3 Statement of Service Performance for the Year Ended 30 June 2013

Introduction

To carry out our mission of ‘environmental stewardship for a prosperous New Zealand’, it is important for the Ministry to take a long-term view, so the capacity of the environment to generate benefits is maintained. The New Zealand economy relies heavily on natural resources. For New Zealanders to be prosperous, resources must be allocated efficiently to generate the most benefit while avoiding pollution and damage to the natural environment or public health.

Section 2 presented the Ministry’s Outcomes Framework which sets out the longer-term outcomes needed to ensure a healthy environment. It also identifies the impacts the Ministry wants to achieve in the shorter term as our contribution to these outcomes.

This section provides detailed information about:

  • what the Ministry is aiming to achieve under each of these outcomes
  • what progress has been made to date
  • what the Ministry has done to achieve its desired impacts
  • how much it has cost
  • how the Ministry has performed and whether we have met our performance targets in the current financial year.

picture of a child holding a twig over a stream

Outcome: New Zealand’s fresh water is well governed and sustainably managed to realise the maximum benefit possible for present and future environmental, cultural, social and economic values

Impact: Improve quality, flow and availability of fresh water through more effective management frameworks

What we are aiming to achieve

Fresh water is important to all New Zealanders – it is central to our environment, our economy, and our identity. For Māori, it is taonga, essential to life and identity.

In a world that is becoming increasingly resource-constrained, New Zealand is fortunate to have an abundant supply of fresh water – we have plenty of rainfall3 which recharges our streams, rivers, lakes and groundwater. Our water bodies support a rich array of flora and fauna, and are highly regarded for their recreational value.

However, New Zealand’s freshwater stocks are coming under increased pressure from greater demands caused by a growing population, increased land-use intensification, and climate change. While fresh water is replenishable, it is not unlimited and water shortages can occur. Rain does not always fall where and when it is needed, as evidenced in early 2013 when the North Island experienced its worst drought in nearly 70 years. Also, while the overall quality of our fresh water is good, this can vary around the country depending on local land use, climate and geology. In some places, urban pressures or poor land-use practices have caused some water bodies to become polluted. This can take many years and many taxpayer and ratepayer dollars to clean-up. Over allocation can also harm our economy as it creates uncertainty about whether the supplies are reliable which creates a significant barrier to investment.

To manage these pressures, New Zealand needs a freshwater management system that encourages collaboration and engagement between regional councils, communities, iwi, and resource users at the front end of the decision-making process rather than confrontation at the back end. We need a system where decision-makers have ready access to robust information about the impacts (economic, environmental and social) of the decisions they are considering. There also needs to be mechanisms to monitor, re-assess and adjust decisions in light of new information. Water users need more certainty about reliable water supplies so they can plan and invest. And most importantly, we need a system where decisions about allocating fresh water are based on what is best overall for the economy and the environment, rather than on a simplistic first-come-first-served basis.

Improving how we manage fresh water will secure and enhance the many benefits water brings to New Zealand’s environment, economy and our identity as New Zealanders.

What we did and how we performed this year

Output Class: Water Management Policy Advice

Fresh Start for Fresh Water Programme

Output: Provide advice to lead Ministers (responsible for Ministry of Primary Industries and Ministry for the Environment) on limit setting, governance and decision-making, allocation, and managing the effect of land use.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of Fresh Start for Fresh Water agreed deliverables that are completed within agreed timeframes 100% 82%

Key deliverables for 2012/13 include:

  • providing a response to recommendations made by the Land and Water Forum on how to manage to limits, including allocation of freshwater resources, and additional tools to manage the effects of land use on water
  • a series of studies with regional councils and key stakeholders to help councils and communities understand the potential kinds of economic and environmental impacts of the choices they may make in managing fresh water
  • supporting and monitoring progress by third parties of freshwater funding initiatives such as the Lake Taupo Protection Programme, the Rotorua Lakes Protection and Restoration Action Programme, and the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund
  • providing regular updates and advice to the Minister on progress on engagement with the Iwi Leaders Group advisors and facilitating engagement between Ministers and the Iwi Leaders Group.
Response to recommendations made by Land and Water Forum

The Land and Water Forum’s (LAWF’s) 2010 report paved the way for Government to establish the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and funds4 to support water body clean-up and irrigation infrastructure in 2011. LAWF was then commissioned to provide two more reports. The first of these was delivered in April 2012 and proposed key elements of a new approach, including a national framework for objective- and limit-setting and a process for collaborative regional planning and policy making. The second report was delivered in October 2012 and focused on tools for managing within limits and achieving freshwater objectives, including integrated catchment management, good management practice, allocation approaches and consenting.

In March 2013, the Government released a proposals paper based on the recommendations contained in the three LAWF reports. This paper outlined a clear path of reform ahead that will be addressed through a comprehensive and measured approach. Over 350 submissions were received on the proposals and about 2000 people attended more than 50 meetings and hui. There was broad support for the overall direction of the water reform proposals.

In July 2013, following consideration of the feedback through the consultation, the Government has confirmed the first stage of the freshwater reforms. These include:

  • the creation of a new freshwater collaborative planning option which will give communities and iwi a greater say in planning what they want for their local waterways and how they should be managed
  • improving the opportunities for iwi/Māori to engage in freshwater planning, regardless of whether councils choose to the collaborative option or the existing process.

These reforms are expected to be progressed through amendments to the Resource Management Act in a Bill to be introduced later this year.

The Ministry will continue to work on the other proposals released in March 2013 including the development of the National Objectives Framework, and detailed scientific work on populating the framework. The results of this work will be released for consultation before final decisions on the design and detail of the framework are made.

Economic impact studies for the Southland, Canterbury and Waikato regions

It is a significant challenge to assess the impacts of freshwater management decisions. In 2012/13, the Ministry commissioned a number of studies to help councils and communities understand the impacts of choices they make in managing fresh water from both economic and environmental perspectives. This work was a joint effort coordinated by the Ministry’s multi-agency Water Reform Directorate and involved several regional councils and sector organisations.

The studies focused on three regions – Southland, Canterbury and Waikato. Councils will be able to use these studies to assess the potential impacts of proposed rule and plan changes on all the possible uses and values they might consider for their water. The studies will also feed into central government’s understanding of potential impacts of different policy proposals to improve the way New Zealand manages water. Once completed, the information will be made freely available.

Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund

The Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund was established to help communities clean-up waterways that are affected by historical water quality issues. Under this fund, $13.985 million has been allocated to six projects under the Fresh Start for Fresh Water: New Initiatives appropriation. Of the $13.985 million that has been allocated, $5.484 million was spent by 30 June 2013. This Government funding has leveraged a further $33.2 million of investment by local government, industry and iwi. The Ministry is responsible for managing the fund on behalf of the Crown by supporting and monitoring the progress of the projects.

The following projects have been funded.

  • $6 million has been allocated for the Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere project for the restoration and rejuvenation of mauri and ecosystem health of Te Waihora. Of the $6 million allocated,
    $2.042 million was spent by 30 June 2013.
  • $5.2 million has been allocated for the remediation of the Manawatu River. Project activities include riparian planting and stream fencing, management plans for dairy farms, sewage treatment plant upgrades, and projects to include the community in the restoration. Of the $5.2 million allocated, $2.840 million was spent by 30 June 2013.
  • $1 million has been allocated to reverse the continuing degradation of wetlands in Wairarapa Moana. Project activities include landowner engagement and involvement, property assessments and environment plans, on farm works (riparian fencing, wetland enhancement, improving effluent, and fertiliser practice), and wetland hydrology improvement operations. Of the $1 million allocated, $330,000 was spent by 30 June 2013.
  • $800,000 has been allocated to remediate degraded water quality in Wainono Lagoon. Project activities include the fencing of riparian buffer zones, the installation of culverts, bridges, and alternative stock water sources at key sites, and planting native vegetation. Of the $800,000 allocated, $89,000 was spent by 30 June 2013.
  • $785,000 has been allocated for the emergency response of the clean-up at the Waituna Lagoon. The initial stage of this project is to prevent the lagoon from ‘flipping’ into a permanent eutrophic state. Project activities include rebuilding the slopes of the streams, constructing wetlands and sediment traps, and lagoon opening. Of the $785,000 allocated, $163,000 was spent by
    30 June 2013.
  • $200,000 has been allocated to reverse the long-term decline in water quality in Lake Brunner. Project activities include the establishment of a farm plan implementation fund to which landowners can apply, and establishing a community freshwater project fund. Of the $200,000 allocated, $20,000 was spent by 30 June 2013.

Overall, the projects are progressing well. For more information, refer to the Minister for the Environment’s section 32A5 report which is available on Parliament’s website.

The Ministry had intended to provide advice to Cabinet on the progress of the projects funded by the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Fund towards achieving their agreed outcomes by the end of May; however, this was delayed until September 2013.

Other Fresh Start for Fresh Water funding

The Ministry has also been managing a number of the Crown’s partnerships with councils and third parties on freshwater funding including the following.

  • Lake Taupo Protection Project: This is a partnership between the Crown, Waikato Regional Council, and Taupo District Council. The project will reduce the amount of manageable nitrogen entering the lake by 20 per cent by 2020. This equates to a total target reduction of 170 tonnes of nitrogen. Considerable progress has been made towards achieving this target. As at 30 June 2013, the project had completed nitrogen reduction agreements with landowners totalling 151 tonnes (or 88 per cent), towards the target. The target is expected to be reached in 2013/14 which places this project approximately five years ahead of its target.
  • Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme: This is a partnership between the Crown, Rotorua District Council, and Bay of Plenty Regional Council for the restoration of four priority lakes – Rotorua, Rotoiti, Rotoehu and Ōkareka. The aim of this programme is to work with iwi (Te Arawa) and councils to improve water quality in the short term, whilst implementing long-term measures for sustained water quality for future generations. To improve water quality, the programme is aiming for a 467 tonne reduction in nitrogen from the priority lakes and a 36.6 tonne reduction in phosphorus. As at May 2013, the programme had achieved a 181 tonne reduction in nitrogen and a 41.3 tonne reduction in phosphorus. Each year the Crown makes a contribution to the programme upon acceptance of the next year’s annual work programme, the previous year’s annual report and six monthly report. This did not happen in 2012/13 because, over the duration of the programme, an underspend of funds has accumulated. This is primarily due to planned interventions being deferred to a later date. The underspend will be used in the first instance to fund the programme before the Crown provides any additional funding.
  • Waikato River Clean-up Fund: This is a partnership between the Crown and the Waikato River Authority who administers the Waikato River Clean-up Fund. The Fund provides $220 million over 30 years on a contestable basis for the restoration and protection of the health and well-being of the Waikato River and its catchment for present and future generations. Since the establishment of the fund, there have been two funding rounds with $10.5 million being allocated to over 70 projects.6 The third funding round closed on 23 August with up to $7 million available.
Iwi Leaders’ and Iwi Advisors’ Groups for fresh water

The Ministry has continued to work with the Iwi Advisors Group on advice to Ministers and the Iwi Leaders Group on the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Programme. Recommendations on the role of iwi/Māori in freshwater management, and the rights and interests of Māori, will be developed as part of the broader work programme.

Quality of policy advice

As a policy ministry we take our role as a provider of quality policy advice very seriously. We assess the quality of our advice against a number of measures and our performance against those measures is reported on pages 73 to 74.

What it cost

The Ministry’s freshwater programme is funded by Departmental Output Class: Water Management Policy Advice under Vote Environment.

This output class is one of five output classes7 within Multi-class Output Appropriation: Improving Resource Management. All five output classes contribute to the outcome of strengthening and supporting New Zealand’s environmental systems so they can achieve the greatest overall environmental, economic and social benefits with a shared focus on improving resource management. However, Departmental Output Class: Water Management Policy Advice has a particular focus on improving the quality, flow and availability of fresh water through more effective management frameworks.

Vote Environment

Multi-class Output Appropriation: Improving Resource Management
Departmental Output Class: Water Management Policy Advice

This output class is limited to the provision of advice (including second opinion advice and contributions to policy advice led by other agencies) to support decision-making by Ministers on government policy matters about the quality, flow and availability of fresh water.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

5,687

Crown

7,844

5,949

8,054

342

Departmental

1,075

1,086

49

Other

57

48

6,078

Total revenue

8,976

5,949

9,188

6,078

Total expenses

8,902

5,949

9,188

Net surplus/(deficit)

74

 

The Ministry’s 2012/13 water management policy advice programme was delivered at a cost that was $286,000 less than Supplementary Estimates. This was partly due to a delay in completing the economic impact study for the Waikato region. Also, efficiencies were made by combining the public consultation processes for the freshwater and resource management reforms.

Also, the Ministry invested significantly more resources than originally forecast at Main Estimates to deliver on the most comprehensive reform of New Zealand’s freshwater management system for a generation. Significant additional outputs include a series of economic impact studies that will be used by central government, councils and communities to better understand the potential impacts of different freshwater management decisions.

Non-departmental funding

One of the Ministry’s functions under this impact is the administration of the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund (funded from the Fresh Start for Fresh Water: New Initiatives appropriation) on behalf of the Crown. The purpose of this funding is to provide financial assistance to third parties for the remediation of historically contaminated freshwater bodies. This fund was developed in response to the Land and Water Forum’s recommendations on improving the quality of fresh water.

The following table outlines the total amount of funding the Ministry has distributed on behalf of the Crown during 2012/13 under the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Programme.

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Appropriation8
2013
$000

Expenditure

1,430

Fresh Start for Fresh Water Fund: New initiatives

4,054

4,970

4,100

Fresh Start for Fresh Water: Rotorua Lakes Restoration Programme

8,200

8,200

10,010

Fresh Start for Fresh Water: Waikato River Clean-up Fund9

4,745

4,745

Hawke’s Bay Rivers Clean-up Fund

2,00010

Provision of a new water source for Rotorua

1,07511

15,540

Total expenditure

16,999

20,990

The six projects funded by the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund are progressing well. Based on scientific developments, the timeframe for some deliverables for the Te Waihora and Manawatu projects have been reassessed and deferred to 2013/14. These new timeframes have not affected the overall agreed timeframe for the projects.

As part of its other freshwater funding, the Crown has established the Hawke’s Bay Rivers Clean-up Fund to fund the clean-up of the Mohaka, Waikare and Waihua Rivers under the Ngāti Pahauwera settlement. Distribution of this funding is contingent on the signing of a deed of funding between the Crown, Ngāti Pahauwera, and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. As at 30 June 2013, the deed of funding had not been finalised. The deed of funding is expected to be finalised, and funding distributed, before the end of the calendar year.

To help negotiate the Ngāti Rangiwewehi settlement, the Crown agreed to make a limited one-off contribution (funded from the Provision of a new water source for Rotorua appropriation) to Rotorua District Council to help with the costs of locating and establishing an alternative water source to Taniwha Springs. This funding is only available if the Council agrees to fund the remaining costs. At 30 June 2013, the Council had not made that commitment.

The Lake Taupo Programme is funded through Multi-year Appropriation: Protecting Lake Taupo Programme. This multi-year appropriation began on 22 September 2010 and expires on 30 June 2015. After this multi-year appropriation expires, the programme will be funded from Non-Departmental Output Expense: Lake Taupo Protection Programme.

Appropriations, adjustments and use

$000

Total appropriation

10,668

Actual expenses to 2010/11 year end

Actual expenses to 2011/12 year end

4,829

Actual expenses to 2012/13 year end

3,688

Total actual expenses

8,517

Balance of appropriation remaining

2,151

Progress we have made towards achieving the outcome

The work of the Land and Water Forum has created a constituency for change. Subsequent policy is building an understanding of the elements required to measure change, and policy options for more effective management frameworks. We still have a great deal to do to achieve the impact.

The implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management recognises that freshwater management is a nationally significant issue that requires greater central government direction. It provides a consistent national regulatory framework to ensure there are clear limits to govern the allocation of water and management of water quality.

Also the establishment of the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund provided a more consistent framework for supporting river and lake clean-ups by providing a consistent set of eligibility/assessment criteria. It is anticipated that improvements to the management framework for fresh water will – over time – mitigate the need for ongoing legacy clean-ups.

The impact measures below will help us over time to understand how water quality and allocation is being managed. We also track trends in river water quality at sites that have been consistently monitored for some years.

1. Proportion of water allocated for consumptive purposes that is subject to measurement and reporting

Target: Increasing proportion
Results: Benchmark information provided (one data point only from 2010/11) – 31 per cent of water allocated for consumptive purposes is subject to measuring and reporting

In 2010, there were more than 20,500 resource consents for taking water, mainly for irrigation, hydro-electricity generation, public drinking water supply, industry, and stock watering. The total amount of water allocated for consumptive purposes in 2010 was 27 billion cubic metres.

The current result for this impact measure is that 31 per cent of the allocation is subject to measurement. This is based on resource consent data collected from regional councils in 2006 (confirmed as accurate in 2008) to inform development of the Resource Management (Measurement and Reporting of Water Takes) Regulations 2010. The regulations apply to resource consents that allow fresh water to be taken at a rate of five litres per second or more.

The regulations took effect on 10 November 2012, when all water take consent holders taking 20 litres per second or more were required to start measuring and recording their water takes. Water takes of 20 litres per second account for 92 per cent of the allocated volume of fresh water. Records from these water takes must be provided to regional councils in July 2013. This is the first major date for compliance with the regulations. As such, this information will be reported the following year from July 2014.

By November 2016, water takes covering 98 per cent of the allocated volume of fresh water will be required to be measured and reported on by consent holders.

2. Number of large surface water catchments that have quantified flow regimes in place that set limits

Target: Increasing number
Results: Benchmark information provided due to change in methodology (58 per cent of rivers and streams, 0 per cent12 of wetlands, and 4 per cent of lakes)

The National Policy Statement (NPS) for Freshwater Management was published in May 2011 and took effect on 1 July 2011. The NPS must be fully implemented as soon as reasonably practicable, or no later than 31 December 2030 (whichever is earlier). This measure provides a high level indication of regional plan and water conservation order (WCO) provisions as at the end of April 2013, that have flow regimes which set limits that reflect the definitions within the NPS.

The percentage of New Zealand’s total catchment surface area for each water body type where surface water quantity limits are set is included in the table below for rivers and streams, wetlands, and lakes.

 

Rivers and streams

Wetlands

Lakes

Quantity limits

%

Hectares

%

Hectares

%

Hectares

2012/13

58

15,401,438

0

5

6

23,812

While this is the third year data has been collected, a change in methodology in 2012/13 means the 2010/11 and 2011/12 data is not directly comparable. This year, the spatial extents of regional plan and WCO provisions were mapped and analysed with ArcMap GIS.13 This provides a more accurate figure of coverage than the previous approach which was based on large and significant14 catchments, which only covers approximately 85 per cent of New Zealand’s total catchment area. This year’s data reflects percentages of total catchment surface area in New Zealand. In addition, this methodology has enabled wetland and lake measures to be included.

There is no data currently available for groundwater as mapping and analysis is not possible. The three dimensional nature of groundwater systems means there is no national dataset for these water bodies.

3. Number of significant catchments that have quantified policy for land and water management that sets surface water quality limits

Target: Increasing number
Results: Benchmark information provided due to changes in methodology (4 per cent of rivers and streams, 18 per cent of wetlands, and 23 per cent of lakes)

Similar to measure two, this measure provides a high level indication of regional plan and WCO provisions as at the end of April 2013 that set surface water quality limits that reflect the definitions within the NPS.

The percentage of New Zealand’s total catchment surface area for each water body type where surface water quality limits are set is included in the table below for rivers and streams, wetlands, and lakes.

 

Rivers and streams

Wetlands

Lakes

Quality limits

%

Hectares

%

Hectares

%

Hectares

2012/13

4

1,046,251

24

59,017

18

69,445

 

The coverage of limits in measures two and three only represent those limits currently in place that reflect the definitions within the NPS and is not representative of all limits currently used to manage surface water quality or quantity.

4. Number of monitored sites showing maintained or improved water quality

Target: Increasing proportion of monitored sites improving
Results: Benchmark information provided (due to change in methodology)

(2012: Benchmark information provided (one data point only))

The graph below shows the proportion of river monitoring sites that have significantly improving or deteriorating water quality over the most recently available 10-year data record.15 It is based on monthly data collected from over 300 sites across the country by regional councils and NIWA. It should be noted that comparisons between the results reported below and the results reported in previous annual reports are difficult as there have been changes in the way the results are collected and analysed.

The previous methodology reported the proportion of 77 monitoring sites that show improving or deteriorating trends for total nitrogen concentration. There were two limitations with this methodology. Total nitrogen concentration is only one possible measure of water quality; and the 77 monitoring sites are not representative of New Zealand’s river environments with half being located in pristine areas. The new methodology provides a more holistic indicator of river condition as it combines more measures of water quality and uses the hundreds of monitoring sites operated by regional councils. The Ministry will continue to work with regional councils and NIWA to improve the monitoring network.

bar graph showing 10 year trend in river water quality

The graph shows the proportion of river monitoring sites that have significantly improving or deteriorating water quality against six parameters (total phosphorus, dissolved reactive phosphorus, bacteria (E. coli), ammonia, nitrate, and the Macroinvertebrate Community Index) over the most recently available 10-year data record. Overall, concentrations of the nutrients and bacteria we monitor are either stable or improving at most monitored river sites. However, nitrate concentrations are increasing in about a quarter of our sites. Macroinvertebrate condition showed no change at most sites, but declined in more places than it improved.

The parameters in the graph reflect three categories of river water quality measurement.

  1. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus which can stimulate weed and algal growth. If excessive, this may cause problems such as low aquatic oxygen levels when they decay.
  2. Bacteria (Escherichia coli concentration) which is an indicator of pathogens associated with faecal contamination. This may impact on domestic and native animals, as well as humans from the perspective of human health risk.
  3. Macroinvertebrates, which are small aquatic animals such as insects, worms and snails. These are affected by water quality and habitat changes and are a good biological indicator of the diversity and resilience of river ecosystems.

Overall, concentrations of the nutrients and bacteria we monitor are either stable or improving at most monitored river sites. However, nitrate concentrations are increasing in about a quarter of our sites. Macroinvertebrate condition showed no change at most sites, but declined in more places than it improved. A number of studies show strong correlations between deteriorating water quality and land-use intensification.

Trends were calculated by NIWA using the most recent data record available. In the majority of cases, trends in nutrients and bacteria reflect a 10-year period until December 2011, and macroinvertebrates until December 2010. Trends in river water quality are difficult to discern over short periods due to climactic influences and the amount of data required to establish statistically robust trends. We therefore need to use data which spans a number of years to assess trends. Due to the need for data collectors to process and quality assure their monitoring data, there is a time lag between the time the data are collected and when they are available for data users. Once we have obtained the data, we need to undertake analyses to identify where there are significant trends. We are working with data gatherers to reduce the lag through initiatives such as consistent data storage standards.

 

picture of auckland skyline

Outcome: New Zealand’s environmental management systems are strengthened and supported so that they can achieve the greatest overall environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits

New Zealand’s environmental management systems must maintain the environment’s capacity to generate benefits for succeeding generations. This does not imply an unaltered environment. It means natural resources should be allocated efficiently, used sustainably, and managed so the environment is not exposed to excessive risk.

As our contribution to this outcome there are four impacts the Ministry wants to achieve in the shorter term. These impacts are:

  • improve the resource management framework to manage environmental effects and allocate resources within environmental limits
  • reduce harm from chemical and biological hazards and from waste through more effective management frameworks
  • improve the relationship between the Ministry and Māori by negotiating and implementing fair, durable and fit-for-purpose deeds of settlement and environmental accords
  • achieve better solutions to environmental problems by supporting community involvement and action and international cooperation.

Each impact is reported separately below.

 

Impact: Improve the resource management framework to manage environmental effects and allocate resources within environmental limits

What we are aiming to achieve

Effective resource management is critically important to New Zealand’s current and future economic, environmental, cultural and social well-being. Resource decisions need to ensure our natural and built resources are used and protected in a way that meets our needs now and into the future.

The Resource Management Act (RMA) is now 22 years old. While it was an innovative approach at the time, the outcomes delivered are now failing to meet New Zealander’s expectations. The Government continues to hear concerns that resource management processes are cumbersome, costly and time-consuming, and that the system is uncertain, difficult to predict, and highly litigious. It is also discouraging investment and innovation.

New Zealand can do a much better job of managing its natural and built resources and planning for the needs of its communities. To do this, New Zealand needs a resource management framework that is easy to use, provides certainty and predictability, and reduces unnecessary duplication and cost.

The Government has already embarked on a multi-phase programme of resource management reform. The first phase included streamlining and simplifying the RMA. The 150 amendments made contributed to the number of late consents being reduced by 10,000 a year. Also, the Environmental Protection Authority was established to enable the efficient processing of major projects of national significance.

The next phase of reforms involves looking for further improvements to the RMA to improve our resource management system more broadly. The new resource management system must provide greater confidence for businesses to grow and create jobs, greater certainty for communities to plan for their area’s needs, and stronger environmental outcomes as our communities grow and change.

What we did and how we performed this year

Output Class: Resource Management Policy Advice

Resource management reforms

Output: Advise on resource management reform, with a focus on improving: consent process, plan structure and content, plan-making process, and council performance.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
New measure Percentage of agreed deliverables in relation to resource management reform, focusing on resource management frameworks for planning and decision-making, that are completed within agreed timeframes 100% 100%

During 2012/13, the Ministry continued to develop options for the second phase of resource management reforms. In February 2013, the Ministry released a discussion document16 that contained proposals for improvements to the RMA across planning, consenting and appeals. The reform package questioned the respective decision-making roles of central and local government, and that of the court system, and considered how processes can be more proportionate to the activities involved. It also encouraged more proactive planning for community needs upfront, rather than the consent-by-consent planning that has been occurring in some places.

Following the release of the discussion document, over 13,000 submissions were received and about 2000 people attended more than 50 meetings and hui. A summary of submissions is available on the Ministry’s website: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/rma/reform/phase-two/index.html

Following consultation, on 10 August 2013 Ministers announced a package of proposed reforms. A Bill to enact these proposed reforms is expected to be introduced later this year.

National instruments

Output: Advise on possible national environmental standards and national policy statements and, (subject to Cabinet approval) develop and implement.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
83% Percentage of agreed deliverables in relation to national instruments under the Resource Management Act 1991 that are completed within agreed timeframes 100% 100%

In 2012/13, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the National Environmental Standard (NES) for Telecommunications Facilities was undertaken. The purpose of the NES was to provide a nationally consistent planning framework for radiofrequency fields of all telecommunication facilities on road reserves that have low environmental impact. Ministers are still considering the outcome of this evaluation.

Under the wider resource management reforms, a framework is being developed to clarify when and how national instruments will be used in the future and which subject areas will be a priority. Until this framework has been completed, all work on new national instruments has been put on hold.

Improving environmental reporting

Output: Provide advice on improving environmental reporting so that reporting is credible and provides an integrated picture of environmental and economic performance.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of agreed deliverables to support the drafting and parliamentary process for the Environmental Reporting Bill that are completed within agreed timeframes 100% 0%
New measure Advice provided on options for improving environmental reporting, in accordance with the Ministry’s quality policy advice standards March 2013 Achieved

During 2012/13, the Ministry has been providing advice on proposals for legislation that will ensure New Zealanders have access to comprehensive environmental information that is easy to understand, independent and relevant. No Cabinet policy decision was made on these matters in 2012/13, therefore drafting and parliamentary legislative processes were unable to proceed. However, on 5 August 2013, Cabinet agreed to introduce an Environmental Reporting Bill before the end of 2013. The key elements of the proposed Bill are to:

  • establish an environmental reporting system that provides comprehensive information on five key environmental domains – air, climate and atmosphere, fresh water, marine and land, with biodiversity as a theme across all domains
  • require the Secretary for the Environment and the Government Statistician to undertake regular environmental reporting, at arms’ length from the government of the day, on a three-year cycle
  • give the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment a legislative mandate to provide expert commentary and independent opinion on the quality of the underlying data and robustness of the analysis, as well as the substance of the report and any concerns it may raise.

To ensure the environmental information to be contained in the report is robust, balanced and credible, the Ministry has:

  • introduced an amendment to section 36017 of the Resource Management Act 1991, currently before Parliament, to allow regulations to be made requiring local authorities to monitor the environment according to specific methodologies
  • proposed improvements including:
    • clarifying roles and responsibilities for environmental reporting to ensure timely and consistent delivery of information
    • improving the environmental reporting framework to provide a coherent picture of New Zealand’s environment, integrating biophysical values with economic, social and cultural values
    • working with data providers such as regional councils and Crown research institutes to improve the quality of data that makes up the indicators.

While this work has been progressed, the Ministry has continued to release regular environmental indicator updates.18

Monitoring of the Environmental Protection Authority

Output: Monitor the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) by reviewing accountability documents and providing advice to the Minister on those documents, including quarterly reports, statements of intent and annual reports.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of agreed deliverables in relation to monitoring relevant Crown entities that are completed within agreed timeframes 100% 100%

In 2012/13, the Ministry has been advising the Minister on the EPA’s organisation leadership, capability, financial performance, and progress towards achieving its agreed output measures.

Since its establishment in 2011, the EPA has made good progress as it implements its new strategic plan. It has also continued to embed new functions under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act and compliance under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. Overall, the Ministry considers that the EPA has performed well during the year and there are no significant risks or issues.

Output Class: Resource Management Implementation

Statutory functions under the RMA

Output: Assist Ministers with their statutory functions under the Resource Management Act.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of demand driven requests for Resource Management Act processes that the Ministry has responsibility for that are completed within statutory timeframes 100% No requests were received during 2012/13
New measure19 Percentage of demand driven requests for Resource Management Act processes that the Ministry has responsibility for and do not have statutory timeframes, that are completed within other agreed timeframes 100% 78%

The Ministry assists Ministers with their statutory functions under the Resource Management Act. Some of these functions have statutory timeframes which must be met, while others have non-statutory timeframes which are either agreed with Ministers or agreed internally.

In 2012/13, the Ministry assisted Ministers with the following.

  • Assessment of applications for requiring authority status. These functions do not have a statutory timeframe; however, the Ministry has a 65 day internal key performance indicator for processing these applications, excluding periods when awaiting further information. During the year, the Ministry received a higher number of requiring authority applications than is usual and therefore was only able to process 75 per cent (or six of eight) applications within the agreed timeframe.
  • Providing advice, in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Authority, on six nationally significant proposals or applications for nationally significant proposals within the required timeframes.
  • Providing advice on an application by TrustPower to amend the National Water Conservation (Rakaia River) Order 1998, and on the Environment Court’s report and recommendations on the special tribunal’s report on the application to amend the Kawarau Water Conservation Order. In both cases, advice was provided to Ministers within the non-statutory agreed timeframe of 25 working days after receiving the report and recommendation from Environment Canterbury (in the case of the TrustPower application) and from the Environment Court (in the case of the application to amend the Kawarau Water Conservation Order).

