Complete a resource consent application along with an AEE (Assessment of Environmental Effects) to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC).
Kiwifruit are a key element of the economy of the Bay of Plenty, with the main Kiwifruit growing areas being around Te Puke and Katikati due to a combination of ideal soils, reliable rainfall and low risk of frost.
Over the last three years, Kiwifruit has been under threat from the introduced pathogen, PSA (you can google PSA to get more details if you wish), with many kiwifruit orchards destroyed entirely or partially and some growers going bankrupt. There has been considerable replanting with new strains of kiwifruit that is PSA-resistant, and the industry is recovering. However, PSA is actively managed with a significant amount of spray, much of which is additional to the spraying that was already in place before PSA was found on the vines. That spraying still occurs as well.
The additional sprays that are used are primarily copper-based sprays, and an antibiotic (Key-Strepto, the antibiotic Streptomycin). Spraying with copper can be as often as every two weeks through the growing season (4-6 months). Spraying with the antibiotic is generally 1-3 times per season, and is restricted to that number. Copper sprays are known to contaminate soils, and flow into waterways, creating environmental contamination. The effects of the antibiotic sprays on soil invertebrates, soil health and general environmental health have not been carefully studied.
Kiwifruit farming is an intensive horticultural industry. So while the areas of land involved are usually fairly small (up to about 10 hectares), they generate high levels of activity by vehicles, people coming and going, noise, and potentially activity at night.
Because the industry is now recovering, there is renewed interest in purchase of land that contained previously established vines, or establishment of new vines.
Your task is to prepare a resource consent (fill in the form and a written Assessment of Environmental Effects) as if you were submitting to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to request a resource consent to establish a new kiwifruit industry on 5 hectares of land near the boundary of Te Puke (about 400 m away in a direct line). The land is part of a larger block currently used for winter grazing of dairy cows.
You will need to consider this application under the RMA, and local planning documents (for the BoP Regional Council and Western Bay of Plenty and any other relevant legislation/policy. That is, you will need to identify the correct legislative sections/policies in those documents and respond to them.
You should prepare an AEE (Assessment of Environmental Effects) to go with your submission. On campus, I have provided A Guide to Preparing a Basic Assessment of Environmental Effects or see http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/aee-guide-aug06/. Follow the guidelines and instruction information provided within this guide to help you prepare your AEE. Your AEE, should be no longer than 4 pages long. Use the appropriate headings.
To obtain the BOPRC resource consent form, go to http://www.boprc.govt.nz/environment/resource-consents/resource-consent-application-forms/ and follow their instructions for filling this in.
Note for the application form:
1) READ the information provided online by the BOPRC for preparing a resource consent application. The local office of the BOPRC also has more handout information on preparing resource consents and AEE’s.
2) You may use your own name or some fictional names when filling out the form
3) Site information: do some research and select any site you wish within the Tauranga Harbour
4) Persons likely to be affected: Other than the two opponents mentioned above, provide some information on who else might be affected – both for and against. You can provide this information with fictional contact details and submissions (but do try and be as realistic as possible)
5) Provide some realistic (but fictional) timeframes
6) Finally, give an approximate cost based on the BOPRC schedule of costs for this consent.
Note that this is a very different problem to the mangrove problem that you wrote on in 2014. Kiwifruit is an established industry. But the community is very nervous about the way PSA is being responded to for both human health reasons and environmental health reasons, and there is also concern about the intensive nature of the industry. While the RMA cannot be used to stop the re-establishment of kiwifruit on farms that lost their vines due to PSA, a new kiwifruit farm does require a resource consent because it represents a change of land practice. Thus the local community will be looking very closely at any attempt to increase the number of vines, particularly close to the town.
Your job is to convince the local community that they will be safe, and that the new kiwifruit farm will have only minor environmental effects. The community might also be concerned about the loss of land for grazing of dairy cows as it could mean that more feed will be trucked in from elsewhere, which means more heavy vehicles on small local roads.