Living here March 2016

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The newsletter of Environment Canterbury

living here

March 2016

Caring for Cashmere Stream The desire to improve water quality and the natural environment unites people across Canterbury. It’s a challenge for rural and urban residents alike. This issue of Living Here shares the stories of individuals and communities who are making the region a better place in both town and country.

Streams connect communities according to 79 year old Cracroft resident Gordon Rudd who has been monitoring the clarity of Cashmere Stream in Christchurch from his backyard almost daily for the past five years. “I only stopped twice since December 2010 – once for the February 2011 earthquake and then during house repairs. I’ve collected over 1860 samples.” Gordon’s daily clarity measurements are published in the regular community newsletter of the revitalised Cashmere Stream Care Group – a group of local residents concerned about the impact of sediment on the stream. As an active member, Gordon monitors the stream by taking a water sample in a clarity tube, pictured in the photo above. Looking down it, he moves a black disc until he can’t see it any more and records the distance – his clarity measurement. High clarity is good but low clarity means sediment has entered the stream – probably from the nearby hills – which can clog the stream and cause fish, plants, and insects to die.

“Sediment has 9been an issue for a while. Some 200 ing s ofvthese things are outside our control but by i t r d e d Amonitoring the site each day we can see what’s n a sign changing.”

Good management practice on all farms Practical advice and help is being offered to rural communities throughout Canterbury to improve water quality, driven by a need to see progress in water quality as well as improvements to the natural environment. Last year the industry bodies* working with farmers agreed on a set of Good Management Practices (GMP) for farming, which set out a suite of environmental actions that all farmers, regardless of sector, are expected to adopt as soon as practicable. “We need to address the impact of more intensive and changing land use across Canterbury,” says David Caygill, Environment Canterbury’s Commissioner with particular responsibility for water. “Public concern about water quality and environmental stewardship has made it essential for farmers to show they are getting water, plant, and nutrient management right.” A booklet setting out Good Management Practices was prepared over 18 months with discussions at farmer workshops and with individual farmers, rural professionals, and industry representatives. It was tested with different groups including leading farmers to make sure it was practical. GMP means that everyone can understand the kind of responsible farming practices that are needed to protect water quality. Two examples of the easy-to-follow Good Management Practices in the guide include: • Locate and manage farm tracks, gateways, water troughs, self-feeding areas, stock camps, wallows and other sources of run-off to minimise risks to water quality.

Gordon is heartened to see more people showing an interest in urban rivers and streams.

• Manage the amount and timing of fertiliser inputs to match plant requirements and minimise risk of losses.

“Our group is the strongest it’s ever been. There’s a real sense of community spirit and doing something good for the community.”

Natural environment projects are a focus for freshwater Undertaking projects to improve the natural environment goes hand in hand with improved water quality. For example, fencing and planting of streams keeps stock out of waterways which has a direct improvement on water quality while plants filter sediment and nutrients.

Facilitating sustainable development in the Canterbury region

Through the Immediate Steps and other programmes, Environment Canterbury makes funding of $2 million available each year to protect and restore biodiversity in and around freshwater habitats. More than 250 community projects, both large and small, have received help over the past five years (the Waikakahi Stream story inside is just one example of a long-term project to improve water quality). “The approach is two-fold: to try to hang on to the remnant of ‘original’ vegetation and ecosystems that remain, while at the same time to begin replacing what has been lost. Success is totally dependent on the cooperation of landowners, the wider community, as well as councils and other agencies” says David Caygill. New rules focus on areas most at risk Over recent years a number of Resource Management plans have been developed by Environment Canterbury and agreed by the community, and more specific and stricter catchment-related plans are underway in areas where water quality is most at risk. “These aim to address the impacts of dairying and other forms of land use by limiting the amount of pollution that escapes from farmland. Rules to set limits on nitrate losses were first introduced in 2012 in the Land and Water Regional Plan,” he says. In February this year an updated set of nutrient management rules was notified for community submissions. These rules – developed in consultation with the farming industry and Ngāi Tahu – require that landusers move to the industry Good Management Practices as the minimum standard for all farming activities. *Industry bodies: DairyNZ, Horticulture New Zealand, Foundation for Arable Research, New Zealand Pork, Beef and Lamb NZ, Federated Farmers, IrrigationNZ, Deer Industry NZ, and three Crown Research Institutes: AgResearch, Plant and Food Research and Landcare Research.

Community action transforms Waikakahi Stream Fencing and riparian planting along with over 20 years work by the local community has transformed the Waikakahi Stream near Glenavy from a muddy bog into a pristine waterway. In the 1990s local farmer Chris Paul decided to take action to improve the stream. He contacted Environment Canterbury and set up a joint public meeting. Working groups which included farmers, community members, Glenavy school pupils, Fish and Game, and Environment Canterbury staff were then formed to take water quality samples and to carry out fish and bird counts.

