Hello people. We have had a very busy month or more with 4 weekends away or week days added 2 weekends. Not a lot of work being done and this last week Elton John called or should I say we went over to Hastings. Not 2 bad, not a great fan of Elton but an experience in more ways than one. We had a young lady decide to park her self on the verge of our mat where upon she then proceeded to rearrange her clothing in a rather unbecoming manner or place ,upon which our wives and another decided she needed WATER. Really, but a timely intervention saved embarrassment. Not that she seemed to care.

You will remember that last month I said I would publish my comments on Horizons One Plan Bio-d provisions. You will also remember I talked of the Plans being recognized in that each plan leads to the same outcome. LAND USE CHANGE. Some of you will recognize then the reason why the Land Use Classifications are so important to the extremists driving these Plans.

Some of you will remember I was a Hearings Commissioner on the Bio-d provisions. my concerns were such that I wrote a dissenting decision to the Hearings Panels decision. You will see that I make the comment that Methods may include rules. But this is where the feds in the Enviro- court, I in the High Court got tripped up a little, although as we pointed out in our High Court Appeal. There is not one Method in the RMA that includes RULES. But the dictionary  does allow for. Now I have not read the proposed NPS on Bio-d, but am merely reporting on Horizons model.

It is my view that once a large amount of bio-d becomes established under the canopy of pine forests, including those forests earmarked for timber production. Conservationists, Regional Council and or Dept. of Conservation staff will suddenly discover a rare and threatened something or other, I give examples of but not all, thus protection of will be paramount. it is again my view that your local schools wetland or wilderness areas  and protected biodiversity within farm plans and QE II are in fact seed banks for future objectives as described below. Remember this was written in 2008. My my how I have developed since then, remembering I had no help from any one. Dumped and disowned. This is the reason that there are people, local governance, media and organizations purporting to represent agriculture that are doing their upmost to stop me getting any traction with groups such as 50 Shades of Green.

You are welcome to copy, adapt and use in your submission Here it is.

This is Commissioner Mike Plowman’s Dissenting Decision to the Biodiversity and Heritage Plan Horizons Regional Council One Plan




Biodiversity Hearing Horizons Regional Council that commenced the 29th November 2008.


I oppose the use of Schedule E to determine sites of significant Habitats as per sec 6c RMA.

I oppose Significant Habitats being given names, as they were labels only, and were not intended to be a Habitat description. The Habitats bear little resemblance to John Leathwick, Matt McGlone and Susan Walkers unpublished work, (New Zealands Potential Vegetation Pattern, Land Care Research, 2004) and which were identified as such in the earlier versions of Schedule E.

Leathwick and Co-authors, identify specific compositions which once were common but now are not and the regions where they were found for classification as sec 6(c).This is not dissimilar to the Statement of National Priorities detailed in paragraph ( c ). Thus I oppose the term “Significant Habitats” for the following reasons:


(a) The terms Habitat, and Significant are not defined in the Interpretation and Application Part 1 RMA. Therefore do not carry the force of Law.


(b) Table E.1.Schedule E pg 35. The “Further Description” column is to assist users and is not definitive. Schedule E has new additions not recognized by Leathwick and Co eg Indigenous tussock land below the treeline .


(b)(i) The Wet Land Habitats have new additions not recognized in published works by Peter Johnson, Philippe Gerbeaux and others, eg Lakes Lagoons and their margins, Rapirian margins, and Dune Slack Wetland.


(b)(ii) Poweliphanta Snails have suffered badly from introduced predator pests as detailed in Leathwick and others work LCR 2004.


( c ) It is apparent to me that Schedule E is an attempt to make all sites of indigenous biological diversity that fill the ecological criteria of Schedule E,  sites of National Importance, sec 6(c) RMA. and make rules for.


(d)   Ms Maseyks Technical Report No 2007/EXT/790 dated May 2007 entitled:

“To support policy development, Past and Current Indigenous Vegetation Cover, and the Justification for the Protection of Terrestrial Biodiversity within the Manawatu – Wanganui Region.”


This Report was initially referred to in Ms Maseyks Officers report, and Mr Don Coles referred to it in his oral submission.  I am concerned enough to ask that interested parties take note of this and another report that failed to come before the Commissioners on that day for the same reason. See MfE Statement of National Priorities for protecting Rare and Threatened Biodiversity, publication no ME 805.


The notified Proposed One Plan Policy Statement, Chapter One pages 3 and 5 writes of Land Use Change and Carbon Sinks.


As recognized in chapter one and referenced above, under section 30 (1)(a) of the RMA the functions of the Regional Council for the purpose of giving effect to the RMA in the Regional Councils region include:


( a ) the establishment, implementation, and review of objectives, policies, and methods to achieve integrated management of the natural and physical resources of the region.


However, it cannot include rules in a regional plan for the purpose of carrying out this function because this is specifically excluded from, by section 68(1)(a) of the RMA. This is consistent with section 65 of the RMA which allows a regional council prepare a regional plan for the whole or part of its region for any function specified in section 30 (1) ( c ), ( ca), (e), (f), (fa), (fb), (g), or (ga), that is, section 30 (1) (a) and (b) are excluded.


See Schedule D POP as detailed below.