In 2012/13, the Ministry expected to complete two regulation changes. Consultation on amendments to the Resource Management (Marine Pollution) Regulations has been undertaken but, due to the focus on resource management reform, the completion of these amendments has been delayed. Also, an amendment to the Resource Management Forms, Fees and Procedure Regulations to bring in the new Environment Court fees as agreed as a result of the Civil Fees Review was planned. This amendment has been deferred until changes can be made to the regulation powers to provide for fee waiver criteria which will be progressed through the 2013 Resource Management Reform Bill.

RMA best practice

Output: Supporting improvements to the resource management framework through effective implementation, including the provision of advice, guidance and training to support legislative reform and the management of resource management practice programmes (Making Good Decisions Programme, Quality Planning Guidance, and the Urban Design Protocol).

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
Achieved The Making Good Decisions Programme is delivered in accordance with the licence agreement Achieved Achieved
New measure Making Good Decisions Programme – appointment of new licensee by December 2012 Achieved Achieved

The Making Good Decisions Programme, established in 2006, is a training, assessment and certification programme for Resource Management Act (RMA) decision-makers. The programme provides councillors, community board members, and independent commissioners with the skills they need to run fair and effective hearings, and to make informed decisions.

In 2012/13, the Ministry has made changes to the delivery of the programme. The most significant change is the appointment of a new licensee. From 2013, the Making Good Decisions Programme has been delivered by Opus Environmental Training Centre. Opus was originally derived from the New Zealand Ministry of Works and Development and has more than 50 years’ experience delivering environmental education and applied training.

From 12 September 2014, all members of hearing panels must be accredited. Certification under the programme is the only way hearing panels can meet the accreditation requirements. Therefore, the course material has been thoroughly reviewed and updated. The material now incorporates changes in practice and case law.

Indicator reporting

Output: Produce regular environmental statistics, reports and surveys.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
13%

1 statistic released (Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
Percentage of agreed deliverables in relation to producing public information including reports, statistics and surveys are completed within agreed timeframes 100%

(4 statistics)
100%

(6 statistics)

In 2012/13, the Ministry released four domain indicator updates.

  • Air Quality (PM 10). This indicator provides information on concentrations of PM10 in managed airsheds.
  • Levels of stratospheric ozone. This indicator provides information on concentrations of stratospheric ozone (average yearly ozone levels) over New Zealand.
  • Recreational water quality. This indicator provides information on health risks associated with swimming at monitored swimming spots in rivers, streams and lakes. This indicator was later updated by the release of the ‘Suitability for Swimming’ indicator. This indicator gives each monitored site around New Zealand a ‘Suitability for Recreation Grade’. These grades range from ‘very good’ to ‘very poor’. A schedule of the monitored sites and their grades are available on the Ministry’s website: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/environmental-reporting/fresh-water/suitability-for-swimming-indicator/suitability-swimming-indicator.html.
  • Marine areas with legal protection. This indicator provides information on Marine Protected Areas, and reports on the proportion of our territorial sea and coastal biogeographic regions protected by marine reserves.

The Ministry also released two pressure indicator updates.

  • Household consumption expenditure. This indicator provides information on household consumption expenditure in seven expenditure categories including food and beverages, housing, transport, and other goods and services.
  • Solid waste disposal. This indicator provides information on the quantity (by weight) of solid waste sent to landfill.

These updates, as well as the Ministry’s full set of national environmental indicators, can be viewed on the Ministry’s website: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/environmental-reporting/about-environmental-reporting/national-environmental-indicators/environmental-indicators/index.html.

Output Class: Marine Environment Policy Advice

Exclusive Economic Zone

Output: Advise on the Exclusive Economic Zone, including supporting a Bill through the drafting and parliamentary process.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of agreed deliverables to support the drafting and parliamentary process for the EEZ Bill completed within agreed timeframes 100% 100%

New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is the area of sea and seabed that extends from 12 nautical miles off the cost to 200 nautical miles. Together with our continental shelf, its area is about 20 times the size of our land mass, making it one of the largest EEZs in the world. This zone not only supports highly diverse marine ecosystems and species, but also provides New Zealand with significant economic opportunities through fishing, petroleum mining and shipping. It also connects us to the rest of the world through undersea telecommunication cables, and ships and aircraft passing through the zone.

While the Resource Management Act 1991 regulates activities on land and in the territorial sea out to 12 nautical miles, there has been limited ability to regulate activities beyond 12 nautical miles. This gap in New Zealand’s environmental management regime was filled when the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act was passed in September 2012. The Act and regulations came into effect 28 June 2013. Under these regulations, seismic surveying, marine scientific research, submarine cabling, prospecting and exploration for petroleum and minerals, excluding drilling for petroleum are classified as permitted. However, drilling for petroleum and mining for minerals are classified as discretionary activities and parties will need to apply for a marine consent from the Environmental Protection Authority before embarking on these activities.

The Ministry is developing proposals on a second tranche of regulations for discharges, dumping and exploratory drilling. Consultation on these proposals is expected to occur before the end of the calendar year.

Quality of policy advice

As a policy ministry we take our role as a provider of quality policy advice very seriously. We assess the quality of our advice against a number of measures and our performance against those measures is reported on pages 73 to 74.

Progress we have made towards achieving the outcome

National environmental standards (NESs) are a key tool for central government to provide direction to local government. The Ministry monitors the implementation of NESs to assess whether they are effective. The first of these standards dealt with air quality and has been in place long enough for trends to be seen.

Under the resource management reforms, a framework is being developed to clarify when and how national instruments, including NESs, will be used in the future and which subject areas will be a priority. Once the framework has been developed, local government (as well as the business and industry sectors) will have greater clarity and direction on the national priorities and the future policies and rules they are likely to face. Until this framework is completed, all work on new national instruments (NESs and national policy statements) is on hold.

We also monitor local government performance across a number of RMA processes to ensure they are complying with statutory requirements and recommended good practice. For further information on the biennial survey, see http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/annual-survey/.

The Government has undertaken a number of initiatives to ensure consistent high performance among local authorities, including the improvement of accountability measures and the introduction of a National Monitoring System which may eventually replace the biennial survey.

1. The National Environmental Standard for Air Quality (PM10 fine particulate pollution) is complied with by the target dates in the Standard

Target: 100 per cent compliance by 2020
Results: Static level of compliance overall / 100 per cent compliance against 2011 target

(2012: Static level of compliance overall / 100 per cent compliance against 2011 target)

Compliance with the NES will reduce air pollution. The revision of the National Environmental Standard in 2011 set three dates for when airsheds20 need to comply with the standard – 2011, 2016 and 2020. In 2011, all 16 airsheds required to comply with the National Environmental Standard by 2011 did so. Of the other 27 airsheds monitored in 2011, five airsheds experienced air quality that would have complied with their future standard.

The proportion of non-polluted airsheds (airsheds that complied with the standard, regardless of when they are required to comply) between 2007 and 2011 has remained relatively constant. Data for 2012 is not available until October 2013 and will be reported in the Ministry’s Annual Report for 2013/14.

Year Airsheds monitored Polluted airsheds Non-polluted airsheds Airsheds compliant with the NES

2011

43

22 (51%)

21 (49%)

16 (100%)

2010

44

22 (50%)

22 (50%)

2009

44

25 (57%)

19 (43%)

2008

43

26 (60%)

17 (40%)

2007

40

23 (58%)

17 (42%)

2. Trends in EPA and local government compliance with resource consent processing times under the RMA 1991

Target: Upward trend (councils) / 100 per cent (EPA)
Results: Upward trend (councils) / 100 per cent (EPA)

(2012: Upward trend (councils) / 100 per cent21 (EPA))

Compliance with statutory resource consent timeframes by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) during 2012/13 was 100 per cent.

The table below shows the trend in local authority compliance with mandatory resource consent processing timeframes under the Resource Management Act over the past five surveys of local authorities. The survey carried out in 2010/11 was deferred to a year later than scheduled to capture the effects of the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Act, which took effect on 1 October 2009. Succeeding surveys will continue to occur every two years until the proposed national monitoring system to monitor the implementation of the RMA is in place.

Trend 2001/02 2003/04 2005/06 2007/08 2010/11
Local authority compliance with mandatory resource consent processing times under the Resource Management Act 82% 77% 73% 69% 95%

The 2012/13 Resource Management Act Survey of Local Authorities and the 2012/13 Survey of the EPA is currently underway. Information on resource processing timeframes will be available in November 2013 and will be reported in the Ministry’s 2013/14 Annual Report. One of the key objectives of the resource management reforms is to reduce processing times for consents and it is expected that, over time, we should see consistently high levels of compliance with statutory resource consent timeframes.

The Ministry is investigating options for a National Monitoring System which may replace the surveys of local authorities and the EPA. This system will improve the consistency and timeliness of information provided by local councils on the implementation of the Resource Management Act (RMA). It would include metrics on the costs, time, levels of engagement, and good practices across a number of key RMA processes and national tools.

What it cost

The Ministry’s resource management and EEZ work programmes are funded by output classes from within Multi-class Output Appropriation: Improving Resource Management.

This multi-class output appropriation was established from 2011/12 as a result of a restructure of Vote Environment. It comprises five output classes that contribute to the outcome of strengthening and supporting New Zealand’s environmental systems so they can achieve the greatest overall environmental, economic and social benefits with a shared focus on resource management. Of these five appropriations, three22 contribute to the Ministry’s aim of improving the resource management framework to manage environmental effects and allocate resources within environmental limits:

  • Departmental Output Class: Resource Management Policy Advice
  • Departmental Output Class: Resource Management Implementation
  • Departmental Output Class: Marine Environment Policy Advice.

Vote Environment

Multi-class Output Appropriation: Improving Resource Management

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

16,144

Total revenue

13,857

15,053

14,422

Expenses

7,793

Resource management policy advice

6,253

7,125

6,764

6,650

Resource management implementation

6,121

6,298

6,402

1,701

Marine environment policy advice

1,268

1,630

1,256

16,144

Total expenses

13,642

15,053

14,422

Net surplus/(deficit)

215

Departmental Output Class: Resource Management Policy Advice

This output class is limited to the provision of advice (including second opinion advice and contributions to policy advice led by other agencies) to support decision-making by Ministers on government policy matters relating to the management of natural and physical resources in New Zealand.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

7,528

Crown

6,272

7,125

6,712

174

Departmental

11

20

91

Other

47

32

7,793

Total revenue

6,330

7,125

6,764

7,793

Total expenses

6,253

7,125

6,764

Net surplus/(deficit)

77

 

The Ministry’s 2012/13 resource management policy advice work programme was delivered at a cost that was $511,000 less than Supplementary Estimates. This was due to a number of factors. There have been delays in the independent audit of the Auckland Council’s Section 3223 evaluation of the Auckland Unitary Plan. This is now expected to be completed in October 2013. The Ministry had also expected to require more legal support (including drafting support) than it has. The level of legal support will increase in 2013/14 as the resource management reform legislation is developed through to introduction of the Bill. Also, efficiencies were made by combining the public consultation processes for the resource management and freshwater reforms.

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $7.124 million. During the year, the timeframes for the reform work programme were reassessed and the budget adjusted accordingly.

Departmental Output Class: Resource Management Implementation

This output class is limited to the implementation of tools, frameworks and institutions, and provision of advice, support, information, and guidance to the public, practitioners and wider natural resource sector in relation to resource management policy and practices.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

6,438

Crown

6,125

6,298

6.313

142

Departmental

52

67

70

Other

27

22

6,650

Total revenue

6,204

6,298

6,402

6,650

Total expenses

6,121

6,298

6,402

Net surplus/(deficit)

83

 

The Ministry’s 2012/13 resource management implementation work programme was delivered at a cost that was $281,000 less than Supplementary Estimates. This is primarily due to delays in preparing guidance on the changes to Section 32 of the Resource Management Act due to protracted contract negotiations.

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $6.298 million. During the year, this was increased due to reprioritisation from other work programmes to cover costs associated with assisting the Minister with Resource Management Act statutory functions. In 2012/13, the Ministry has received a higher number of requiring authority applications than is usual and additional resources were needed to help process these applications.

Departmental Output Class: Marine Environment Policy Advice

This output class is limited to the provision of advice (including second opinion advice and contributions to policy advice led by other agencies) to support decision-making by Ministers on government policy matters relating to the marine environment.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

1,642

Crown

1,315

1,630

1,246

38

Departmental

3

6

21

Other

5

4

1,701

Total revenue

1,323

1,630

1,256

1,701

Total expenses

1,268

1,630

1,256

Net surplus/(deficit)

55

 

The Ministry’s 2012/13 marine policy advice work programme was delivered at a cost that was $12,000 more than Supplementary Estimates. This output class is part of Multi-class Output Appropriation: Improving Resource Management. Parliamentary authority is given at multi-class output appropriation level rather than at individual output class level.

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $1.630 million. During the year, this was reduced due to the reprioritisation of resources to Departmental Output Class: Water Management Policy Advice to help progress the freshwater reforms.

Non-departmental funding

The Ministry is the monitoring department for the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) therefore the appropriations for the EPA’s operating funding are under the Ministry’s Vote – Vote Environment.

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Appropriation24 2013
$000

Expenditure

2,000

EPA establishment costs (one-off)

9,594

Capital contribution to the EPA (one-off)

Environmental Protection Authority: Regulatory functions multi-class output appropriation:

4,550

Supporting environmental management

4,346

4,346

16,144

Total expenditure

4,346

4,346

Functions carried out by the EPA that are funded by ‘Supporting environmental management’ contribute to the improving the resource management framework to manage environmental effects and allocate resources within environmental limits.

 

Impact: Reduce harm from chemical and biological hazards and from waste through more effective management frameworks

What we are aiming to achieve

New Zealand, like other countries, is exposed to hazards that can be potentially damaging to our health, well-being, or prosperity. These hazards can include risks from using, handling, transporting, storing, or disposing of hazardous substances inappropriately, as well as risks from introducing new plants, animals or micro-organisms into the environment. However, if managed well, many of these substances or organisms can help us achieve important economic goals and improve our well-being.

Our environment can also become contaminated from the unwise use and disposal of hazardous substances in industrial processes and from accidents (such as the grounding of the Rena container ship). New Zealand has government agencies and laws that help prevent contamination or remediate the environment after contamination has occurred.

The Ministry ensures management frameworks designed to protect people and the environment from environmental risks are effective, without unnecessarily constraining economic growth.

The Ministry is party to multilateral environmental agreements that help manage the risks posed by certain hazardous substances, hazardous waste, and new organisms. Participation in these agreements offers advantages to New Zealand’s trading environment (for example, consistency of classification and labelling) and management of environmental hazards.

Waste indicates that we are not using resources efficiently. The more inefficient the manufacturing process is, the more waste is created. Encouraging producers, brand owners, importers, retailers, consumers and other parties to accept responsibility for the environmental effects of their products – from the time they are produced until they are disposed of – creates business opportunities for New Zealand companies to develop innovative product design, efficient manufacturing, and resource recovery technologies.

Once created, waste is a problem to get rid of. Product stewardship means resources are used more efficiently and responsibly and therefore disposal, whether through recycling, reuse or landfill, is much less of a problem.

What we did and how we performed this year

Output Class: Environmental Hazards and Waste Policy Advice

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996

Output: Provide advice on New Zealand’s chemical and biological risk management framework.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
50% Percentage of agreed deliverables in relation to the chemical and biological risk management framework that are completed within agreed timelines 100% 100%

In June 2012, the Environmental Protection Authority released the findings of a survey that provided a snapshot of compliance levels over a cross-section of New Zealand businesses that handle hazardous substances.25 Four hundred businesses were surveyed on their compliance against eight key Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act controls.26 The findings showed that only 25 per cent of the businesses surveyed were fully compliant with the eight controls examined. Thirty per cent of those responsible for hazardous substances management on site had never heard of HSNO, or had heard of it but didn’t know much about it. Non-compliance contributes to between 440 and 680 deaths per year from chronic exposure to hazardous substances.

