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6.1.7 Implementation Methods - Effects of Land Use on Air Quality Territorial Authority and Regional Council Responsibilities for Air Quality

Waikato Regional Council will, in conjunction with territorial authorities, work to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each agency in relation to air quality, starting from the position that:

  1. Waikato Regional Council’s responsibility is to develop policy, consider resource consents on the discharge of contaminants to air from specific sources, and undertake the monitoring and enforcement of those discharges.
  2. The functions of territorial authorities are to consider the control of effects on air quality from land use when establishing district plan provisions and when considering applications for subdivisions and land use consents, and undertake the monitoring and enforcement of such controls.
  3. Waikato Regional Council will work with territorial authorities to reduce duplication and inconsistency in the management of air quality under the RMA.
  4. The transfer of powers for processing and/or monitoring of resource consents from Waikato Regional Council to a territorial authority will be considered in an area or on an issue where it satisfies the relevant statutory criteria in s33 of the RMA. Land Use Planning

Waikato Regional Council will encourage territorial authorities to manage, through district plans, building consents, applications for subdivision, land use consent, Land Information Memoranda and education, any significant adverse effects of land use activities on air quality that arise out of any exercise of their powers and functions including:

  1. As a first principle, ensuring that discharging activities take all reasonable steps to internalise their discharged effects including making use of the best practicable option.
  2. Where this (i.e. Clause One) cannot be reasonable achieved and, it is necessary and reasonable to do so, controlling new land uses that are sensitive to the discharge of contaminants from other existing land uses.
  3. Making agailble to the public information about significant or objectionable sources of discharges to air and surrounding sensitive areas.
  4. Considering the effects of land use on air quality issues such as construction and demolition, earthworks and road sealing and other activities not requiring consent for discharge from Waikato Regional Council.

Advisory Note:

  • See also land use planning method specific to agrichemical spray drift Section
  • Waikato Regional Council holds information in regards to discharges to air. For enquiries please refer to Waikato Regional Council’s Resource Use Group Enquires Desk.
  • There are various methods open to territorial authorities for the control of land uses. These include, but are not limited to, requiring buffer zones, the separation of potentially conflicting land uses, use of screening or shelter belts etc.


Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods and
There is a potential overlap between territorial authority and regional council roles for addressing air quality issues, particularly for odour. Method provides clarification of the responsibilities of each agency under the RMA.

A territorial authority should include consideration of the effects of various land uses on air quality when establishing plan provisions and issuing land use resource consents (i.e. the degree of compatibility with surrounding land uses). Section 31 of the RMA is clear in its intent that if the effects of the use, development or protection of land and associated natural and physical resources of the district significantly affect air quality, then the territorial authority has a responsibility to control those effects. Territorial authorities also retain a role under the Health Act 1956 for nuisance effects, however, this role is primarily for ancillary type activities that are isolated or episodic.

The regional council role is set out in s30 of the RMA. Waikato Regional Council has the responsibility for addressing discharges of contaminants to air, particularly from industrial and trade premises (s15(1)(c) of the RMA). Waikato Regional Council will retain the enforcement and monitoring responsibilities for these discharges, unless it is agreed to transfer these powers under s33 of the RMA.

Part 4 of Method recognises the important role that territorial authorities can play in making information available to the public about significant or objectionable sources of contaminants, such as odour or particulate matter and surrounding sensitive areas. To focus territorial authority efforts in this area, part 3 would only be relevant if there is a particular air quality issue or problem within a district (for example an accumulation of intensive indoor farms or a significant industrial source). Some territorial authorities in the Region are achieving part 3 already, by including information such as sources of objectionable odour on Land Information Memoranda (LIM). This approach advocates the ‘buyer beware’ principle, and acts to raise the awareness of new entrants into an area. Waikato Regional Council supports territorial authorities having mechanisms in place that can raise the awareness of people/business entering an area regarding established uses.

Method part 4) specifically relates to controlling the effects of particulate matter discharges occurring from activities. Where effects on air quality are outside of Waikato Regional Council’s direct control these effects should be considered in conjunction with other resource management considerations and priorities of the territorial authority. It should be noted that s17 of the RMA, in relation to avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse effects, applies directly to dusty roads because they are not industrial and trade premises. However, road construction is specifically permitted under Rule part 23) and the permitted activity conditions under Section 6.1.8 apply.

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