You are here

View all publications

Overview of the 2009/10 year

Our Role

Mission and vision

Our vision: A prosperous New Zealand where a healthy environment enhances social and economic well-being.

Our mission: Environmental stewardship for a prosperous New Zealand – Tiakina te taiao kia tōnui a Aotearoa

‘Environmental stewardship’ requires taking the long-term view, so that the capacity of the environment to generate benefits is maintained. ‘Prosperous’ means that resources must be allocated efficiently, to generate the most benefit for New Zealanders.

The Ministry for the Environment advises the Government on all matters related to the environment and is one of its major advisers on the sustainable development of New Zealand. Our advice includes both international and domestic matters related to the environment and climate change.

An important element of our role in environmental stewardship is providing advice on effective environmental governance in New Zealand.

As part of this role we undertake investigations, analysis, review and monitoring so that we can advise and report on a range of issues, including the state of New Zealand’s environment. We implement government decisions by leading ‘whole of government’ initiatives, coordinating the delivery of environmental programmes and administering legislation.

We work closely with other government agencies that have interests in the environment and resource management, particularly through a network of natural resources agencies which the Ministry chairs and supports. There is a similar forum for collaboration with regional councils.

Much of the responsibility for day-to-day environmental management is devolved to local government. This makes regional and district councils a critical part of environmental management in New Zealand. Central government provides guidance for their activities through national policy statements and national environmental standards (which are binding on local authorities), and also through professional development and sharing knowledge about best practice.

In 2009/10, an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) was established as a statutory office within the Ministry for the Environment to administer and make recommendations to the Minister for the Environment regarding the processing of nationally significant consent applications, plan changes, notices of requirement and certificates of compliance. Over the coming financial year, work will be undertaken to prepare the EPA for establishment in the 2011/12 financial year as a Crown entity, with a Board accountable to the Minister for the Environment.

The Ministry also monitors the performance of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (a Crown entity) on behalf of the Minister for the Environment. The Authority makes decisions on applications to import, develop or field test or release new organisms; and to import or manufacture hazardous substances.

Progress with Priorities and Highlights for 2009/10

At the start of the 2009/10 financial year, the Minister for the Environment set out eight priorities for the Ministry for the Environment’s work programme. This section outlines some of the highlights of our work in relation to those priorities.

Reform of the Resource Management Act

The resource management reforms have been planned in two phases, resulting in the biggest review since the Resource Management Act was enacted in 1991. The first phase of the reforms culminated in amendments to the Act that began on 1 October 2009. Several key changes were made, including streamlining and improving processes for resource consents and for projects of national significance, and strengthening compliance.

In September 2009, Cabinet agreed the work programme for phase two of the resource management reforms. This set out the scope and timing of the 10 workstreams on resource management reform for 2009/10. These workstreams cover the Environmental Protection Authority, fresh water, aquaculture, sector specific issues (infrastructure and urban planning), and streamlining the interface between the Resource Management Act and other legislation.

Work will continue on phase two of the reforms in 2010/11. Legislation is likely to be introduced in early 2011 for most of the workstreams. However, the legislation needed to establish the Environmental Protection Authority is expected to be introduced later this year.

Redesign and implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme

The Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill was delivered on schedule. The Bill received Royal Assent on 7 December 2009. It amended the Emissions Trading Scheme to reduce the costs to households and the impact on jobs, while ensuring New Zealand takes a responsible approach to the global problem of greenhouse gas pollution and climate change. The Emissions Trading Scheme came into force on 1 July 2010.

Regulations for Stationery Energy and Industrial Processes, and Liquid Fossil Fuels were in force from 1 January 2010 for those sectors to begin monitoring and reporting. Draft regulations for the Waste, Synthetic Gases, and Agriculture sectors were drafted for consultation.

Improving New Zealand’s freshwater management

The Government’s new strategy for freshwater management, New Start for Fresh Water, was announced in June 2009. The detailed work programme, led by the Ministry for the Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, has three key elements:

  • stakeholder-led collaborative process run by the Land and Water Forum that will develop shared outcomes, goals and long-term strategies for fresh water
  • engagement between Ministers and the Iwi Leaders’ Group to advance discussions on resolving high level freshwater issues, including iwi/Māori rights and interests, particularly in freshwater management and allocation initiatives
  • a work programme on matters covering freshwater allocation, quality and infrastructure, science and monitoring and effective decision making.