Kate has noticed a huge change in the stream which reflects years of hard work by the group. She credits the combination of riparian planting, fencing, stock exclusion and silt traps with transforming the stream into a crystal clear waterway. “In the beginning there was no fencing, areas of bog, no defined stream edge and stock were grazing in the stream. That’s all changed. We’ve seen the stream come into its own over the last five years with the growth of riparian planting and trout coming back to the stream.”

Lower Waitaki-South Coastal Canterbury Zone Committee chair Kate White describes the project as a perfect example of “what can be achieved when a community works collaboratively.”

Cawthron Institute freshwater ecologist Robin Holmes, who began a study of the stream in 2012, says his results highlight the importance of fencing and riparian planting.

“Everyone worked together and decided what needed to be done from the first meeting. At the next meeting held six months later one farmer hadn’t done his fencing so he turned around and did it overnight.”

“We found that 300 metres downstream from the fencing there was a reduction in the amount of deposited sediment which is vital for improving the stream habitat. The most important impact

was fencing the stream and we found that the fencing needs to be three to five metres back from stream edge.” Robin also found good populations of trout, eels and bullies in the stream which he attributes to the long-term rehabilitation work. He hopes to secure government funding to carry out further studies on the stream which would also be supported by the zone committee. “I’m keen to keep working on the stream and the community is keen to keep the ball rolling with this rehabilitation effort. The next steps will deal with the legacy effect of all the sediment that went into the stream 15 to 20 years ago. I’m hoping to remove some of the sediment and further improve the stream habitat.” To view the video of this collaborative community project search for “Waikakahi Stream” on YouTube.

In the 1990s the Waikakahi Stream was a muddy bog

Lower Waitaki-South Coastal Canterbury Zone Committee chair Kate White discusses Waikakahi Stream progress with Cawthron Institute freshwater ecologist Robin Holmes

Mite-y fight against broom in the Clarence Broom gall mites are proving effective in the fight against broom along the upper reaches of the Clarence River in north Canterbury. The river is one of the most natural in New Zealand and provides a true wilderness experience for a wide range of recreation.

The mites are particularly useful when trying to destroy remote blocks of broom which are difficult to access. Steve and his team have used helicopters to drop broom branches infested with mite colonies into remote sites along the Clarence River.

The problem with broom is that it invades hillsides and river beds, reducing ecosystems for native birds (such as the endangered Black-fronted Tern) and other species.

“They’re ideal for large blocks of broom which won’t be sprayed and are difficult to access on foot. Using mites also reduces the amount of chemicals being used which is always good for the environment – particularly for areas near waterways.”

Environment Canterbury biosecurity advisor Steve Palmer says the microscopic mites which originate from France have become widespread since their release in 2008.

Local landowner and Kaikōura Zone Committee member John Murray says everyone in the community is excited about the potential breakthrough in controlling broom along the river.

“They form small colonies – about 1cm across – which look like warts on the branch. They attack small shoots and eventually stunt and kill the broom.”

“If these mites can stop the broom spreading along the river it could just turn the tide against broom. I’ve grown up with this river and it’s the last real wilderness river in the area. We must keep it pristine and preserve it for future generations.

Steve says the mites are now widespread throughout the Hanmer area and beyond. “I’ve seen the mites up the Waiau River. I’ve even seen them along roads near Ashburton.”

“The collaborative approach of working together with the community and Environment Canterbury is the only way forward.”

Steve Palmer among broom plants in the Clarence riverbed

Have your say – Annual Plan 2016/17 Environment Canterbury will continue with the work programmes we said we would undertake last year in the 2015-25 Long-Term Plan, with only minor changes. Last year, we consulted extensively on our 2015-25 Long-Term Plan, which outlined our plans to manage the region’s water, land and air for the next ten years – and the next three years in particular. There was a large community response to this consultation. Many views were taken on board and as a result some of our plans were amended. This year we are preparing an Annual Plan and we welcome your feedback on any of our work programmes and budgets,

and particularly those areas where minor changes are proposed. A discussion document summarises those activities we plan to do differently and can be found on our website at

While there are no significant or material differences to our work programme this year, your comments and questions on our plans are welcome between now and the end of April. Time is being set aside to hear your views and discuss them with you. If you or your organisation would like the opportunity to talk to us – via email, or to speak to our Commissioners in person – please contact, tell us what you’d like to discuss and make a time that suits.

Over the coming months we will also be engaging with organisations across the region which represent wide community interests – the region’s 10 other local authorities, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and its 10 Canterbury rūnanga, CERA and Regenerate Christchurch, the region’s district health boards, business interests such as the Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, and Canterbury representatives from the organisations most interested in our work. These include local divisions of Fish and Game, Forest and Bird, Federated Farmers, the Youth Council and Age Concern. Once everyone’s feedback has been received and taken on board, the 2016/17 Annual Plan will be adopted by a meeting of the Council in June.

