How does ‘Integrated Management’ fit into the RPS?
Since the 2000 Regional Policy Statement was adopted, the political and cultural landscape has changed, most notably with the establishment of Vision and Strategy/Te Ture Whaimana. There has been increased collaborative planning of the built environment amongst Councils and key stakeholders, as well as a shift from managing issues based on single resources to better recognising issues that relate to more than one resource.
The Integrated Management chapter of the RPS has policies covering integrated approach, collaborative approach and tangata whenua. There are a number of methods in this chapter that cut across several work programmes. For example, Waikato Regional Council is taking a collaborative approach to resource management for the Healthy Rivers Plan Change and Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan (Sea Change) projects. It is also investigating opportunities for joint planning of the geothermal resource that crosses the boundary with Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Traditional approaches to resource management have sometimes failed to adequately recognise the inter-related nature of natural resources, and the different values ascribed to them. The RPS seeks to address this and, in doing so, to achieve effective and efficient resource management and value for money for those funding different activities.
Integrated management requires the adoption of a long-term strategic approach that recognises and accounts for natural processes, cumulative changes (climate change for example) and the basic principles that support life. The complex interactions between air, water, land and all living things, the needs of current and future generations, environmental, social, economic and cultural outcomes and the need to work with agencies, landowners, resource users and communities will all be considered.
Integrated management of resources: The RPS promotes an integrated, collaborative and holistic approach to resource management that looks beyond organisation or administrative boundaries. For example, it encourages local authorities to recognise and manage the coastal environment as an integrated unit and for regional and district plans to recognise and provide for the projected effects of climate change. It also recognises and provides for the relationship of Maori and their culture and traditions with their ancestral land, water, sites, wahi tapu and other taonga.
Tāngata Whenua: Councils will develop strategic and formal partnerships with iwi authorities enabling tāngata whenua to be involved with developing and implementing plans and strategies. Providing appropriate opportunities to express, maintain and enhance the relationship with rohe through resource management and other processes is key within the Integrated Management chapter.
Collaboration: There will be close collaboration with resource management agencies and other stakeholders, and ways in which local communities can get involved in monitoring the local environment will also be explored. Auckland and Waikato regions are already working collaboratively across the regional boundary on planning for growth and coordinating investment.
Regionally significant industry: The RPS recognises the important role of regionally significant industry and primary production to the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of people and communities. Some regionally significant industries provide an anchor to support other industries and communities within rural and urban settings. The RPS requires regional and district plans to identify regionally significant industry and provide for them subject to other provisions of the RPS, and for local authorities, the NZ Transport Agency and other infrastructure and industry organisations to collaborate in the provision of infrastructure and services.
Greg Morton, Team Leader for Science and Strategy (Policy Implementation).
“Waikato Regional Council values an integrated approach as it recognises the inter-connected nature of natural and physical resources. We are working to improve internal integration of work activities here at the regional council as well as integrating more effectively with external organisations. The complexity of the issues related to integrated management means we need to get alongside others to effectively address these. The benefits of this include identifying new opportunities or costs that might not otherwise be identified –examples include resource sharing initiatives, or highlighting duplication of effort.” Greg Morton, Team Leader for Science and Strategy. (Policy Implementation).