When is Commissioning a Cultural Impact Assessment Good Practice?

Like all AEEs, the comprehensiveness of the report and the need for a CIA will be proportional to the potential effects of the proposed activity.

See Assessing the application and assessment of environmental effects.

A CIA can enable applicants to file a more comprehensive application for resource consent. A CIA can be useful in identifying potential adverse environmental effects for a proposal for any type of application (controlled, restricted discretionary, discretionary or non-complying). Preparation of a CIA report to accompany, or form part of an AEE, is good practice for any proposal that may have a significant effect on Part 2 matters pertaining to tangata whenua.

See Commissioning reports from other people for more information.

Commissioning a CIA is good practice when the proposed activity is on, adjacent to, or likely to impact on:

  • a site of historical or cultural significance to tangata whenua such as urupā (burial sites), wāhi tapu (sacred sites), known archaeological sites, or nohoanga sites (seasonal occupation sites)

  • flora and fauna of cultural significance to tangata whenua such as a mahinga kai (food) resources or species used for other cultural practices such as weaving (raranga) or traditional medicine (rongoā)

  • areas of historical or spiritual importance to tangata whenua

  • areas with significant landscape values to tangata whenua, including areas identified as cultural landscapes.

  • waterways or wetlands of importance to tangata whenua

  • significant areas for tangata whenua within the coastal environment such as tauranga waka (canoe landing sites), mahinga kai areas (food resources and gathering) or wāhi tapu.

A CIA may also be appropriate where:

  • applications are for large, intensive, or complex projects

  • there is not enough information included in a resource consent application to assess the likely effects of the activity on tangata whenua values

  • an assessment of potential impacts on cultural values and associations would take a lot of time for tangata whenua to complete

  • the cultural values associated with the site or in relation to the proposal are not easily assessed and new or additional research is required to identify the effects of the activity

  • the proposed activity may be precedent setting.

Under s36A there is no duty on either the applicant or the council to consult on applications for resource consent or notices of requirement. However a CIA can help ensure that decision makers have sufficient information and can afford appropriate weight to cultural matters, including ensuring that Part 2 matters are appropriately addressed.

See Consulting with tangata whenua for more information.

When CIAs are not considered necessary, but some understanding of the interests of tangata whenua is desirable, provision for a form of minor CIA may be established through referral procedures from the council or through direct contact with tangata whenua. These enable initial identification of potential effects on cultural values or the need for a more comprehensive CIA. This process also provides benefits in establishing a regular relationship with tangata whenua.