We regularly make submissions on government policy and legislative proposals. Submissions are an opportunity to help shape government proposals that impact on the Chatham Islands and on the Council.  

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Biodiversity

We made a submission on the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity.

In particular, we pointed out that some species that are found on the Chatham Islands weren’t included.

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Freshwater

Freshwater farm plan regulations discussion document

We made a submission on the Resource Management (Stock Exclusion) Regulations 2020: Proposed changes to the low slope map.

When the original low slope land map was released along with the regulations in 2020, no low slope land was identified on the Chatham Islands.

This effectively meant that the parts of the regulations applying to low slope land did not apply to the Islands. The proposed new map now includes an area that covers nearly all of Chatham Island and a proportion of Pitt Island.

Managing our wetlands discussion document

We made a submission to the Ministry for the Environment on the Managing our wetlands discussion document.

Our comments largely agreed with the changes proposed in the discussion document.

Resource Management (Stock Exclusion) Regulations 2020

We made a submission to the Ministry for the Environment on the Freshwater farm plan regulations discussion document.

Our comments supported the phased approach to transition and implementation, but we asked that the specifics of the phased approach be considered further. We highlighted concerns around farmers on the Islands having no experience in developing farm plans, a lack of catchment data, and the need to develop engagement protocols with tangata whenua prior to the preparation of catchment information.

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Climate change

Draft National Adaptation Plan

We made a submission on the draft National Adaptation Plan and options for managed retreat.

To date, there has been little information on the likely impacts of climate change on the Chatham Islands. Recent studies that have been carried out for New Zealand have not covered the Islands. The Chatham Islands are particularly vulnerable to the potential impacts of climate change, as outlined in our submission, and it is vital that we have good information so we can prepare for those impacts.

Agricultural emissions levy

We made a submission on the “Te tātai utu o ngā tukunga ahuwhenua: Pricing agricultural emissions” consultation document.

The proposal is to charge farmers a levy for greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and nitrogen fertiliser. This will apply to all farms with at least 550 stock units (about 100 cattle or 550 sheep or a combination of both). There are also proposals to pay farmers for protecting some types of vegetation that could sequester carbon, and for other mitigation measures.

Our comments sought an exemption for Chatham Islands farmers because of the severe financial hardship the levy could cause. If no exemption is granted, we sought assurance that levies raised on the Islands should be used locally to reduce emissions rather than being used to provide incentives for higher intensity farming in other parts of New Zealand.

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Resource management

We made a submission on the draft of the Natural and Built Environment Bill.

Our comments centered around a number of key themes including issues particular to the Chatham Islands, the role of local democracy, recognising te Tiriti o Waitangi, a focus on the natural environment, lack of clear priorities and timing and transitional arrangements.

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