In addition, section 30(1)(ga) of the RMA provides that it is a function of the Regional Council for the purpose of giving effect to the RMA in the Regional Councils region to include:

“the establishment, implementation, and review of objectives, policies, and methods for maintaining indigenous biological diversity.”

Please note the “or” not “and”. meaning one or the other but not both. g or ga.

*Methods. May Include rules.


The function relates to maintenance and not the creation/enhancement of indigenous biological diversity, as both the Policy 7.4.1, Responsibilities for maintaining Indigenous biological diversity, and policy 12-5 states.


I am concerned that Schedule E is so broad brushed that a far greater area totaling 814,000 hectares will be captured than is envisaged, (see sec 32 provided) over time, as a result of the Integrated management of Natural and Physical Resources and including rules to achieve.  This was the view held by Mr. Schofield in his Supplementary Evidence made to the Hearing on 1 December 2008 and Mr. Parks Supplementary Evidence to the hearing on the same date. Both acknowledge the scope and scale of the area that is covered (Schofield page 4 para 1.16.).

I refer again to the use of Labels for Habitat and Tree land Description , and note that there is no definition of Significance in the RMA, leading, I believe to the RMA Interpretation and Application [page37] Part one, of Natural and Physical Resources, All Things. Right down to paddock scale environments.



It is also my view that Geology of the Region should be used to determine the Regions which have suffered the greatest loss. This is also consistent with the Statement of National Priorities for Protecting Rare and Threatened Biodiversity on Private Land, April 2007, publication no ME 805, Ministry for the Environment.


This report also became known to the Commissioners as the Hearings progressed.


Indeed the Proposed One Plan Schedule D, table D.2, The Key for Life Supporting Classes, Hill Mixed, HM. Lowland Mixed, LM. And Lowland Sand, LS all relate directly to the above and are evidence of integrating rules between plan’s for each function identified in section 30(1)(a-h)


I wish to make it clear that Mr. Schofield, on pg 7 para 1.33 acknowledges Mr. Parks evidence, that there is no Nationally Adopted Criteria for Assessing Ecological Significance, and quantifies. Both Mr. Schofield and Mr. Park state the absence of such criteria is inconsistent with both Established Ecological Practice and case law. Ecological Sustainability is a very important consideration as to whether areas of indigenous vegetation are Significant as required under section 6( c ) RMA. The Supplementary Evidence of Mr. Park and Mr. Fuller expands on the importance of such.


(e) With the scope and scale increased Significantly with the Inclusion of Tree land, the Principles of Natural Justice for those most affected must be paramount. Land Owners Most Affected, sec 27 of the Bill of Rights [NZ] provides for the Right to Justice, in the Respect of that Persons Rights, Obligations or Interests are Protected or Recognized by Law.


(f) Sec 30 (1) (ga) gives Regional Council the function of the establishment , implementation and review of , stating , May make Rules. But not for Land of Regional Significance, which is effectively a section 6(c) of the RMA. And is again consistant with the MfE Statement of National Priorities. Sec 31 (1) (b) iii RMA gives Territorial Authorities the Control of the effects , implying they make the rules having regard to section 10 and 11 of the Local Govt Act 2002. (ga) also gives control of the effects of, to Regional Councils only for infrastructural projects and then only to the beds of rivers and lakes.

Sec 74 and 75 RMA state that TA’s have regard and effect, too Regional Council Plans. TA’s determine the degree of that regard and effect.

With regard to Policy 7-1 Responsibilities for Maintaining Indigenous Bio Diversity. Regional Council cannot arbitrarily exert control over a Territorial Authority Function. Section 31 RMA.

Reflecting on the draft form of the Regional Plan for Biodiversity as it developed through the hearing process it is apparent to me that the Scope and Scale referred to by Mr. Schofield and Mr. Park is indeed going to be very relevant . I therefore call for an evaluation to be carried out pursuant to section 32 (1) ( c ) of the RMA. In particular, the costs of protecting and the emphasis on enhancement of habitats will be significant, whether in terms of loss of productive capacity of the land should the land owner decide to retire a whole mini catchment that is already fenced and or the costs of weed and pest control. In addition Policy 7.1.2, Future Approach para[b] states economic incentives in rare ,threatened and at risk habitats indicates that our Regional Rate Payers are to be asked to fund a very costly policy.


(g) I note that the term “Must” is used throughout Schedule E. The RMA uses “Shall.”


The Term “Generally” as used in the policy statement is not appropriate. The wording must be specific. Either yes or no.


(h) There is no acknowledgement in Schedule E, or provision for having Regard to other Acts of Parliament. Sec 66(2) ( c ). This is important in that sec 7 RMA states; Shall have regard to the efficient use and development of natural and Physical Resources and sec 5 Efficient use of . Thus the discretionary resource consent is too restrictive In that it does not give regard to sec 66(2)c


Historical Heritage

(a) The term Taonga. The RMA Application and Interpretation recognizes Taonga raranga. Plants highly prized for weaving.


(b) Waitapu. Relates to a specific place or places already identified as per the schedule held by Regional Council.


Rules: chapter 12. 12.6 land based biodiversity and wetlands. Activities within.

Amend the wording to delete the term “Habitats” replacing with the terminology used to identify forest and wetland compositions as per Leathwick and co-authors . And Johnson and Gerbeaux.




Yours Faithfully,

Mike Plowman