Flock Hill managers protecting the environment Action on water quality The managers of high country Flock Hill Station and angling organisations have joined forces to protect a salmon spawning stream flowing from Lake Pearson into the Waimakariri River.

How to look after your backyard and local stream Everything we do in towns and cities can impact local streams and rivers. When it rains the water flows from roofs, footpaths, roads, carparks, and straight into the nearest stream – unfiltered. The flow picks up anything in the way – rubbish, leaves, sediment, dog poo – and dumps it into the nearest stream via the stormwater network. Here are some things all of us can do to keep your backyard and local stream clean.

Going beyond the rules, Richard and Anna Hill decided to write a farm environment plan for the whole 14,500-hectare property.

Sweep and pick up rubbish and leaves from in and around your property. Sort it and dispose of it appropriately depending on where you live – red or green bins if you live in an urban area, put organics in your compost pile, or use other waste bins.

As managers of a sensitive lake zone, they are required by the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan to prepare a plan for the Lake Pearson catchment. This will guide decisions such as how many sheep to run and which land could be cropped, grazed or retired without risking water quality. No increase in nitrogen leaching is allowed in Lake Pearson. It is very vulnerable to enrichment due to its small volume of water relative to the size of the catchment, and how long it stays there. Careful management is needed because this this can result in unsightly algae and aquatic plant blooms which affect fish and invertebrate habitats and make lakes unsuitable for swimming. It takes a long time for a degraded lake to recover so action is needed to protect water quality. Close to $170,000 has been spent on the stream project to protect the natural environment. The landowners and managers, the local community and the Canterbury Water Management Strategy Selwyn-Waihora Zone Committee are making this happen.

Wash your car on the grass where suds can soak into the soil and be absorbed. Or take your car to your local carwash where the wastewater is captured and dealt with appropriately. If you wash your car on the street the detergent may get into your local stream and cause pollution.

Keep the gutters and stormwater grate near your property clean – that includes sediment and mud which may clog up and kill everything in a small stream.

Flock Hill manager Richard Hill and Environment Canterbury’s Jodi Rees

When you take your dog for a walk pick up its poo and dispose of it appropriately. Pick up any pet poo around your property too and put it in your waste bin.

Have a look at for why all of this matters! The collaborative Canterbury Water Management Strategy is bringing people together to find solutions to local water quality challenges

If you are painting around your house make sure you wash the brush or roller either in the laundry sink or outside on the grass. Don’t wash it near any external drains or house gutters as they may link up with the stormwater network or your local stream.

Getting on board Public transport governance A new Joint Committee will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our public transport system. Environment Canterbury, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council, and Christchurch City Council have all agreed in principle to form a Joint Committee which will enable more aligned and integrated decision-making processes that will ultimately benefit our customers. The details of exactly how this will work are to be worked out by the chief executives of the four councils with support from NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry of Transport. This Joint Committee is expected to be in place by mid-year, but each council still needs to formally join the Committee before this happens.


Harbour user Victoria Moore and Environment Canterbury navigation safety officer Gary Manch

Consultation on Draft Navigation Safety Bylaw 2016 underway The Environment Canterbury Navigation Safety Bylaws 2010 were made to improve the safety of all people who use the waterways in Canterbury. These are being reviewed under section 158 of the Local Government Act 2002.

This reflects the rapidly changing nature of commercial shipping in Canterbury ports and harbours; h. amend reserved areas to only be on grounds of maritime safety.

A new Draft Canterbury Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2016 (draft Bylaw) has been prepared with its main focus being on recreational boating activities.

Inspection of documents

The draft Bylaw covers all inland waterways and coastal waters of the Canterbury region out to twelve nautical miles from shore. It aims to improve the safety of people who use these waterways.

Copies of the Statement of Proposal and draft Bylaw can be viewed online at or at the Environment Canterbury offices at: •

17 Sir Gil Simpson Drive, Christchurch

Using a Metrocard is the cheapest and most convenient way to travel by bus. It saves you at least 25 per cent on your trips compared to paying cash, and you don’t have to think about having the right change. It also caps the amount you pay daily and weekly. For example, if you only travel within Christchurch the maximum you will pay a day is $5 or $25 per week with all travel after this free. For more information check out

The draft Bylaw sets out safe practices for activities such as waterskiing, swimming, kayaking, boating; including safe practices for harbours and ports, moorings and anchorages.

73 Beach Road, Kaikōura

75 Church Street, Timaru

Key changes

Please note that our Christchurch office is relocating to 200 Tuam Street in April. Please visit our website to confirm our current location.