The Ministry has been reviewing the effectiveness of the HSNO Act. It has been considering improvements to the policy framework for hazardous substances such as:

  • simplifying the controls
  • providing appropriate enforcement tools
  • ensuring a robust testing certification system
  • reducing duplication of resource management and HSNO legislative requirements
  • improving monitoring of the HSNO regime.

Appropriate legislative requirements to enable these improvements are expected to be considered by Cabinet early in 2014.

The Ministry also contributed to the response to the report by the Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety. The Taskforce was established in June 2012 to evaluate whether the workplace and safety system in New Zealand was fit for purpose. The Taskforce made a recommendation to transfer the regulation of the use of hazardous substances in the workplace under the HSNO Act to new workplace health and safety legislation. The Ministry is assessing how such a transfer could work, and the impacts of doing this. The proposals are expected to be considered by Cabinet early in 2014.

The Ministry has been working with the Environmental Protection Authority and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to identify priority actions within the short term to reduce workplace harm. The first initiative released was the Hazardous Substances Toolbox. This multi-media toolbox includes both print and online tools designed specifically to help small businesses comply with HSNO safety controls such as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and rules around proper storage of hazardous substances. Later this year, the EPA will launch a three-year campaign to raise public awareness about safely managing hazardous substances both at home and at work.

Output Class: Waste Minimisation Administration

Administration of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008

Output: Advise on and administer the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, including collecting and distributing the Waste Disposal Levy.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of instances when successful action is taken against disposal facility operators who have outstanding levy payments (over 120 days) 100% No action required to be taken
New measure Percentage of Waste Minimisation Fund applications that proceed through Stage 2 (project planning and deed negotiation) in under 10 weeks per round (standard term: 50 working days) 75% This measure was replaced by the measure immediately below through the Supplementary Estimates process
New measure Percentage of projects for the Waste Minimisation Fund that proceed through Stage 2 in under 18 weeks per round (standard term: 90 working days) – from decision to signed project plan 75% 69%

(11 out of 16 projects)
100% Percentage of applications provided to the Waste Minimisation Fund panel that meet eligibility criteria per round 100% 100%

The aim of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 is to encourage waste minimisation and decrease waste disposal in New Zealand. To help achieve this, the Act:

  • imposes a levy of $10 per tonne of waste disposed of at landfills. Fifty per cent of the money generated by this levy goes to territorial authorities, on a per head of population basis, to help them minimise waste in their area. The remaining levy money (minus administration costs recovered by the Ministry) is put into a waste minimisation fund, to fund waste minimisation activities around New Zealand
  • helps, and where necessary makes, producers, brand owners, importers, retailers, consumers, and other parties take responsibility for their products through product stewardship schemes
  • allows for regulations to be made making it mandatory for certain groups (for example, landfill operators) to report on waste to improve information on waste minimisation
  • clarifies the waste minimisation roles and responsibilities of territorial authorities
  • establishes the Waste Advisory Board to give independent advice to the Minister for the Environment on waste minimisation issues.

Collection of the Waste Disposal Levy

The Ministry is responsible for collecting the Waste Disposal Levy imposed on all landfill operators under the Act. The purpose of the levy is to create funding opportunities for waste minimisation initiatives and provide an economic incentive to polluters to change their behaviour. In 2012/13, $25.820 million of levy funding was collected.

Waste Minimisation Fund

The purpose of the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) is to fund projects that increase resource efficiency, increase reuse, recovery and recycling, and decrease waste to landfill.

Since the establishment of the fund in 2008, $43 million has been allocated to 83 projects with an estimated 33,000 tonnes27 of waste having been diverted from landfill from projects already completed. To ensure the success of funded projects, the Ministry provides support to successful applicants through all phases, from project planning and deed negotiation through to assessment of milestones and payments, and responding to general enquiries.

When supporting applicants through the project planning phase, the Ministry aims to progress at least 75 per cent of projects through Stage 2 (from decision to signed project plan) in under 18 weeks per funding round. In 2012/13, only 69 per cent of projects progressed to signed project plan within that timeframe. In some cases this was due to complex negotiations over intellectual property, or applicants negotiating contracts with suppliers before finalising the project plan.

Examples of significant projects being funded from the WMF include the following.

  1. The TV TakeBack Programme. This programme aims to divert up to 320,000 televisions from going to landfill by partnering with recyclers, retailers, producers and councils to provide a nationwide network of collection and recycling services. It is also expected to lay the foundation for a more permanent solution for electronic waste. The roll-out of the programme has coincided with the digital switchover in each region. At 30 June 2013, 93,037 televisions had been collected and 1,488 tonnes of waste diverted from landfills.
  2. Red Zone Household Hazardous Waste Management Programme. This programme is run in partnership with Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, and Waimakariri District Council. A mobile service collects hazardous waste from red zone properties before demolition. More than 360 tonnes of hazardous waste is expected to be collected by the time the programme is completed by the end of 2013. At 30 June 2013, 252 tonnes of hazardous waste had been collected.

The latest funding round for the Waste Minimisation Fund closed on 16 July 2013. Applicants will be notified whether their application has been successful in October 2013.

For more information on the projects being funded see the Ministry’s website: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/waste-minimisation-fund/.

Output Class: Waste Management and Minimisation

Product stewardship

Output: Advise on product stewardship schemes and monitor accredited product stewardship schemes.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
0% Percentage of advice to the Minister on accreditation of product stewardship schemes completed within agreed timelines 100% 100%
New measure An increase in the number of voluntary product stewardship schemes that are awarded accreditation from the Minister for the Environment Upward trend This measure was replaced by the measure immediately below through the Supplementary Estimates process
New measure Assess progress reports from accredited schemes against agreed objectives and targets, and provide a publicly available update of progress 30 June 2013 (as and when reports are received) Achieved
New measure Investigate options for mandatory producer responsibility for televisions 31 October 2012 Not achieved

Product stewardship is a tool that encourages producers, brand owners, importers, retailers, consumers and other parties to take responsibility for the environmental effects of their products throughout each product’s lifecycle. Mitigating the environmental effects a product can have throughout its lifecycle can mean resources are used more efficiently and responsibly and the product’s end-of-life impacts are minimised.

Under the Waste Minimisation Act, product stewardship schemes can apply for formal accreditation which means that their scheme is recognised and endorsed by the Government. The Ministry is responsible for assessing these applications and, once accredited, monitoring their progress against their objectives and targets. To date eight voluntary schemes have received accreditation. A further five voluntary schemes are in the accreditation process. More information on these product stewardship schemes is available on the Ministry’s website: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/waste/product-stewardship/accredited-schemes-in-nz.html.

As well as encouraging voluntary product stewardship, the Ministry has been investigating options for mandatory producer responsibility. Initially the Ministry intended to investigate options for mandatory producer responsibility for televisions; however, the Ministry delayed this work to seek the Waste Advisory Board’s advice as to which products should be ‘first cabs off the rank’. A ‘Willingness to Pay’ study was commissioned to assess if public concern about end-of-life products28 would translate into a willingness to pay for diversion from landfills. The Minister is currently considering the Waste Advisory Board’s advice and the outcome of the ‘Willingness to Pay’ study.

Quality of policy advice

As a policy ministry we take our role as a provider of quality policy advice very seriously. We assess the quality of our advice against a number of measures and our performance against those measures is reported on pages 73 to 74.

Progress we have made towards achieving the outcome

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for decision-making under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (the HSNO Act). The EPA also reports annually on the Act’s effectiveness, which helps the Ministry’s monitor the management framework for chemical and biological hazards. The Ministry collects data on waste disposal at facilities subject to the Waste Disposal Levy. This helps us monitor the effectiveness of the Act in reducing waste.

1. Changes in the incident data compiled by the EPA and enforcement agencies under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act

Target: Reduced number of incidents
Results: Hazardous substances: Change in total number of hazardous substances is not reliable due to known under-reporting of level one incidents due to industrial action by the NZ Fire Service. Sixty-seven per cent decrease in number of level one and two incidents and a continuation of no level four and five incidents

New organisms: Eight-eight per cent increase since 2009/10, likely due to better reporting rather than an actual increase in incidents. The increase in incidents were all caused by zoo animals (regulated by the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, not HSNO)

(2012: 10 per cent increase in number of incidents)

To monitor the efficiency of the HSNO Act, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) reports29 on three broad outcome areas: people are protected from harm; the environment is protected from harm; and the operation of the HSNO system is efficient and cost-effective. The June 2013 monitoring report is the first to use a revised set of indicators. Incident data is only one indicator area. This data is the number of incidents reported to the EPA, not all incidents that have occurred.

There are five categories of incidents, ranging from minimal (level one) to massive (level five). There have been no level four or five incidents since reporting began. Level one (minimal) incidents cause no or minimal harm.

The table below summarises incidents involving hazardous substances and new organisms where these incidents had an adverse effect on the environment and human health.

2009/10 2010/11 2011/12
Total number of incidents involving hazardous substances 1,315 1,460 *599

Incidents involving hazardous substances where adverse effects to the environment were known

Incident levels 2 and 3 only

441


8

419


7

144


1

Incidents involving hazardous substances where adverse effects on human health were recorded

Incident levels 2 and 3 only

78


25

52


21

49


16

Total number of incidents involving new organisms 17 24 32
Incidents involving approved new organisms where adverse effects to the environment were recorded 0 0 0
Incidents involving approved new organisms where adverse effects on human health were recorded 2 5 9

* Figure is significantly under-reported, due to industrial action by the NZ Fire Service, the main data source.

Hazardous substances incidents: There is a high degree of uncertainty associated with level one incident data. In 2011/12, there was a large drop in the number of reported level one incidents. This was mainly due to under-reporting due to industrial action by the NZ Fire Service (the main data source) from August 2011 to April 2012. The EPA is working to improve the data quality for minimal incidents.

Very few incidents reported to the EPA identify known environmental effects. In 2011/12, there was only one level two and three incident reported with known environmental effects. The number of minor and moderate incidents affecting human health decreased in 2011/12.

New organisms: The number of reported incidents has steadily increased since 2009/10. This could partly be due to better reporting procedures rather than an actual increase in the number of incidents. The majority of incidents reported involving new organisms are minor (level two) incidents. There were no incidents of new organisms involving environmental damage. In 2011/12, all incidents causing adverse effects on human health involved zoo animals.

Improvements to the monitoring framework will include the development of indicators to better monitor harm to the environment from hazardous substances, the development of data sources on chronic harm from hazardous substances, and the analysis of ACC data to better understand the proportion of workplace-based injuries compared with domestic injuries.

2. Trends in the tonnage of waste disposed of at waste disposal facilities per unit of GDP

Target: Downward trend
Results: Downward trend (17.6 tonnes per $1 million GDP (projected) for the year ending June 2013 versus 18.6 tonnes per $1 million GDP for the year ending 30 June 2010)

For the year to 30 June 2013, 2.6 million tonnes of waste was disposed of at facilities required to pay the Waste Disposal Levy. This equates to 17.6 tonnes of waste per $1 million of GDP (projected) compared with 18.6 tonnes of waste per $1 million of GDP for the year ending June 2010.

Trend 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Tonnes of waste disposed at facilities per unit of GDP 18.6 18.9 17.9 17.6

What it cost

The Ministry’s environmental hazards and waste work programme is funded by the Multi-class Appropriation: Mitigating Environmental Hazards and Waste under Vote Environment.

This multi-class output appropriation comprises two output classes that contribute to the outcome of strengthening and supporting New Zealand’s environmental systems so they can achieve the greatest overall environmental, economic and social benefits. These output classes share a particular focus on reducing harm from natural, chemical and biological hazards and from waste through more effective management frameworks:

  • Environmental Hazards and Waste Policy Advice
  • Waste Management and Minimisation.

The costs of administering the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 are funded by Departmental Output Class: Waste Minimisation Administration under Vote Environment. Administration activities include the collection of the Waste Disposal Levy from disposal facility operators; the payment of levy revenue to territorial authorities and monitoring that territorial authorities are using the funds for the intended purposes; and administration of the Waste Minimisation Fund. These costs are recovered from the Waste Disposal Levy collected from disposal facility operators as permitted under the Act.

Vote Environment

Multi-class Output Appropriation: Mitigating Environmental Hazards and Waste

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

3,871

Total revenue

3,878

3,817

3,963

Expenses

2,293

Environmental hazards and waste policy advice

1,765

2,137

1,778

1,578

Waste management and minimisation

1,934

1,680

2,185

3,871

Total expenses

3,699

3,817

3,963

Net surplus/(deficit)

178

Departmental Output Class: Environmental Hazards and Waste Policy Advice

This output class is limited to the provision of advice (including second opinion advice and contributions to policy advice led by other agencies) to support decision-making by Ministers on government policy matters relating to the risks posed by environmental hazards and waste, including international agreements, conventions and obligations.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

2,232

Crown

1,828

2,137

1,766

38

Departmental

18

7

23

Other

6

5

2,293

Total revenue

1,852

2,137

1,778

2,293

Total expenses

1,765

2,137

1,778

Net surplus/(deficit)

87

 

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $2.137 million. During the year, this was reduced to reflect the expectation that, due to delays, the development of the hazardous substances policy framework aimed at increasing compliance, reducing compliance costs, and improving monitoring was expected to be completed in 2013/14.

Departmental Output Class: Waste Management and Minimisation

This output class is limited to operational advice, implementation of tools, frameworks and institutions, and support, information and guidance to stakeholders in relation to waste management and minimisation.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

1,525

Crown

2,000

1,680

2,177

38

Departmental

7

5

15

Other

18

3

1,578

Total revenue

2,025

1,680

2,185

1,578

Total expenses

1,934

1,680

2,185

Net surplus/(deficit)

91

The Ministry’s 2012/13 waste management and minimisation work programme was delivered at a cost that was $251,000 less than Supplementary Estimates. The Ministry had intended to conduct a ‘Willingness to Pay’ survey about end-of-life products by 30 June 2013; however, this was delayed and completed in August 2013. Also, the Ministry has been able to negotiate down the cost of developing an investigations and prosecutions desk file and an enforcement policy for the compliance functions under the Waste Minimisation Act.

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $1.680 million. During the year, this was increased through reprioritisation from other work programmes to cover the costs of establishing the TV TakeBack Programme.

Vote Environment

Departmental Output Class: Waste Minimisation Administration

This output class is limited to the collection and administration of the Waste Disposal Levy and assessing and monitoring costs relating to projects considered or approved for funding from the Waste Levy.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

1,663

Crown

2,310

1,714

2,314

23

Departmental

3

6

12

Other

7

4

1,698

Total revenue

2,320

1,714

2,324

1,698

Total expenses

2,234

1,714

2,324

Net surplus/(deficit)

86

In 2012/13, the Ministry was able to carry out its functions under the Waste Minimisation Act at a cost that was $90,000 lower than Supplementary Estimates. The Ministry is conducting a strategic review of the Waste Minimisation Fund to test its objectives against the Ministry’s outcomes, government priorities, and the wider Natural Resources Sector. At 30 June 2013, the Ministry was still in the scoping and problem definition stages. Under the Waste Minimisation Act, the underspend must be returned to the Waste Minimisation Fund.

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $1.714 million. During the year, this was increased to cover the additional costs of the TV TakeBack Programme. The additional funding was reprioritised from within Ministry baselines; it was not recovered from the Waste Levy collected from disposal facility operators.

Non-departmental funding

The Ministry administers a number of non-departmental appropriations on behalf of the Crown that contribute to reducing harm from chemical and biological hazards and from waste through more effective management frameworks. These appropriations are shown in the table below.