During 2009/10 progress has been made in all of these areas. In addition, significant support was provided for Government decision making in relation to improving Canterbury’s water management.

Creating an Environmental Protection Authority

The Environmental Protection Authority was established on 1 October 2009, as part of the first phase of Resource Management Act reforms. It became a statutory office within the Ministry for the Environment, under the Secretary for the Environment. The Environmental Protection Authority was established to centralise and streamline the decision-making process of nationally significant consent applications.

The Government has decided that a new Environmental Protection Authority will be established as a Crown agency, responsible to the Minister for the Environment. It is expected to be operational by 1 July 2011.

Ensuring that New Zealand constructively assists in achieving a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change

The Ministry provided, and continues to provide, input into determining the work programme of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

New Zealand’s negotiating position for a future global climate change agreement and ministerial delegations for decision making in the negotiations were confirmed by Cabinet on 30 November 2009. Because the Copenhagen Conference produced a high level political agreement, the Copenhagen Accord, the Cabinet mandate will extend until such time as an international treaty that can be ratified is agreed.

Implementing the Waste Minimisation Act

The Waste Minimisation Act 2008 had its first full year of operation in 2009/10. From 1 July 2009, a $10 per tonne (excluding GST) levy on all waste sent to landfill was imposed. The levy creates the opportunity to fund waste minimisation initiatives and provides an economic incentive for behaviour change.

Half of the levy money goes to territorial authorities for waste minimisation activities. Systems and processes for payment of the territorial authority share of the waste disposal levy have been established and two payments were made in 2009/10.

The remaining levy money, minus administration costs, goes into a fund to support waste minimisation projects. Applications for the first annual round of funding closed in March. At the end of the financial year, decisions on the successful projects were being finalised.

Our Organisational Health and Capability

Objectives and achievements

The Ministry’s objectives and progress on organisational health and capability are outlined below. The objectives were intended to be multi-year, so cannot all be reported each year.

Objective Indicator Measured by Performance
Capability strategy: Developing our people
Develop and maintain a skilled and motivated workforce which has the flexibility to adapt to changing goals and priorities over time. Positive feedback from staff about their perceptions of working at the Ministry.

Staff length of service and turnover.
Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement Survey (next survey is scheduled for August 2010).

Monitoring human resources statistics.
The 2009 Gallup Q12 survey indicated some areas of staff engagement that the Ministry needed to focus attention on. This informed engagement action planning by teams during the year.

Staff turnover has reduced and length of service increased, though this is partly due to the current economic situation.
Value strategy: Developing quality operating systems
Operate efficient, practical and integrated internal systems. Internal policies, procedures and systems are fit for purpose and consistently applied. Internal audit and review based on internal audit schedule – a combination of strategically placed reviews and compliance checks.

External audits and reviews.
The Internal Auditor examines practices in relation to internal policies and procedures, based on the internal audit schedule approved by the Chief Executive. Action was taken on issues related to policies and procedures identified through internal audits.

We are systematically addressing recommendations made by external auditors.
Alignment strategy: Working effectively across the Ministry and government
Strengthen internal working arrangements and collaboration with other agencies across central and local government. Positive views of Ministers, central agencies and external stakeholders about the Ministry’s ability to operate effectively in a complex environment. Feedback from Ministers and central agencies.

Survey of stakeholder perceptions.
We continue to strengthen collaboration with other agencies, particularly the Natural Resources Sector Network, and regional councils. Informal feedback indicates that these efforts have been positively received.

A survey of stakeholder perceptions of the Ministry was not undertaken in 2009/10.
Results strategy: Setting and achieving longer-term goals
Ensure that the Ministry is clear about the results it needs to deliver and that advice is underpinned by good information. Positive reviews of Ministers, central agencies and external stakeholders about our strategic capacity and use of evidence. Feedback from Ministers and central agencies that the strategic direction is clear and advice is evidence-based.

Regular internal monitoring.
A new strategic direction was developed, along with a strategic plan to guide collection and use of evidence and a strategic policy work programme. It is too early to collect and report feedback.

