted resources (eg, plant materials, pesticides) for biodiversity protection and restoration work on private land. This is usually restricted to those landowners with agreements with a council, and may include community restoration activities on private land. These resources are not available for restoration work that is required as part of a resource consent.

Strengths

  • Free and discounted resources can encourage more landowners and community groups to undertake ecological protection and restoration work.
  • This can provide opportunities for council staff to work with landowners in a positive way.

Limitation

  • The resources may not be used in high-priority sites.

The following factor improves the likelihood of success for this approach:

  • the availability of resources is advertised along with the conditions that apply.

Examples

Environment Waikato contracts the bulk growing of common eco-sourced plants. These are available to community groups and landowners involved in restoration projects at a discounted price.

NRegE7: Assisting community trusts involved in environmental protection activities

Some councils provide financial assistance to community trusts involved in biodiversity and environmental protection and restoration activities.

Example

Taranaki Regional Council administers, services and provides a facilitator for the Taranaki Tree Trust. The Taranaki Tree Trust is a charitable trust that assists landowners with the management of forest remnants and wetlands. This includes assistance with fencing and planting.