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Appropriation30 2013
$000

Income

26,189

Waste Disposal Levy collected from disposal facility operators

25,820

26,000

26,189

Total income

25,820

26,000

Expenditure

12,194

Waste Disposal Levy disbursement to territorial local authorities 12,910

13,000

Impairment of debt relating to the Waste Disposal Levy collection

1,500

9,975

Contestable Waste Minimisation Fund31 8,569

12,562

Environmental Protection Authority: Regulatory functions multi-class output appropriation:

5,944

Compliance and enforcement

2,563

2,563

3,006

Decision-making

7,291

7,291

31,119

Total expenditure

31,333

36,916

Following the grounding of the Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe Reef), the Ministry led the development of the Rena Long-term Environmental Recovery Plan. This plan was developed in consultation with iwi from across the region, Bay of Plenty councils, neighbouring councils, and key central government agencies. The Ministry has been monitoring the implementation of the plan through a deed of funding that has been set up with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. The deed has been funded through Multi-year Appropriation: Rena Long-term Environment Recovery. The total funding is $1.877 million over three years to 30 June 2015.

While responsibility for the delivery of the plan has transitioned from the Ministry to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the Ministry will still continue to have an active governance role within the recovery programme and will continue to manage the deed of funding.

Appropriations, adjustments and use

$000

Total appropriation

1,877

Actual expenses to 2011/12 year end

Actual expenses to 2012/13 year end

1,877

Total actual expenses

1,877

Balance of appropriation remaining

Impact: Improve the relationship between the Ministry and Māori by negotiating and implementing fair, durable and fit-for-purpose deeds of settlement and environmental accords

What we are aiming to achieve

The Crown and iwi both have a strong interest in the use and management of natural resources. Virtually all Treaty of Waitangi settlements now have some natural resource component. This requires the Ministry to be involved in negotiating Treaty settlements and environmental accords and to implement obligations under these agreements.

The Ministry’s aim is to ensure that settlements provide appropriate redress but do not conflict with or undermine existing natural resources policy objectives. The Ministry has ongoing post-settlement obligations with 27 iwi and hapū. The most significant is in relation to the Waikato River.

We are also focusing on developing a stronger working relationship with Māori to ensure effective natural resource management.

What we did and how we performed this year

Output Class: Developing and Implementing Treaty Settlements and Environmental Accords

Treaty settlements and environmental accords

Output: Advise on environment-related aspects of Treaty settlements and the implementation of obligations arising from these.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of agreed deliverables relating to Treaty settlements and environmental accords negotiations are completed within agreed timeframes 100% 75%

The Ministry works closely with the Office of Treaty Settlements – the Crown agency charged with negotiating Treaty of Waitangi claim settlements – to negotiate settlements and other agreements that involve natural resources. In 2012/13, the Ministry has provided advice on 27 Treaty negotiations.

Treaty settlement milestones achieved include:

  • agreements in principle or framework agreements signed with Ngāti Tamaoho, Ngāti Hineuru, and Whanganui River Iwi
  • deeds of settlement initialled with Ngāti Haua and Tauranga Iwi Collective.
  • deeds of Settlement signed with Tamaki Collective, Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Tapuika, Ngāti Rangiteaorere, Ngāti Tuhoe, Maungaharuru Tangitu, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Koata, and Te Atiawa o Te Waka-a-Maui.

The Ministry has also been contributing to negotiations of relationship agreements with Ngāti Haua, Hauraki Collective, Ngāti Te Rangi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Mana Ahuiriri, Ngāti Hineuru, Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Ruahine, and Whanganui River Iwi.

Feedback received suggests that the overwhelming majority (more than 90 per cent) of iwi actively engaged in post-settlement relationships with the Ministry are satisfied or very satisfied with the implementation of obligations. Significant milestones include:

  • the initiation of new joint work streams with seven settled iwi
  • secondment of a Ministry staff member to Nga Rauru Iwi to build resource management capacity and capability
  • completion of the review of the Nga Rauru environmental management plan
  • payment of co-management funding of $11 million to Waikato Tainui and $1 million to each of Ngāti Raukawa, Te Arawa River Iwi, and Ngāti Tūwharetoa for cleaning up the Waikato River.

Due to the circumstances of particular iwi, some obligations were not met in 2012/13 as per the relationship agreement. Invitations are left open for iwi to meet when they are ready or available to do so.

Waikato River Co-management

Output: Meet obligations in accordance with Waikato River Co-management deeds.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of obligations met in accordance with the Waikato River Co-management deeds 100% 100%

The Ministry has met all of its Waikato River Co-management obligations. These obligations include establishing joint management agreements with local authorities and providing assistance with developing integrated river management plans, fisheries and conservation regulations, and iwi environmental management plans.

Quality of policy advice

As a policy ministry we take our role as a provider of quality policy advice very seriously. We assess the quality of our advice against a number of measures and our performance against those measures is reported on pages 73 to 74.

Progress we have made towards achieving the outcome

The Ministry has had a significant role in negotiating several Treaty settlements and environmental accords and in implementing obligations under these agreements. We are monitoring both our progress with implementation and iwi satisfaction regarding our work on these obligations.

1. Percentage of Māori partners in deeds of settlement and environmental accords satisfied or very satisfied with Ministry implementation of obligations

Target: 80 per cent satisfied or very satisfied
Results: 95 per cent satisfied or very satisfied

(2012: 100 per cent satisfied or very satisfied)

The Ministry currently has post-settlement relationships with 27 iwi. Due to the circumstances of particular iwi, some of these were not engaged as per the relationship agreements. However, 95 per cent of iwi actively engaged in post-settlement relationships with the Ministry are satisfied or very satisfied with the implementation of obligations.

Trend 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Percentage of Māori partners in deeds of settlement and environmental accords satisfied or very satisfied with Ministry implementation of obligations 100% 100% 95%

2. Percentage of the relevant Ministry obligations under deeds of settlement and environmental accords met

Target: 100 per cent compliance
Results: 90 per cent compliance

(2012: 80 per cent compliance)

The Ministry currently has post-settlement relationships with 27 iwi. Due to circumstances of particular iwi, for example, post-settlement governance entities still being in an establishment phase, some of these were not engaged as per the relationship agreements. However, having considered each settlement obligation and work programme, the Ministry considers 90 per cent would be a fair reflection of the obligations met.

Trend 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Percentage of the relevant Ministry obligations under deeds of settlement and environmental accords met 80% 80% 90%

What it cost

The Ministry’s Treaty Settlements and Environmental Accords work programme is funded by Departmental Output Class: Developing and Implementing Treaty Settlements and Environmental Accords under Vote Environment.

This output class is one of five output classes32 within Multi-class Output Appropriation: Improving Resource Management. All five output classes contribute to the outcome of strengthening and supporting New Zealand’s environmental systems so they can achieve the greatest overall environmental, economic and social benefits with a shared focus on improving resource management. However, Departmental Output Class: Developing and Implementing Treaty Settlements and Environmental Accords has a particular focus on improving the relationship between the Ministry and Māori by negotiating and implementing fair, durable and fit-for-purpose deeds of settlement and environmental accords.

Vote Environment

Multi-class Output Appropriation: Improving Resource Management
Departmental Output Class: Developing and Implementing Treaty Settlements and Environmental Accords

This output class is limited to the provision of advice (including second opinion advice and contributions to policy advice led by other agencies) to support decision-making by Ministers on government policy matters relating to environmental accords with Māori and Treaty settlements involving natural resources; and contributing to negotiations with iwi and affected parties on environmental issues as part of developing deeds of settlement.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

2,062

Crown

1,458

1,675

1,336

49

Departmental

3

7

26

Other

6

5

2,137

Total revenue

1,467

1,675

1,348

2,137

Total expenses

1,381

1,675

1,348

Net surplus/(deficit)

86

The Ministry’s 2012/13 Treaty settlements and environmental accords work programme was delivered at a cost that was $33,000 more than Supplementary Estimates. This output class is part of Multi-class Output Appropriation: Improving Resource Management. Parliamentary authority is given at multi-class output appropriation level rather than at individual output class level.

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $1.675 million. During the year, this was reduced due to the transfer of a number of Treaty settlement functions, including oversight of implementing relationship accords between the Government and iwi, to Te Puni Kōkiri – the Ministry for Māori Development. The Ministry also transferred funding to cover the additional costs to Te Puni Kōkiri of carrying out these new functions.

Non-departmental funding

The Ministry, as part of treaty settlement implementation, manages non-departmental appropriations related to the Waikato-Tainui Treaty Settlement. These appropriations were established subsequent to the signing of settlement deeds with Waikato-Tainui, Tūwharetoa, Te Arawa, Raukawa, and the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board.

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Appropriation33 2013
$000

Expenditure

2,632

Waikato River Co-management34

9,787

9,787

910

Waikato River Co-governance

910

910

100

Transitional support for local government and iwi

825

3,642

Total expenditure

10,697

11,522

In 2012/13, the Crown agreed to make a contribution of $825,000 to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to assist them with the:

  • establishment and implementation of the Tauranga Moana Framework; and
  • establishment and initial development of a co-governance arrangement over the lower Kaituna River catchment and its tributaries.

Payment of these contributions was conditional on the enactment of legislation. As at 30 June 2013, the legislation had not been enacted and therefore the contributions are expected to be made before the end of the calendar year.

 

Impact: Achieve better solutions to environmental problems by supporting community involvement and action and international cooperation

What we are aiming to achieve

This outcome is mainly operational, with a focus on administering government funding, coordinating activities with partner countries, and involvement in projects with other organisations.

In providing policy advice to the Government, the Ministry generally works with others to find solutions to environmental problems. Community involvement and international cooperation can often achieve solutions and results the Ministry could not deliver alone.

We support environmental projects led by others and can leverage significant contributions of funding or community hours of work that achieves more than either party could do by themselves.

At the international level, the Ministry is involved in negotiating and implementing environmental cooperation agreements associated with free trade agreements. These provide for New Zealand to share with, and learn from, other countries about best practice in environmental management and to advance our common interests.

What we did and how we performed this year

Output Class: Domestic Obligations and Programmes

Administration of grants schemes

Output: Contract, manage, monitor and audit government funding and grant schemes.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of funding allocated according to Community Environment Fund eligibility and assessment criteria within agreed timeframes 100% 100%
100% Percentage of contracted Community Environment Fund projects that are managed and monitored appropriately 100% 100%
100% Percentage of funding allocated according to Environmental Legal Assistance Fund criteria 100% 100%
100% Percentage of Environmental Legal Assistance Fund projects monitored appropriately 100% 100%

Community Environment Fund: The Community Environment Fund (CEF) provides funding to support practical environmental initiatives in the community. The Fund is particularly focused on supporting community initiatives that contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improve freshwater management, coastal management, improved air quality, protecting biodiversity, and some waste management initiatives.

Since the establishment of the fund in 2010, $7.5 million has been allocated to 75 projects with the equivalent of $14.4 million of in-kind contributions35 projected. To ensure the success of funded projects, the Ministry provides support to successful applicants through all phases, from project planning and deed negotiation through to assessment of milestones and payment, and responding to general enquiries.

Examples of recently completed projects are:

  1. Conservation Volunteers completed a one year project to restore and protect biodiversity within the Auckland region. The CEF contributed $72,000 towards this project to facilitate and support increased community engagement at six nominated natural areas within the Auckland Council boundaries. The project facilitated 129 work-days covering pest control, tree planting, species surveys, track maintenance, and rubbish removal.
  2. Tauranga Rotary Centennial Trust completed a one year project to restore and enhance access to an 8-hectare island within the strategic 300-hectare Kopurererua Valley Reserve in Tauranga City. The CEF contributed $60,000 towards planting approximately 20,000 native plants by around 300 community, school and iwi volunteers over four public planting days in 2012.

Environmental Legal Assistance Fund: The Environmental Legal Assistance Fund (ELA) provides financial assistance to not-for-profit groups so they can advocate for an environmental issue, of high public interest, in resource management cases at the Environment Court, and at boards of inquiry constituted under the ‘call-in’ provisions of the Resource Management Act. The fund reimburses the costs of legal counsel and expert witnesses. The Ministry receives about 45 applications to the fund each year with an average of 35 successful applications and an average of $23,000 being awarded to successful applicants.

Administration of the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund

Output: Contract, manage, monitor and audit contaminated site ‘clean-up’ projects delivered by third parties.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of contestable funding allocated according to Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund eligibility and assessment criteria within agreed timeframes 100% 100%
100% Percentage of Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund projects that are managed and monitored appropriately 100% 100%

The Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund funds up to 50 per cent of the costs of the investigation, remedial planning, and remediation of sites that pose a risk to human health and the environment.

Since the establishment of the fund in 2003, $36 million has been allocated to 38 projects with 16 funded sites fully remediated. One of the largest projects funded was the recently completed remediation of the Tui Mine on Mt Te Aroha in the Waikato region. This site was New Zealand’s most contaminated site. Under this project, the tailings dam has been stabilised and 110,000 cubic metres of old mine tailings has been treated and stabilised. Also, the quality of the Tunakohoia stream has improved and there is no longer a threat to human health. The ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the Mine now lies with the Department of Conservation and the Matamata-Piako District Council.

Projects currently underway include:

  • Kopeopeo Canal in the Bay of Plenty. The Canal was originally built to allow drainage and floodwaters from low lying farmland into the Whakatane Estuary. However, between 1950 and 1989 the canal was contaminated by dioxins from a local sawmill. The Ministry is working with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to develop the remedial plan and apply for resource consent for the removal of the contaminated sediment. Depending on the outcome of the consent process, the remediation of the Canal is expected to be completed by June 2014.
  • Calwell Slipway in Nelson. Ship repair work has contaminated the marine sediment at Port Nelson’s Calwell Slipway Basin. The Ministry is working with the Nelson City Council and Port Nelson Limited to develop a remedial plan.
  • Prohibition Mine. The Prohibition Roasting Plant, located on Department of Conservation land, processed ore from the Waiuta Gold Mine from 1938 to 1951. Processing residue contained high concentrations of arsenic that accumulated on the ground throughout the site. The Ministry is working with the Department of Conservation to develop a robust project plan for the remediation of the site.

Sir Peter Blake Youth EnviroLeaders Forum

The Youth EnviroLeaders Forum is an annual event run in partnership with the Sir Peter Blake Trust. The 10th annual Youth EnviroLeaders Forum took place between 28 April and 2 May 2013 and was held in Christchurch for the first time. The Forum was an ‘urban expedition’ with a focus on fresh water, resource management, and the Christchurch city rebuild.

The Forum is hands on, youth driven and designed to inspire and build the capability of young environmental leaders. Each year about 50 delegates are selected to represent their regions at the Forum. Delegates are nominated because of their leadership skills and passion for the environment. On returning to their regions delegates are encouraged to continue with their environmental work and help lead other youth in environmental stewardship.

Green Ribbon Awards

The 2013 Green Ribbon Awards were held on World Environment Day, 5 June. The awards recognise the outstanding contributions of individuals, organisations, businesses and communities to protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s environment. Awards were given in various categories such as ‘Caring for our water’, Minimising our waste’, and ‘Community leadership’. The awards attracted over 200 nominations this year.

The Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust was named the 2013 Supreme Winner for their work to protect and sustain coastlines across New Zealand and the Pacific. The Trust provides environmental education and awareness through a mix of technology and large scale on-ground actions. Their programmes reach wide audiences and have been replicated internationally. The Trust has been pushing boundaries, using innovative ways to engage with the community and demonstrates great entrepreneurship in tackling the issue of Marine debris.

A full list of the 2013 winners is available on the Ministry’s website:

http://www.mfe.govt.nz/withyou/awards/green-ribbon-winners-2013.html.