Informal monitoring indicates increasing understanding of the priorities and strategic direction.
Tūhono strategy: Improving our engagement with Māori
Develop and grow trust, confidence and respect between the Ministry and Māori. Increased collaboration with Māori to share knowledge and work towards common outcomes. Feedback from Ministers, iwi leaders and iwi resource managers about the Ministry’s ability to engage effectively. We continue to improve our engagement with Māori. Informal feedback from the Chair of the Iwi Advisers’ Group indicates that there is an increasing level of confidence in the Ministry’s engagement with iwi on the development of policy, in particular water and climate change, and our ability to work collaboratively towards agreed outcomes.
Connections strategy: Working effectively with sectors
Build and maintain strong relationships and partnerships with those who affect environmental sustainability. Positive views of external stakeholders on the Ministry’s performance in managing key relationships. Survey of stakeholder perceptions of the Ministry. A survey of stakeholder perceptions of the Ministry was not undertaken in 2009/10.

Ministry profile

The Ministry employs 294 full-time equivalent staff. This includes policy analysts who provide advice to the Government on environmental issues and implement government decisions. Our staff come from a wide range of professional, technical and scientific backgrounds, including resource management, law, engineering and science. Many have previously worked in local government, the private sector, or other central government agencies.

Core unplanned turnover at the Ministry is approximately 10 per cent. The average length of service within the Ministry is approximately 4.1 years. The lower rate of unplanned turnover compared with the previous year and the increase in length of service are largely due to current economic conditions and the uncertain job market.

Recent work on the design and structure of the Ministry, along with the increasing focus on strategic outcomes and how our people contribute, has helped clarify roles, responsibilities and expectations. The Ministry’s continued work on organisational development has also contributed to a lower rate of unplanned turnover.

In 2009/10, the Ministry continued to progress a range of organisational development and human resources projects, including a management capability programme, a performance assessment process, a remuneration framework, and developing a policy apprenticeship model.

core unplanned turnover graph

Year Ministry Public service
1998 24%  
1999 22%  
2000 23% 11%
2001 13% 13%
2002 18% 11%
2003 15% 11%
2004 17% 12%
2005 15% 14%
2006 18% 13%
2007 19% 14%
2008 21% 15%
2009 17% 11%
2010 10%  

Equal employment opportunities

The Ministry works to ensure that procedures for recruitment and selection, career development and progression, training and conditions of employment will provide equal opportunities and where appropriate are based on merit. A refreshed training programme for management and selected staff around these areas was designed and implemented as part of a new orientation programme.

Currently women make up approximately 42 per cent of the management team at the Ministry. This is an increase on 2008/09, where women made up 39 per cent of management.

Risk management

The Audit and Risk Committee continues to be an effective forum, identifying high level strategic risk with the Chief Executive and providing advice on the effectiveness of our risk management. This small group of external advisers was established to provide independent assurance and advice to the Chief Executive.

Risk management is actively used in strategic management of the organisation, based on a clear definition of risk appetite in our current operating context. Risk management principles are being applied more confidently and effectively throughout the operational areas of the organisation, both in project management and business as usual activities. The Ministry has established an internal Project Management Office and has also been proactive in seeking independent quality assurance for significant projects to ensure project risks are managed effectively.

We have begun the development of a durable business continuity plan that complements existing emergency and disaster recovery procedures. This will ensure that a consistent approach is applied to existing provisions.

Improving Capability and Performance


Through a process of engagement with staff, we have developed a strategic direction for the Ministry. This sets out how the Ministry wants to operate in the future, building on our mission statement, so as to drive both organisational development and the strategic thinking that underpins our advice. A programme of work to explore strategic environmental and resource management policy issues was mapped out. An information strategic plan was also prepared to guide development of the evidence base that informs and supports decision making.


A major focus of the Ministry’s senior leadership team during the year has been on continuing the process of change and organisational development that will increase our effectiveness. A review of the Ministry’s policy function was the major element of that work, though attention was also given to some corporate areas, in particular communications and finance.

At the start of the 2009/10 financial year we introduced a new system of governance arrangements for the Ministry and our work programme. The senior leadership team – Chief Executive, three Deputy Secretaries, and Tumuaki – focuses on leadership, strategic direction and key external relationships. The cross-ministry group of directors now has primary responsibility for leading, guiding and resourcing the work programme.

