Towards the beginning of February the BCG trustees and a representative from the Ministry for the Environment met with representatives of the Territorial Authorities to discuss the work of the BCG so far and hear about key issues and opportunities for Territorial Authorities in biodiversity management. They also garnered Territorial Authorities’ perspectives on monitoring, compliance, and enforcement, experiences with identifying significant natural areas (SNA) and regulating effects on them and the use of target setting for biodiversity maintenance.
At its February meeting the BCG started to sink its teeth into recommendations for monitoring, reporting, compliance and enforcement, and on identifying SNA. After looking at SNA identification it continued discussions on effects management. This discussion incorporated advice it heard earlier from Territorial Authorities. The Group also investigated potential opportunities for national direction on wetlands while ensuring policy coherence with the NPSFM. To assist with that task, it heard from a Freshwater Ecologist from Puhoi Stour on the state of and pressures on wetlands and Auckland Council’s method for identifying wetlands of different types. Building on earlier broad discussions around economic incentives the Group also heard from an experienced planner on enhancement subdivision planning provisions, in particular the use of transferrable development rights. To wrap up day 1 of discussions the Group meet with Associate Minister for the Environment, Nanaia Mahuta, to discuss its work and talk about where she thinks it could make the most difference.
Kaitoke wetland (credit: Raewyn Peart)