Output Class: International Obligations and Institutions

Environmental cooperation agreements (ECA)

Output: Negotiate and implement environment cooperation agreements associated with new and existing free trade agreements.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of agreed deliverables in relation to international obligations completed within agreed timeframes36 100% 67%

In 2012/13, seven cooperation activities under seven ECAs (with China, Thailand, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Hong Kong) were successfully completed. The majority of activities were ongoing projects with China, covering water quality in rural areas and chemical management. There were also several additional visits to discuss climate change-related issues. The fourth New Zealand –Thailand Environmental Committee meeting was held in Thailand in March 2013.

The Ministry undertook a review of ECA implementation in the third quarter of 2012/13. This resulted in less bilateral activities in the last half of the year. No cooperation activities were undertaken under the New Zealand-Hong Kong ECA, Malaysia ECA, or Philippines ECA.

Multilateral environmental agreements

The Ministry provided advice on, and ensured that New Zealand met, obligations arising from the following multilateral environment agreements: the Basel, Waigani, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, and the Montreal Protocol. The Ministry led New Zealand’s engagement in conferences of the parties, meetings of the parties and open ended working groups to ensure New Zealand’s interests are protected and promoted in these forums. The Ministry also:

  • led New Zealand’s engagement in two rounds of the intergovernmental negotiating committee in developing a new United Nations multilateral environment agreement on mercury to promote and protect New Zealand’s interests in the draft agreement
  • continued its work on New Zealand’s domestic policies and their operation to ensure they reflect our international obligations.

Quality of policy advice

As a policy ministry we take our role as a provider of quality policy advice very seriously. We assess the quality of our advice against a number of measures and our performance against those measures is reported on pages 73 to 74.

Progress we have made towards achieving the outcome

Central government supports environmental projects led by others. The types of projects supported are varied. They include cooperation with local government on remediation of priority contaminated sites identified by regional councils, as well as support for community projects. The measures below help us monitor what was achieved with the Crown funding invested.

1. Progress in investigation, remedial planning or remediation of priority contaminated sites in conjunction with regional councils and/or landowners – increasing percentage managed or remediated37

Target38: Increasing proportion of priority contaminated sites remediated39 and/or managed40
Results: 30 June 2013: Total priority sites41 identified = 71 sites; Remediated priority sites = 19; Managed priority sites = 6; Percentage remediated/managed = 35%

(2012: see table below)

Since 2003/04, 40 contaminated sites projects have received funding from the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund (CSRF). During 2012/13, work has been undertaken on eight projects (two of which are multi-year projects). The Ministry’s current priority list identifies 40 sites as priority sites for funding. Of these, six sites received funding from the CSRF. The allocation of any CSRF funding is informed by the priority list so sites of greatest risk are given priority for funding. This list is subject to change, as it will be updated every six months based on information supplied by regional councils.

The Ministry’s ability to meet this measure is dependent on regional councils submitting applications to the CSRF and their willingness to provide the Ministry with details of their priority sites.

Trend

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

Total priority sites identified

61

67

71

Remediated priority sites

13

14

19

Managed priority sites

5

10

6

Percentage remediated/managed

30%

36%

35%

2. Level of community involvement in projects funded by the Community Environment Fund

Target: Increasing community involvement
Results: $14.4 million of in-kind contributions projected for the $7.5 million of government funding committed to 75 Community Environment Fund (CEF) projects

$1.6 million of actual in-kind contributions for the $1.3 million of government funding paid to 21 completed CEF projects

(2012: $2.7 million of in-kind contributions projected for the $1.3 million worth of government funding committed to 43 CEF projects. Actual in-kind contributions not available as no CEF projects had been completed at 30 June 2012.)

Projected in-kind contributions: The overall performance against this measure is based on the predicted information contained in the 75 approved Community Environment Fund project proposals. Community involvement is measured by in-kind contributions made to projects per dollar of government funding committed.42 A total of approximately $7.5 million in CEF funding has been allocated to date, towards estimated total project costs of $14.7 million.

Actual in-kind contributions: Actual in-kind contributions are reported against once the projects are completed. To date, 21 CEF projects have been successfully completed. In-kind contributions of $1.6 million have been made towards these 21 projects, against an actual CEF contribution of $1.3 million and an actual project cost of $2.7 million.

Trend 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Projected in-kind contributions ($ million) – cumulative

1.5

2.7

14.4

Government funding committed ($ million) – cumulative

0.75

1.3

7.5

Ratio of projected in-kind contributions to committed government funding

2 : 1

2.08 : 1

1.92 : 1

2. Percentage of Community Environment Fund (CEF) and Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) projects that report full achievement against objectives

Target: 100 per cent of objectives met by 80 per cent of projects
Results: 100 per cent of objectives met by 82 per cent of projects

(2012: 100 per cent of objectives met by 97 per cent of projects)

Eighty-two per cent of completed projects from the Community Environment Fund (CEF) and the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) (rounds one and two of CEF / rounds one, two and three of WMF) report full achievement against their objectives. This is based on a total of 40 WMF projects and nine CEF projects.43

Trend 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Percentage of CEF and WMF projects that report full achievement against objectives

85%

97%

82%

What it cost

The Ministry’s domestic and international obligations work programme is funded by Multi-class Output Appropriation: Environmental Management Obligations and Programmes under Vote Environment.

This multi-class output appropriation comprises two output classes that contribute to the outcome of strengthening and supporting New Zealand’s environmental systems so they can achieve the greatest overall environmental, economic and social benefits. These output classes share a particular focus on achieving better solutions to environmental problems by supporting community involvement and action, and international cooperation:

  • Domestic Obligations and Programmes
  • International Obligations and Institutions.

Vote Environment

Multi-class Output Appropriation: Environmental Management Obligations and Programmes

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

5,102

Total revenue

4,353

4,364

4,227

Expenses

3,331

Domestic obligations and programmes

2,246

2,758

2,346

1,771

International obligations and institutions

1,924

1,606

1,881

5,102

Total expenses

4,170

4,364

4,227

Net surplus/(deficit)

183

Departmental Output Class: Domestic Obligations and Programmes

This output class is limited to contributing to and monitoring of domestic environmental management programmes and educational programmes promoting awareness of environmental issues.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

3,212

Crown

2,330

2,753

2,328

87

Departmental

4

8

32

Other

5

5

10

3,331

Total revenue

2,339

2,758

2,346

3,331

Total expenses

2,246

2,758

2,346

Net surplus/(deficit)

93

 

The Ministry’s 2012/13 domestic obligations and programmes work programme was delivered at a cost that was $100,000 less than Supplementary Estimates. The Ministry is conducting a strategic review of the Community Environment Fund and the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund to test the objectives of these funds against the Ministry’s outcomes, government priorities, and the wider Natural Resources Sector. At 30 June 2013, the Ministry was still in the scoping and problem definition stages.

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $2.758 million. During the year, this was reduced through the reprioritisation of funding to Departmental Output Class: International Obligations and Institutions to progress and implement a number of cooperation agreements associated with free trade agreements, and to Departmental Output Class: Water Management Policy Advice to help fund the freshwater reforms.

Departmental Output Class: International Obligations and Institutions

This output class is limited to the provision of advice (including second opinion advice and contributions to policy advice led by other agencies) to support decision-making by Ministers on government policy matters relating to advice on international environmental arrangements, agreements and partnerships; contributing to negotiations with international parties on environmental issues in line with international arrangements, agreements and partnerships.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

1,732

Crown

1,992

1,606

1,849

25

Departmental

6

28

14

Other

16

4

1,771

Total revenue

2,014

1,606

1,881

1,771

Total expenses

1,924

1,606

1,881

Net surplus/(deficit)

90

 

The Ministry’s 2012/13 international obligations and institutions policy advice work programme was delivered at a cost that was $43,000 more than Supplementary Estimates. This output class is part of Multi-class Output Appropriation: Environmental Management and Programmes. Parliamentary authority is given at multi-class output appropriation level rather than at individual output class level.

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $1.606 million. During the year, the budget was increased to progress and implement a number of cooperation agreements associated with free trade agreements. The funding was reprioritised from Departmental Output Class: Domestic Obligations and Programmes.

Non-departmental funding

The Ministry administers a number of non-departmental appropriations on behalf of the Crown that contribute to achieving better solutions to environmental problems by supporting community involvement and action and international cooperation. These appropriations are shown in the table below.

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Appropriation44 2013
$000

Expenditure

316

Sustainable Management Fund

800

Promotion of Sustainable Land Management

800

800

Environmental training programmes

1,900

1,900

1,340

Community Environment Fund

2,304

2,992

769

Environmental Legal Assistance Fund

464

800

300

Climate Change Development Fund

296

300

2,031

Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund45

103

320

278

United Nations Environment Programme

323

393

102

International subscriptions

113

117

5,936

Total expenditure

6,303

7,622

The clean-up of the Tui Mine in Te Aroha is funded through Multi-year Appropriation: Tui Mine Remediation.46 This multi-year appropriation began 1 July 2011 and expires 30 June 2014. While the remediation of the site has been successfully completed, the validation and handover to the landowners of the remediated tailings dam is expected to be completed by June 2014.

Appropriations, adjustments and use

$000

Total appropriation

15,200

Actual expenses to 2010/11 year end

Actual expenses to 2011/12 year end

10,000

Actual expenses to 2012/13 year end

4,850

Total actual expenses

14,850

Balance of appropriation remaining

350

picture of thirteen turbines on a wind farm

Outcome: New Zealand becomes a successful low-carbon society that is resilient to climate change impacts on its climate, economy and lifestyle

Impact: Decrease New Zealand’s net emissions of greenhouse gases below business as usual levels in a cost effective way

What we are aiming to achieve

Climate change is the most challenging international issue of the 21st century. New Zealand must adapt to changes in climate and contribute to coordinated international action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

To become a successful low-carbon society, New Zealand must reduce its emissions in a cost-effective way and manage the risk posed by climate change impacts.

New Zealand’s long-term emissions reduction target is ‘50 by 50’ – a 50 per cent reduction of net greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2050.

The graph below shows New Zealand’s modelled net emissions from 1990 to 2040.

line graph showing New Zealand's modelled net emissions under the Kyoto Protocol

The graph shows New Zealand’s modelled historical net emissions from 1990 to 2040. Net emissions are projected to rise over the period 2018 to 2030 as forests planted in the 1990s are harvested. After 2030 net emissions are projected to fall as harvesting activity decreases and the greenhouse gas removals from forests planted since 2012 rises.

 

The trend in net emissions is dominated by our projections of emissions and removals from forestry. In the mid-1990s there were very high levels of forest planting in New Zealand. Net emissions are projected to rise over 2018–2030 as these forests planted in the 1990s are harvested. After 2030, we project that net emissions will fall as harvesting activity decreases and the greenhouse gas removals from forests planted since 2012 rises.

In absolute terms, New Zealand’s emissions are low compared to its major trading partners. However, New Zealand’s emissions intensity by population is amongst the highest for developed countries.47 This is largely due to the importance of the agricultural sector (notably the high number of livestock) and the large contribution of transport (as a result of New Zealand’s geography, infrastructure and relatively low use of public transport).

New Zealand is on track to meet its commitments under the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol by a combination of emissions reductions and the use of forestry. In August 2013, the Government announced its unconditional international commitment taken under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for the period to 2020 of minus five per cent on 1990 levels. The Ministry continues to contribute to negotiations for the new global agreement on climate change to enter into force in 2020.

One of the main government policies to help reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions is the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS). The NZ ETS covers a number of sectors, including energy, and underpins other sector-specific measures that are in place to help reduce emissions.

The Government has committed to review the NZ ETS again in 2015, to assess whether its impact needs to be increased in light of progress at the international level.

Scoping work is underway to explore options for measures other than the NZ ETS that will improve productivity and reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions over the long term. Measures to support the transition to a low-carbon economy can also contribute to improved business growth, export competitiveness, energy security, and health outcomes.

What we did and how we performed this year

Output Class: Domestic Climate Change Programme

Legislative changes to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme

Output: Advise on the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, including legislative amendment of the Climate Change Response Act, and developing and maintaining regulations.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
85% Percentage of agreed deliverables in relation to the domestic climate change work programme completed within agreed timeframes48 100% 88%

In 2011, an independent panel undertook a review of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS). The purpose of the review was to assess the operation and effectiveness of the NZ ETS and how it should evolve beyond 2012 given the uncertainty at the time about the outcome of international climate change negotiations and what climate change action would be taken by our key trading partners. The panel made a number of recommendations. After considering the panel’s recommendations, the Ministry’s advice, and public feedback, the Government announced a final package of NZ ETS legislative amendments in July 2012.

In November 2012, the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2012 was passed into law. The purpose of this legislation is to maintain the costs that the ETS places on the economy at current levels. This will ensure businesses and households do not face additional costs during the continued economic recovery, and that New Zealand continues to do its fair share on climate change. It is also designed to improve the operation of the NZ ETS, providing more flexibility, and ensuring the scheme is fit for purpose after 2012.

The key changes are to:

  • introduce a power to allow the Government to sell New Zealand Units (NZUs) (the primary emissions unit used within the NZ ETS) by auction, with an overall cap on the number of NZUs auctioned and allocated
  • introduce ‘offsetting’ as an option for pre-1990 forests giving forest landowners the flexibility to convert their land to a better use, but avoid ETS deforestation costs by planting a carbon equivalent area of forest elsewhere
  • remove the start date for surrender obligations for biological emissions from agriculture
  • extend transitional measures designed to reduce the cost impacts of the scheme beyond 2012
  • change the NZ ETS treatment of the synthetic greenhouse gas (SGG) sector through a number of changes, such as introducing the SGG levy.

More information on these changes is available on the Ministry’s climate change information website: http://www.climatechange.govt.nz/emissions-trading-scheme/ets-amendments/index.html.

The Ministry has been working on options for implementing these amendments. The Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy took effect from 1 July 2013. Regulations that will give effect to the remaining amendments are expected to be promulgated by November 2013.

Rules for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, agreed in Doha in 2012, have created a different kind of market access for countries like New Zealand that are taking a target outside the Protocol for Commitment Period 2. The Ministry had intended to consult on the options for the design of the auctioning system by 31 May 2013; however, this has now been deferred while we work through the suite of policy issues relating to international emission unit market access.

Projects to Reduce Emissions (PREs) Programme

The Ministry administers 19 projects under the Projects to Reduce Emissions (PRE) Programme. The objective of each project is to reduce New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions in the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period (2008–2012) in return for Kyoto Protocol emissions units. Participants are investing in initiatives such as landfill gas, wind generation, hydro-generation, and geothermal generation to achieve their objectives.

The transfer of emission units to a project participant is conditional on the delivery of emission reductions by the project. Project participants must provide an annual report which details the emission reductions achieved in that year. Once the annual report has been assessed and accepted, the Crown will then transfer the emission units to the project participant.

All annual reports for 2012 have been received and assessed and unit disbursements have been made.

Output Class: International Climate Change Programme

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations
– Doha 2012

Output: Advise on New Zealand’s international negotiating position on climate change and submissions.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of agreed deliverables in relation to international negotiating positions and resulting submissions completed within agreed timeframes 100% 100%

In late November/early December 2012, Ministry officials were part of a cross agency delegation, led by Minister for Climate Change Issues Hon Tim Groser and Associate Minister Hon Simon Bridges, that attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP18/CMP8 negotiations in Doha, Qatar.

The Doha conference marked the end of the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period and launched the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol. New Zealand’s decision not to be part of Commitment Period 2 meant that New Zealand’s access to the clean development mechanism (a source of offset units under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme) has been restricted.

A government work programme is underway to consider the implications of the new rules. A number of options are under consideration.