People and culture

Building capability and staff engagement have been the two major areas of focus during the 2009/10 year. A development programme was run for all managers to ensure they had the skills and range of tools required to effectively carry out this role. Directors were involved in a parallel programme to help them support and coach their managers.

In 2009, reviews and reorganisation were undertaken in the Finance and Communications Directorates to ensure the Ministry would have the capability needed in these corporate roles. The new arrangements and staffing are now in place. A review of the Ministry’s policy function was carried out in 2010 and new arrangements will be in place in August 2010, though work will continue on building capability.

Staff engagement surveys in 2008 and 2009 indicated some areas of engagement for the Ministry to focus on. During the year managers and teams developed action plans to improve engagement and worked on particular aspects that were important to them.


The Ministry’s main strategic relationships are with the natural resources agencies in central government, regional councils and Māori leaders.

An important focus of collaboration with other government departments is the Natural Resources Sector. In 2009/10 the Sector strengthened cross-department collaboration on key pieces of policy such as water, climate change and aquaculture. Economy and environment principles were developed to provide a framework for analysts to consider the complexity of natural resources policy issues in a consistent way. The Sector has also begun work on initiatives to promote shared capability across member departments by identifying areas where systems and processes can be better coordinated.

The Chief Executives’ Environment Forum brings together the chief executives of regional councils with central government chief executives to work on issues of common interest. During the year increasing emphasis was given to strategic issues, joint programmes of action, and relationships between central and local government.

Particular attention was given during the year to improving the Ministry’s engagement with Māori and iwi leaders, who are key stakeholders in resource management. The Ministry has developed a set of principles to guide this engagement and an action plan to help build strategic relationships.

Performance improvement actions

Performance improvement actions are used to describe the steps we are taking to improve the way we operate over the short to medium term. During 2009/10 the Ministry’s focus was on actions shown in the table of ‘objectives and achievements’ above. Two performance improvement actions were identified in 2010:

  • adjusting to fiscal constraints
  • building a high-performing and strategic policy advice function.

During the past year, the Ministry has undertaken a range of work to adjust to fiscal constraints, including a baseline review to ensure that it operates as effectively and efficiently as possible in the delivery of its work programmes. The Ministry continues to face a significant decrease in its baseline over the next few years as short-term funding allocated for specific initiatives comes to an end and additional cost pressures from Government priority areas increase, including the establishment of the Environmental Protection Authority. The Ministry continues to improve its planning, prioritisation and financial management processes to enable evidence based trade-off decisions to be made.

Processes, technology and physical assets

During 2009/10, the Ministry launched two new websites: a website for the new Environmental Protection Authority and a website to administer the waste levy. Two websites were decommissioned: Reduce Your Rubbish and the website of Toi Te Taiao: the Bioethics Council.

In August 2009, the Ministry’s corporate website was refreshed and in June 2010 the Climate Change website was refreshed. Site management tools were also applied across other sites managed by the Ministry to improve the services they deliver.

The Ministry has also implemented the following: an enterprise wide print management solution, a Customer Relationship Management System, a Waste Intelligence Data Warehouse, improved remote access facilities, an offsite disaster recovery facility at Te Puni Kōkiri, and improved staff access to research material to support evidence-based decision making.


From 1 July 2009, the Ministry was reorganised into three major divisions – Policy, Programmes, and Strategy and Corporate. Some structural changes resulting from the review of our policy function were implemented in August 2010. The new organisational structure is shown in Appendix B.

The Ministry’s Leadership Team comprises the Chief Executive Dr Paul Reynolds; three Deputy Secretaries – Guy Beatson, Sue Powell and Andrew Crisp; and the Ministry’s Tumuaki. The Tumuaki, Chappie Te Kani, leads the small Kaahui Taiao team which provides strategic advice and support on Māori and Treaty of Waitangi issues.

