River Co-management and Planning in the Waikato: An Analysis of Regional and District Plans and Regional Policy Statement Compliance, and a New Approach to Plan Preparation
den Ouden, H. (2017). River Co-management and Planning in the Waikato: An Analysis of Regional and District Plans and Regional Policy Statement Compliance, and a New Approach to Plan Preparation (Thesis, Master of Environmental Planning (MEP)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11172
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11172
The Waikato River is one of New Zealand most significant rivers. It is an ancestor to one Iwi, significant to four other Iwi generates most of the country’s hydroelectricity and provides large amount of potable water to municipalities. In 2010 and 2012 three Acts of parliament established the framework for the restoration and protection of the Waikato River Catchment. It did so in three ways. The River Co-Management Legislation (RCML) has significantly added to the policy framework under the Resource Management Act 1991 for the Waikato Regional and six Districts. It introduced the requirement for co-management of decision-making at policy and regulatory approvals, and established the Waikato River Authority which manages a $270 million Clean-Up fund. This research outlines the provisions of the three statutes that comprise the RCML, how legislation changed the hierarchy of the planning framework, and identifies areas where improvements could be made. The RCML introduces a ‘Vision and Strategy’ as a National Policy Statement for the area of the region within the Waikato River Catchment. The ‘Vision and Strategy’ comprises 13 statements that are the Vision and 12 statements that are the strategy, collectively referred to as stratagems. The research assesses each plan and policy statement within the Waikato River catchment to determine the nature and level of incorporation of the 25 stratagems of ‘Vision and Strategy’. A new approach in planning is the requirement for the use of Maatauranga Maaori along with western science, the Māori and western science worldviews. These worldviews are discussed. Three Models that use Maatauranga Maaori principles are described. The purpose of this has been to begin a discussion on the basis of another perspective in future plan and policy making that included better provisions based on the Maatauranga Maaori worldview. The Planning Under a Co-operative Mandate (PUCM) project assisted in identify criteria against which to assess the regional and district plans and regional policy statement, their quality, comprehensiveness of inclusion of the ‘Vision and Strategy’ stratagems, and the required cascading nature of Objective policies and methods that are contain in the plans and regional policy statement. Key findings were that the provisions or inclusion of the ‘Vision and Strategy’ Stratagems was mixed, high in the case of scientifically quantifiable matters and poor and non-existent where matters to be included were less able to be quantified and qualified in a western science worldview. The strengths and weakness of including the ‘Vision and Strategy’ Stratagems varied and the strength of that inclusion was identified. A consequential finding was the overall quality of the plans themselves. The first PUCM report to government in 2001 on plan quality, scored all six districts and regional plans below 50%. Using PUCM project criteria to assess the degree to which the Stratagems were included in the plans in 2016 showed a similar result. The consequential findings also found confusion over the nature of good objective, policy and method drafting. It also found significant lack of cascading from objectives through policies to methods.
University of Waikato
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