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Glossary

  • Abatement notice
    a written direction requiring certain action to be taken or ceased. In addition to advocacy initiatives and enforcement responses, Environment Canterbury also uses abatement notices in specific situations. Abatement notices can be issued under section 17 of the Resource Management Act as it imposes a general but not specifically enforceable duty to adverse effects. Infringement notices and fines can be issued for failure to comply with an abatement notice. Abatement notices can also be used in any situation where an Enforcement Officer has reasonable grounds to believe there are adverse effects or a contravention of the Resource Management Act, and a specific action should be taken to avoid or mitigate those effects.
  • Abstraction
    in relation to a water body, means the taking of water from that water body.
  • Access
    the ability to get to and move along or over an area or site, for example the coast, a river bed or lake margin. It does not include the harvesting or taking of anything from that area or site.
  • Accretion
    the seaward advance of the shoreline resulting from the deposition of sediments (essentially the opposite of erosion).
  • Active fault
    a fracture in the earth’s crust that has ruptured repeatedly in the past and whose history indicates that it is likely to rupture again. Read more information on earthquakes.
  • Activity
    a good or service provided by, or on behalf of, a local authority or council controlled organisation; and includes the performance of regulatory and other governmental functions.
  • Adaptive management (Rakaia-Selwyn Review)
    is a mechanism, with predictable environmental outcomes, that allows for sustainable groundwater allocation by varying annual limits seasonally, according to groundwater recharge.
  • Adsorption
    process whereby dissolved charged ions attach to clay mineral or other charged particles.
  • Affected Parties
    people who may experience an effect as a result of a proposal which is significantly greater than or different from the effect on the general public
  • Agricultural waste discharge
    the discharge to surface waters of wastes generated from the pastoral farming of animals, where such wastes are collected and reticulated for the purpose of disposal.
  • Air Plan
    the Air Plan (Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan, Chapter 3: Air Quality) and Variation 11 (PM10 in Rangiora), Variation 12 (PM10 in Kaiapoi) and Variation 13 (PM10 in Ashburton) aims to clean up the air in Christchurch and Canterbury towns and to ensure air pollution will not become a major problem in other areas. The Air Plan and its Variations outline how specific air pollution issues will be managed through advocacy, education, regulation, etc. Read more details on the Air Plan.
  • Air shed
    regional councils are obliged under the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality to define areas for planning and regulatory purposes. In Canterbury, there are several urban air sheds including Christchurch, Waimate and Timaru.
  • Allocative efficiency
    allocation of resources to uses that make optimum use of them.
  • Alluvial fan
    cone-shaped sloping terrain, created from materials eroded from mountains in the upper catchment. Read more about groundwater.
  • Ambient
    in relation to air quality, means background air quality. Ambient conditions are those not modified by specific sources.
  • Anion
    a negatively charged ion, usually found dissolved in water, such as nitrate. Read more information about measuring water quality.
  • Annual Exceedence Probability
    the likelihood in any given year that a certain magnitude (or in the case of storm tides, elevation) will be exceeded.
  • Annual Volume
    annual volume is the total amount of water authorised via a water permit over a one year period. For irrigation permits this is determined as being the volume required during an irrigation season, calculated according to Schedule WQN9 version 3.
  • Annual Volume calculator
    is an Excel spreadsheet which is intended to enable calculation of an annual volume (water authorised via a water permit over a one year period) for a specific area of irrigated land. Go to the Annual Volume calculator.
  • Appeal
    if an applicant or submitter disagrees with the final decision made, they can lodge an Appeal with the Environment Court.
  • Application Receipted
    application has been checked to ensure all required information has been provided. At this point, the Processing Team may still return the application to the applicant if the Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) is deficient.
  • Application Submitted
    application has been received at the Environment Canterbury Offices and needs to be checked to ensure required information has been provided.
  • Appurtenant structure
    in relation to a dam, means a structure that is integral to the proper functioning of the dam.
  • Aquaculture Management Areas
    aquaculture can only be established within areas specially identified in the regional coastal plan as “Aquaculture Management Areas” (AMAs). Outside of AMAs, aquaculture is a prohibited activity.
  • Aquifer (annual volume definition)
    saturated, permeable geological unit that is capable of yielding economically significant quantities of water to wells or springs.
  • Arable (cropping)
    Arable (cropping) is where land is cultivated and used predominantly to produce a mix of annual crops being grown in rotation.  Arable farms have a mix of crops that usually have a single harvest and the rotation may include process vegetable crops or pasture.  The definition does not include perennial bush, vine or tree crops.
  • Assessment of Environmental Effects
    a report that must be provided with a resource consent application. It outlines the effects that the proposed activity might have on the environment.
  • Assimilative capacity
    in relation to a water body, means the ability of the water body to absorb contaminants while still meeting water quality standards after reasonable mixing.
  • At or below background concentrations
    The site has been investigated or remediated. The investigation or post remediation validation results confirm that there are no hazardous substances above local background concentrations. Local background concentrations are those that occur naturally in the area. The investigation or validation sampling has been sufficiently detailed, in terms of locations sampled and analytes tested, to characterise the site.
    Read more about contaminated site categories.
  • Adaptive management
    a systematic way to manage resources while at the same time learning more about how to manage them better. Adaptive management is often characterised as “learning by doing”.
  • Ahi kaa
    continued occupation or resource use.
  • Alluvial
    loose deposits of gravel (or soil or other sediments) laid down or shaped by the action of fresh water.
  • Amenity values
    natural or physical qualities and characteristics of an area that contribute to people’s appreciation of its pleasantness, aesthetic coherence, and cultural and recreational attributes.
  • Aquifer
    an underground gravel channel through which groundwater flows.
  • Ara tawhito
    Trails.
  • Aruhe
    edible fern root.