Capital expenditure

The Ministry’s capital expenditure in 2009/10 was in three main programmes. These are outlined below:

  • Land Use and Carbon Analysis System (LUCAS)
    This is a multi-faceted programme of work to meet New Zealand’s obligations as a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol. The application combines geospatial information (maps) with carbon models and produces calculations and data in the format required for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Phase 1, the core deliverables, is complete. Phase 2 development work began in February 2010 and is scheduled for completion in October 2010.
  • Customer Relationship Management System and Waste Intelligence Database
    These systems have been developed for staff and managers to record, track and monitor engagement activities with stakeholders. In addition, these systems have been configured as a business tool to support the ongoing business requirements and timely reporting across a number of workstreams that relate to the Waste Minimisation Act.
  • Desktop and server hardware
    This an ongoing capital expenditure item for updating the Ministry’s desktop and server hardware. The remainder is allocated to the purchase and development of software.

Our Environmental Performance

The Ministry for the Environment aims to lead by example. By monitoring our environmental performance we demonstrate our leadership in this area. The Ministry’s environmental performance for 2009/10 is measured using waste minimisation, energy efficiency and transportation as performance indicators.

The year yielded significant improvements in electricity consumption and air travel. The Ministry will continue to make progress in these areas. The major outcomes of this year’s environmental performance compared with 2009/10 are:

  • electricity consumption has decreased
  • distance travelled by ground per full-time equivalent staff member has decreased
  • domestic and international air travel per full-time equivalent staff member has decreased
  • paper and waste recycling per full-time equivalent staff member has increased
  • waste to landfill has decreased.

Benchmarking our performance

    Metric 2009/10 2008/09 2007/08 2006/07 2005/06
Waste Minimisation Waste to landfill kg 1,762 1,917 1,641 2,499 4,141
  Waste to landfill per FTE kg 6 6 6 8 14
  Paper recycled kg 31,430 19,355 30,180 25,860 37,710
  Paper recycled per FTE kg 107 63 107 97 154
  Waste recycled kg 6,773 5,580 5,992 8,942 2,226
  Waste recycled per FTE kg 23 18 21 34 9
  Total waste kg 39,965 26,852 37,812 37,301 44,077
  Total waste per FTE kg 136 87 134 140 180
Energy Efficiency Total electricity usage mWh 760 784 801 706 635
  Total electricity usage per FTE kWh 2,584 2,539 2,846 2,654 2,591
Transportation Domestic flights km 1,490,000 1,590,000 1,739,000 1,747,000 1,807,000
  Domestic flights per FTE km 5,068 5,152 6,175 6,570 7,373
  International flights km 2,736,000 3,318,000 2,685,000 3,683,000 1,404,000
  International flights per FTE km 9,306 10,752 9,535 13,851 5,728
  Ground transport km 96,000 103,000 112,000 130,000 128,000
  Ground transport per FTE km 327 334 398 489 522
  Total transportation km 4,322,000 5,011,000 4,536,000 5,560,000 3,339,000
  Total transportation per FTE km 14,701 16,238 16,108 20,910 13,623

Crown Entity Monitoring

The Environmental Risk Management Authority

The Ministry monitors the performance of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA New Zealand) on behalf of the Minister for the Environment. Senior management met quarterly with the Chair of the Authority and the Chief Executive and were involved in the Authority’s strategic planning day. There were formal six-weekly liaison meetings between the two agencies to discuss joint work programmes and other matters of mutual interest.

The Ministry managed Board appointments, with five re-appointments secured to 1 July 2011. We reviewed quarterly reports, drafts of key accountability documents, and other major reports to monitor ERMA New Zealand’s progress against its annual objectives. Every six months the Ministry provided a detailed analysis of ERMA New Zealand’s performance to the State Services Commission and Treasury.

The current monitoring will continue until 1 July 2011, when the Environmental Protection Authority is expected to become fully operational. Monitoring arrangements after this date have yet to be finalised.

Outcomes Framework


Progress towards Achieving our Outcomes

During the year under review, we improved the ‘impacts’ layer of our outcomes framework to show more clearly the contribution the Ministry makes towards achieving our outcomes. Because the outcomes framework is relevant to our activities in 2009/10, we have included the most recent version in this report. We report below, where possible, our performance in relation to the impacts during 2009/10. However, not all of them can be reported on each year.

We have also made progress with identifying indicators and measures to report on the long-term outcomes. The prototype dashboard at the end of this report shows trends in relation to selected measures that have a direct or indirect link to our work. This will be further developed for future planning and reporting documents.