Developments in national and international carbon markets

The Ministry remains active in the development of the international carbon market, of which the ETS is a part. This is implemented through a strategy of pursuing carbon market engagement opportunities simultaneously at a multilateral, regional and bilateral level.

As part of its approach to regional engagement, the Ministry created and provides secretariat support for the Asia-Pacific Carbon Markets Roundtable. The purpose of the Roundtable is to build relationships with countries in the region, and progress technical discussions and solutions to support the development of a regional carbon market.

Bilaterally New Zealand works closely with a number of countries, such as Australia, Thailand, China and Korea, to progress the development of their own carbon markets and international carbon markets. In the UNFCCC negotiations, New Zealand has proposed the development of a framework to facilitate the interaction between the UNFCCC and existing and emerging national and regional carbon markets.

Projecting New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and removals

Output: Project and report New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and removals for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and beyond.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
Achieved New Zealand’s annual greenhouse gas inventory meets agreed deadlines and is accepted by international institutions as meeting UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol reporting requirements Achieved Achieved
Achieved Emissions projections meet requirements for financial reporting Achieved Achieved

New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory is the official annual report of all human-caused emissions and removals of greenhouse gases. This inventory measures New Zealand’s progress against its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol as well as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report 1990–2011 was released on 12 April 2013 and was accepted by international institutions as meeting UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol reporting requirements. For more information on what was contained in this report, see pages 65 and 66.

The results of the United Nations Expert Review Team’s review of New Zealand’s National Inventory Report 1990–2010 were released in May 2013 with no material items noted for addressing in the final year of Commitment Period One.

Output Class: Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy

Output: Administer the funding for the implementation of the Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy Collection System by the New Zealand Transport Agency and New Zealand Customs Service.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
New measure Administer the funding for the implementation of the Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy Collection System by New Zealand Transport Agency and New Zealand Customs Service in accordance with respective memoranda of understanding Achieved Achieved

In November 2012, an amendment to the Climate Change Response Act 2012 removed the NZ ETS obligation from the importation of synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs) in goods and motor vehicles and replaced it with a SGG levy linked to the NZ ETS emission price. This change is expected to significantly reduce compliance costs for the sector.

From 1 July 2013, the levy on motor vehicles is collected by the New Zealand Transport Agency when a vehicle is first registered in New Zealand. The levy on all other goods that contain hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons applies at the point of import and is collected by the New Zealand Customs Service.

In the months leading up to the levy coming into force the collecting agencies updated their systems and processes. As the agency responsible for the NZ ETS, the Ministry was also responsible for administering the funding for implementing the levy and ensuring the collecting agencies complied with the conditions agreed under the Memoranda of Understanding.

Multi-year Appropriation: Land Use and Carbon Analysis System (LUCAS)

Output: Operate and enhance a national carbon accounting system that meets New Zealand’s greenhouse gas reporting obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and the UNFCCC.

Actual 30 June 2012 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
Achieved

(Programme scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2015)
The LUCAS Programme progresses according to schedule Achieved Achieved (Programme scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2015)
Achieved

(Availability averaged 99% over the year)
The LUCAS system is available for use by the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Primary Industries (as provided for in the Memorandum of Understanding) 99% during business hours Achieved (Availability averaged 99.2% over the year)
Achieved The Land Use and Land Use Change and Forestry, and Kyoto Protocol portions of the National Inventory Report are completed to quality specifications and submitted on time Achieved Achieved

LUCAS is a multi-year programme that is responsible for meeting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol reporting requirements for the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector. LUCAS provides information on the greenhouse gas emissions and removals arising from LULUCF activities. This information is reported annually in New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory (also known as the National Inventory Report).

To do this, LUCAS:

  • maps New Zealand’s land use, and tracks all land-use change between 1990 and 2012. This includes afforestation, reforestation and deforestation
  • calculates the amount of carbon stored in forests and soils and how these carbon stocks change with land use.

Key achievements in 2012/13 include:

  • the completion of the post-89 natural forest remeasurement in March 2013
  • satellite imagery was received for the second part of the 2012 land-use mapping. This imagery has been made available to other government agencies under an all-of-government licence with the supplier
  • a significant upgrade of the geospatial component of the LUCAS information technology infrastructure was successfully deployed on schedule.

The LUCAS programme remains on track to provide the information required for the 2012 National Inventory Report and to enable final year accounting for Kyoto Protocol Commitment Period One (2008 to 2012).

When completing the 2011 National Inventory Report draft chapters, the following quality specifications were complied with:

  • the project plan was completed
  • the recalculations table was completed and approved by the Reporting Governance Group
  • peer review change forms, peer review checklists, and peer review records were completed
  • uncertainties were provided
  • Tier 1 Quality Control documentation was provided.

For more information on the LUCAS programme see the Ministry’s website: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/climate/lucas.

Quality of policy advice

As a policy ministry we take our role as a provider of quality policy advice very seriously. We assess the quality of our advice against a number of measures and our performance against those measures is reported on pages 73 to 74.

Progress we have made towards achieving the outcome

Decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of the economy is essential if New Zealand is to become a successful low-carbon society. The measures below help us understand if New Zealand is on track to meet its international obligations and the level of emissions compared with growth in population and gross domestic product.

1. Trends in greenhouse gas emissions and removals in the annual greenhouse gas inventory

Target: Downward trend in net emissions
Results: Net emissions under the Kyoto Protocol were lower in 2011 than they were in 2008

(2012: Downward trend in net emissions under the Kyoto Protocol)

Under the Kyoto Protocol New Zealand has obligations to ensure net emissions are no higher than 1990 levels, on average, over the 2008 to 2012 commitment period.

The graph below shows the trends in New Zealand’s total (gross)49 and net50 greenhouse gas emissions from 1990–2011. This is the latest data as presented in the April 2013 inventory submissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat.

line graph showing New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions 1990-2011

The graph shows the trends in New Zealand’s total (gross) and net greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2011. In 2011, New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions were 72.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, and net emissions under the Kyoto Protocol were 56.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

 

In 1990, New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions were 59.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e). In 2011, this total had increased by 13.2 Mt CO2-e (22.1 per cent growth) to 72.8 Mt CO2-e. This represents an average annual growth rate of around 1 per cent in total emissions since 1990.

The four emission sources that contributed the most to this increase in total emissions were emissions from dairy cattle, road transport, agricultural soils, and from the release of hydrofluorocarbons from industrial and household refrigerant and air-conditioning systems.

External factors influencing the trend in emissions in recent years have included oil prices, the global financial crisis, and growth in key sectors of the economy such as agriculture. Policy impacts on emissions are harder to identify and include initiatives that support energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as, from 2008, the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS).

Net emissions are gross emissions less removals of greenhouse gases by forestry activities. Net emissions as reported under the Kyoto Protocol are only reported from 2008 as required under the Protocol. There are currently four data points available for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008–2012).

Net emissions were lower in 2011 (56.1 Mt CO2-e) than they were in 2008 (57.5 Mt CO2-e) at the start of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. The trend in net emissions between 2008 and 2011 is dominated by the trend in total emissions, and by the trend in emission removals from forestry activities under Article 3.3 of the Kyoto Protocol (afforestation, reforestation and deforestation since 31 December 1989).

Gross emissions
(Mt CO2-e)
Net emissions
(Mt CO2-e)
Removals
(Mt CO2-e)
2008 74.1 57.5 16.5
2009 71.4 54.6 16.8
2010 71.8 54.5 17.3
2011 72.8 56.1 16.8

2. Trends in greenhouse gas intensity of the economy by emissions per unit of GDP and emissions per capita

Target: Downward trend
Results: Downward trend

(2012: Downward trend)

In 2011, New Zealand’s emissions per capita51 were 16.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per person. Emissions per capita have decreased by 4.7 per cent since 1991. The general trend in emissions per capita continues downward, despite a slight increase in emission per capita between 2010 and 2011 (approximately 0.5 per cent).

line graph showing total gross greenhouse gas emissions per capita 1991-2011

The graph shows New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions per capita from 1990 to 2011. In 2011, emissions were 16.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per capita.

The next graph shows New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions divided by GDP (product measure)52 from 1990–2011. New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP have decreased by 28.8 per cent since 1990.

line graph showing New Zealand's total gross greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP 1990-2011

The graph shows New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions divided by GDP from 1990 to 2011. In 2011, New Zealand emitted 520 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for each million dollar of GDP.

 

3. Divergence between forecast net position and Kyoto Protocol obligations

Target: Decreasing liability / increasing asset 53
Results: Increased surplus of units, but decreasing bookable value of the asset due to a fall in carbon price

(2012: Decreasing bookable value of the asset due to a fall in carbon price)

The projected balance of Kyoto Protocol emissions units is updated twice a year; once in April to include updated emissions data, and once in June to include Kyoto units surrendered to the Government through the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. The Kyoto Protocol financial position is updated monthly for changes in the exchange rate and emission unit transfers.

 

New Zealand’s net position under the Kyoto Protocol

New Zealand’s net position is a forecast of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions over the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008–2012). Under the Kyoto Protocol, New Zealand has committed to return emissions to 1990 levels on average over the commitment period or otherwise take responsibility for the excess.

The latest projection of New Zealand’s net position under the Kyoto Protocol is a surplus of 64 million units. The net position has increased by 28.6 million units, from 35.4 million units in June 2012.

The largest contribution (36 million units) to the increase is a large amount of Kyoto Units that were surrendered to the Government in 2012/13 by participants under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS). Kyoto Units surrendered under the NZ ETS contribute to the net position, but New Zealand Units do not.

Other factors include a projected rise in removals from forestry, and increasing projected emissions from the industrial processes and agriculture sectors.

Although the net surplus of units has increased by 28.6 million units since June 2012, the bookable value of the asset has decreased due to a fall in the global carbon price as show in the table below.

This table presents the forecasted net position as at 30 June of each year within the commitment period.

Financial statements period ended

2012/13

2011/12

2010/11

2009/10

2008/09

2007/08

Net position excluding transfers

23.1

27.6

25.3

13.5

9.6

(21.7)

Net transfers from the assigned amount in million units

(40.9)

(7.8)

3.5

2.3

0.0

0.0

Net position in million units

64.0

35.4

21.8

11.2

9.6

(21.7)

Carbon price EURO

0.49

3.6

10.95

10.75

10.00

12.50

Exchange rate

0.59630

0.63185

0.57335

0.5677

0.4628

0.4829

Carbon price NZD

0.82

5.70

19.10

18.94

21.61

25.89

Value of the net asset/(liability) in NZD

53

202

417

212

207

(562)

More information on New Zealand’s net position under the Kyoto Protocol and changes from year to year is available on theMinistry’s website: www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/climate/greenhouse-gas-emissions/net-position/index.html.

What it cost

The Ministry’s domestic and international climate change work programme is funded by Multi-class Output Appropriation: Climate Change under Vote Environment.54

This Multi-class Output Appropriation comprises three output classes that contribute to the outcome of ensuring New Zealand becomes a successful low-carbon society that is resilient to climate change impacts on its climate, economy and lifestyle. These output classes share a particular focus on decreasing New Zealand’s net emissions of greenhouse gases below business as usual levels in a cost-effective way:

  • Domestic Climate Change Programme
  • International Climate Change Programme
  • Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy.

LUCAS is funded by Multi-year Appropriation: Land Use and Carbon Analysis System.

Vote Environment

Multi-class Output Appropriation: Climate Change

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

8,586

Total revenue

8,105

7,792

7,396

Expenses

5,123

Domestic climate change programme

3,669

4,609

3,854

3,463

International climate change programme

3,429

3,183

3,542

Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy

773

957

8,586

Total expenses

7,871

7,792

8,353

Net surplus/(deficit)

234

Departmental Output Class: Domestic Climate Change Programme

This output class is limited to the provision of advice (including second opinion advice and contributions to policy advice led by other agencies) to support decision-making by Ministers on government policy matters relating to domestic climate change.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

4,900

Crown

3,715

4,609

3,819

115

Departmental

8

21

108

Other

14

14

5,123

Total revenue

3,737

4,609

3,854

5,123

Total expenses

3,669

4,609

3,854

Net surplus/(deficit)

68

The Ministry’s 2012/13 domestic climate change programme was delivered at a cost that was $185,000 less than Supplementary Estimates. This is due to a number of factors. The Ministry supports the Climate Change Iwi Leaders Group (CCILG) by providing funding for technical advice on an ‘as required basis’. The level of advice requested by the CCILG was less than forecast. Also, there has been a delay in the Negotiated Greenhouse Agreement work stream due to issues found during the verification work of an agreement.

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $4.609 million. During the year, the budget was reduced due to the completion of the Emissions Trading Scheme Review which cost less than anticipated, and the reprioritisation of funding to Departmental Output Class: Water Management Policy Advice to help fund the freshwater reforms.

Departmental Output Class: International Climate Change Programme

This output class is limited to the provision of advice (including second opinion advice and contributions to policy advice led by other agencies) to support decision-making by Ministers on government policy matters relating to international climate change issues, negotiating positions for climate change agreements, and development of carbon markets.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

3,322

Crown

3,481

3,183

3,518

56

Departmental

6

13

85

Other

23

11

3,463

Total revenue

3,510

3,183

3,542

3,463

Total expenses

3,429

3,183

3,542

Net surplus/(deficit)

81

 

At Main Estimates, the 2012/13 budget for this output class was $3.183 million. During the year, the budget was increased to progress continuing international negotiations for climate change agreements after Commitment Period One which ended on 31 December 2012.

Departmental Output Class: Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy

This output class is limited to the implementation and collection of the Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy.

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

Crown

858

957

Departmental

Other

Total revenue

858

957

Total expenses

773

957

Net surplus/(deficit)

85

 

The 2012/13 cost of implementing the Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy was less than expected at Supplementary Estimates as the implementation has taken longer than envisaged. Final documentation of the systems and processes was expected to be completed by 30 June; however, this was completed in early 2013/14 instead.

Multi-year Appropriation: Land Use and Carbon Analysis System

This appropriation is limited to developing a national carbon accounting system that will contribute to meeting of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas reporting obligations under the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This multi-year appropriation began on 1 July 2012 and expires on 30 June 2014. Once this multi-year appropriation expires, the LUCAS programme will be funded from Departmental Output Class: Carbon Monitoring Programme.

Appropriations, adjustments and use

$000

Original appropriation

15,843

Adjustment for 2011/12

Adjustment for 2012/13

1,078

Total adjusted appropriation

16,921

Actual expenses to 2011/12 year end

Actual expenses to 2012/13 year end

7,889

Total actual expenses

7,889

Balance of appropriation remaining

9,032

Non-departmental funding

One of the Ministry’s functions under this impact is the administering of appropriations for the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) on behalf of the Crown. It is also responsible for making sure the Crown’s financial obligation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is met each year.

Actual
2012
$000

Actual
2013
$000

Appropriation55
2013
$000

Income

136,489

Emissions trading

40,474

5,072

20,287

Revision in carbon units

4,178

NZ ETS penalty revenue

583

45

507,247

Net changes in carbon price of NZ Units including foreign exchange movements

235,399

377,415

668,201 Total income

276,456

382,532

Expenditure

128

Administration of NZ Units held on trust

160

177

334,248

Allocation of New Zealand Units

54,823

327,980

4,146

Impairment of debt relating to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme

522

15,000

Revision in carbon units56

40,845

33,219

Net changes in carbon price of NZ Units including foreign exchange movements57

132,367

165,835

2,355

Issue of New Zealand Assigned Amount Units to Permanent Forest Sink Initiative participants

336

16,800

Purchase of Units under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme

6,000

969

Purchase of Projects to Reduce Emissions Units

12

1,252

1,807

Indemnity payments (Permanent Legislative Authority)

1,102

3,447

Emissions Trading Scheme58

7,937

7,937

116

Framework Convention on Climate Change

103

127

347,216

Total expenditure

238,207

574,327

The variance between actuals and Supplementary Estimates is primarily due to the decrease in the carbon price and increase in the EURO/NZ exchange rate. The Supplementary Estimates is calculated based on a carbon price of NZ$10 per unit and the actuals are based on the monthly average price of carbon units at the time the revenue is recognised.

