Monitoring of consents
Consent holders comply with consent conditions to mitigate environmental impact.
94% of consents inspected received a compliant (A or B) grade in 2017/18.
About this goal
During 2017/8 over 7,000 inspections were carried out, for 5,754 consents across the region. The majority of inspections were for water consents, reflecting our priorities and those of the community.
Why does it matter?
There are approximately 24,000 resource consents in Canterbury, so it is not possible without considerable cost to monitor every consent every year. We work with land managers, individuals and industry to achieve voluntary compliance, ensuring the best long-term environmental results.
Monitoring consent compliance and responding to incidents, while necessary and important, are more like the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. They are needed to fix a problem often after the environmental damage has occurred, and stop it happening again.
As long as we have consents with conditions we will continue to monitor them to ensure the activity is compliant. But what consents we monitor and how we monitor is changing. We are more focused on monitoring high-risk consents or those consent holders with poor compliance history. Better technology is improving our ability to monitor activities for compliance without having to do as many physical site visits.
What's being done?
If there is an issue, our first response is to work with individuals and businesses to stop any immediate environmental damage.
We then investigate to determine what actions should be taken, including enforcement.
Education can achieve better outcomes and is valued by consent holders who need help. If education does not get the right results, there are a range of compliance actions as set out below:
Formal written warnings notify of an offence and require action to be taken.
Abatement notices are typically issued when the offender doesn’t co-operate or if we have reason to believe that the offence could happen again.
Infringement notices, which include a fine, are issued for more significant breaches.
Prosecution is reserved for offences so serious that they warrant proceedings through the courts.
* One prosecution was taken in October 2017 relating to odour beyond an industrial site boundary, following a breach of an abatement order. The prosecution was managed through an Alternative Environmental Justice process.