Heading into town

b. increase the use of maps as a result of pre-consultation feedback;

Environment Canterbury is urging residents to leave their cars at home and consider public transport as they move back into the central city for work.

c. remove maritime rules to prevent repetition with national maritime rules. The Harbourmaster can enforce directly from the national maritime rules;

With several businesses, including Environment Canterbury, moving into town, inner city employment is predicted to hit more than 47,000 jobs by 2021.

d. remove regional and district planning provisions to prevent duplication;

Prior to the 2010 earthquakes, the central city was home to 53,000 workers. This dropped by 23,500 workers between 2010 and 2012. Since the earthquakes there has been a decline in bus patronage, but Environment Canterbury staff are confident the number of people busing will increase with the number of people heading back into town for work. By 2041 it’s anticipated more than 63,000 people will work in Christchurch’s CBD.

The majority of the 2010 Bylaw will be carried over with amendments allowing for changing legislative requirements and feedback on potential improvements. However, the draft Bylaw should be viewed as an entirely new bylaw. Some of the key changes are listed below, for further information please refer to the Statement of Proposal. The draft Bylaw proposes to: a. c hange the layout and methodology to help achieve greater conformity of bylaws throughout the country;

e. i nclude compulsory identification of vessels. Pre-consultation feedback indicated that people wanted compulsory vessel identification, education and registration. Education and registration are being addressed at a national level;

Right to make a submission and be heard Any person or organisation can make a submission on the Draft Canterbury Regional Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2016 and the Council would recommend anyone with an interest to do so. Submission forms can be obtained from the Environment Canterbury website: or at the offices of Environment Canterbury. Alternatively you can submit using the online form found on the website. Submissions must be made in writing and may be emailed to: or posted to: Bylaw Review Environment Canterbury PO Box 345 Christchurch 8140 Submissions must be received by 5pm on 2 May 2016. Tips for making an effective submission can be found within the Statement of Proposal.



s treamline the mooring clauses so that they are more user-friendly and to provide greater clarity;


r emove bylaw clauses relating to commercial shipping in favour of regulation by way of Harbourmaster’s Directions.

A hearing will be held the week commencing 30 May 2016 for those who indicated on their submission that they wish to be heard. This summary of the Statement of Proposal has been prepared in accordance with section 83(1) of the Local Government Act 2002.

Rural broadband advanced for a fully connected Canterbury When Mayors talk with people across the region, they get the message: “Give us a fully connected Canterbury!” Consequently, the Mayoral Forum looked at ways of speeding up rural broadband for Canterbury. In December, Spark New Zealand announced it would bring forward its roll out of mobile broadband in Canterbury by two years. By the end of 2016, the $14 million upgrade will bring 4G mobile to over 70 cell sites, covering 96% of the places rural Cantabrians live and work. The Mayoral Forum worked with the digital services company to secure this result as an action in the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy ( Lead Mayor Damon Odey says, “Canterbury’s economy relies on its agricultural hinterland, and farming businesses rely on digital connectivity. Fast mobile broadband lets farmers tap into machineto-machine communications to track and monitor irrigation systems, nutrients, soil quality, stock, crops, horticulture and viticulture, all in real time.” Environment Canterbury Offices Christchurch PO Box 345 Christchurch 8140 P. 03 365 3828

ISSN: 1175-3528

Timaru 75 Church Street PO Box 550 P. 03 687 7800

“Connectivity is also vital for education, health and emergency services, tourism, manufacturing and value-added production,” Mayor Odey says. “It keeps us connected to friends and family elsewhere, lets us access government services online and saves us all time and money.” This is the first time Spark has partnered with local authorities in this way. Spark Managing Director Simon Moutter says, “We’ve been impressed by the way all the Canterbury councils are working together on economic development. This made it possible for us to take a whole-of-region approach to fasttracking our rollout of 4G.” Spark’s upgrade is now well underway. 4G will deliver speeds of up to 50 or even 100 megabits per second. To find out more, check whether 4G is available now at your address, or register interest in getting Rural Wireless Broadband when it does become available, go to

Announcing the roll out of 4G mobile: Mayor Damon Odey (Timaru District), Dame Margaret Bazley (Chair, Canterbury Mayoral Forum), Simon Moutter (Managing Director, Spark New Zealand)

Contact details Kaikōura 73 Beach Road PO Box 59 P. 03 319 5781

Online: Email: Customer Services: 0800 EC INFO Free phone: 0800 324 636 or Christchurch: 03 353 9007

Contact the Commissioners: 0800 COMMISSIONERS (0800 266 647) Metroinfo Chch: 03 366 8855

Businfo Timaru: 03 688 5544 Pollution Hotline: 03 366 4663 (inside Christchurch) (24 hours) Pollution Hotline: 0800 76 55 88 (outside Christchurch) (24 hours)

Civil defence: 03 366 2359 River & flood infoline: 0900 74837 (charges apply) 0900 RIVER River report: Riverflows: