April 2021 Summary

Thank you to everyone who submitted on the Long Term Plan


We have had a lot of submissions come in and I can't wait to get stuck into reading them all. There's so much reading involved in this role but hearing directly from the community in one swoop like this will be exciting and help provide more perspective to allow me to carry out my role well into the future. So thank you!


If you didn't get around to submitting before the deadline (Friday 4pm 30th April), please know that you can always get in contact with any of the elected members at any time to provide your opinion and explore what might be possible.


As a reminder, you can still make a submission on the proposed Regional Pest Management Plan 2021-2031 here any time before 4pm on Friday 14th May.

Coastal Plan Review


We didn't end up opening up for feedback on the review of the Coastal Plan in April as intended, but you can sign up for updates here to be alerted when this will happen. In the meantime Councillors have had the first few workshops out of a long series to start to get to know the issues and provide some guidance to staff.


Key messages I've brought up for discussion so far include issues of underwater noise (due to effect on wildlife such as described in Nature), air pollution (in a GHG context with upcoming RMA changes), bottom trawling (both in regard to biodiversity and GHG emissions), and what avenues exist to better protect and restore coastal biodiversity (in particular, in light of the Motiti decision).


Over the next few months we will keep learning more, and you'll definitely get to have your say on this topic when staff are ready to progress. In the meantime, you're welcome to get in touch and let me know if there's a topic dear to your heart.

Mentoring TUIA Rangatahi


My colleague Cr Tipa Mahuta has kindly invited me to help mentor two TUIA programme participants together, with the support of our Chair and Deputy Chair. Both Hiko Sam-Turner & Ana Kirk will get to learn from us and we from them. Read more

Recommended Reading / Viewing


Book by Kim Stanley Robinson - The Ministry for the Future

Online Video Series by Project Drawdown - Climate Solutions 101

Coming up in May


It is a very busy month! Here are some of the most interesting meetings where, if you're interested, you're welcome to come and observe. Agendas will be available here.

  • Strategy & Policy Committee 9.30am-1.30pm on Tuesday 4th May where we will discuss our submissions to the LTPs of Ōtorohanga, Waikato and Waitomo District Councils, the upcoming work programme of the committee, and hear about Envirohub (a new way of providing environmental data to the public via the WRC website), the Waste Minimisation Strategic Action Plan 2020-25, and get an update on our LTP process, key urban growth activities in the region we are involved with and a summary of all submissions made/coming up. Agenda here.

  • Climate Action Committee 10am-12.30pm on Wednesday 5th May where we are getting an update on NZ's latest GHG emissions data, progress on a project to get the latest data on likely climate change impacts for the Waikato, progress on developing our regional climate change risk assessment and a presentation by Environmental Engineer Jonathan Chambers on his Masters research which focussed on the climate impacts on inundation in coastal Kaiaua. During the last part of the meeting we are also hosting Dr David Hall from AUT who will present on 'New approaches to financing biodiversity restoration and climate action' - I highly recommend reading the Climate Innovation Lab report Scaling Climate Finance which was released in March 2021 which is in the last item of the agenda. We will record this presentation and make it available online as we did previously with Dr Paul Winton.

  • Environmental Performance Committee 10am-2pm on Thursday 6 May where we will get information on nitrates in water, territorial authorities compliance, recreational freshwater monitoring and hazardous waste management in the region.

  • Regional Connections Committee meeting 9.30am - 12pm on Friday 7th May which will include information on Hamilton's micro-mobility programme, public transport corridors and network performance data and improvements, as well as plans for moving to a zero-emissions bus fleet.

  • Long Term Plan Hearings where those that have submitted and indicated they want to present to the Council will get to make their case in person. Feel free to come and observe any time from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day 10 to 13 May.

  • Waikato Plan Leadership Committee 10am-12.30pm on 14 May

  • Regional Land Transport Plan Deliberations 9.30am-4pm on 17 May where the discussions will focus on how to alter the RLTP before final endorsement.

  • Te Arawa River Iwi Trust and WRC Co-Governance 10am-1pm on 18 May

  • Finance and Services Committee 10am-2pm on 19 May

  • Integrated Catchment Management Committee 10am-2pm on 20 May

  • Full Council Long Term Plan Deliberations 9.30-4.30pm on 25, 26 and 28 May which will occur in our new building. There should be some good debate!

  • Full Council Monthly Meeting 9.30am-2pm on 27 May

I realise coming in to observe isn't that exciting so please know we are looking into livestream options once we've moved into the new WRC building (late May 2021).

This monthly insight has been put together to help you:

  • learn more about local government relevant to Hamilton and the Waikato

  • stay up to date with climate action and other interesting topics

  • engage more with Waikato Regional Council and have their say at the right time

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Ngaa mihi nui,

Jennifer