Both regional councils (s30 of the RMA) and territorial authorities (s31 of the RMA) play a key role under the RMA in planning for aggregate resources and managing the effects of quarrying.
Aggregate resources are limited in quantity, location and availability, with demand and supply of aggregate often crossing regional and territorial council boundaries. Regional councils and territorial authorities should work together to strategically identify the future need for aggregates, their availability, and methods to provide for future access to aggregate resources, while avoiding remedying or mitigating the effects of quarrying and gravel extraction.
Councils should be aware of the linkages between RMA documents and between non-RMA plans and strategies when developing an integrated approach to managing quarrying and gravel extraction. General methods that can be used to integrate and strategically plan for aggregate resources and manage the effects of quarrying and gravel extraction at regional and district levels include:
- Regional Policy Statements (RPS) identify objectives, policies and methods to achieve integrated management of natural and physical resources and infrastructure, that regional and district plans must “give effect to”. This includes aggregate resources and their role in the development and maintenance of infrastructure
- Regional Plans identify objectives, policies and rules to achieve the RPS objectives, including those on providing for quarrying and gravel extraction and the management of its effects on land, air and water. The regional coastal plan achieves this function for coastal marine areas
- District Plans identify objectives, policies, rules and may contain other methods to provide protection, when appropriate, to aggregate resources and avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effects of quarrying and gravel extraction, through controls on subdivision and land-use activities
- A combined plan can be prepared to address access to aggregate if it is a significant issue across regional council/ territorial authority boundaries
- Rules, including performance standards, can be used or expressed through zones, buffers or setbacks in plans to identify areas where quarrying or gravel extraction activities may be provided for and identify conditions or considerations to manage adverse effects
- Resource consents address site-specific environmental effects of quarrying or gravel extraction activities through the assessment and use of conditions
- Iwi planning documents (including iwi management plans) identify areas which might be sensitive to quarrying or gravel extraction activities or associated effects of quarrying or gravel extraction, along with expectations for engagement and participation in RMA processes (refer to the Facilitating consultation with tāngata whenua guidance note)
- Monitoring informs and tracks the performance of policy statements, plans and consent conditions relating to quarrying or gravel extraction. This includes identifying the performance of plan provisions or consent conditions and any need or review as a consequence of changes in the demand and supply of aggregate or effects of quarrying on the receiving environment.
- Growth strategies integrate planning for growth within a region/district with the management of aggregate resources, including the management of quarrying and gravel extraction effects
- Long Term Plans (LTP) prepared under the Local Government Act 2002 could indicate future aggregate needs by listing future infrastructure projects
- Regional Land Transport Plans (RLTP) could identify future aggregate need by listing key roading infrastructure projects and also sources of aggregates in close proximity to roads for haulage, some of which should reflect consistently across LTP’s and regional policy statements (see other similar strategies in projecting demand)
- Quarry Management Plans provide a comprehensive and adaptive plan to manage the environmental effects associated with a specific quarry, including complaints procedures, community consultation, communications protocols, rehabilitation and site completion standards
- Guidelines or protocols produced with, or for, the industry to improve the management and processes around quarrying
- Land information memorandums (LIMs) can be used to provide clear information on any restrictions applying to a property, such as if it is within a quarry buffer zone or where a no complaint covenant applies to a site and is registered on the title
Generally, a combination of these methods can be used by councils to achieve integrated management of quarrying or gravel extraction.