Impact Measure Target Performance
New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions meet international agreements in an economically efficient and environmentally effective way. Trends in greenhouse gas emissions and removals as measured by the annual greenhouse gas inventory. New Zealand’s Kyoto Protocol target is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels on average over the period 2008 to 2012 or take responsibility for any emissions above this level if it cannot meet the target.

New Zealand’s long-term goal is a 50 per cent reduction of net greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2050.
New Zealand’s total Kyoto Protocol target is calculated as the gross emissions from 1990 (61.9 Mt CO2-e) multiplied over 5 years, 309.6 Mt CO2-e.

Combining actual figures from 2008 and projected figures for 2009 to 2012 shows that New Zealand’s net emissions over the period are expected to total 291.0 Mt CO2-e, 18.6 Mt CO2-e below our Kyoto Protocol target of below the target of 309.6 Mt CO2-e.
Appropriate recognition of New Zealand’s interests in negotiations on future climate change action by the international community. Ministers are satisfied that New Zealand’s interests have been recognised. Achieved. A new international agreement has not been concluded. New Zealand’s proposals for the rules for a post-2012 climate change agreement remain open for discussion.
Changing environment
Increased community and infrastructure resilience to climate change and weather-related events. Local government Resource Management Act planning documents address the need to adapt to the effects of climate change. Upward trend. A review of local government planning documents was not carried out in 2009/10.
Land and fresh water
The Natural Resources Sector Network’s agreed common outcome in relation to water is:
  • 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.
The Ministry’s contribution to the common outcome is shown below.
New Zealanders have credible decision-making processes for fresh water, and land use affecting water that provide for healthy ecosystems and optimise New Zealand’s economic, social and cultural well-being. Specific measures that more directly evaluate our policy interventions on fresh water will be determined as part of implementing Government decisions on the ‘New Start for Fresh Water’ programme. Targets will be set once specific measures have been developed. Once specific measures have been developed, the Ministry will be in a position to report on this impact.
Marine environment
Appropriate statutory frameworks and increased certainty for development of
the Exclusive Economic Zone.
Cabinet is yet to set the policy direction for drafting of the Exclusive Economic Zone legislation. Measures for the impact of the legislative framework cannot be developed until its final scope and purpose are determined. Not applicable. Ministers will make decisions in September 2010 about if and how to proceed with the legislation.
Regulatory barriers to the development of aquaculture are removed. The impacts of the aquaculture reforms will be measured by the Aquaculture Agency (once established under the Ministry of Fisheries). Not applicable. Reporting progress with aquaculture policy is now the responsibility of the Ministry of Fisheries.
Maximising advantage
Growth in New Zealand’s capability to exploit international economic and environmental opportunities for agencies, institutions and firms. Number of environmental cooperation agreements concluded.

Number of environmental cooperation agreements being implemented.
Four new agreements over the next three years.

Seven to 10 agreements over the next three years.
Negotiations are on track to ensure at least four new agreements are concluded over the next three years.

All six of the current cooperation agreements are being implemented.
The Rugby World Cup 2011 is recognised for environmentally responsible event management in New Zealand. Host regions report that they achieved the environmental objectives of their programmes. 80% of objectives achieved. Host regions’ programmes will not be fully in place until September 2011. A progress report will be available in 2011.
Environmental hazards
Environmental hazards posed by the importation, manufacture, management (eg, transport, storage and handling) and disposal of hazardous substances and new organisms are sufficiently and efficiently managed. Monitoring of trends in incident, compliance and enforcement data compiled by the Environmental Risk Management Authority and the Department of Labour 1. Downward trend. Little change in the number of incidents involving hazardous substances attended by the NZ Fire Service: 1,700 – 2,000 per year.

Decrease in non-vehicle incidents with environmental contamination from 1249 in 2001/02 to 501 in 2008/09.

Decrease in compliance orders issued by enforcement agencies from 203 in 2001/02 to 94 in 2008/09 2.

