Following the Ministry for the Environment’s Resource Management Act (RMA) survey of Local Authorities 07/08, the Minister for the Environment ordered a Section 24A RMA investigation into the performance of two councils: Environment Canterbury and Far North District Council. This is the first time the Minister has exercised powers under Section 24A of the RMA
24A Power of Minister for the Environment to investigate and make recommendations
(a) investigate the exercise or performance by a local authority of any of its functions, powers, or duties under this Act or regulations under this Act; and
(b) make recommendations to the local authority on its exercise or performance of those functions, powers, or duties; and
(c) investigate the failure or omission by a local authority to exercise or perform any of its functions, powers, or duties under this Act or regulations under this Act; and
(d) make recommendations to the local authority on its failure or omission to exercise or perform those functions, powers, or duties; and
Section 24A: inserted, on 10 August 2005, by section 7 of the Resource Management Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 87).
Section 24A(a): amended, on 1 October 2009, by section 23 of the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 31).
Section 24A(c): amended, on 1 October 2009, by section 23 of the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 31).
Terms of reference for a review of ECan's performance
Assessment of Environment Canterbury's wider performance under the LGA02 or other legislation and identify possible solutions
- 3.2. The non-statutory assessment will cover the following factors:
- The approach of ECan to meeting its legal obligations
- Adequacy of ECan's governance
- Adequacy of ECan's management and decision making processes
- Financial management of ECan
- The relationships between ECan and the territorial authorities in its region, and extent to which ECan and TAs have met their legal obligations for collaborating and co-operating
Assessment of Environment Canterbury's wider performance under the LGA02 or other legislation
On site work
- 4.3. The team of consultants will spend up to three weeks with Environment Canterbury undertaking discussion with council staff and assessing databases, file information and council administrative systems.
- 4.4. Discussions with council staff will be based on a set of interview questions focussed on council practices and procedures. These questions, along with requests for the documents and files required for the performance review, will be pre-circulated to ECan prior to investigators arriving on site. Further additional information may be requested onsite.
- 4.5. The following council staff will need to be available on request during the performance review period:
- Chief Executive
- Investigation and Monitoring Director
- Regulation Director
- Resource Planning and Consents Director
- Finance and Corporate Services Director
- Regional Programmes Director
- Managers and planning, consenting and compliance staff under the above Directors
- Customer Services staff (if applicable)
Terms of Reference for Review of FNDC's Performance
- 4.1. The findings (including any recommendations) from the investigations will form the basis of a draft report to be discussed with the council before being finalised and presented to the Minister for the Environment. A copy of each final report will be provided to the relevant council concerned.
- 4.2. These investigations may result in recommendations being made to each council on ways to improve their performance under section 24A(b) of the Resource Management Act. This may include further monitoring of the councils performance.
The first component of the review is under Section 24A of the Resource Management Act, looking into ECan's resource management functions. The second component is a non-statutory assessment of ECan’s governance and policy functions under the Local Government Act.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Wyatt Creech is overseeing the RMA investigation working with Doug Martin of MartinJenkins and Associates and independent consultant Greg Hill.
The review of ECan's governance, and relationships with other councils is being done by civil engineer Doug Lowe and economist Alison Dalziel.
Rt Hon Wyatt Creech is an experienced business man, with knowledge in farming, wine production, and accounting. He was elected to parliament in 1988. He held office for 15 years representing the Wairarapa and in that time held many senior portfolios for the National Government including Leader of the House and Deputy Prime Minister. Wyatt was a member of the Resource Management Act (RMA) Technical Advisory Group, is on the Board of Directors of the Open Country Cheese Company and is chairman of the Board of the Kaimai Cheese Company Ltd.
Director, MartinJenkins and Associates. Doug was appointed by the State Services Commission to be one of three Lead Assessors for the purpose of piloting the new Performance Improvement Framework that will be applied to State Sector Agencies. Doug was appointed because of his experience and credibility. Doug also conducted a culture review of Auckland City Council for the Mayor, Hon John Banks, and more recently conducted a value for money review of the Department of Corrections. He will be working with his associate Nigel Bradly.
Greg is a RMA consultant. He has approximately 25 years experience and is also an independent commissioner. He has been employed by Territorial Authorities, Regional Councils and Central Government. Greg was the General Manager of Policy and Planning at Auckland Regional Council.
Doug is a founding director of Morrison Low and a civil engineer with significant experience in managing major infrastructure and development projects, procurement in a government/local government setting, strategic and general management and organisational change. He has held senior management positions in large public bodies and has a track record of getting results using practical solutions while retaining a strategic view.
Alison is an economist with more than 20 years of experience in central and local government. Her background includes policy and strategy, finance, corporate planning, economic development, urban development, and sector and regional development. Alison has worked in several central government departments and metropolitan councils in a variety of senior management roles.
Mark St.Clair is a Director with Hill Young Cooper Ltd; a public policy and resource management consultancy with offices in Auckland and Wellington. Mark has 18 years resource management experience in local & central government and consultancy roles. He has considerable experience in statutory resource consent applications and policy formulation for both public and private sector clients, and is also an accredited hearings Commissioner.
Dr Cowie is an aquatic ecologist by training, and has over 25 years experience in resource management. This has included 12 years as the manager responsible for all the resource management functions of the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council. A consultant since July 2001 Dr Cowie has been on numerous panels hearing and deciding resource consent applications, many as chair. He was one of three commissioners who in late 2008 granted 58 resource consents to TPL authorising a new power scheme in the Arnold Valley on the West Coast. Dr Cowie recently completed a report for the Minister for the Environment reviewing the processing of TrustPower's application by Marlborough District Council to operate a hydro-scheme on the Wairau River.
Last updated: 19 February 2010