What is Monitoring?

Monitoring is an active requirement under section 35 RMA , and other parts of the Act.

Monitoring is about checking that we want to achieve is being achieved and having information available from which to make sound resource management decisions. Monitoring can tell us about key pressures on the environment, the condition or state of the environment, and about responses (ie, the environmental results) that we are achieving, or need to work towards. The design of a monitoring system should focus attention on questions such as: how much information is enough, when is it needed and for what purposes?

Monitoring is an ongoing and systematic process; it is not a person, position, product or end in itself. Monitoring assists decision-making by closing the loop in the planning cycle and informing decision-makers of the consequences of actions and changes in the environment. It provides practitioners with checks to ensure things are on track. Monitoring involves:

  • planned and repeated data collection

  • analysis

  • interpretation

  • reporting on the results of monitoring

  • recommendations for action (which usually involves reporting on monitoring)

  • taking and reviewing actions.

In reality, some of these components may occur in a more iterative manner. The key thing is to think of monitoring as a process that assists decision-making.