Increase in the proportion of inspections where a compliance order was issued from 0.01% in 2001/02 to 1.6% in 2007/08.
New Zealand’s highest priority contaminated sites are being progressed towards remediation or are remediated. Progress is made in investigation, remedial planning or remediation of priority sites in conjunction with regional councils and/or landowners. An increasing proportion of high priority contaminated sites managed or remediated. Three priority contaminated sites have been remediated and three separate priority contaminated sites have remediation plans in place.
Sustainability in the built environment
Waste is minimised and disposal decreased to protect the environment from harm and provide environmental, social, economic and cultural benefits. Percentage of reductions in the monthly tonnage data of waste disposed of at waste disposal facilities. Downward trend.
(It is not yet possible to set a definite target.)
Data was collected from waste disposal facilities in 2009/10 to establish a baseline. The 2010/11 year will provide a second year of data from which we can start to identify trends.
The urban planning system is streamlined, integrated and more effective so that it delivers on the environmental and socio-economic outcomes sought. Refer to the Delivering environmental governance work programme for relevant measures. Refer to the Delivering environmental governance work programme for relevant targets. Progress with this measure cannot yet be reported as the work is still in progress.
Better Resource Management Act approval times for major infrastructure projects. Trend in time taken to process notices of requirement and outline plans. Downward trend. No survey was carried out in 2009/10. The biennial survey of council performance will be undertaken in 2010/11 and reported in 2011/12.
Environmental governance
Effective and efficient management of natural and physical resources through improved environmental governance and streamlined resource management processes. Trend in local authority compliance with mandatory resource consent processing timeframes under the Resource Management Act. Upward trend. No survey was carried out in 2009/10. The biennial survey of council performance will be undertaken in 2010/11 and reported in 2011/12.
  A review of the expanded Environmental Protection Authority three years after its establishment shows it provides for effective, efficient and transparent management of the regulation of New Zealand’s environment and natural resources. Achieved. This performance measure cannot be reported on as the Environmental Protection Authority has not been in operation for three years.
  Trend in efficient processing of applications of national significance that are called in. 100% compliance with statutory requirements. All applicable statutory processes and timeframes have been met. Decisions on current call-in activities were made under previous legislation so the provisions of the 2009 Act do not apply.
  New national environmental standards are meeting their objectives as determined by a review of their effectiveness undertaken three years after coming into force. Achieved. The first review of effectiveness is expected before the end of the 2011/12 year.
Improved performance by local authorities under the Resource Management Act 1991. Trend in local authority compliance with mandatory timeframes in the Resource Management Act 1991. Upward trend. No survey was carried out in 2009/10. The biennial survey of council performance will be undertaken in 2010/11 and reported in 2011/12.
  Trend in local authority decisions overturned by the Environment Court. Downward trend. No survey was carried out in 2009/10. The biennial survey of council performance will be undertaken in 2010/11 and reported in 2011/12.
  Number of interventions using statutory powers to address poor local authority performance. Maximum of one per year. Two interventions (reviews) under s24A of the Resource Management Act were undertaken in 2009/10 for Environment Canterbury and the Far North District Council.
Treaty settlements align well with broader natural resources policy. Percentage of advice to Ministers on historical Treaty settlement redress packages reflects the Natural Resources Sector Network’s integrated policy position on Treaty settlements. 100%. The integrated policy position is not yet agreed.
Evidence base
The evidence base for providing a clear picture of New Zealand environmental performance, incorporating social and economic perspectives, is strengthened. Number of environmental domains that have indicators updated (in accordance with the principles of the Official Statistics System). Ten over the next three years. Ten domains consisting of 36 national environmental variables were updated by 30 June 2010.
National and international reporting requirements are met. Relevant international institutions accept that reports meet all international requirements. Achieved. The fifth national communication and annual greenhouse gas inventory were submitted on time. Reviews of these reports in August 2010 will determine if they meet international requirements.

Projections were delivered ahead of time for the Kyoto net position report and were deemed to be materially correct by the Office of the Controller and Auditor General for inclusion in Government Financial Statements.
Operation of the Environmental Protection Authority
Effective and efficient management of natural and physical resources through improved environmental governance and streamlined resource management processes. Trend in efficient processing of applications of national significance to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). 100% compliance with statutory requirements. All statutory timeframes for the current matter lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority have been met to date.

1  This data provides a useful baseline for trend analysis, but some indicators do not provide enough detail to inform decision making. Any trends identified in the numbers should, therefore, be treated with caution.

2  Excludes infringement notices under Land Transport Dangerous Goods Rules.