Quality standards for policy advice and ministerial servicing

The Ministry for the Environment is the Government’s primary adviser on the New Zealand environment and international matters that affect the environment. We take very seriously our role of providing quality policy advice to help decision-makers make decisions.

Since 2010/11, the Ministry has implemented new quality standards for policy advice and made improvements to the frameworks and guidance for delivering advice. We set ourselves a very high standard to aspire towards. We also set a target that the large majority of papers meet that high standard. As an example, a common benchmark used by New Zealand Institute of Economic Research implies a target of only 50 per cent of papers meeting the quality standard versus our target of 70 per cent.

Because we want to continue to improve, we have also:

  • raised the profile of our quality criteria and signalled their importance
  • analysed the papers which were assessed and identified particular weaknesses and opportunities for improvement
  • run workshops with managers to set expectations of required standards, identify barriers, and propose solutions to these barriers
  • run staff sessions targeting areas where work can be improved, including strengthening commissioning and the peer reviewer role.

The Ministry has undertaken seven formal assessments of policy advice from July 2012 to June 2013. The internal panel is chaired by an external independent chair, Howard Fancy, a former public sector Chief Executive. The quality assessment criteria and the methodology for randomly sampling papers remained the same as those used since November 2010, which enables year-on-year comparison.

Each assessment looked at 10–15 briefing notes and Cabinet papers randomly selected across all of the Ministry’s policy advice. Given that the Ministry is placing particular emphasis on the quality of its policy advice, papers of a more ‘transactional nature’ (such as those needed for appointments to boards, or for preparing the Minister for meetings) were excluded from the assessments.

All Vote Environment output classes

Actual
30 June 2012
Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
59% of papers sampled met the Ministry’s external reporting quality standard Percentage of the Ministry’s policy advice sampled that meets the Ministry’s quality criteria At least 70% of policy advice papers sampled are of a high quality59 51%
100% of the regulatory impact statements (RISs) assessed fully or partially met the quality assurance criteria. Of these, 71% fully met the criteria and 29% partially met the criteria Percentage of all regulatory impact statements that fully or partially meet quality assurance criteria [See note below] At least 90% 84% of the RIS assessed fully or partially met the quality assurance criteria. Of these, 69% fully met the criteria and 31% partially met the criteria

Note: The Government wants to ensure that proposals involving regulatory options are subject to careful and robust analysis. To help ensure the regulatory process is open and transparent, regulatory impact statements (RISs) are prepared to support the consideration of regulatory proposals, including the potential introduction of new legislation (bills or regulations), changes to/the repeal of existing legislation, and discussion documents which propose legislative or regulatory change.

Depending on the significance of the proposal, RISs are assessed by the Ministry’s Regulatory Impact Analysis Panel or The Treasury to ascertain the quality of the analysis underpinning the proposal and recommendations. The criteria for assessment are:

• complete
• convincing
• consulted
• clear and concise.

Where all criteria are fully met, a RIS is deemed to ‘meet’ the quality assurance criteria. A ‘partially meets’ is given where the RIS does not meet one of the criteria (eg, there has been no or limited consultation). A ‘does not meet’ is given where the RIS is weak in multiple areas.

Ministerial support for Vote Environment

Actual 30 June 201260 Performance measure Target 2012/13 Actual 30 June 2013
100% Percentage of responses to parliamentary questions that are completed within required timeframes 100% 100%
94% Percentage of responses to Ministerial correspondence submitted to the Minister within agreed timeframes 95% 90%
84% Percentage of responses to Ministerial correspondence accepted first time by the Minister 90% 92%
90% Percentage of responses to departmental Official Information Act requests sent within statutory deadlines 100% 95%
94% Percentage of briefing notes accepted first time by the Minister 90% 95%
3.25 out of 5 Overall Ministerial satisfaction as surveyed quarterly Average 4 out of 5 3.33 out of 5

What it cost

Vote Environment

Departmental Output Class: Ministerial Services

This output class is limited to the provision of services to Ministers to enable them to discharge their portfolio responsibilities (other than policy decision-making).

Actual
2012
$000

 

Actual
2013
$000

Main estimates
2013
$000

Supplementary estimates
2013
$000

 

Revenue

 

 

 

1,732

Crown

2,675

2,973

2,651

25

Departmental

2

5

14

Other

5

4

1,771

Total revenue

2,682

2,973

2,660

1,771

Total expenses

2,604

2,973

2,660

Net surplus/(deficit)

78

 

This output class was established in 2012/13. As this was the first year of operation for this appropriation, the Main Estimates budget was developed using a broad set of assumptions for the costs and resources required to support the Minister. During the year, the Ministry has collected better information on the level of resources required and has refined its external budget.

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3  Most areas of New Zealand have between 600 and 1600mm of rain annually. Source: NIWA – Overview of New Zealand Climate http://www.niwa.co.nz/education-and-training/schools/resources/climate/overview.

4  These funds are the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean-up Fund, administered by the Ministry for the Environment, and the Irrigation Acceleration Fund, administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

5  Section 32A of the Public Finance Act. This section requires the Minister to provide Parliament with a statement of service performance about significant non-departmental appropriations within their Vote that are not covered by other reporting to Parliament.

6  More information on the funded projects is available on the Waikato River Authority’s website: www.waikatoriver.org.nz.

7  The five departmental output classes within Multi-class Appropriation: Improving Resource Management are: Developing and Implementing Treaty Settlements and Environmental Accords; Marine Environment Policy Advice; Resource Management Implementation; Resource Management Policy Advice; and Water Management Policy Advice. Parliamentary authority is given at the multi-class appropriation level rather than at an individual output class level. Refer to ‘Statement of Departmental Expenses and Capital Expenditure against Appropriations’ on pages 92 to 94 for the total spend against total Appropriation for the ‘Improving Resource Management’ Multi-class Appropriation.

8  This includes adjustments made in the Supplementary Estimates under the Public Finance Act 1989.

9  In accordance with New Zealand Financial Reporting Standards, the Ministry recognised the payment of $210 million over 30 years to the Waikato River Clean-up Trust as an expense in 2009/10 in net present value terms and additional $10 million for the Waipa River extension clean-up as an expense in 2011/12 in net present value terms. The expense recognised annually since, represents the unwinding of the discounts recognised in 2009/10 and 2011/12. It does not represent the cash payments made each financial year. These remain unchanged from what was agreed under the deeds of settlement. The cash payment profile as per the deeds of settlement is an annual payment of $7 million until 2037/38.

10  In Principle Expense Transfers were requested for both these appropriations in 2012/13. The final amounts of these transfers were confirmed in July 2013.

11  See the explanation provided in footnote 10.

12  0.002 per cent.

13  ArcMap is part of Esri’s ArcGIS suite of geospatial processing programmes, and is used primarily to view, edit, create and analyse geospatial data.

14  ‘Large’ and ‘significant’ surface water catchments are defined as fifth tier planning units in the Freshwater Ecosystems of NZ geo-database.

15  An improving or deteriorating trend is one that is statistically significant, and ecologically meaningful (ie, that it improves or decreases by 1 per cent or more per year). Further information on trends is available from the Ministry for the Environment’s River Condition Indicator: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/environmental-reporting/fresh-water/river-condition-indicator/.

16  Ministry for the Environment. 2013. Improving our resource management system: A discussion document. Wellington: Ministry for the Environment.

17  Section 360 sets out the regulations the Governor-General can make, by Order in Council.

18  For more information on the environmental indicator updates, see pages 28 and 29.

19  This measure was established in the Main Estimates 2013/14. However, the Ministry has decided to report against this measure in 2012/13 as it makes a useful distinction between those Resource Management Act processes that have statutory timeframes and those that do not. In 2011/12, the measure immediately above this new measure covered all Resource Management Act processes, including those without statutory timeframes.

20  An airshed is an area identified by a regional council that is known or likely to have air quality problems.

21  The results for EPA reported in the 2011/12 Annual Report were incorrect. The EPA met all of their statutory resource consent timeframes in 2011/12 and therefore the results should have been 100%.

22  The remaining two output classes are:

• Departmental Output Class: Water Management Policy Advice which contributes to the ‘improving the quality, flow and availability of fresh water through more effective management frameworks’ impact. More information on the Ministry’s freshwater work programme is available on pages 12 to 22.

• Departmental Output Class: Developing and Implementing Treaty Settlements and Environmental Accords which contributes to ‘improving the relationship between the Ministry and Māori by negotiating fair, durable and fit for purpose deeds of settlement and environmental accords’ impact. More information on the Ministry’s Treaty work programme is available on pages 46 to 50.

Parliamentary authority is given at the multi-class appropriation level rather than at an individual output class level. Refer to ‘Statement of Departmental Expenses and Capital Expenditure against Appropriations’ on pages 92 to 94 for the total spend against total appropriation for the ‘Improving Resource Management’ Multi-class Appropriation.

23  Section 32 of the Resource Management Act 1991 requires Auckland Council to carry out an evaluation of the Auckland Unitary Plan to consider the costs, benefits and alternatives of the Plan.

24  This includes adjustments made in the Supplementary Estimates under the Public Finance Act 1989.

25  The full report is available on the Environmental Protection Authority’s website: www.epa.govt.nz.

26  The eight key HSNO controls were: Safety data sheets are on site and able to be produced; personal protective equipment is used and staff are trained in use and maintenance; approved handlers; location test certificate held; HSNO signage in place; emergency response plan is available and covers off hazardous substances and has been tested within the past 12 months; stationary container test certificate held; and secondary containment is in place.

27 The estimate is based on WMF projects completed by 30 June 2013.

28  End-of-life products are e-waste, mercury containing lamps and batteries, tyres, agricultural chemicals, and products containing refrigerant gases.

29  EPA. 2013. Monitoring the Effectiveness of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996. Report to the Minister for the Environment, June 2013. Environmental Protection Authority.

30  This includes adjustments made in the Supplementary Estimates under the Public Finance Act 1989.

31  Part 2.2 of the Environment Sector – Information Supporting the Estimates 2012/13 states that Non-Departmental Other Expense: Contestable Waste Minimisation Fund contributes to the impact seeking to ‘achieve better solutions to environmental problems by supporting community involvement and action, and international cooperation’. However, the departmental function of administering this Fund is funded from Departmental Output Class: Waste Minimisation Administration which contributes to the impact within this section of the annual report. Therefore, to provide a better link between non-departmental and departmental functions, the Ministry is including the Fund under this impact.

32  The five Departmental output classes within Multi-class Appropriation: Improving Resource Management are: Developing and Implementing Treaty Settlements and Environmental Accords; Marine Environment Policy Advice; Resource Management Implementation; Resource Management Policy Advice; and Water Management Policy Advice. Parliamentary authority is given at the multi-class appropriation level rather than at an individual output class level. Refer to ‘Statement of Departmental Expenses and Capital Expenditure against Appropriations’ on pages 92 to 94 for the total spend against total appropriation for the ‘Improving Resource Management’ Multi-class Appropriation.

33  This includes adjustments made in the Supplementary Estimates under the Public Finance Act 1989.

34  In accordance with New Zealand Financial Reporting Standards the Ministry recognised the payment of $150 million over 30 years to the Waikato River Iwi as an expense in 2009/10 in net present value terms. The expenses recognised annually since represent the unwinding of the discount recognised in 2009/10. It does not represent the cash payments made each financial year. These remain unchanged from what was agreed under the deeds of settlement. The cash payment profile as per the deeds of settlement is $5 million in 2012/13 and each year until 2027/28 and then $4 million in 2028/29 and 2029/30.

35  An in-kind contribution is a cash-equivalent form of support that is donated and assists with the project costs. This support includes the use or donation of equipment and facilities, and community volunteer time. Projects that demonstrate strong community involvement are given preference.

36  Deliverables are agreed between the Minister and the Ministry and set out in the Output Plan.

37  Also contributes to impact: Reduce harm from natural, chemical and biological hazards and from waste through more effective management frameworks.

37  Also contributes to impact: Reduce harm from natural, chemical and biological hazards and from waste through more effective management frameworks.

38  The impact target has been amended to include ‘and/or managed’ to make it more consistent with the impact measure.

39  Remediated sites are sites where the contamination has been remediated or is subject to site management procedures to ensure the site is suitable for its intended use.

40  Managed sites are sites that are currently subject to detailed site investigations, remedial planning, and/or remediation.

41  Total priority sites is the sum of the priority sites previously addressed by the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund and the priority sites on the Ministry’s current priority list.

42  In-kind contributions include professional services and goods (calculated using the actual hourly rate), use and donation of equipment, community volunteers/staff time (calculated at a rate of $30 per hour), and facilities provided. In-kind contributions are ‘donated’ to the project and do not count towards the total project cost.

43  This does not include environment centres operational costs (which account for an additional 12 completed CEF projects).

44  This includes adjustments made in the Supplementary Estimates under the Public Finance Act 1989.

45  Part 2.2 of the Environment Sector – Information Supporting the Estimates 2011/12 states that Non-Departmental Output Expense: Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund and Non-Departmental Output Expense: Tui Mine Remediation (MYA) contribute to the impact seeking to ‘reduce harm from chemical and biological hazards and from waste through more effective management frameworks’. However, the departmental functions associated with administering this funding is funded from Departmental Output Class: Domestic Obligations and Programmes which contribute to the impact within this section of the Annual Report. Therefore, to provide a better link between non-departmental and departmental functions, the Ministry is including these non-departmental output expenses appropriations under this impact.

46  See the explanation provided in footnote 45.

47  http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/climate/greenhouse-gas-inventory-2013-snapshot/index.html.

48  Deliverables are agreed between the Minister and the Ministry and set out in the Output Plan.

49  Gross emissions exclude any removals of emissions through Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry.

50  Net emissions reported under the Kyoto Protocol are defined as gross emissions plus emissions and removals from Article 3.3 activities of the Kyoto Protocol. This includes removals from the growth of post-1989 forest, and emissions from the conversion of land to post-1989 forest, the harvesting of forests planted on non-forest land after 31 December 1989, and the deforestation of all forest types, as well as emissions from liming, biomass burning, and soil disturbance associated with land-use conversion to cropland.

51  Statistics New Zealand – Total estimated resident population, mean year ended 31 December, since 1991.

52  Statistics New Zealand official series – GDP (Production), Chain volume, Actual, Total Annual-March, expressed in 1995/96 constant prices; 21 March 2013.

53  A net asset means that New Zealand’s net emissions are projected to be below our commitment under the Kyoto Protocol whereas a net liability means that New Zealand’s net emissions are projected to be above our commitment.

54  In 2011/12, Multi-class Output Appropriation: Climate Change was funded under Vote Climate Change. In late 2011/12, Votes Environment and Climate Change were merged.

55  This includes adjustments made in the Supplementary Estimates under the Public Finance Act 1989.

56  This is a remeasurement under the Public Finance Act 1989 and therefore does not require an appropriation.

57  This is a remeasurement under the Public Finance Act 1989 and therefore does not require an appropriation.

58  This is the operating funding provided to the Environmental Protection Authority to administer the NZ ETS.

59  High quality is defined as papers marked as seven out of 10 (or higher) by the assessment panel.

60  Comparatives show performance results for Ministerial support for Vote Environment and Vote Climate Change. In late 2011/12, these Votes were merged.