Tasman District Council, as one of the country’s 6 unitary councils, welcomes the sectorcommissioned Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Report as the first comprehensive review of the regional government sector and its Resource Management Act (RMA) specific functions.

With the increasing spotlight on our role, it is essential regional and unitary councils have a true and transparent view of our responsibilities, said Tasman District Council chief executive Janine Dowding. “In this light the CME report is timely.”

“As a Unitary Council we have the advantage of working across what in other areas is a political divide. We have to manage and monitor all environmental domains in an integrated way. Where the development of land impacts on water or the coast, we are well positioned to respond and work with the parties involved without recourse to another statutory agency. On balance this works well although the report says this makes it difficult to compare some of our monitoring metrics with other regional councils.”

“The report has identified gaps in the national information capture. The suggested improvements will help the sector set standards for better practice and these standards will also enable individual councils to make improvements within their geographic context. We are currently reviewing our overall approach to information and data management and these concerns will be taken into account,” Janine said.

“It was noted we have a good prosecution record. What this report does not show is the amount of time we invest in, and depth of, community and industry relationships. We look at long term solutions aiding those who need help and partnering those on the sustainability journey, but also retaining the legal tools we have at our disposal to ensure the best outcome possible.”

“Our enforcement policy is working well as evidenced by the relatively low infringement rate we have in Tasman, however that does not mean we are beyond taking on lessons reports like this one provide,” Janine said.

“While the report identifies that less than half the resource consents requiring monitoring have been monitored, this is in fact a legacy issue and we are now geared up to address this through better resourcing and more strategic monitoring approaches.”

You can read the report on the LGNZ website.(external link)